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X-Men Origins: Wolverine
by yo go re

Happy birthday to the huge jacked man!

Logan is a loner by nature and a hunter by trade. Dressed in civilian gear of jeans, leather jacket and flannel shirt, no one would ever know this ordinary looking man possesses the untamed savagery of a wild beast combined with the battle-skills of an international secret agent. His power to heal virtually any wound in minutes combined with his superhumanly keen animal senses and razor sharp Adamantium claws and skeleton make him the perfect fighting machine called Wolverine.

The packaging for this new line of figures may be stylish as hell, but there's not a single word about the character to be found anywhere on it at all; that's why, for the nice little paragraph up there, we went back in time 20 years, and took it from ToyBiz's tie-in line for the first movie - specifically, from Series 1's "Logan (Pop-Up Claw-Slashing Action & Adamantium X-Ray Machine!)," because that one was wearing street clothes rather than the black leather team uniform. But realistically, that's not right.

These figures are based on (what're now being called) the "Marvel Legacy" movies - ie, all the Fox stuff Disney absorbed after their purchase - but they don't specify which movie, leaving us to decipher it on our own. At first this seems like it would be based on X-Men 1, before Logan is attacked by Sabretooth, but closer inspection reveals that can't be. Yes, he's wearing his leather jacket and his plaid flannel shirt, but in X1, he also had a jean jacket between the two. That's right, he was sporting the full-on Canadian tuxedo! This figure is missing that middle layer, which identifies it as coming from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, right after the barn explosion.

The sculpt is good, but the paint isn't. They attempted to do some weathering on his clothes, but the work is uneven. The paint on his chest, for instance? That looks pretty good. But on his back it's blotchy, and the attempt to create highlights on his lower sleeves are overly bright and solid, so they end up looking more like stripes than the actual stripes on his biceps do. Plus, there's a light drybrushing on his jeans, so they'll look worn, but it's only on the front, leaving the back pristine. The plaid on his shirt is good, and the gold on his indian chief belt buckle is applied cleanly, but those don't make up for the rest of it. Were these figures rushed?

And then there are the heads. The figure includes two heads, both with a Hugh Jackman face: one calm and stern, the other yelling furiously. (The hair also helps identify this as an Origins figure, because the earlier movies tried harder to capture Wolverine's pointy 'do.) For whatever reason, the likeness isn't very good. Neither of them. Oh, they're fair, from some angles, but mostly they're pretty poor. The forehead is too large, the sideburns are too solid, and even the "Photo Real" paint doesn't help very much. Frankly, the 2003 X2 Logan almost has a better likeness, even without any modern advances. How is that possible?

At least the articulation is up to snuff. He's got a balljointed head and neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged torso, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge/swivel ankles. The neck joint is designed well, giving us a really flexible range of motion that "barbell" joints like this often lack, and yet it also doesn't suffer from that problem where the wrong end of the joint pops out when you try to swap heads. Nice work! The shoulders feel ratcheted, clicking into place as they rotate. The jacket is PVC, so it flexes when you tip the torso forward.

His only accessories are an alternate pair of fists sans claws. Yes, despite the fact you can already remove the claws from the existing hands. That will aloow you to do the "two claws around the face" thing or the "flipping someone off" thing, while the blank hands let him have the claws sheathed without needing to have giant notches between his knuckles (something that's more important on a toy with bare hands than one with gloves).

Like the First 10 Years and 80th Anniversary lines, the X-Men toys don't have any Build-A-Figure pieces, and cost an extra $5 above the usual $20 price tag. Wolverine is nice, but he's not "an extra 25% above the standard cost" nice; especially not with the so-so paint and likeness. If they want to charge us more, they need to deliver more.

-- 10/12/20

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