These New X-Men '97 Action Figures Understand Exactly What We Love About The Show

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The first season of "X-Men '97" comes to a close today, and the animated series has solidified itself as one of the best Marvel Studios projects since "Avengers: Endgame." While it would have been easy for the revival of "X-Men: The Animated Series" to coast by on cool nostalgia, showrunner Beau De Mayo (who was fired before the show's premiere) and supervising producer and head director Jake Castorena ensured that "X-Men '97" brought meaningful and emotional stories to life week in and week out, alongside the magnificent and modern mutant mayhem that zips through signature comic book storylines.

Similarly, Hasbro's Marvel Legends line of action figures have delivered an assembly of collectibles that take the classic feel of the animated X-Men and give them outstanding modern action figures. After an excellent first wave of figures, albeit one that could have used more accessories, the second wave of "X-Men '97" action figures bring the same style with a new roster of characters. Thankfully, some of them come with a more satisfying amount of accessories, but others still feel like they're missing some key features. The good news is that the figures themselves look so great that those shortcomings don't ruin the collection. Let's take a closer look at the latest round of "X-Men '97" Marvel Legends action figures.

Nightcrawler needs swords, but Magneto is masterful

Nightcrawler joined the ensemble of X-Men in the middle of the first season, and he's become a wonderful staple in the line-up. Not only do his transportation abilities and combat skills make him a formidable hero, but he also brings a thoughtful perspective to the team, especially at emotional times, like during Gambit's heartbreaking funeral. While Marvel Legends has provided a perfectly fine action figure of Nightcrawler, as he appears in the series, he's missing some key traits that would have made him perfect. Similarly, while the Nightcrawler figure is very well-articulated, including a bendable torso, his lack of accessories is disappointing. 

After Nightcrawler was recently seen brandishing three swords while combating Prime Sentinels, the figure comes with no combat accessories other than two fists that can be swapped in for his open, three-fingered hand and an alternate head sculpt with an angrier expression. The other missed opportunity comes from a lack of a malleable tail. While the tail can be rotated for a variety of poses, it would have been cool if the tail could be bent and curled.

Meanwhile, we have a new version of Magneto wearing the new outfit he adopts as the leader of the X-Men. No longer requiring a helmet to shield him from the telekinetic abilities of Professor X, Magneto lets his log gray hair flow. Meanwhile, his ripped arms show some skin, complete with a large "M" across his torso. The face sculpts on this Magneto are incredible, and I'm glad that it includes an alternate head sculpt that shows the rage he still has for humanity. Combined with the swappable hands, this version of Magneto is much more dynamic than the original version of Magneto from the first wave of figures. Actually, that first figure is improved by this one because you can easily take the helmet-less head and put it on the villainous Magneto's body.

Still, it's a bit disappointing that figures of characters with the ability to fly or levitate don't come with a stand to pose them in such a way, especially with that molded cape. (The stand in my photos is from my own collection.) Plus, I still can't help but wish for an accessory that visualizes Magneto's magnetic powers somehow. But even so, this version of Magneto is solid.

Cyclops is a blast, but Jean Grey could use more

For the longest time, most of the 1/12th scale figures of Cyclops released over the years have been missing one key accessory: his optic blasts. Despite have a superpower that is easily visualized in plastic form, most figures of Cyclops haven't given the figure a cool way to show off his mutant ability. Thankfully, the Marvel Legends version of Cyclops from "X-Men '97" finally includes a translucent, red plastic beam that can be attached to an alternate head sculpt, making it appear as if he's shooting a blast from his visor. The effect is simply awesome, and the presentation fits in line with the animation style of "X-Men '97." The expression on the face that fits the optic blast mold makes it even better too, and there are several cool poses that can be used to execute it.

Beyond that, Cyclops also comes with some excellent swappable hands, including one that fits perfectly on the side of his visor to make it appear as if he's activating his visor, which works with both versions of Cyclops' head. The other head sculpt that doesn't fit the optic blast piece has the perfect cocky smirk on his face too, tapping into that arrogant leader attitude that Cyclops frequently showcases. This just might be the best version of the '90s of Cyclops that has ever been done.

