Marvel Icons Wolverine mini-bust

I love Batman. But even I can recognize that if you're a DC fan, you've pretty much had your fill of Bats by now. Likewise, if you're a Marvel fan, I'm betting you've seen three more Wolverine products than you thought you ever needed to see in your entire life.

But Wolverine keeps on selling, and he's got a huge fanbase. Who doesn't love a guy that can take anything the bad guys dish out and just heal right back up? Throw in a cool name and wicked blades sticking out of his knuckles, and all he needs to be the ultimate fanboy fantasy is a giant robotic dinosaur sidekick. That transforms.

Diamond Select has had great success with their line of mini-mini-busts called Marvel Icons. These little guys run in the 4 - 5" range generally, with a distinctive chess piece style base. One of the latest is the iconic (no surprise) Wolverine. You can find this guy in the under $40 range at most places.

Packaging - ***
DST has opted for the window boxes - thank goodness. The boxes themselves are a tad dull in this case, but I like seeing the bust I'm buying to check out the paint and get a feel for scale. Instead of foam, they went with a plastic insert inside, and there's the usual COA. Unfortunately, the COA is bigger than the box, so it has to be curled inside the box to fit. The edition run on this guy is 5000.

Sculpting - ***
One thing that's a bit disconcerting about the DST Marvel Icons is the shift in style from one to the other. I'm talking about those little things called 'arms', which have nevere appeared on any other Icon bust...but Wolverine is sporting his right.

Now, before the nitpickers point it out, the Doom statue did sort of look like he had arms under neath the flowing cape, but they were 'hidden'. All the rest have been armless I believe up to this point, including the two recently announced New York Comic Con exclusives of Venom and Symbiote Spidey. That makes Wolverine look a bit different than the others, which might throw off the particularly anal buyer.

I don't mind this choice, since his claws are such a critical aspect to the character. I think the one arm on, one arm off design looks a bit odd though, and I would have prefered had them simply included both.

The expression is also a little odd. It appears as though he's doing an Elvis impersionation, with the lip curl working in his favor, but not quite pulling it off. The head is bent downward slightly at the neck, so he's looking toward the ground in front of him rather than straight ahead. He also has very big 'ears', which I like (I'm a fan of the big ears on Batman too), but which may turn off some folks.

The sculpt is in that foggy area between realistic and comic book style. It treads the fine line pretty well, and that aspect of the style fits nicely with the rest of the Icons busts. Wolverine stands about 4 3/4 inches tall, bringing him in on the smaller size of these minis.

Paint - ***
The paint is good, but not stellar. There's some weak definition between the yellow and black in a couple places (particularly around the waist where Wolverine meets the base), and a few errant paint marks here and there. I do really like the false shadowing effect, which hasn't been overdone.

Value - **
At close to $40 - $45, these are a tad expensive. Full sized mini-busts (the size most of us have come to expect ala Gentle Giant for example) run in the $45 range, so I'd expect these to be $35. Fortunately, if you shop around you will be able to get them in the sub-$40 range.

Things to Watch Out For - 
If you're looking at them on the shelf, you'll want to check the paint for the best work. But other than that, you should be good to go.

Overall - ***
If you've been a fan of the Icons line, you'll be happy enough with this one. It's not a home run, but that's partly due to the simple fact that most of us are pretty Wolverined out, and it takes a really amazing example to knock our socks off. This is more of the decent but not awe inspiring class, and you'll want to look for a deal if you can swing it.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***
Value -  **
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -

Your local comic shop may have them available, and online options include:

- Alter Ego Comics has him at $38.25.

- and if you're in the U.K., you can snag him at Forbidden Planet for 20 pounds.

Related Links:
If you're looking for Wolverine stuff - 

- check out my favorite Wolverine from this year, the RAH 12" version from X-men 3.

- Going for the retro look? There's also the old Famous Covers 8" version.

- there was this guest review of the Medicom comic based Wolverine.

- looking for something sixth scale but cheaper, there's always the Icons version.

- and in the statues/bust department, one of my favs is the Sam Keith bust from Diamond Select, the modern era Wolverine statue from Diamond Select, and there's the very cool X-men Evolutions maquette.

- in a smaller scale action figure, there's the recent Toybiz Wolverine, Marvel Select Ultimate Wolverine, Marvel Legends 11 Wolverine, Marvel Legends 6 Wolverine, X-men Classics Wolverine, the X-men 2 movie Wolverine, Apocalypse Wolverine from the ML Giant Man wave, the Marvel Legends 12 Wolverine, the Marvel Legends 3 Wolverine, Marvel Select Days of Future Past Wolverine, Marvel Select Origin Wolverine, and the Marvel Legends X-men Legends boxed set. Whew.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour