FANTASTIC FOUR (TOY BIZ)
“The mad titan called Thanos worships death, and seeks to destroy all life in the universe! Possessing awesome cosmic power, tremendous physical strength, and impervious to all but the most potent forces, he is truly a foe to be feared and respected. While often stymied by such heroes as the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer, Thanos has never been truly defeated!”
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Thanos was released in Series 2 of Toy Biz’s Fantastic Four toy line. While the line was meant to tie-in with the cartoon that had just started airing at the time, and a great many of the included figures were characters who would appear on the show, that wasn’t true for Thanos, who was absent from the two season run of the show, and wouldn’t actually show up in animation until 1999’s Silver Surfer (which gave him his second action figure in its corresponding toy line). Thanos himself isn’t really tied to the FF all that often, but I suppose they were the best fitting line for him at the time. The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation. He gets elbows and knees, but not a neck joint. Not entirely sure as to why the neck joint wasn’t there, but it was kind of a crapshoot on such things with the Toy Biz stuff. Thanos’s sculpt was an all-new offering, based on the character’s classic, and at the time current, appearance. It’s a pretty decent offering, and one that remained unique to this particular release. He’s larger and bulked up relative to the other figures, without being too extreme, and generally matches well with his comic depictions. The details are perhaps a little soft, but not terribly so, and I love the folds on the gloves and boots; peak Thanos design there, really. The paint work on Thanos is alright for the era. It’s definitely got some slop, especially at the edges of the orange areas, but it’s not the worst. Interestingly, they’ve gone to the trouble of molding his eyes as separate pieces from the rest of the head, for the purpose of vac metalizing them. It’s certainly a cool effect, but I’m not entirely sure *why* they did it. Ah, who am I to complain about more chrome? Thanos was packed with a rope with some skulls on it. Why? No clue. It was a re-use from X-Force‘s Krule figure, and it mostly is there to take up space in the box. Thanos also featured a “Pulverizing Gauntlet Action” which had his left arm do a swinging bit. It’s an unobtrusive feature, so that’s honestly not too bad.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I didn’t have this figure as a kid, but I *did* cut up the back of one of my Series 3 figure’s boxes so that I could have small paper figures of all the figures on the back, meaning I *sort of* had a Thanos figure. It was a good few years before I actually encountered one of these in person. The one here I picked up from an antique store a couple of years ago, at the same time as the Invisible Woman figure I reviewed last week. This guy’s pretty nifty. Not a lot of frills or anything, but he does what he needs to, and he does it alright. And, he’s the first Thanos, which is itself pretty nifty.