X-MEN PROJECTORS (TOY BIZ)
When it comes to action figures, you know what a lot of adult collectors really despise? Stupid dumb gimmicks. You know what I kind of love? Stupid dumb gimmicks. Well, to a point, anyway. As a rule, I like my figures to be fun. And a well-executed gimmick can be very fun. Or it can be weird. Which can also be sort of fun in its own strange way, I guess. Toy Biz did a lot of the weird gimmicks, including the time that they decided to take all of Marvel’s most popular characters and stick projectors in their torsos. I’ll be looking at one of those projector-in-torso figures today, specifically Cyclops!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Cyclops was released in the first assortment of Toy Biz’s X-Men Projectors line, hitting in 1994. The Projector figures were in a totally different scale than the usual line, so this guy stands about 8 inches tall. He’s also got 5 points of articulation, as well as a hinge on his torso, allowing for placement of the projector discs within the chest. This figure was patterned on the Cyclops II figure from the main line in terms of style, though it’s important that he’s not an up-scale of that figure; all of the Projector figures were unique sculpts. The quality of the sculpt is actually pretty decent. There are some slight oddities to it, such as the slightly enlarged torso, but I find the sculpt on this guy to be a far more detailed, and a lot nicer all-around than the smaller-scale figure. Well, apart from the freaking projector that’s sticking out of the middle of his torso. That does slightly mar the overall authenticity of him as a straight Cyclops figure a touch. It’s sort of obvious, but far from the most obtrusive action feature. Maybe he’s a robo-suit or something. The paint work on this guy is pretty decent. Nothing super fancy, but all of the basic color work is nice and clean. His skin is even a bit more lively and colorful than a lot of the other X-Men figures of the same time, which is quite nice. In terms of accessories, Cyclops just included the three projector discs, which could be placed in his chest. There’s a switch on the back which turns on a light in his chest, as well as a knob to allow for the disc to be turned. My figure has none of the discs, and I haven’t yet tested to see if his electronics still work.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Growing up, I had two of these figures: Magneto and Civilian Wolverine. I got Magneto because there was no small-scale Magneto readily available when I started collecting, and I think Wolverine was a gift. I never tracked down any of the others. I was at 2nd Chance Toyz just last week celebrating my birthday, and I fished this guy out of their dollar bin, and couldn’t bring myself to leave him behind. He’s goofy, there’s no denying that, but he’s my kind of goofy, and he’s helped to remind me that these were actually pretty nifty figures in their own right.