X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Once misunderstood because of his appearance, Nightcrawler is the warmest and most charming member of the X-Men. A trained swordsmen and acrobat, Nightcrawler’s mutant ability to teleport lends itself well to his unique fighting style! A swashbuckler at heart, Nightcrawler would be at home in the age of pirates and buccaneers – but finds more than enough adventure with the X-Men!”
Though there were plenty of variants of the titular team’s members to be found, the early run of Toy Biz’s X-Men line was really without a lot of straight up redos of prior figures, at least from a ground up sort of approach. That changed in 1996, when, five years into the line, they realized some outright updates might be an okay idea. Our first taste of this new mission statement for the line came in the form of the “Classic Light Up Weapons” assortment, which gave us proper updates on the likes of Gambit, Juggernaut, and today’s focus, Nightcrawler.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Nightcrawler was released in the above mentioned “Classic Light Up Weapons” set of Toy Biz’s X-Men in mid-1996. It marked his second inclusion in the line, after a rather lengthy hiatus following his Series 1 inclusion. The figure stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation. Like the others in this assortment, his light up feature hampers the movement on his right arm, and his left removes the usual elbow joint in order to more properly match-up. He does, however, gain ankle joint movement, which is quite useful for him, as well as an additional cut joint at the base of the tail (which is not bendable this time). Nightcrawler gained an entirely new sculpt for this figure, and one more in line with the line’s stylings by this point. It’s not bad, but it’s definitely removed from the more classic interpretations of Kurt I tend to prefer. It also makes him a bit taller than he really should be, as well as amping up the definition in his muscles. At least he wasn’t as majorly bulked up as the other male figures in the set. Nightcrawler’s paint work is generally pretty decently handled, with all the usual colors. There was a variant of this figure with less of the usual colors, which swapped out silver for the spots that are usually red. It was an odd color variant, but it was there. It’s not one of the one’s I have, though. Nightcrawler’s only accessory was a sword, which was also the source of most of his gimmick, as it wasn’t just any sword: it was a flaming sword. Pretty nifty, and definitely on the better front as far as the light-up accessories for this set went.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Any reliable stock of Series 1 Nightcrawler had long since dried up by the time I got into the line, so this Nightcrawler was my first shot at the character. For whatever reason, this one never really clicked with me. I mean, he’s not bad, or anything, but I guess he doesn’t quite fit my mind’s eye version of the character. He got replaced by the Series 1 version as soon as I got a hold of one, and that one’s still the one I stick with for my main display. That said, I have warmed more to this guy in recent years, and I can acknowledge his pretty cool, even if he’s not my preferred.