3270: Mystique

MYSTIQUE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Wanting her foster-daughter Rogue back in her life, Mystique helps Miser Sinister in his plan to take over the X-Men! Shapeshifting into the Beast, Mystique tricks the X-Men into Sinister’s clutches. Witnessing Sinister turn Rogue into a monster proves too much for Mystique and she turns against the villain, using the now out of control monster Wolverine to aid in her revolt.”

Oh boy, late ’90s X-Men line.  When the whacky themes ran rampant.  Early in the line, things were rather focused and comics based, with a little bit of the cartoon input bleeding in here and there.  As the line progressed, the concepts started to get weirder, but not too crazy.  1996 had some weirdness, but it was 1997 where things got crazy, and each assortment seemed to be trying to top the last.  We had Ninjas and Robot Fighters, and eventually they just turned everyone into monsters.  Yeah.  At least we got one new character out of the whole deal, though.  Let’s look at Mystique.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mystique was added to the X-Men line in 1997’s “Monster Armor” assortment, which was the twentieth series of the line.  This marked Mystique’s first time in 5-inch form, though she’d previously been part of the 10-inch line as a rather hastily thrown together Rogue repaint.  Mystique was seen here in her classic attire, likely chosen because it matched her animated appearances.  That was a small grace, since she had some real doozies in the ’90s.  The figure stands just under 5 inches tall and she has 5 points of articulation.  She marked a rather reduced articulation set-up.  Generally, this assortment marked a move away from practical articulation and into more pre-posing, a la what McFarlane’s offerings of the time.  Mystique’s articulation was good for minor tweaks to keep her standing, but ultimately not much else.  Her pre-posing was at least kept to a minimum on the figure’s sculpt, so she doesn’t look quite as silly as some of the others.  The sculpt has a respectable set of proportions, and just generally looks pretty balanced.  Toy Biz was clearly a fan of this one, too, since it got quite a few re-uses in the following years.  The paint work on this figure is decent enough.  Some of the change-overs are a little fuzzy, but there’s nothing horribly out of place and all of the important details are there.  Mystique was packed with her own set of Monster Armor, which included a mask, hand, and feet clip-ons, meant to turn her into a loose approximation of Beast, as mentioned in the bio.  It’s not spot-on, but it works okay, and it’s actually a pretty sensible accessory set-up for a character whose main gimmick is shape shifting.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this assortment hit, I got distracted by the prospect of another Cyclops, and wound up not actually getting any of the others.  I’ve been slowly grabbing the rest over the years, and Mystique was on the top of my list.  I wound up snagging her from Collector’s Corner a few years ago, when they were doing a sale on a lot of their action figure back stock.  She’s not bad.  I mean, sure, she could be more posable, but otherwise she does look pretty decent, and it was the best option for a very long time.

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