Marvel Super Hero Squad Review: Nightcrawler & Juggernaut

without comments

These retrospective looks back at Super Hero squad figures have shown me the fascinating journey that this line has been on. What once started as essential Galactic Heroes style Marvel characters has evolved into its own line. Wave 4 really began to kick it off by giving characters unique, dynamic posing. Instead of just two figures standing with squatting legs, the toys became something else entirely.

With Wave 4 being 75% X-Men themed, Hasbro walked the balance between original members of the group and new members that joined in Giant Sized X-Men. This pack includes everyone’s favorite blue elf: Nightcrawler!

Within the last decade, Nightcrawler began to take on a more demonic vibe, especially after the second X-Men movie. His fangs, blue skin and pointy ears didn’t exactly make him the most huggable character. But this figure goes back to his roots and returns Nightcrawler to the jovial, swashbuckling character he once was!

Nightcrawler is in his classic red, black and white outfit that drastically contrasts with his bright blue skin. While the figure is visually striking, what really sets him apart is the pose.

Nightcrawler has completely abandoned the generic Heroes stance. Instead one arm is outstretched while the other looks like it’s carrying an invisible tray. His legs are bent at odd angles that make him impossible to stand by just using his feet. Instead, Nightcrawler has to balance using his hands and feet, it’s like Sabretooth take two! Much like Spider-Man, Kurt is known for crouching a lot since he used to be an acrobat in the circus. Thankfully, Nightcrawler moves at the shoulders and waist allowing for a multitude of odd poses that look good.

The rest of the sculpted details on Kurt look great too. His arms have just enough muscle definition so he doesn’t look flubby while his vest (which is very similar to Colossus‘s) is all sculpted. But the most important aspects of his sculpt are those that have to do with his mutated appearance.

Nightcrawler’s hands are like those of a Ninja Turtle: two fingers and a thumb. His feet each have two toes while his pointed blue tail is curling near his feet. Kurt even has his pointy elf ears and a surprising amount of hair that almost looks like a mullet.

At first glance, Nightcrawler’s paint looks good. The white gloves and boots with red cuffs and vest and black spandex underneath all are the right colors. The blue used on his face is the perfect shade and allows his yellow eyes to shine while being light enough so his hair and eyebrows are visible. The only odd part is where the cuffs meet the black. It looks like the black was painted first and done rather sloppily. An extra coat of red paint would fix it, but up close it’s clear that either the black or the red went out of the line.

Packed with Nightcrawler is one of the X-Men’s greatest foes and sometimes ally: Cain Marko the unstoppable Juggernaut! The step brother of Professor X, Marko and Charles were trapped in a cave that was the temple of Cyttorak and contained a magical gem that transformer Marko into the Juggernaut!

Yep, one of the X-Men’s most prominent bad guys isn’t even a mutant, he’s just a super strong guy powered by magic. It was one of the few changes in X-3 that actually almost made sense to me and only filled me with a little bit of rage.

The super powered step brother, Juggernaut is a massive figure. Posed like he’s about to run through something, Juggernaut is easily twice the size of the average figure. His left leg is stretched back while his arms are drawn up into fists. It’s a fantastic pose for this unstoppable force.

Since Marko doesn’t need to eat, breathe or worry about his own physical safety much, Juggernaut has a fairly basic costume design. Large boots, a few metal bands around his feet and arms and a top that looks suspiciously like football gear. The only special part of his costume is his helmet, which is made of special materials to block psychic attacks.

Juggernaut only has two points of articulation, his shoulders. But the power of his pose helps the figure out a lot. The one issue with the sculpt I have is the face under the helmet. First, I think the eye holes are way too far apart. Second, the grin on his face just seems wrong. It looks like “that’s a cute puppy!” When it should be more like “I’m going to enjoy pounding your face in.”

Like Nightcrawler, Juggernaut has a few paint issues. The red paint from his abdomen bled onto his leg, while the black from his belt bled onto his torso. As for the bands on his arms, only the top of them is painted but the sides are left skin tone which makes for some odd looks depending on the angle.

Sure, thematically this two-pack makes about the least amount of sense that an X-Men pack could make. I mean, on his own, Nightcrawler has no way of beating the Juggernaut! He really should have been paired with Jean Grey or Professor X. While both figures have issues with paint, the sculpts are unique and excellently executed and makes up for the flaws.

Marvel Super Hero Squad Wave 4
The Thing & Mole Man Beast & Iceman
Wolverine & Phoenix Nightcrawler & Juggernaut

Written by jestergoblin

May 26th, 2010 at 12:00 am

In addition to commenting, be sure to stay up to date by visiting the Hasbro Heroes Forum!