When the 3 ¾ inch Marvel Universe line of figures launched a couple of years ago I told myself not to bother with it. I already had a pretty large Marvel collection in the 6 inch scale from a few years back anyway. The initial figures that came out didn’t do much to impress me anyway. I found they looked really scrawny and they were selling for the same price as G.I. Joes only G.I. Joes were far more detailed and came with a ton of accessories while most of the Marvel figures didn’t come with any accessories. I actually like the fact that they don’t come with accessories because very few super-heroes use accessories. Silver Surfer needs a surf board of course and Captain America needs a shield but I hate when they package Spider-Man with a hang glider just so they can charge me an extra couple of bucks for the toy. I say do away with all useless accessories but for the love of god drop the price point a buck or two. Paying $12 for a little iceman figure is kind of hard to swallow when the guy is practically a solid white stick man. It wasn’t until the Red Hulk figure came out that I was finally hooked on this line of figures. The detail and overall quality had improved greatly over the next couple of lines and the fact that they were able to capture Ed McGuinness’s art style in such a small figure is what really impressed me. There was no turning back after that, I must have 100 of these things by now.
Though Red Hulk is the figure that convinced me to collect the line he wasn’t the first figure I purchased. Oddly enough the first figure I bought was this Wolverine. To some Wolverine might seem like an obvious choice but to me. I’ve always had a kind of love/hate relationship with Wolverine. He was booming in popularity right around the time I was getting into comic books. He was absolutely everywhere and he got shoehorned into different comic books that were struggling with sales. His costume is cool and his powers are awesome but half the time he couldn’t even be bothered to bring his costume to his guest appearances. His haircut may be unique but it never struck me as cool and I hated having a casually dressed Wolverine wandering around in all of my comic books. A couple years into my comic collecting Marvel launched Wolverines first solo book. I remember reading it thinking that this was exactly what I didn’t want in a Wolverine book. He was goofing around fighting losers I’d never heard of in a boring fictional city all the while wearing a stupid eye-patch. Meh. Doug stuck it out for a while but I lost interest quickly. I also was annoyed with the whole “no memory of his past” angle. Basically, yes he looked cool but I found him to be a boring character to read about.
When I saw this figure I didn’t see all the boring over-wrought stories of him wandering around in Madripoor, I just saw a cool figure. In the comic books around this time Wolverine had joined the new X-Force team which was a stealth team assembled by Cyclops for covert missions. All of the X-Force crew wore black and silver variations of their usually costumes. It’s amazing what a little black and silver can do to make a character seem even more bad-ass than he was before. I was really digging the look and was impressed when this figure came out (the first Wolverine of the series) to see that they had opted to put him in his new and not widely recognizable X-Force costume. I wanted it just because it was so fresh but I didn’t want to rope myself into collecting a new series of figures. It then dawned on me though that I didn’t own a single Wolverine figure. Clearly I had let my hate of the character overshadow my love for him and had navigated my way through the Secret Wars, the 90s X-Men toys, and the Marvel legends without ever having owned a Wolverine toy. For a character released so often it’s almost a staggering thought that I was able to avoid owning him for so long. So I figured it was time to remedy that situation and I scooped me up this X-Force Wolverine. I think my patience paid off as this is a very nice little Wolverine. The sculpt is nice, he’s well detailed, has the just-right amount of articulation and is not overly posed. I really like the head sculpt too as the mask is just pointy enough. And the black and silver costume just seals the deal, he looks awesome. The X-Force costume has been released twice more since but this one gets points for being the first. Welcome to my collection Wolverine…I hope you survive the experience. 8 out of 10.