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X-Men Legends
by yo go re

What, again?

The megalomaniacal mutant villain known as Apocalypse believes that total war between humans and mutants is inevitable. In order to weed out those he feels are weak and unsuitable for the coming conflict, he manipulates mutants into battling one another, calculating that with the help of the strongest and most ruthless survivors he can conquer the world and become ruler of all - both man and mutant!

A lot of people disliked X-Men: Apocalypse (the third First Class film) for whatever reason. Sure, it may not have been as good as Days of Future Past, but that's a pretty dang high water mark to worry about. Anyway, no matter what you think of it, you have to admit the movie did a far better job of explaining En Sabah Nur's powers than 30 fricking years of comicbooks had ever done. Stuff gets adopted into the books all the time, but if Marvel doesn't do the "Apocalypse has been possessing bodies and inheriting their powers, that's why he's so powerful" thing, then they'll have seriously missed out.

Apocalypse is the Build-A-Figure for Marvel Legends Series 12. You know, the one ToyBiz released in 2006? Sculpted by Eric Treadaway and Cornboy of the Four Horsemen? Yeah, that. But more importantly today, Apocalypse is also the Build-A-Figure for Hasbro's fourth series of X-Men Legends, which is much more germaine to the review at hand. Collect all seven figures in the series (and the surprise bonus eighth figure!) and you can connect the pieces to form your own toy! Huh, "collect and connect"... that'd be a pretty good name for a Build-A-Figure, wouldn't it? Wonder why no one has ever used it?

ToyBiz's Marvel Legends actually had two cracks at an Apocalypse: the BAF looked right, but was stupidly big, while the original one was the right size, but didn't look at all like the character did in the comics. This one fixes both those problems! Put together, 'Pocky is more than 8" tall, making him big enough to loom over his enemies, but not to the point where he looks like he's from a different, larger-scale toyline. And while his elbow-tubes aren't completely flexible, they don't serve as too much of an impediment for the articulation, so the figure moves much like any Marvel Legend would.

The figure's design is similarly improved. He's wearing a version of his "main" costume, not the one-off thing the ML7 toy had. It's blue armor with layered shoulder pads and a deep collar around the neck, plus that one accessory every immortal despot needs, a giant belt buckle with his own initial on it. There are veins on his biceps, suggesting those may some day be used as bare arms, while the legs get cloth-like wrinkles. His armored boots are accentuated by extra pieces floating around the ankles, and there's Colossus-style ribbing on his hands.

Even the proportions are better! ML7 Apocalypse was built like the Michelin Man, and ML12 Apocalypse had a body like a tomato propped up on the cardboard tube from the center of a roll of paper towels. This is exaggerated and comicbooky, but it's still more identifiably "human."

Apoc's face is just what we expect - gray skin, big blue fishlips, black pseudo-hair pieces on the back of his scalp... all that. His brow is furrowed in anger, and his eyes are a bright red. Unlike previous Apocalypses, he's got his mouth open to show his teeth. Too bad he only got one head - an alternate with a different expression would have been fun.

You'll recall that if you bought the exclusive Archangel, you got an alternate mechanical claw hand for Apocalypse. The pinchy parts are silver, while the wrist is the dark blue of the armor. The piece can only be plugged into the right wrist, not the left: the peg sizes are different. There's mechanical detailing - like pistons and tubes - sculpted on the surface, and a port for the elbow hose to plug into. Including a big clamp like this for Apocalypse feels like a reference to the second ToyBiz figure from 1993, which came with an alternate left arm that featured a similar hand (that's also the figure we chose to provide the bio paragraph up at the top of this review).

Like all great villains, Apocalypse views himself as a hero: after encountering the Celestials, he realized that the day may come when they return to Earth to judge the worthiness of all life; his whole "survival of the fittest" thing is just him trying to ensure that at least some beings will be allowed exist when that day arrives. This figure is the best representation of him yet, and thanks to the way the armor is attached, it wouldn't be too hard for Hasbro to swap out a few pieces, do a new paintscheme, and create an "Age of Apocalypse" version of him, as well.

Wolverine | Magneto | Gladiator | Sabertooth | Storm | Multiple Man | Psylocke

-- 07/25/19

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