With the success of Marvel Studios films, Hasbro’s continuation of the Marvel Legends brand seems like it’s been marginalizing mutants. While other Marvel properties got their own mass-market Marvel Legends Infinite series to coincide with their 2014 films, the only tie-in for X-Men: Days of Future Past was a Toys R Us exclusive All-New X-Men (the ironic name for the title featuring the original worst X-Men) box set. There was an X-Men Marvel Legends Infinite series exclusive to Toys R Us, but it hit shelves well after the peak movie synergy period. The good news is that it contained neither drably costumed movie figures nor running change character “swaps” where one ends up rare or isn’t released at all (the Dani Moonstar variant for Mystique is still M.I.A.).
The bad news is that it contained fewer figures than the other Marvel Legends Infinite assortments last year, and most were uninspired rehashes of previously released characters with no accessories. Ordinarily we would’ve been delighted to finally get a Jubilee (except that she’s a Build-A-Figure and in her uncharacteristically black vampiress outfit), but this disappointing line-up was massively frustrating because there are so many quality X-characters that still haven’t been been made into Marvel Legends yet. The only one announced at SDCC ’14 was Magik. So this list should guide Hasbro in selecting the right new mutants to unveil at 2015’s Toy Far and SDCC. (Or if the chronically unloved Ant-Man’s Marvel Legends series yoinks the movieless mutants’ annual toy slot, this will be who they definitely need to produce in 2016 to coincide with X-Men: Apocalypse!)
In fact, I’ve highlighted a whopping fourteen of them so they have enough to fill out two whole assortments of six basic figures and one BAF. (You get to decide how to divvy each wave up in the comments!) The criteria is a mix of how important a character is to the core X-universe, whether they have any mass media exposure, and how “toyetic” they’d be. I’ve even given reuse-happy Hasbro some pointers as to which figures they can cull parts from. There are always previously made characters that could use re-dos (like Sunfire in his classic costume or a non-sucky Mystique for once), but this list is strictly for unproduced ones. I’m even extending that rule to doppelgangers, so no Dark Beast, Goblyn Queen, X-Man, or even Albert. While there are plenty of other X-characters deserving action figures that almost made the cut, be thankful that I stopped myself before writing a lenghty paragraph about how Senyaka is the best and needs a new toy.
[And yes, some of these have been made as toys in other previous lines, but for the most part, they don’t stand up to Marvel Legends detail and quality very well]
The best sequences of the Days of Future Past movie besides Quicksilver’s big scene were the ones where the future Sentinels sadistically murder the X-Men. Though they resemble the Phalanx with their gold strip-mined out by prospectors, their adaptive responses to attacks were inspired by ultra-futuristic Nimrod. Unlike your typical Sentinels that are hyped up only to be easily exploded, just one Nimrod from Rachel Grey’s timeline can curbstomp the X-Men, Hellfire Club, and Juggernaut. So isn’t it about time you got something competent to oppress your mutant toys? Like with everything unique, Marvel has tried to homogenize the Nimrod Class Sentinels into something more blatantly threatening and wound up with Archangel-winged Iron Men that were far less effective.
The classic Nimrod design is much more appealing because it predicted the iMac G3 by thirteen years. Unlike its predecessors, a Nimrod isn’t so big that it can’t be split into a BAF like Iron Monger. While it could share some parts with Iron Monger, it’d look better if it had more streamlined pieces to replicate its Art Deco aesthetic. A pearlescent sheen would really make it pop. Nimrod’s friendly pink and white color scheme, like the purple and magenta of earlier Sentinels, is supposed to distract humans from the fact that it’s a walking hate crime. Cognitive dissonance for everyone!
While selecting characters to represent Marvel’s past and present, Hasbro had the opportunity to make one of the most innovative, dynamic, and enduring mutants in recent memory. Instead they made Hope Summers. UGH! M is the rookie (if you can still be a rookie after two decades in comics) they should’ve made.
Not to be confused with James Bond’s boss, Monet St. Croix is the mutant powerhouse nicknamed M. Comics have an unfortunate trend of giving most minority characters poverty-stricken inner city background, but M bucks this trope like a champion rodeo bull. She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth as the daughter of the Mon?gasque Ambassador to France. She possesses the ultimate mutant power package of flight, super strength, invulnerability, and telepathy combined with the finest upper crust snark. To compensate for her otherwise perfect life, she suffers from “so convoluted it’ll give you an aneurysm sibling drama syndrome” that the X-books patented. (Her vampiric brother, Emplate, almost made this list because he’s so uniquely creepy.) M recently revealed she’s Muslim, which adds another facet to her character rather than defining her like Dust.
