Iron Studios X-Men Battle Diorama Series – Professor X Review

In The Beginning

Brazilian-based manufacturer Iron Studios has been making a name for themselves in the last few years with their statues, particularly in the 1/10th scale. One of their biggest lines, which is just starting to rev up, is their X-Men Vs. Sentinel Battle Diorama series, based on the 1990s era X-Men comic books and cartoon. Built around three large centerpiece dioramas, showcasing different members of the X-Men battling both the robotic Sentinels as well as some mutant villains, the line has grown to include proximity pieces as well. These proximity pieces consist of a single character, whether hero or villain. 

The first in the series of centerpieces is hitting stores now, with some collectors already receiving it, so what better time to go back and take a look at the three earliest releases in the line. First up is the man who started it all: Professor X!

Background

You don’t have the X-Men without the X-Man himself, Professor Charles Francis Xavier. Professor X was created by the fathers of the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back in 1963’s X-Men, Issue #1. A mysterious, wealthy benefactor with government contacts and a team of super-powered teenagers living in his Westchester, New York mansion, Xavier would be a staple of the X-Men series for decades to come.

Possessing the mutant power of telepathy, the Professor has been shown over time to be a bit of a manipulator himself, but always with the best of intentions. Having lost the use of his legs in battle against a scout for an alien invasion, (Yes, really.) the Professor has more than made up for his lack of physical capability by utilizing both his mental powers and strategic mind to their peak. 

Packaging

I’m a fan of the uniform design that Iron Studios has gone with for this X-Men series. I don’t have any of their other lines, so I don’t know if this is unique to the X-Men or not, but it’s simple and effective. While the iconic circular, red on black, “X” symbol immediately lets you know what you’re getting, there are a few images on the other sides of the box that identify the specific character. They’re mostly promotional photos of the statue inside, though the front cover does have a more stylized version of those images, next to a large comic-style X-Men logo. 

Another nice touch that Iron Studios has added is a sort of color-coding, using a distinct and unique color for each character. Professor X is a dark green, which corresponds to his green suit jacket.

Sculpting

Iron Studios are excellent at making beautiful statues in any scale, but particularly in the 1/10 scale. While its easy to see detail get lost as the size gets smaller, that is not the case here.

The portraits of the Professor are both superb. The furrowed brow and look of concentration on  his face shines. The sculpt makes Xavier look a tad younger than I imagine he would be when beside someone like Cyclops, but that’s probably me being nitpicky. Both heads are held in the torso by a magnet at the neck and it holds quite securely. Also held securely by magnets is the figure’s torso, which pegs into the hover chair. 

Speaking of which, Professor X’s upper body is well-done as well, with a nice amount of creases and folds in the suit jacket to simulate fabric as best as it can. The pose they’ve gone with is a classic one from the comics and I appreciate the choice to have him be “in action” of some sort. 

The hover chair is the star of the show here and it certainly deserves it. Most of the statue’s weight is found in this piece. The design is a perfect blend of different artists’ take on it from the comics and cartoon, making it easily identifiable no matter what variation you may be familiar with. 

The blanket the Professor would often drape over his legs is here, looking very nicely done. The chair itself “hovers” over the base thanks to a black pedestal-like peg that plugs into the floor beneath him. I debated with myself whether I would have preferred a transparent peg of some sort, but the black one fades into the shadows under the chair well enough. 

Paint

The paintwork for the Professor deserves a spotlight, as well. The skin tone on the figure is excellent, as is the gold color they chose for the hover chair. There’s an nice black wash on the chair that helps make the details stand out. The paint on the base is superb and just hypnotizes me endlessly.

The only slop I found on the statue at all was on the Professor’s “X” silver lapel pin, which I still don’t feel is the biggest deal unless you’re taking photos with a macro lens. Overall, excellent work.

 

Base

This statue keeps impressing me with every new element. As much as I love staring at the Professor in his hover chair, I almost love getting lost in the tiny details of this Xavier Institute base more. Presumably the floor of Xavier’s office in the X-Mansion, there is so much to look at. From the splintered and cracked hardwood floors to the smashed water pitcher, I love every single thing they’ve put here. The patterned rug is a stand-out, especially with the folds they’ve added to it for a realistic touch. The bottom of the base is also where you’ll find all of the statue’s information, in case you want to be reminded.

Accessories

Xavier comes with four accessories, three of which are add-ons for the base and one of which is an alternate portrait. The swappable portrait is the most notable, offering the option to give the good Professor an iconic look. The Cerebro helmet is a device that Xavier has been using since the very early issues of the X-Men comic book. It helps the telepath expand his psychic abilities and aids him in identifying those with the mutant gene around the world. While I prefer the un-helmeted head, I would have a hard time arguing against the cool factor of this look. It also makes sense in respect to the Battle Diorama, as he would likely use Cerebro to augment his superpower during the fight. Just like the original portrait, this one swaps out at the neck and is held secure with a magnet at the base. 

A small table, a chess board and a bag of individual chess pieces is also included, giving another display option for collectors. The chess game is a little unnecessary, but its a welcome addition to an already amazing base. The game is also a callback to Professor X’s rivalry with Magneto, as the frenemies are often shown playing the game in various X-Men media. 

Value

The Iron Studios 1/10 scale statues can feel a bit overpriced to some considering the scale, but overall I feel that they’re worth the price of admission. Professor X in particular is a hefty piece of polystone, hand painted and sculpted with some pretty obvious love for the franchise. The hover chair alone is impressive enough to warrant owning, so I have no complaints about spending a little extra to have what may be the best Xavier statue, particularly in this scale. 

In The End

The Iron Studios X-Men Vs. Sentinel Battle Diorama series is one of the best takes on a specific era of Marvel’s mutant heroes. Smaller-scale statues that allow for the building of an amazing diorama battle scene that will be the spotlight of many a fan’s collection is a perfect route to take, especially when done this well. Professor X looks wonderful and is a solid indicator of what’s coming throughout this year. 

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