With today’s review, I’ll be halfway through my reviews of the first Marvel Universe 2012 series, Wave 17! You can see all the past reviews in the Toy Reviews Index. Today I’m covering the first individual release of Storm in the Marvel Universe line, although she’s previously been released with a mohawk in the comic packs and also in the Giant Size X-Men boxset. Storm is one of the perennial X-Men, a former member of the Fantastic Four and now one of the few X-Men to become an Avenger, so she’s a necessity for almost any Marvel team display. Unfortunately, whereas I thought White Iron Fist was exceptional and Psylocke was very good except for her crazy head, Storm doesn’t fare as well…
I love the lightning attachments for Storm’s hands–so much so, that I’d say they’re the best part of the figure. These are reused and recolored from yellow to clear from their first release with Electro, but they are a terrific and logical accessory. They fit snugly on Storm’s arms, create lots of possibilities for dynamic posing, and make a real difference in the enjoyability of the figure.
Also, I’m pleased that we’re receiving a third Storm in this line after just a few years. The character depth Hasbro has been able to mine is a testament to this line, and I’m excited to get various costumes for characters like Storm, even if I’m not always thrilled with the final execution.
As far as the sculpt goes, the only part I really like is the head. The face is molded with the regal fine facial lines that Storm should have, and with the nicely-sculpted tiara this is unmistakably Storm.
Finally, I thought it was worth mentioning here that I love the new Deadpool slogans that are different on every cardback. They add an extra second of fun and elicit a big smile every time I read a new one, and I much prefer these to the old Steve Rogers/Osborne generic cardbacks that I immediately discarded without ever feeling the need to give even a first glance to. The Deadpool quip on Storm’s cardback reads: “Collect them all! … Fetch me a churro!” Not my favorite one, but still worth a laugh.
The combination of the sculpt and paint on Storm really let me down, as the finished product doesn’t convey Storm’s imperious nature at all. Storm should look elegant and majestic–instead, she looks sorta fat and dumpy. The diaper crotch also looks really awful on Storm in this color.
Whereas Psylocke was so poseable I forgot that I’d ever owned a Marvel Universe female figure before, Storm gave me the ‘Nam flashbacks of trying to get a decent pose out of my actual first female Marvel Universe figure: X-23. Storm looks great on the cardback, flyinginto the air casting electricity. I couldn’t get a pose even near that dynamic or interesting out of her, even with a flight stand. Like X-23, Storm’s swivel legs are virtually unposeable. Her hard plastic cape further restricts her movement and both makes it hard for her to stand straight up–as well as to stand up at all. You often have to tilt Storm unnaturally forward to get her to stand, which makes her looked hunched over and meek. Storm has a ball-jointed head, but the cape and long hair render it essentially useless, as her head can barely look around at all.
The paint apps department at the factory must have been having an off day when they painted Storm, because her paintwork is pretty awful compared to some of the other figures in Wave 17 like Iron Fist. She has lots of brown paint dribble running down her black costume on her legs, and several areas of her body have the paint bleeding or applied unevenly.
I’m also not at all impressed with Storm’s cape. I’m pretty sure this cape is either reused from another figure or is going to be reused for another figure, because it’s not ideal for Storm at all. It’s too hard and rigid which inhibits Storm’s movement and ability to stand, and it’s lacking in detail. I’m especially disappointed it’s missing the central red broach, which is such a crucial detail that it’s even on the card art. The cape looks too plain and barren without the red broach, and a missing small detail like that really dilutes my enjoyment of the total toy.
It appears to be the end of the road for the much-beloved Marvel Universe figure stands. This series is the first 2012 set of Marvel Universe figures, and to my astonishment Hasbro has found a cheaper and crappier pack-in than the Jedi Force Files from the old Power of the Jedi line. Instead of getting a practical, often-necessary figure stand with each figure this year, collectors will now get a “Collectible Comic Shot”, which refers to a small 2″ picture of the character taken from a cover and printed on a piece of low-quality cardstock. Worse, several of the “Comic Shots” in this series, including Storm’s, picture their character in a totally different costume than the one the figure they’re packaged with it wearing! At least the Jedi Force files gave you information about a character–these “Collectible Comic Shots” are just useless throw-aways.
Storm is evenly-packed at two-per-case-of-12 in the Wave 17 cases. At the time of writing, Marvel Universe Wave 17 has only begun to hit select specialty online retailers and hasn’t been sighted in stores as far as I know. Online, I’ve seen Storm available from a couple sources:
If you’re having trouble finding Storm at retail or from an online store, she’s pretty readily and easily available on ebay. You can check out the current listings for Marvel Universe Storm on ebay directly by clicking here.
Amazon has Storm available right now from several sellers with free shipping, but their prices and availability from various sellers change incredibly rapidly.
Entertainment Earth is tied for the best price online and has the Wave 17 Set of 6 for $54.99 in-stock and ready to ship at the time of writing this review.
BigBadToyStore is also tied for the best price on the Set of 6 for Wave 17 for just $54.99 (including Psylocke, Storm, Patriot, Thunder Age Iron Man, Modern Iron Fist, and Shadowland Daredevil) . That’s essentially the retail price, which is the best you can hope for from an online store. They also have Storm available individually for $13.99 on pre-order.
Overall: In my summary of Psylocke, I made the statement that “Psylocke is by absolutely no means perfect, but I’ve seen Hasbro put out far, far, far worse female action figures.” Storm is one such figure. While I like Storm’s head sculpt and I love how the energy attachment pieces look on her, that’s about where my appreciation for her stops. I really want to like this figure because I’m a huge X-Men fan and I want a Storm in this costume for my lineup, but this figure really let me down across the board in sculpting, paint quality, and articulation. To be blunt, this figure is horrible compared to the Mohawk Storm and First Appearance Storm from the Giant Size X-Men boxset, and I recommend either of those much more than this Storm. This Storm is what I would have expected from the Marvel Universe line back in 2008, but as a 2012 figure it’s just not up to par.