M has also been upgraded from X-Factor Investigations to an X-Men team whose other members have already been produced. She’s just asking to be immortalized in plastic on the Moonstone body (but without inappropriately reusing the same head this time). Her current costume is solid, but her Generation X uniform (she can expand that team’s three-dimensional representation beyond Jubilee, Emma Frost, and Banshee) may be more vibrant. M is primed to be the new face of mutantkind (suck it, Kid Omega), so why not cement that status as a Marvel Legend?
When it comes to finishing off X-teams, Wolfsbane gives you the most bang for your buck. From the New Mutants to the X-Force wetworks squad, she’s second to only Wolverine in the race to be on as many Marvel teams as possible. That work ethic does Rahne (her birth name also rhymes with rain) Sinclair’s comparatively dull-looking adoptive mom, ace supporting character Dr. Moira MacTaggert, proud. This Scottish lass has the power of lycanthropy, which puts her ahead of most of her numerous teammates that didn’t make this list in terms of who’d be a niftier action figure. (Resembling Chl?e Howl in her human form is not technically a superpower.)
While her power lets her stand out in street clothes, it’s better to make her in one of her costumes to show she’s a superheroine that happens to be a werewolf rather than just a generic monster. I recommend her yellow and blue outfit because she wore it during both her X-Factor and Excalibur days. Hasbro can always recoup the cost of tooling a furry female body by using it to make Feral, Thornn, Hepzibah, and a new Tigra to apologize for the hairless version. Wolfsbane can include alternate heads (fully human, hybrid with ponytail, hybrid with Wolverine hair, and fully lupine) to show off her transformation powers and different artist interpretations over the years. If Bryan Singer hires Karen Gillan as Rahne for the next movie now that there’s a Selfie-sized hole in her schedule, that’d boost the odds of a Wolfsbane figure happening (although her GOTG casting somehow yielded a Marvel Legends Space Iron Man 2.0 that nobody wanted instead of Nebula). Try not to put your Wolfsbane toy through as much emotional trauma as her comic book counterpart.
Thanks to her spot-on design (when graded on a curve by X-movie standards) and aptitude for thinking with portals, Blink was one of the highlights of DOFP. Blink is one of the most racially ambiguous mutant thanks to her naturally mauve skin with lime eyes and magenta hair, and being played by Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing can only boost her toy’s international sales. There should’ve already been a Marvel Legends Blink to capitalize on her recent exposure spike.
After sacrificing herself in her first story in the main reality, Blink became a surprise superstar in the Age of Apocalypse alternate reality mega-event. After that arc ended, Marvel even gave her the lead role in the dimension-hopping Exiles comic.Thanks to Selene, she’s alive again the main timeline (though she’s technically a different character than the Exiles version because comics are never simple). She can come packaged with energy throwing spikes and some mini-teleportation portals cast in clear pink plastic. She should be made in one of her more memorable AOA/Exiles costumes instead of her-main dimension look so she can hang out with fellow AOA denizens Sabretooth, Weapon X, Sunfire, and Holocaust. (The gratuitously skimpy AOA Jean Grey “swap” with a burlap bib remains mercifully MIA.) This elfin costume also lets her blend in with your LOTR, Magic: The Gathering, and Legend of Zelda toys for crossover hijinks.
The X-Men have a habit of granting their enemies membership until their sudden yet inevitable betrayals. One foe who’s avoided a redemption arc is Selene. This nigh-immortal mutant is even older than Apocalypse but looks much younger because she psionically drains the lifeforces out of lesser mortals. She supplements her already impressive smorgasbord of mutant powers with sorcery. She once enslaved an entire city in the Amazon and convinced its inhabitants they were part of the Roman Empire. Then she became Black Queen of the Hellfire Club on a lark. Selene is also one of the few villainesses who’ve been the Big Bad of a crossover, wherein she had techno-organic zombies kill a bunch of people and tried to become a genuine Goddess (giving her the edge over fellow supervillainess role models Deathbird and Cassandra Nova). Even being destroyed with a magic dagger by Warpath didn’t keep her dead for long. She gets bonus points for bringing Blink back into play in the core reality as one of her thralls.
