Art Asylum and Diamond Select Toy's
Giant Sized X-Men and Magneto/Professor X two pack
words and photos by Jager
Art Asylum and Diamond Select Toys have given us a mutant fix with the release of Giant Sized X-Men six pack and the Magneto/Professor X two pack. These are fantastic replicas of their comic book counter parts. So settle in for a look at the hay-day of X-Men, when they wore flashy outfits and fought even flashier enemies.
I've been foaming at the mouth for these for a while now. These wonderful pieces of plastic are based on Giant Sized X-Men #1 where the world was introduced to Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, and Wolverine became an official X-Man. [Ed note: Wolverine appeared for the first time in Incredible Hulk #181] Besides those five, we're treated to Cyclops in his best costume (It's a uniform!); his blues with skull cap. In my opinion, this was one of the strongest line ups X-Men ever featured. We were introduced to the "fast ball special" where Colossus throws Wolverine at a foe, Storm's elemental powers hit the baddies from afar, Nightcrawler can get in and out of a fight before his opponent ever knew what hit him, Thunderbird may have had some issues, but having two "strong guys" on a team was great, and Cyclops was still whiny Scott, but really pulled it together and was a great leader. In my eyes, the only better team was the Blue team from Jim Lee and Chris Claremont's run in the early Nineties. But I digress...
The package is based on the cover of the comic, but stylized in the Minimate fashion. It looks great, and really makes it hard to throw away. It's clearly labeled with which figures you're getting, and they only come in this six pack, so there's no worries of getting doubles or never finding that Wolvie.
Piotr (Peter to the non-Russians in the house) has the same great metallic paint application that Silver Surfer sports. Only, there's a second app to give him his layers of metal. His top comes off to highlight the detail here, and call me a sicko, but I almost like him better without it. Also, with Colossus being dead, this may be the last figure of him. Fun fact: Colossus is not just a powerhouse. He has the heart of an artist.
As stated, here we have Scott in his original blues with skull cap. Originally, I was least interested in this figure, but once I saw him, he became a favorite. I love when a figure is just perfect, and this is just that. There isn't one thing wrong about his depiction. It's spot on. Upon removing his visor, his red eyes are exposed. They aren't "exploding" like the Ultimate version, but still look nice. Fun Fact: Cyclops' eye blasts aren't truly lasers that would burn a material. They emit a concussive blast.
The blue German has larger, two fingered hands, toes, and a removable tail! It's held in place between the torso and waist like the belts of previous Minimates. Now anyone can sport a tail, giving them one more hand to hold a beer. Fun Fact: Nightcrawler was a circus performer when Charley X found him, and now is an ordained priest!
Now that's some hair! Ororo looks great, but it is extremely hard to stand her up because she's super top/back heavy thanks to her hair. It's easily as big as she is in mass, if not bigger. I don't know what could have been done to prevent this while still giving her the trademark flowing locks, but it really is a downer. However, the paint application on the figure is spectacular. There's even a shine to her lipstick. Fun Fact: Storm was once worshipped as a goddess by her African tribe. Talk about a superiority complex!
Again, nice application of paint on this guy. Not much is known about this Native American because he was only around for a little while, but the artists at the Asylum have done him up right. His shoulder pads and almost Cro-Magnon head are removable. Fun Fact: Determined to prove himself as a true Apache warrior, Thunderbird ripped the evil Count Nefaria's jet to shreds while it was in the air. The unavoidable crash took his life. Nefaria however, teleported to safety.
This piece is the crown jewel of the set. Fans of X-Men have been waiting patiently (depending on which message board you visit) for Logan in his yellow and blues, and he was worth the wait. This is how many folks remember the Canuck looking, and he is perfect. The mask is removable, so fellow X-Men can feel what it's like to be the "best there is at what he does." Fun fact: Wolverine has been a samurai, a soldier in both World Wars, and a bartender.
A few problems
The biggest problem I have with this set is Storm's hair. It really hinders poseability and falls off constantly. Other than that, I noticed something with this line that flew under my radar before. When a figure has shoulder pads, they lose the use of the ball joint in their neck. They can twist but not tilt. This is a small problem, really, but one that bothers me. The final problem I find is that Colossus' and Wolverine's boots don't allow them to put their legs together. So they can only stand straight on one leg at a time. I don't know if a paint application like other's feet would have looked as nice, but I thought I should mention this.
Old Enemies, Older Friends
The Magneto/Professor X two pack appeals to me on many levels. The collector in me loves that the set was limited to 1000 pieces. The comic lover in me is giddy at the fact that I have the baddest of all baddies: Magneto! The Minimate addict in me is excited to have a working wheel chair and the first mate that is supposed to be bald. These two figures just look amazing.
The package resembles the current design, but still is interesting. It is clearly labeled as to what figures you're getting, but there's no mistake about it. If you got these guys, it wasn't by accident.
This on again off again enemy of the X-Men looks amazing. His cape, his paint application, his helmet...one, two, three punch! The cape and helmet both are removable, but the mantel of Master of Magnetism isn't one to be taken lightly. Fun Fact: This is the X-Men's first villain, appearing in X-Men #1 (original series).
Charles is another of those perfect figures. Every little thing is just right on this guy. His paint application is perfect, bringing the bottom of his jacket down to his waist from his torso. Also his neck peg was painted flesh tone. This is attention to detail. The good man's face is a perfect representation of the original Prof: pointy eyebrows and painted on ears! Also, it would be remiss of me not to mention that his wheel chair really rolls. It would have been so easy to make it without working wheels, but only the best for X-fans! His blanket and Cerebro are both removable, but the Professor doesn't recommend just anyone trying it on. Fun Fact: He was once the boy toy of the Shi'ar princess Lilandra, living on her planet for a time. Kirk's got nothing on this guy!
So now you know what you need for the X-Men collection of your dreams. Check out the images and think about the future... Peaceful coexistence or mutant domination?! Speaking of the future, you may think these outfits are campy, but keep your eye on the X universe over the coming months.
You can pick up both of these sets from ActionFigureXpress.com, and actually, the Professor X/Magneto two pack is sold only at ActionFigureXpress.com.
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