X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Blue-furred and boisterous, the Beast’s monstrous exterior conceals the fact that he possesses the mind of an articulate, well-read genius! Ever ready to answer the call should either man or mutant be in peril, the Beast employs both his dexterous digits and his scientific skills as a member of the X-Men.”
The ’90s X-Men line-up was a pretty sizeable, even just going by the cartoon’s more paired down version of the cast, which for a burgeoning toy line can be a slightly daunting prospect. It took several assortments to make their way through the main cast. Founding member Beast was a later addition, though certainly not the latest. I’m taking a look at that figure today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Beast was released in Series 6 of the Toy Biz X-Men line. Aside from the cartoon-creation Morph, he was the only X-Man proper in the line-up. The same figure would subsequently be re-issued as part of the “Classics” line-up which put out all of the main cartoon cast in one assortment, and then again as part of the Marvel Universe line. The three figures are essentially identical, and it’s worth noting that my figure comes from the “Classics” release. This figure’s sculpt would also serve as the inspiration for both the 10-inch and Steel Mutants figures. The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation…in theory. In reality, it’s more like 7, because his action feature makes the joints at the knees and ankles effectively useless. Said action feature is dubbed “Mutant Flipping Power” and means that there are springs in his knee and ankle joints, which are supposed to allow him to flip. In my experience, it was never a very reliable feature and just made it rather hard to keep the figure standing. Tied into the feature was this weird switch thing on the figure’s back, for which I’ve never figured out the purpose. His sculpt definitely follows that early ’90s look for the character, at his most bulked up and monstrous. Nevertheless, he’s still got that sophisticated Henry McCoy expression on his face, as if he’s contemplating the moral quandaries of his current heroic endeavor. The rest of the sculpt is surprisingly smooth for such a hairy guy, especially when compared to other, similarly textured characters from this and surrounding series. I can only guess they were going for more of a stylistic thing on Hank. The figure’s pretty light on the paint front, with most of him being just molded in a light blue. There’s a bit of paint for his shorts and belt, as well as his eyes and teeth. For whatever reason, his eyes are solid yellow; he’s gone back and forth between having pupils and pure white eyes, but the yellow’s more of a Nightcrawler thing usually. Beast was packed with a suction cup-sporting bar to hang from, which was cool enough, though the suction cup long ago fell off of mine.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I don’t actually recall much about getting this figure. I think he was one of those “my Dad got one and then I also wanted one” figures. I certainly would have wanted him for the purposes of filling out my X-Men line-up. He’s an okay figure. The action feature gets in the way here more than on most Toy Biz figures, which can be annoying, but his sculpt’s fairly decent, and he definitely fit with that toon aesthetic.