For not being a clich? lovelorn seductress, Selene deserves a brand new sculpt instead of merely having her corset laces painted onto a generic body. Hasbro can reuse this body to finally deliver comic accurate Hellfire Club versions of Emma Frost and Phoenix too. (But not Sage, because she is awful.) Of course since she dresses like a Goth dominatrix, Selene will probably end up relegated to an overpriced SDCC exclusive.
Originally a core member of Alpha Flight, Northstar has seamlessly made the jump to being an X-Man. Although he’s as cocky as Hollywood darling Quicksilver, the Quebecois speedster is a better team player. His mandatory tenure as a supervillain was also shorter and the result of brainwashing. (At least he never convinced his twin sister to reshape reality to his vision, instigated a war with the Inhumans trying to repower himself, and pinned it all on a fictitious Skrull impostor.) Most famous for being one of the first openly gay superheroes, he recently married his boyfriend in NYC because Marvel didn’t want to acknowledge their native Canada has had same sex marriages on a national basis for years. Since X-Men is the least subtle metaphor for tolerance, it makes sense to make a Northstar to diversify toy collections. (It’s also puzzling why Singer hasn’t included him in any films yet, since he’s been using mutants as a metaphor for homosexuals.) His X-costume is pretty snazzy, but if Hasbro makes him in his sleek classic costume he’ll be able to bolster the plastic ranks of Alpha Flight (the team that Marvel won’t stop sadistically destroying) too.
But making a Northstar figure without Aurora (who barely did anything during her brief tenure as an X-Man) would feel just as wrong as putting Quicksilver in a movie without the Scarlet Witch. So Hasbro needs to commit to making his sister (who’s been struggling with dissociative identity disorder since before mental instability became Scarlet Witch’s defining trait) too. The twins on standard slim bodies with new heads and interlocking hands for when they activate their wonder twin powers. And they better not be running change “swaps” because I want both of them to actually make it to toy aisles (ideally, but unlikely, in a two-pack).
Dazzler is the mutant least distinguishable from Kylie Minogue. One of the rare mutants with a life outside the team as an international pop star, she’s the best-suited mutants to promote mutant-human integration. She debuted during the seminal “Dark Phoenix Saga” along with fellow mainstay Shadowcat. Dazzler was one of the first mutants to headline a solo series (after Namor but before Wolverine), which lasted four years. She was once even a Herald of Galactus! With that pedigree, why isn’t she a Marvel Legend already? Her sometimes husband, Longshot, is lonely on the shelf without her. Some clear “sound transmuted into laser blasts” effects and a microphone would be welcome accessories.
Much like Madonna, her music and apparel have shifted with audience tastes. I’m partial to the blue outfits with starburst insignias she wore as an official X-Man, but her original Disco outfit may be a better choice since she wore it longest and occasionally brings it out of mothballs. Her recent X-Treme X-Men costume is a cool mash-up of her previous looks. So long as it’s not a horrendous Bendis-era outfit, whichever costume they pick should be fine. Of course, Hasbro could always make a Dazzler in a different costume in every Marvel Legends series. What’s good for Iron Man is good for Dazzler! She just needs a multimedia push to get her into toy stores. If an entire live-action Jem and the Holograms movie can suddenly, happen, featuring Dazzler performing at CBGB in X-Men: Apocalypse should be a cakewalk by comparison. If Fox snubs her again in an ’80s nostalgia movie, the X-films will officially be dead to me.
There is zero Morlock representation in Marvel Legends. (Negligent leader-by-combat Storm doesn’t count.) The monocular Callisto seems like a good choice to rectify this until you realize that both her appearance and powers are undercooked even when she has hentai arms. Caliban is another option, but he’s really only interesting when he’s a Horseman of Apocalypse . The best candidate is Marrow, leader of the new generation of Morlocks called the Gene Nation.
Marrow is the poster girl for “genetic superpowers you’d rather not manifest in puberty.” Instead of zits, razor sharp bone shards pop out of her flesh. Hasbro can go nuts with bone weapons that can be sheathed in her body as a play feature designed to work with its sculpt instead of against it. Marrow is one of the rare female characters without superstrength who’s drawn as shredded as most male characters, likely because growing up in the NYC sewers and a hellish alternate dimension is a better workout than the Danger Room or CrossFit. Instead of her vomit-inducing original appearance or her short-lived “so adorable it misses the entire point of the character” phase (okay, Hasbro can incorporate her rad forehead horns from this look), I’d recommend going with the intervening period where she was freaky yet sporty. As a bonus, this costume works for either her supervillainess or superheroine careers. (The X-Men will let even the most hardened of terrorists join.) So if Hasbro decides to invest in a lot of new one-off tooling for Marrow, they’ll be striking a blow against homogenized mass media beauty standards. Hopefully that’s enough of a PR incentive to not replace her with a dude … again
6. Sebastian Shaw
Which character best exemplifies the Hellfire Club? If you answered Emma “White Queen” Frost, update your mental files because she’s been working alongside the X-Men for the past twenty years. Sebastian Shaw, its Black King, is the better answer. He deserves to be immortalized in plastic alongside fellow war profiteer billionaires Lex Luthor, Green Goblin, and Iron Man.
