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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Marvel Universe: Astonishing Wolverine!

05.25.2014 – There has been several Wolverine action figures out there that were produced by Mattel, Toy Biz, and currently with Hasbro. The most definitive versions presented were at the height of the very first X-Men movies.

Several promotions and merchandise where released and there’s no other popular character in the X-Men is none other than James “Logan” Howlett. Up until now Hugh Jackman has portrayed the character seven times in all X-Men related films.

The action figures of course have grown in numbers that for the casual fan would loose count on which versions you should first start collecting. The best versions came out during the golden age of Marvel Legends action figures produced by Marvel’s then toy division which is with Toy Biz.

But unfortunately Marvel closed out their toy division to focus on their multi-billion Marvel Cinematic Universe and handed the rights to Hasbro. You can still find Toy Biz in the secondary market though it will be a bit pricey.

The best version of Wolverine would always be the yellow and blue tights he wore in his first appearance in Incredible Hulk #180 Vol.1 in October 1974. For those who never knew about Wolverine’s creators they are Len Wein, John Romita Sr., and Roy Thomas introduced as Canada’s Greatest Superhero.

Wolverine won’t have a full appearance until Incredible Hulk #181 Vol.1 on November 1974 with cover art by Herb Trimpe. After that the next was Giant X-Men #1, and as they say the rest was history.

Astonishing Logan

The modern definitive version of Wolverine would possibly the one who appeared on Astonishing X-Men #1. It’s by far the best version of all Wolverine iterations out there, and the way it appears more grounded to possibly exist in the real world.

If you’ve seen The Wolverine film last year pretty sure you are aware of the alternate ending to the film prior to Yukio handing him a suitcase that have his classic comic book costume. But no one is exactly sure which comic book costume was presented to him.

The Astonishing version has been around since its debut in 2006, and has been the default costume he wears ever since. Not until Marvel NOW introduced a new one recently that was never popular with fans, and it appears less of the character itself. The action figures produced based on the ‘Astonishing’ costume first seen in the Wolverine figure released under the Apocalypse Build-A-Figure Series and it had two variations.

The same body but to alternating heads of Logan wearing the mask while the other having it unmask seeing his face less angry. When Hasbro acquired the rights to Marvel Legends they didn’t produce a new version until the Rocket Raccoon Build-A-Figure in 2013. But prior to that Hasbro has released an unmasked version for the 3.75’ scale under the X-Men Origins: Wolverine film in 2009.

Yellow and Some Blues

Marvel Universe continued its successful release of 3.75” figures separated from other lines of the same scale based on the X-Men movies like “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Hasbro produced the first Astonishing Wolverine in this scale, but it’s unmasked and won’t release another version until 2012 under the Marvel Universe series.

At first you’ll notice the difference between the Universe version and from the X-Men Origins, but they actually one and the same with slight retool with new paint. The newer version appears to be slightly close to the comic book version that Joss Whedon wrote and with art by John Cassidy.

This is also the same version Hasbro produced for the Marvel Legends scale, and the only difference is the figure size and the engineering that included more poseable joints. The masked version of Astonishing Wolverine shows an angry look almost the same as the unmasked version released for the X-Men Origins toy line.

Snikt All The Way

Overall the Astonishing Wolverine could easily be the best version that came out under the Marvel Universe toy line. He’s not wearing his trunks a la Superman anymore, and fits well to the growing X-Men roster for this series.

There are notable about this wave which includes the signature stand, but its great that he’s no longer have a grenade launcher or a red katana blade unlike the very first release in his Uncanny X-Force black ops uniform.

Though in comparison with the X-Men Origins version the yellow and blue here is a bit bright unlike the latter release, which is about right but since it’s based from the comic book series it still the best Wolverine by any standards.

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