GENERATION X (TOY BIZ)
“Angela Espinosa’s body has six extra feet of skin – this is his mutant ‘gift’???. Even he doesn’t quite understand how it works and although he would never admit it, that scares him. He’s come to Xavier’s School form the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles to learn to control his skin, at least enough for him to appear as he did before his powers developed – normal.”
In the ‘90s, the X-Men were Marvel’s hottest property by far. To cash-in on this success, they turned around and launched like a million spin-offs. The more teen-oriented team of hip, fliggity-fly youngsters was Generation X, which was super, super ‘90s. It had a pretty decent following back in the day, and since Toy Biz was giving a toyline to just about everything under the son, it also had one of those. Today, I’ll be taking a look at one of the team’s central members, Skin!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Skin was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s Generation X line of figures. He appears to be patterned after the character’s earlier appearances in the book, before he got all scruffy. The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation. For some reason, the Generation X figures were less articulated than most of Toy Biz’s Marvel output from the same time. Perhaps it was to minimize potential risk on the financial side of things, should the line fail? I don’t know. Anyway, Skin was an all-new sculpt. It seems to take the Kenner route, offering a more preposed figure with less movement. It looks pretty solid; I like all the little minor details, like the folds in his skin. In makes for quite a unique looking figure. I also appreciate that his costume isn’t simply depicted as painted on, but actually has some dimension to it. Now, if you want to get picky, the hands and feet shouldn’t be done the way they are here, since the skeletal structure is clearly elongated here, and his abilities only actually had to do with his skin. That being said, most artists tended to ignore this rule, so the figure’s hardly inaccurate. The paint work on the figure is okay, but there are a few issues. The base work is overall okay, but the magenta on the arms and legs doesn’t quite match the torso. It’s not as bad in person as it is in the photos, but it’s still noticeable. The yellow paint is also a bit prone to chipping, which is a little annoying, but otherwise he’s pretty decent. The figure has a “Growing Fingers” action feature on his left hand. There’s a little latch on the forearm, and when you release it, the fingers shoot forward a half-inch or so. It’s pretty much the same mechanic that was used on several of TB’s Wolverine figures, and it works pretty well, without disrupting the overall look of the figure too much. Skin was packed with a back pack that can be clipped on his back. It originally had a little headset attachment, but I’ve lost mine.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I missed out on most of the Generation X figures when they were new. Around 2000 or so, I got some still-packaged mid-90s figures, and the whole first series of Gen X figures was pictured on the back, leading me to attempt to track down Skin and his team-mate Chamber. It wasn’t easy (we had eBay, but the ‘90s action figures market wasn’t really there yet), but I eventually found both figures at a nearby comic book store for a pretty decent price. Despite never being super huge into Generation X, I’ve always really liked this figure, and he holds up pretty well.