MARVEL SUPER HEROES (TOY BIZ)
“Power mad is the only word that can describe the flying nightmare known as Annihilus. He’s not satisfied being the merciless ruler of his own dimension, the bizarre Negative Zone – he wants to be the tyrant of Earth’s universe too! And because he carries the near-limitless force of the awesome Cosmic Control Rod on his chest, he has the power to make his wicked dream a reality! Only the Fantastic Four have been able to block his nightmarish plans of conquest.”
The foes of the Fantastic Four don’t ever seem to get much respect. Beyond Doctor Doom and Galactus, it’s like they don’t exist. And that’s a shame, because the FF have a lot of really fun villains. One such villain is Annihilus, the ruler of the Phantom Zone. Annihilus has had a few different figures over the years, but he got his very first in 1992, in what was effectively luck of the draw. I’ll be looking at that figure today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Annihilus was released in Series 3 of Toy Biz’s Marvel Super Heroes line. Series 3 included Toy Biz’s first versions of the Fantastic Four, and they needed a villain to go along with them. However, Doctor Doom had already been released in Series 1, meaning TB needed another villain. Why they chose Annihilus is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they just thought he had the coolest design? Who knows? Annihilus is seen here sporting his classic design, which I believe was still the only one he had at the time of this figure’s release. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation. Like most of the others from this line, Annihilus’s sculpt is rather dated, and looks a little out of place with more modern items, or even figures from just a few years later in TB’s run. The details are a little more simplified, and, most noticeably, he’s really scrawny. This was a recurring issue, after Toy Biz moved away from the slightly stockier figures of the first two series, where everyone went too far the other direction. I don’t believe Annihilus has ever been quite this small. It should be noted, though, that this is still not a bad sculpt. There’s some nice work on some of the smaller details, especially on the head, which looks good for the time, if perhaps a little goofy in this day and age. Though jiust how they’d be handled on later figures would vary, the wings on this Annihilus are permanently affixed to the figure, and much like the original Toy Biz Archangel, there’s a wing-flapping action feature that’s operated by the little lever on the back. It doesn’t offer a ton of motion, and the wings are sort of small and silly, but it’s a mildly amusing little feature. Paint on Annihilus is fairly simple. Mostly, he’s just molded in the proper colors, with only a few actual painted details, which are all just straight colors. It’s hardly inaccurate to his original design, though, so it’s hard to really complain. Perhaps some metallics would have added some flair, but beyond that, this feels decent enough. Annihilus included no accessories, but he’s got the wings, so that’s at least something.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I didn’t have this figure growing up. Instead, I had the later one from the main Fantastic Four line. Unfortunately, that one had a removable head, and I lost mine, so I’ve been without a proper Annihilus for a little while. I’m slowly working my way to getting a complete run of Toy Biz 5-inch figures, so I grabbed this guy at the Dave Hart Toy Show this past summer, in an effort to get one step closer to my goal. He’s sort of a goofy little figure. There’s no denying that. But, he’s still entertaining, and that’s really all I look for in an action figure.