Friday, February 20, 2009

Xmen Origins Wolverine: Movie Sabretooth

This week I was able to get my hands on some of the Wolverine movie figures. I'll be going through my usual breakdown of the figures, but with most of them being Wolverine, I might do some group reviews on some of the different variations of every one's favorite wild haired friend.

I figured so I don't get bored with all 37 different Wolverine figures, I'll start fresh with his arch nemesis Sabretooth. Now, I've stated in one of my other reviews that I don't follow many comics, I'm not a die-hard comic book fan, so basically what I know is just from picking up in magazines here and there and the movies.

I hope this helps put a neutral spin on my reviews, while I know what the classic characters are known to look like, I think and well, hope it'll help give a somewhat outsiders point of view on the actual figures, rather than the character development in the movie.

So with that, lets jump in and take a look at Sabretooth's packaging. If you read my Marvel Universe reviews, I praised the packaging. I liked the card art and the layout, but here, I'm kinda left wanting more. It's a bit bland, and generic compared to the other line. I'm a bit disappointed that they didn't go with character art. Maybe they had a smaller budget, or they had to pay more money to the movie company and had to cut costs somewhere, but I don't know, it all just seems a little bland to me.

As far as extras and accessories are concerned, as with all the figures, he comes with a little pamphlet hawking all the new and exciting offerings available from Hasbro for the movie(sorry, no picture, waiting to scan it so it shows up better). He also comes with some sort of bone staff and a chain. While these might be key parts for the character in the movie, they do little for me as accessories and I actually found myself just throwing them to the side. Sabretooth's also dressed with a nice long coat that's made out of s soft plastic. The way it's sculpted is not too over the top, and doesn't just hang there, so I like the middle ground they went with. Also, for those that don't like it, he's also sculpted so if you take the coat off, he doesn't look too bulky in the arms and they don't look out of place. Kudos to the sculptor for this. I think he looks great both with and without the coat.

Speaking of the sculpting, lets go ahead and take a look at that. I think the likeness in the face looks pretty close to the actual actor, while not digital scanning technology close, but still, close enough(I don't know if they in fact did scan the actor's face, so don't hate me if they did, and if they did, they need to fire the scanner). Like I mentioned above, his arms are sculpted so he can both wear the jacket and take it off and you wouldn't even know. While I'm not sure if the character's supposed to look like it in the movies, but the figure has real long legs, and in a way, it kind of throws him off a little, not too much to make a difference, but just a tad to where if you look at him from the wrong angle, he looks like he has his pants pulled a little too high, Revenge of the Nerds style, lol.

One down fall I see with the sculpting are the big sloppy blobs that he has dripping from his hands. Oh, wait, those are his fingers? I wasn't too impressed with those, and/or his claws. They just didn't turn out right and not only that, I'm not a fan of hands that are either spread out in some weird pose or clenched into fist where they're really only good for a couple poses. His hands here are in that spread out look. I guess they could look good if he was pouncing on Wolvie ready to strike and maul him, but not so much when you wanted to set him up just standing there not attacking someone.

Okay, enough bashing on his sausage fingers, lets look at the articulation on the figure. One of the cool things about the Wolvie figures is, at least so far, they seem to incorporate the old school Toy Biz Marvel Legends articulation. I think this is a plus in a couple of different ways, one to hopefully bring back some of the fans who haven't really adopted the Hasbro ML figures as of late and two, well, for over all posing. I think these ball jointed hips and double jointed knees can really be useful for making some wicked poses for these characters.

Lets take a look at the articulation breakdown:

Neck-Ball joint
Shoulders- Ball hinged
Elbows- ball hinged
Hips- Ball socket/hinged
Upper thighs-swivel
Knees- Double hinged knees
Ankles- Ball hinged

Like some of the other recent Marvel figures(and GI Joes) from Hasbro, he has the neck ball joint that just doesn't quite work right. I've said it before, but I really wish they'd look into this again and fix it so it does what it should. As it stands, all he can really do is look left and right, and barely look up and down.

