X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Although Sabretooth is usually one of the X-Men’s most fearsome foes, in this different reality, he is in fact an X-Man, fighting for peace alongside his former adversaries. And although he still possesses his savage strength and animal-like instincts, he also shares those traits via an empathic link with his feral companion, Wild Child who channels those primitive instincts, keeping rage in check.”
Following up on last week’s renewed coverage of the Toy Biz “Age of Apocalypse” figures after, like, a five year break, I’m taking a look at yet another figure who hasn’t yet been graced with an update from Hasbro*…coupled with someone who has! Yes, it’s another pair of formerly villainous characters who found heroic traits during the crossover, Sabreooth and Wild Child!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Sabretooth was released in the 12th series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was all AoA-based. This was the fourth version of Sabretooth we’d gotten, though unlike Magneto, all of Victor’s figures had been uniquely different each other. Sabretooth had one of the more drastically different designs for the cross-over, as this one removed him even more from the furry, more ferally-inspired costumes he’d had previously, in favor of one of he more Magneto inspired costumes the X-Men were sporting. The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation. This guy’s articulation was pretty interesting, because it’s just a sort of odd assortment. Like, he adds swivels on the legs, which were actually new for this guy, I think. Not sure exactly *why* they did that, as they’re not really essential for the character, but they were certainly appreciated. Oddly, however, he’s only got a single elbow joint, just on the right arm. The left is without. Not sure why. Whatever the case, he was by far the most articulated Sabretooth, after the last three figures were all missing some key movement of some sort. In terms of height, he wasn’t much larger, but this guy was certainly wider than the prior Sabretooths, making him fit with the overall bulked up aesthetic for the figures in the line at this point. As I’ve noted with the others from the set, it was certainly fitting, given that the crossover was happening at the height of the ’90s “X-Treme” trends, meaning that all of the characters wound up looking like Apocalypse was mandating some pretty heavy steroid use in this new reality. It works out okay for Sabretooth in particular, since he has generally stuck with his bulk-up after the fact. The sculpt here does wind up looking a touch awkward, but you can’t say they didn’t follow the stylings of the art. The ponytail is a separate piece that pegs in, so you can reorient it however you’d like when posing him. My only real complaint would be how ferocious the facial expression is, given that Victor was generally a little friendlier in the cross over. Sabretooth’s paint work is pretty basic, but also pretty clean, and again, pretty consistent with the art. Sabretooth’s main accessory is his partner in crime Wild Child, who is depicted here as an unarticulated figurine. He’s perhaps a touch on the small side for proper scaling, but otherwise not bad. Also included is a chain to connect him to Sabretooth’s arm, as seen in the series. It works pretty well.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Sabretooth was the first AoA figure I got, and the only one I had when they were new. He was a birthday present from my great aunt Nelda. I was used to getting some weird gifts from the extended family, so this one was surprisingly on the mark for her. It would not surprise me to find out that she had enlisted the help of my Grandmother, who was always pretty up to date on what I liked. It was actually the first Sabretooth I had for my collection, and it was a few years before I found out that this one wasn’t supposed to be a bad guy. It was also a little while before I had even the slightest clue who Wild Child was supposed to be. This is a goofy, very tied to its time pair, but they actually aren’t bad figures looking back on them.
*Notably, while we haven’t gotten a Hasbro Legends update for AoA Sabretooth, he was one of the two figures from the crossover during the Toy Biz days. Not that I’d call that one a worthy fit for the rest of the new set, but, it does still put him ahead of poor Magneto.