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The bad news this week for much of the United States was that we got blasted with the most major winter storm so far this year and had to dig ourselves out. The good news is that I finally got snow for the first time this year in my neck of the woods (16” of it, to be exact!), which meant that at long last I could take a certain X-Men Legends 6” figure for outdoor review photos! The Marvel Legends Iceman Vintage series figure is already down to 13 bucks shipped just a few months after being released, but is this Bobby Drake figure really all that bad…?
Storm and Iceman were the last two figures to be revealed in the X-Men Marvel Legends Retro Series this summer, and upon seeing the official photos of the Iceman figure I immediately didn’t like it.
Bobby looked to be way too silver and had an awkward-looking ice sled accessory that was a totally different color from his body—both of which major factors that were leaving me cold. But now that I’ve had an opportunity to bond with this Iceman Marvel Legends figure in the actual snow and ice, I have to admit that I’ve warmed up to him. To an extent…
First thing’s first. The big selling point for this series is the retro Toybiz-styled “vintage” packaging, and Hasbro has done a lovely job updating that design with more modern artwork.
I’ll talk about it more in a little bit, but notice that the ice sled Toybiz packed in also didn’t match the figure! Hmm…
The back of the cardback is a pretty decent facsimile of the actual packaging back that Toybiz has for Iceman in the 90s—to the point where Hasbro basically just lifted the exact bio description for Bobby right off the classic cardback! Love it! I’m kinda of sad that there weren’t rows and rows of figures on the Hasbro cardback like Toybiz had, but the homage is still very evident and awesome.
My first impressions of the new X-Men Legends Iceman action figure itself weren’t, well… the best… while I was unboxing him. In my home’s dark evening lighting, he definitely looked like the Silver Surfer-like painter silver color that I feared, which I was not a fan of at all.
But lo and behold, once I took him outside and placed him in perfect sunlight, I discovered just how drastically the lighting affects the color of this toy! In the right light, the reflective pearlescent paint really does have an icy sheen to it that I think looks incredibly snazzy.
In the wrong light he still has a grey/silver appearance that I reckon will tick many collectors off, but I think the color Hasbro has achieved here is actually pretty dang close to what I’d consider ideal for 90s X-Men Gold Team Iceman.
Now, the ice slide… well, it is indisputably the wrong color. I assumed at first that this was a factory eff-up, but after looking at the blue slide that Toybiz did in the 90s, I think Hasbro might have made the ice sled the wrong color purposely.
Even if that is the case and Hasbro thought they were being clever, however, I think the ice slide looks downright awful. The contrast in colors between the sled and Iceman’s body is jarring aesthetically distracting. Regardless of if this was purposeful, this accessory’s coloration is a huge misfire.
I’m not sure I really like the idea of Iceman’s belt being a separate add-on piece in white plastic that contrasts the otherwise pearlescent figure, but again—Toybiz did it, and Hasbro is recreating that here. The belt fits nice and tight, and it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the slide does.
On the articulation side of things, this ML Iceman action figure really does excel, with the standout added joints being the ever-popular butterfly swivel elbows. His complete articulation scheme includes:
- Ball-Hinge Head
- Ball-Hinge Shoulders with Butterfly Swivel
- Ab Crunch
- Swivel Waist/Thighs/Boots/Biceps
- Double-Hinge Knees and Elbows
- Swivel-Hinge Wrists
- Ball Hips
- Hinged Ankles with Rockers
While this action figure is a bit limited in the cool poses he can do by the lack of accessories (bupkis other than the ugly ice slide), it’s definitely not articulation letting him down. Flexibility-wise, this mutant is aces.
Last thing I want to mention is the head sculpt. On the plus side, I like the painted white eyes and the hint of a grin on Bobby’s face. On the minus side, there’s a faint vertical line on the mold bisecting the portrait that sort of gives the feel of some weird Star Trek alien. The line is definitely a weird choice.
Overall: Going into this review, I thought I was going to slam the Vintage Marvel Legends Iceman figure as one of Hasbro’s worst entries this year. But, well… he’s not. Some debatable choices were definitely made with this figure (such as the blue ice slide and mold line on the face), but I can’t deny that I actually really like the pearly plastic user for this toy.
I think this feels the closest we’ve ever gotten to a true Jim Lee Iceman, and the articulation is outstanding. With a few properly-colored ice effects and a slightly modified head and belt, this would be a blockbuster figure. As it stands, it’s disappointing, but definitely still at least average (especially if you want a 90s Iceman for your display).