By Miguel Acuña
When you think of famous comic book characters, there are few who are SO iconic that they transcend beyond comic books and bleed into so many other forms of media. There are the major hitters such as DC’s trinity (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) and now, due to MCU, most of the Avengers. However, when you think of classic X-Men mutants, there is most likely only one short angry Canadian that comes to mind. Wolverine made his full debut in Hulk # 181. Since then, he’s been in comics, TV, movies, video games, and of course…toys. Sadly, one of Wolverine’s original co-creators, Len Wein, passed away on September 10th, 2017. Len also co-created other fan-favorite X-Men, such as Nightcrawler, Storm, Colossus, and Swamp Thing for DC. His legacy continues in his many beloved characters and the many stories he has worked on as well. Despite this tremendous loss, I say that we remain as resilient as James Howlett and celebrate Len’s contribution to the comic book community and geek culture as a whole, with a review of Marvel Legends’ Brown Suit Wolverine from the Juggernaut Build-A-Figure wave. Rest in peace, Len.
Round One – Packaging & Accessories
Packaging – If you’re a long time reader of the Toy Box reviews, then you are familiar with classic Marvel Legends style of packaging. Window box packaging showcasing the figure, accessories and build-a-figure piece. The art on the sides features this classic version of Wolverine. On the back, there’s a photo of the figure, a read up on Wolverine, and the full lineup of the other figures in this wave, as well as the piece of Juggernaut that comes with each one. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Marvel has done great with this kind of packaging, which helps casual fans see what else they can look for, and helps collectors keep their figure mint in box for display or resale. Hopefully, other mass market companies can learn from Marvel’s example. 7/10
Accessories – The old Canucklehead comes with some long overdue accessories and a huge miss when it comes to this kind of figure. The positive is that he for once (at least to my knowledge in a Marvel Legends) comes with a set of hands with his claws completely retracted as well as giving you the option to remove specific claws. This means that you can have Wolverine with 1 claw out or 3 claws out or all his claws out. Tons of options for any specific look you’re hoping to recreate. That being said, as every claw can be removed, did we actually need another set of retracted claw hands? Instead of this alternate set, I would have MUCH rather preferred an alternate head, which is something we’ve seen with many Marvel Legends figures. We’ll get into the sculpt later, but it would have been perfect to get an angry face, a cowl-down head, or even a smirking Logan. Aside from this, we got the build-a-figure piece which was Juggernaut’s head. The figure loses some points for a major oversight when it comes to accessories and extras, but does get credit for finally including removable claws for a Wolverine figure. Removable claws should be the standard for any version of Wolverine, just like multiple hands should be the standard for any Spider-man character. Just makes sense. 6.5/10
Round Two – Paint, Sculpt, and Articulation
Paint – Wolverine’s classic brown costume is simple but also very iconic for him. The paint job uses the perfect hue for both the yellow and brown. The colors are so perfect, you almost think for a second that this figure would actually smell like something manly…like sandalwood or leather. The lines are clean and sharp for the most part. There are spots where the paint does slightly bleed and smudge, but there is a lot of attention to detail that can be appreciated. The points where Wolverine’s claws retract are painted silver, his belt buckle is orange gold, and boots have a subtle but nice black sole and stripe, as opposed to just an all over brown. There is only a couple of small gripes. One being that this is Wolverine, he’s a manly, tough, hairy dude. In the previous brown suit Wolverine from Marvel Legends under Toy Biz, they painted on small hairs to his forearms. In this iteration, he’s pretty clean cut. It’s a small detail that definitely could have been added. The second small request would just have been the addition of some shadowing to help create depth as opposed to the TOO clean look of a flat costume. 7.5/10
Sculpt – Sometimes a company sculpts a figure so well, it feels like it’s jumping off the pages of your favorite comic. Many companies have made a Wolverine figure but what is inexplicably overlooked is his height. Wolverine is a very intimidating character who many villains will never fight directly, but what makes this even more impressive is that he’s only 5’3. This means that at 5’3, Wolverine is shorter than Sisqo, Michael J. Fox, and Charlie Chaplin, who are all 5’4. This figure reflects that. Instead of making him as tall as other characters, this figure is in scale as a tiny Canadian. Side by side to other figures in the line, he comes to just around their neck or chest. This size makes him perfect for fastball special if you have the Marvel Legends Colossus or Marvel Select Colossus. As briefly touched upon in the accessory section, the sculpt on the face is a very serious Logan. While Wolverine is a pretty serious guy, more often than not, he’s genuinely pissed off. If we were going to get a single sculpt for the face, it would have been better to get a Wolverine with the already sculpted angry/snarling face. 9/10
Articulation – This figure comes with better than average articulation for a Marvel Legends figure, but nothing we haven’t seen before. He has a ball and socket neck joint with a hinge, ball hinges on the shoulders, butterfly joints on his shoulders as well for those deep Wolverine poses, double jointed elbows and knees, hinged and swivel wrists, ball jointed hips, thigh cuts, boot cuts, and ankle rockers. All of this helps to get the closest kind of poses without having the insane articulation of a Figuarts figure. 8.5/10
James Howlett is one of those characters that has had so many variations that he could easily fill up multiple waves of figures. Between the X-Force version, Weapon X version, or my personal favorite, 1st appearance kitty whiskers version, he has had almost as many costumes as Spider-Man. The previous version of the brown suit was seen when Toy Biz held the Marvel Legends license and that figure was pretty amazing. However, modern engineering has turned that favorite a step closer to absolute perfection. Recently it was announced at the official Hasbro Convention (HasCon) that we will be seeing an updated version of the classic 90’s era yellow and blue suit Wolverine! All we need know is kitty whiskers 1st appearance, and my collection will be complete. He’s been out for a while now and is relatively harder to find. Your best bet would be unfortunately on the secondary market (eBay) for around double the price. Wolverine is the best at what he does, and what he does is making bank for Marvel. Check out the full gallery below! 8/10
So, until next time, and there will be a next time, enjoy the hunt!