Monday, October 03, 2016

(Sort of) a Review: Diamond Select X-Men, Cyclops, Colossus, Gambit, and Storm!

It's not something I do very often anymore, but sometimes I might buy--or be tempted to buy--a figure just for the accessories. I don't think there's as many really great accessories of late, or I may just be telling myself that because of price: the figures look great, but I would take just the weapons from Mezco's Star Trek One:12 Collective Kirk and Cage Spock, if I could get them. But sometimes, there's the opportunity to get something at a deal--like this lot! Diamond Select's X-Men, Storm, Cyclops, Gambit, and Colossus!

I'm pretty sure I mentioned some time back--probably back when we looked at the Diamond Select Nightcrawler--that I had passed on getting Cyclops before. (I want to say Nightcrawler was the last of the X-Men to be released, and did not appear to be as widely available, but we'll come back to that.) Still, Hastings was up to 60% off action figures a bit ago, and I picked up all four of these, and a couple other Diamond Select figures that we'll look at some other time.

As I mentioned with Nightcrawler, these figures do not have the same level of articulation as their slightly-smaller Marvel Legends counterparts. In the picture above, it may look like Cyclops has his right hand raised to his visor: he does not. This is about as far as he can reach:

Let's take a moment to look at each of them.

Cyclops, here in a classic look: this pretty much covers him from 1975's Giant-Size X-Men #1 to 1986's X-Factor #1. He also comes with an unmasked head that seems to have the same expression.

Colossus is also rocking his Giant-Size X-Men #1 outfit, one he would return to on occasion over the years. Unlike Cyclops, Colossus gets a bit of chest articulation, but that has the unfortunate effect of breaking up his top, which is a loose separate plastic piece, like he's wearing a bib or a dickey. Still, the sculpt is nice, and if you buy Marvel Select figures to integrate with Marvel Legends, strictly speaking I think he's well too big to squeeze into a six-inch scale, but would look good anyway. No accessories, save one we'll get to at the end.

Gambit was not in Giant-Size X-Men #1: although I think there's been some retcons, he wouldn't appear until 1990's Uncanny X-Men #266. His look changed slightly since that first appearance; but this is a pretty traditional one. The soft rubber trenchcoat is not especially movable, but he wins the accessory count: a throwing card, two thrown-cards-in-motion purple effects, two extra hands, and a staff that I couldn't get him to hold that well.

Storm brings us back to Giant-Size X-Men #1; she'd keep this look until 1983's Uncanny X-Men #173 and her mohawk days. Some fans have been clamoring for years for this version of Storm in Marvel Legends, but this figure may show why they shouldn't: her plastic cape, which is less soft than Gambit's coat, is pretty heavy and hinders her articulation a lot. Same for her hair, actually. Because of that weight and since Storm wore thigh-high leather high-heel boots, she also comes with a simple raised black base to keep her standing.

Like...every single Diamond Select figure I've purchased, these aren't the most dynamic toys in terms of articulation. (They aren't the worst offenders in that area though, we'll see later.) The sculpt and the paint are nice, although I'd have to say Marvel Legends has been closing that gap--if there's even a gap. I've never been a fan of Diamond Select's huge "bookshelf" packaging, either. I've always preferred when Marvel Select did characters that were either too big, too obscure, or too weird for Hasbro or Toy Biz to get them onto a toy aisle; like Mephisto or Cloak & Dagger. (I wish I had their Watcher figure, and the Select Thanos was many ML collectors' version for years!) But Diamond Select does do one thing particularly well: bases. Not the little one Storm has, although it is weird that she needs a base for her base...

Cyclops, Gambit, and Storm each come with a three-piece assembly that makes a corner of the Danger Room. They are identical, except Storm's comes with a couple holes to attach the included buzz-saw arm and open flame. Colossus comes with a colossal spiked metal...deadfall? It looks like the sort of thing that was always trying to crush him in the Danger Room. There are four large metal-press like legs on the deadfall (unarticulated) but I didn't find a clear way to attach it to anything...ooh, unless you kind of overhang those legs on the other bases. That's not bad!

I didn't have Nightcrawler's base handy, but it was just a little teleport-smoke piece and pales in comparison to the Danger Room parts. Early solicits seemed to indicate he was going to have some Danger Room piece, but that didn't happen in the end. There's also a DS classic Wolverine, but he comes with a little Weapon X piece instead. I'm guessing Diamond isn't planning on Sunfire, Thunderbird, or Kitty Pryde; so this may be as much Danger Room as there's going to be. (Diamond did make a couple Phoenixes and Jean Grey, the Phoenix more modern and the Jean more classic than this lot.)

I haven't tried it with Legends figures yet, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say they're going to look pretty good there. I can't say I'd recommend these all at full price, but I really do like the Danger Room, and they do look good as a group. I've said before, if you find Marvel Legends figures fiddly or loose; Diamond Select has you covered.


Dale Bagwell said...

If you're going to build that Danger Room, then a deal like that really is your best bet. I just want that MS Colossus myself, especially after watching a comparison video with his ML counterpart. I was planning on getting him anyways, but that review nailed it for me, especially how well he blends in with the ML figures.
Definitely getting the MS Juggernaut too.
We still need that classic Storm figure for the ML line, despite the possible issues with the hair.
The cape problem could probably be solved by going the route they did with the recent classic Scarlet Witch figure, and simply take advantage of the head being removable and have the cape able to be moved and removed, so you can pose her both with and without the cape.

SallyP said...

I have to admit... that is still my favorite Storm costume.