Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Action Figure Review: X-Men Villains from Marvel Legends Series: X-Men by Hasbro


   Last month I was at one of my favorite local haunts, Needless Toys and Collectibles, and ended up finding a bunch of the new Marvel Legends Series X-Men stuff. I kind of went wild and grabbed the Banshee, Gambit, and Psylocke set, the Retro Collection Dark Phoenix, and the X-Men Villains 5-pack. This pack is a lot like the previous Amazon exclusive 5-packs but it's also been available on Hasbro Pulse and I found mine at a small shop that has a Hasbro account. This is an interesting set with a really random selection of characters, mostly B and C list villains. They're really not at all connected in any way other than Stryfe and Zero being part of the Mutant Liberation Front, so the theme is rather loose. Other than Stryfe and probably Pretty Boy, this is kind of a "Not quite ready for a main line retail Marvel Legends series players" kind of set. Still, for fans of the X-Men books of the 1980s and early 1990s, there are definitely some figures here that you'll want. I do have to admit that Stryfe and Pretty Boy were the biggest draws for me character-wise while Random was one I wanted just because he existed as a vintage Toy Biz figure. Let's make our way through this mishmash of mutant menaces after the break...

The Facts: Random

Height: 7 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, thigh swivels, balljointed hips, swivel waist, hinged mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/ hinge right wrist, hinged neck, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: None

The Facts: Zero

Height: 6 1/2 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball-jointed hips, swivel waist, hinged mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged neck, and a ball-jointed head.

Accessories: Portal and 4 interchangeable hands.

The Facts: Pretty Boy

Height: 6 1/2 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball-jointed hips, swivel waist, balljointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a barbell-jointed head.

Accessories: 2 pistols, 4 firing effects, and 4 interchangeable hands.

The Facts: Vertigo

The Height: 6 1/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed torso, swivel/ hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged neck, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: 4 swappable hands.
The Facts: Stryfe

Height: 7 1/8ths inches (not counting his helmet)

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball-jointed hips, swivel waist, hinged mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged neck, and a ball-jointed head.

Accessories: Cape and 4 interchangeable hands.

Non-Scalper Price: $125 dollars

The Positives:

* Let's start with Random, a mutant I know best simply because he appeared in the vintage Toy Biz X-Men toyline (though I don't think I owned him). He has been an antagonist for X-Factor, but he's not really a villain. He even joined X-Factor for a bit and helped Havok take down the re-formed Brotherhood of Mutants and rescue some of Dark Beast's experiments. He's a tough 90s guy bounty hunter who's made of protoplasm, so he can change his shape at will. His skin is white, he's incredibly muscular, and his left arm is a massive cannon like device. He's a cool looking figure in an extreme (x-treme?) 1990s way and he does look like a tough dude. Like a generic, tough biker extra. The vest is really nice; it's a separate piece, though not removable because of his cannon arm. 

* The headsculpt is very solid, definitely invoking the archetype of the early 1990s antihero. His bandanna and sunglasses look excellent. They're clearly separate pieces but they're permanently attached, so they sit just right. He's rocking some stubble, too, because Random's too busy kicking butt and taking name to shave. 

* Here's a shot of the back of Random so you can see the detail on his vest and the coil of barbed wire on his left bicep. That barbed wire is also a separate piece but, again, it won't slip off over Random's cannon arm. Remember when everyone was walking around in the early-mid 90's with barbed wire wrapped around their shoulders? What a time to be alive!

* Random does have some very cool tattoos, the first of which is a pretty gnarly looking rattlesnake. The paint/ printing is really good on this.

* There's a heart tattoo on Random's left bicep, complete with wings and a sword running through it. Oh, and he has a massive cannon arm. It's morphed into a three barreled cannon so he can shoot protoplasm bio-matter projectiles as his enemies. So he's literally shooting his own bio-matter? That's pretty out there. The cannons are hollow but there are no projectiles like the vintage toy had. 

* Killer boots, man! Seriously, Random's boots are pretty cool and definitely look like something a big, bad biker guy would wear. They've even got some metal studs on a cuff over the foot.

