MARVEL OVERPOWER CARD GAME
Around this time last year, I discussed the interesting case of the US Agent figure from Toy Biz’s ‘90s Iron Man line. He was slotted for the third series of the line, but dropped at the last minute when Toy Biz cut all of their lines back to six figures per series. US Agent’s mold would bounce around for a bit, and he was ultimately only available through a difficult to acquire, non-Toy Biz or Marvel sanctioned release.
Running concurrently with the Iron Man line was a Fantastic Four line, which was also subject to the downsizing of assortments. US Agent’s equivalent in this line was Adam Warlock, who was presumably dropped from the FF line-up because he, like US Agent, was the only character not to be featured on the cartoon the line was meant to tie-in with. Adam would prove far more fortunate than poor US Agent in regards to his figure’s release, however, with Toy Biz actually finding a venue to put him out.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
After being dropped from the third series of Toy Biz’s Fantastic Four line in 1995, Adam Warlock was ultimately released in 1996 as part of a small KB Toys-exclusive line of four figures designed to coincide with Fleer’s Marvel: Overpower Card Game. The other three figures were straight forward repaints of earlier figures, and much more popular characters to boot, making Adam seem like an odd choice. I guess Toy Biz just really wanted to get him out there! Adam is seen here sporting his early ‘90s design, which was kind of a merging of his two previous looks. It’s my favorite of his looks, but it’s entirely possible that I like it because it’s the one I saw on all those card backs in the ‘90s. The figure is just over 5 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation. Because of the light-up feature integrated into his eyes and Infinity stone, Adam doesn’t get any neck articulation, which results in him feeling rather stiff, even when placed with this compatriots from the same time period. Stiffness aside, Adam’s sculpt is pretty good. It’s certainly on par with the rest of the ‘90s FF figures, which is good, overall. The proportions are a little weird in some areas (especially the upper arms; those things are huge), and the head’s a little soft in terms of detail, but he generally looks pretty good. Warlock has a removable cape, which actually a fair bit different from the cape his FF prototype was sporting. This one is much more dynamic in pose, and fits more with the stuff Toy Biz was starting to put out in 1996. I kind of prefer the prototype version, if I’m honest. The flow of this one kind of clashes with the style of the figure proper, since he’s just sort of standing there, and it’s all crazy wind-blown. It also has some trouble sitting right on his shoulders, which can get very annoying. Another thing that was changed from Adam’s prototype to thee Overpower figure is the paint scheme. It’s not terribly different, but the yellow was swapped out for gold, and the red has been made a little less vibrant. Like the new cape, it’s more in keeping with the sort of work TB was doing in 1996, but it results in him not fitting in quite as well with the FF figures as he should. The gold paint has also not stood the test of time, meaning some of the details get lost. Adam included his signature staff, as well as an Adam Warlock Overpower card.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like US Agent, Adam Warlock is a figure I always wanted, due to his presence on the back of the Iron Man and Fantastic Four card backs, but was never able to find, due to the lack of information on such things at the time (the internet was around, but we toy geeks hadn’t quite migrated to it yet). I’ve known about the existence of this particular figure for several years, and I’ve even seen him once or twice in person, but I never got around to picking him up. I ended up finding Adam while exploring the new area I’m living in, at a very cool shop called Power Comics. Adam’s not quite as fun as US Agent, mostly due to Toy Biz changing so much from ’95 to ’96, and this guy getting hit with some weird amalgamation of those two years’ styles. If he’d been a straight recreation of the figure as originally intended (like US Agent was), I think he might have been a bit better. As it stands, I think he’s still the best version of the guy out there.