By Hervé St-Louis
July 10, 2006 - 16:06
Returning the design of the X-Men closer to their comic book roots and away from the leather-clad look popularized by the Matrix and the Blade films, The Astonishing X-Men series has featured Wolverine in a retro costume, with the old blue and yellow of his initial days. Initially featured in this costume in Astonishing X-Men #1, Wolverine has been a mainstay of the X-Men. He was first introduced in The Incredible Hulk # 181, in 1974.
Toybiz based the uniform of this figure on John Cassaday’s designs. Unmasked, Wolverine doesn’t look like a clone of Hugh Jackman, but his suit has all the seams on his costume that is so popular in comic books these days. This costume borrows from the Wolverine costume created by Dave Cockrum and Herb Trimpe. Wolverine’s spiky hair are shorter and the tiger patterns are back on the ribs of his costume.
This figure makes Wolverine look puny which is a change. He really looks like the little runt who attacks without thinking. Because his face is based on a design by John Cassaday, his face looks more round and realistic than usual. His legs and feet look too small to while his upper body is the same size as that of other Marvel Legends action figures. Yet, Wolverine looks pissed and reflective. This figure does not have the imposing charm and dangerous charisma of other Wolverine figures and makes him more human than dangerous.
The paint job is good without any spills. There is shading all over his suit, arms and legs. I don’t like the fur lines drawn on his arms. It feels cheap. Real sculpted in hair would be cool, but then, Toy Biz could not reuse the parts for other figures. The face also lacks any shading and the flesh paint is a thick coat of paint. It doesn’t match the colour of his arms which is also the base colour of the plastic used for the parts.
Wolverine is smaller even than X-23 which is a teenager. The figure however is in scale with other Marvel Legends. Wolverine figures have grown in size in the last few years, especially when the Ultimate and the film versions were created. In these versions, Wolverine is a normal height. It’s nice to see a smaller Wolverine for once, even if he is the smallest X-Men to date.
Wolverine is stable because his torso is not heavy and his thighs offer ample support. However, he can fall on his back easily. He does stand better on a surface with some fabric instead of a smooth table. Toy Biz has removed the peg holes from their figures which is a mistake. At least, they make their ankle articulations strong enough to withstand the weight of their figures.
Wolverine has 36 articulations at the neck, the shoulders, the elbows, the wrists, the palms, the abdominal, the waist, the hips, the thighs, the knees, the calves, the ankles and the toes. His shoulder articulations are limited by the shoulder pads he sports. His elbows and knees have double articulations. The articulations are stiff which is a relief as the figure’s limb will not go limp after playing with the figure a bit.
Toy Biz uses a soft plastic which is resistant to a child’s rough play. However, the small part, like Wolverine’s claws could be dangerous for kids less than six years. The claws cannot be removed either. Wolverine’s cowl is in softer plastic and cannot be removed unless one removes his head.
Wolverine comes with a copy of Astonishing X-men #6 and the left leg of Apocalypse. When combined with Apocalypse parts from other Marvel Legends 12 action figures, one can assemble a large figure of the villain.
Wolverine comes in a plastic package with a cardboard backing inserted. To open the package, you must use scissors and be careful of plastic shards. They can cut ones’ skin. Only an adult should open this package.
This figure costs from $8 to $12 depending on the store. Larger surfaces sell this figure for less. Specialized stores sell this figure for more. Some retailers often sell the variant version of this figure for more. However, large surface stores sell this figures for the same price.
The variant version of Wolverine is rarer than the regular one with a mask. Toy Biz often packs variants in specific cases. However at large surface stores all figures are put on display, unlike specialty stores who inspect all cases carefully. Often, toy peddlers grab variant versions of figures from large surface stores and sell them at auction sites. They wait for the figure shipments to arrive and buy them off. Often, obtaining variants are easier to find at specialty stores.
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