LEGENDARY COMIC BOOK HEROES
The story of Toybiz is an interesting one. They first made their mark on the industry with their DC Superheroes line, which is generally remembered for a) being a rip-off of Kenner’s DC Super Powers and b) not being very good. When the DC license went back to Kenner, Toybiz picked up the license for Marvel, which ended up becoming their defining property. In 1996, Marvel filed for bankruptcy, and the now successful Toybiz bought them out. Toybiz was re-formed as an in-house toy company for Marvel. Marvel eventually decided it was more cost effective to license the property out. Toybiz was rebranded “Marvel Toys,” but they were left without a primary license. They had a lot of success with their Marvel Legends line, and they still owned all of the molds, so they decided to do a Marvel Legends-style line with characters from the numerous non-Marvel/DC comics that have emerged over the years. One such character was Mike Allred’s Madman, a personal favorite of mine. I’ll be looking at his figure today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Madman was released in the first series of Legendary Comic Book Heroes. He was something of an odd-ball in an assortment mostly focused on 90s anti-heroes, but he was a cool addition nonetheless. The figure is roughly 6 inches tall and he features 36 points of articulation. He’s based on Madman’s look a little ways into the series, after Allred had refined him a bit. It’s his signature look, so it was a good choice. I’d heard over the years that this figure used the Marvel Legends Face Off Daredevil as a starting point, but a quick look at that figure was enough to convince me otherwise. Truth be told, it looks like Madman got an all new sculpt out of the deal. It’s an impressive merging of styles. He’s been made to fit the ML style that LCBH used, but he still features a lot of traits that are undeniably Allred influenced. The end result is some that is cleaner and has aged a bit better than most of this figure’s contemporaries. The figure still has a few of the odd proportions that plagued the Toybiz Legends, namely the protruding shoulders, gangly legs, and flat feet, but overall, he ends up looking pretty good. Madman’s paint is pretty well handled. For the most part, everything is clean, and there isn’t any real issue with slop or bleed over. The blue used to accent the white parts of the costume is a little on the heavy side, but it could certainly be worse. Madman included a piece to Pitt, the B-A-F from this series. Mine was purchased loose, so I never had said pieces.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I missed the boat on LCBH. I remember seeing them in stores, and I even remember looking at Madman a few times. However, I didn’t purchase a single one while they were at retail. A large part of that was that I hadn’t read most of the series represented, Madman included. For Christmas a few years ago, I received the first three volumes of Madman and I absolutely loved them. The following summer, I was visiting Yesterday’s Fun (a favorite store of mine), and I came across this figure loose. All in all, he’s a fantastic figure. He’s not hindered by the same issues that hold back a lot of the Toybiz Marvel Legends. It’s a shame that Marvel Toys was unable to make this line a success and get a few more properties added in.