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Meggan, Captain Britain & Shadowcat

X-Men Legends
by yo go re

It's been a while since Hasbro did one of these "trading card" sets, huh?

Meggan is a mystical mutant metamorph, able to change her shape at will.

Yes, at will, but also subconsciously: she's an empath, and her shapeshifting reacts subconsciously to those around her. If people are friendly and appreciative of her, she gets more beautiful; if they're angry or distrustful, she grows uglier. Her powers manifested when she was just a baby, so her parents' fear led to a self-perpetuating cycle where she just got more and more monstrous over time. Where's our "scary were-bat Meggan," Hasbro? Kept in isolation, she never learned to read or write, but loved watching television, and was fascinated by news reports of Captain Britain. After meeting him, her powers latched onto him and turned her into his ideal woman: a tall blonde with a butt that just won't quit.

For the record, it's not known for sure that Meggan is a mutant: it's been hinted before that she's actually part of the faerie race - her parents were Travellers living out of their camper van, and the implication is their baby was replaced with a Changeling. Even in her "human" form now, she still retains pointed ears - though you may miss them under that Starfire-sized head of hair.

For balance reasons, the balljoint socket in her head is further back than usual - it prevents the hair from drastically pulling the head backwards, but it also means her head looks slightly misaligned from the side. Meggan's original costume was an orange turtleneck thing, but this is her more familiar look: a green, off-the-shoulder bodysuit with black stripes on the shoulders and hips that form large M shapes. She's barefoot, which might be the first time that's been true for a Marvel Legends woman? [you're forgetting Pepper Potts, which is where these molds originated --ed.] And since this form is based on someone else's desires, we can surmise that Captain Britain is a butt man: she uses the curvy body, which suits how "hippy" Alan Davis drew her. You get your choice of open hands or fists for her.

Using his super strength, flying ability and courage, Captain Britain fights for justice throughout the world and in other dimensions as well.

Remember that period when Captain Britain just couldn't stop getting action figures? His classic costume, his modern costume, his original costume... it was a Braddock-palooza! The only drawback being that it was during Hasbro's big 4" phase, so our 6" collections missed out. We did get one in the Civil War line, wearing his then-current costume, but this is his most recognizable outfit, withe the Union Jack X across the chest and the tall blue boots: in other words, the same costume the ToyBiz Captain Britain wore. another missed opportunity to do his "color blocks" costume. It's especially odd since the artwork on this package is inspired by the iconic trading cards from the early 1990s, and on that card, this is not the costume Brian was wearing.

Captain Britain is built on the big body - at least, on a version of it. The limbs are shared, but this is the Unworthy Thor torso, which we haven't seen in a while! It has no hole in the back (an artifact of the first mold's initial, long-ago development for Hyperion and Sentry), and the pelvis has been narrowed a bit so it's easier for the legs to move forward. He also gets a new set of gloves, molded as part of the forearms instead of being add-ons.

Hasbro might have been able to get away with using their existing Captain Britain head for this release - it's close enough to this one's helmet that only obsessive nerds like us would have complained. This is a new sculpt, more "shaped" than the existing one: that was a very smooth helmet, while this one has a distinct nose, brows, etc. There's also an alternate head, with a big blonde beard (something he grew during his time with the Secret Avengers).

Captain Britain is a punchy hero, so the set does include fists for him. But there are also open hands, because this Excalibur set also includes Excalibur. The sword one. Excalibur has existed in Marvel comics since 1955, but Brian Braddock got his hands on it during Secret Invasion, where he used it to defeat the specific Super-Skrull who was leading the invasion forces in Britain, then embedded it in some rubble until it would be needed again. This accessory is just as it appeared in the comics, with the square crossguard and the round element near the base of the blade.

Shadowcat possesses the mutant ability to "phase" her molecules, letting her pass through walls, and allowing things she touches to do the same.

Ah, Shadowcat: the character so many comics fans grew up with a crush on. If you don't count the Minimate, this is only the second time there's ever been an action figure of her classic costume. The poor kid went through several codenames and several truly god-awful costumes before finally settling on one. It was after meeting Wolverine's old mentor Ogun, when she learned ninja skills, so the idea of being dark and stealthy made sense. Quiet, hidden... "Shadowcat." Sure! The costume she adopted in Japan (with some stylistic evolutions over the years) lasted from 1985 until 1993 - an eternity in the world of X-Men. And yet until now, the only way to get that look was a ToyFare repaint of the Invisible Woman with a cloth jacket? About time someone stepped up!

Kitty is definitely looking cute here, though the face may be a bit thin for a teenager - even skinny kids still have fairly round faces, because their bones are still growing. That's a grown-up's chin on this toy, though. Her mask is sculpted on, and her brown hair spills over her left shoulder before reaching its way to the small of her back.

Fittingly, Shadowcat is built on Hasbro's teen body, but only below the chest joint: her shirt, with its poofy sleeves and open collar, required new molds. Her sash belt thing is the same mold Psylocke had, so it's awfully big and loose on her. The hair keeps the head from moving fully, as you'd expect, and you do get your choice of open hands or closed fists.

They've also included her pet dragon, Lockheed, but it's the same mold as the last one. Okay, that's fine, you wouldn't expect them to sculpt an entirely new one when they've already got the accessory tooled, but it was specifically designed to work with the shapes of a different figure, so it doesn't fit here. You'll have to find some way for Kitty to carry him, because he can't sit on her shoulder now. The previous Lockheed was a metallic purple, while this one is matte. And a warmer shade, which, frankly, is better.

By X-Men terms, Excalibur was a small team: for most of their history, they were just a five man band; this set gives us three of them, and Nightcrawler barely ever changes his costume design, so now all we need is Rachel Summers in her red Phoenix outfit - maybe with a pack-in Widget - and we'll have the main squad completed!

-- 02/07/22

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