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X-Men Retro Collection
by yo go re

This rocks!

Brotherhood of Mutants veteran Avalanche can generate powerful seismic waves from his hands.

Here's a weird trivia fact for you: Avalanche's first appearance wasn't published until 13 years after his first appearance was published. That sentence doesn't even make any sense! Technically he debuted in Uncanny X-Men #141 in October of 1980; but Chris Claremont had created the character (and his pal Pyro) for Ms. Marvel #25, which was scheduled to be published in May of 1979; unfortunately, Ms. Marvel was cancelled with #23, so Claremont's scripts for issues 24 and 25 weren't used until 1992, meaning that Avalanche's true first appearance remained an unseen secret for more than a dozen years. (Double-bonus fun fact: that same issue would also have seen the first appearance of Hellfire Club members Sebastian Shaw, Tessa, Donald Pierce, and Harry Leland, several months before they would eventually show up in X-Men.)

The only other 6" scale Avalanche was in the waning days of ToyBiz, and it was barely recognizable. This is a Retro Collection release, though, so it goes back to his classic costume, a blue body suit under silver armor. Technically he should have a ribbed panel over his stomach, but eh, who minds that? Several of his costumes have looked very similar to this one, but we can tell it's the original because it doesn't have a giant A on the chest or belt, and the helmet doesn't look like it belongs to ROM. The gloves have solid bands at the top and sculpted rings around the wrist, and his boots get big seams down the front like Shazam.

Avalanche's helmet is just a big bucket with eyeholes and a cutout for the mouth. Maybe the idea is that any loose debris that falls on him will simply roll right off? Could be. It's certainly not an aesthetic choice. The helmet here is sculpted as a separate piece from the head beneath it, then glued firmly in place. That's probably more than the figure needed, but it does look nice. He ends up with weirdly prominent lips, though; like he's been eating red popsicles all morning before the big battle. And honestly, ever since he showed up in the Wolverine and the X-Men cartoon, I feel he'd look better with a mustache. A big Greek mustache, for Dominikos Petrakis!

Other than the exaggerated lips, the paint is good. Dominic's costume is basically just big blocks of color, so the pieces could mostly be molded in whatever color they need to be, but the particular shade of blue chosen for the suit is a nice one, and even if the molded silver is a bit warmer than the painted silver, they don't butt up against each other, so the contrast is easy to ignore.

Although the chest is new (his armor is shaped, but still smoother than muscles would be, and it has those big triangular points over the shoulders), the arms come from an existing body, so you already know what to expect from the joints: ankles, shins, knees, thighs, hips, waist, chest, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck, and head. His only pack-ins are alternate open hands to replace his fists, which is garbage. Definitely not enough. Even the Minimate got chunks of rubble! We're not asking them to jam 20th Anniversary Hulk's stone-stomp into the oversized card or anything, but for as much as Hasbro bilks us on the price of these Retro Collection toys, he should have come with something.

With the release of Avalanche, we've almost completed one incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Blob was released soon after him, his actual friend Pyro had a figure not too long ago, anybody who missed the Walgreens Mystique can pick up the Animated Series VHS version instead.. heck, you could even change the goal from the Brotherhood to Freedom Force and throw Spiral onto the list as well... at that point, while a "first appearance" teenage Rogue would be kind of awesome, we really only need a Destiny to complete either lineup. Come on, Hasbro, release the faceless elderly lesbian action figure the public has been clamoring for!

-- 07/22/23

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