Marvel Universe Wave 21

The moment we’ve all been waiting for.  An actual in 2012 release of Marvel Universe!  Well, sort of.  These popped up on eBay last week, and as I’m given to understand it, maybe they shouldn’t have.  But they did, and I’ve got them.  Now let me tell you.  Between purchase and shipping arrival things have been pretty crazy.  Yet somehow I’ve still found time to be impatient about receiving Professor X, Jubilee, and Blastaar!  Before we dive in, let’s discuss the fact that these are ‘out of order’.  Wave 17 of Marvel Universe (the last wave released including Psylocke and Patriot) were named “Series 4″ numbered “1-5″.  In this Wave (21) we have figures 22, 23, and 24.  That’s a big jump, 16 figures by my elementary level math degree…  There has also been much said online about the fact that there are only 3 figures in this wave.  Why? How do we know that?   Well, our main clue is that on the card backs, only the three figures covered here appear.  On other more voluminous waves we have a mixture of figures on card backs.  There have also been substantiated rumors that we will see a Blastaar variant (with clear hands) and a Jubilee variant (non-vampire).  That said…let’s dive in!

Professor X

Packaging

How do you get a hover chair on a single card?  Break it into two and lay each piece flat.  Professor X’s packaging was thinner than even Blastaars, and he came with a hover chair!  Featured is the 2012 card art instead of the S.H.I.E.L.D. or H.A.M.M.E.R. logos.  The card back features the other two figures from the wave and we get a tease of the true blue disco Dazzler talking about dancing.

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Paint

The iconic Professor X suit and head shine are captured gloriously here.  The level of detail is down to the laces of the shoes and the white cuffs sticking out of the jacket sleeves.  I feel as though the chair could have popped in gold a little bit better, and there is some odd red shadowing on the chair arms that I don’t really get.

Articulation

What?!!?! Is that a picture of Professor X dancing down below? Is that even appropriate?  This guy has the moves.  His knees bend and spin right above the hinge.  Feet do everything but tilt left and right.  I can’t tell if that’s because of the pant cuffs or the articulation isn’t there.  It’s likely the latter though.  We have spinning but not tilting wrists.  Like the legs, the arms have a spin cut above the elbow and then the hinged elbow.    Shoulders are hinged and have a full 360 degree range of motion.  Prof’s head is the standard ball and socket without the recent extra hing.

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Character Likeness

So what if he can dance, he’s still our favorite mutant mentor in just about every way.  Kudos on the brow line Hasbro!

Accessories

We’ve got the iconic hover chair.  It comes in two halves.  With a good amount of pressure you can make the seam nearly disappear.  It is however, a little snug in the seat when trying to fit Professor X in due to the bottom of his jacket.  This is likely why early images appeared to show him standing in the chair… you really have to force him in there.

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Overall

We finally get a Professor X after countless versions of Wolverine Iron Man and Spider-Man.  He isn’t even a mid-tier Marvel character, he has been the man behind the X-Men for too many years to count and it’s about time we got a Marvel Universe incarnation.  Hasbro did it right.  Thank goodness!

Grade

Displayed front and center (5 out of 5)

Jubilee

Packaging

We again have the 2012 style packaging with an art card instead of a team logo.  Dazzler gives us words of wisdom on the back and we get to see the other two figures in the wave.

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Paint

This version of Jubilee couldn’t have been particularly challenging.  She’s wearing black with a yellow jacket.  The lipstick is comic accurate?

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Articulation

I hope it’s just my figure…maybe it’s because I have an ‘early release’?  This is kind of a big fail here though.  Have a look at the image for an absolute disaster of a knee joint.  The right leg is all kindsa bent sideways and if you line up her hip spin joint the knee may as well be on backwards.  I hope it’s just mine, I hope I hope, because otherwise this is an excellent female buck.  We have all the nice bells and whistles of the 2011 Cyclops buck but in slender female form right down to the super-mobile ankles.

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Character Likeness

I know this talk about Jubilee has been in short form so far, because to this point she’s not terribly impressive.  That said, the face here KILLS it!  Hasbro has an outstanding female head mold adorning Jubilee.  The glasses are molded and sit great, the hair is really well done and the face really captures “vampire Jubilee”.  The coat is spot on (though I think it may be missing pockets on the outside depending on the comic you read).  There is an excellent gap of skin between the cuffs of the jacket and the cuffs of the glove.

Accessories

Jubilee comes with a purple energy burst. On the back of the card she’s holding that energy burst.  I’ll grant you, I’m tired.  My wife had a baby two days ago.  But I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to replicate the cardback and have Jubilee hold that purple ball of plastic…no clue.  If you figure it out, please e-mail me.  Otherwise, totally pointless accessory.

Overall

I feel like this wave is one killer character that everyone has been waiting ages for, and two characters that are a little bit more niche.  Jubilee falls into that category.  That said, Hasbro did a good job of duplicating the character in 3.75 inch scale.  The knee joint / right leg situation and the accessory are pretty big disappointments though.

Grade

Displayed but buried in the back ( 2 out of 5)

Blastaar

Packaging

Blabbity blabbity same packaging 2012 blabbity 2 figure card back blabbity.

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Paint

Blastaar has a nice sparkly blue unfiorm that really pops against his basic grey skin tone.  The white eyes against the scowling face are pretty creepy.

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Articulation

Blastaar is, or at least appears to be a figure based on the not often enough used Juggernaut mold.  Juggs was probably off of a another figures mold but I don’t feel like thinking that hard, so I’m stopping at him.  Regardless, Blastaar has all of the articulation of that big boy.  Hip swivels, ankle swivles, ankle tilt, slightly limited arm movement mainly due to size.  The head movement is limited by the more than accurate head hair.  Unlock the shoulder drapings on the Thanos figure, for Blastaar things are pretty well molded or glued down and you can’t separate it from his body.  Something to note, the left hand.  Those fingers are awesome.  Really long, really well defined.

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Character Likeness

The Blastaar body looks great, but let’s face it, it couldn’t have been that hard to pull off.  The face though.  Really just outstanding work Hasbro.  He looks mean, he looks evil, and he looks menacing.  His mane is spot on all around the face, especially around the ears.

Accessories

None here.

Overall

As stated with Jubilee, Blastaar is not a top tier Marvel character in any sense of the word, but there are people out there that love him as a character.  I could myself among those people.  He’s cosmic, and that’s my bag.  I’m really happy to have the character and I feel like they did a great job using the right buck, and they paid more than enough attention to the details of the head.

Grade

Displayed front and center (5 out of 5)

Wave 21 Summary

3 figures and we’re done.  That’s the biggest problem I see with this wave.  Then again, maybe we should be thankful.  If this wave was 5 figures, the other two could very well have ended up being Spider-Man, Iron Man or Wolverine.  I’ll take 3 never before seen in this scale figures over a five fig wave with throw ins and rehashes.  I’m a fan of all three figures and I’m a little sad about my disappointments with Jubilee. I can say it one more time. I hope the problem with the Jubilee right leg is only on the one I got.  It’d be a shame if it was an issue with that mold.  Get all three of these figures though, because if you don’t you’ll be missing great characters from your MU line.

 

Rating System:  Each figure will be reviewed under the following categories:
Packaging
Paint
Articulation
Accessories
Character Likeness
Overall:  Each 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.