REVIEW: Hot Toys MMS229 "The Wolverine" Wolverine
'Cause Every Girl Crazy 'Bout A Sharp Dressed Man...
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It's hard to top this summer's blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past, but last year's The Wolverine did an honorable job of showcasing the clawed Marvel mutant. It was certainly better than the forgettable X-Men Origins: Wolverine, so at least Logan's film future is on the right path. Seeing the opportunity to create an all-new 1:6th action figure of the fan favorite X-Man, Hot Toys has released Logan as he appears in The Wolverine. Unlike his uniformed Last Stand look, this version from Hot Toys stars a more "casual" Wolverine. Casual being a bit of a misnomer, as Hot Toys represents Hugh Jackman's character dressed to the nines in a full black suit, complete with matching overcoat and tie. Fans also get the choice of stripping Logan down to a truly casual look of tank top and work pants, or even hunked-out for the ladies bare-chested and manly. Available at retail now, Hot Toys' The Wolverine will set you back for around $225, the going rate for a bare bones Hot Toys action figure these days.
Packaging for The Wolverine plays off the movie's minimalistic promo art - a calligraphy-like design that depicts the character with claws extended. It's visually pleasing in its stark black and white contrast, a color pop of red breaking the monotony and adding a hint of anger. The back of the box continues that contrast with the bold use of crimson and an image of the actual figure ready for combat. A shoe box presentation, the lid lifts fully off to reveal a cardboard insert showing off a red sun trisected by three "claw" marks. Such a great design. With the anticipation mounting, removing the insert finally reveals the figure inside.
As is the Hot Toys norm, The Wolverine and all his gear come stowed on two stacked plastic trays. A third tray of accessories comes nestled in the lid. Thankfully this tray isn't glued down, instead being secured by four corner slits. Compared to some Hot Toys figures on the market, The Wolverine doesn't come with a whole lot, but what the figure does include is all very diverse and character driven.
In addition to displaying the figure with multiple clothing styles (with jacket, without jacket, tank top, none), fans have the choice of five sets of hands. First there's fisted, open, and weapon grasping for the included real-metal samurai sword and sheath. The sword is an awesome addition, the blade elevating the mutant's clawed animal-like nature to a new level. While the sword looks great paired with a fisted or sheath-holding hand, it really pays off when displayed with one claw-extended hand. The bone claws radiate cool with their organic appearance (made of a slightly pliable hard plastic), but my bet is that most collectors will be using Wolverine's more lethal-looking adamantium claws. Like the sword, these are cast in real-metal - the combo of metal blade and claw looking killer on display.
As mentioned, the amount of display options you can get out of this figure are surprisingly high considering what little you get. In addition to the many hand/ weapon/ claw variations, The Wolverine's wardrobe allows for three distinct looks. That is if you have the patience to play Hugh Jackman Barbie. Dealing with clothing on this scale has always been finicky for me and stripping Wolverine out of his layered suit was no exception. Once down to his tank top, which Wolverine wears underneath his suit, you'll find an odd white stretchy shirt beneath that. I can only assume this piece of clothing is to add more bulk to the figure when all suited up, because otherwise I don't see why you'd wear anything under a tank top. Alas, this piece has to be removed if you're going for the tank-topped look - the process forcing you to take off the tank top and putting it back on. And here I thought Logan already wearing the tank top would save me a step.
Once down to his tank top, Wolverine has a pair of casual pants and hiking shoes you can dress him in to complete the rugged outdoors ensemble. You can also choose to have Logan bare-chested, but while the figure's upper torso is defined, I find it lacks the muscular build of Wolverine. Put bluntly: he looks too skinny. Personally I prefer Wolverine all suited up (and more bulked out). It's a unique look for the character; the all-black suit adding an air of style and sophistication to the typically laid-back mutant. 'Cause every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man.
Completing The Wolverine figure is the head sculpt. You only get one with this release, a big bummer, as I would have loved to have seen an enraged portrait included for more display options. What fans get is a stern Wolverine expression, with mouth closed and eyes staring intently off to one side. The realism is certainly there, but I'm a bit torn on whether this is 100% Hugh Jackman. Something just appears slightly off... and I can't quite put my finger on it. Hot Toys is funny like that - where every head they sculpt these days looks phenomenal - you know who it is - but some portraits are dead ringers, while others miss the mark. Wolverine is the latter, but only ever so slightly. It's like comparing fine caviar to truffles. They're both expensive, it's just a matter of taste.
The Wolverine was a great reason for Hot Toys to create a new version of the character. While not the most complex figure, seeing Wolverine in a suit with samurai sword and your choice of clawed hands makes for a killer display piece. I think the going rate of $225 is pushing things some, but given the license and almost guaranteed quality and realism of a Hot Toys figure, it is to be expected. If you don't already own a Hot Toys Wolverine, or are simply looking for a unique version of the clawed Marvel mutant, this is a fine place to start.
Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor
Review Sample Courtesy of Hot Toys
Last edited by JeffSaylor; 08-04-2014 at 02:10 PM.