When one hears the phrase “mall babe” it implies a certain visual. Probably a short, young, girl with intentionally messy, short hair. There’s a certain confidence the phrase exudes so she has to have style. Maybe hot pink, bright blues, and certainly a long yellow coat with gloves to match! There has to be an attitude present in anyone deigning to call themselves such a thing so shades are a must. Boxy, hot pink shades would do best and we might as well toss some bubblegum for added effect. And just what part of the mall does a self-proclaimed mall babe setup shop? The food court – where else?! Any mall babe worth her weight in quarters needs a steady supply of chili fries and soda to wash it down. It’s a staple of the mall babe’s diet.
If what I am describing does not meet your own personal definition of a mall babe then clearly you weren’t watching X-Men in 1992. That paragraph describes Jubilee, the self-proclaimed mall babe of the team who was our gateway to the world of Marvel’s most famous superhero team (well, before The Avengers became a household name). This role as the audience surrogate is perhaps what has made Jubilee so popular, or at least, why both Mondo and Hasbro perceive her as popular enough to introduce her relatively early in their respective action figure lines. Jubilee had the privilege of being the second figure and second member of the X-Men introduced in Hasbro’s line of Marvel Legends based on the animated series and Mondo has essentially bestowed upon her that same honor. The only difference is Mondo went to a villain for its second release where as Hasbro held off on the villains for a little longer. For me personally, I always found the kid characters in shows as more patronizing than anything. Jubilee didn’t offend me though, and it was a great choice to use her as a way to introduce the audience to the X-Men, but she was never a favorite of mine. And with the price of Mondo’s figures being north of $200, I thought Jubilee was going to be one for me to skip. Then I saw the full reveal of her and found myself sucked in, and you know what, I don’t regret it one bit!
Jubilee arrives in the same style of packaging as Magneto before. Mondo partnered with storyboard artist for X-Men, Dan Veesenmeyer, to adorn the box with actual model sheets production art of Jubilee from the show plus a brand new illustration by Veesenmeyer to shine on the front. It’s a five-panel, window box design though Mondo packages their figures very carefully so opening the Velcro front flap basically just reveals a bunch of tissue paper concealing a figure behind it, but it’s still nice. On the inside of the flap is a profile of Jubilee from X-Men showrunner Eric Lewald and his wife and fellow writer Julia which just adds to the overall atmosphere that this figure is a labor of love by those involved, something the Hasbro releases most certainly don’t possess.
Jubilee stands at approximately 9.25″ once removed from the packaging. She’s close to 9.5″ factoring in her hair and if I pull out the handy-dandy reference art from the show, I can see that Jubilee is supposed to be right at 5′ to the top of her hair making this figure a little small if we’re talking true sixth scale. It’s not a big deal on its own, but it is going to compound things a bit when she’s placed beside Wolverine who came out a little tall if we’re talking true sixth scale with him. My assumption is that Mondo isn’t taking a literal approach to the scale and it’s more subjective. It’s one of those things that I think most won’t care about that much, but I do have to point it out as part of a review.
Jubilee is depicted in her traditional show attire: pink shirt, blue shorts, blue boots, yellow gloves, and that big, yellow, trench coat. It’s a style that could only come out of the 90s and I can honestly say I have never in my life, 90s or any other decade, seen a person sporting such a look. It’s always been something that’s amused me about Jubilee. The sculptor for this figure is Alex Brewer and I think he did a great job of nailing Jubilee’s proportions. Her sunglasses are part of the headsculpt which I think is the right call to preserve the look of the character as she appeared in the show. The coat has her sleeves rolled up and the strap on the back. She also has those little rings by the collar which really captures the details present in the show. The coat is all plastic, no soft goods, but it is soft and pliable. She also has her yellow gloves, instead of the blue she had in the comics, and it looks like Brewer took a bit of a creative license with her face as more of her Chinese ancestry is reflected in her eyes. Jubilee, as presented in the show, was mostly white-washed, though I don’t think it was for any nefarious reasons.
As was the case with Magneto, what really stands out with Jubilee is the paint work. Credited to Tom Rozejowski, the cel-shaded paint job on Jubilee really makes the figure pop. I’ve admired Tom’s work as a customizer for years so it’s great getting to see him show off with an official release. It starts at the hair where streaks of gray-blue are added for shading, a common tactic for cartoons and comics when dealing with black hair. I love the light pink streaks on her glasses and the black linework all throughout the coat and rest of the clothing. Three shades were used for the coat as the primary shading color is orange with a more brownish yellow for the interior of the coat. The direction of the shading is with purpose and follows the curves of her body and the flow of her coat. It looks fantastic and the paintjob is very clean across throughout the figure. About the only nitpick I can offer is that the orange on her coat is perhaps too orange when the show used more of a marigold to shade her coat. It would also often use a very light yellow in places that was almost white. Yellow is a hard color when dealing with paint and I will say this looks much better than that mustard color Hasbro utilized.