* Random's articulation, like most Marvel Legends figures, is pretty solid. Everything moves nicely with the shoulders being the only place having a more limited range of motion. He doesn't have any accessories to utilize but posing him firing his protoplasmic arm is entertaining. 

* Next up is Zero, the absolute plainest figure in this set. Heck, he might be one of the plainest Marvel Legends figures ever made. Zero is an ADAM (Ambient-Energy Dampening Actualization Module) Unit robot and was part of the Mutant Liberation Front. He can neutralize many types of weapons and create portals, a skill which helped the MLF teleport around at will. As a figure, he's pretty plain, but this is largely what the guy looks like: An all white body with a big 0 on his face and chest. He's a good bit brighter than he looks in my picture, but there's not much more to him. 

* Rather than just have a random face molded all in white, Zero does have a featureless face. Give him a hat and he'd look a bit like Rorschach, wouldn't he?

* Zero is the plainest dude around and his articulation is exactly what you'd expect from nearly any standard Marvel Legends figure. A nice range of motion, sturdy construction, and nothing to inhibit his movement.

* Zero comes with two sets of hands that swap easily: Some flat palms for gesturing/ opening portals and a set of fists for getting down and dirty with the New Mutants. 

* The coolest part about Zero is that he does come with a portal. It's a repainted portal from the deluxe Multiverse of Madness Doctor Strange figure, but it's molded in translucent yellow plastic with some black dots at the bottom, kind of a Kirby crackle effect. It definitely makes him more interesting, especially when you pose Zero as if he's walking through the portal. 

* Third up is Pretty Boy, one of the two figures that really sold me on the set. I love the Reavers (Bonebreaker has always been one of my favorites just because of the Toy Biz figure) and it's nice to finally have a pretty much complete crew with the arrival of Pretty Boy. Pretty Boy has had different appearances over the years but this figure is clearly based on one of his earlier appearances looks during the X-Men Outback era, after he pissed off Donald Pierce and has his head removed from a body. He's a cyborg with only his human head left; the rest is a robotic skeleton. He's an impressive and unique looking figure that appears to be almost completely new(just some reused arms, I believe). I'm sure Hasbro will reuse this sculpt at some point (maybe for some Ultron variant or something) but it fits Pretty Boy perfectly. There's some excellent detail and the "silver" plastic here doesn't have the swirly look that Hasbro sometimes uses, which is a big plus. There are bits of it, but it's just not as extreme as usual.

* Pretty Boy is often portrayed as handsome fellow, hence his nickname, but the headsculpt goes for a mixture of traditionally masculine and handsome with a bit of a greaser vibe. He definitely seems like he'd be a hit with the ladies. here's a lot of character in his face and his eyes are quite well done. Too bad he doesn't have an alternate head with the fiber optic filaments of his eyes extended. That would be crazy looking!

* Flip him around and you'll be impressed with his slender build. He's not as skinny as he probably should be, but he's slender enough to get the point across without being overly fragile or prone to warping just from standing. You know how the Star Wars: The Black Series IG-88 and IG-11 figures just wild overtime? It's nice that Hasbro avoided that. There's lots of riveted plates and panels all over Pretty Boy. I have a friend that tends to call everyone "pretty boy" when he's trash talking, but it has nothing to do with the Marvel character. He just thinks it's funny. 

* There's some nice painted wiring in the visible robotic trunk. Pretty Boy is definitely the most impressive figure in this set and the one that most easily could have been a main-line release. Yeah, even more than Stryfe. 

* Here's a closeup shot of Pretty Boy's legs which look pretty cool and robotic with pistons and such. 

* Pretty Boy also comes with two sets of hands: A pair of fists and a pair of pistol grips. 

* I don't really know anything about the Rose, a character who has a figure in the current Spider-Man Retro Collection series, but I was tempted by him because he has two very cool pistols and he looks like Snake Eyes from the G.I. Joe animated series in a tuxedo. Since Pony Pretty Boy comes with the pistols, I think I'll skip the Rose for now. Check out this gun! It's a really cool pistol with a substantial box suppressor and sleek, modern construction. This thing is awesome!

