X-men Evolution
Mutant Outcasts
(Famous Covers style)
Posted 05/02/01
Overall score - *
**1/2 out of ****

(originally posted at Comic Book Galaxy)

Famous Covers fans have been saddened by what appears to be the end of the line.  With little retailer interest out of this year's Toy Fair, and with the cancellation by Diamond of any further figures from them, it looked to most like this line was done.

Pull the fork out, they aren't quite done yet.  This set of three figures, based on the popular kid's cartoon X-men Evolution, are just now starting to hit.  Currently the rumor is that they are only an international release, making it tough to find them...perhaps.  It's possible that these could end up at one of the bargain stores eventually, but if you want to be sure to get them, I'd start watching those stores that import toys from overseas.

These are also supposed to ship to comic shops from Diamond this week, but because Diamond did a terrible job promoting them - they used the wrong pictures in Previews, and the 8" scale confused a lot of people - it's likely they were woefully under-ordered.  If you want these, hit your local comic shop tomorrow PRONTO!

I picked these up from U.S. Characters, but they sold out within a couple days.  If you try ordering from them, they will send you an email when more figures are back in stock.  If anyone has any other current options on getting these, please let me know so I can share!

The set cost $50, including shipping.  At a retail of about $15 each, these are pretty much in line with the other Famous Covers figures.  Each figure comes with an extra set of civilian clothes, a school locker, and a hanger.

Packaging - ***
Remembering that these figures are intended as toys for kids who are fans of the show, the style of packaging makes sense.  You can see everything through the front flap, and the back of the box has a great picture of the character, some text on the show, and is sturdy and well designed.  You can take everything out without destroying it, although there are twisty ties to deal with.  These twisties are softer than the ones I've seen before and easier to remove.

Sculpt - ***1/2
The sculpting on all three heads is terrific.  I suspect they used the two ups from the small scale figures, but I only have Toad here to compare, and his sculpt is fairly generic in both cases.

Cyclops head is absolutely dead on for scale.  No pinhead here, and not the gargantuan heads of some of the DC 9" line.  Toad's is a little larger, but then his character has a big head.  Wolvie looks great on the M2 body, far superior to the pinheaded version we got last time.  His head is a little big looking in the super hero outfit, but looks great when he's wearing his karate outfit.

However, whatever you do, don't stare directly at the picture of Wolverine in his 'hood'.  You'll see what I mean.  *shudder*

Articulation - ***1/2
Famous Covers still rule in this scale and at this price.  These are the standard FC bodies - Cyclops and Toad are on M1's and Wolverine is an M2.

Accessories - ***1/2
All three characters come with a locker and hanger to put the extra outfit in.  Cyclops and Toad's lockers are identical except for color, but Wolverine has an extremely cool locker, including a translucent door.

The civvies fit well inside the locker, but you have to crunch a little if you want to store Toad or Wolverine's super hero garb.

On the front of Toad and Cyclops lockers there is also a lock which is for show only.  However it is a separate piece, and a nice touch.

Outfits - ***1/2
Wow!  Both the civvies and the super hero outfits are excellent, and no major re-use!  Unfortunately, each has a slight problem...

Cyclops super hero is made of a rubbery material, not the same pleather as the X-Men movie two packs.  Instead, it's the same as Nightcrawler's red piece.  This material is higher quality than the pleather we had on the movie figures, but still restricts movement somewhat.  Also, the arms are a bit big to allow the outfit to come off over the hands relatively easily.

The rest fits tightly though, and the stitching is excellent.  All three of the body suits include stirrups on the feet so that they don't bunch up when putting on the boots.  The rest of his uniform, including the yellow 'band' across his back and chest, fits very tightly.  The boots are a new sculpt, and soft rubber to allow you to remove them easily.

Cyclops' civvies are a little more plain, with a pair of pants and a nice looking shirt.  He doesn't have regular feet, but instead has civvie shoes for feet.  Last but not least, both his visor and his sunglasses fit extremely well, and the visor proves just what they could have done with the earlier Cyclops if they had been inclined.

Toad has an extremely complex super hero uniform.  The body suit actually has three materials in use - the stretchy lycra for the main suit, a softer nylon for the inserts on the inside of the legs and arms, and pleather for the shoulders and ankles.  Additionally, there are separate silver cuffs, and a silver tunic piece.  Unfortunately, this tunic isn't quite as nicely sewn as the other pieces, at least on mine, and it looks like this piece could also suffer the most damage over time.  It crinkles easily, and the seams are not as straight.  Toad's super hero outfit is finished off with another set of terrific, new boots.

Toad's civilian clothes are also less fancy, but look excellent.  His torn blue jeans are off set with a great looking shirt.  And he has regular feet, with a pair of styling athletic shoes to finish off his daytime look.

Wolverine's outfits are the best, except for one very notable, glaring problem.  His super hero costume is again extremely well made, with all new parts.  The body suit is made of the same material as Cyclops', but since there aren't any arms it's far less restricting.  It also fits great, and reminds me of a wet suit.

The orange tunic fits tight, and looks great.  The orange cuffs work well, and the boots are splendid, some of the best we've seen in ages.  The material used is thinner and softer, so they don't have that huge, toxic waste worker look.

So what's wrong?  Well, some folks would say it's the lack of claws.  I didn't really have problem with that, but that's because I wasn't expecting any.  The claws have never looked good on any of the previous figures, so I don't mind them leaving them off.

No the real problem here is the awful, stupendously ridiculous 'hood' that he has attached to the uniform.  This is made from lycra, and pulls over his head as his mask.  You can see in the picture below just how truly horrific a sight this is.  Don't look too long - I suspect you could suffer permanent damage.

On the other hand, his civvie outfit is the best of the bunch.  He has a karate outfit, including tank top t-shirt, top shirt that opens in the front, black belt, pants, ankle cuffs and wrist cuffs.  I didn't like the wrist cuffs - they ride too high on the arms - but the rest of the outfit is fantastic looking.  Great quality, great stitching, and excellent fit.

This outfit is pictured on the back of the box in orange and black, but I'm glad they went with these understated colors instead.  His feet are like Cyclops, so that he has shoes rather than bare feet under his boots.  I can live with that, although both he and Cyclops have some loose ankles with these 'shoe feet'.

Value - ***
If you compare these figures to most others on the market, you're getting a great deal.  A 9" clothed figure, with an extra outfit and the locker for about $15.  Considering that new FC's sell for at least $10 to start out, I'd say this is a pretty good value.

Overall - ***1/2
If you don't like Famous Covers, you probably won't like these.  If you don't like the show X-men Evolution, you probably won't like them either.  If that's the case, stay far away from them.  But if you are looking for some really great costumes, love the FC line, and would like to have a complete collection, then these are for you.  The quality on this set is quite a bit above the average FC, and it's refreshing to see new designs and outfits.

Finding them might be tough for awhile, but I suggest trying the comic shops and dealers that import action figures.  Eventually, they may come to the states at one of the discount stores, but that's only speculation at this point.

Diamond's shipping list says these will go to comic shops from them this week.  However, I'd get there early if you want to pick up any extras your comic book guy might have ordered.

UPDATE! Comics Infinity have these available RIGHT NOW for $40 for the set of three...if you really want them, I wouldn't wait too long.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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