LEGENDARY COMIC BOOK HEROES
Alas, poor Toy Biz, I knew them well. Their main claim to fame was handling all the Marvel-based figures (at retail, anyway) from 1990 to 2006. During that time, Marvel had filed for bankruptcy, and ultimately been bailed out by their partners at Toy Biz (who would have been in a bit of trouble had their main licensor gone under). The two companies became one larger entity, and Toy Biz itself was reformed as an in-house company at Marvel. They had quite a successful run, but it was eventually decided that licensing out the Marvel properties was more profitable than handling them in-house, and production of Marvel toys was moved to Hasbro. Toy Biz reformatted as Marvel Toys, and tried to capture the success of some of their Marvel lines (namely Marvel Legends) by applying the same style to a number of independent comics characters, such as the previously reviewed Madman, and today’s focus, Savage Dragon. Ultimately, the line was not the success they had hoped, as most general audiences who shopped at the likes of Walmart and Target weren’t really looking to buy figures of Ripclaw or SuperPatriot, leading to quite a few unsold figures and the eventual closing down of Marvel Toys. That’s a bit of a downer. Let’s look at a toy to cheer up!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Savage Dragon was part of the first series of Legendary Comic Book Heroes, and was kind of one of the flagship characters featured therein (alongside Judge Dredd and Witchblade). As one of the earliest creations from Image, his presence in this line made a lot of sense. This wasn’t actually his first figure (he got his own line from McFarlane back in the ‘90s); matter of fact, I believe it’s the last of his figures. Also, there were two versions of Dragon available: with or without shirt. I’ll be looking at the shirtless figure, the more common of the two. The figure stands about 6 3/4 inches tall (not counting the 1-inch head fin) and he has a whopping 50 points of articulation. I think that might have been a record for a Toy Biz/Marvel Toys figure. 18 of those points come from his fingers alone, which is quite impressive. Many of the figures in this line made use of Marvel Legends tooling, but Savage Dragon got his own unique sculpt. It’s not a bad sculpt, though it’s worth noting that he’s a fair bit more conservative in his proportions than Dragon is frequently depicted. They’re still very exaggerated, of course, with the arms being roughly twice the size of the legs. The articulation is worked in alright (better than many of TB’s Marvel Legends figures), but the hands definitely look a little like someone stepped on them in certain poses, but they look fine in a number of poses. The paintwork in Dragon is pretty nice. TB could be hit and miss, but this was one of their better ones. All of the hair on his chest and arms is painted, and it does a decent enough job of capturing his rather hairy look from the comics. The jeans have a nice wash on them, which suggests the proper texturing quite effectively. The only part that I’m slightly letdown by is the shoes, which are clean overall, but just lack some of the finesse of the rest of the figure. Savage Dragon was originally packed with a leg of the first series Build-A-Figure Pitt, which was not included with my figure, as I bought him after the fact.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As I noted when I reviewed Madman, I missed LCBH in its initial run. I mean, I saw them everywhere at the time, but I just never bought any of them (mostly because I pretty much knew none of the characters at the time). I still have only a marginal knowledge of Savage Dragon, but I’ve become more appreciative of obscure figures, so when I found him at a flea market, I felt urged to pick him up (it helped that he was $5). He’s actually a really fun figure, and between him and Madman, I’m really tempted to track down more of this line.