X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Sabretooth is just one of the several man-made killers created by the Weapon-X project. Once an ally of Wolverine, he is now one of the most vicious of the X-Men’s foes. He has an incredible healing factor that makes him immune to most drugs and poisons, and he has greater endurance than most human beings. With his fearsome claws, sharp teeth and innate savagery, Sabretooth has a bloodlust that is rivaled only by his hate for Wolverine!”
Early in the Toy Biz X-Men line, there was a frequent occurrence of characters having just changed their costumes just as their figures would get made. Mainstay X-Men Wolverine and Cyclops needed V2s pretty quickly, but so did a few of their foes. Sabretooth was a notable example, having just gotten a major redesign right before his V1 figure’s release, requiring a second go less than a year later.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Sabretooth was released in Series 5 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line (the same series that also gave us the second Cyclops figure) in 1993. He uses Sabretooth’s updated Jim Lee design, which, in addition to streamlining his costume, also began the trend of bulking the character up considerably. It was also the look that was used on X-Men: The Animated Series, which had started not long before this figure’s release. The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 4 points of articulation. He’s actually pretty limited on the articulation front for one of these figures. Necks and elbows were still pretty inconsistent at this point, so that’s not a huge shock, but the lack of knee joints is certainly odd. It also makes him incredibly hard to keep standing, which isn’t exactly a plus. Why exactly they opted to cut so much articulation from this figure isn’t exactly clear. The sculpt itself isn’t bad. It capture’s Victor’s bulked up look pretty well without going too overboard. He matches up well with Lee’s usual depiction of the character, even if his stance is perhaps a little rigid. The paintwork is on the basic side, and there’s definitely some slop on the edges of the brown, but it’s about what you’d expect for the time. Sabretooth included no accessories, but he did have a “Snarl and Swipe” action feature; squeezing his legs swings his arms in and out and opens his mouth. It’s not a bad gimmick, all things considered, and the lack of exposed levers and such was a marked improvement on Toy Biz’s earlier offerings, taking a page out of the Super Powers book.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
My first V2 Sabretooth was not his original release, but was instead the Marvel Universe re-release, given to me as a gift by a family friend. That one eventually broke on me and got lost in a shuffle of figures some time back. The one seen here is the original release, which I actually got for my birthday a couple of years ago, alongside a handful of other ’90s Marvel figures. He’s not exactly a very playable figure, but he certainly looks the part.