Thursday, November 14, 2013

Marvel Select Sabretooth & Wolverine

Some action figure collectors prefer the Marvel Legends over Marvel Select for articulation, but Diamond has their own thing going on in my opinion. While it's improved with some of Diamond Select's more recent offerings, the articulation in the earlier figures are limited and/or quirky. The packaging on these figures are criticized for their size as well, but I enjoy the deluxe experience in a way, and love the side panel art. Wolverine's features a Frank Miller rendering directly from Wolverine Vol.1, one of my first graphic novels and definitive moment in the character's history, but Sabretooth's side panel inexplicably features a Todd McFarlane illustration from the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #324 instead of a John Byrne drawing, who dreamt up the character with Chris Claremont for Iron Fist #14.

The variant of this First Appearance Sabretooth is the more modern, but I like the bare feet on this more feral looking version, and I felt his unmasked head would pair better with the Frank Miller Wolverine variant. The sculpt has great detail in the fur, fabric puckers, and open fanged mouth. His articulation is a little more limited than a Marvel Legends and a little weird, but serviceable. The hinge-swivels at the ankles, knees, shoulders, neck, elbows, and wrists help a lot, and he does have a waist swivel. Not bad. 

I love Sabretooth's clawed hands, which are somewhat pointy to the touch, and is oddly pleasing when combined with the tactile similarity of the rest of the jagged fur and hair. The paint scheme is simple, but features some nice shadowing in dark orange throughout the body, and highlights in the hair. At about 7 3/4", Sabretooth isn't the biggest Marvel Select I own, but a substantial action figure with a solid heft that feels high quality, and appropriately scaled to his enemy, Wolverine. This is a great figure!

Like many an action figure collector, I have a few Wolverines, and while this one isn't perfect, they nailed Frank Miller's version of Logan in both the body and head on this unmasked variant. I love the wide, red belt on the brown costume, and his flanged boot tops and horned hairdo really emulate Miller's art. Logan's smaller frame and overall physique are a big part of the visual success as well, the figure's stature taken directly from the comic. Pretty cool!

Logan has some nice, subtle shading throughout the body, but the triangle shoulder pads are bereft of the incised detail that the costume's torso strip enjoys. The big, ugly elbow hinges look a little rough as well, and could have used some sanding. The musculature is nicely sculpted however, and his craggy face stays true to the character's historically homely looks, prior to the ruggedly handsome Hugh Jackman portrayal in the X-Men movies. I'm not crazy about the warped claws, nor the angled wrists, but the swivels at the boot tops and waist are helpful, as are the hinged ankles. We don't get a hinge in the neck, but the ball joint is pretty expressive. The swivel-hinge hips and shoulders are nothing to write home about, but serviceable. He poses quite well. but slightly tighter hinges in the ankles could have improved the overall experience.

I've been seeing a lot of  Marvel Select on the shelves in retail, but I got these from Amazon.Com at a discounted price and free shipping. Sabretooth was from 2009, and Wolvie had 2013 on the box, but I'm certain the body and base used on the 2009 release in the X-Men yellow & blue. While the oversized diorama bases included with the Marvel Select figures take up a lot of real estate on the shelf, they are often nicely done. The silver drybrushing on Sabretooth's base trumps Wolverine's some what flat gray stand, still there are great details in the mechanical minutiae on both. Wolverine has the Weapon X helmet instead of the samurai dummy and katana included with his masked variant, and Sabretooth comes with a mangled caution sign that seems appropriate to the industrial base.

I enjoy these variants individually and love them as a pair- they compliment each other visually quite well. I tend to prefer the often superior deco on Marvel Selects, others gravitate to the articulation of the Marvel Legends figures. And though these have decent articulation, Marvel Select has improved yet more since creating these. This combined with Marvel Select's more artful sculpts and paint give Marvel Legends a run for their money, mine of which was well spent on these two great figures.

I also feel like there's more variety among the Marvel Select figures.versus the oft sameness throughout the Marvel Legends collection. Case in point, a broad swath of unique Marvel Select buck types: Captain Marvel, The Hulk, and Thanos with Sabretooth and Wolverine...

More Later- Make It FUN!


  1. I agree with your assessment BUT Marvel Select should really be focusing on figures that Hasbro will never make. Love it when they did Mephisto and the Watcher. More like that!

  2. These have always been my favorite versions of these characters. Now I wish I'd paid more attention to the Marvel Selects line.

  3. I personally rather like the Marvel Select stuff more so than a lot of the Legends stuff but they both have there good and bad.

  4. This is how I want a classic Brown Wolverine to look like on a 6-inch scale Marvel Legends figure. And that Marvel Select classic Sabretooth is really hard to find in stores.

  5. LOVE the Select line so far.. Strongly preferred my Select Hawkeye to the Legends one (better face sculpt....), and a few bucks cheaper on eBay. Agreed on Select going where Legends isn't..

    Would REALLY like a Swordsman/Mantis set..!!!

    I have a good share of Avengers Legends figures, but haven't liked any FF figures at all. None say Bronze '70s to me, face sculpts aren't that good.

    I do have my MU FF figs with the Fantasticar from the movie for fun, which scale-wise works out pretty well, but have ignored the Legends counterparts.