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X-Men Retro Collection
by yo go re

Remember the overly dramatic speeches Storm used to deliver on the X-Men cartoon? Why haven't the comics ever adopted the idea of her commanding the weather like a semi-obedient pet?

Storm has the amazing mutant power to control weather! With a quick mental command, Storm can create anything from a simple summer shower to a raging hurricane. By raising her arms, she can command the wind to carry her anywhere.

Ororo comes to us from the same Retro Collection series as Dazzler, Iceman, and Silver Samurai, meaning she's intended as an update of a figure from the '90s. Storm was the first female figure released in the ToyBiz line, making it right into 1991's series 1 (and it wasn't until 1994's Series 7 that Rogue became the second), but that's not the one this figure is based on. ToyBiz reused and repainted that original mold as much as they possibly could, attempting to capture different versions of her costume; this one is closest to the 1995 Classics version, which came from a series of rereleases that saw minor paint differences and extra accessories.

There's always a little bit of confusion about Storm's costumes in that late-80s/early-90s phase, but this is most definitely the Jim Lee version straight from X-Men #1 and X-Men the Animated Series. Rather than the lightning bolt zig-zagging down the front of her costume, this one has a straight line, and the shoulder pads are on the outside of the clothes rather than the inside. The torso and arms are sculpted with small wrinkles, making it clear that those are new pieces, and the sleeves get real poofy up at the top. There are circular X-logos on her collarbones, as well.

The head is also new - she doesn't have the smirk of the Series 4 version, but she does have the little earrings the Series 1 version lacked. Her gigantic hair is a new piece, blowing to the side slightly, but that on its own wouldn't discount this head from being a reused sculpt (the hair is a separate piece glued onto the head, not part of the same sculpt).

The real confusion about the transition between the Silvestri and Lee costumes was the color. This toy opts for white, though there's also a black version available as well, as one of Hasbro's ill-defined "fan channel" exclusives (which seems to mean "exclusive to everywhere that's not literally Walmart or Target"). It's a slightly pearly white, rather than being flat, but the yellow accents are so light that they don't really provide much contrast. Her X's are red and black, and there are grey shadows painted in the hair to give it depth.

Storm moves at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, chest, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and head. The size of her hair means she can only tilt her head back slightly, limiting her flying poses - meanwhile, she reuses the softgoods cape from 2014 (held on by loops that run to the X clasps on the front), so her arms are free to do whatever you want. Again, this would have been a good opportunity for a Doop-hole, but no go. The knee joints are kind of soft and wobbly, which won't be a recipe for great stability beneath that heavy hair. Other than the cape, her only accessories are two translucent yellow lightning bolt power effects. Hasbro's sure getting their money's worth out of that design's steel tools, aren't they?

Remember the X-Men #1 cover we linked up above? Well, thanks to the existence of Jean Grey, Professor X, Beast, Archangel, Gambit, Colossus, Rogue, Psylocke, Cyclops, Wolverine, Iceman, and Magneto, Storm was the last character we needed to complete the full lineup! No wonder she's the single hardest figure to find in this series. The loose joints are an annoyance, and there should have been a way to make her fly, but overall she's good stuff!

-- 04/20/20

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