You’d think that being the Big Bad in a well-regarded movie would’ve given him all the boost he needed, but maybe he’s been passed up because normal-looking guys in business attire peg warm. Shaw should be exempt from this rule as his epic muttonchops and Regency era wardrobe (sadly, neither of which Kevin Bacon sported in the role) make him stand out amongst your average action figures. Given Hasbro’s penchant for repaints, odds are they’d use the Hyperion body to make bare-chested brawler Shaw when he’s amped up with kinetic energy. It would be a crime, however, to deprive your toy shelves of his full sartorial swagger. If Hasbro refuses to make one, our only option would be to stick Admiral Zhao’s head on Ichabod Crane’s body in an ill-proportioned custom. That may actually be more cost-effective than what the line’s retail or SDCC exclusive prices wind up being by the time they get around to him.
5. The Shadow King
Not only was he the main antagonist of “The Muir Island Saga,” the Shadow King is also the archnemesis of Professor X, Storm, and Psylocke. Yet the closest he’s come to being an action figure was when he was an accessory for Apocalypse. His original human body resembles the Kingpin cosplaying as Casablanca‘s Signor Ferrari, which is so meta it’s somehow dull. Obviously we need a toy of his more imposing Astral Plane form, which he chooses to look like a blue giant with a lizard face. Recent depictions have eschewed his unflattering bag lady cloak in favor of making him naked yet anatomically lacking, which says volumes of his self-esteem. Even that’s a bit too generic, so he should come kitted out with his D&D-esque psychic armor complete with flaming sword.* (The cartoon didn’t create this look, but it’s hard to find decent comic scans of it online.) It should be molded in clear blue plastic to give him the right feel for an otherworldly psychic projection.
Getting him produced on Galactus’ body to reflect how enormous he appears on the Astral Plane is probably out of the question, but I’ll settle for a scaled down version if that means that one of the villains that inspired the formation of the X-Men finally gets made. If Hasbro makes new armor overlays to slip onto the Ultimate Green Goblin body (retooled without the torn pants), anyone who prefers the “modern artists are lazy” look will also be pleased. While I’m making outrageous demands, throw in a translucent mask of his reptillian face to slip over regular-sized Marvel Legends to show which of their bodies he’s using as a sock puppet.
*Psychic Gladiator Armor Professor X sold separately.
4. Multiple Man
Jamie “Multiple Man” Madrox’s secondary mutation is the ability to be extremely endearing but only when written by Peter David. Under his keyboard, Multiple Man went from being a guy whose only purpose is cannon fodder to the comedic heart of the government-sponsored X-Factor and the beleaguered yet quirky leader of X-Factor Investigations. So any of his X-Factor outfits with removable trenchcoats would be preferable to his original containment suit.
Hasbro mocked up an underwhelming prototype for its Marvel Legends Fan Choice Poll yet never followed through on making him. Maybe it’s because they didn’t realize his power is to make duplicates of himself. As his codename implies, you can’t buy just one. You MUST army build Multiple Man! Packing him with alternate heads of different expressions (some of them can be without his new face tattoo) would allow collectors to diversify their Madrox displays since his dupes unpredictably exemplify various aspects of his psyche. (He’s made a lot of evil twins.) If that’s not in the budget, a goofy expression should be chosen to best represent his anti-gritty personality. Although he clones himself, he shouldn’t look like a generic action hero. Making Marvel Legends Multiple Men would be a license for Hasbro to print money, unless they decide to inexplicably short pack him like their latest HYDRA and AIM troopers.
Polaris is often treated like a middle daughter because she joined the X-Men after Jean Grey but before Storm. She may be the superheroine who’s spent the most time mind controlled. She has, however, proven herself a capable leader of X-Factor despite her bipolar disorder and PTSD. It’s recently been retconned that she’s the daughter of Magneto and half-sister to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Adding in the fact that she was also Havok’s on & off girlfriend for a long period, she’s essential for awkward mutant family reunions.
