Just as I had resigned myself to having to wait until July for my X-Men Marvel Legends 2019 figures I ordered online arriving, I got a shipping confirmation for Beast! Turns out Amazon is shipping the figures as they get cases in, regardless of their stated “release date”. Looks like I’ll be waiting a bit for the rest of the Caliban series to arrive, but since Mrs. McCoy’s baby boy has bounced in, I’d be remiss if I didn’t review Beast ASAP…
One of my best collecting memories as a kid growing up is marching into Toys R Us one day and discovering the Toybiz X-Men Beast, Rogue and Morph figures had all arrived—in the midst of a $2.99 per figure sale, no less!
A decade and a half-plus later, I’ve still got and treasure that X-Men animated series Beast figure. Even so, I’m always game for a super-articulated upgrade, and I was never in love with Toybiz’s ML Beast. Has Hasbro created a worthy successor to my X-Men Animated Beast figure at last…?
Objectively speaking: absolutely, in almost every respect.
Although Hank McCoy is one of the most prominent and recognizable core X-Men members, he’s often overlooked by toy companies since he’s not an easy repaint. But Hasbro has gone all-out with a 100% newly-tooled figure that gives us a Jim Lee Beast for the ages!
As far as sculpting detail goes, this figure is a triumph. There’s minute fur sculpted into every millimeter of this figures chest, head, arms and legs—and it looks as good as I’ve seen on any statue of the figure that’s ever been made. The contrast given by the shading on some of the fur also really makes the details really pop out.
Hasbro opted for the open-mouthed, “angry” portrait for Beast’s head sculpt, and it’s… fine. I would have liked a more neutral-faced head option—since Beast is more of a thinker than a fighter—but I can’t complain too much about a unique-sculpted, heavy figure like this not getting a second head alongside its generous extra hands.
We get four hands with Beast: left and right grasping hands; an open-palmed left hand, and a fist right hand. They pop in and out easily and are a big display enhancement. We also get the Caliban Build-A-Figure head here as a pack-in, but I’ll save discussing the Caliban BAF for when I have him fully built.
The yellow belt on Beast is an add-on piece, but it’s been designed and produced properly so it stays nice and snug in place (thank God).
While I’ve been up-close with prototypes of this Beast figure several times since it was revealed last year, I was still caught off guard by just how dang articulated he is once I got him into my hands. Hank McCoy is a pretty limber dude—and Hasbro pulled out all the stops in demonstrating that in toy form!
The X-Men Marvel Legends Beast figure features the following points of articulation: hinged ankles with rockers; hinged toes; ball-jointed hips; ab crunch; ball-jointed upper torso; swivel waist/thighs/biceps; ball-hinge neck and shoulders; double-hinged knees and elbows; swivel-hinge wrists; and yes—even butterfly swivels for the shoulders. To be frank, this figure has one hell of a super-articulation scheme going on.
I am by no means an ace at finding exciting and photogenic poses to stick my action figures in, but I feel like there’s so many possibilities here that even I was able to stumble upon and achieve some fun ones without having to look to others’ photos for inspiration.
And for those wondering—yes, Beast can achieve the one-armed upside-down handstand shown in many Hasbro official promo images… sort of. I had to experiment for quite a few minutes to do so, but I managed to get Hank to hold himself up on one arm… for a few seconds.
Make no mistake, Beast can do a hand-stand and look incredible doing so—but if he can do it long-term without support, it can’t be achieved by me. I could only get him balanced on his right arm, and even then I could only do so with two of his hand choices (including a left hand I stuck on the right wrist anyway). Why? Well, that has to do with construction. And with what let’s segue into…
Now, I did say that this figure was an upgrade to my Toybiz 5” Beast figure in almost every respect. And the furry blue elephant in the room in that statement is quality control. While my Toybiz Beast is still nice and solid with tight joints after 25 years, I can’t say the same for this new Hasbro X-Men Legends Beast.
The curse of the cheap, rubbery plastic strikes again in the form of the joints for this Caliban Series Beast figure. With Hank being such a bulky figure with lots of heft to his limbs, the rubbery plastic simply is not sufficient to hold many poses tightly. His elbows rattle like crazy when I move him, and his toe-hinges give out and make him crumple over when I try to pose him too dynamically.
I’ve certainly had figures with worse QC than this—like the Kamala Khan and Morbius figures whose arms ripped off straight from the package—but I’m not at all thrilled with how cheap and rubbery the joints on the Beast Legends figure are.
In addition, for some insane reason, the right leg on my Beast figure is a couple millimeters shorter than the left leg, causing further stability problems. No matter how I move the hinge, rocker and toe joints, the right leg is incontrovertibly shorter. I haven’t heard of anyone else reporting this issue yet, so I’m assuming mine is just some sort of crazy cosmic fluke—but definitely keep your eyes peeled for this issue when you pop open your own Beast.
Overall: Beast comes very close to being an A+ figure, but the terrible plastic used for his joints tremendously damages a lot of my enjoyment of this figure. Hasbro has crafted a stupendous new Marvel Legends Beast figure for us here, with wonderful sculpting details, a nice mix of interchangeable hands and an insane amount of articulation—but when he can’t pose properly because of the way the figure is constructed, I just can’t give him the highest possible marks.
Even so, this is a fantastic action figure with many virtues, and I think that anyone who’s looking for a terrific (if not quite perfect) Beast for their X-Men Legends Collection should be very pleased with this Hank McCoy.
Amazon is sold out of pre-orders for Beast as of writing, but EE is still taking Beast orders for delivery in May–with him being packed at one-per-case, I think this is a figure collectors who don’t want to purchase a case or set get online, because I expect him to be near-impossible to find at retail.
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