Packaging - ***1/2
Michael ran down his thoughts on this lineís packaging in his recent review of the
symbiote Spidey so, since I agree with pretty much everything he said there, I wonít bother boring you my opinions. I did take off half a star for this figure because in opening him up the claws, which are loose (Iíll get to that later) and packaged in their own trays, came flying out and I almost had a heart attack fearing Iíd lose some of them.
Sculpting - ***1/2
Hereís a tricky one. Like I mentioned above I did not, at first, like the style that they chose to do this line in. However over time I came to like it a lot more. I loved comics in the late 80ís / early 90ís and this sculpt would definitely fit in that era. Iím not someone who could name artists (much less pick out their styles) so I donít know for sure if this patterned after any one personís art, though I donít think so. The masked head is a fairly plain sculpt which works well for a comic inspired figure. There isnít too much detail but there isnít too little either. The sculpt on the body is done well also. Itís very muscular, and not just where it shows on the arms either. The outfit stretches tightly over the legs and abs and you can see the muscle definition underneath. The hands are also done well with comic realistic lines and creases sculpted in. Overall the figure has a comic appearance without losing the ďreal worldĒ feel that weíve come to expect in high end sixth scale figures. And if youíre wondering about the alternate head Iíll get to that in the accessories section.
Paint - ****
The paint is done in the same style as the sculpt with a very comic bookish feel. Whatís here is done very well with no slop or bleeding anywhere. The heads are very cleanly painted and the hands are done well with the claw holes (?) being very detailed. The silver does go onto the gloves a little but itís the same on all six holes so even if it shouldnít be there itís uniform making it all the harder to spot. The arms are cast in flesh toned plastic and paint for the arm hair is basically just straight black lines, but considering thatís how it looks in many comics, thatís how it should be. Once again, this isnít supposed to be a very life like figure so you wonít see any washes anywhere on this guy but is a silver speckling on the boots, shoulder armor and gloves. The whites (like the teeth) are extremely white, while the blacks (like the mask) are extremely black. The yellow on the mask is bright and matches the outfit almost perfectly, as does the blue on the gloves to the shorts. The boots are painted just as crisp without any kind of mud or dirtying of any kind.
Articulation - ***1/2
What?!?! A Medicom figure receiving less than four star in the artic category?!?! Allow me to explainÖ For the most part this figureís articulation really is outstanding. The poses you can get this guy into are amazing. The joints are all sturdy without any being too stiff or too loose. The boots restrict the ankle movement but thatís the trade off for the balance issue. Speaking of balance, this figure can hold some really cool poses. It takes a while to get the feet just right but once you do you can get him in some really cool stances. All the pics except the one where heís running weíre taken without the stand and he didnít fall over once. I probably wouldnít trust him to stay up all the time for display purposes but I was still very impressed with how good the balance is. So now we come to the problem area - the wrists. Medicom may have been one of the trailblazers in the articulation arena but itís time for those wrists to get an update. The problem is that they can only move side to side, not up and down. On a figure like the Medicom Vader where all the hand poses you could want are included thatís not really an issue. But on Wolvie, who doesnít have the extra hands (Iíll get to that later), it really hurts his overall score. Both Sideshow and Hot Toys have designs that allow for complete wrist movement. Even a 10 dollar BBI figure I picked up at Toys R Us recently has the Hot Toy style wrist, so whatís the deal Medicom? Donít get me wrong though, that really is the only issue. The head(s) can move to any position youíd want, the body itself is extremely sturdy, and (besides the boots) the outfit doesnít get in the way at all (the shoulder armor is somewhat restrictive but can be moved out of the way if needed).
Accessories - *1/2
This is where this guy really takes a hit. Wolvie comes with an extra head, a stand, and his six claws. Yep, thatís it. And when you consider that the claws really could be included in the sculpt category instead of hereÖwell, letís just say this ainít the category that heís the best. The claws are removable which I suppose is cool for doing some different arrangements of poses (the outer two around someoneís neck for example) but in reality they donít work that well. The pegs on the claws on my figure are just a tad too large making it hard to get them all the way in, which, in turn, causes them to fall out with the slightest force applied to them. This makes posing this figure a little difficult since Iím constantly worried Iím going to drop one and lose it or the dog will eat it or something. They are sculpted well however and look great when attached. Theyíre too big to actually fit inside his fore arm which is something that always bugs me on Wolverine figures but considering itís supposed to be comic bookish / cartoony itís easily
forgivable. Especially considering how great they look when attached. The stand is the standard Medicom version with your choice of rings for either the waist or the leg. Although it doesnít feel sturdy at all this is my 3rd Medicom figure and Iíve never had a problem with them. Now, the extra head. I honestly havenít decided if I like the extra or head or not. I will say, whether you like the style or not, they did accomplish what they were going for here. It has a very cartoony appearance with a mad snarling grimace that works perfect for Wolverine. Normally Iíd like to see differing expressions on interchangeable heads but for this character I think it works. The mutton chops are really the main issue for most people I believe. Itís hard to explain but in person the over-the-topness (is so a word) actually works to add to the comic feel instead of detracting from the overall appearanceÖfor me anyway. Overall for this price point we really shouldíve gotten at least one extra pair of hands at worst, or a choice of fists, fists with claws, and neutral hands at best.
Outfit - ***
The outfit is very high quality. The material stretches well over the sculpt so it isnít baggy at any point yet it doesnít hinder the movement either. When it bunches it looks very natural and it always stretches back to itís original position without leaving any crease marks, not even on the black tiger stripes. Like with Michaelís Spidey Iíd suspect these will crack over time but so far there have been no problems whatsoever. The outfit is not removable which I tend to like since it means no unsightly velcro or bulges from buttons. The shorts **cough*underoos*cough** are stitched to the pants so they move exactly where they should when moving around the legs. The shoulder armor is a rubbery material that is thick enough to be sturdy but pliable so that it will move with the arm motions. So pliable in fact that it doesnít always look natural when the arms are extended over the shoulders. The armor also leaves and picks up small paint/plastic transfer marks on the biceps when posing. Theyíre barely noticeable but with a lot of play / re-posing this could become a real visual issue over time. The boots as mentioned above are very sturdy and look really cool with a simple sculpt. The only real problem is the belt. Itís not removable (at least not that I can tell) and itís juuuuust too small to fit where it should go (on the top of the shorts) and juuuuust to big fit snugly around the waist above the shorts. The result is a loose belt that either leaves a gap in the front or the back and blocks the bottom tiger stripe on the torso. A real shame since the outfit is so close to perfect.
Fun Factor - **
This category really depends on who youíre talking about. For adults this would be a 3 star figure since itís poseability is so cool. For kids it would probably only get 1 star because the claws would continually fall off during play.
Value - **
I paid 100.00 before shipping. At that price Iíd expect a lot more accessories even with the Medicom name attached. I donít think this figure is ďworthĒ more than a 50 or 60 dollar Sideshow offeringÖbutÖSideshow doesnít have a Marvel figure licenseÖso here we are. The truth is if you want a sixth scale Marvel figure with soft goods, as of right now, Medicom is the only way to go. Hasbro has some coming out next year but the protos of those donít come close to comparing with the Mediís in my opinion.
Things to watch out for
If at all possible (especially if buying loose) make sure the claws fit well and save yourself some headaches.
Overall - ***
I had a hard time deciding between 2 Ĺ and 3 but I think it makes a 3 star figure just baaaaarely. It isnít a home run by any means but the design and execution (with the exception of the claws) is there, as is the quality. The only real problem areas just come from the price and Medicom cheaping out the accessories.