Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Marvel Universe X-Factor (X-Men) Collector Pack - Toys R Us Exclusive

This item wasn't an SDCC exclusive, it was just available there first.  This Toys R Us exclusive set, similar to last year's Giant Sized X-Men Anniversary set, is now available on the TRU website and will soon be in retail stores.  Is it worth $45?  See for yourself after the jump.

The packaging for this set isn't quite as nice as last year's GSX set.  There's no fold-up flap, no replica comic book art, it's basically just a large window box, with an over-sized version of the generic cosmic-y background used in multiple colors in the Team 3-Packs.  This packaging isn't going to win any awards, and isn't very collector-focused.  So if you're going to spend the money on this set, you might as well right it open and at least enjoy the figures.

This is about the 83rd version of Cyclops we've seen in this line.  He uses the same buck as most of the rest of'em, but this time they gave him forearms and lower legs without the cuffed boots and gloves.  All in all, nice to have him in this costume, but if I get one more version of Cyclops on this buck, I might punch something.  Especially since now the new and improved Cyclops buck is in use.

This is also far from the first version of Jean on this buck.  Hasbro has once again proven that they can recycle this head sculpt.  And what I said above about the Cyclops buck goes double for this one.  I don't understand why Hasbro is still uses this crappy female body mold when they have a superior version readily available.  Still, it's a new costume for a major character, so I can't complain too much, but it almost feels unjustifiable at this point.

This is the third time we've gotten Iceman on this body, and to be honest, this is the worst deco of the three, being cast in clear plastic, but then painted in areas to be opaque, including the face.  Check out the straight line across the top of the face where he just goes from being solid to clear.  That's just plain lazy.  And didn't we just get a single carded version of this character (IN HIS X-FACTOR UNIFORM!?) single-carded late last year?  Further adding to the disappointment, this figure doesn't include the updated legs with thigh swivels shown in some early press shots of this set.  Nope, they're still the same old legs.  The only new, and slightly redeeming, thing about this figure is the power-inhibiting, WWE world lightweight championship belt.

Ok, so that was the half of the set that sucks.  Now, the good half.

Mr. Sinister, despite not even fitting into this set, is actually pretty nice.  He's a repaint of the comic pack version that came out late last year, but it looks a lot better in person than I thought it would.  I would have preferred that this set included Beast instead of this figure, but this figure doesn't suck.

Apocalypse was another surprise hit in this set for me.  I was, and still am, disappointed that Apocalypse wasn't retooled to more accurately represent his classic look, BUT, this paint job does look really, really good on the figure.  Again, not exactly what I would have preferred for the set, but I'm not actually disappointed.  He's just a repaint of the single-carded version from last year, but I think I actually like this paint job better.

Angel is the real star of this set, though.  He's the only figure with new tooling (other than Iceman's wrestling belt).  The funny thing is, he's a repaint (or a pre-paint?) of the upcoming Wave 20 figure, but because Hasbro's release schedule got so messed up this year, this set beat the carded version to the shelves.  This actually made this set more desirable, at least for me.  I've been looking forward to this figure since he was revealed last year, and with the two variants of the carded release apparently planned (red and blue costumes), this is actually the third costume variant for this figure.

The upper torso, head, and left "flying" hand are all new, as well as the wings.  The wings are just as awesome as I hoped they would be, featuring a swivel in the "elbow" of the wing, plus the hinges at the base of the wings.  This design looks much better and provides better poseability than the Archangel figure's design.  This figure also uses the upper thigh swivel, plus all the other standard MU articulation, so he's plenty poseable.  The only thing he lacks, which I found to be disappointing, is a hinge in the neck to allow him to look up in a flying pose.  Especially considering that the upper torso mold is all new.  But other than that, he is an awesome figure, and very fun to pose.  The sculpt on the wing feathers is great.  Lots of detail.  The paint job is nice and solid, too.  No noticeable blemishes or smudges.

Over all, this set has just as many losers as it does winners.  If you're a die-hard fan of the original X-Factor series, this set will probably appeal to you much more, but just on the basis of the quality of the figures, $45 seems like a stiff price to swallow.  Angel rocks, Apocalypse is great, and if you don't already have a Mr. Sinister, this one is also pretty awesome.  But Cyclops, Jean and Bobby are forgettable.  If you can wait (probably a few more months), the best figure in this set will be available single-carded (just with a different paint job).  If you can't wait, or if you really care about these costumes/paint jobs for the characters, pick this set up at your own risk.