Wave 2 - Blob Series
X3 Jean Grey
BAF Piece: Right Arm
The Blob Series reviews kick-off with one of the many controversial figures from this wave, X3 Jean Grey.
There had been much confusion of whether the name was Phoenix or Jean Grey. There were also many many different versions of her photographed since her debut at SDCC 2006. Like a roller-coaster ride, fans cried out, "wow she looks great!" but the next showing fans boo-ed "she looks terrible!" and she did in certain PR images and then she looked better again and then not. This left those who had any amount of anticipation for this figure magnified and anxious to see if she came out satisfactory or a train wreck! All of that anxiousness surrounded her face sculpt and face paint application. Especially when dealing with matching the likeness of an actress, the collectors and fans of X-Men 3: The Last Stand and Marvel Legends figures have the right to be extra critical.
Hasbro still producing the same beautiful package scheme as the first wave of Marvel Legends, The Annihilus Series. It still looks great, it still looks fresh and it still makes me that much more happy to buy the figure. All the color and photograph choices look great here. Nothing stands out as poor design or choices in illustration. I particularly loved the actress Famke Janssen's portrayal of Jean Grey / Phoenix so it's great to see her all over the package looking wicked.
Sculpt / Design
Design of the figure is nearly spot-on to what we saw in X-Men 3: The Last Stand however, execution is not. A lot of the details in Jean's outfit feel dumbed-down. The entire costume could have featured so much more life with finer details and textures, it's all just too smooth and the details are very basic. The face and hair however save the figure. Jean Grey's hair falls down her chest and back very naturally with fine details of strands of hair curling and waving down towards the tips. The face unfortunately doesn't look too much like actress Famke Janssen however it's an okay looking face, she's not ugly and does not look like a man. Upon close inspection and moving the figure around in all different angles, you seem to catch a glimpse here and there of the actress Famke Janssen's likeness, but in a static stance, not so much. I like the added touch of the semi-pointing right hand that you can reach out, that's always a good pose for a villain, although she doesn't do this in the movie, it still looks great on display. I'm happy to report that this, although not the best sculpt, is an all new sculpt. Jean's size is right on with previous X-Men movie figures (see photos).
Paint / Color
If this category were color choice alone, X3 Jean Grey would probably have a perfect score. Skin is not too pale or too dark, hair is about the right color, costume looks good. But something is not quite right is it? Yep, it's the lack of paint application to everything but the hair and face. A wash and/or drybrush applied to the costume top and skirt would have worked wonders on this figure to bring realistic texture and a little bit of needed grit for such a villain. With the proper paint job, you may not even notice the less than stellar sculpt to the costume. Let's take the hair as an upstanding example. The hair is dark red plastic with a lighter red drybrush to bring out details, give texture and add life to the figure. Drybrushing is when you dip a brush into paint, then wipe most of the paint off onto a towel before applying it to the figure. This method gives the painted area highlights as the dried tips of the bristles reach the deep parts of the sculpt (therefore no paint is applied) and the wet middle section of the brush contacts the higher parts of the sculpt. Onto the face, lips and eyes look great. Eyebrows, although much much better than a previous PR shot shown, still aren't completely there. The eyebrows are just a little thick and still pointed a little high in the center giving a slight worried look when X3 Jean Grey / Phoenix should if any expression, be looking fierce and wicked.
Articulation on X3 Jean Grey seems very limited but you'd be surprised to know that she features 39 POA (Points of Articulation). Lots of double function (rotate and hinge) of articulation: neck, upper torso, shoulders, elbows, wrists and ball-joint hips. Also featured are a cut swivel waist, cut swivel legs (at the hips), double jointed knees and single hinge ankles. X3 Jean Grey's legs have all that articulation but due to the skirt you really can't do much with them. At the shoulders, you have a wide range of motion but the elbows are quite limited to a 90 degree angle. I'm starting to like Hasbro's wrist articulation the more I get used to it. It's a double function, 360 degree rotate and hinge point of articulation. If this were you, it means you could rotate your wrist like turning a key or hinge your wrist like you were fanning something or revving a motorcycle. Now that we are analyzing, let's talk about this Hasbro elbow shall we? It's the same double function point of articulation gives us a rotation so that we don't have to see an unsightly line through the bicep. I think this part of the joint works really well. Go ahead and put your arm at a 90 degree angle and rotate it, what moves more the top of your arm where it meets your shoulder? Or where the upper arm meets the lower arm at the elbow? The part however, that doesn't work with this joint however is the hinge. The hinge in the elbow allows the figures arm to extend straight out and even out-vert a little and come in to 90 degrees and stops there. Even in some cases with certain figures like this one it's less than 90 degrees. Well that's just not realistic, practical or acceptable. The rotation in the elbow is great, the hinge in the elbow, while looks better than a double jointed elbow than we're used to - is terrible.
X3 Jean Grey comes with no accessories which is fitting. She does however include a big fat disgusting Blob arm, which works for me.
Standard value here, there's nothing extra of real value that Hasbro could have included here that I could think of in terms of more volume in plastic. However, due to the much smaller figure compared to say Thor, She-Hulk, etc, Hasbro could have supplemented volume with a little more quality in terms of extra sculpt and or paint applications to enhance this figure.
Sculpt / Design: 6
Paint / Color: 5
Overall: 40 out of a possible 60
X3 Jean Grey looks great next to previous X-Men movie figures including X3 Juggernaut, X3 Beast and Magneto from X2: X-Men United. This figure had gone through many tweaks since it's debut on the floor at last year's SDCC, and in the end she turned out ok, not great, not terrible but somewhere in the middle. As I have always been a collector of anything Phoenix, I would have snatched her up at first sight in any situation and I'm sure on that principle and the fact that this is a female figure that she may be a little harder to find than some of the others in this Blob Series.
Check out X3 Jean Grey in the Database
Keep checking back through the week as MarvelousNews.com brings you more reviews of the remaining figures in Hasbro's Marvel Legends Wave 2 - Blob Series.