AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)
“A villain with a twisted mind, Kang believes that by time traveling he will eventually conquer the world and change history in his name. As one of the Avengers’ most dangerous villains, Kang has often used his vast knowledge of time and dimensional travel to escape their heroic grasp.”
Remember back when, like, nobody knew who Kang the Conqueror was? Pepperidge Farm remembers. And also, I remember. Avengers Forever, which is one of the best Kang stories out there, has been getting a lot of attention recently, and is notably my first real interaction with the character in the comics. My first interaction with the character in general, however, was a little show by the name of Avengers: United They Stand, which gave Kang a self-titled focus episode. It also gave Kang his second ever action figure, which is what I’m taking a look at today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Kang was released in the second series of Toy Biz’s Avengers: United They Stand tie-in line. As I’ve brought up before, both series of the line were released simultaneously in 1999, in order to properly launch (most of) the team, alongside a few foes, right as the show launched. Ultron was the villain for the first series, while Kang was in that spot for the second. Kang’s an interesting choice for the second villain in the context of the show, seeing as he’s only got one episode of the run, but given his prominence as a classic Avengers foe, and he was certainly set up for additional appearances, so it’s not the strangest option. This marked Kang’s only figure during Toy Biz’s 5-inch days. The figure stands roughly 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. Kang’s articulation scheme is astoundingly limiting. Like, how did they manage to make it this inefective? The rest of the line was honestly pretty good at mobility, but Kang’s only really practical motion is the neck joint. His shoulders neither one gets a full spin, there are no elbows, and the hips are some sort of weird, almost flat attempt at a v-hip. He does get knees and ankles, but without the hips, they don’t really do much. I guess he’s at least able to be fairly stable on his feet? Sure, let’s go with that. Kang’s sculpt was a completely new one. For the most part, the UTS figures were quite faithful to their animated counterparts, but Kang’s a noted exception to that. Instead of the mouthless mask from the show, he’s got a bald and blue head. His build is also much smaller than he was depicted on the show. The rest of the costume details do at least track pretty close to the show’s look, and he’s pretty crisply detailed. Ultimately, he falls victim to the same thing as Hawkeye, where he was based on an earlier model sheet for the character. Unlike Hawkeye, his change wasn’t easily fixed with paint. The paint work on this guy is a little brighter than the show look, but he does get a cool metallic purple…albeit one that doesn’t match perfectly from piece to piece. Kang was packed with two swords, which he could store on his back, as well as an orb containing a miniature Wasp, similar to how he traps her in the episode. The orb plugs into the left hand, which completes the circuit running through the arm, allowing it to light up when the button on his chest is pressed.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Kang is officially the final United They Stand figure I got. I was down to my last three figures (Ant-Man, Wasp, and this guy), and my Grandmother had asked me for a list of the three I needed. Ant-Man was the first she got me, followed by Wasp. Kang was the last one I needed, so she took me to Target after picking me up from school, and I officially rounded out my set. He’s an interesting figure, because all of the independent factors seem to point to a figure that’s not so great. That said, I actually still really like this figure, for whatever it is he may be.