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Let's Discuss: Hasbro Marvel Legends Wolverine 50th Anniversary "Patch and Joe Fixit" Action Figure Two Pack

Wow... it's been FIFTY YEARS since everyone's favorite hairy Canucklehead debuted within the pages of Incredible Hulk. Admittedly, his first appearance was in October 1974, but this is a year-long celebration of arguably one of the most storied and popular characters ever from Marvel. Logan's history is so rich and wrapped in mystery, with bits and pieces tantalizingly revealed over the years which, I think, is what makes him such an enduring character. We'll begin our own celebratory kick off by taking a look at the Marvel Legends 50th Anniversary Two Pack: Patch and Joe Fixit.

The transformation of Wolverine into Patch following the "Fall of the Mutants" storyline was a strategic and narrative-driven move that allowed for deeper exploration of the character. By adopting the Patch persona, Wolverine could continue his fight against evil in a new and challenging environment, further solidifying his status as one of Marvel's most dynamic and enduring characters. In the new Wolverine solo series (Wolverine #1 1988) Logan travels to the island nation of Madripoor. To blend in and operate under the radar, Wolverine adopts the guise of "Patch." This new identity is visually marked by Wolverine wearing a white suit and a simple eye patch over his left eye. Despite the minimal disguise, it surprisingly worked in the context of the story. Wolverine wanted to operate without attracting the attention of enemies or authorities who might recognize him. The eye patch and alias helped create a separate persona. As Patch, Wolverine became a figure in the criminal underworld of Madripoor, allowing him to gather intelligence and take on missions that required a more subtle approach compared to his usual direct and aggressive methods. The Patch persona provided a narrative device to delve into Wolverine's skills as a detective, his strategic mind, and his ability to navigate morally grey environments without relying on his superhero reputation.

Where Wolverine's transformation to Patch was born of necessity, The Joe Fixit identity is an example of one of the many Hulk personas residing within Bruce Banner's psyche. The Gray Hulk first appeared in "The Incredible Hulk #1" (1962) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, but the character was initially green after the first issue due to printing issues. The Gray Hulk reemerged in "The Incredible Hulk #324" (1986) by Al Milgrom and Steve Geiger. This transformation was a result of Hulk's body chemistry and psychological factors influenced by the gamma radiation that created him. In "The Incredible Hulk #333" (1987) by Peter David, Bruce Banner and the Hulk are separated into two distinct beings by Doc Samson. This separation leads to the Hulk taking on a new life and identity without the direct influence of Bruce Banner's personality. The Gray Hulk's cunning and less powerful persona allowed for a new kind of storytelling. He ends up in Las Vegas, a city where his unique traits could thrive. The Gray Hulk adopts the identity of Joe Fixit, a morally ambiguous enforcer working for a Las Vegas casino owner named Michael Berengetti. Joe Fixit becomes a prominent figure in the criminal underworld, known for his strength and ruthless efficiency. Joe Fixit is more intelligent yet far weaker when compared to the Savage Hulk. He enjoys the pleasures of life, such as wealth and women, and exhibits a morally gray attitude, often operating as an anti-hero rather than a traditional superhero. The concept worked, showing the Hulk could be more than just a mindless, rampaging brute. One of the interesting facets of this version was the change in how he transformed from Banner to Joe Fixit. Initially, the Gray Hulk's transformations were linked to the night. Bruce Banner would transform into the Gray Hulk at sunset and revert back to Banner at sunrise. This nocturnal schedule mirrored the classic werewolf trope and added a layer of complexity to Banner's struggles. During the day, Bruce Banner remained in his human form, vulnerable and devoid of the Hulk's power. This created a distinct dichotomy between Banner's life and the Gray Hulk's activities. The triggers for transformation were not solely based on the time of day. Psychological stress, anger, and other intense emotions could also influence the transformation process, albeit less predictably than with the Savage Hulk. Over time, the transformations of the Gray Hulk became more erratic, influenced by various factors, including Banner's psychological state and physical condition.

Now we have them in plastic form, based on their appearance on the cover of Wolverine #8, from 1989.

Accessories: 6/10

Both figures come with alternate head sculpts and hands. Patch has a scowling head sculpt and another with a smirk on his face. He has fists and clawed fists. Joe Fixit comes with a frowning head sculpt and an enraged, mouth snarling sculpt. He has a pair of fists, one open hand and one trigger finger hand. I'm going to try to find a weapon to fit that massive mitt. I get that there really aren't any other pieces of gear that these guys need, but still, maybe relaxed hands or a snarling Patch face would have been good additions.

I do like the attention to detail on the head sculpts though, as you can see here:

I'll get more into the appearance here shortly, but these are some very good-looking designs and paint applications.

