While I'm really happy I've got these two to now add to my Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Gambit, I'm a little sad because this is the last Wave of the Secret Wars packs, meaning that there won't be a chance for ol' Prof Egghead...er..X, to be produced. On the bright side, Prof X doesn't move around in a wheelchair in this series, so perhaps Hasbro will do him in a more "iconic" look in the main Marvel Universe line.
So yes, I picked up these two to round out my ragtag all-costumes-go X-Men. But I had other reasons too: who wouldn't want Storm with a Mohawk? And how can you no want to buy a uniquely sculpted Nightcrawler? Well, I sure did, so let's see how it turned out!
Like: Mohawks! Well, actually, Mohawk, since there's only one in this 2-pack. And not for me, but for Storm. It's one of her more distinctive looks, and I think she's probably the only superhero around with two really different but memorable "costumes." Of course, there's this Mohawk look and there's also the long hair with cape look, which is more current, I believe. A unique hair-style on figure means a unique head sculpt. And Hasbro have done a good job with it, as with the Doom and Absorbing Man two-pack. Like that two-pack, this set also has two new heads. And all through the line, they've been giving us unique head sculpts for the most part. Nightcrawler is no exception to the new head sculpt practice too. His head looks perfect for our for favorite Mutant circus performer.
Like: Prehensile tails! Or specifically, the one on this Night Crawler because it's got swivel articulation! Woohoo! If only it was really prehensile and I could make him hang on trees or something...
Like: "Accessories." Technically they don't come with jack. But they do have extra parts on their bodies that could be considered as accessories. Storm has her sleeveless leather jacket and a belt, while Nightcrawler has his vest "sleeves" and tail. Yeah, I know, that's reaching a little, but at least they did try to give us something more than just paint on the body for costumes. Oh, and the comic that comes with them doesn't really count as an accessory per say, but it's still nice to have a little history/background on the characters!
Like: Nightcrawler's funky proportions! He's got 2 fingers and a thumb, as well as three toes on each foot. Also, his lower torso is longer and thinner than other MU figures, giving him the thin, wiry look he needs.
Dislike: Nightcrawler's funky proportions! He may have all that neat new sculpting, but I suspect the new torso's made him a little too tall. Stand him straight up and he'll tower over most of the other MU figures. He's around the height of Thunderball from the first wave in this mini-line and the newly released Luke Cage. Now such proportions are unforgivable. But luckily Nightcrawler does a lot of crouching in most all his incarnations, so that extra height should be easy to hide.
Dislike: That the paint is hit and miss. Some figures are not too bad, while some are good and others poor. The challenge is finding both figures in the same pack with good paint. I suspect most times you'll probably have to settle for choosing the better paint on whichever character you prefer. I think mine's got better paint on Nightcrawler--his face has been wash nicely with both his cheekbones prominent. My Storms got so-so eyes though.
Like: That I have a reason to crack open my $1 Mutt Williams figure from the Indy Jones line! Why? Not because Storm could use a biker gang (hmm...maybe she could use one!), but because Mutt comes with a saber! And that sabre has been pilfered for the ol' Bamfer himself! And I also get to add to my flimsy cardboard crate collection. Boy, I'm just racking those up!
Like: That I can put Storm on the Wolverine Movie series "Back Roads Brawl" bike that comes with Wolverine and Sabertooth. It'll go great with Storm's biker chick look and it's even got a nice big blue and green 'X' on it.
Like: That I now am two figures closer to "completing" the X-Men. I say that because there's prob too many X-Men for Hasbro to want to make them all. Also, I think if they made a Professor Xavier and I got my hands on a Colossus, then I'm more or less set for the...uh ..set. :)
Aesthetics: Storm - 7.5: Both of these sculpts are the "simplified" versions of these characters, especially for Storm, who's had longer hair for some time now and sports a full costume with cape and other flowy things (for wind effect). Unique pieces molded for her are her biker chick jacket, her spiffy hipster belt, and of course, her mohawk! It's a tall one, I tell ya!
Nightcrawler: - 7.5: The more I look at him, the more I like his face sculpt with ts stern expression and chiseled features. Also, I don't know how else they could have done his red "vest" better. It looks exactly like what it is--shoulder shoulder pieces for the upper body and paint for the lower abdomen. All things considered, I think Hasbro did the best they could with his costume. Also, the paint's not so hot, especially with fuzzy/faded lines for his boots and gloves.
Poseability: Storm - 7: Because of her hair style and her costume she's the Marvel Universe female figure unhindered. And as it turns out, she's not that bad at all. The only problem comes with her feet, which are tiny. Balancing her can be quite a challenge but it can be done. Having one open hand is cool but I think she's one figure whom I feel needs both hands open to better "summon the wonds and the lightning." ;)
Nightcrawler - 8: His gangly frame lends itself to some great twisting and turning and his giant feet and hands make for good poses too, especially the fet which have giant toes. His chest pivot is the best joint, able to twist all the way around and bend forward and back in a way only a real circus peformer can!
Fun: 8 - They're both key X-Men! What more can I say? And this will also probably be the only time you see Mohawk Storm in 3.75 inch scale and probably the only time you'll see Nightcrawler in this scale at all! I know, i know, he's got his fans in us. But the kids want the Spideys, the Wolvies, and the Iron Men, dammit! And what the kids want, Hasbro gives.
It's strange, these figures don't come withaccessories, but with what Hasbro has put out there in this scale from this line or especially other lines, it's not tough at all to acquire some piece of equipment that can easily go with these guys. Hence the bike (Wolverine Back Road Brawls) and the rapier (Indy Jones' Mutt Williams) for these two!
Value: 7 - Yeah, they both come with (drum roll please...) a comic! Not one each but just the one! If you just take the likes of the Dr. Doom and Absorbing Man 2-pack (which has a gun, a ball 'n' chain, and a to-scale mini Wasp) into consideration, Storm and Nightcrawler are simply poor when it comes to value for money. Thankfully, we don't. The wave's other 2-pack in Ultron and Mr Fantastic is just as vanilla accessory-wise but this is the only set that has two recent A- to B+ listers. They're definite fan favourites and anyone who loves the X-Men will find this 2-pack worth it. I'm not a huge fan but I can still appreciate that it's two imporant members of the world's favourite Mutant superhero group.
Overall: Storm 7.6, Nightcrawler 7.8 - A solid pack to have with two solid figures. Granted, alone they seem a little lost at sea when you put 'em next to the likes of Hulk, Thor and Captain America, but when do the X-Men ever stand alone? NEVA! Unless Hugh Jackman plays one of them and gets his own movie. Har! Even then, he needed Gambit to fly that damn plane and sop him from killing Sabertooth. Speaking of which, I have both of them lying around somewhere in package...the time to free them may be near!