X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Rich playboy Warren Worthington III was the X-Men’s Angel until the day that he was captured and transformed into one of the horsemen of Apocalypse. A darker reflection of his previous self, Archangel now possessed wings made of metal – wings that he could barely control, wings that fired paralyzing “feathers” at friends as well as enemies. Constantly battling his dark side, Archangel longed to regain the goodness that he once stood for. Recently finding kinship with the X-Men’s Psylocke, Archangel has come to terms with his transformation, and has started to rebuild the life he thought he had lost forever!”
Though only a recurring guest star in the show the line was loosely attempting to tie into, Archangel was treated alright by Toy Biz’s X-Men line. He was in the initial assortment (which, admittedly, predated the show, so, you know…), and got a follow up just a few years into the line, in the Invasion Series. Thanks to a rather notable costume change, which also made it’s way into the show, he got a third time up to bat, this time with a more radically different figure, which I’m looking at today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Archangel was released in the “Battle Brigade” Series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was the 14th series of the line. Unlike the last time around, Archangel stayed with this assortment through it’s whole run (although he, like the rest of the line-up, did get a color variant later into the run). He’s sporting his white and blue costume, which had first appeared under Neal Adams’ tenure in the comics, and had been revived following Warren’s drive to distance himself further from Apocalypse’s influence. The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. The figure is predominantly a re-use of the mold from Archangel II, sensible from a consistency stand point, I suppose. I still think it’s a little bulky for Warren, and it’s still got the sculpted wrist bands from the prior costume, which this one just sort of pretends aren’t there. Prototype shots had this guy reusing the entire sculpt, including the head, but the final product got a new head sculpt. It would become one of Toy Biz’s favorites, with quite a few re-uses as the progressed. It’s quite a lot thinner, and also really pouty, which was honestly pretty appropriate for Warren circa this era. It does seem perhaps a touch small for the body, but it’s not awful, and I generally like this one more than the prior head sculpt. The paint work on this one does its best to change the sculpt over to the changed costume, while ignoring the previously mentioned sculpted wrist bands. It’s not terrible, but it’s kind of on the sloppy side, especially on the legs. Definitely could be cleaner. This Archangel had no accessories, but he retained the prior figure’s wing-flapping action feature, which is nifty enough.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Growing up, my go-to Archangel was the first one, but my Dad had this one, back when we were sort of sharing the collection a bit. A few years later, I actually got one of my own, courtesy of a 5-inch Marvel collection that came through Cosmic Comix. He was my favorite Archangel of the 5-inch run, but wound up getting lost in a box of other figures that got misplaced for about a decade or so. In the mean time, I wound up getting a replacement at a con, but I was lucky enough to find that whole box of figures not long after, and, boom, now I have two. Yay? Yay.
You’re right, Angel/Archangel was very well represented by Toy Biz. I didn’t have this one, but I did have the Savage Land version with white skin, the slender Spider-Man body, and feathered wings. Unfortunately, I think that was the only version made with feather wings, and it was attached to a strange, battle-damaged costume.
Speaking of Spider-Man, Toy Biz got some additional use out of their various Angel figures for their KB Toys exclusive Clone Saga set – Archangel was repainted as Kaine, and this head was (bizarrely) used for Ben Reilly!
Yeah, the Savage Land version was the only feather winged one for the “main” X-Men line, though they did also do him with the feather wings for the Original X-Men boxed set as well. They didn’t get around to the feather wings with an untattered blue/white costume until the Marvel Legends era.
They really liked this and Angel II’s part selection for repaints, didn’t they? This one’s head was used for the Ben Reilly you mentioned, as well as one of their three versions of Adam Warlock, and it even got re-tooled to be Quicksilver as well. The body made the rounds for a few of the ToyFare/Wizard exclusives, too