Marvel Legends Xmen box set

Two Marvel Legends reviews in a week's time, this time it is the X-men box set. Just before the holiday season last year, Toy Biz released two box sets of their Marvel Legends figures. These sets include slightly retooled versions of previously released figures and in the case of the X-men set, one new character. The X-men set includes five figures: Gambit, Wolverine, Beast, Rogue and Magneto. (For those keeping score, Rogue is the new character.) So did the box set figures turn out better than the carded versions?

Packaging - 8/10

The X-men box set comes packaged in, guess what... a box. A large window box to be more precise. The five figures are packaged in a plastic tray within the box in various action poses, centered around Magneto. The overall affect is very attractive, especially for people who keep their figures in the packaging. The accessories for each figure are also displayed alongside each figure as well. Even the background is well done, with what appears to be a section of the danger room's controls as a backdrop. The box itself maintains the same blue color scheme as the regular carded figures with the Marvel Legends logo in the center. The back has most of the same portions as the carded figures as well. The ability profiles for all five figures are included. The center has a brief description of each character. They also included images of the contents of the poster book that comes with the set. Just one word of warning, be prepared for a jungle of twist ties. Each figure is held in place with between 4 and 8 ties plus there are additional ties for many of the accessories.

Sculpting - 7/10

Beast is the same as the sigle carded figure. Beast has certainly gone through a lot of different incarnations over the years but this is a great representation of his big blue sasquatch form. The proportions convey the animalistic nature. There is a lot of detail added for the hair that does a good god of giving the sculpt a hairy appearance.

Wolverine is another reuse except for his head which is sculpted without his mask. The sculpt is very well done though horribly out of scale. Wolverine is just a hair shorter than Magneto when standing straight up. But since most people will likely pose him in his charateristic slouching stance it isn't as noticable. The new head sculpt is nicely done, but looks more like Hugh Jackman as the movie version of Wolverine than the comic book version. Like in the movie, the hair is swept back to hint at the mask's horned shape without actually having the large horn-like protrusions. By the way, this is not the same head sculpt as the mask-less wolverine chase figure.

Gambit is once again, the same as the single carded figure. The sculpt is slim and wiry, befitting the character. Though he may be a little too thin. He is barely as wide across the shoulders as Rogue.

Magneto, like Wolverine, is the same as the single carded figure except for a new head sculpt. The new head has a yelling expression. Normally I don't care for this type of head sculpt, but when his helmet is on it doesn't look too bad and fitting for the character. But when his helmet is off, the expression doesn't really fit the character very well. And then you get to the body. Magnet reuses the Iron Man body from the first series. Overall the results are pretty good, but there are a couple of areas that fall short. The shoulders have the large rings. And rather than sculpt a new belt section, Toy Biz simply use a soft vinyl belt that doesn't fit properly.

Rogue is the final figure and only new character. Rogue uses the Elecktra body with a new head, hands and knees as well as a belt. The body works well with the exception of one glaring short coming, the waist and hips. The contours of the legs don't match the legs resulting in one heck of a wedgie. The head sculpt is close, but just slightly off. It seems like the nose is just a hair too big.

Paint - 6/10

The paint work is generally very strong here. Beast is flawless except for the reversing of the colors for his belt buckle. Wolverine and Gambit are both close runners up. Wolverine falls short due to some slight paint clumping, especially on the face, gloves and boots but at least they did paint the bottom of his boots. Gambit has the same problem with his skin tones and some sloppy paint lines around his ears. Magneto also has minor paint clumping for his skin tones. But his big short coming is that they used the wrong color plastic for part of the shoulder joint. As a result the center section of the shoulder is a different tone of red than the rest of the figure. Poor Rogue seems to be a case of a paint job just gone completely wrong. The body is cleanly painted but then for some reason theyapplied a brown wash to her midsection down to her hips. The effect isn't very well done and makes her look like she was playing in the dirt. And then you come to the head. The skin tone doesn't seem right, almost as if she applied too much makeup. The eyes are off as well. The pupils are so small that they are practically non-existent. Then there is her hair. The white strip in her hair turned in to more of a white wash across the top of her head. Her hair looks more like frosted shredded wheat than a hair style.

