There’s few Marvel Legends offerings that have had me as excited as the Dark Phoenix and Cyclops set. Since it’s reveal at San Diego Comic Con 2016, it’s been one of my most anticipated Marvel Legends since the line started.
Toy Biz released underwhelming Cyclops and Dark Phoenix earlier and Hasbro released a stellar two-pack in its Marvel Universe line. But my collection was lacking without a superior version of my favorite Marvel character and his crazy corrupted girlfriend.
Packaging: There’s something about this two-pack presentation I like more than the standard Marvel Legends set up. It’s not that different from the regular packaging, but it’s more eye catching.
Despite the set being a two-pack, the side portraits just feature Dark Phoenix. Unlike most of the Marvel Legends packaging, this features the classic artwork from Bill Sienkiewicz’s graphic novel cover. That was the edition I read so I dig the nod to the old school twist. I would have loved for the other side to feature Cyclops from that same cover.
The inner lining features artwork from the comic where Phoenix sacrifices herself to save the galaxy. With maybe the exception of Supergirl’s death in Crisis, this is still the most effective comic book death for me.
The bio reads somewhat incomplete with a weird summation of Cyclops and Dark Phoenix’s connection. On a much better note — one I hope Hasbro incorporates in the line going forward — is the addition of an inspired by button with the iconic cover of Uncanny X-Men #136. This gives folks unfamiliar with the story something to track down to see how it played out.
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Likeness: I’m impressed with both head sculpts. Dark Phoenix looks so much better from the prototype. How often does that happen? The head really captures Jean Grey’s full transformation to the planet destroying Dark Phoenix. And the cruel smile really sells it nicely. The windswept hair is appropriate too since Dark Phoenix rarely walked around anywhere.
The Phoenix insignia on the belt should be the clasp that holds it together and the right hand got slightly warped in the packaging, but those are small nitpicks. This is a dramatic improvement on the Toy Biz figure.
Cyclops doesn’t get shortchanged on this end either. As much as I loved Toy Biz’s run, I hated pretty much every version of Cyclops. Hasbro delivered the iconic classic Cyclops figure I’ve always wanted. The gloves and boots aren’t ridiculously oversized, the belt isn’t tiny and the expression is perfect for the X-Men’s thoughtful tactician.
I appreciate the little touch of Cyclops’ left hand having the trigger the optic blast gesture. Like the Jim Lee version, you’ll need a little super glue to keep the belt in place.
Scale: Both characters are regular size. Cyclops might stand to be a little taller, but he’s not a shrimp thanks to the Bucky mold. The hair gives Dark Phoenix extra height, but she’s scaled properly.
Paint: My Cyclops has a slight problem with some blue from the cowl visible under the visor. That shouldn’t be the case, but it was an issue with the six sets I saw on shelves. If you can choose, pay close attention to the visor, which can be prone to some paint mishaps.
That’s the bad news. I love the shade of blue used for the costume, which also incorporates a comic accurate style of shading and wash. The visor has a cool gold color. That’s important since it’s not supposed to be a match for the uniform.
Dark Phoenix also sports a terrific paint job. Like Cyclops, the color choices are spot on. The darkened area around her logo definitely draws attention to the rising Phoenix. The head sculpt paint is excellent with subtle shading around her eyes.
Articulation: There’s no real surprises on the articulation front. Cyclops has no limitations on what he can do, but he’s not a gymnast like character like Spider-Man or Daredevil. The gesturing hand adds some useful personalization for Cyclops action scenes.
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double jointed)
Dark Phoenix benefits from wide open hands to show her power in action. The hair of course restricts some movement, but she is more of a power aiming character than a battling ninja hordes. I do wish she had the bicep swivels to allow for more pose options on the gesturing front.
Dark Phoenix has:
Accessories: Dark Phoenix wins out big time in this category. In addition to the perfect Dark Phoenix head, she has a slightly powered down head sculpt. The only difference is the lack of translucent hair and regular eyes.
The third is a completely neutral head sculpt. In his drawing guide, artist Dave Cockrum said Jean’s hairstyle should have more of a Farrah Fawcett-Majors cut. Ironically, both of Dark Phoenix’s extra heads are better suited for Phoenix. The head sculpt was the weakest aspect of that figure so I’m glad Hasbro issued a pair of make-goods quickly. And if you wanted, the calm expression hair also makes for a good Madeline Pryor head sculpt.
Additionally, Dark Phoenix has a small flame bird. I’m thrilled to see a new accessory that’s not the bubbles or sparkle clip effects.
Cyclops comes up short in this end. An unmasked head with ruby quartz glasses would have been a great accessory since that’s the only ‘missing’ part.
Worth it? The set runs $40. That’s the exact price of two standalone figures, who also come with a Build a Figure piece. Ideally, the set would be about $5 cheaper for a better value, but there’s no way I’m waiting on this approach clearance prices.
Rating: 9.7 out of 10
This rating is just for the hassle of trying to track down a correctly painted cowl/visor Cyclops. Once I get that, consider this bumped up to a 10. Hasbro is killing it right now and these long-awaited figures are better than I imagined.
Where to get it? This is a Toys R Us exclusive so that’s the only place you’ll find this set for now. Or you can go the Amazon route for a few extra dollars for those who don’t want to go the TRU route.