MORPH — AGE OF APOCALYPSE
X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
Toy Biz’s tie-in to the big X-books crossover “Age of Apocalypse” in 1996 was a pretty quick, almost slapdash sort of a thing. A single assortment, one and done, with no real follow-up. They covered some of the heaviest hitters from the set, but with a story so widespread, there were certainly some gaps. Toy Biz wound up filling in the line-up a little bit in the ensuing years via a handful of one-off and oddball releases, including a mail away offer to get our boy Morph out to people. I mean, really, how can you not have Morph, right? It would just be wrong.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Morph was offered up as an exclusive through ToyFare Magazine #22, first made available to order in June of 1999, and shipping out later that year. He was the fifth post-line addition to the AoA line-up, following Gambit, Rogue, Nemesis, Blink, and X-Man. He wound up being the last addition, actually, which seems both fitting and also downright unreasonable. I mean, sure, he’s a great character to end the line-up on, but also how could you wait so long to do him? How could you do that, now defunct toy company? I demand answers! Okay, maybe not so much. The figure stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation. As with all of these mail aways, he was constructed from as few new parts as possible, which was effectively none. He uses the body of the AoA Magneto, with the modified torso piece from the Battle Brigade release, which adds in the neck articulation. In place of either of the Magneto heads, Morph instead gets the standard head from the Spider-Man line’s Chameleon. It’s all topped off with a cloth cape, which is affixed to the back of the torso, which is also really prone to fraying at the edges. In general, it’s a selection of parts that gets a lot of the specifics of his design down, but misses the broader design elements of the character. Like, the head is bald, lacks a nose and ears, and has wider eyes, which is all accurate, but he’s also really angry and mean looking, and very square jawed, which isn’t so much. Likewise, the body gets some of the costume details down, but then it’s also way too bulked up for him. Given that he’s a shape shifter, you can make it work, but he does feel a little bit like he’s missing the forest for the trees. Generally speaking, the paint’s not too bad for a Toy Biz release of the era. All of the important details are there, and he matches Morph’s design from the books. He’s perhaps a touch too bright, but I don’t mind that so much. Some of the application is a little sloppy, but not terribly so. That said, I did have a weird issue with the one in all the pictures here, which is that the cape sat up against his boot in the package, and now he’s got a weird pattern on that boot. Morph included no accessories, but honestly, what is there to give him?
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This figure is the reason I know that AoA Morph exists. Well, not specifically this figure; this figure is a replacement I picked up last year, when a sealed one got traded into All Time. My original’s not quite as photogenic these days (like I said, that cape likes to fray), but he was given to me by a family friend, who had ordered him specifically for me back in the day. It was how I found out about the character, and a few years later, it was why I picked up the first trade of Exiles, because he was on the cover. Subsequently, I’ve become quite a fan of the character. This figure may not be the best version, but it was better than nothing, and I certainly have a soft spot for him.