As for the shoulder and elbows, he has the basic ball hinged joints that are becoming more and more popular in figures these days, and they really work well with him. It looks like the sculptor took this into account while sculpting him so even though he had a baggy shirt/coat look to him, you can still get a pretty wide range of motion out of his arms. The sad part is there's not wrist articulation at all. I think this hurts not only the figure, but the character cause you're limited on how you can pose him, and in order to swivel his wrists, you have to swivel it at the elbow, and that might restrict his pose some what.

The torso is also somewhat of a let down. No mid torso joint, one I was hoping for, so he could have a hunched over look, or possibly standing up with his back arched. While it's not a big deal, it's almost a given on most figures these days, at least from super hero lines, so I was sad to not see it here. Instead we get a swivel waist where his shirt meets his pants.

Moving down to his hip/thighs, we have the old school Marvel Legend ball socket/hinged joints. I really like the way these are made, they're not too tight, and they move around real well. You can swivel the ball around so you can give him a wide stance, or move it around so his legs can bend in front of him in a sitting positions. Not only that, but it looks good too, not like a figure with two huge ball attached to his legs. That's always a plus in my book.

Where I love the hips/thighs, I'm not too sure about the knees. While I love double jointed knees, especially well sculpted ones. I think they've got a ways to go in getting straight pants to look right. I think there has to be some other method that will give you the same amount of articulation, but not have the knees look too bulky while they're bent. That's my only beef here, I like them and they work well, just when they're bent all the way, they don't look that good.

Finally the ankles, basically your everyday jointed ankles. They can both swivel and bend, but I had a hard time moving mine into a couple positions, mainly due to the pants sculpt getting in the way. While not that big of a deal, I felt they could have been sculpted a little better to give more freedom to the ankles.

I'm quite happy with the overall articulation on this big guy. He can not only bend around and sit and do all those things you'd want your figures to do, but he can also work well with other toy lines. Here are a couple pictures which shows how well he can sit and also another one showing how he fits in with a GI Joe vehicle. Look out GI Joe, you might have someone else to fight on your sofa battlefield later this summer.

Now for my favorite little part, Deconstruction and customizing possibilities. I wasn't able to do this with my Spider-Man figure, but I wanted to take the time and do it here. Over all it took a little over 10 minutes with a mug of boiling water, a little flat head screwdriver and some patience.

for the most part, you can simply dunk the figure in a mug of boiling water and just pop apart his arms and parts of his legs. His torso is also made up of a soft enough plastic where you can pop it off the waist area. You really have to get it hot though, and I had to use my flat head to help wedge the plug out of the torso, but when I did, it came out real easy.

The other part that was a little tricky was the knees. They're held in place with little pins, two pins per leg. Now it's not too hard, like before, just make sure your water is quite hot and don't let the figure cool too much, or you might have a hard time popping out the peg. All you have to do really is just place the flat head between the pin and the leg and pry it out.

Now most people won't need to do this, but it's nice to know it can be done in case you wanted to give him a different set of lower legs or boots or what not.

As for customizing, I think people are going to have fun with this guy. From simple head popping, to using his coat for a custom, I think there's a lot of potential here. One thing I like is the nice plain base body, ever wanted to make a custom of your favorite teacher, movie usher, or demonic car salesman? Well, now you have the perfect slacks and button up shirt to do it with. Just messing around taking the pictures, I found a couple heads that popped on real easily, mainly 25th GI Joe heads, most of the Star Wars heads seemed like the socket joint was too big and just wobbled around. His head also fits pretty good on some GI Joe bodies, some might need a little work, but again, I think we'll see a lot of customs made from this guy.

Lastly, here's a little group picture of various 1:18 scaled figures, something to hopefully let you know if he can be used on your shelves, or in you custom drawers. Hope it helps and hope you liked the review. I'll be reviewing some of the other movie figures all weekend, so check back often, and thanks again.

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