Jean Grey, on the other hand, could use something a little extra to make her figure a bit better. Sure, the sculpt of the face and body is outstanding, including the alternate head sculpt with Jean's hair down, signifying that she's actually the Madelyne Pryor version of Jean Grey. The hair in particular on that sculpt looks awesome. Plus, Hasbro was wise enough to make the ponytail on the other head sculpt removable — not because you want to give Jean Grey yet another hairstyle, but to ensure that it doesn't break off and ruin the figure. There are also interchangeable hands that allow for telekinetic posing, yet much like Magneto, I wish Jean Grey had some kind of accessory that visualized her powers, such as a series of rings that emanate from her hands or can fit on her head. Something like that would enhance the figure.

Furthermore, I'd like to commend the firm footing on this Jean Grey figure. More often than not, female action figures from Marvel Legends, especially when they're Marvel Cinematic Universe characters, have slender legs and feet that do not allow for a sturdy figure stance unless you have some kind of base to stand them up. Thankfully, Jean Grey doesn't require that, and I wish Hasbro would figure out a way to fix this problem on the MCU figures.

X-Cutioner and Goblin Queen should be the new standard

Surprisingly, it's a pair of short-lived villains who have been turned into two of the most satisfying figures in the second wave of Marvel Legends figures for "X-Men '97." That's mostly because they come with the perfect accessories to make them feel complete.

The action figure of X-Cutioner is somewhat restricted by the mold of his wardrobe, but he can still be posed in a variety of ways that take full advantage of the weapons that he comes with. Not only does he have the rifle that ends up taking Storm's superpowers away from her, but he also has two combat staffs and the arm blaster that uses miniaturized Sentinel technology. The Sentinel blaster easily fits on either arm, and the rifle is easily held in each of X-Cutioner's hands.

However, posing the figure so that he can hold and aim the rifle with both hands is basically impossible. Thankfully, there are a variety of cool poses you can still do with the figure, especially since the rifle and staffs can be stored by way of a peg on the figure's back. Though the mold of X-Cutioners coat and whatnot make certain poses a little challenging, you can't deny that he looks badass.

Then we have Goblin Queen, who is essentially a villainous version of Jean Grey since she's a clone created by Mister Sinister. The figure's hair sculpt is made to look like it's been blown by the wind (or simply floating because of her magical abilities), which just looks awesome. Goblin Queen also comes with an impressive molded cape, though it does make posing her without a figure stand somewhat difficult due to the weight distribution. Thankfully, like Jean Grey, her feet are more firm than other female figures from Marvel Legend. But ultimately, she looks better when placed in a figure stand that lets her float.

But much like X-Cutioner, what's best about Goblin Queen is the included accessories. She comes with a pair of swappable hands, as well as a pair of green magic swirls to fit upon them. But perhaps the best accessory is a tiny baby Nathan Summers, wrapped up in an X-Men blanket. Unfortunately, the figure doesn't include a hand that makes it easy for the figure to both wield magic and hold the baby, but you can make it work if you're careful and patient.

X-Men '97 action figures are (mostly) excellent and demand an ongoing collection

The two waves of Marvel Legends figures released for "X-Men '97" have been outstanding. They've given us fantastic versions of classic characters, and I hope fans and kids are snatching them up so Hasbro will keep making more. There are so many more characters who deserve to have "X-Men '97" action figures, especially from the main squad. Jubilee deserves a new figure with her updated look, and Sunspot should be able to join her. Cable definitely needs a new figure. And what about Morph? Surely a figure with a handful of alternate head sculpts would be something fans would go wild for. Plus, with Bastion becoming the main villain of the first season, a deluxe figure that allows you to have multiple versions of his various transformations could be incredible. There's also all the X-Men in classic suits that would make for a hell of a line-up.

Since a second season of "X-Men '97" is already in the works, I'm hoping Hasbro will keep churning out Marvel Legends figures for the animated series. As of now, that's not a certainty. As Dan Yun from the Marvel Legends marketing team posted on social media recently, "Marvel Legends fans! I love X-Men 97! Our team LOVES X-Men. Setting expectations [though], we aren't going to have a "wave 3" this year. We are in the trenches of 2025 and 2026 development. [Thank you] for the passion and your patience! Can't wait to see more eps. and maybe more figures." So even though we won't get any new "X-Men '97" action figures this year, hopefully more will be announced at some point down the line.

All of these figures are available to order on Amazon right now, and they're also at various retailers in store and online.