WOLVERINE — BATTLE RAVAGED
X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Since long before he joined the X-Men, Wolverine has been squaring off against opponents in all types of battles, from silent ambushes to brawls. His mutant healing factor allows Wolverine to recover from wounds and injuries at a rate much faster than normal, letting him take greater risks when in combat. Fighting is in this man’s nature, but Wolverine must always take care to hold his berserker fury in check and keep his animal nature from taking control.”
And here we are, making it to a full-on seven years here with the site. How about that? This takes dedication…or insanity. I’ve certainly got one of those two things. Speaking of a strange mix of dedication and insanity, this year, one of my favorite days of reviewing was the “Day of the Wolverines,” where I took a look at 18 of Toy Biz’s 5-inch Wolverine figures. During that day, I noted that I was skipping the ones I’d actually had as a kid, which meant skipping out on 1995’s Wolverines entirely, since that was the year I got into collecting the line, and I already owned all of that year’s variants. Since the Day of, I’ve been filling in some of the Wolverines from that year, and today I get to the final, and honestly most important one: Battle Ravaged Wolverine!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Battle Ravaged Wolverine was released in the Invasion Series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, the eleventh series of the line. Truth be told, it’s probably my favorite series of the line, for reasons I’ll get to in the relevant section. The concept on this guy is pretty straight forward: take the basic Tiger Stripe Wolverine design, and just tear it to shreds, as if in battle. The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation. While I didn’t look at this figure proper during the Day of the Wolverines, I did look at his sculpt, which was re-used in the 1997 “Greatest Archenemies” set. As I noted in that review, it’s a sculpt I actually quite like. It’s a little on the large side for a Wolverine, but the build actually works pretty well, and the battle damage is quite well implemented throughout the figure. There’s a great intensity to the sculpt on this guy, and I just really dig it. The paintwork is really the main differing thing here, as it gives him a more classic color scheme than the later release. It works a lot better, and just results in a nicer overall figure than the later release. There’s actually another repaint of this guy, released as part of 1996’s KB Toys-exclusive Overpower line. It tweaks the coloring on the claws so that they’re now bone claws, and also makes the shoulders silver….for some reason. I guess they really needed to keep that silver paint quotient up. The original release and all subsequent re-uses of the mold had a “Berserker Rage Action” action feature, which slashes the arms downward when you push the lever on his back. The original release also featured a set of doors, which you could use the action feature to “split” and knock down. It’s very basic, but a cool extra piece of scenery.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Remember how I said that the Invasion Series is probably my favorite? There’s a good reason for that. I got into toys in late 1995, and because of that, the Invasion Series was the one on shelves when I started collecting. That’s why Havok and Erik the Red were my first two X-Men action figures, and that’s why this particular Wolverine was my very first Wolverine…well, *a* Battle Ravaged Wolverine was my first Wolverine. This one’s a replacement, because my original went missing at some point along the way. Whatever the case, I have a real nostalgic appreciation for this figure, and he’s definitely very high up on my list of favorite Wolverines.