Dark Phoenix Premium Format

Sideshow Collectibles has revealed their coming Dark Phoenix Premium Format™ Figure and I will now give my initial thoughts on this piece based on the material currently available. This should not be considered a review, but rather as my first impression of the piece.

Dark Phoenix Premium Format


  • Price: $499.99
  • Exclusive: Jean Grey portrait
  • Expected to ship: Nov 2016 – Jan 2017

The Sculpt

I think the first thing that strikes you is the elegant sculpt and the portrait in particular. When I first saw this piece, I wasn’t in doubt; I immediatly recognized the touch of sculptor Will Harbottle. The same touch that made me fall completely for the new Red Sonja Premium Format. The face is simply mesmerizing, and obviously the paint job of Kat Sapene helps it go an even longer way.

Both the regular and the exclusive head seem to be of an equal quality. The regular head has whited out eyes and her hair rises up so you get the feeling that she is summoning her powers.

The body looks pretty much perfect. She has some quite defined abdominal muscles – some might argue that they are a bit too defined. I find that it adds sufficient detail to the sculpt.

Her hair is nicely detailed, but nothing that we haven’t seen many times before, e.g. Wonder Woman PF and the previous Jean Grey PF.

The Pose

Overall, I like the pose. When viewing the statue from the front, there is a nice symmetry going on, and the arms raised slightly to the sides is a classic pose. It goes well with the concept here. When you turn the piece to the side, however, you notice how she is in fact leaning forward as if she is in a forward, gliding motion. This makes the pose a somewhat dynamic one. Personally, I would have preferred a more straight pose where she would be hovering above ground, on the spot.

Dark Phoenix Premium Format

Both the regular head and the exclusive head seem to fit perfectly well to the body and the overall expression of the piece.

The Base

I think that the base is one of the aspects about this piece that most people will react to. In order to emphasize the nature and identity of the character Sideshow decided to add a firebird a.k.a. phoenix to the base. It would appear to be made from a relatively transparent material, possibly clear resin, as we have seen it used on the Phoenix statue by XM Studios.

I really like the coloring of the bird, and it really adds some context to the piece as a whole. However, the actual sculpt of the bird could have been done in a way to make it appear less like a hen. Quite frankly, the base as a whole looks a bit like a hen-mother resting inside a dog bowl. So, what could have been done to remedy this? Well, they could have simply made it more impressive. I’m not saying that they should have made something like the XM Studios piece, but they could have made the wings much bigger and let them reach up higher. Additionally, they could have made the head of the bird more pronounced by making it a bit more regal and stoic.

Dark Phoenix Premium Format

The “dog bowl” that I mentioned… I don’t really have a problem with these types of bottom bases. With so much going on above it, it rarely distracts me at all that there is a base underneath that breaks with the theme of the piece. I think I even like it better than the older, more stylish, bases.

Final Thoughts

I must admit… this announcement and reveal had me really excited! Often, the first and immediate impression that you get of a piece is indicative of how you really feel about it. In this case, I was thrilled. You know, the feeling of sensation you get in your stomach when you feel you will get a new statue. The only thing that has held me back from actually preordering this is my XM Studios Phoenix statue. I simply don’t know if I want two Phoenixes in my collection, and I would have a really hard time letting my XM piece go.

It’s difficult to not put these two statues up against each other, and it’s interesting in itself that Sideshow decided to go with the “red” Phoenix. I suspect that the reason is that they want owners of the XM statue to be interested also.

I’m getting a growing feeling that Sideshow Collectibles are raising their bar. Both in terms of character design and concept, but also in terms of quality control. This question of quality control has been a hot topic within the statue collecting community for the last couple of years, and there is definitely merit to this. It most likely has something to do with the significant increase in edition sizes that is pressuring factories a great deal. Hopefully the increasing prices of these Premium Formats is indicative of Sideshow trying to alleviate this situation. Talking about the price, yes, it has surely gone up within a relatively short period of time, but I am taking this as an indication that quality is going up as well. Time will tell.

I think this statue shows great promise, and I am happy on behalf of all the collectors who favor this iconic character, but wasn’t able to get the XM Studios version. I think this piece has the potential of becoming quite an eye-catcher and centrepiece in many collections.

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