In keeping with the other releases in this line, Mondo saw fit to include plenty of extra parts and accessories with Jubilee. For hands, she gets a set of fists, open hands, and clenching hands. She also gets two sets of effect hands and a pointing right hand with a couple of sparks at the end of her index figure, probably a callback to breaking out of her restraints. The effect hands are terrific. The first set has her hands in an open pose with stars shooting out in a nod to her appearance in the show’s opening. The effects are attached to the hands and done with red, translucent, plastic with painted, gold, stars at the end. The other effect hands have her powers coming from her palms in a big, conical, blast with stars shooting off the ends. It has a metallic paint job that does a great job of capturing the color spectrum to mimic Jubilee’s powers as best as can be. These ones are a tad on the heavy side, but I was able to get Jubilee posed with her blasts going forward so they can be worked around.
Jubilee also comes with a variety of heads to choose from. I did get the deluxe version of the figure, so I will have some extra stuff the standard version does not come with. Her default portrait is a neutral expression that very much looks like Jubilee to me. She can swap to an open-mouthed smile that works for a Jubilee getting in a quip type of expression and it would be my guess that this one gets the most use out of those who buy this set. She also has a glasses-down head with teeth-gritting and her hair is a touch more wild, good for use with her blast effects. For something more fun, there’s a bubblegum blowing head where the bubble is sculpted and painted pink with a couple swashes of white.
The “deluxe” edition of Jubilee includes two additional heads and another accessory. The first is a head depicting Jubilee as she looked in the episode “Jubilee’s Fairytale Theater” from the show’s final season. That season featured a redesign for the characters that gave Jubilee long hair and ditched her sunglasses. For this particular episode, Jubilee tells some kids a fairytale where she puts herself and fellow X-Men into the roles of the heroes. Jubilee was some sort of elf Robin Hood, so the head features her with long hair, a headband, and oversized elf ears. It looks fine, but since she featured an entirely different costume during the story, it’s not a particularly useful addition and more like an in-joke. I would have preferred just a normal Season Five head with long hair, though admittedly I would not have been likely to use such for display purposes either so I guess it doesn’t matter.
The other bonus head features Jubilee with her shades down and a skateboarding helmet on. This is from the episode “Red Dawn” where she’s briefly seen skateboarding. To complete the look, she also has a pair of purple kneepads which are made out of a very soft, rubbery, plastic and fasten over her knees pretty easily. A skateboarder obviously needs a skateboard and she has one of those as well. It’s all blue with some shading and it features sculpted wheels. I’ve seen some gripes out there that the skateboard doesn’t have real wheels, but I don’t need my $200 action figure to roll around and potentially fall. It does not have peg holes either so I am hesitant to actually display her standing on this thing without some support. She stands on it fine though, and overall this is a pretty fun look and one that I think will see some use from me.
Lastly, Jubilee has a couple of “mall babe” accessories. One of her first scenes, and possibly her best, features her accidentally nuking an arcade machine and sarcastically responding with “Yeah, a quarter,” when the manager asks her how much she thinks that machine cost. She gets a cup, and it’s modeled after that scene and it says “SLUR-P” on it and has some bubbles or something. It looks really cool for what it is and there’s even a bubble on the top that’s been pushed in to indicate what flavor she selected. One of Jubilee’s other lines from the show was “Does a mall babe eat chili fries?” which she says in response to her foster parents asking her if she’ll come visit them now that she’s going to live with the X-Men. Jubilee does indeed consume chili fries and she has a tray of them and they too were featured on the arcade cabinet she demolished by accident. It’s a yellow fast food tray and the fries inside have a red-brown sauce slathered over them. It’s not super detailed, but it’s from a cartoon that couldn’t be super detailed itself so I think this works just fine and it’s a really fun inclusion. Between the heads, hands, effect parts, and accessories, it’s going to be a lot of fun switching up Jubilee on the shelf. She also comes with the standard Mondo action figure stand. I consider it pretty useless, but maybe others find some use with these.
Okay, last and maybe least, we should break down Jubilee’s articulation. The articulation for this line has been adequate. It’s not really a homerun, but the designs are also limited and the articulation can’t interfere as much with a sculpt at this scale, plus there’s paint to be considered. Jubilee, for her part, has basically all of the points of articulation one would expect, save perhaps one area. And I think she moves about as well as could be expected. It starts with a double ball peg for the head so she can move around quite well up there. She doesn’t look up really at all, but everything else is fine. She at least doesn’t rub the collar of her coat with most of her heads and it’s really only the elf head that introduces any paint rub concerns, but we already established that few are likely to do much with that accessory.
