Marvel Icons Magneto and Cyclops

I just did some complaining earlier this week about how impossible it's getting to find any mass market toys at actual mass market.  It seems to really be the superhero stuff too, since I can still fine Star Wars, Sigma 6, and Transformers without any trouble.  But JLU?  Marvel Legends?  LCBH?  Forget about it.

Tonight I'm covering the latest two Marvel Icons, which have still not shown up at any retailers in my area.  In fact, the previous wave of the Human Torch and Silver Surfer has never shown up at any local retailer.  I have that wave coming from Habro's online shop, and I bought this wave from Amazon's website.

This poor distribution is getting a bit old.  DCHS Two-face, Clayface or Batgirl?  Nope.  Justice League singles?  You got to be kidding me.  Perhaps it's the millions of Spider-man III toys that are still over flowing the pegs and shelves that are keeping retailers away from any other super heroes right now.  But whatever the case, I gotta say that it really sucks.

Back to these two figures - Magneto and Cyclops run about $20, like the rest of the current Icons line from Hasbro.  If you're luckier than I, you can find these at Target or Toys R Us.  If you're like me, you'll have to turn to the web.


Packaging - ***
The packaging is the same as we've seen in the past several series.  It's not collector friendly, but it is fairly attractive and the all plastic outer shell means it's quite sturdy too.  It protects the figure from both theft and damage well, and doesn't waste much space either.  It's not going to win any awards from me for design of the year, but it does the jobs it needs to do quite capably.

Sculpting - Cyclops ***; Magneto **1/2
If you've been paying attention, then you know I'm a huge fan of the Icons line.  I haven't loved every figure in the series, and there have been some stinkers from both Toybiz and Hasbro over the course of the full run.  However, this was a series I thought Hasbro was actually handling better than Toybiz (with a couple exceptions)...until now.

The head sculpt on Cyclops isn't too bad. Oh, he's a bit pinheaded, but he's a superhero and that's pretty much par for the course with the style.  Cyclops is also supposed to be rather svelte, so the smaller body isn't a big deal for me.

He's very awkward in appearance though.  The proportions combined with the articulation just end up looking too funky for my tastes, as though he's deformed, but just a little.  There isn't any one issue that is bad enough to draw immediate attention, but the overall package just doesn't please the eye.

Magneto has more issues though.  The body is identical in size and proportion to Cyclops, with some minor sculpt changes for the costume.  This athletic body and young face just isn't working for me, at least not for a character like Magneto.  I think that Silver Surfer, who also uses a very similar body, looks great, but Magneto needs more upper body bulk and an older face.  This version looks like a 35 year old swimmer dyed his hair and dressed up in a Magneto costume for Halloween.

Both stand about 1/8" under the usual 12", and that's also a bit of an issue for Magneto.  Average height seems about right for Cyclops, but I was expecting a bit more height out of Mags.

They do both stand well on their own though, and the sculpted gesturing hands look good.  I like the cloth cape on Magneto, and it's made from a high quality material with a nice hem along the edge, and yet isn't too thick or heavy to look right in this scale.

Paint - Magneto **1/2; Cyclops **
Both of these figures sport fairly weak paint jobs, with more slop than is acceptable in even a mass market toy.

Magneto is the better of the two though.  I had some odd inconsistencies in the color on the belt where it looked like something came in contact with it while the paint was still wet, and I'm not a huge fan of the speckled look on the collar.  The black on the back of the gloves looks weird, and some of the cut lines aren't as clean as they could be.  The body does have a wash though, and there's very little bare plastic here.  The only major issue in terms of a color cast as part of the plastic is the face, which ends up too shiny because of it.  The other small details on the face though, like the eyes, lips and eyebrows, are all nicely done.

Cyclops has more issues with the cuts between the thin yellow lines and his darker suit.  There's slop all over the place, and the application is extremely inconsistent.  The darker black and blue show through in many places, and in others the yellow is thick and clumpy.

Articulation - **1/2
These two have similar articulation to past Icons, so there's really no big surprises.  Both appear to have actual ball jointed necks, rather than the more common disc and peg joints we've seen before.  I'm surmising this (you can't actually see the joint buried up under the head) because I can not only turn the head and get forward/backward movement, but you can get some tilt action in there too.  They get extra points for this, even if it's a bit limited.

The ball jointed shoulders are the usual, with joints on both sides of the ball.  Unfortunately, both of the figures have shoulders that are extremely tight.  I had a very difficult time getting the arms down, even when everything was lined up perfectly.  In fact, I thought I was going to snap Magneto's left arm off, I had to push on it so hard.  Getting them into good shoulder poses is much more difficult than it should be.

There's also the double jointed elbows and knees, both of which work great.  They have pin and disk wrists and ankles, as well as cut waist and a clicky chest.

In fact, almost all the joints are the click style.  It works pretty well here, except in the aforementioned shoulders, and to some degree the hips.

The low score is a combination of the difficult shoulders, along with the temperamental hips.  It doesn't make much sense to get this much articulation if it doesn't work all that well.

Accessories - Magneto *1/2; Cyclops Bupkis
Unfortunately, accessories seem to have gone bye bye with this series.  Magneto has his helmet, which fits fine and stays in place well, but that's it for either character.  I know Cyclops doesn't exactly have himself a utility belt of goodies, but at $20 a pop you're going to expect a bit more.

Fun Factor - **1/2
Even with their faults, these are still pretty decent toys.  The tough articulation hurts them here though, because kids are more likely to get frustrated with it and damage the figure than an adult will.

Value - **
As I said, these are normally $20 a pop, if you can find them  At that price point, you're not getting any accessories, and the re-tooled Magneto body just ain't cutting it.  Had they maintained the $15 price point, I would be more forgiving, but giving us less at a higher price seems to be like picking my pocket while I'm handing you money.

Things to Watch Out For - 
You're going to need to move those shoulders, because out of the package they come pretty warped.  Take care, since the amount of pressure you need to supply may be too much for the upper arm peg joint.

Overall - **1/2
I have to admit that the more I played around with these, the more I liked them.  In the package they look extremely poor, but once they are out and posed they pick up a bit.  Then you start getting a bit better poses, and get a better feel for the articulation, and they aren't quite as bad.

That's not saying they deserve a better score than this, however.  The paint on Cyclops is weak, and I simply can't get beyond the general body sculpt on Magneto looking so out of place.  The shoulder joints are far, far too tight, and the lack of any real accessories means the twenty dollar price point is high.  These guys are blown away both Icons like Hulk, Venom, Thor, Ghost Rider or even Doom, but they don't stink up the joint quite as bad as someone like the Punisher.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - Cyclops ***; Magneto **1/2
Paint - Magneto **1/2; Cyclops **
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Magneto *1/2; Cyclops Bupkis
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value -  **
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
If you're luckier than me, you should be able to find them at a local Target or Toys R Us.  If not, try these online options:

- CornerStoreComics has them for $24 each or the pair for $46.

- Amazing Toyz has the singles at $24 each as well.

Related Links -
I've reviewed many of the past Icons:

- most recent, for me anyway, was Doom and Punisher.

- Ghost Rider (with his bike) is perhaps the best that's been produced in the series.

- Others include Thor, Venom, Spider-man and Beast, and Wolverine.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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