Tuesday, August 16, 2011

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Cable

Produced by Hasbro | Released April 2011

CABLE has been a soldier his entire life. Fore as long as he can remember, there has never been anything but his mission. With his powerful psychic abilities suppressed by a techno-organic virus, he devoted himself to perfecting his fighting skills. He has traveled across time, fighting wars in the blasted lands of an apocalyptic future, and battling alongside the X-MEN in the present day.

Packaging Shots

Cable comes from the Marvel Universe's Series 3 Wave 2. Like most figures from this Series, many collectors have experienced difficulty finding him at retail, despite being released four months ago. Thankfully I was fortunate enough to see a single Cable hanging on a peg at my local Target and so I snapped him up. Was he worth the wait?

Let's start with a look at the basic sculpt. This is a very well-produced, nicely-crafted figure. Cable appears to have a lot of unique parts and even those elements recycled from other figures are well-used here. He's a very interesting character, visually and the Patented Rob Liefeld straps 'n' pouches look works surprisingly well (even if I'm not a fan of it on the page.)

Cable's basic sculpt is - as mentioned - augmented with a number of pouches, belts and harnesses, all cast as extra pieces that sit well on the figure. They're cast from a fairly soft, malleable plastic that allows the figure to move without restriction but at the same time the pieces fit snugly. There's not only a thigh-mounted holster for his pistol (which fits perfectly and won't be falling out in a hurry) but the chest harness also includes a peg onto which Cable's rifle (see below) can be attached. That's not something you usually see with the Marvel Universe line and I certainly hope to see more consideration given to equipment storage in the future.

Note that this is the ''running change'' version of Cable and does not include the Baby Hope chest accessory. 

The head sculpt is particularly good, with Cable sporting a grizzled, battle-weary look combined with an expression of grim determination. His hair is also well sculpted and gives a great impression of real hair. There's a lot of nice detail here and it's a good interpretation of the comicbook character's look.

Articulation is... interesting. On the whole it's very good, with Cable including a waist joint - something of a rarity in recent Marvel Universe figures - and cut-thigh/hip joints. I'm still not convinced about Hasbro's approach to their hip articulation and Cable doesn't do anything to make me feel any better about it. Whilst it works fine I just think the GI Joe mounting is much more flexible when it comes to posing.

Strangely, Cable includes side-to-side ankle joints, meaning it's possible to pose him with his feet spread but also planted firmly on the ground. It's a little odd at first and it works well when you're standing him in such poses. However, he tends to become a little bow-legged when you place both feet on the stand pegs. He also features mid-calf cut joints, which work fairly well and expand the range of potential poses rather nicely.

Paintwork is nicely designed and - on the whole - cleanly applied. Although his basic costume is, well, basic, there are some additional details such as the red trim and gold leg chevrons to add a little colour. Sadly the leg chevron application is a little sloppy but the accessory pieces are very nicely done, with flat metal buckles and studs being cleanly applied. His cybernetic arm has also been treated with a dark wash to accentuate the sculpt, which works very well indeed.

The face detailing is very well done, with a dark wash bringing out his grizzled look and hair and facial details being cleanly picked-out. There's a single (albeit rather small) white blob just above my Cable's eyebrow, but it's the only real miss-step with the app and the remainder is very good.


Cable comes with a blaster pistol and rifle, plus his Psi-Mitar weapon. These accessories are very nicely tooled and - like his cybernetic arm - feature a great dark wash that really gives the impression of them being metallic.

The accessories fit fairly well in his hands, although the Psi-Mitar staff can be a little awkward to hold, as it's simply too skinny for him to grip properly. A little pressure to the hands prior to placing it will ensure it will stay in place, though.

Cable also includes his own stand.

Final Thoughts
On paper, everything is very good about Cable. His articulation is good (and it's certainly nice to see Hasbro trying different rigs), his paint app is generally clean and the sculpt is excellent. There are some great bits of thoughtful design in the figure (such as the rifle's peg/port storage set-up and the holster) and this is an excellent Cable figure.

Unfortunately though for me that's also one of the figure's major drawbacks, as I just don't get that whole 90s X-Men thing at all and Cable is one of those characters that I really have no affinity for. So whilst I can appreciate the technical excellence of this figure, he's simply not a figure I particularly like or enjoy. I know you may be wondering why I'd buy a figure of a character I dislike but the Marvel Universe line features a variety of figures I've had no real interest in but - once they're out of the pack - I've warmed to. Sadly Cable isn't one of them. However, I know he has a lot of fans out there and I'm certainly very impressed with the figure's production, so I'm going to put aside my views and simply score him based on his technical merits.

Regardless of my personal opinions on the character, this is a very good figure and definitely one of the better-produced toys in the line. I just wish Hasbro would apply this same level of thought and design to their big hitters...

Production QualityB+
Final ScoreA-

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