BATTLE-ACTION MEGA ARMOR WOLVERINE
X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
Toy Biz’s ’90s Iron Man, though far from a failure, was also not quite the success of some of their other Marvel-based toy lines from the same period. Following the slow sales of its fourth assortment, the line was brought to a close, cancelling not only its fifth set of figures, but also some off-shoot products, which included a line of items dubbed “Mega Armor,” which would effectively take off from the Hulkbuster armor and give both Iron Man and War Machine larger mecha suits to pilot. It was a cool concept, but not one that Toy Biz could get retailers to support under the Iron Man name. However, with the molds ready to go, they had to do *something* with them, so they were quick to repurpose them under two of their more successful brands, X-Men and Spider-Man. Why Spider-Man and the X-Men were running around in big mechs is anyone’s guess, but I try not to complain too much about such things. Whatever the case, it gives me a Wolverine variant I haven’t yet looked at, so I might as well jump in on that, right?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Battle Action Mega Armor Wolverine hit shelves in 1997, under the main X-Men line branding. To start with, they did Wolverine and Storm with the armor, but others would eventually follow down the line. The Mech suit is about 9 inches tall and has movement at the shoulders and wrists, as well as a cockpit that opens in two spots to let the standard figure inside out. Said standard figure is about 5 inches tall and has 10 points of articulation. Wolverine’s mech suit is the one that was originally intended for Iron Man, and as such it’s definitely got a lot of details that really match up with both the modular armor and with the Hulkbuster armor’s depiction on the Iron Man cartoon in the ’90s. It’s certainly a cool looking piece, though the very stiff nature of it does make it a little more difficult to really play with. It’s more of a set piece than anything, and that becomes really even more apparent when you stick Wolverine in it instead of its original intended occupant. The included Wolverine figure is interesting in that, when you really get down to it, he’s not *technically* a Wolverine at all. He’s actually a re-use of the main line’s Morph figure, just with that figure’s alternate Wolverine head in place instead of the standard. While the Wolverine head works fine on that figure as a more quick gimmicky set-up, the two character’s really don’t share the same build, resulting in a very anemic looking Wolverine. He’s still very posable, however, so he’s at least a pretty playable figure. When it comes to paint, the mech suit gets a pretty notable overhaul on the color scheme, moving away from the intended Iron Man scheme into something more in line with Wolverine’s usual palette. It’s not a terrible look, but it’s definitely a departure, and I don’t know that it suits the mold as well as the original set-up would have. For his part, the included Wolverine also gets a pretty major overhaul as well, with a totally blue number, some silver accenting and a whole bunch of weird gold techno lines thrown in to top it all off. Really weird set-up, and I’m really not sure exactly what they were going for. It’s certainly….different? Oh, and he’s of course wall-eyed, because that’s just how you do, I suppose. In addition to the Wolverine figure being included, the mech suit also gets a claw weapon thing to hold in one hand, and has a spinning hand feature on his right side and an extending punch feature on the left. He’s certainly got his fighting options all laid out for him.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I didn’t have the whole mech suit thing as a kid, but I did have just the Wolverine from it, as it had been found at my Dad’s work, and he ended up bringing it home for me. I always wanted the whole suit, in any of its many released forms, but I just never did get one. But lucky me, one came into All Time in a collection, and also lucky me, Christian had just happened upon some really good trade fodder for me at Goodwill, sort of kind of as a birthday thing, meaning I was able to get this guy essentially free of charge. That worked out pretty darn well. This thing is so majorly goofy, and I so majorly love it.