* The second pistol is a different version of this with a sight on top and an extended magazine. the sculpt is really sharp on both pistols and they both look phenomenal. 

* Pretty Boy comes with two green blast effects which can plug into the barrels for laser blasting action!

* He also gets two barrel smoke effects, also done in green. That's unique. These have to be some sort of laser weapons, though they look realistic enough that you could use them as standard, good ol' fashioned bullet firing pistols, too. 

* With his spindly limbs and thinner torso, Pretty Boy can take some fairly extreme poses. His articulation isn't anything much different than a regular Marvel Legends figure but the thinner body and limbs do allow for a somewhat better range of motion.

* I've been watching through the original X-Men animated series recently, hoping to finish it up before X-Men '97, and a few weeks ago I saw Vertigo on there, though she was wearing a green and pink costume rather than white and green. This outfit is awesome, though, and has a really cool, really funky look to it. She's using one of those standard bodies that we've seen many times over, but it works and the bright paint applications help to differentiate it from the rest of the characters using it. Those swirls are neat and clean, too. 

* Is Vertigo usually this unbelievably cute? I don't remember her typically portrayed like this, but I'm OK with it. There's just something about the Savage Land, huh? She really does have lovely features and gorgeous printing on her eyes and lips. That green hair is pretty sweet as well. I'm really liking it!

* The pattern on Vertigo's costume goes all the way around her body and, like I said before, the paint work is really neat and clean here. Those swirly green lines really look pretty fantastic.

* I'm definitely repeating myself, but the articulation is just fine with Vertigo, too. Her arms are of the pinless variety, so clearly a newer sculpt. She moves just fine and her articulation is unimpeded by any capes or cloaks or such. She's loose and free, baby. 

* She also comes with two sets of hands! A pair of fists and a pair of gesturing hands, perhaps intended to represent her using her powers to cause nausea and dizziness on her foes. 

* Stryfe was a figure I really wanted but the previous release was a hard to find Toys 'R Us exclusive that has been notoriously pricey. I remember getting Stryfe on Christmas Eve of 1992, along with quite a few other Toy Biz X-Men and X-Force figures on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, including Deadpool, G.W. Bridge, and Gideon. I've always liked the guy just because of the toy with his cool helmet that revealed his likeness to Cable. This guy is pretty much the Toys 'R Us release, just with slightly different colors and a new head. The body is really cool, though, with a crazy, armored up appearance that only a child of the early 90s could love. I love the metallic blue armor he's sporting underneath his silver armor and, of course, he's covered with spikes. He looks like the Shredder meets Galactus!

* The headsculpt is new and it looks pretty intimidating. That is a huge helmet! The helmet is clearly a separate piece, though sadly it is not removable. It's permanently attached to the portrait. Hopefully we'll get an X-Force retro collection series at some point with a more Toy Biz inspired Cable, complete with face revealing helmet and a big ol' mace. 

* Check out those shoulder spikes and the crazy way his cape swoops up over his shoulders. When you're a clone of Nathan Summers from the far future, you can dress however you want, apparently. 

* He's also sporting blades on his boots and spikes on his thigh armor. I'm surprised no one tried to copy his costume for Black Friday shopping back when insane doorbusters were still a thing and people battled to the death over DVD players. 

* Here's a shot of his crimson cape from the back. 

* Stryfe doesn't come with any weapons, which is a real shame. He does have some swappable hands, though: A pair of grappling hands and a pair of fists. 

* He's a bigger guy, an older mold, and he has a cape that impedes his movement a bit, but the articulation is still pretty good. It's still a very "modern" Marvel Legends build and everything moves nicely. Not as smooth as most newer sculpts, but nothing to hate on. He feels pretty substantial, too, with some real heft to him. 

The Negatives:

* Random is usually portrayed as a pretty big guy. Like, oversized. Zero is a pretty normal sized...robot. Random doesn't really look that much larger than him. Honestly, Random being smaller kind of disappointed me. I was hoping for him to be quite a bit bigger and bulkier.

