By Chris Troy
Happy post Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday (who says the holidays are commercialized) FPNYC Faithful! If you’re anything like me (which if so, I’m sorry to hear that), you probably spent most of your weekend in a food/football/shopping coma. If not, I’m extremely jealous of you, unless you were working.
So let’s talk toys shall we? I’m going to attempt to start a new feature for the blog, highlighting the evolution of certain popular characters throughout a particular line. The easiest would be Batman, but that would be a month’s work of articles (hmmm..). Instead we’ll go with something a littler easier, Marvel’s most popular mutant/Canadian: Wolverine!
Surprisingly, the 1st Wolverine figure that came from the Marvel Universe line was not in his modern costume, but his X-Force costume (back when it was written by X-Men:Evolution creators Craig Kyle & Chris Yost, and was mostly all claw-based characters). It’s actually a really great figure, despite Wolverine never actually using a gun during that run of the book. Post-X-Force Wolverine’s release, Hasbro released several Wolverine figures in his classic yellow costume and brown one in the Wolverine: Origins line, as well as several figures based on Hugh Jackman’s version of the character. Since that took care of the iconic costumes, the Marvel Universe line saw the release of 3 other variant Wolverine costumes: his maskless yellow/blue jumpsuit from Jim Lee‘s run on Uncanny, his Weapon X Operative outfit (also designed in the 90s, which explains the pouches) and his classic first appearance costume from Incredible Hulk #181. I’m not particularly thrilled with ANY of these figures to be honest, but different strokes for different folks and all that.
In terms of variety, the most you’ll find for Wolverine are usually packaged with other figures. Both the MU Masterworks Sentinel and the Captain America Vs. Comic 2-pack have reissued Wolverine figures from the Origins line, and are both good if you want some classic Wolverine figures in your Universe collection( although that Sentinel will set you back a pretty penny). Patch Wolverine, which is a reworked maskless jumpsuit Wolverine, comes packaged with a dope Silver Samurai figure, which is almost worth paying $20 bucks for that alone. The cream of the packaged crop though has to be the Uncanny X-Force 3-pack, consisting of a X-Force Wolverine with a new head sculpt, Warpath and Deadpool. Even though the only changes are a new head and grey paint instead of silver, it’s probably the best Wolverine that’s been released prior to October.
The Best Bet:
This past October saw the release to what I ultimately consider the BEST Marvel Universe Wolverine figure to date: Astonishing X-Men Wolverine. Based on the costume he’s been sporting on and off since Joss Whedon started his 24 issue run on Astonishing, the figure is a wonderful mixture of old and new. The same head-sculpt from the Uncanny X-Force Wolverine is used for this figure, but the body sculpt is 100% new from what I can tell. He’s a little stumpy too, which is fine by me, and looks great posed next to the other X-Men/Avengers. Regardless what I think, we have a ton of various Wolverines in stock; so if saw one you liked on this entry, come by the store and pick it up ASAP!