MARVEL UNIVERSE 10-INCH (TOY BIZ)
During Toy Biz’s run producing Marvel toys in the 90s, their standard scale of choice was 5-inch scale. Since most of their prototypes were done as two-ups (sculpted at twice the size and then scaled down during the production process), they also had the ability to produce virtually the same sculpts at twice the size, allowing them to produce a fairly vast line of 10-inch scaled figures. The figures were generally produced on the cheap, which Toy Biz achieved by building as many of the figures as they could out of a bank of common pieces. This led to them producing a number of more (at the time) obscure characters who happened to be easy builds. One such character was the Vision, who ended up getting his very first figure courtesy of this line (though his next three figures would arrive in short succession).
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Vision was released as part of the 10-inch scale Marvel Universe line during the late 1997/early 1998 assortment. He predates the line’s move to being KB Toys-exclusive, though not by much. The figure stands 10 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation. Vision is depicted here in his mid-90s costume, which was the look he was porting when the figure was put into production, but he had gone back to his classic look right around this figure’s time of release. As far as structure, he uses an up-scaled version of the second Archangel body as his base, with a head from Silver Surfer. Both were favored pieces by Toy Biz, so they showed up a lot, and the same formula would be employed for the smaller-scale Marvel Gold version of the character. The body seems a little on the large side for Vision, but isn’t a terrible fit. He still has the wrist bands from Archangel, but he’s hardly the first figure to use this body that just acted like those weren’t a part of the sculpt. Re-using head sculpts is generally a bit iffy, but it works okay here, because Surfer’s head was chromed and Vision’s is normally painted, plus Surfer’s head was just a generic bald head to begin with. Unfortunately, the head and body aren’t really meant to go together, so there’s a lot of excess space at the base of the neck, especially in the back. This figure originally had a cloth cape to complete the look, which I recall being slightly ill-fitting, but overall a good piece, and it masked the previously mentioned neck issues (EDIT: I found the cape! my assessment of it based on memory was correct). Vision’s paint is cool looking, as long as you don’t look too close. The colors are all nicely chose, and the metallic green looks pretty awesome. That said, the application is pretty sloppy, with lots of fuzzy and wavy lines, with the change over from red to green on the head being the worst offender. Vision included no accessories.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got Vision from Toy Liquidators, back in 1998. Anybody remember Toy Liquidators? They were on their way out, even in 1998. Anyway, I had been to this Toy Liquidators with my grandmother on my mom’s side, and gotten some other figures, but not Vision (because getting her to accept anyone that wasn’t Batman or Spider-Man was already enough of an uphill battle. Explaining why I needed a Vision figure because he was the first ever was not happening). When I mentioned Vision to my Dad, he took me back to the store to get the figure, because Dad gets me (my Grandmother got me too, but it was a different sort of bond). Is he a perfect figure? No, but he was literally the first Vision figure ever made, and that was the best thing ever to 5 year old me (I still think he’s pretty cool).