#0820: Wolverine




I’ve no doubt that a number of people looked at yesterday’s review of the All-New, All-Different X-Men and thought to themselves: “Where’s Wolverine?” Well, the answer to that question is that Wolverine action figures were all over the place in the ‘90s, so Toy Biz felt he didn’t need to also be part of the set. But, who am I to ruin everyone’s fun? Let’s look at a Wolverine figure. In fact, let’s look at the very first Wolverine figure, from all the way back in 1984!


WolverineSW2Wolverine was released as part of the first series of Mattel’s Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars line. The line was, of course, designed to tie-in with the Marvel’s Secret Wars comic (the first one!).  However, it was kind of a round-a-bout sort of tie-in, since the comic was actually published at Mattel’s request, because they wanted their toys to have a more direct tie-in. Thanks Mattel. Anyway, Wolverine was in the comic. So was the whole current roster of X-Men at the time, but he was the only one to get a figure from it. This was the true start of the “Wolverine publicity,” I suppose. Since it was 1984, Wolverine was sporting his spiffy brown costume, instead of his usually more known yellow and blue get-up. The figure stands 4 ½ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. Like pretty much every Mattel line ever, Secret Wars was built on a hefty sum of parts re-use. Wolverine uses the basic arms and legs of the line, along with a unique head and a slightly larger torso piece, which he shared with Doctor Octopus and Hobgoblin. In general, the sculpt is rather on the soft side, with the exception of the soles of his boots, which are oddly well-defined. Of course, they’re only defined right at the base, so the tops don’t stick out from the sides like they should. The head isn’t anything particularly amazing, but it’s a decent enough likeness of Wolverine, and it certainly fits in with the rest of the body sculpt. The general proportions of the figure are fairly decent; the torso’s a bit on the flat side, but not terribly so. Most of this figure is carried by the paint job, since that’s where most of the character-specific elements come in. The paintwork is decent enough, and the colors are nice and bold (even if they did make him brown and yellow, instead of the proper brown and orange). There are some fuzzy edges, but nothing too bad. Wolverine was originally packed with a pair of snap-on claws (which came in either silver or black), and a lenticular shield thingy. Mine has neither of these, though.


So, clearly I didn’t pick this figure up when it was new. Truth be told, Secret Wars was never a line I really thought about trying to track down, due to them lacking a lot of the quality of their contemporary, DC Super Powers, of which I am quite a fan. However, while at a small nick-knack shop on Small Business Saturday, my brother told me there was “some Wolverine figure” on one of the low-sitting shelves. It ended up being this guy, who was marked $1.99. For that price, I certainly wasn’t going to pass on a vintage figure in decent shape. There’s no denying that this figure is far from the quality of other lines from the same time period, but he’s a cool piece of history, and I’m happy to have him.

4 responses

  1. I want to like this figure, because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of Wolverine figures in his brown costume, but there is something off about it. It’s just kind of plain looking. I am still fond of Toy Biz’s first Wolverine figure. The removable mask thing didn’t look right, but it did have real working retractable claws!

    • Plain is a good way to describe it. It’s kind of shocking how few brown costume Wolverines there are, but yeah, the Toy Biz one is still a personal favorite of mine. Have you ever seen the talking version? It’s essentially the same sculpt, but without the retracting claws and removable mask.

  2. I have seen the talking version. The masked face was pretty good, but the claws were short and stumpy. So, it was a mixed bag for me. The yellow costume pretty much dominated the 90s. I don’t think they made another brown costume figure until the Marvel Legends one.

    • I know they did the brown costume in both the Famous Covers and 12 inch lines, but yeah, I think the ML one was the first at the smaller scale in quite a while.

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