LASER BLAST CYCLOPS
SPIDER-MAN & FRIENDS
When they held the license for Marvel, Toy Biz tried applying the Marvel brand to everything. Literally everything. This was in part due to Toy Biz being a subsidiary of Marvel, and therefore not having any licensing fees to cover, so they had a certain degree of leeway to try out new stuff. In the early-to-mid-2000s, one of the better selling toy brands on the market was Rescue Heroes, a line of stylized, younger kid friendly action figures. This led to all sorts of imitators, including Toy Biz’s Spider-Man & Friends line, which presented some of the better known Marvel heroes in a near identical style. Despite being a Spider-Man line in name, the line actually covered a pretty decent subsection of the Marvel universe, including their resident Merry Mutants, the X-Men. That included founding member Cyclops, who we’ll be looking at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Laser Blast Cyclops was part of Series 5 of Spider-Man & Friends, released in mid-2003. While some of the characters received an assortment of variants from the line, Laser Blast Cyclops was the only time Cyclops showed up. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation. His design is based on Cyclops’s movie look from the X-Men and X2, which was relevant at the time. His color scheme has, unsurprisingly, been changed to something a bit brighter, since it was a kid-aimed line. Cyclops got his own, totally unique sculpt, done to match the style of the rest of the line. His face looks a fair bit younger, and the size of his head, hands, and feet are all above the norm. In general, the figure is just a lot stockier than the typical super hero figure, no doubt to boost stability a little bit. He’s also got the standard back port that all the figures had, which allowed for the attachment of the various backpacks included with each figure (and Cyclops’s conveniently houses his battery compartment). He may be a more kid-oriented toy, but Toy Biz certainly didn’t slack off on the sculpted details, though. His uniform has all the various stitching and padding of the film look, and there are even some nice technical details on the visor. Texturing and the like has been toned down a bit, but that doesn’t hold the figure back at all. As noted above, the color scheme for this figure is a lot brighter than the movie look that inspired the sculpt. He’s been given the more traditional blue/yellow scheme, though he does still keep the black for his boots, gloves, and visor. The end result looks pretty great, and fits in very nicely with the rest of the line. Cyclops was packed with a weird yellow backpack with a blaster/gun sort of thing attached to it. It almost looks like a Ghostbusters proton pack, to be honest. In addition, he also had a light-up feature. When his head was pushed down, his visor would light up red to simulate his optic blasts. This has the unfortunate side effect of making his neck joint more prone to breakage than his compatriots.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This was the only figure I owned from this line, since I was a little out of its age range. My brother, on the other hand, was a pretty big fan, and had a sizeable collection of figures, as well as one of the playsets. So, I got a Cyclops so that I would have a figure for when he wanted me to play with them with him. My first Cyclops actually ended up breaking (at that pesky neck joint) while a friend’s daughter was playing with him. I recently picked up a replacement for that figure, courtesy of Yesterday’s Fun. These were actually some pretty awesome toys, and it’s a shame that Hasbro opted not to continue the line when they took over. At least we got the ones we did!