X-MEN 2099 (TOY BIZ)
“A former researcher for the multinational corporation Alchemax, Henry Huang broke with his corporate masters, and now uses his superhuman mutant speed and dazzling intelligence to battle for mutant rights in the year 2099 as Meanstreak of the X-Men!”
While Spider-Man 2099 has generally been accepted as being an overall successful and not terrible idea, the rest of the 2099 line has always been generally accepted as not so much successful or not terrible. Marvel tried to launch 2099 equivalents for all of their best-selling books at the time, so unsurprisingly, there was an X-Men 2099. It was populated by a bunch of characters unrelated to the main timeline characters, who were all just very, very ’90s. The team’s resident speedster was Meanstreak, who was fast and mean. Okay, maybe not so mean, but the name sure sounded cool, right?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Meanstreak was released in the first series of Toy Biz’s X-Men 2099 line, which hit in 1995. He really only had the one look, so that was the one he had here. The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. Meanstreak got what became the most basic articulation set-up of Toy Biz’s Marvel lines, which works out pretty well for him when it comes to decent running poses and such. Meanstreak sported an all-new sculpt at the time, though it would see a little bit of re-use later down the line. It’s honestly a pretty strong one, perhaps the best basic build sort of sculpt that the 2099 line had to offer. The proportions aren’t anything too crazy, the costume details are clean and a good match for his design in the comics, and his face is cartoony, while still fitting with the overall vibe of the line up to this point. One does have to wonder how the baggy boots and all sorts of pouches are going to do on a guy that’s a speedster, but hey, it could certainly have been worse. In an era of particularly gaudy color schemes, Meanstreak actually had a pretty sensible one, sticking more or less to primary colors. His paint work followed suit, and the end result is clean, bold, and fairly eye catching. There were two versions of the paint on this one: one with a dark metallic gold on the bands, belt, and boots, and one where those parts are a slightly metallic yellow. I personally prefer how the yellow looks, especially in conjunction with the other colors, but they both work in their own way. Meanstreak was packed with a small gun, which he could fold up and store on his belt, as well as a running effect piece, which would later be re-used for the main X-Men line’s Quicksilver.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve talked before on the site about the store Ageless Heroes, a comic book store near me that went out of business when I was about 6 or 7, whose clearing out sales netted me a whole ton of 5-inch Marvel. Well, Meanstreak wasn’t added to my collection because of that directly, but he did come to me indirectly because of that. A family friend ran the Masquerade at a couple of local fan conventions, and she had cleared out a large chunk of Ageless Heroes’ remaining stock when they closed for the purposes of having some goodies to put in the prize bags for the children’s costume competition. I would help her out with various pieces of set-up, and in exchange I was always allowed to pick out one of the figures from the box of stuff meant for those bags. Meanstreak was one that I just really liked the look of, so he was one that I specifically chose. 20 some years later, I still know virtually nothing about the character, but I still have a real soft spot for the original yellow-colored version of the figure I picked out all those years ago.