WOLVERINES III & IV
X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
The isolation…it’ll do crazy things to a man…things like give him grand, lofty, and possibly insane ideas. What kind of ideas you ask? Well, I may or may not have recently been getting a little bit nostalgic for my “Day of the Vipers” event I ran back in 2018. You know, the day I was insane and wrote six separate reviews and published them all over the course of 24 hours. Yes, I get nostalgic about the times that I put *way* too much work into this site. I’m not well. I thought to myself that it might even be nice to do such a thing again. But, what could I possibly use for such a follow-up? Clearly I didn’t have anything tailor-made for such a marathon of reviews…and then I had something kind of drop into my lap. So, hey, let’s fully embrace my isolation-induced insanity for a bit. Without further ado, I present the Day of the Wolverines. Here they come, bub! Let’s kick things off with a journey back to 1992. Not a bad year if I do say so myself, and a solid year for X-Men. Toy Biz’s line launched the year prior, and we got our second and third series over the course of ’92, which brought our Wolverine count up to a firm four. I’ve already looked at Wolverine II, so let’s go ahead and round out that set with Wolverines III and IV.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
“When it comes to fighting Evil Mutants, the X-Men know there’s no one better than Wolverine! With his razor-sharp adamantium claws, his lightning-quick reflexes and his unmatched combat experience, Wolverine can outfight anyone! Thanks to his super-fast mutant healing ability, in just a few short hours he’s totally healthy and ready for action again, no matter how serious his wounds!”
Wolverine’s numerous costume changes in the early ’90s proved fortuitous for Toy Biz’s growing little X-Men line, allowing for three totally valid variants of the pint-sized hero right off the bat. We’d gotten the brown costume and the Tiger-Stripe costume, so the only main look left was Logan’s strike team uniform, Jim Lee’s take on the old Kirby uniforms. This figure, dubbed Wolverine III, was released in early 1992 as part of the Series 2 line-up, and then showed up again the same year in the Series 3 line-up as well (it’s believed he was the shortpack in both assortments, and this was Toy Biz’s way of getting him out in decent numbers). The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation. Structurally, this figure’s pretty similar to Wolverine II, although it’s worth noting that the only part shared between them was the torso (well, that was *supposed* to be the only part, anyway. A good number of this figure actually shipped with Wolverine II’s legs in place of his proper ones. This variant is commonly referred to as “Wolverine 2.5”). The head’s also pretty close to the head that was used later as an alt-head for Series 5’s Morph. Stylistically, this guy fits right in with the rest of the Series 2/3 stuff, and it’s honestly not a bad mold, all things considered. I don’t think it’s aged quite as well as the Tiger Stripe figure, but that could also be the slightly more dated costume design at play. This guy keeps both of the action features of the Wolverine II figure, for better or for worse. I’m still not entirely sure what the purpose of the thumb tab on the back of these figures was, but Toy Biz sure liked it. The claws were an interesting idea, but one I’m glad Toy Biz ultimately moved away from. His paint’s fairly standard of the time. The overall application’s not bad, but there’s definitely some wobbly lines on the edges of the costume. Wolverine III, like Wolverine II, included a gun, because why not? Also, a trading card of Widget, a character I have no familiarity with whatsoever. So there’s that.
“A top-secret government project transformed the Mutant named Logan into the unbeatable warrior Weapon X. He was given unbreakable adamantium claws and a battle simulation helmet which created imaginary battle screens that looked virtually real. Using these unique training weapons, Weapon X sharpened his combat skills to perfection. The ultimate secret agent, Weapon X later used his high-tech training to become the heroic X-Man Wolverine!”
Still relatively new at the time, Wolverine’s Weapon X get-up was a pretty popular look, and pretty divergent from his main look to boot. It’s use for Wolverine IV was pretty sensible, I suppose. The figure starts Logan’s crawl upwards in height, standing just shy of 5 inches tall, and he has 9 points of articulation. His sculpt is all-new, and it feels almost out of place with the others in its series. While the early X-Men figures all adhere to a simpler style, this guy honestly feels like he belongs a bit later in the line. The proportions are a little more buffed up (though not to crazy levels yet), and the detail work on the sculpt is actually quite sharp. He’d end up getting the style of claws that most of the later line versions of Wolverine got, as well, resulting in a figure that just feels more advanced than his compatriots. He’s definitely the most technically impressive of the Series 3 line-up, and one of the most impressive of the early line figures as a whole. His paint’s pretty decent as well, with all of the basics covered, plus proper detailing for the cables and such. This one’s the standard release, but KB also had an exclusive repaint, which had red cables and grey shorts. Weapon X included his helmet and harness, which are a little bulky and loose fitting, but certainly not bad additions to the figure. This marks the first time that the line didn’t stick Wolverine with an extra weapon of some sort. He also got a Rogue trading card. I do know her, so we’re doing alright there.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So, this pair is interesting, because they’re both figures I sort of owned growing up. Why “sort of”? Well, my Wolverine III was actually the 2.5 figure, which KB had a lot of back in the day. I tried painting him in the proper colors, but never got it right. Weapon X I only had the core figure to, as he accompanied a loose Professor X my dad bought from eBay. But, as you can see, I have the proper full versions of both now. See, I got a call from Jason at All Time a little while back asking if there were any Toy Biz Wolverines I needed. I said there were a number and he said “great, I just got pretty much all of them. Swing by the store and you can dig through them.” So…there’s your preview of what the rest of the day holds, I suppose.