Updated: Mar 2, 2019
One of X-Men's milestone saga: The Phoenix and Dark Phoenix saga! Adding more depth to Jean Grey's character by giving her the Phoenix Force, Marvel cashed in Ms. Grey's change of wardrobes through more spinoff storylines, merchandise, and video game interrations. Speaking of merchandise, how can Marvel Legends NOT take advantage of this? Let's check the 2-pack out.
Right off the get go, it's easy to see that it's an exclusive for Toys 'R' Us. Unfortunately since this was a 2017 release, it's out of stock and somewhat hard to find. There are other avenues like eBay where one can snatch this up.
Just from my observation, Dark Phoenix is the only one featured on the side art. Both sides has this same artwork. One would think Cyclops would be on the other side, but no. It's a clear sign that Dark Phoenix is the main attraction. I'll go in depth here.
In the department of accessories, Phoenix is the only one that gets them. She gets three variant heads and a small phoenix construct (I don't recall her ever using that in the comics or the animated show).
The first of the variant facse is the neutral Jean Grey. While it's a good looking face, it definitely does not fit the Dark Phoenix; too neutral and not malicious enough.
This face definitely has a flare to it! More in line with the evil Jean Grey that we know and love/fear! I love the dynamics of the hair. Her powers are influencing her hair day.
Now this is it! This is Dark Phoenix! If there is one thing that Hasbro had vastly improved upon is the way they make female faces. The women of Hasbro Marvel Legends are attracting, nice to look at, and they have fantastic details included in them. I love all three faces even if I know that I will be using this face while she is displayed.
The small Phoenix is well made. The transluscent orange that turns to a darker shade on the tip of its wings gives this a fire aesthetic, which means the litte accessory can really look the dangerous part of being the Dark Phoenix's construct. Designed well and it can hook on to Jean's hand with enough patience; my only real gripe with it is that it teases us of what it can really be. Any fan of X-Men/Marvel know that Phoenix's main consturct was the large Phoenix bird that surrounded her that acted like a shield, a weapon, and aided her to fly.
The coloring is something of an accomplishment on Habsro's part. All Marvel Legends collector who have followed Hasbro through the course of their time with this series knows that they lack in the paint department. It has gotten better and figures like Dark Phoenix has shown that they are able to put a little more effort into their figures. There is some shading on Jean's dark red attire and the excecution is something I can appreciate. The combination of this gold and the red is a good hybrid. They're not dull nor do they clash. The Phoenix emblem is clean and the small Phoenix symbol on her sashe is also well done.
The body mold is something we have seen before. It is the typical lady sculpt that Hasbro uses for their 'average' sized Female heroines. Comic book heroines are usually fit and curved at the right places. This body suits well for that idea.
Even if Hasbro does recycle their molds and in some cases, rarely modify them aside from the obvious repainting that has to be done, the little things they do to add distinguishable features is appreciated. For this case, the shadowing, and the attention to the variant heads that came with Dark Phoenix truly hits my fandom love!
And the work they did on the variant heads (particulary the last two) is amazing. The hair effect on the last two really shows off some sculpting that allows Hasbro to define why they are one of leading toyline in the mass retail toy market. The way the hair flows and then changes color to signify the fire of the Phoenix Force rising up really gives this mold a character of its own.
When we talk about articulation, it is pretty standard. Nothing new with this body to make it stand out. If you are used to this mold, then it's all too familiar. Yes the hair still gets in the way with head movements.
Now of course I can't gloss over the fact that this Dark Phoenix is missing a key accessory: the representaiton of the Phoenix Force in all its glory. The lovely piece accompanying this figure right now is from the Toybiz Marvel Legends Pheonix from way back when. I know this is a 2-pack so it would have been hard to get this accessory in, but still, I feel as if without it, it's missing a key component that truly defines the Phoenix, dark or regular.
Definitely very cool seeing her with these effects. Shame the large Phoenix flame is borrowed from another figure.
And the second of the set is none other than Scott Summers himself with his second costume. This isn't Hasbro's first round with Cyclops (this isn't Toys R Us first one either since they already had the Classic X-Men set), the astonishing Cyclops, the Jim Lee Cyclops, and the Post AvsX Cyclops. After all this time, one would think that they have learned a thing or two from the past.
I mean sure, they applied some paint, albeit a little messy, but it does really suit this Cyclops. This is his costume that he wore during the Dark Phoenix saga so this fits. I was just hoping that Hasbro could have added some optic blast effects or some alternate hands and face that would allow us to recreate this cover:
And then there are the consistent flaws with the body that carries over unresolved. The glaring ones for me are the gap between the joints on his ab crunch and the useless 'shield holder' hole that they haven't removed. Indeed this is a lackluster of a figure.
In the end, I have to say that this set still satisfied my fandom. I love it despite the flaws of lacking accessories and lack of attention to Cyclops. Though with the newly sculpted faces for Dark Phoenix and the nostalgia of this versions of the character, suffice to say, it's a set that is worth adding to my collection. For anyone who is a fan of X-Men and a Marvel Legends collector, this is definitely something I recommend. Unfortunately the options of getting this isn't as easy as it was before so fellow collectors might have to resort to paying a few extra bucks.
Until Next Time!