The ranks of ToyBiz's version of the Ultimate universe have swelled yet again, this time with Ultimate Nightcrawler.
Raised in a traveling circus,
German-born Kurt Warner learned that his mutant abilities were a gift to be celebrated. Nightcrawler may look like a blue-skinned demon, but this swashbuckler is one of mankind's guardian angels - using his amazing agility, prehensile tail, and power of teleportation to fight the forces of evil!
Ultimate Nightcrawler is pretty much the same as his 616 counterpart - name, appearance, abilities... he's a little bit younger (and a little less mentally stable), but that's about it. He was introduced to the Ultimate universe at the same time as Sabretooth, as member of the government's Weapon X team. Well, not so much "a member" as "a prisoner." We're introduced to 14-year-old Kurt as he attempts a prison break.
Kurt is a little figure - just 5 7/8" tall - but he's articulated with the best of them. He's a lithe, acrobatic guy, so the fact that they concentrated on poseability rather than his action feature is good. Ultimate Nightcrawler moves at the toes, ankles, boots, knees, thighs, hips, waist, fingers, wrists, gloves, elbows, biceps, shoulders, torso and neck. The only joint that doesn't meet the ML standards is the neck - it's a swivel, rather than a balljoint.
Press a button on Nightcrawler's shoulder, and his eyes and mouth light up. Normally we detest action features, but this is true to the comic, and it actually works better than the light-up feature on House of M Spider-Man. His head doesn't turn very far due to the feature, but it's not entirely stationary. His light is yellow, suggesting the glow of his eyes and the smoke he's usually breathing in the comics.
Proving once again that Dave Cockrum is one of the best costume designers to ever work in comics, Nightcrawler's look is barely changed for the Ultimate world. In fact, it's just a question of colors. He's in the same blue/gold scheme the rest of the Ultimate X-Men wear, and there are more "costumey" elements (like a utility belt and obvious layers) but the design is unmistakeable. He's got the big V running down from his shoulders, and the scoops where his gloves and boots would end.
Apparently some people didn't like the sculpt on the ML9 'crawler, for whatever reason. He was too grumpy or something. I don't know. In any case, ToyBiz is pretty much throwing those fans a bone with Ultimate Nightcrawler. This time he's based very strongly on the art of Andy (Adam?) Kubert. He has a slight underbite, but he's skinny and youthful. His tail is much thinner this time, because they didn't bother making it bendy.
The paint is good.
Nightcrawler's skin and his uniform are almost the same color, but there's just enough of a difference that you can tell what's what upon closer inspection - his skin has a slightly grayer tint to it. His fingers and toes stick out of his uniform, probably so he can grip walls better. There are shadows painted on the gold of the costume, but his tiny X-logo belt is a little uneven.
Ultimate Nightcrawler has a few accessories of... varied quality. Kurt has always fancied himself a bit of a swashbuckler, so he's got two swords and a scabbard. The scabbard straps around his chest, and it looks pretty decent from the front. Depending on how yours is glued, it might not fit properly - it's supposed to go over both shoulders, but if it doesn't fit, try putting it under his armpits. Worked for me. The sheaths themselves are a bit oversized, to accommodate the swords. It's just the weapons that are weird. First we have a sword that almost looks like a scimitar, with a bit of a wavy blade. That's normal enough. The other weapon, however, is a double-bladed sword. Not two blades next to each other, but one sticking out each side of the hilt. Uh, what? Who designed this monstrosity? And since only one blade can fit in the scabbard, the other constantly juts up above his shoulder. Both swords have a hole in the hilt, designed to fit a peg on the figure's palms, but he really doesn't hold the damn things very well.
Ultimate Nightcrawler is a great figure. Good design, nice sculpt, an action feature that's unobtrusive... just ignore the silly accessories and you've got a winner.
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