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X-Men Legends
by yo go re

Have you noticed something this second series of X-Men Marvel Legends? Look at the character selection: Cable, Deadpool, Phoenix, Wolverine, and Juggernaut as the BAF? All we're missing is a Punisher (and a Doop, I guess), and this would have completely re-created the lineup from Marvel Legends 6, the most notoriously rare and under-ordered Legends series ToyBiz ever made! It's like Hasbro is trying to make it up to everyone who got screwed back in 2004.

There are eight figures in this series, but you only need to buy seven of them to build Juggernaut - Deadpool doesn't come with a piece, though you'll probably want to buy him anyway. They should have given him the Gem of Cyttorak or something, in addition to all his guns and tacos. But get all the Juggernaut pieces, plug them together, and you've got yourself one mighty mound of muscle! The bits all fit together simply, with the toughest part being deciding which side of the belt is "up."

The figure's proportions are great. He's not too short, not too wide, not overly bloaty, nothing. He stands more than 8½" tall, and his shoulders are about twice as wide as his waist. He's clearly not quite human, but he does fall within the standard range of deviation for a comicbook character. It's the arms that really do it: on the ML6 toy, they attached to the body slightly too low; on the Marvel Select figure, they were high enough, but narrow; here, they sit up as high as they should, and also stick out far enough to make him look powerful.

The sculpt, though, is not as impressive. Hasbro generally plans to reuse its BAF bodies, even if the later figures aren't always immediately apparent - who would have guessed that Venom: Spaceknight would also be the Guardians of the Galaxy's Titus, after all? So it stands to reason that this body will be seen again. That's good for budget reasons, but bad for detail. Remember, Juggernaut's "costume" is actually metal armor (other than the flexible section on his stomach), so it should really have more of a texture than the average superhero costume. That was fine in 1992, but not now. While this figure gets the appropriate kind of texture on its helmet and the armored straps on the arms, the Marvel Select one had it all over. Even the mediocre Juggy from the Spider-Man line got that! His belt has a leather texture, at least. The bands on his arms are separate pieces (so the limbs can be reused), but the ones on his hands are molded on.

Like the Marvel Universe 4"er, this figure does not feature a removable helmet, which is disappointing. Come on, Rhino and Absorbing Man could get alternate heads, but Juggernaut can't? Maybe they could pull an Onslaught and do one later. But then there's the question of whether you do a bare head or one with the skullcap, and whether there would be the demand for either of them the way there was for Onslaught... so the odds seem slim. Oh well. The face we can see through the helmet is nice enough, with a big sinister smile and a chipped tooth. That must have pre-dated Cain becoming the Juggernaut, since afterward, nothing could touch him.

The articulation is typical: balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. It's unusual that he doesn't have swivels at the top of his boots - not that they're necessary joints, but that most toy companies would have included them. In order to turn his waist, you'll have to slide his belt either up or down, but it's fun putting him in poses from Marvel vs. Capcom. Or trying to, at least.

Juggernaut's famous costume was designed by Jack Kirby, even though he didn't draw the character's first appearance: X-Men #12 was penciled by Alex Toth (over Kirby layouts), so normally it would fall to him to design the new villain, right? Well, if you manage to get your hands on the original artwork for that issue, and put it on a lightbox, you can make out the blue-line drawing beneath the finished art, showing a much different Juggernaut! With a flat helmet, a skirt, and spikes and stripes all over his body, this alternate-history version of the villain may have taken more inspiration from the Jagannath temple cars that are the ultimate source of his name. But since Kirby didn't work in blue pencil, it seems that design was Toth's, and it got vetoed for the one we know today. Which is probably for the best. Hey, we told you this wasn't the worst thing he'd ever worn! This Juggernaut toy has a great shape, but the Marvel Select version has superior textures.

Wolverine | Kitty Pryde | Iceman | Havok | Rogue | Phoenix | Cable

-- 07/07/19

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