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Jean Grey

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Holy fricking hell, it's about time!

Unchecked, the Phoenix Force inside the world's most powerful mutant threatens to destroy us all!

We've been waiting years to get a proper Jean Grey figure. ToyBiz released Phoenix (well, "released" may be too strong a word - ML6 was notoriously the most under-ordered series in the entire line, a situation which wasn't helped at all when a promised refresh shipment of the most popular characters failed to materialize), but even with nine more series of Marvel Legends and a couple different X-Men lines, they never got to the main event. And Hasbro teased us with their pre-paint Marvel Girl, but that wasn't what fans were after: no, we've all been waiting for Jean's famous '90s costume.

Jim Lee designed this beauty for X-Men #1, and it was about 100 issues before someone designed another suit for her - that's the longest she's worn any costume in her entire history, possibly because it made it into the X-Men cartoon and was thus cemented in the minds of the world at large.

It's not often that we start a review by talking about the paint, but in this case, we almost have to. The figure's face is sculpted well, but the eyes appear to have been painted on incorrectly. It's like the tampo was designed too small, so she ends up looking like she's squinting. You really want to look at the toy in person before buying.

On the plus side, it's all uphill from here. Rather than reusing the new female body introduced for the Thunderbolts box set, she has the same mold as Hope Summers and Sharon Carter/Maria Hill. Hasbro may use it all the time, but it's still better than most of the women ToyBiz put out. And it's not like Jeanie doesn't merit any new sculpts - quite a few of them in fact! For instance, the chest is remolded so that her shoulder pads can be a part of it; her thighs are new, to accommodate those weird pocket/pads or whatever they are; the bracers on her forearms are (like the belt) separate pieces that just slip over the existing molds, and while her hands aren't new, none of the previous uses of this base body have had a fully open hand or a closed fist. Her hair is large and wild, in that stylish '90s way.

The shins and feet are new, too, because Jean is the first figure using this mold to get the new "faux-rocker" ankle joints: the swivel of the ankle swivel/hinge goes into the foot rather than going into the shin, so that the foot tilts rather than turning. Other than that, she has double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, swivel/hinge wrists, elbows and shoulders, a swivel/hinge torso, and a balljointed head. It's mostly good, but the shoulder pads mean you can't move her arms very far forward unless you also push them out to the side. The backs of her handguards keep her wrists from flexing backwards unless you twist them out of the way. So that her hair doesn't block the head from moving, it hangs away from her back slightly; unfortunately, that makes her quite back-heavy unless you tilt the head up and bring the hair closer to her body.

Jean has no accessories, just two parts of the Marvel Legends Series 5 Build-A-Figure, Rocket Racoon. Since he's a minifigure like Hit-Monkey, he's not divided into very many pieces - that's why Jean gets the entire body (everything but the head and arms) and the tail. There are three joints here: a hinge for the neck, a swivel waist, and a balljoint where the tail will eventually plug in.

ToyBiz did in fact release a figure of Jean Grey in the Marvel Legends scale, but they did it before Marvel Legends was a thing, so she was barely articulated and stuck in a wild, dramatic pose. It's nice to finally have a decent figure of mutantkind's poster girl in her best-known costume - just watch those eyes.

-- 11/04/13

Oh, P.S.: there are supposed to be two variants for this figure, but Hasbro's never going to get them out, so nevermind.


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