At the shoulders, we get the standard ball-hinge setup. They’re very tight and getting Jubilee’s arms out to the side takes a little work. Her biceps swivel where the arm meets the cuff of the jacket and that works fine. The elbows are single-hinged and will get pretty close to a 90 degree bend, but it’s basically that one area I mentioned before where some may have been hoping for more via a double joint. The hands are on ball-joints and Jubilee’s work much better than Wolverine and Magneto’s. I had some QC issues with Magneto, but Jubilee’s hands have been free and easy out of the box. The peg goes in and out of the forearm very easily and the hands will spin on the ball to allow you to line her hands up however you wish. Some of the effect hands aren’t as easy to move, but I’ve mostly left them alone as I want them to be on the tight side considering the heft they present.
In the torso, Jubilee has a diaphragm joint that lets her tilt to the side a bit and grants some rotation. You have to work around the coat to do so, but it’s not too difficult. There’s a ball joint at the waist that provides for some forward and back and rotation. At the hips, we get some big ball and socket joints. They’re done at an angle, so it limits her ability to do splits by quite a bit limiting her to about 45 degrees out to the side. Kicking forward is only a little better as she can’t get her leg all the way up into a horizontal position. I’m also backing off as the “diaper” piece gets in the way and those willing to push it could probably scratch out a little more. There’s a little play on the ball joint at the hips in the form of a thigh twist, but it’s minor. I’m surprised they didn’t sneak a cut into the thigh itself where her shorts meet her legs. The knees are double-jointed and are very smooth. She bends past 90 degrees there without effort. There’s no boot cut that I can see, and at the ankles we get a hinge and an ankle rocker. The hinge is pretty tight and seems to only go back one “click” and doesn’t really go forward at all. The ankle rocker is not steep at all and is more for adjustment purposes. Lastly, the little rings coming off of the collar of her jacket do move. They’re pegged in so they can be positioned slightly. I think this was done to prevent them from snapping off accidentally when posing her arms and they’re not really intended for anything else.
Jubilee’s articulation is basically as expected. She’s going to be able to hit plenty of Jubilee poses on your shelf and she has enough range to cooperate well with her accessories. I do wish she could do wider stances a bit better than she can, but even that’s fine and it’s more her feet won’t stay flush on the surface due to the limitations of the ankle rocket. I’m mostly happy that it seems a lot of care was taken to try to prevent paint rub as there’s plenty of clearance at the head for her to look around without fear of rubbing on the collar. The angled hip joints are a bit weird, but they also have the benefit of reducing rub at the joint so I don’t think it’s a bad trade-off. She probably moves as well, if not better, than Wolverine which is impressive considering she has the big coat to work around. Magneto has a similar handicap with his cape, but came out far more limited than Jubilee.
At the end of the day, the only thing stopping more people from buying this figure of Jubilee is price and scale. Some people just don’t collect sixth scale figures and I get it – they take up a lot of real estate. Even Jubilee, who is small for a sixth scale figure, still takes up more space than a Marvel Legends Build-a-Figure and you do have to be more thoughtful about where to ultimately place her since shelf dives are likely to be far more destructive considering the amount of paint present. Excepting those two hurdles, it’s hard to imagine someone making a better figure of Jubilee from X-Men than what Mondo has produced. She just looks fantastic and has so many useful accessories and optional parts that just adds to the enjoyment. I loved the Magneto release, but even I have to admit I’m likely to never use most of the heads he came with while with Jubilee I’m having a hard time picking one. Which is why I have to remind myself that what she looks like on my shelf today doesn’t have to be what she looks like tomorrow. It goes without saying, this figure absolutely blows the Hasbro one out of the water and it should considering the price difference. At the same time, it’s easier to tell that Mondo set out to make the definitive Jubilee from the cartoon. The attention to detail is present in almost every facet of this release where as the Hasbro one always felt like a cheap cash grab. If you love X-Men and want the characters from that show on your self in the best way possible, then you’ll be pretty content with this Jubilee.
I purchased Jubilee direct from Mondo which included the extra parts. A dedicated retail version is expected to follow at other locations and is supposed to be priced at $195 (you can still preorder that version direct from Mondo right now). It’s pricey no matter what version you get, but in my opinion she’s worth it. And up next is sure to be another fan-favorite as the cajun himself, Gambit, is expected before summer’s end and I cannot wait to see how he turned out.
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