Appearance: 9/10

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, simple is elegant. Having these two characters in "James Bond" style white and black tuxedos emphasizes the different natures of the characters. Patch, undercover, is functioning as the "spy" in this story, manipulating Joe Fixit into being his muscle. Of course, Joe Fixit is designed to be a mobster enforcer, so naturally he'll be decked out and looking dapper. The bodies themselves are very simple, white coats and shirts with black bow ties over black slacks and dress shoes. The sculpting is identical, with both characters featuring a single button fastened on their coats. Aside from size, the other noticeable difference is in the shoes. Wolverine's shoes are devoid of pattern, just simple black dress shoes, where Joe Fixit is sporting glossy black wingtips, with more sculpted detailing. I initially thought Patch's claws were the same spindly, skinny things we've got on older Wolverine figures. However, after looking at them more closely, I think they are the same as was used on the movie figures. These seem to be much sturdier, which is an improvement. The true gems though are the two head sculpts. As I showed above, the facial features are sculpted and painted very well. Starting with Patch, the skin tones match nicely on his face, neck, and hands. I do like the color on his lips as well as the eye application. Sometimes, we get eyes that are crooked, or off-center, but both head sculpts have the visible eye looking straight ahead. The hair sculpt is traditional Wolverine and overall mirrors the look of the Patch alter ego exceptionally well. Joe Fixit looks even better! There is a blue wash/dry brush to the hair, which gives it a nice, comic accurate look. The facial features are very nicely sculpted, conveying the expressions with ease. The frowning head has a nice black wash, giving the face depth and sharing frustration, boredom, and even confusion depending on how you want to view the face. The angry face shares the same blue dry brush to the hair and black wash over the face. The teeth and mouth look incredible. The white paint on the teeth is applied very cleanly without any overspray or smudge and the tongue is a bright red, showing just enough to break up the grey and white monotones of the face. The angry look is menacing which helps given the limitations to articulation.

Articulation: 4/10

Sadly, the weakest point of this two pack is the articulation for both figures. The jackets hinder both figures ability to pose effectively which is disappointing. Looking first at Patch, his head can look up, down, turn side to side, and has a good level of tilt. The shoulders can raise to a T pose and rotate a full 360 degrees. The bicep swivel works fine and the elbows, which are pin less and double-jointed, can bend in very deeply. The hands rotate and hinge easily enough. The torso, however, is shot, because of the jacket. The crunch functions, but the stiffness of the coat causes it to straighten. The waist swivel works, thankfully, but is still susceptible to resistance from the coat. His legs can split to just a bit beyond 45 degrees but cannot kick forward very high due to the coat. He does have a thigh cut, which works, and the double-jointed knees can bend deep enough to bring his heel to his back. The ankles are hindered in both hinge and pivot due to the cut of the pants cuffs but can still move somewhat. Joe Fixit suffers from the same issues, but with the added restriction of not being able to look down. His head will look up, turn, and tilt, though not as much as Patch. His shoulders have the same range, T pose and 360-degree rotation, but he has single jointed elbows, which only bend to about 90 degrees and feature rotation at the joint. His hands will rotate and even though they can hinge, the cuffs limit the range. As with Patch, the torso articulation is minimized due to his coat. The waist swivel works, which is helpful for posing. His legs cannot split more than 45 degrees and the forward kick is very minimal as well. The thigh cut works fine, but the single jointed knees are a disappointment. They'll bend maybe 90 degrees and as with the elbows, have a rotation feature. The ankles are very limited and will basically hinge upward one click. For as nice as these figures look, posing is going to be significantly limited, which means they'll likely just be display figures with maybe the occasional photography opportunities.

Affordability: 5/10

I picked mine up online from BBTS for $59.95. The other 50th Anniversary two packs seem to be going for about $10 less, so of course, the assumption is the size of Joe Fixit raised the price. Breaking the two down individually, Patch would likely retail at around $25, which puts Fixit in the $35 range. I struggle to give this a good price rating simply because both figures have so many problems in terms of both accessories and articulation. While these are nice looking, I can't say they are worth the price tag.

Overall, in terms of ratings, the Marvel Legends 50th Anniversary Patch and Joe Fixit Two Pack earns:

6 out of 10 ToyBoxes

While these are nice figures, unless you are a Wolverine or Hulk collector, they may not be worth the investment. Sure, they'll look nice on the display stand, but as far as doing any dynamic posing for photography, there's not much you'll get from them. In my opinion, they are slightly above average at best, but nothing to create a sense of urgency to track down.

Thank you, as always, and until next time... GEEK OUT!!!


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