When my brother Doug and I were kids we collected everything jointly. However, that doesn’t mean we shared our stuff in a “what’s mine is yours” kind of way. We clearly had our own things which we kept apart. We each had our own toy boxes, lego bins, and figure drawers. With comics we alphabetized our collections on separate bookshelves on opposite sides of the bedroom. I collected books like Spider-Man and Silver Surfer and he collected books like the X-Men and Captain America. We always read each other’s books before filing them away in our own respective collections. So back in those days I was well versed in the X-Men corner of the Marvel Universe because Doug collected X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, Excalibur, Wolverine and all the various mini-series’ that spun out of them.
But we haven’t lived together or had easy access to each others collections since I was in high school. Thusly, I’ve been out of the X-Men loop for quite some time. I have a vague idea of what’s going on in the X-books but every now and again something weird happens like “Jubilee becomes a vampire” or “Beast has a secondary mutation and turns into a cat” or “the original 5 teenage X-Men time travel from the past and now reside with their adult selves” and I have absolutely no idea how we got to that point. The X-Men books have seemingly become such a continuity nightmare that I don’t think I could ever find the patience to dive back into them. There are only a half dozen X-Men movies and they can’t keep things straight so just imagine what the comic universe looks like after thousands of stories have been told. Yet, while I keep the modern X-Men at arm’s length I still think fondly of the X-Men comics of the late 1980s when I knew them well.
Back in the good ol’ days Sabretooth and Wolverine were meeting in battle for the first time, Cypher and Warlock of the New Mutants were two separate people, Psylocke was a sweet and innocent new addition to the Xavier school, Rusty and Skids were a happy couple, and Dazzler went from an outdated disco diva to my favorite Marvel mutant. Another thing I liked from those days was that Magneto was a good guy. He had been the X-Men’s primary villain since 1963 but by the time Doug and I started reading X-Men in 1986 he was the headmaster of Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters. He had stopped wearing his signature red tights and bucket helmet and made the switch to a much comfier looking baggy purple outfit with snazzy white boots.
This figure showcases Magneto in all his 1980s good guy glory. It’s the third Magneto figure released as part of Hasbro’s 3 ¾” Marvel Universe line. The first Magneto was included in a Secret Wars themed 2-pack along with a black suited Spider-Man in 2009. It featured the master of magnetism in his iconic red tights and helmet. It was a good figure but not one I picked up because I hadn’t fully committed to collecting this toyline at that point. Plus I already had a black Spidey and didn’t feel the need to add a second one to my burgeoning MU collection.
An individually carded Magneto was released in 2011 which featured him in the dark purple and black uniform that he wears in the alternate reality known as the Ultimate Universe. I would’ve been happy to add an Ultimate Magneto to my collection but Hasbro made an ill-conceived decision to paint his face grey to emulate the shadows cast by his helmet. It looked dumb and the figure was an easy pass.
This third Magneto was released in another comic themed 2-pack in 2012; this time with Captain America. As was the case with the first Magneto figure I didn’t want or need his pack mate but this time I didn’t let that stop me. I had fully committed to collecting this toyline by then, I wanted a Magneto, and this one was too good to pass up.
Not to say this is an amazing action figure necessarily but it does capture a moment in time that I care deeply about; the time when I first discovered the wonderful world of comics. The way characters were portrayed back then is how I still view them today so Magneto is still mainly a good guy in my mind; no matter what atrocities he’s committed since the 80s. So this purple blouse wearing Magneto with the feathered hair is my favorite version of the character even though he only sported this look for a short while in his long history.
The figure itself is pretty good. I find the scrawnier figures like Spider-Man usually suck at this scale while the bulkier figures like the Hulk look great. Middle sized figures like Magneto here tend to fall somewhere in between the two quality-wise. The sculpt is good and the articulation is decent, meaning that there are plenty of joints as we’ve come to expect from this line and yet it can be difficult to pose him dynamically. The paint job is a little boring but that’s not the fault of Hasbro since this is a minimalistic costume by Marvel’s design.
The cape has some really nice sculpted folds and wrinkles but I find it a little too long. The fact that the cape hangs past his feet can make it difficult to stand him up at times but when you lean him against something you can use it to create the illusion that he’s using his magnetic powers to levitate which is kind of neat. 6 out of 10.