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by yo go re

I love it when the hypothetical toys we talk about become reality! In the Age of Apocalypse Minimates review, we closed by laying out a couple potential two-packs we'd like to see, and now they've both come to store shelves! We're going to review them both at once, since we did the same thing with the original AoA sets.

Sabretooth is the main muscle from the X-Men team. During their assault on the genocidal villain, Nemesis, Blink teleports Sabretooth to his location where he enters into a vicious duel with Nemesis to bring an end to the human cullings. Thought killed in battle, Iceman later reveals to Rogue that Sabretooth did in fact survive and escape.

Just like in the "real" universe, Sabretooth started out as a villain. He was one of Apocalypse's lackies in the early days, but then something happened that never could have in the original timeline: he saw enough death and killing that he lost his taste for it. So he gave up on murder entirely and joined Magneto's resistance fighters.

Sabretooth gets a new hairpiece, because no one else has his weird mid-90s combo of muttonchops and a butt-length ponytail. His face isn't a copy of either of the two previous Sabreteeth, but it is a nice design: he's very angry, with his furrowed brown and his lopsided sneer, and there's a healthy batch of stubble on his chin.

The hair (which is just a bit loose on the head) isn't the only new piece he gets. There are new wristband things to bulk up his gloves, and a huge new chest cap with a sculpted belt and that studded collar all the X-Men wear. This is easily the biggest chest cap any Minimate's ever worn, and so that he doesn't look ill-proportioned (like Tom Brown) he's got one of those nice little waist extenders. To complete his look, he's got thick hair painted on his arms. He's just, overall, a very hairy guy.

Blink is the resident teleporter of the Astonishing X-Men team, whose primary mission was to halt the mutant cullings ordered by Nemesis. Blink is very close to team member and mentor Sabretooth, perhaps due to his saving her from the clutches of Mr. Sinister.

Blink was a popular character as soon as she was introduced, but she was slated for the chopping block from the beginning. Thus, the Age of Apocalypse was a good opportunity for the writers to bring her back to life, and they even allowed her to outlive her native timeline: while everyone else died as the bombs fell or was erased when time was righted, she was plucked out and allowed to carry on in the Exiles book. And for a while, she was the only one who had that honor (Sabretooth later joined her).

Blink's skin is pale lavender, just as it should be, and though she's painted with her red tattoos, they're the wrong pattern: they're symmetrical here, but in the comics they were different on each side of her face. If it really bothers you, scrape off the extras. Her red hair is a new piece, sculpted both with her elven ears and the long strands reaching her waist.

She gets the studded collar, of course, but hers is a new mold: it has a peg behind the shoulder to attach her quiver. She's wearing
folded boots, like so many Captains America before her, but she gets a new loincloth piece, which ends up being a little bit of a problem.

See, she includes the same teleporting base as Magik, just as predicted, and while it's a great accessory, molded in translucent pink to match Blink's trademark color, the fact that the pegs are inset so far (cleverly making her look like she's stepping out of it) means that it doesn't really work with her super-long loincloth. So you have the choice of either stripping her to the waist - hubba hubba! - or bending it out of the way and hoping it goes back to its normal shape after. Pick your poison. She also includes one trans pink javelin with energy rising off the tip.

Nemesis was sent to destroy as many of Magneto's young students as he could while the X-Men where off fighting Apocalypse's Horsemen. He was defeated in battle by the Scarlet Witch, although he was able to destroy her. He left before the X-Men returned and was embraced by Apocalypse as his newest Horseman.

Ah, "Nemesis." We've told you before who this character is and why he should properly be called Holocaust, and also why a toy would never, ever do so. He was described as Apocalypse's son, but it was never clear whether that was biological or metaphorical. For one thing, Nemesis was a blonde white guy, and Apocalypse is Egyptian.

The figure is cast entirely from translucent yellow plastic, to best simulate his powers. The head has been painted with a fanged, orange skull, and there's a ribcage on the front of the torso. The orange paint is translucent as well, so that the designs don't prevent the light from shining through. This is a very good way of duplicating what we saw in the comics.

Holocaust is wearing his protective armor, most of which is a new sculpt - the legs come from Hulkbuster Iron Man, but the rest is new, including a hand/glove, and that blaster arm thing. There's a bit of orange paint on the chest, to suggest the Kirby dots that filled his suit, and the ports on his gun arm are orange as well. He really needs a waist extender, though, to bump his height up a little. You can extend him manually, but it's not the same, is it?

Morph joined Rogue's team of X-Men in Chicago to evacuate as many humans as possible and stop Nemesis. Sneaking into the Infinite processing plant, Morph and the rest of the X-Men managed to rescue some prisoners and destroy the plant, saving lives.

In the original timeline, Kevin Sidney was known as "Changeling," not "Morph," and was an enemy of the X-Men. When he contracted cancer, he went to Professor Xavier, looking to atone for his sins. Chuck had Changling lead the X-Men in his place for a while, and while disguised as Xavier, Changeling died. In the revised timeline obviously none of that happened, and his powers continued to grow.

Morph has a plain white head, which is easy for the Minimate style to duplicate - it's just a question of a few black lines. It's that simple face that made Blink think she'd been reunited with her Morph when she joined the Exiles: actually, the one on that team was from a different universe, and just happened to dress exactly like the AoA version.

He wears a light blue costume with yellow gloves and boots - the same folded boots as Blink. The cape is the same mold that Magneto and Rogue wore, just painted in maroon rather than red or yellow. His collar is the same color as the cape, but hey did manage to get the silver studs painted. The deco duplicates the stripes on his torso and legs, but misses the ones on his arms. Hey, at least they remembered his oft-overlooked kneepads, right?

The Age of Apocalypse Minimate box sets were decent offerings of figures, make no mistake: these TRU exclusives just add to what was already there. All four figures are good, and it's amusing that they're the exact four figures we asked for - just in different combinations than we expected.

-- 06/20/11

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