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X-Men Legends
by yo go re

Ready to have your mind blown? There hasn't been a 6"-scale Wolverine available at mass retail in eight years.

Virtually indestructible and always ready for a fight, Wolverine's specialty is sending bad guys running.

Let's break it down. Jubilee series, 2014? Had a Wolverine, was a Toys Я Us exclusive. Puck series, 2013? Had a Wolverine, was a Previews exclusive. Hit-Monkey was supposed to be at retail, but it was so drastically under-ordered by real stores that Hasbro Toy Shop was the only reliable place to get them. Uncanny X-Force was an SDCC set, Red Hulk was only available at Target... the last time you could walk into just any store and buy a Wolverine was 2008's two-pack with Forge. That's crazy! As collectors, we may complain about Wolverine overload, but imagine being a new fan trying to get one.

I was fine skipping the last two Wolverines (Jubilee and Puck versions), because they were both just repaints of the X-Force figure, and neither of them had Build-A-Figure pieces. This one does, though, so we're stuck getting it. Bleh!

And then you open the figure and it turns out is an entirely new mold. A great new mold! Remember how cool the ML6 Brown Costume Wolverine was? At last, a worthy replacement! The figure is short (his mask-wings barely break the 5¾" mark) and stocky, with a broad torso and thick legs. Even his arms are short! He's wearing his wide leather belt, and has boots that match his mask. The other costume details are just painted on, but there's nothing wrong with that. The legs don't match the color of the torso, sadly.

The head is new... mostly. Presumably this is a digital sculpt, because the exposed bit of face around his mouth appears to have the same sculpt as Uncanny X-Force Wolverine - same chin, same lips, all that. However, the mask is definitely new, with larger '80s style ear-wings, and no seam running over the top. There are also some very fine wrinkles around his eyes.

Even the articulation is an improvement over the last few Wolvies. He has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, lateral pec hinges, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hined knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles. All the joints move fine, meaning you can get him into almost any pose you want. The pec joints are an especially nice touch, allowing you to bring his claws together in front of himself despite the wide chest.

And speaking of claws, this Wolverine has the same sort of removable claws introduced in the SDCC set. Those are still freaking awesome! They're just gray plastic here, not silver, but that only diminshes their coolness a little bit. They pop in and out of the hands easily, allowing you to decide how many claws he has extended. They're thin and have a little angle at the tip, which is how they were drawn before Marvel decided there were bones inside them. For some reason, he also includes hands with no claws. Why do that when the claws can be removed? It's not even like they're a different pose, he's all fists.

Wolverine comes with the head of this series' Build-A-Figure, Juggernaut. It looks pretty nice, but we'll reserve judgment until the full thing is assembled.

When ML6 Brown Costume Wolverine came out, it was the best Wolverine there'd ever been. And now again, 12 years later, this new Brown Costume Wolverine is the best again. He's almost short enough, he's got terrific articulation, the sculpt is outstanding, the claws are just amazing... this is the Wolverine toy to have.

-- 08/08/16

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