This Mistress of Magnetism deserves to be made on the Moonstone body to compensate her for everything writers have put her through for years. Polaris doesn’t really have an iconic costume so I’d go for the one that debuted in the excellent X-Factor # 87 where she vows to take control of her life. Unlike her other monochrome green and complementary purple outfits, the red and gold contrast dynamically with her naturally lime-hued hair. The way her non-mask frames her face similar to Magneto and Jean is neat too. I don’t care if it’s not a popular or long-lived costume. I’ll gladly accept her subsequent blue and gold X-Factor outfit, however, as my second choice. Just don’t make her in her mustard & gray Serval Industries uniform because corporate uniforms are the worst uniforms.
2. Silver Samurai
Silver Samurai combines two of the universe’s coolest visuals: samurai armor and shiny things! He may be a B-lister at best, but he’s completely toyetic. It’s absurd we haven’t gotten a Marvel Legends figure of Wolverine’s frenemy yet. Hasbro rudely emphasized his abscence by not only making the silver armored Stryfe instead (at least his suit made of giant X-Acto blades makes him cooler than the other Emo Summers supervillain, Vulcan) but by arming him with a sword he only used once. Maybe they’re holding how badly The Wolverine bungled his character against him? (I’d actually buy a toy of the movie’s Adamantium Samurai mech-suit because I have no honor, but the classic comic book version takes priority. His power-armored bastard needs to get in line, too.) As soon as Silver Samurai is finally produced, however, your Wolverine toys won’t have to battle the Shredder as a stand-in anymore!
Hasbro already made a pretty neat prototype of him for a ToyFare Fan’s Choice poll, but he was outvoted in favor of his cousin, Sunfire. Recently Hasbro produced an even better looking Silver Samurai, but unfortunately it was in the tiny Marvel Universe series. They just need to pantograph that gorgeously detailed sculpt to 6″ scale to make it fly off the shelves. Providing both regular and energy-charged katanas (one can be the the Yoshida Clan Honor Sword and the other the Muramasa Black Blade) for him is a must. He’d be the only toy that could love Viper. There’s even a John Belushi action figure waiting to duel with him!
Dr. Karl Lykos transforms into a were-pteranodon with hypnotic eyes that drains energy from his victims. He’s conquered the Savage Land, whose chief attractions are dinosaurs, proto-humans, and superpowered mutates. Although he possesses the proportionate strength of a pteranodon, he prefers to hypnotize his enemies into beating the tar out of each other for him while he trash talks like a champ. Long before Rogue, Selene, Omega Red, and Emplate, he was the pioneer in the field of feeding off lifeforces. To top it off, Lykos rechristened himself Sauron because he’s a giant nerd. In the rare instance of the Comics Code Authority’s arbitrary censorship yielding enhancing the medium, its ban on vampires and werewolves caused Sauron to become a more memorable monster than either. Yet somehow he’s not considered an A-list foe. MADNESS!
Maybe he’d finally earn the recognition for being the platonic ideal of awesome if he finally got a new action figure. The SDCC exclusive Savage Land box set cries out for Sauron to menace Ka-Zar, Zabu, and Shanna the She-Devil. He’s been a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants despite technically being a mutate, so getting him takes us one step closer to finishing that team. He can even beat up the Spider-Man figure of your choice to teach him that the Lizard and Stegron are pikers by comparison.
Sauron is a classic foe co-created by the legendary Neal Adams (with the legendary Roy Thomas), who gave him prehistorically inaccurate wings because he used One Million Years B.C. as reference. Adams would later co-create Man-Bat, who’s inspired several nifty action figures despite not being Arkham Asylum Inmate of the Year material himself. Because pterosaurs are even cooler than bats, a fully detailed and articulated Sauron would be even better! Hasbro even has most of Sauron made already thanks to the Walmart exclusive movie Lizard. All that’s needed is a new head, tail, winged arms, and loincloth. Why not make a Sauron since they’ve already paid for half the molds? If Hasbro knows what’s good for it, they’ll have Marvel Legends Sauron on shelves by the time Jurassic World hits theatres as a synergistic cross-sell. If there’s one X-character born to be a kick-ass action figure, it’s Sauron!
You may remember Matthew Catania from such Daily Lists as
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