X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“The evil mutant master of magnetism, Magneto is the arch-enemy of the X-Men. With his magnetic power, Magneto’s magnetic force can pull even the heaviest objects to him, throw them miles away, or cause them to shatter with sudden explosiveness. Magneto plans to enslave mankind and mercilessly rule Earth with the other evil mutants. But first he must destroy the X-Men, the super hero mutants who are mankind’s defenders.”
Magneto’s first action figure came from Mattel’s Secret Wars line. Though sold as a villain, the story was an early adopter of the heroic turn for the character. By the time of his second figure, he’d run the whole gamut of villain to hero and back again. It’s a little odd to see the character referred to simply as an evil mutant, but that’s where he landed when the team came into all of their notoriety, I suppose.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Magneto was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, as one of three villains presented therein. Magneto had gone through a few different costumes by this point, but returned to his classic design just in time for this figure’s release. The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. Magneto’s sculpt was an all-new offering, and it remained unique to this figure all throughout Toy Biz’s tenure with the license. Magneto sports perhaps the finest sculpt in the whole first series. His proportions are notably less goofy and his posture far less stilted than other figures from this assortment. He’s not painfully scrawny like Cyclops was, and he can actually manage some decent poses, unlike Storm. His helmet was removable, and while that made it more than a little bit oversized, and just a touch goofy looking, it does mean we were treated to the fully detailed un-helmeted head beneath it, which does a very nice job of capturing Magneto’s usual stern but well-meaning expression. Despite the big emphasis on the whole “evil” bit in the bio, that’s not quite what was presented by the figure here, and he ends up very true to the character in that regard. Though later figures in the line would go the sculpted cape route, this one got a cloth piece, keeping with the vaguely Super Powers-esque aesthetic that these early Toy Biz offerings had. Like the bulkier helmet, it’s a bit dated looking and slightly goofy, but it’s not bad for what it is. Magneto’s paintwork is pretty straight forward stuff. The red parts are all molded plastic, and everything else is painted. Application is mostly pretty clean; there’s some slight slop on the boots and gloves, but it’s very minor. In addition to the removable helmet and cape, this guy came with three pieces of “metal debris,” which, via magnets in his torso and hands, could be attached to the figure, thus simulating his powers.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I have two of this guy, and it’s all my dad’s fault. Well, not directly, I suppose. When I was just getting into collecting, my dad and I were doing a lot of tandem buying, where we’d both get something. On one of our trips, he got this figure, and I really liked it, but I never ended up finding another at retail. A few years later, I found this guy (along with Nightcrawler) at a flea market, sans helmet and cape. Despite the missing pieces, that was certainly good enough for me, at least at the time. In recent years, I become slightly more picky about such things, so I ended up tracking down a second one, via my friends at Yesterday’s Fun, and this one had the missing pieces. This remains my favorite Magneto figure, and I’m happy to have a more complete release.