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REVIEW: X-Men Marvel Legends Caliban Build-A-Figure

The most-anticipated series of every year for a large contingent of Marvel Legends collectors is the annual X-Men Legends series, and while we’ve got some offshoot waves coming later in the year, the core wave has begun arriving! While this is another stacked series, the 2019 X-Men Legends Build-A-Figure is a little… less… demanded than the majority of the wave. The Marvel Legends Caliban BAF can already be found for around just 50 bucks online… but is he comparatively cheap because he’s bad, or just in low demand…?

2019 Marvel Legends X-Men Caliban Figure BAFIf you asked me to make up a list of 50 X-Men related characters I’d like to see Hasbro tackle as Build-A-Figure entries, Caliban wouldn’t have even made the list. He might be a classic character who was briefly on the X-Force roster and had a role in the “Logan” movie, but poor Caliban just isn’t a character I care about.

Hasbro must have felt a bit differently, however, or else we wouldn’t be getting the mutant tracker-turned-Horseman in a precious Marvel Legends Build-A-Figure slot! Is this figure worthy of the honor? Here’s my review…

Unassembled Pieces of Caliban Marvel Legends 2019 FigureWhile I’ve already confessed that Caliban as a character is one of the X-team members I least wanted an action figure of, I can’t deny that he has excellent synergy with some of last year’s key releases. His rival, Sabretooth, got a wonderful ML figure of his own in 2018, and Caliban looks natural posed with the Apocalypse BAF or fellow Four Horseman Archangel. If ever there was a “right” time to do a Caliban Legends figure, this was it.

Close-Up of X-Men Legends Caliban FigureMy favorite component of this figure is unquestionably the head sculpt. The head is just outstandingly awesome with its irate, open-mouthed “roar” and has loads of built-in personality. The grayish white plastic with a dark grey paint wash on parts of it looks perfect, giving Caliban’s head a shadowed and grimy feel.

Caliban Marvel Legends Build-A-Figure RoaringAnd the shape of Caliban’s horned white head definitely makes my mind call back to a certain Game of Thrones character with a white head and horns—and anything that evokes Game of Thrones in my mind always gets a thumbs up!

X-Men Marvel Legends Caliban vs BeastCaliban’s body is about 8” tall overall, and has the same feeling of bulk and musculature that the Space Knight Venom from a few years ago did. The proportions feel very accurate to the comic books, and I’ve got no complaints about this body mold at all for Big Cal.

Back of X-Men Legends Build-A-Figure CalibanI’m also really psyched with how well-done the hands on this figure are. The add-on wrist bracelets fit wonderfully snug, and the inhuman, spindly claw-like fingers have the same detailed coloration as the head does. The hands look intimidatingly dangerous.

Hasbro X-Men Legends Caliban FigureFor articulation lovers, Caliban has nearly as much super-articulation as most folks would ask for:

  • Double-Hinged Knees
  • Hinged Ankles with Rockers
  • Swivel-Hinge Wrists
  • Hinge Elbows
  • Ball-Hinge Neck and Shoulders
  • Ball Hips
  • Swivel Thighs/Calves/Waist/Biceps
  • Upper Torso Ab Crunch

The single-hinged Elbows with no swivel or ball-joint are a bummer, but otherwise I’m content with the articulation scheme on this big guy. He’s heavy enough to hold up other figures with ease, and can pull off a good number of powerhouse poses.

Marvel Legends Hercules Wrestles Caliban Build-A-FigureWhat’s not so swell about this Marvel Legends Caliban Build-A-Figure? Not much! But here’s my bullet point nitpicks:

My biggest gripe with this figure is the pearlescent silvery-white paint chosen as a primary color for the Caliban BAF costume. The sparkly paint feels really out of paint on this monstrous powerhouse, and I never felt like Caliban had a pearlescent looking outfit in the comics. I think matte white with a wash would have been a less jarring selection. I do dig the matte maroon on his costume, though!

Front of Hasbro X-Men Marvel Legends Caliban Action FigureFor whatever reason, there are also a few sculpted “veins” running down the front of Caliban’s crotch. As you might imagine, these look a little, well… strange.

While the plastic quality overall is better on the Caliban BAF than on many figures we’ve seen lately, the joints in his elbows and knees still feel a bit loose and wobbly to the touch. Curiously enough, all of the other joints on mine feel nice and solid, however.

Paint Defects on Hasbro Caliban X-Men Marvel Legends FigureSpeaking of QC: the paint team did a bang-up job on the paint applications on the front of my Caliban figure… but botched the sides of the shoulders and the design on his back with some sloppy paint. The paint looks good overall, but if you’re OCD about paint apps, keep your eyes on the Caliban BAF parts for paint flaws.

Head Sculpt on Caliban BAF X-Men LegendsOverall: While I’m not exactly enthusiastic about the choice of a Caliban Build-A-Figure for this year’s X-Men Legends Wave, I can’t fault Hasbro for doing a killer job with him. I don’t love the pearlescent paint on Caliban’s body or a few minor QC issues he has, but the bulky proportions, vicious head sculpt and intimidating claw-like fingers are all right on-target. This is a fantastic figure that will complement previous X-Men Legends really well—it just happens to be of a character that has relatively little in the way of demand and fanfare.


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