I hope you enjoyed the bottom four figures in our Worst to First article about the Marvel Legends X-Men Apocalypse build-a-figure wave. If you haven’t already checked that one out just go ahead and click here, but don’t forget to come back! Anyways, before I get into the top four I just want to give a shout out to my good friend in Canada, Eric, who hooked my up with these figures for the early review. Not only did he let me play with his excellent X-Men toys, but he stocked me up with Coffee Crisp to enjoy during the long nights messing around a photographing his figures.
Let’s stop wasting time and get right into the top four figures in this wave:
Magneto is likely going to suffer from the same backlash that hit Cable in the Juggernaut build-a-figure wave: it’s not the costume we wanted. This is probably also going to end the same way, with a defacto classic version being released down the line. It’s fine. I’m actually a little tired of seeing Marvel Legends fail at classic Magneto.
So once we get past the costume that nobody knows the origin of, then we can begin to appreciate what we actually have here. First off, it’s a great base body for Magneto. He comes with a bunch of accessories including an unmasked head, a pair of alternate fists, and energy effects. They seem to be going with the “purple = magnetism” theme here, hence his open hands and the energy effects are purple. I don’t necessarily think the lightning-like effects properly illustrate Magneto’s powers. But then again, it isn’t an easy power to illustrate in action figure form.
I think Magneto’s powers would be better represented through thin circular sheets of plastic. Amazing Yamaguchi’s Magneto and S.H. Figuarts Dr. Strange use the same types of effects and they look great! At least they didn’t try to give us the purple ring effects they’ve used for countless characters including Havok and Silver Surfer.
Regardless it’s a great action figure of Magneto, and the unmasked head with the giant mop of white hair is just pure 90’s X-Men goodness (if only his eyes weren’t ever so slightly off-center). Don’t be turned off by his outfit, he’s worth getting!
3. Apocalypse Build-A-Figure
Apocalypse or En Sabah Nur is a gosh darn gorgeous action figure!
I’m going to take you back to 2004 when Apocalypse made his debut in Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends Series 7. Dear lord that thing was a chubby mess. About a year later we got a massive (literally) upgrade to the character. He was the twelve-inch tall build-a-figure of his own wave, complete with a gorgeous Four Horsemen sculpt. That build-a-figure has aged much better than most Toy Biz releases, but he’s still got some of those signature odd proportions, and sometimes you just want a regular sized Apocalypse.
It looks as though we are finally getting what we want! Our first Apocalypse in over 13 years. Complete with an incredible head sculpt, unnecessary tubing, and that big “A” on his belt. The glossy blue paint finish is amazing. He’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for in an Apocalypse figure … so why is he only in third place?
Well, he has one annoying fault that I just can’t get past. If your plan is to have that Apocalypse silhouette on your shelf then this thing is a slam dunk. Sadly, if you want to do some posing he’s not quite as good. The biggest problem is his elbows since you can’t even get a 90 degree angle out of them. The arms were going to have fairly restricted range of motion anyway because of their bulk, but then the overlay used on his forearms restricts them even more. It’s a little disappointing because I wanted to get a good tyrannical looking hand up near the chest pose out of him.
Past the elbow range, I wish that Wolverine (who includes the tubes) was also packed with some optional open hands for Apocalypse.
Speaking of Wolverine … Hasbro really played the long game on us, waiting almost three years from when the X-Men came back to get us that iconic “Tiger Stripe” Wolverine. They kept us on our toes, releasing the brown suit twice and Old Man Logan. Was it worth wait? Hell yeah it was! This smaller-sized Wolverine base body is so damn good. They were also nice enough to include both clawed hands and regular fists.
Sadly, this one does not include an unmasked Logan head, so we still don’t have a really great version of that yet. Sure, the vintage release came with a repaint of the Jubilee wave’s unmasked Wolverine, but I’ve never been a huge fan of that one. It’s a little too cartooney for my tastes. I think the upcoming rider Wolverine head will become my go-to unmasked look going forward, if the sockets are compatible at least.
We get a Wolverine in every X-Men Marvel Legends wave, yet he still manages to consistently be the one of the best figures every time.
We may not have gotten that First Appearance Storm everybody clamors over yet, but her character has been pretty fairly represented in Marvel Legends. She had two variants in Toy Biz’s ML8 wave, appeared in their X-Men Classics offshoot line, is probably the most sought after figure in the Hasbro Jubilee build-a-figure wave, and she returns again for the apocalypse … ahem Apocalypse build-a-figure wave! There were probably some movie Halle Berry Storm figures as well, but they best be left forgotten.
I understand that this may not be the costume you want, but it is the costume you need. This is easily the best Storm figure ever made. On top of that it’s one we don’t get fairly often, the short lived 80’s “punk” Storm, shortly before she went to the Jim Lee outfit everyone loves.
What I love most about Storm is that her head sculpt just oozes personality. Her smirk and wind-swept mohawk masterfully capture the character. The only accessories included are the Apocalypse part and two lighting effects. These are the same ones included with Magneto and Thor from the Ragnarok two-pack. The work a lot better with Storm than they do Magneto. I’m sure you can use them are her firing lighting our of her hand, but I prefer to have them riding up her arm.
The only accessory that I think would make this set better would be a pair of fists. She includes two “casting” or “waving” hands, which make perfect sense for the character, however I like more options. I also wouldn’t mind Hasbro putting together some type of flight stand specifically built for Marvel Legends. They’ve been making a ton of characters that have flight abilities, and I’ve found that my Tamashii stands have a really hard time holding up most of my Hasbro figures.
So that’s this year’s X-Men Marvel Legends wave! Best one yet? It’s a pretty strong wave, but I think it’s hard to beat that original comeback series with Juggernaut.
Most seem to think that the release date will be around August for this wave. If that’s the case I’d probably expect to maybe see them show up a bit earlier at Target. They’ve gotten their X-Men stuff early the past two years, and they still have shelf space specifically dedicated to the X-Men Legends.