   This set is interesting because of the diverse character choices, though at the same time it doesn't really build a specific team or anything. Still, four of these characters are new to Marvel Legends, so that's a big plus. While you're paying the now standard $25 per figure for the set (with no BAF parts), that's actually better than the over standard price we've been seeing with most of Hasbro's boxed sets these days. Pretty Boy is clearly the star of the show here and the best figure in the lineup, but Stryfe and Random are also excellent figures, though with their own quirks that bring things down a bit (Stryfe's lack of a weapon and Random's smaller size). Vertigo is a nice enough figure but needed some extra effects or something to make her more interesting while Zero's effects piece is cool, but he's just a boring figure. Overall, this is a Good and a 1/2 set. Now that I'm mostly only collecting X-Men in Legends, I'm more excited about going deeper, but not everyone is going to care that much about this crew and there's no figure that's just cool enough or a big enough draw to sell the set on its own. This set will either drop in price and go on clearance at some point and I'll kind of regret not waiting or Hasbro underproduced it knowing it's kind of iffy, and it'll be like some of the other recent X-Men sets and will skyrocket. 

These are the first figures of Pretty Boy, Random, Stryfe, Vertigo, and Zero that I've reviewed. For more Marvel Legends Series reviews check out the following:
Marvel Legends Series by Hasbro (2016)

Marvel Legends Series: Avengers by Hasbro
Yelena Belova

Marvel Legends Series: Black Panther by Hasbro (2017)
Black Panther 

Marvel Legends Series: Black Widow by Hasbro (2020)
Black Widow: Deadly Origin
Marvel Legends Series: Captain America by Hasbro (2016)
Black Panther
Demolition Man (Mercenaries of Mayhem)
Nick Fury 

Marvel Legends Series: Captain Marvel by Hasbro (2019)
Captain Marvel

Marvel Legends Series: Deadpool by Hasbro (2018)
Deadpool (Boxers)
Deadpool (X-Force)
Lady Deadpool 
X-23 (X-Force)
Marvel Legends Series: Doctor Strange

Marvel Legends Series: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) 
Marvel Legends Series: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021)
Baron Zemo

Marvel Legends Series: Fantastic Four (2017)
Mr. Fantastic
Marvel Legends Series: Gamerverse
Civil Warrior

Marvel Legends Series: Guardians of the Galaxy by Hasbro (2017)
Groot Evolution

Marvel Legends Series: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 by Hasbro (2017)
Gamora (Daughters of Thanos)
Nebula (Daughters of Thanos)
Rocket Raccoon & Groot

Marvel Legends Series: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 by Hasbro (2023)
Marvel Legends Series: The Infinity Gauntlet by Hasbro (2021)
Marvel Legends Series: The Infninity Saga by Hasbro
Captain Marvel & Rescue Armor

Marvel Legends Series: Inhumans by Hasbro (2017)
Marvel Legends Series: Ironheart by Hasbro (2021)
Marvel Legends Series: Iron Man by Hasbro  
Vault Guardsman

Marvel Legends Series: The Punisher by Hasbro (2019)
The Punisher (Walgreens Exclusive)
Marvel Legends Series: She-Hulk by Hasbro

Marvel Legends Series: Silk by Hasbro
Silk and Doc Ock

Marvel Legends Series: Silver Surfer by Hasbro (2018)
Silver Surfer

Marvel Legends Series: Spider-Man by Hasbro
King in Black: Knull and Venom

Marvel Legends Series: Super Villains by Hasbro (2021)

Marvel Legends Series: The Unbelievable Gwenpool by Hasbro (2018)

Marvel Legends Series: Thor by Hasbro

Marvel Legends Series: Thor: Love and Thunder by Hasbro (2022)
Mighty Thor

Marvel Legends Series: Typhoid Mary by Hasbro (2018)
Typhoid Mary

Marvel Legends Series: Venom by Hasbro (2018)
Marvel Legends Series: WandaVision by Hasbro (2021)
Marvel Legends Series: What If? by Hasbro (2021)


  1. Great set. Glad they keep adding Reavers!

  2. I actually picked up this set and the Forge/Storm/Jubilee 3-pack last time they had a big Pulse sale. At 35% off, this was a phenomenal buy.

    1. Yeah, you definitely got a nice deal there. I must have missed that sale.


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