X-MEN: AGE OF APOCALYPSE (TOY BIZ)
“In a different world the X-Men were founded by Erik Lehnsherr, better known as Magneto, the master of magnetism. Although the team roster has changed slightly, their quest for peace between human and mutants remains unchanged. A drive instilled in Magneto by a man he once called a dear friend – the late Professor Charles Xavier.”
Last year marked the 25th anniversary of mega X-Men cross-over, “Age of Apocalypse”, but this year marks the 25th anniversary of the tie-in toys for “Age of Apocalypse.” You tell me: which of those is the cooler thing? Yes, I know most people would say the actual cross over, but this is a toy site, so, you know, bear with me? Yes, in 1996, we got a small assortment of figures based on a story that was just wrapping up in the pages of all of the X-books at the time. I already looked at Cyclops several years ago, but I’m diving into the rest of that set, starting things off with the alternate realities X-Men founder and leader, Magneto!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Magneto is part of the twelfth series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was, as noted above, entirely based on “Age of Apocalypse.” He marked Magneto’s fourth time in the line, but all of the others were just his main design. This one is…slightly different? Magneto’s design in the the series is admittedly one of the least changed, but it’s still different from what we’d gotten previously. The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. He gets waist articulation, which is cool, but loses his neck movement, I guess because of the hair? They gave other characters with long hair neck movement (including the Cyclops in this very series), but perhaps it was something about the style? Compared to his last three figures in the line, this Magneto was definitely bulked up, fitting with the general bulking up trend of the line. Additionally, Magneto was notably pretty darn swoll in the comics at this point, so it’s not like the figure is inaccurate. In fact, he’s quite a faithful recreation, with the head doing quite a nice job of capturing the general style of the comics, and the various pieces of the costume being quite nicely defined. The cape is a separate removable piece, and it has quite a dynamic flow going on with it, which gives him a nice bit of flair. In terms of paint work, Magneto is pretty basic for the most part. The application’s generally pretty cleanly handled. The use of the metallic on the upper purple armored bits is pretty cool, and an early use of such color work for the line. It also mixes better with the flat purple parts than you might think, and works in an armor vs cloth sort of way. Magneto is packed with a removable helmet (a feature making its return here from the first figure), and a big hand…thing. Presumably, it’s some sort of manifestation of his powers, perhaps referencing the scrap metal armor Magneto assembles for himself while fighting Apocalypse? It’s pretty cool regardless, and certainly makes more sense than just giving him a random gun like the last figure.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Magneto’s definitely one of my favorite designs to come out of AoA, similarities to his standard design and all. It was one I was really into as a kid, and while I missed this guy when he was still new, I actually got him not too terribly long after the fact, thanks to a loose collection of Marvel figures that came into Cosmic Comix in the early 00s. Magneto was one of a handful of figures I grabbed from it, though at the time he was missing his cape and effect piece. Thankfully, I was recently able to acquire both pieces from a collection that came through All Time, making this guy totally complete after almost two decades. He’s a fun figure, and probably one of the most unassuming from this particular assortment. I’d sure love to get a Legends update on this design!