X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Strong Guy joined X-Factor for the simplest of reasons–the regular paycheck! Caring little about the problems between man and mutantkind, he lives instead for the finer things in life–wine, women and song! And he’s not above using his tremendous mutant strength to put those who would criticize his lifestyle in their place!”
After three assortments of pretty solid team building, the fourth series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line is one of the stranger line-ups the line would produce. I mean, it doesn’t have the weirdest character choices per se (well, apart from Tusk, because who the heck went “where’s my Tusk action figure?”), but more that it seems generally unfocused and all over the place. It would be this assortment which introduced off-shoot team X-Factor into the line. And what character would they use to launch? Would it be team leader Havok (who had been scrapped from the Series 3 line-up), or even X-universe mainstays Polaris, Multiple Man, or Wolfsbane? Nope, it was Lila Cheney’s bodyguard Guido, who had just taken the name “Strong Guy,” denoting his status as a…uhh….strong…guy. Yeah…
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Strong Guy was added to the Toy Biz X-Men line-up in 1993 as part of the aforementioned Series 4 line-up. He would see a re-issue in 2000 in ever so slightly different colors as part of the KB-exclusive X-Men line, but beyond that, this was it for Guido, at least until last year’s Minimate and this year’s Legend. Lucky Guido. The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation. He’s a little bit on the small side for Strong Guy (though that made him a nice fit with Hasbro’s Marvel Universe a few years later), but he’s got enough of a size difference that it works. Strong Guy is missing joints at the elbows and knees, I can only assume due to his larger size. Honestly, he makes out alright without them, so it’s not the end of the world. Much like Ch’od, who was similarly limited in terms of articulation and also similarly-sized, Strong Guy’s sculpt ends up as a pretty solid offering. The character’s distinctive proportions are well captured, and there’s a lot of character in the figure’s face, which helps to keep him looking fairly unique. He also matches up well with the art stylings of the time, honestly in a far better fashion than any of the other X-Factor characters. Strong Guy’s paint work is pretty solid for the time. All of the important details are there, and the application is fairly clean. Technically, there should be a patch of blue on his vest, but honestly the X-Factor art was stylized enough at the time that Toy Biz can be forgiven for not realizing that wasn’t just a harshly shaded patch. Strong Guy included no accessories (though, like most Toy Biz figures of the time, he has his hands molded to hold *something*), but he did have a “Power Punch” action, which raises his arms up and down when his torso is spun around.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Strong Guy is not a figure I had growing up. He actually was added to my collection during my post-freshman-year-of-college Toy Biz binge, after finding him at All Time Toys. He was still packaged, and, for whatever reason, I just never got around to opening him. He ended up sitting unopened for another 8 years, until I finally cracked him open a month ago in preparation for this review. I don’t know why I delayed so long, but he’s a pretty fun little figure, truth be told.