In a surprising turn we find ourselves awash in new Marvel Universe action figures one wave after another for the first time, in what feels like a long time.  Read on for our review of Marvel Universe 2011 Wave 5 (16 overall), or just scroll down to our gallery if pictures are all you want.    Also, scroll to the bottom or check out a summary of our new rating system HERE.

Magneto

Packaging

Nice art, nifty lightening effects otherwise the same fare that can be found on all 2011 releases.  A caption about Magneto on the card back with his image and an ad for Tony Stark, Wolverine and Absorbing Man.  Nothing special here.

magneto-card-front

Paint

The paint on the body is nicely done with nice shadowing.  However, the cape is a flat purple lacking any detail.  The helmet of the original Magneto release is also more detailed than this.  Probably the biggest point on paint is the face.  His face looks “dirty”.   Maybe it’s just my paint, in the early release images of the figure the face looks fine…mine looks like he took a mud bath on his face.

Articulation

 The size of Magneto’s helmet limits head movement tilt wise but it has a full range of 360 motion.  The cape doesn’t limit much.  He can raise his arms, twist at the shoulders, bend at the elbows and spin at the wrists.  He has the swivel torso and a midsection that will spin at the waist.  No ball and socket hips for Magneto.  He has the new hip joints. Double jointed knees, and spinning ankles but very limited tilt motion though there is an ankle joint for it.

magneto-action

Character Likeness

All things being equal, and I’ve said this before, I don’t care about the Ultimate Universe.  Does nothing for me. Oh well.  This looks like other likenesses of Ultimate Magneto, but for my money, Magneto wears red and purple and he’s a giant jerk.  That is all.

Accessories

Magneto does not come with accessories.

Overall

Magneto is a nice remake, but at least the figure I received has a horrible paint job on the face, and again, I’m not a fan of Ultimates.  He suffers from a limited range of motion at the head and ankles, but the updated hip joints are welcome.  This Magneto is going right into storage though.  I’ll keep the Secret Wars Magneto on display.

Grade

Stored* – It’s really not worth displaying. (1 out of 5)

Tony Stark / Iron Man Extremis

Packaging

Stark comes packaged with some nice Extremis artwork on the front showing off a nice action stance as opposed to the flight pose of the wave 7 release.  On the back we have ads for Iceman, Magneto, and the flesh colored Absorbing Man.  The description on the back is geared more towards Stark than Iron Man.

stark-card-front

Paint

Stark features really nice bright blues for his repulsors and for the arc reactor on his chest.  The reds are nice, deep and almost sparkly.  Side by side though, apart from the head and the repulsor color, this is the exact same Extermis Iron Man released with Wave 7 / Greatest Battles.  The head, Tony Stark’s face looks great, finely detailed with the mustache and eyebrows you can make out.  It looks good.

Articulation

This is a remake word for word of the wave 7 and Greatest Battles Extermis Iron Man with little deviation.  It does appear however that the head / neck piece is the slightly more advanced joint than the standard ball / head combo. There is a ball, but it’s jointed to tilt forward and back.  As well, the head is meant to come off and trade between the helmeted Iron Man head and the Tony Stark face.  This is not a “helmet” it’s a full on head swap.stark-action

Character Likeness

It looks like Iron Man…no wait! It looks like Tony Stark!

Accessories

Tony Stark comes with the standard energy blast that clips to his wrist, and the extra head for swapping.

Overall

The Extremis armor comes in for me as a second favorite for Iron Man, behind the Silver Centurion armor.  Third is the Bleeding Edge.  Usually with characters I will leave one out but Iron Man is such an institution that I don’t mind displaying a few.  This version will replace the previous Extremis Iron Man if for no other reason, it’s a more complete figure.  Looks great, poses well (but doesn’t feature any of the 2011 advancements).  I like it.

Grade

Displayed somewhere I might see it (3 out of 5)

Iceman

Packaging

X-Factor Bobby Drake adorns the front of this package, nice art, nothing to be mad about here.  The card back advertises Stark, Magneto, and fleshy Absorbing Man.  The blurb talks about Bobby / Iceman.  What more could you want?

iceman-card-front

Paint

Iceman is a clear figure but there are details and highlights. The lines are clean on his boots and gloves, and the chest ‘X’ is clearly defined.  It looks like he also has highlights of silver in his eyes and his mouth.  The ‘X’ stretches from front to back.  I think the most to complain about here is the design choice.  I think Iceman fans were looking for a nice “full ice” Iceman, which mainly would have left out paint.  I will say that I prefer this clear to the X-Men Origins line clear Iceman.

Articulation

Iceman features none of the 2011 features of articulation.  Ball and socket hips, standard arm movement, limited ankle tilt, no calf or waist rotation.  As an improvement over the Toys R Us Exclusive 3 pack Iceman though, I will say that the figure generally feels more robust where the original seems frail.  It could be the clear plastic playing tricks on me but the legs feel much more sturdy.    The figure otherwise, does retain the shape in most ways, of the 3 pack release.

icemans

Character Likeness

From blocky head to slightly noticeable details of boots, gloves, and ‘X’, this is undoubtedly Iceman.

