Thursday, August 15, 2013

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Jubilee

Produced by Hasbro | Released March 2013

During their post-Avengers, pre-Iron Man 3 release schedule, Hasbro dialed back a little on their core Marvel Universe line, releasing little for collectors during this period - except for a kind of ''mini-wave'' featuring the rather awesome Professor X, Blastaar and - the subject of today's Review - Jubilee. 

I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of Jubilee. It's not that I have anything against her as a character (or even that I actively dislike her) but she's a character I always think of as being part of the (actually pretty good) animated X-Men series rather than a comic character. That's more to do with the era in which she was introduced (when my reading habits tended to see me eschewing superhero comics) rather than any fault of the character but at the same time, she does strike me as being a little one-note and - if I'm being honest - I have to admit that I bought her simply for completeness' sake. So with that out of the way, let's take a closer look...

[Note: I apologize for the lower quality of these images but my lighting set-up was disturbed during the recent relocation of my toys and I'm still trying to get it back to normal...]

Sculpt & Design
The character of Jubilee - like virtually every superhero, it seems - has undergone a number of costume changes since her late 80s debut. In all honesty, I've no idea which period of her superhero career this costume represents. From the yellow coat and none-more-80s shades, I'm guessing this is her in her post-shorts, pre-lycra costume days that - I'm again guessing - came in the later period of her tenure in the X-Men. If anybody knows for sure, please feel free to comment below!
Like most Marvel Universe figures, Jubilee is kitbashed from a few other sources. Which is fine, as many superhero costumes tend to be ''generic-plus'' - i.e. a skintight costume with a few stand-out pieces added. In this case Jubilee's basic costume is enhanced by her bright yellow coat and purple shades.

The former is fairly well realized in plastic form, being the correct length (at least, based on the ''young'' Jubilee I'm most familiar with) and although there's a little bit of an awkward join at the underarm (as you can see in the opening photo) it helps not only give her an interesting shape but also immediately lets you identify who the character is, even if the remainder of her costume may be different to the version most people will recognize.
Up close there are a few nice little details, too, with her gauntlet-esque gloves sporting some cool strap sculpting and the pushed-up sleeves also feature a very cool-looking bunched/rolled-up design. Hey kids, let's go to the mall!
As for the head sculpt, it features some very neat elements - even if they're based on a pretty dated bit of design. Jubilee is very much a product of her time (I'm amazed she didn't have the power to convert Walkman energy to totally RAD power, in all honesty) and her design reflects that. And is it just me, or does this figure really look like Liza Minnelli?

Unfortunately, the neat-looking coat sculpt comes at a cost, namely that it hinders the figure's poseability somewhat. And this is on top of the already horrible cut-thigh/pop-out hips Hasbro has saddled the Marvel Universe line with. As long-time readers will know, I really, really hate this articulation set-up so having the already poor hip movement further hampered by a plastic coat makes posing Jubilee a very short-span (and frustrating) activity.
It's a shame, because Jubilee - hips and coat issues aside - sports a pretty good set-up, including rocker ankles, double-jointed knees (something that's a bit of a rarity with some of Hasbro's recent releases) and a super-tilty, wobbly head that's really very expressive. 

The lack of a base or stand is also detrimental to the amount of fun you'll have with this figure. Hasbro has rectified this mistake with the newest GI Joe: Retaliation figures, so I'm hoping they'll do the same soon with the Marvel line.

Over the last few waves, Hasbro's paint apps have begun to suffer somewhat and Jubilee is no exception. Granted, these issues may be with my figure and there may be a super-awesome, highly-detailed version of the figure out there but this isn't it.
Whilst the facial details are pretty tight - the eyebrows are especially good - the face itself feels as if it's got about an inch of flesh-tone paint on it. It's almost as if Jubilee is caked with very shiny foundation or something. It's just very off-putting to see how slapdash and thick the paint app is, as - like I say - the detail work isn't bad. And it's a real shame they elected to use so flat a color for the glasses. I'd have loved to see a metallic/semi-reflective sheen on them, as without that they kind of just look like a very odd headband...

Extras & Accessories
Jubilee comes with a clip-on hand ''blast'' accessory, which I elected not to include in the photos for two reasons: 

(A) It doesn't look like her ''sparkle'' blasts.
(B) It continually drops off her hand.

Given how annoying it is to get her to stand without a base, the added complication of trying to ensure the purple blast stays on her hand was one step too many for this reviewer but if you're at all familiar with the line then you'll know the exact accessory piece I mean.

Final Thoughts
I'm always torn when Hasbro presents us with a ''minor player'' character. On the one hand it's great to see a figure that's not Spider-Man/Thor/Iron Man/Wolverine and Jubilee's presence in the line really helps give it some breadth. But on the other hand, well... it's Jubilee, a character I'm sure 90% of people only remember from the cartoon. Which would be fine, except this isn't the cartoon version of the character, either (unless she went all S&M latex catsuit in the later episodes...) 

Ultimately this is one of those figures that fans of the character (and I'm sure they probably do exist) will be happy with (articulation and accessory woes aside) but unless you're one of those collectors who has to have every single figure in your collection, you can probably skip this one and not loose too much sleep over it.


Final Score: B

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