Hey everyone, hope you're having an awesome day wherever you may be. Thanks for stopping by for our newest review. We're looking at the Hasbro Marvel Legends X-Men Retro Dark Phoenix Action Figure. There was an original release of a version of this figure, along with Cyclops a number of years ago in a Toys R Us exclusive two-pack. To this day I regret not picking it up when I had the chance. BUT we've got this new Jean Grey, and this is a pretty solid figure, though not without faults.
Returning from a mission in space, Jean Grey is exposed to the deadly radiation of a solar flare, and briefly attains her ultimate potential as a telepath and telekinetic. Jean becomes a being of pure thought, and then re-forms herself upon return to Earth with the new costume, identity and power of Phoenix. It is with this incredible power that Jean repairs the fractured M'Kraan Crystal, but voluntarily restrains her powers afterward in order to keep them under control. Unfortunately, her powers and the potential she carries within soon make her a target for the villainous Mastermind. Bent on becoming a member of the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle, Mastermind as Jason Wyngarde begins a psychic seduction of Jean, using his own powers to convince her that she is reliving the memories of a distant ancestor, who was the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club and a lover of one of Wyngarde's ancestors. So real do these illusions seem, that Jean eventually accepts the Black Queen identity as her own and joins Wyngarde in the Hellfire Club. She helps the Hellfire Club capture the X-Men and upon seeing her true love, Cyclops, "killed" in a psychic battle with Mastermind, the hold over her is snapped. Unfortunately, this shock also destroys the rest of the psychic barriers Xavier had once put into place, unleashing the full power of the Phoenix force. The power is so overwhelming that Jean gives in fully, and Dark Phoenix is born. Enraged, she lashes out at Mastermind, using her powers to drive him insane. She then strikes down the X-Men and flees the planet. Unbeknownst to Jean, her powers do possess limits and on the edge of a distant galaxy, almost completely drained, she devours the energy of the nearby D'Bari star. This causes a supernova which kills the entire population of the only civilized planet in the star's orbit. This wanton destruction leads the Shi'ar, the Skrulls, the Kree and other intergalactic governments to declare that Phoenix is a greater threat than even Galactus and must die. The Dark Phoenix saga takes place in the pages of Uncanny X-Men, issues #129-#138. Chris Claremont and John Byrne enjoyed an immense amount of success working together on the X-Men, and for me this is still the definitive X-Men tale they ever created.
As with all of our reviews, readers familiar may jump ahead to our first category. For new readers, we look at four criteria: Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability before giving the figure an overall grade of zero to ten ToyBoxes. We do strive to be as objective as possible, so that you can make the best-informed decision as to whether or not you want to purchase the specific figure for your own collections.
The Dark Phoenix figure comes with one pair of fists, one pair of open/splayed finger hands and a small flaming Phoenix accessory. Of note is the way the bird is crafted. The small phoenix is molded in a translucent orange plastic with red paint highlighting the tops of its wings and head. I actually prefer this over the typical fire effects we get with figures of this power-set. To that end though, the loop through which Jean's wrist fits is a bit on the large side, causing the bird to tip over easily. I did end up sliding it a bit higher on her forearm and that kind of helped but made bending her elbow a bit more difficult. What's nice is that I have enough other fire effects, with which I can pose her. I actually really do like what she came with and feel that the extra hands are a good design for the character. I'm comfortable with giving Dark Phoenix a solid 8 out of 10 for accessories, limited in number as they might be.
This is a great looking figure, at first glance. I've seen pictures of the original two pack version and the reds are much darker on her costume and her hair isn't translucent as the previous was. There were two alternate heads packed with the original version, but we only get the one on this figure, with Dark Phoenix's features. There is a great wash over the hair, which gives dramatic depth to the sculpt and a very life-like sense of flowing/billowing hair. What is even more impressive are the paint apps on her face. The white eyes, surrounded by black liner and the dark/blood red lips give this Dark Phoenix a menacing air of danger. Even the sculpt of her face with just a hint of a malevolent smile is enough to inspire fear. The rest of her body has solid paint apps but, curiously, the emblem on her chest appears to be a decal. There is just the slightest difference in red and what appears to be an edge running along the top of the Phoenix crest. The tail section on her abdomen does appear to be painted on though. Even said, the emblem looks really good. I also really like the hint of gold on the phoenix emblem on her waist sash. It stands out well against the bright yellow and provides a nice contrast for the eye to see. I think, what most surprised me, was how clean the edges of the yellow on both legs and arms is. There is always a bit of a tendency for Hasbro to have some overspill or rough edges to lines, but these are super clean and look tremendous. Even with the decal look of the emblem, this is a really nice-looking figure and earns a well-deserved 9 out of 10.
Sadly, as with so many of the figures using this female body mold, there are some articulation issues. Starting up top, her hair prevents Dark Phoenix from looking up. She can look down somewhat, but the hair on the right side of her face limits that as well. Her head can look left very well, but you need to move the hair a bit to look to the right. Her shoulders raise out to a very nice T pose and can rotate a full 360 degrees. There is an upper bicep swivel which works very well and she has double-jointed, pinless elbows which bend all the way in, bringing her hand to her shoulder with ease. Each of the hands is on a hinged pin, allowing for both up and down movement and easy rotation. The diaphragm joint is situated in the upper torso and while she can turn side to side quite easily, there is very minimal side tilt and her crunch, both, forward and backward is limited to about one click each. As we know, this body has no waist swivel, which would have been nice and nicely hidden by her sash. Her legs can split reasonably well, but not as far as we'd like them to. The upper thigh cuts work fine and her knees, also pinless, bend in very nicely. Both ankles hinge and pivot easy enough and didn't cause me any problems right out of the box. I think what frustrates me most is that Hasbro has put together a very nice, and functional female figure in the G.I. Joe Classified line, so why can't this body mold be used in the Legends? Dark Phoenix is typical of most female Marvel Legends, so it should come as no surprise that she earns a 7 out of 10 for articulation.
I found my Hasbro Marvel Legends X-Men Retro Dark Phoenix on BBTS for $25.99. At present she is listed as a "Pre-Order", but I suspect that means they received some and were able to start filling orders. As this is par for the course for Legends and falls right into the typical pricing structure and range, I'm ok with what I paid. Sure, I'd like to have seen it for less, but at this point, the prices are what they are. That being said, she's an affordable addition to your Marvel Legend X-Men shelf and earns 7 out of 10 for affordability.
Overall, this figure is much more appealing than I expected. Even with the few issues mine had, I feel that this is a solid addition for those that may not have purchased the old two pack, back in the day. She is vibrant in color and appearance and really looks good with my other X-Men figures. I'm pleased to give the Dark Phoenix Action Figure an overall rating of:
8 out of 10 ToyBoxes
If you haven't ordered one yet and are a fan of the X-Men, I'd definitely suggest grabbing one for your own collection! See you soon when we take a look at the G.I. Joe Classified Series Snake Eyes and Timber (V.2). Until then... GEEK OUT!!!