Friday, March 18, 2011

My Giant Sized X-men Review!

I have a lot to say about this set. You know, what makes a set truly great is when the good so outweighs anything remotely “bad” that you just don’t care. Giant Sized Xmen brings that point home very well. This set is truly great. As we usually do, my son and I had a nice pack party with a case + a brick and one extra super booster. Sheboygan area sold out in less than 24 hours.

I have to say that we completed the commons almost twice over which is very good for distribution. It was interesting to get two Elixirs in the same booster and one booster had some broken pieces that I glued. Right now, I’m only missing the Captain, Phoenix, Cable/Deadpool, Pyro, Hulk, Apocalypse and the Mark V. I may have been very lucky, but I think they really are trying to make sure your chances are better by the brick. We were very happy and a great time opening packs. So I have to give prompts on distribution from what I’ve seen and heard from other local players. Hey, out of four super boosters, we got four different figures. That’s awesome.

The figure quality is also very good. They are certainly pushing the envelope to create more dynamic poses and appearances. Storm, Magneto and Juggernaut really show how much work they are putting into it. Yes, there are some cookie cutter figures (the Hellions), but that may have been necessary to get you the super cool poses molded for the rest. Some finer details are lost, but again, there’s plenty of way cool to appreciate. I really like them. Juggernaut’s new look really shows his imposing size compared to his last incarnation from Fantastic Forces. Of course, there are sharper small details on the previous sculpt, but it makes up for the difference.

Sculpt/manufacturing drawbacks: The new pioneering on figure poses and energy bolts have one flaw that I noted, Storm. She’s rather fragile and the way she sits makes turning her dial a little troublesome. It’s not easy to get a grip on the sloped base. My fingers just slide up to the feet and I worry that I’ll break her. Her hand came loose as I got her out of the package. I glued that, but still, worth noting guys. Bases are pretty good but I still had to do some doctoring to turn about 30% of them. There are two things making it hard to turn these dials. One that was more prevalent in Hammer of Thor and Web of Spiderman, was the notch that stands up inside the dial (the cause of the clicking noise) being too high, making the dial stick. A pair of fingernail clippers fixes that easily. The second and more of a problem for this set is a bit of plastic sticking out from the edge (side) of the inner dial that catches and stops turning. I used a pair of reverse curve toenail clippers to correct that problem. Most of the dials came apart easily enough to let me fix them. This isn’t a show stopping problem and I must also note that it is impossible to correct completely. It’s a problem of manufacturing. Sculpts are a lot more solid on their bases, but jamming is a big threat to the pieces that are on skinny little feet or small centers to grasp with the fingers. That brings me to the one thing that I am going to have to make mention of and I hope it’s considered with seriousness.

I have shed blood for heroclix.

The culprit: Horseman Wolverine. There are some small pointed plastic bits that stick up right at his feet (where players will put their fingers) and it’s all black. I went to turn the dial and one of the little pieces stabbed into my thumb. Yes, they came out very sharp and I corrected this with the trusty toe nail clippers. I got two of that Wolverine and both needed the adjustment, especially since one goes to my nine year old son. Wolvie isn’t the only culprit for being too sharp either. Vulcan’s flame job is also sharp and could cut through a piece of paper. This is not an alarm issue, but one that the company should take into careful consideration. I love the sculpting that they are doing, but they need to keep in mind two things; one is where peoples fingers are going to go in order to turn the dial and two is that small children will be touching these. I looked through my significant collection and found pieces that flirted with this, but these are the first I’ve ever seen that warrant a mention. Please, guys, correct this for future sets.

As for the colossal’s, AWESOME. Need I say more?

Game mechanics: I have to say that the point values are much much better than in DC 75th. The keywords cross and allow for some great team building. The set really goes over the top with the traits and special powers. They rule the set but some may be tricky in supporting on your team. Leech and Leland could be devastation on table control (especially together) but they are huge bullseyes and range will ace them if you aren’t careful. Half of the Hellions have the same problem, especially Tarot. Sure, she might do something really cool, but it’s a big ol toss up on if it will be when you really need it. That takes a major area of control out of your hands. Points though, love the points. Very few pieces in this set go over 200 in the standard size dials. I found 300 point possibilities for about every keyword in there.

Selection: I’ve knocked on this before and I’m going to do it again. There are some pieces that were more iconic to this area of the Xmen storylines that we are missing. So, I will take off my hat and give a moment of silence to: Mr. Sinister, Havok (why not have all three brothers?), Lady Deathstrike, Shadowcat (though Lockheed is awesome), Donald Pierce, Sebastian Shaw (though you can make a Hellfire club team still), Banshee and maybe Mastermind. While I realize there are only so many slots, I can’t help but think there are some characters here who could have stepped aside for one or two of them to step in. Who? Gatecrasher (who rocks by the way, but still), Ch’od (most of the other Starjammers were a long time ago), and certainly Gideon who is the loneliest figure of the whole set.

Finally, I’m going to pick on just two areas of comic book accuracy. 1) Cannonball: He should have the Xmen team ability as well as the Brotherhood. He was part of at least three X groups (New Mutants, X-Force, and even X-men for a while). Also, he could have the Externals keyword and then Gideon wouldn’t be so lonely. Cannonball is an immortal. In the Xforce story that this was discovered, Sauron killed him and he regenerated (albeit slowly- Feral also ripped out his intestines once and he grew them back). Go check it out at Marvel under his powers HERE. 2) Nemesis: Will someone please, please show me the storyline that he was colossal sized in? I can’t find it. lists him as only six foot, eight. Yeah, his armor has shapeshifting abilities, but so does Mystique and she’s not colossal (and she’s turned into monsters thank you). If someone can show me where he went giganto, I’ll happily stand corrected.

All that being said, I love this set… love it.


  1. Agreed on almost all your points. The super boosters are awesome as a change of pace although I wouldn't want them to become a regular feature. The one area I'd disagree with you is character selection, objectively speaking I think this set has the best character selection yet. Great mix between the classics and the more obscure fan favorites such as Gideon and Ch'od. Although I agree 100% about your comments on Cannonball's keywords and TA. And I'm about to pop him off his base and mod him with the old sculpt as the Hellions are the one blemish on an outstanding looking set. Nemesis as a colossal is strange, which is part of the reason the super boosters are only good as a rare occurrence- it's hard to find enough characters this big. Still, this is a great set and maybe my favorite of all-time.

  2. Very cool Chris, thanks for your comment. I really love this set and I do think that there are great characters in it. I was just doing some team building to get a feel for the set and it just keeps getting better. Of course, I am an Xmen junkie, ha ha. And of course, remember that the good in this set, outweighs anything I personally didn't care for. It's just got awesome loaded in heavy supply. True,I wouldn't want to see colossals become a standard. It's cool for this set, but has it's limits of viability for sets.


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