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Emma Frost

Marvel Legends
by Monkey Boy

Emma Frost (aka the White Queen) has been a fixture in the X-Meniverse for quite some time, so it should be good news that we're finally getting a figure of her from Hasbro in their first series of Marvel Legends. However, Marvel Legends has been known for its hit and miss factor among its female figures, so all that apprehension and anxiety over ML's switch from ToyBiz to Hasbro has some merit, at least in terms of Emma.

Emma Frost has always been a woman of questionable ethical standards. Having rejected the inheritance of her family's wealth in favor of making her own way in the world, she advanced through the ranks of both business and mutantkind through diamond-edged ruthlessness. Her relationship with the X-Men has, over the years, been rocky, but they generally share a common goal - the preservation of mutant kind. Despite her outwardly cold and selfish nature, Emma Frost cares deeply for those to whom she is close. It's just nearly impossible to tell whether she consders you close, or simply a tool.

I'll say right off the bat, she's one of the low points of the series, though I think I like her more than Banshee. First off, Emma is small. Not just short, mind you, but very slight of build, which is not very indicative of Frost in the comics. She was never so petite. She's had a lot of costumes over the years, and the figure is based on her current costume, from the Astonishing X-Men book. The body sculpt is okay, although the hip articulation makes it look a bit like she's wearing a diaper. The stitching of her costume is really the only detail; there's no bunching of fabric along the areas of intersection, or anything like that. It seems like the sculpt was shrunk down so much that they almost couldn't include any real detail. I mean honestly, her arms look like they came from Jack Skellington or something.

And then there's her face. While it has grown on me a bit, it's still not sexy in the least, and the White Queen is supposed to be sexy, dammit. She used her mental powers to make herself look better until she could afford plastic surgery. The face does look feminine, but it also looks like David Bowie. The face is not really helped by the area around it, i.e. the big hairpiece that looks like it came from a circa-2003 NECA figure, and the neck that's as thin as her wrist and ridiculously long.

The paint is okay, but not stellar. Her costume is (surprise!) white, with some light blue airbrushing to break up the monotony. It's not overdone, which is good. Her skin is molded in flesh-colored plastic, and her hair is yellow with a brown wash. There's some silver on her cape buckle and belt buckle, and a darker blue on the inside of her cape. Not bad, but certainly not outstanding.

Her articulation is good, but not quite "ToyBiz good." Emma gets a balljoint in the neck, balljoints in the shoulders, balljoints in the elbows, hinges in the wrists, a balljoint in the chest (below her bra/top thing), balljoints in the hips, pegs in the thighs, double-hinged knees, and hinged ankles. The missing waist joint isn't a huge problem, thanks to the torso joint, but Hasbro has decided to integrate the elbows and biceps the same way they've started doing their smaller GI Joes. This means no double-hinged elbows. Couple that with the lack of forearm and shin pegs, and you miss out on quite a bit of movement. Her neck joint is pretty flimsy and tends to get stuck.

Emma is accessorized with a thick plastic cape that clasps in the front and hangs off her shoulders. Other than that, she gets the right arm and leg of Hasbro Series 1 Build-A-Figure Annihilus. The arm connects to the shoulder ball and the leg connects to the hip ball. They've got double hinged elbow/knee and wrist/ankle movement, respectively. Like Emma, they lack pegs in the forearm and shin.

For such a prominent X-Men villain-turned-hero-turned-question-mark, Emma deserved a better figure. She adds to an assortment of figures that ranged from good to mediocre to disappointing (kinda like most ToyBiz ML series). Some are great, some are a bit off the mark, some drop the ball entirely. Hasbro has done a decent job in their first series, and has made me a supporter even though I really wasn't interested in any of the figures in the first series. I didn't expect them to be better than ToyBiz's offerings, but I wasn't expecting them to be horrible either. And what I got was pretty much what I expected: similar, but different. Not wholly better, but certainly not wholly worse.

A few months after this series came out, Toys Я Us released an exclusive variant of Emma in her diamond form - the "secondary mutation" Grant Morrison introduced when he was told he couldn't use
Colossus in his X-Men run. Despite not coming with a BAF piece or any other accessories, Diamond Emma cost more than the mass market release, and promptly set about pegwarming. Even after the price was cut in half, the figure didn't sell. By the end of 2007, the figures were down to about $3 a pop, which is why you're getting this review, at last.

The clear plastic used for Emma's body is nicely transparent, allowing the internal mechanisms of the figure to appear as facets in the diamond. Her hair has a slight yellow tint, theoretically intended to suggest her blonde hair - it works well, but unfortunately the tint carries through all the truly clear plastic, so her head and shoulders look yellowed, as well. Thus, Emma's abdomen is the only part that ends up looking the way it should. And it's unneccessary anyway, since her hair doesn't stay yellow in the comics. Weird choice.

The costume is painted white, with the same blue airbrushing. Her eyes and lips are painted, and the cape is still removable. Oddly, the use of clear plastic hides some of the regular figure's hideousness - her giraffe neck is less noticeable, and the tiny face doesn't seem as bad. Yes, the Marvel Select Emma Frost is still a better figure overall, but if all you want is an ML Emma, regardless of the BAF piece, get the TЯU exclusive version.

-- 01/31/07

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