When X-Men: The Last Stand was rushed into production, there was no time for ToyBiz to make figures based on the characters' movie appearances, which is why we got the surprisingly fun X-Men Classics line instead. But Hasbro is making up the difference, releasing the new X-Movie characters slowly through their first few Marvel Legends series. Some fans don't like it, but for the rest of us, it's great. Mostly.
Jean Grey was always a source of strength for the X-Men. As one of the first mutants recruited for the team, she was the person that Professor Xavier depended on most. But deep inside Jean lay the all-consuming power of the Phoenix, which awakened when she sacrificed herself to save her friends. Now resurrected as Dark Phoenix, her powers threaten the existence of the entire planet. The X-Men must choose to battle their former teammate to prevent her from destroying everything she once held dear.
When the first images for Hasbro Legends 2 were revealed, the fans went ballistic. The prototypes were sub-par, even compared to photos we'd seen before. Paint apps were cut way back, and some of the sculpts were horrendous. Particularly Jean Grey, who looked less like Famke Janssen and more like David Duchovny in drag. It was really bad. Jesse Falcon soon passed on the word that these were the wrong prototypes, and that the figures had changed since then. The question was, have they changed enough?
In the comics, when Jean went from Phoenix to Dark Phoenix, her costume changed from green to red. Of course, the movies don't use costumes like that, so what were they to do? Jean is still clad in red, but it's not skin-tight spandex. She's wearing a calf-length coat cinched beneath a bodice, with knee-high boots and tight pants visible below. It's not really influenced by the comics (other than the color), but it does follow that recent trend of substituting a trenchcoat for a cape, and it looks pretty sharp.
With her small heels, Jean is an even 6" tall, and moves at the ankles, knees, hips, waist, wrists, elbows, shoulders, chest and neck. Her elbows are balljoints, which makes up for the lack of any sort of bicep swivel. It's odd that there are no swivels at the top of her boots; not bad, just odd. The wrists have the range of balljoints, but her hair really restricts the neck joint quite a bit.
All that's nice and all, but what of the important question?
What of the sculpt? Well, the detailing on her outfit is a bit softer than previous movie figures, but not so much that she'll look out of place with her [oh, would you just shut up and tell them about the face, already? --ed.] Uh, yeah, okay. Sure. The face is not as bad as the early promo shots made us fear - no long-haired Mulder, here.
However, the face is also not nearly as good as the first two-up we saw. There are a few angles where this almost looks like Janssen, but the bottom line is that they blew it. She doesn't look-a like a man, but she doesn't look like the actress, either. It's as though they had a generic woman in mind when making the figure, which isn't a good thing for a licensed movie character. Hell, the original Jean Grey movie figure had a better likeness when it came out in freaking 1999.
The color they chose for Jean is okay, but it'd be better if it was dark enough. She's not fire engine red like the Minimate, thankfully, but in the film, she wore a dark burgundy, not the simple brick red most of her outfit is now. The red of her lips is a bit thin (exacerbating a sculpt problem), and her eyebrows arch way too high - and shouldn't her nails have at least a little paint on them? The small bit of pants showing below her knee is the same color as the boots, which isn't right either. There's also a "Dark Phoenix" variant, which depicts Jean with dark circles under her eyes and blue veins visible through her pale skin.
All the figures in Hasbro Legends 2
come with a piece of this series' big gross Build-A-Figure, Blob. Jean gets the "right" arm, supposedly, but when you look at it, you can tell it's the left. Look at the way the forearm curves - yes, even under all that rippling fat - and look at the picture of Blob on the back of the card, and you'll be able to tell that she and Quicksilver got their arm accessories switched.
Jean Grey was the figure most fans took issue with when we first saw the photos. The fact is, she looked horrible. Thankfully, that was at least somewhat corrected before the final production samples came out. Still, this is a figure that is merely "good enough," and today? That's not good enough. If his was a figure from the first X-Men movie, we'd accept it. But today, a high profile figure from big name company has to be above average, and Jeanie just isn't.