FANTASTIC FOUR (TOYBIZ)
The 90s was a great time to be an action figure fan, especially if you liked Marvel comics. Thanks to animated versions of several of their properties airing on TV, there was a lot of tie-in product to be found. Entire lines of figures would be devoted to one particular hero and his rogues and allies, providing a rather large depth of characters, many of whom had not and would not get another figure. One such character is today’s focus, the Wizard, a slightly lesser-known Fantastic Four foe.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Wizard was part of the fourth series of ToyBiz’s first Fantastic Four line. The character made an appearance in an early episode of the show’s second season, which had just kicked off when this series of figures was hitting stores. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and features 9 points of articulation. The figure features an entirely unique sculpt, which is…odd to say the least. Let’s start with the posture: he seems to be somewhat hunching, with widely splayed legs, and strangely outstretched arms. His head is atop a crooked, flexing neck, and his torso is oddly shifted to the left. Then there’s the proportions: his head and hands are huge, and his torso is far too short. The Wizard has always had a helmet that made his head look a little bigger than it was, but here it’s his whole head that’s huge, which ends up making the helmet look too small by comparison. Then there’s the arms, which start off somewhat normally sized, and then quickly shift into some sort of jacked-up, oversized monstrosity. I actually kind of like the positioning of the hands, but they look like they belong to another figure. And, of course, you can’t look at this figure and not mention the muscle definition. Seriously, most of those are just made up. The figure’s paint is passable, but not really anything outstanding. It accurately represents his garishly clashing color scheme of the comics, so that’s good, I guess. However, the figure has more than a few instances of bleed over, and his belt in particular is only a slight approximation of where it should be. If you read my Medusa review, you’ll remember that Series 4’s gimmick was that each figure had a base with some sort of action feature. Medusa got her hair, which wasn’t bad, but Wizard’s been given some strange disk…thing. I really don’t know what it is. It’s big, yellow, circular, and so goofy. There’s this lever on the right, which he can loosely hold. It doesn’t do anything, though. If you want to activate the action feature, you have to use a second lever, located behind the first, which shoots some blue disk things. That’s fun I guess.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Wizard was one of the many figures I picked up from my local comicbook store a month or so back when they were running a big sale on action figures. They had several, and I’d passed him up several times over the years, so I figured I might as well break down and buy one. I don’t say this often, but he’s really not a very good figure. So much about him is just so off, and there’s no real rationale as to why. And, to make things worse, this is literally the only figure the character’s ever had, which makes it a serious bummer.