Toy Review: Marvel Legends X-Men Caliban Wave
If I were to bet, I’d lay odds on this X-Men Caliban wave of Marvel Legends, followed by an upcoming repaint-heavy X-Force wave, being the last X-wave we see without Fox movie-based figures in the mix. Hasbro has never actually come out and said they aren’t allowed to do those, but they haven’t since X-Men 3. Officially, it was because they didn’t get the same kind of preproduction access Marvel Studios gives them. But that shouldn’t have prevented, say, a Ryan Reynolds Deadpool from the first movie to tie in with the second. Regardless, there’s an assumption that now that it’s all under the same umbrella, Hasbro should have free reign. As long as they retain the Marvel license.
In the meantime, the X-Men comic figures they choose tend to lean heavily towards characters seen in other media. Weapon X Wolverine with the helmet appeared in X-Men: Apocalypse, as did Jubilee and Beast. Gambit should have had his own movie by now, but Hasbro was probably more optimistic a year ago. Blink was in Days of Future Past and The Gifted, and Caliban appeared in both Apocalypse and Logan in two very different takes. These were all sent to us for review.
Skullbuster is a Reaver, and they were in Logan, but he’s here because he’s a clever repaint of Deathlok. Because Skullbuster is a reissue, Hasbro has thrown in a bonus head to make fellow Reaver, Reese. Caliban is a nice big chunky figure, far from the shrinking, vampiric character he was portrayed as onscreen. It’s a reused body, but it will also play well with larger figures like Masters of the Universe Classics.
Jubilee also comes a bonus head. Her default head has non-removable glasses; and her alternate head has removable glasses and a bubble-gum bubble. The face and the bubble, along with much of the body, look to be getting recycled (with new hair and glasses) for Boom Boom next wave.
Weapon X, instead of having a removable helmet, also goes the two-head route. As with other recent Wolverine figures, his claws have tiny, partially restricted ball joints, which is a marvel (pun intended) of modern toy engineering.
Wolvie has the Spider-Man extra pec joint, that allow his arms to fold inward. In his case, they also allow for the classic X-Men/crossed claws pose. (Also known as “Wakanda Forever” in other parts of the Marvel universe.)
Beast also gets that extra pec articulation. Hasbro doesn’t use it often on the bigger figures. Beast also has a mid-torso ball joint instead of the waist cut, to allow for his larger legs. Conversely, Jubilee has both waist and ball joint, but no ab crunch.
He’s a beauty of a figure, with one nitpick: there are no pupils in his eyes. Beast isn’t Batman or Green Lantern; so this isn’t normal for him. I suppose he could be permanently in a state of sudden anger where he rolls his eyes and growls.
Forge is here to help build out your ’90s X-Men team. He’s a good basic figure, but because most of his body is reused generic parts, the boots do suffer from floating fringe syndrome. You might want to glue the fringes in place if you’re so inclined.
But that’s nothing compared to Blink, whose skirt does not stay in place at all. It’s a bit more embarrassing when that’s the loose extra bit. Even with the portal thrown in as an extra, she’s only worth it if you really want all the Caliban parts.
Gambit needs no such incentive, and he is the only one that doesn’t come with a Caliban part. Hasbro has reused this trenchcoat quite a bit, but at least it’s appropriate here. And the metallic paint on his torso armor makes him pop. He comes with signature staff, and two left hands. One can hold a removable charged card between fingers. The other is tossing several at his next foe.
Gambit is also the two-per-case figure, so his popularity is anticipated.
On the whole, Blink’s the only dud in this wave, which is a pretty good ratio. And if we do start getting live-action Marvel X-Men figures in the future, there are at least two alternate Blinks to choose from. So fans of hers may not be entirely SOL. It’s the next wave, with repaint Wolverine, reused Jubilee and Sasquatch, and generic Guardian that worries me.
Which figures in the Marvel Legends X-Men Caliban Wave will you be picking up?