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Prof. X/Magneto

by yo go re

The classic X-Men Minimate goodness just keeps coming. After the New X-Men box, available through Diamond Comics and its distributors, came an exclusive two-pack of Professor Charles Xavier and the villainous Magneto.

The Marvel Minimates are just a little bigger than the average Lego person, and have plenty of painted-on detail to make them stand out. While the original Minimates were 3" tall, the 2" scale gives you two figures for the same price.

Professor X and Magneto are the first online retailer exclusive 'mates; Tower Records' exclusive Silver Surfer figure was offered online, but was mainly sold in their stores. Personally, I'd rather not see exclusives of this sort - yes, by the simple fact that it's an online exclusive, everyone has a chance at it, but by the time you pay shipping and deal with the inevitable price gouging, you're paying twice as much.

Professor X Professor Xavier is the most powerful telepath on the planet and the founder of the mutant superteam known as the X-Men. The Martin Luther King Jr. of the Marvel Universe, Prof. X believes that man and mutant can live together peacefully. Confined to a wheelchair, Xavier is the first Minimate to come with a large accessory - the Silver Surfer may have had a tiny board, but Xavier's got his chair. About 1 1/4" all the way around, the chair has real rolling wheels and even has a white blanket to fit over Xavier's legs. The Prof is wearing a brown suit and, since he's bald, doesn't have a piece to be his hair. Instead, the guys over at Art Asylum threw in the Cerebro helmet that lets Chuck find mutants all over the world.

Magneto The self-anointed Master of Magnetism, Magneto believes that mutants represent the next step in human evolution and he's grown weary of waiting for Homo sapiens to cede control of the planet. Magneto is a mutant with the ability to shape and manipulate magnetic fields, both natural and artificial. He's the X-Men's oldest foe, and certainly their most deadly, so it's about time he showed up in cutesy Minimate form. This is Magneto in his old-school red and purple outfit, complete with that goofy winged helmet. His cape (and silly riveted neck piece) is a separate piece that fits down over the neck. It restricts his head movement a little, but if you don't like it you can always strip it off.

All the Minimates share the same body with different paint decos, and they all move at the same 14 points: neck, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. That's a heckuva lot of motion for something so tiny. Just remember: no cheating by having Professor X stand up.

halfassed graphic design Magneto and Prof. X are the very first Minimates available in the new-style packaging. The cool tubular blister packs are gone, replaced by plain cardboard boxes that show pictures of the figures inside. It's nice enough, but just doesn't stack up to last year's. It is odd, though, that the packaging uses the Ultimate X-Men logo when these are obviously figures from the "real" Marvel Universe. Guess someone in the graphic design department wasn't paying attention.

There are no variants of either figure, so you're sure of what you're getting - no chases to worry about mean that you won't end up with the same figure twice. If you like the X-Men, this is a good set; you get the team leader and the big bad together at once. The only place to get one (other than eBay or your local scalper) is Action Figure Xpress, so swing by and grab a set while you can.

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