X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Members of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, aliens B’nee and C’cll unite their superhuman abilities symbiotically as the unstoppable Warstar! Possessing superhuman strength and the ability to discharge electrical blasts, Warstar stands ready to strike at any and all enemies of the Shi’ar Empire – even if it means crossing the width of the galaxy itself!”
First appearing early in the Phoenix Saga, the Shi’ar Imperial Guard’s original membership were all homages to artist Dave Cockrum’s previous work on Legion of Super Heroes. When the team reappeared during “The Dark Phoenix Saga” a few years later, Cockrum’s replacement John Byrne was tasked with a few more members to pad out the roster a bit during their fight with the X-Men. Instead of creating more Legion homage characters, these new characters, including today’s focus Warstar, were wholly original, while still loosely fitting the theme. No doubt for reasoning related to the potential issues that surround homage characters and toys, Warstar being a non-homage character made him a slightly cleaner choice when it came to toy coverage.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Warstar was another inclusion in the “Phoenix Saga” Series of Toy Biz’s X-Men toy line. He is by far the most obscure character in that particular mix, but he did at least get a little bit of focus during the cartoon version of the Saga, which made him at least somewhat memorable to the buyer base, I suppose. The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation. He lacks a neck joint, but in his defense, there’s a sensible reason for that. As touched on in the bio up top, Warstar is actually two symbiotically-linked beings. The main body is C’cll, the larger of the pair. It does a respectable job of replicating his larger mechanical frame. He’s perhaps a touch more boxy than C’cll tends to be depicted, especially when Byrne was drawing him, but by and large, it’s a pretty close match. Borrowing a page from the previously released Tusk figure, C’cll has a little hatch and a small lever on his back. Sliding back the hatch and pushing up the lever reveals a tiny B’nee figurine, who’s been hiding back there the whole time. Both of them are just a touch underscaled for the line, and B’nee doesn’t get any sort of articulation, but it’s a fun feature nevertheless. Warstar’s paintwork is pretty solidly handled. It’s largerly all one color (for C’cll, anyway; B’nee *is* one color), but it’s a pretty slick metallic green. Mine’s taken quite a beating over the years, but that doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world for a character with “war” in his name. The only extra included here is the small B’nee figure; no other weaponry or weird accessories thrown in this time. Also, he’s one of two figures in the “Phoenix Saga” assortment not to get any additional accessories when moved over to the larger card, presumably because of how sizable he was in the first place.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Warstar was a rather early addition to my collection, purchased for me by my Nana, specifically at my request. Interestingly, I had no clue who the character was (I hadn’t yet seen his appearance on the cartoon), and actually thought he was a Titanium Man figure, who I wanted to have to face off against my Iron Man figure I’d just gotten. It wasn’t until later that I realized my mix-up (and got a proper Titanium Man), though I can’t really say I was ever upset to own a Warstar. He’s a pretty fun figure of a pretty fun character, and is probably one of my favorites from the line. I’d love to see him get an update as a BaF or Deluxe Legends offering.