OAFE: your #1 source for toy reviews
B u y   t h e   t o y s ,   n o t   t h e   h y p e .

what's new?
message board
Twitter Facebook RSS      

shop action figures at Entertainment Earth

Wolverine and Lilandra

Wolverine 50th Anniversary
by yo go re

Wolverine and Lilandra, Empress of the Shi'ar Empire, face the parasitic Brood aliens, intent on consuming and destroying the X-Men.

So because of the way that's written, Wolverine and Lilandra are intent on consuming and destroying the X-Men? I must have missed that issue. But then, this set isn't based on any actual issue at all.

In Uncanny X-Men #232, a Brood ship crashed on Earth near Denver. By the time the X-Men investigated, a whole group of people had been infected, and in the next issue Wolverine was as well. His healing factor took care of the Brood egg inside him, eventually, but he was awfully close to being turned into one of them. And no matter how many Wolverine toys you may already have, you definitely don't have one like this.

Most of the figure is the regular body, but to show him changing into a Brood, he's got new arms with thick, banded scales on them, and a creepy, alien-ified face: no nose, just the fangy Brood mouth sticking out of his mask. Technically by this point his arms had turned into tendrils and he had extra legs sprouting from his abdomen, but those sorts of things are beyond the scope of a normal figure - these shoulders aren't designed for removable arms. The head was sculpted by the man who speaks to the heart of the clay, Paul Harding, but we're unsure about the arms. They do blend right in with the rest, though.

Every time Hasbro releases a new Wolverine, we reiterate how wasteful it is that they keep including un-clawed hands for him: the claws in his normal hands could be pulled out, giving him normal hands the easy way. Well, the good news is, this figure for once does not repeat the mistake of giving us extra hands we don't need! The bad news is, that's because they stopped making the claws removable. We're back to permanently attached claws now, sadly. Hasbro! STOP! FUCKING! GOING! BACKWARDS! Several of this toy's joints are rather gummy, too, which we never like to see. He does get the benefit of an extra hinge so you can open and close his jaw, though, so that's one in the "plus" column.

Our recap up above of the three-issue arc was brief, but you know what there was still no mention of? Lilandra. That's because, despite the art from that issue being all over every inch of this box, Lilandra wasn't in that story at all. This release seems to be conflating issue #234 (Wolverine almost turns into a Brood) with issue #162 (Wolverine gets infected with a Brood while with the Shi'ar). An understandable mistake. Plus, does that really matter if we finally get a body to go with that Lilandra head from years back?

Well, in that case, yes. Because We still get the same head we already had. I mean, it's not the same head, it's a new sculpt, but it's a new sculpt of something we already had. Why would you do that? You already made an armored Lilandra head - just make sure it'll fit on this new neck joint, and then give us her triangular feather-hair! God! This is the kind of mistake we expect from Mattel, not Hasbro. Or if you want to say "that head was only available with an exclusive, not enough fans would have it," then fine, make that; but then make make the bare head, too! If Lady Mandarin could come with two minorly different heads, then Lilandra could, too.

The reason we were never able to find a suitable body for that existing Lilandra head (aside from the silvers never matching) is that the empress of the Shi'ar wears a pretty distinctive costume: silver armor with black leggings visible above her thigh-high boots, and a large blue cape. This figure is, if not entirely a new sculpt, then certainly mostly new. Which does help to undercut the slightly high price Hasbro is retailing it for. The cape is held in place by a large brooch that looks like a stylized sun, and there are lines radiating out from that crossing down her chest to her waist - yes, they're sculpted in, not just painted. Same goes for the detail on her waist, and the tops of her boots. Her bracers are separate pieces slipped onto the forearms, so it's possible the arms are a reused sculpt, but that's really it.

Articulation is mostly fine. Like so many of Hasbro's recent figures, she has no shin swivels; cf. what we said above about going backwards. It's the company trying to cut corners, counting on you not to notice, counting on you to not care, and counting on you to let them get away with it without getting mad at the people screwing you over. So Lilandra has sculpted lines right at shin-height, lines that if the work were being done correctly would have been swivel joints, but here aren't. The rest of the joints are usual: double-knees, swivel thighs, balljoint hips, balljoint chest, swivel/hinge wrists, double-elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a barbell head.

The figure includes one accessory, the staff she carries as Majestrix. It's not clear whether it has any specific abilities or functions, or if it's just a fancy stick. The lower end does seem like a blade, though. The specific design for this accessory is taken from the way Dave Corckrum drew it, including in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. The plastic it's molded from is thin enough to be semi-translucent, which isn't a feature of it in the comics.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter if the two figures in this set don't actually appear in the same story; that's just an excuse to make the toys, not an unbreakable mandate. If it means we get two creative new figures? Then bend those rules until they break, baby! It's cool to finally have a Lilandra, it's neat to get such a weird, specific, one-off Wolverine... but both of the figures have a couple little quirky flaws that, on their own, don't really amount to much, while still pointing in a disappointing direction.

-- 06/17/24

back what's new? reviews

Report an Error 

Discuss this (and everything else) on our message board, the Loafing Lounge!

shop action figures at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment Earth

that exchange rate's a bitch

© 2001 - present, OAFE. All rights reserved.
Need help? Mail Us!