I’ll readily admit, I had not heard of, let alone read, 5 Ronin, a five-issue 2011 “What If…Marvel Heroes Were Ronin” anthology. Had I known of it at the time, I probably would have skipped given some middling reviews and I am most certainly not a weeaboo. In the seven years since the series release, it has never been mentioned to me by any friend, nor listener to our shows.
What a perfect idea for a convention exclusive!
And no, I am not being sarcastic.
Convention exclusives are often frustrating for collectors. They are made in smaller quantities than regular editions, and, if they’re sold online at all, they are gone in a blink (as was the case with Mezco’s One:12 Series 5 Ronin Wolverine figure). Conventions are expensive, especially if you need to fly, get a hotel, and so forth. When it comes to San Diego and New York Comic Cons, tickets are also incredibly difficult to get.
So to have such a niche, esoteric variant of a Marvel superhero makes for a great exclusive. For those who cannot attend the show, they may not want this more obscure version of Wolverine. For those who do, you get a rendition of Logan that would never have the appeal to be made as a mass release available through Entertainment Earth, Big Bad Toy Store, Dorkside Toys, and the like.
Despite not being a Japanophile, I appreciate the aesthetic of feudal Japan. While a very small part of my collection, I do proudly display some Marvel and Star Wars Meisho Samurai Movie Realization figures from Bandai.
As such, this Wolverine, in his blueish-white gi, topknot hair, and Kitana swords appealed to me due to its look. Even though I didn’t know the story, I knew I had to have this figure.
The Good – What detail! What an outfit!
`I feel like a broken record. Every time I do a Mezco One:12 review, the reasons I LOVE this toy line should be reiterated.
First, the articulation on the figure is incredible. With 28 points of articulation, many of them ball joints that allow for almost 420-degree rotation, the figure is highly poseable. The samurai outfit is also baggy enough as to not restrict the movement the way it is on some other figures with tighter clothes. There is also a red scarf with a posing wire that can be added for a dynamic feeling of movement in your pose.
Next, the paint on the figure, especially the faces, bring the toy to life. How Mezco can squeeze so much detail in such a small head will forever be a mystery to me. The painted on chest hair (along with detailed chest sculpting) fits the character’s look as well.
The figure also comes with a large number of accessories. Seven hands allow for Wolverine to show his (adamantium, not bone) claws, hold one or two kitana swords, or make various fists. The swords also come with sheaths that can slide in his belt.
You also get an additional Wolverine head that is more comic classic with a snarl and more standard upswept hair. Though I certainly prefer the head with sideburns and topknot that reinforce the Japanese theme.
The base shows Wolverine claws crossed, and are in a purple and blue that matches the character’s outfit and ties the whole package together.
Finally I must compliment the wooden shoes Logan wears. They are unique and add a lot of character to his outfit. Despite being like immobile “roller skates” with two crossbars, the figure is easy to balance in them!
The Bad – The Agony of De-Feet
First, the paint on the head is much lighter than the paint on the body. It makes for a jarring transition from Logan’s neck to his hair-covered chest.
Likewise, the feet are painted in such a way where there is a hint of toes. The white paint over the toes, with the foot thong around them, is a little distracting. His left foot also has a mold line that toes up the middle, and the white paint makes it very visible. That left ankle is also very hard to move due to the thickness of the paint creating rubbing in the joint.
While speaking of the feet, those incredible looking boots come with a drawback: No peg hole in the feet. While the figure’s base has a peg included, the only way to secure Logan is to use the transparent plastic pincer arm.
My Logan also has some loose threads at the pant cuff. That, plus the out-of-scale stitching (which is a problem on all soft goods toys of scale) detract from the otherwise incredible outfit.
Finally, the rigid plastic makes it difficult to put the scabbards in Logan’s belt in a way that looks natural. They always seem a bit too vertical.
This Wolverine 5 Ronin figure is the X-Men outfit I never knew I needed. Wolverine has always been tied to Japan since his early Chris Claremont days, and this figure takes that feel and melds it perfectly with a realistic look. Even without knowing the comic, I greatly appreciate the mood of this piece.
It’s been sold out for some time, but if the look appeals to you it’s a great figure!