X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“The adamantium-clawed Wolverine is the best there is at what he does – no matter what the venue! And, dressed in the guise of the Shi’ar Imperial Guardsman known as Fang, he intends to prove it – by doing battle with intergalactic evil on a cosmic scale!”
Wolverine’s had more than a few costume changes over the years, beginning with a somewhat unintentional change to his mask when Gil Kane drew up the cover to GSXM #1. That one definitely stuck. The ones that would follow had varying degrees of success. Neither Dave Cockrum nor John Byrne was ever much for the tiger stripe design, and both attempted their own replacements. Byrne’s was the brown costume, a rather successful alternate look for the character, which clung to the roots of the tiger stripe design. Cockrum’s, introduced just before he left the book in issue #107, was more drastically different, and decidedly not quite as successful. During a battle with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, Logan’s costume is destroyed, and he has to quickly find a replacement, which he does by taking down the Guard’s own resident feral guy,
Timber Wolf Fang, and stealing his threads. It’s a unique look, to be sure, and when Toy Biz was looking for excuses for more Wolverine figures (before just deciding to start making stuff up), it proved worthy enough for inclusion as a toy.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Wolverine Fang was the Wolverine variant for the “Mutant Genesis” series, the tenth series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line. It’s rather amusing that he didn’t arrive until two series after the Phoenix Saga, given that’s where the costume showed up in the comics. However, not being in Fox’s animated adaptation of the story probably didn’t make it the most sensible inclusion there. The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation. While this figure was an all-new mold when he was released, the following year saw it repurposed as Savage Land Wolverine, a figure I looked at during the Day of the Wolverines. As I noted when I reviewed that figure, this is probably the best Wolverine sculpt to come out of this line. Certainly one of my favorites, and definitely the closest we ever saw to anything really approaching Cockrum’s style for this line. The paint work on the figure is pretty decent, albeit pretty basic and straightforward. It’s certainly very brown, which is pretty accurate. Wolverine’s accessories are the same as Savage Land Wolverine, so the weapons tree of blades from Spy Wolverine and the two additional blades. It’s a little bit overkill, what with him already having the claws, coupled with him only actually having one hand to actually grip things with.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Fang Wolverine was not a figure I personally had growing up, but he was my Dad’s Wolverine for his collection, and I rather fondly remember when he got that figure. When I went on my first real dive back into Toy Biz Marvel the summer after my Freshman year of college, this guy was one of the very first figures I picked up. Toy Biz figures were being cleared out at frankly insane prices on Amazon at the time, and that’s how I got him, along with a nice little thank you note post-it from the seller, which honestly made my day at the time. This figure’s really strong, and remains a favorite. I’d really love to see him updated for Legends.