Accessories

Iceman comes with an ‘ice blast’ accessory which clips nicely on his hand.  iceman-action

Overall

I was hoping for a great Iceman.  I got a good one.  This Iceman definitely compares better to the XMO Iceman.  I wouldn’t have minded a more blue tinge to the clear / see-throughyness of this Iceman.  As well, as stated previously, I didn’t need the X or the gloves / boots, I’d rather have an all ice..man.  That said though, I think this is the best one available, as such, he will get the shelf spot.

Grade

Displayed somewhere I might see it (3 out of 5)

Wolverine

Packaging

Claws out, lunging off the card, a nice front image.  On the back, Iceman, Magneto, and Tony Stark get the ad space.  The card back goes on to say warm fuzzy things about our favorite and most duplicated Marvel Universe figure.

wolverine-card-front

Paint

Hasbro made an interesting choice here going with a slightly lighter yellow than what was featured on the Astonishing XMO line Wolverine.  Something I’ve already heard complaints about, and I tend to agree.  Shoulda been a little darker.  The blues are nice though, deep, but the tiger stripes seem like they are a little short in the tooth and could have been more pronounced/ thicker.

Articulation

With this iteration of Wolverine we see all of the upgrades that we got with the X-Force Wolverine.  It’s essentially the same figure soup to nuts, just with different paint.  We have the nice new hip joints, the head spins but has limited tilt motion.  The shoulders are not ball / socket, they spin 360 and have limited up / down motion.  He bends at the elbow and spins at the forearm instead of the wrist.  We have the tilting twisting torso, but no spin at the waist, no spin at the calfs, but spinning ankles with limited tilt.

wolverine-action

Character Likeness

Here we see a good version of an Astonishing Wolverine.  The scale seems right, a little short and no exaggerated face mask “wings”.  As stated, I wish the stripes were a little more pronounced, and the belt buckle could have been a little bit more detailed, but we get the Astonishing Wolverine we’ve wanted.

Accessories

Wolverine comes with no accessories.

Overall

I think outside of the X-Force Wolverine, the Astonishing Wolverine is a close second as favorite.  This figure does what I want it to do, represents that iteration of a great character.  A few complaints with detail, but overall it’s a really nice figure. I’ve got one other Wolverine out, and it’s the X-Force one. For now though I have a little extra room and Astonishing will get shelf space until I get other non-duplicate figures in.  At which time, X-Force will win because he looks great next to Archangel, Deadpool, Warpath, X-23, and two customs (Domino and Elixir) (I will have you Fantomex!).

Grade

Displayed but more to the side (4 out of 5)

Absorbing Man

Packaging

We face a quandary here friends.  Absorbing Man is the figure in Wave 5 with a variant.  At every turn we are teased by this.  Which is the variant? Steel? Flesh?  The card is no help! On the front we see flesh, on the back, steel.  This confounds me.

absorbing-man-metal-card-front

Paint

I don’t care much about Absorbing Man, but the paint on this figure, the finish is really gorgeous and photographs really well.  It makes for an outstanding looking figure.  There is great detail, shading, and whether intentionally or not it seems the steel skin shows through in some places but not others on the pants for a great effect.

Articulation

This appears to be the same mold verbatim as the two-pack release of Absorbing Man.  None of the neat new articulation enhancements and all of the old standards.  Nothing to see here, move along.

Character Likeness

Does a great job of capturing the morphed version of Absorbing Man with a great job of capturing his scowl.

Accessories

The same old ball and chain.

absorbing-man-action

Overall

It’d be easy to say that this is just a remake of the 2 pack AM, whatever.  Honestly though, the paint does such great things for this figure it elevates it way beyond a simple repaint.  Every figure should look this good!  Absorbing Man the newer will usurp the two-pack figure for shelf space.

Grade

Displayed but more to the side (4 out of 5)

Wave 16 Summary

Wave 16 is an interesting bag of tricks.  It’s all repaints for the most part.  Magneto is really the only figure with different articulation, and Stark gets the only new accessory.  I am sure a lot of people will pass on this wave entirely and it’s tough to blame them. However, we really do have gems in Absorbing Man, Stark, and Wolverine.  Going forward, I’d really like to see the kind of finish we have on Absorbing Man on all figures.  Obviously not steel skinned, but definitely the look and feel of the finish.  It almost adds a weight to the figure.   Go out and grab Wave 5 / 16 now at our sponsors, BigBadToyStore and Past Generation Toys.  To bring this to you as early as possible I purchased from Kokomo-Toys on eBay and he provided an excellent experience (though Kokomo Indiana USPS did not help).

 

 

Rating SystemEach figure will be reviewed under the following categories:
Packaging
Paint
Articulation
Accessories
Character Likeness
OverallEach figure will then be given an overall grade out of 5 levels:
Displayed front and center – Perfect score
Displayed but more to the side – Second best, nothing wrong with that
Displayed somewhere I might see it – Displayed, it’s good, I like it, not as much as others.
Displayed but buried in the back – Not all that great, but no other options for this figure
Stored* – It’s really not worth displaying. 
*This will be caveat-ed, if the figure is excellent but is being moved out in favor of a better version of the same character, this will be explained.

 

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