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X-Men Legends
by yo go re

Who is this irresistable creature who has an insatiable love for the dead?

Wait, sorry, that's Rob Zombie's "Living Dead Girl." Let's try again:

No one knows the name of the man cursed by the terrible power of the Wendigo - the mystical monster whose cravings can only be sated by the flesh of the living!

That's from a 1994 trading card, because Build-A-Figures don't have bio text. Wendigo is the BAF for Series 6 of the X-Men Marvel Legends - buy all six figures, and you'll have the seven pieces needed to build him (the torso and tail are packaged separately, but sold together). The Wendigo has had a couple action figures in the past (including one from Hasbro), but this is definitely the biggest.

The majority of this figure is the same mold as Sasquatch, which makes sense: they're both Canadian monsters, as far as Marvel Comics are concerned, and Wendigo is generally drawn as being big and beefy like this. The new parts include: the feet, which just have clawed toes instead of a thumb on the side; the hands, which are posed differently and have longer claws; the fur on the shoulders, which is wider and comes down lower on the back; and the fur around the waist, which is is longer and shaggier (and has a peg for the tail to attach, naturally). The tail is sculpted curving off to the side, rather than sticking out backwards and taking up a lot of extra space on display.

The head, we're sad to say, is pretty disappointing. It's got a great sculpt, with a look of fury in the eyes and the hideous mouth open wide (probably to scream "WEN-DI-GO!," which is the only thing they can usually say), but it's very recognizably based on Arthur Adams' style of drawing Wendigos, with the drooping hair and the chinstrap beard. Which would be fine, except Art was the only guy who also drew them with the sort of skinny bodies a creature based on starvation should have.

Alternately, with the Wolverine and Hulk set in the 80th Anniversary line, you might want the Wendigo to fight them - but this head is the wrong style for that, too. Too modern. Really, if they were wedded to this Art Adams head, the best option would have been to include a second "classic" head as well. Would have made the boring Wolverine more appealing. Maybe a white Sasquatch head, too, which would have allowed this one BAF to represent two or three different characters.

At least we can say the paint is nice. ToyBiz had a bad habit of ruining their white-clad characters by painting blue shadows all over everything, a mistake that Hasbro doesn't copy (and we perpetually praise them for it). The Wendigo, however, gets those baby blue shadows again. And yet, we're calling it nice. How's that? Because they're done well. They're light, and they're sparse, being limited to his shoulders, waist, the backs of his hands, and the tops of his feet. Basically, it's just enough to break up the overbearing whiteness of the figure, and make it look more natural than a blank, unpainted white would. Then there's grey for the hair and beard, red for the mouth and eyes, and yellow for the fangs. It looks terrific.

The Wendigo has swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a swivel waist, swivel tail, hinged torso, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a swivel/hinged neck. Fortunately, the stringy hair is soft PVC, because otherwise it would keep the head from moving. The chest joint has more of a "click" between positions than the Sasquatch release did, so it at least feels sturdier (even if the quality and reliability are identical between the two).

With a modern head and a classic body, the Wendigo is a mish-mash of styles. But you'd have to be a pretty big nerd to even notice that in the first place, let alone have it be a deal-breaker. This Build-A-Figure may come in an X-Men series, but get it and have it show the Hulk who's boss.

Wolverine | Cannonball | Boom-Boom | Guardian | Nightcrawler | Mr. Sinister

-- 09/26/19

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