I was blown away by The Dark Phoenix saga and chased down all the trades and Classic X-Men issues I could find. The second iteration of the team will always be my favorite. Hasbro has dutifully knocked out various other teams so I’ve had to be patient with my squad. Earlier this year, two of the three remaining members of the Giant Sized X-Men team were revealed with Storm and Thunderbird in a two-pack. The kicker was it was a Target exclusive that lasted all of 30 seconds (if that) on their website.
After a slew of pre-orders during PulseCon, I decided to head out to a Target that had the two-pack in stock and thankfully I don’t have to play the Target stalking game for this set. There was plenty of anticipation for Storm (and Thunderbird), let’s see if it delivers.
Packaging: With their two-packs, Hasbro does a great job of going with subtle themes every year. Last year the X-Men had a neon blue, pink and yellow. I like the grey and gold color scheme as it channels the Cerebro chamber. And it showcases the figures well.
John Tyler Christopher’s amazingly lifelike art is gorgeous really reflecting the heritage of the characters. I do wish there were some kind of bio write up on the back though.
Likeness: Thunderbird wasn’t around long, but he had one of the cooler costumes. The fringes on his biceps and boots are scaled properly, but they’ll need a drop of superglue to stay in place. His belt turned out very nice as well.
I really like his portrait. It looks focused like he’s about to go off on ‘ol One Eye again. His hair is faintly windswept but not too dramatic. Some collectors don’t love how high his head sits atop the neck. It’s not too noticeable to me, but there is an issue with the neck I’ll get to when I discuss the paint applications. There’s some controversy about the placement of the feathers.
X-Men artist Dave Cockrum drew them sticking up. The Marvel Directory shows him without them. As always I’d defer to the artist who drew the character the longest. By default that’s Cockrum so it would’ve been nice to reflect his take.
Storm was the focus obviously. After the lengthy wait Hasbro needed to get this figure right. For the most part I’m happy with how she turned out.
Let’s stick with the default out of the package version. I’ll break down the accessories in a moment.
Hasbro probably could have used a thicker body for Storm. The Hasbro sculptors typically associate super slender with feminine, but that’s not a great one-sized all approach.
Beyond the figure’s slender body, I like the execution of her costume. It’s pretty intricate with the cape, the loop connecting the top and bottom piece of her outfit and the thigh high boots. All of these details are sculpted and there was no paint shortcuts, which was nice.
Storm’s head sculpt is great capturing her in weather fury mode with flowing hair with detailed strands. The only compromise was with the cape. It should be connected to her bracelets, but I can’t see how that would work with the ML articulation setup that wouldn’t hinder her movement.
Storm also has pin less arms and knees. I’m not entirely sold on the aesthetic with the elbow though. Her hands feature a lighting effect with blue lightning. Yellow would probably be a better choice IMO. The hands feature sculpted lighting going up her fingers, but it’s not painted blue and looks very weird.
Scale: I’ve always considered Storm relatively tall or at least taller than the average woman in the Marvel universe.
Over the years Marvel artists have sized her down so I get why the figure is not the towering presence I’d prefer.
Still, at attention, she’s taller than Phoenix and about eye level to Cyclops, which is all I really wanted. She is definitely taller than the minuscule 90s Storm figure.
Cockrum drew Thunderbird a little taller than Storm, but shorter than Colossus so his height is just fine.
Paint: Thunderbird should have his neck visible and it’s odd that Hasbro messed that up. My figure has some weird black mark on his nose and is missing some coverage on his mask. The logo on his back is a little scratched and faded and that’s the extent of his paint flaws.
Storm is mostly fine besides some of the yellow trim on her cape and some lighter coverage on her normal face that sort of looks like a scrape.
Articulation: Storm’s pin-less body takes some getting used to in terms of the articulation.
Her double jointed knees seem a bit stiffer than the norm and her ankles are the same.
While moving her arm up, the elbow “wheel” is revealed. It’s an odd look compared to other figures, but it’s not an eyesore.
I wish Storm’s torso had better back and forth movement, as along with her neck joint, she isn’t able to hit the best flying poses.
Storm is sturdier than I thought in terms of standing as I figured her head would make her topple much the same way as the 90s figure.
Thunderbird is the typical beefy body figure using the Wonder Man mold.
Storm and Thunderbird have:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- bicep (Thunderbird only)
- elbow (double-jointed) (Thunderbird only)
- wrist hinge
- waist (Thunderbird only)
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Thunderbird comes with a grand total of zero accessories. His head sculpt is pretty good, but to offer him something, an alternate head sculpt would have been good as well as some standard fists.
Storm got the bulk of the accessories budget as she has a calm, serene alternate head sculpt. She also has a pair of fists so she’s not always lightning raging out.
I love that she has different hands than the typical waving, gesturing hands. She also has them as well, which was a smart addition for wind gesturing. Storm also has a resting cape for when she’s relaxing and tending to her nursery.
Worth it? The set is $50. That’s a premium price for a set that doesn’t offer some breakthrough technology or a slew of accessories. This is that getting the classic figure you want markup so while Thunderbird might not be worth $25, getting this version of Storm is just about worth $30 for me.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
A small number of minor issues hold the set back from a perfect score, but I’m still very happy with Storm and Thunderbird.
Where to get it? This set is a Target exclusive. It lasted all of 20 seconds on Target.com and is street dated for Oct. 4. I imagine this will be a popular set so don’t wait for a sale or check back later if you see it on shelves next week. It is available right now on Target’s website so run and grab it now.