When Hasbro revealed the Age of Apocalypse lineup, the one figure that left me underwhelmed was X-Man. Not because I hate the character, but he doesn’t fit into the normal “play pattern” of a theme wave since he’s away from the X-Men for most of the arc. With none of his crew getting released X-Man is an odd inclusion. I would have happily swapped this take of Cable out for AOA Iceman, Sabretooth or Rogue.
This is the figure in the wave I’m not thrilled about, but he’s the only one left as I wait for a hopefully better painted Jean Grey and Sunfire to ship from Hasbro Pulse. Let’s see if the figure blows me away so much I forget I was meh on his debut.
Packaging: I like the uniform look of the packaging from the background image of Apocalypse and the vibrant art by David Nakayama. His bio is OK, but as usual isn’t the most detailed.
Likeness: Hasbro tends to avoid sculpting figures specific to any one artist, but I can definitely see X-Man artist Steve Skroce in this headsculpt. That carries through to the fiery translucent eye effect.
I feel like X-Man was rarely drawn with his jacket resting at his sides as it always seemed flared open. I think the jacket is new as it has the appropriate ribbed pattern and trio of buckles. This will be easier for reuse, but I would have liked a more extreme 90s take on the jacket with the raised collar and flared bottom.
The outfit is missing the two torso straps with gold buckles. It was a random design element, but it was part of his costume. It’s odd that Hasbro did the collar and neglected that unless they were worried about hindering the articulation.
The only thing off with the headsculpt is the hair, which is cut shorter than Nate wore it during AOA. This seems to confirm that Hasbro was trying to “cheat” in putting Nate with the AOA line while this is more of his regular 616 appearance, which lacked the torso straps and featured shorter hair.
I didn’t read that book for long, but it seems weird to include him in an AOA wave and not have his AOA look. Of course this could have largely been addressed with an alternate AOA headsculpt.
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Paint: Nate has a lot of yellow in his costume. That has been the bane of Marvel Legends painters for years so it wasn’t shocking that the yellow paint apps were so weak throughout from the jacket cuffs, the zipper and collar. At least it’s consistent.
Scale: Since he was away from the standard X-Men during the storyline it’s hard to gauge his appropriate height. In the 616, he seemed about the same height as Spider-Man while slightly more muscular. The jacket makes him look buffer than he is, but he’s not a giant.
Articulation: Nate was your basic projectile fighter who kept his opponents at a distance. I really appreciate the gesturing left hand as it’s very fitting for X-Man’s fighting style. He’s using at least the lower half of the often imitated, never duplicated Bucky Cap mold so you know what kind of articulation he’s got — just fine for a gesturing attacking hero.
- ball-jointed shoulders
- elbow (double-jointed)
- wrist hinge
- knees (double jointed)
Accessories: Keeping the theme for this wave, X-Man doesn’t come with any accessory for himself. I hope that’s not something that becomes standard even with complex and detailed BAFs like this one.
He does come with another set of arms for the Build-A-Figure Sugar Man.
Worth it? X-Man was never my favorite of the AOA characters, but I am definitely in the minority in terms of his figure popularity. He seems to be a quick seller along with Sunfire so if you can grab him for the regular $20 go for it.
He’s not a bad value, but he’s not the steal that some other figures have been over the years or even if this wave (Dark Beast) at that price point.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Sloppy paint aside this is a good 616 version of X-Man, but he’s a bit of an annoying inclusion in the Age of Apocalypse line.
Where to get it? This wave has hit retail and if your areas are opened back up for a hunt try Targets and Wal-Mart. You can also find him on Entertainment Earth, Hasbro Pulse and Amazon.