Monday, August 1, 2011

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Apocalypse

Produced by Hasbro | Released April 2011

Born thousands of years ago, APOCALYPSE is the first mutant, and there is every likelihood he will live to be the last. His natural powers are vast, and are enhanced by the alien technology he has spent millennia bringing under his control. No other villain has so shaped the course of the X-MEN, as he has tested them again and again to ensure that only the strongest survive.

Packaging Shots

Apocalypse was released - along with Gladiator, Wolverine, Cyclops and Cable - as part of the Marvel Universe's 2011 Series 3 Wave 2 (AKA Wave 13) back in April. Incredibly I've only just been able to find him on shelves in the last week or so. At this rate, expect to see Cable Reviewed some time in 2013...

Apocalypse uses the oversized guy body type, as used by Juggernaut, Thanos and more. It has a pretty solid feel to it - articulation issues aside (see below) - and there's certainly a lot of plastic here for your money. He's a solidly-cast, chunky figure with some good, heavy muscle detail, which is further augmented by the character-specific pieces such as his boots, hands, gauntlets and shoulder pads.

There's a nice sense of the technological about his accessories. His boots are clearly those of some form of time/space traveler and his shoulder-pad/collar rig (which is a second piece attached to the basic sculpt) is equipped with a number of space-type feed lines. Their role is unknown but they look pretty cool. Interestingly, Hasbro's designers used a flexible cord material on these pipes/lines, meaning they're not rigid plastic pieces that will pop-out when the figure is posed. It's a nice idea but I just wish the arm pipes were slightly longer. I'll explain why when we look at the figure's articulation.

The head sculpt is pretty cool, although I'm not sure if perhaps it's a little on the small-side. It's hard to tell with these oversized figures. There's some cool detailing though and it's a good likeness of the comicbook character, so that's a definite plus.

Articulation is a little problematic. Some of this may be due to my figure being poorly produced but some of it is definitely by design. Starting with the former, my Apocalypse has very loose knee joints and getting him to stand or hold a pose is difficult. Add to this the weird ''springiness'' in his hip joints and it becomes doubly-so. Although I experienced some loose joints with Thanos, the issues there are nowhere near as bad as they are with Apocalypse and it's a real disappointment to see.

Then there's the feed pipes on his arms. They're simply too short and - as a result - then to ''pull'' the elbow joints back to straight arm positions, especially with the left arm. I don't know why this is, as I'd expect both arms to use the same amount of cabling but this doesn't appear to be the case. Add to this the fact that the shoulder-pads tend to get in the way with most arm poses and it becomes clear why I'm not really digging the way Apocalypse is rigged. He may look great and you can get some good poses from him but he's quite limited in that respect.

Paint is nicely designed and applied. The basic blue and grey colour palette works well, with the blue featuring a glossy sheen to it that helps convey a sense of his armour being metallic. The shoulder and neck accessories are also cast from a shiny plastic (in this case silver/gun metal) and the black detailing on them and his gauntlets is cleanly applied. Facial detail is well picked-out, with his red eyes and metallic skullcap being particularly good. The blue chevron on his chest and back is very cleanly applied and there's a nice dark wash used to accentuate the muscle detail.

Apocalypse comes with his own base. Although in theory he should be able to stand unaided with relative ease, that's not the case in practice. However, he also doesn't fit too well onto his base and you may find your Apocalypse is prone to falling over. A lot.

Final Thoughts
It's strange how Thanos - a figure that shares a large amount of the same sculpt as this figure - can be so good yet Apocalypse can be so disappointing. Like Thanos, he has some issues with loose joints - in this case, his knees - and it's maddening to see Hasbro's QC standards allowing such a figure to make it to shelves. Maybe I was just unlucky and every other Apocalypse out there has perfectly sound leg joints. Who knows?

But even if it is a limited-run problem and I've just struck-out, the shoulder-pad/feed pipes issue is not. I applaud Hasbro's designers for trying to make him accurate and their use of the corded material is inspired. It's just that for the sake of another 1/4 of an inch of cord, the figure would be fully poseable. As it stands though, the combination of weak knees, springy hips and very limited upper-body movement makes Apocalypse little more than a slightly poseable statue. A very nice-looking one, granted, but it's just disappointing to see the articulation suffering so.

The actual sculpt is pretty cool and it's good to see another oversized guy joining the Marvel Universe ranks. Apocalypse certainly pops when he's on the shelf and he looks great. It's just a shame that his posing options are so limited. But if you can live with that and you can find a pose you like - and it's quite possible, as these images show - you'll probably enjoy owning him. 

It's just a real shame Hasbro's Quality Control was just a little lacking, as with a little more thought and better standards, this would have been a very good figure.

Production QualityC+
Final ScoreB

Image Gallery


  1. I have my Apocalypse holding Wolverine up by the throat. It works pretty well for him.

  2. I love my Apocalypse. The short hoses are an issue, but not one that really bothers me as I can get him in plenty of poses I like. Mine, however, does not have any problems with loose joints. He really feels solid, sorry to hear you got a bit of a stinker.

    I did see one on the pegs last weekend that looked like his chin had been smooshed while at the factory. It was really weird, his face just looked deformed and his chin went from his lip to his neck with no protrusion, so his profile looked very weird.

  3. @Ridureyu - ha! Sounds like a cool pose!

  4. @clark - My Thanos had some pretty loose joints too but he didn't have any issues standing - unlike my Apocalypse. It's good to hear that the joint problem I encountered isn't an issue on every one though.

  5. Spotted him several times locally but have passed on him not a big fan of this character.

  6. He's an interesting-looking figure but I was just let-down by the articulation issues.

  7. i had no issues with loose joints, i did have a small problem getting him to stand right. it ended up being an issue with his ankle being fused inside from the thick metallic paint used not allowing the ankle to twist freely. any issues i have with the the legs ceased after i fixed that issue

  8. I've experienced this a few times with MU figures now. Thankfully it's a limited problem but it just seems I'm always the one to find them!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...