When Marvel put the clampdown on mutant-related licenses, I was quite sad. Some of my earliest childhood memories are walking into toy stores and buying all my favorite X-Men and X-Women from the old ToyBiz line of figures. They were always some of the most unique and well-sculpted figures, and it was never hard to find them in stores. Then a couple years ago, that all changed. Mutants were nowhere to be found, they were not being made into Legends from Hasbro, high-end companies such as Kotobukiya and Sideshow Collectibles were only allowed to complete the figures and statues they had in production already, and Funko barely scratched the surface of mutants in their Pop vinyl lines (Although they have put out a crazy number of Wolverines). There were not even lines to support films.
Finally, earlier this year, some product started to trickle out. Hope was restored. Now we have a deluge of mutant products hitting the shelves. As a Funko enthusiast, from the moment they announced the X-Men Mystery Minis I knew I had to have them all. Pops are cool and all, and I have plenty, but I like the Mystery Minis so much more. You can display them pretty much everywhere, it is easier to get out more characters and really build out a line to include more obscure than your typical fare.
Taking a look, a few things jump out before you even start opening the figures. First, the packaging is awesome, really invoking the 90's X-Men cartoon vibe. My case of 12 figures came from a Gamestop, and the second thing you will notice is they have some exclusive figures. This is the aspect of Mystery Minis I do not enjoy. Typically, if not a retailer exclusive, Funko has been doing a case ratio of 1/12 for the blind boxes. Meaning: if you buy a full case you should get one of each figure. That is great for collectors, the problem is retailer exclusive cases take out up to three regular release figures and replace them with their exclusives. So, while Kitty Pryde, Cable, and Brown Suit Wolverine are awesome, it also means I can't get Magneto, Juggernaut, or Yellow Suit Wolverine without blindly buying more boxes. That is incredibly frustrating, but I understand how this all works. There are also three exclusive figures at Hot Topic: Psylocke, Iceman, and Diamond Emma Frost.
Taking a look at the figures themselves, I was blown away by their quality. When Mystery Minis first started, especially the bobble-head one, they didn't really stand very well and were not sculpted in a way to take that into account. Smaller figures would routinely fall over and it was very frustrating. They have since fixed that. I placed these figures on a variety of surfaces and had very little issues getting them to pose. The bobble-heads are very malleable and were easy to work back into place if moved around in the box.
Character-wise, it is hard to argue for a better selection for the first wave. Many of the big guns are represented, and they did a very good job scaling bigger figures like Colossus and Xavier in his chair to the smaller figures like Mystique and Cyclops. We get two variations of Wolverine here, in his awesome Brown Suit (which was a Gamestop exclusive) and Logan, which is a great looking figure. Costumes chosen for each are arguably their most popular versions, when you take variants into account. My personal favorite, Kitty Pryde, even has translucent feet to mimic her phasing ability.
As far as accessories go, these do not really come with any. Previous Mystery Minis have come with them, but these come molded into the sculpt of the figures themselves. So, Xavier is in his chair and can't be removed. Cable has a pistol in his hand, that sort of thing. Nothing really to write home about there. The paint aps on my figures were ok, some smudges and lines here and there, but nothing all that serious. As with any product though, it will vary from pack to pack.
All and all, I couldn't be happier with these, and the return of mutants to store shelves in general. I am hoping for a wave 2 to come, and hopefully they dive deep into the vast world the X-Men inhabit.
Jeremy Konrad loves Star Wars and collecting action figures and collectibles. He also watches wrestling, maybe more than Jude Terror. Follow him on Twitter @jeremyohio