X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Lorna Dane, a long-time friend to the X-Men, is the mutant known as Polaris! Able to manipulate the forces of magnetism, she has learned to utilize her powers in various ways, such as creating force fields and firing pure bolts of magnetic energy! As a member of the government sanctioned X-Factor Team, Polaris will not hesitate to use her powerful mutant abilities to help the X-Men whenever she is needed!”
“Long-time friend” kind of down plays that whole period in the ’60s when she was an actual member of the team. Or that period in the ’80s when she was an actual member of the team. Heck, you can’t even use the “maybe they were trying to keep it in line with the cartoon” excuse, because, there too, she was an actual member of the team. What I’m getting at here is a simple question: why does this unnamed Toy Biz copy writer have a personal vendetta against Lorna Dane? Is it because of all the times she’s been brainwashed and crazy? Because you’re going to have to rule out, like, 90% of the X-Men, if that’s your thing. I will not stand for this
slander libel against Lorna. It’s unreasonable, I tell you! I’m so mad, I’m gonna review this action figure. I know, that’s so out of character for me. See? See how mad I am? It’s your move, person that wrote the packaging text on a figure from 25 years ago for a toy company that’s been defunct for over a decade…
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Polaris was released in the “Flashback Series” of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which hit shelves in 1996, and was the 15th assortment in the line. It was that year’s requisite repaint series, which they’d gotten somewhat attached to, I suppose. Polaris marked the third member of the ’90s X-Factor team added, and would be the last one added to the mainstream line. She’s ostensibly in her ’90s team attire, but I’ll get a bit more into that in a moment. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation. Since it was a repaint series, Polaris is, unsurprisingly, a repaint, specifically of the Series 6 Rogue figure. It’s not a terrible sculpt, I suppose, but it was a little outdated by this point, making her a little stiffer than other figures from the same year. And, while the overall design of the character matches up alright with the sculpt if you squint, it’s not a super close match, and ends up amalgamates a few of her different X-Facter looks. It’s seems to be closes to the sleeveless w/ headband look she had slightly later in the run, but adds a jacket to the mix (since Rogue’s was sculpted in place), and somewhat awkwardly recreates a few of her costume design elements by ignoring or reinterpreting the actual sculpted Rogue elements. This is largely done by the paint work, which does the heavy lifting to make Rogue look like Polaris. Honestly, it does a pretty respectable job, and while it looks like she’s a repaint, she’s at least distinctly different enough to not look totally out of place if both figures are on the shelf. Polaris was packed with a removable belt, and a weird translucent green gun thing…I suppose to make up for Rogue’s general lack of the obligatory unnecessary gun? She also keeps Rogue’s “Power Upper Punch” action feature, which is a little out of place with Lorna, but it’s a part of the sculpt, so it stays.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I had Havok in my X-Men collection from the very beginning, so I couldn’t very well not have Polaris to go with him, right? I got her back when she was new, and if I’m recalling correctly, I believe she was given to me by my parents, alongside the second of the two X-Men carrying cases I had as a kid. I actually got her before Rogue, if I recall correctly, which made her stand out a bit more in my collection at the time. She’s perhaps not the most exciting or inventive figure in the line, but she’s not a bad figure either, and that places her into the half of the “Flashback” assortment that wasn’t totally pointless. Good for her.