Articulation - 9/10

If you want a statue, you might as well look some where else. A regular Marvel Legends figure has around 34 points of articulation.
  • hinged toes (x2)
  • hinged ankles (x2)
  • rotating shins (x2)
  • double hinged knees (4 total)
  • rotating thigh (x2)
  • double jointed hips: the hips rotate where they connect to the crotch and are hinged (6 total)
  • rotating waist
  • mid-torso
  • triple jointed shoulders (6 total)
  • double hinged elbows (4 total)
  • rotating forearm (x2)
  • hinged wrists (x2)
  • hinged fingers (x2)
  • ball jointed neck
There is some varience between each figure though. Wolverine lacks a mid torso joint but has an additional rotating joint at the base of his neck. Beast adds swivel joints to both ankles for lateral movement, a seperate joint for his index fingers and thumbs, a hinged jaw and an additional rotating joint for his neck but lacks a mid-torso joint. Gambit has the ankle swivels, replaces the ball jointed neck with both a rotating and hinged joint as well as an additional hinged joint for the shoulders allowing them to be moved upwards. Magneto has the ankle swivels, a ball jointed waist, rotating torso and hinged shoulder joint to allow the shoulders to move forward. Rogue has the swivel ankles and has the two joints for her neck (rotating and hinged) in place of a ball joint.

It's hard to complain about a lack of articulation on any of these figures, so many are complaining about an excess instead. Specificly, there are some of the joints that really disrupt the flow of the sculpts. Rogue's hip and thigh joints are probably the biggest complaint, but the ball joint for Magneto's waist looks rather odd as well. There are also some issues with loose joints. Rogue's torso is the worst of the five from my set.

Accessories - 7/10

I suspect many people are going to have extreamly different opinions on this area. To begin with, the wall mountable displays from the single carded figures are gone. Instead Toy Biz included display stands with the circular X logo. For people who already have the carded releases such as myself, the lose is minimal. For those who passed up the carded figures, they are missing out. Wolverine doesn't have any accessories which is what one would expect. Rogue has a removeable fake leather jacket. While many dislike cloth clothing for figures of this scale, the fit of Rogue's jacket is excellent. Its biggest shortcoming is the oversized lapels. Gambit comes with the same staff as the carded figure as well as his charged playing cards and a fake leather trenchcoat. His accessories are fairly weak. The staff is so thin that it had to be made of softer plastic, thus it doesn't hold it's shape. The cards look great but can't be held securely by the figure. The coat is well done but the white interior is clearly visable toward the bottom. Magneto has his helmet, which is the same as the carded figure and nicely executed. Beast comes with two new accessories but they are the weakest of the entire set. First are his glasses. They are well designed and look good on the figure, though the nose piece is too thick. While they fit snuggly, so much so that he can even keep them on when upsidedown, they can't be secured to his head and will fall off if the glasses themselves are bumped even slightly. His other accessory is the lab coat. The fit and design are excellent. But the interior seams are not hemed resulting in a lot of stray threads. The final accessory is the poster book that is included in place of the comics. It includes 3 to 5 single page images of each character as well as a group shot in the center. This is more a matter of personal preference but I would rather have the comics.

Value - 6/10

The retail on this set is $40 though many stores have carried it for around $35. At $7 to $8 per figure, you might save a dollar per figure over the individual retail of 5 figures. And in exchange you give up five comics and the individual bases. However, it is also the only way to get the Rogue figure. But then you have the miracle of clearance. Walmart has been clearancing these sets since shortly after Christmas. Recently a few stores seem to have gotting in new shipments still priced at the $16 clearance price which is what I paid. At that price, you can easily bump this up to a 9 or 10/10.

Happy Hunting:

Both this set and the Urban Legends box set are still available at retail in some stores, especially Toys R Us. But if you are a bargin hunter, you should check your local WalMart. Online you have several options as well. Big Bad Toy Store has it in stock or you can also check Amazon.