Hasbro’s new X-Men Legends really surprised me when I got them from Mike’s Comics N Stuff. What seemed like a fairly standard set of action figures turned out to be one of the coolest, most smartly designed waves of the year, and a reminder of why I adore the Legends collection so much. Rather than offer a straight-up review, though, I thought it would be fun to rank the figures that make up this wave– including the Build-A-Figure Juggernaut, in order of least great to greatest. This isn’t to say any of these figures aren’t worth your attention– the whole lineup is full of winners– but some just managed to shine brightest, even among such fierce (made up entirely by me) competition.
So here we go:
Definitely the dullest of the bunch. What really sinks the new Havok has nothing to do with Hasbro’s design, except for the costume they chose to adapt. Havok’s modern duds are a riff on his classic 80s costume, but something about it feels too streamlined and boring. Has Hasbro gone classic– or better yet, delivered the 90s X-Factor Havok– he’d rank higher on this list. As it stands, the highlight of this figure is the energy blast accessories that clip on his wrists, which are a cool, bubbly alternative to the similar pieces we saw with Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange.
Like Havok, Hasbro opted for a fairly modern Cable, which allowed them to employ a number of parts from this year’s Nuke figure. Overall, Cable is a decent figure– with a really nice headsculpt that isn’t afraid to get gnarly with his scars and cybernetics– but something about this design reads as sort of dull… even considering the two appropriately massive guns he comes packing. Word has it, the Hasbro Marvel team was bummed to find out Cable will likely be showing up in the second Deadpool movie.. too late to not include him in this lineup. But I’m hoping the silver lining could be an alternate, Liefeld era cable closer to the release of that sequel.
This is where it starts to get tough, because from here on out, every figure is basically solid gold. Iceman, for example, serves as the perfect upgrade to the very nice Toy Biz version, but with some added flourishes in his sculpt like the icicles on his back, forearms, and shins. The blue tinted, translucent plastic used for the figure is very nice… but it runs gummy, especially on the soft joints. That leads to a wobbly, unstable nature in the figure– think the Guardians of the Galaxy Legends– which ranks him lower on this list, despite looking great.
Another wonderful figure held back by one simple design flaw. After multiple versions in the past, I can honestly not think of a sculpt that would better embody Jean Grey’s omnipotent alter ego in toy form. Phoenix’s portrait and flowing hair are incredible, the bright green and shimmering gold of her costume are perfect, and some of the new parts sculpted for her body– such as the less skin-tight bust– go a long way to make her feel like a unique and exciting, classic action figure. Her only setback is the wedge heels of her feet, which make it nearly impossible to stand the figure upright. Had Hasbro included a flight stand, this wouldn’t be an issue, since the Phoenix should probably be flying anyway… but with nothing, she’s left as an amazing figure doomed to spend eternity diving off the shelf.
From this point forward, every figure is not only fantastic, but doesn’t suffer from any fatal flaws like Iceman and Phoenix. This means things are gonna get a little more subjective, but I’ll stand by my decisions until I’m convinced otherwise. The Juggernaut is our Build-A-Figure, and he is awesome. The massive sculpt is perfectly in scale with the rest of the modern Legends collection, and there’s some wonderfully intricate texture sculpted into his helmet and arm bands. This massive figure is depicted in his most iconic costume, and what we see of Caine Marko’s face sculpt beneath the helmet is a fun portrait, in all its leering glory. I’m not ranking Juggernaut at number 5 in the Power Rankings because there’s anything wrong with him… it has more to do with relevance. YES, this is hands-down the best Juggernaut figure, ever. That being said, though, the Marvel Select and Toy Biz Legends versions were also both fine, making the importance of this new and improved version rank slightly lower.
4. Kitty Pryde
Astonishing X-Men era Kitty Pryde is another figure tackled by Toy Biz, but unlike Juggernaut that former Kitty left much to be desired. While I was unimpressed by her prototype at Toy Fair, once I had Hasbro’s Kitty in hand I found myself really into the subtle design of the figure. Kitty’s new portrait is really nice, and her bangs and ponytail gives her a style unique among Marvel Legends’ female characters. Add to this Kitty’s costume, a smart twist on both the standard X-Men togs and the stock female Legends base body, and we get a very dynamic and versatile action figure. Kitty’s belt is wonderful, and the simple overlay design made me pine for Hasbro to take on the classic Generation X team, and the inclusion of Lockheed, who fits perfectly perched on Pryde’s arm, makes her a truly great figure, one that caps off the Astonishing team in a very nice way.
The millionth Wolverine in the life span of Marvel Legends still manages to rank number three on the list, all because– to quote Logan himself– he’s the best there is at what he does… if what he does is serve as the perfect Wolverine figure. Not only is there a stockiness to this sculpt unparalleled in any previous Wolverine figure, but this guy is one of the few who hits the perfect height in scale with his fellow Legends. The sculpt is top notch, from the new masked portrait to the chunky red belt and buckle, and Hasbro even manages to pack in a pair of alternate hands with the claws contracted, which really opens up posing options for this guy.
Wade Wilson was the first figure Hasbro revealed from this wave, and it makes sense because he is AWESOME. What we get here is a perfect update to Deadpool, in a slightly armored, more militaristic version of his classic red and black costume. There is a ton of personality in this figure, whether it’s the single bugged out eye on his masked headsculpt or the extended pinky on his gun hand… and it all comes together to make one of the most fun additions to the Legends collection, ever. Couple that with the insane number of accessories– Wade’s packing two swords, two pistols, two rifles, a knife, a bazooka with a boxing glove missile, a taco, and an alternate unmasked head– and we’re left with a figure that simply screams ‘play with me for hours.’
In any other wave of figures, Deadpool would easily be number one. But Hasbro managed to top even what is arguably their funnest toy of the year with the absolutely stunning Rogue. Based on her Jim Lee redesign, this version of Rogue is her most iconic, and is re-created flawlessly. Everything about this figure is a win, from her portrait– complete with that flowing headband and signature white streak– to her flight jacket. Both her loose fitting belt and boot trim are rendered as rubber overlays, which allow them to move naturally along with any pose you have the figure strike. And of all the cool, thoughtful, and completely unexpected accessories I thought I’d see this year, Rogue’s un-gloved alternate had is the absolute best.
There you have it. What do you think of our official X-Men Legends Power Rankings? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!
The X-Men Juggernaut Wave and more new Marvel Legends are available now at Mike’s Comics N Stuff. Click Here to order today!