Monday, October 11, 2010

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Archangel

His body and mind twisted by mutant super science Warren Worthington became a henchman of the evil APOCALYPSE.  He soared aloft as a monster, obeying his master's every command.  Worthington's mind was strong, however, and he broke free of the ancient mutant's brainwashing.  Using his steel wings, enhanced strength, and damage resistance, he currently adventures with the mutant black-ops team X-FORCE.

The Holy Grail (or so it seems) of Marvel Universe releases is finally in my collection.  Was he worth seeking out?

Includes Super Ultra-Rare Collectable Action!
It seems every wave of Marvel Universe figures has its share of rarities, but Archangel has been one of the hardest figures to find.  Look online and you'll see him fetching in excess of $35 (and that's not even the Angel of Death variant!) - not bad for an eight-dollar toy that's only just been released.  I've been keeping an eye-out for Archangel (any version) for some time and was fortunate enough today to find TWO in my local Toys-R-Us Express (along with two ''very rare'' Kitty Pride figures).  So here's my tip of the day: be patient and keep looking.  You may have to wait but it beats buying the figure at 400% of its retail price!

Anyway, with that out of the way, what about the figure?  Is Warren Worthington worth it?


The figure is initially somewhat disappointing, truth be told.  It appears to be a re-use (on the whole) of the black costume Spider-man (and possibly the Multiple Man figure) with some minor retooling and a new head.

His upper body has been modified to incorporate two connectors for the wings that come packed in the (rather deep) bubble-pack.  (On a side note, you may notice I've dropped the ''Packaging'' section of the review.  I'm running out of ways to describe the Marvel Universe packaging, so from now on unless it's something extra special, just assume it's the usual functional-but-effective plastic bubble mounted on a card.)  This is where his wings pop in.

Do so and suddenly the figure comes to life (not literally) and becomes a very interesting piece of plastic.  I can understand now why the figure is so popular, as the addition of the poseable wings adds an entirely new dimension to the toy.

As you can see (and there's more in the gallery below) the wings can be folded, spread, swivelled and generally fiddled about with (that's a scientific term) to great effect.  They're slightly concave, giving them a very dynamic, wing-like appearance and avoiding what could have simply looked like flat pieces of metal jutting from his back.  The joints themselves are also nice and stiff, allowing for some great poses and - as the shoulder-mounts rotate - it's possible to create some great ''thrown-open'' poses.

One minor point relating to the figure is that my Archangel's left elbow is incredibly stiff, so much so that it feels it's going to snap if I attempt to bend it.  As with all Marvel Universe releases, I could simply be unlucky but it may also be a common defect.

The other minor drawback is that the figure uses the peg-and-hole hip joint system.  Marvel Universe figures generally come in two flavours - peg-and-hole hips and rotator-ball hips.  The latter was only introduced recently (although it can be seen in last year's Giant Battles 12'' figures) and allows for a much wider range of movement.  Archangel sadly uses the peg-and-hole hip system.  It's not bad but it's a shame to see Hasbro still using it when the more effective ball system is now in place.

It's also worth noting that the wings are heavy and if not properly positioned, they will cause the figure to fall.  That's a minor point though and it's hardly the fault of the figure that it obeys the laws of gravity...

Archangel's paint job is crisp enough.  I'm not a fan of the character's design in the comics (like many on-the-page costumes, seeing it in 3D it becomes a bit too kookie for its own good) but the figure does it justice.

Archangel comes with his two clip-in wings (if they count as extras) and a plastic base, like all recent single-figure Marvel Universe releases.  He also includes a sealed HAMMER dossier.

Final Thoughts
Initially I wasn't blown-away by Archangel.  Opening the packaging, it seems he's simply a retool of other figures and doesn't have much to recommend him.  All that changes when the wings are popped into place.  The figure is just so different to any previous Marvel Universe releases and has a fantastic silhouette to him.  Whilst it can take some work to get a pose that he can hold without falling (due to the weight of the wings) he's flexible enough and has a pretty dynamic appearance.

The ultimate question though is whether you want to pay the prices sellers are charging online.  I personally don't think he's worth $35.  However, if you can pick Archangel up at the regular price, then go for it: you won't be disappointed.

Production QualityB-
Final ScoreB

Image Gallery


  1. im a sucker...i paid $30 at the local toy store for him to get him right away,hes one of my fav characters,so price was no object (mind you,Im unemployed and basicly poor,but resourceful)..i later shelled out another $30 for the varient(I kept the head and 2nd set of wings and ditched the rest of fig)now for the truly offensive paRt..after losing at least 25 ebay auctions for the black x-force varient,i shelled out $125 at a toy convention for one..i havnt been able to bring myself to open that one yet..ive been starving or eating top ramen for the last month to make up for it,but I love this figure that much.

  2. If you enjoy owning the figure then you didn't pay too much for it. I've paid over the odds for figures in the past, too but I haven't regretted it, as I got the toy I wanted.


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