#0969: Cyclops

CYCLOPS

X-MEN: AGE OF APOCALYPSE (TOY BIZ)

CyclopsAoA1

Man, I feel like I was just talking about Age of Apocalypse not that long ago. Oh, that’s right, I was! Back in May, I looked at the AoA version of the most popular X-Man, Wolverine. Today, I’ll be dipping back into that universe, to look at an X-Man who’s almost as popular, Cyclops! One of the things that the event liked to play with was which side of the battle certain characters were on. While classically villainous characters like Magneto and Sabertooth ended up firmly on the side of good, some of the more traditionally heroic characters found themselves on the side of bad. Such was the case with both Cyclops and his brother Havok. At the time, Cyclops as a villain was supposed to be really shocking, but it’s since become a rather predictable story beat (and Cyclops doesn’t stay evil in the story anyway, so…). Ah well. How about the figure?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CyclopsAoA2Cyclops was released in the 12th Series of Toy Biz’s 5-inch X-Men line, which was entirely based around Age of Apocalypse. The figure is about 5 ½ inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation. Obviously, he’s based on Cyclops’ design from the Age of Apocalypse event. While Wolverine/Weapon X got a rather extensive redesign, Cyclops actually didn’t change all that much from his standard look of the time. Sure, there are plenty of minor changes, but the overall look is still pretty much the same. The biggest change is all the asymmetry. In the comics, Scott had lost his left eye in a battle with Logan, making him an actual cyclops. Isn’t that clever? Anyway, his visor has been tweaked so the eye slit is just on the right side, and they just kind of went nuts to play up the imbalance. With the asymmetrical armor, the pouches, the long hair, and the five o’clock shadow, the whole thing is very ‘90s. It’s almost quaint. The figure does a decent job of replicating this design, but holy crap is it stylized! His muscles are bulging all over the place, and his hands are huge, yet his head and waist still manage to be impossibly small. His head’s smaller than his bicep. That’s the kind of thing you might want to have checked! Also worth noting is that the structure and pose of this figure’s legs make him virtually impossible to keep standing for any length of time. On the plus side, the sculpt does have some pretty cool detail work, especially on the armored bits. He’s even got little sculpted scars across his eye! Cyclops’ paintwork is decent enough. The application is pretty clean,many the slightly metallic blue and yellow work really nicely. The hair’s a bit of a mess, but more or less gets the job done. The scars lose some of their subtlety with the huge red lines that have been placed on them, which is a slight letdown. Still, they aren’t terrible. Cyclops was originally packed with a weird gun thing and a brain in a jar. Classic Cyclops accessories! Mine, however, does not have these pieces.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cyclops is another figure from the rather large assortment of figures I picked up at this year’s Balticon. Given that I was a huge Cyclops geek as a kid, it’s a little surprising that I didn’t get this guy when he was new, but I don’t recall ever seeing any of the Age of Apocalypse figures in stores. Honestly, this isn’t one of my favorite incarnations of the character. However, he’s not a terrible figure, and his ramped up 90s-ness does make him a bit of fun!

#0945: Weapon X

WEAPON X – BURNED

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

WeaponXAoA1

The ‘90s had a lot of big comics “events,” especially compared to prior decades, which had virtually none. I think a lot of it had to do with the success of the likes of Crisis and Secret Wars in the ‘80s, prompting the Big Two to do whatever they could to recapture some of that glory. Marvel’s efforts were primarily focused on their cash cow of the time, the X-Men, who found themselves dealing with all sorts of events of epic proportions. At one point, Marvel deemed that it wasn’t enough to make life hell for our own merry mutants, so they showed us how much worse things could have been by launching the alternate reality-based Age of Apocalypse, which examined what the X-Men ‘verse would have been like without Professor Charles Xavier. The storyline took over all of the X-Men-related books, and was generally pretty successful for Marvel. There’s been a smattering of different figures from it all over the years and today I’ll be looking at one of the four Marvel Legends to be based on the event, Weapon X! Apparently, one of the things that changed in the AoA reality was that the title “Wolverine” went to a different character, so poor Logan had to stick with his Weapon X title. Thrilling! Let’s look at the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

WeaponXAoA2Weapon X was part of the Giant-Man Series of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends. It was exclusive to Walmart and was one of the last series to be produced under Toy Biz’s tenure. There were two versions of Weapon X offered: normal and burned. The difference between the two versions is the head and the stump on the left arm. The figure here is the burned version (the only one of the two I still have). Though this figure was technically a variant, he was packed in equal numbers to his regular counterpart and also featured a different Giant-Man piece, which was quite frustrating for a lot of collectors at the time. The figure is about 6 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation. Weapon X made use of a lot of pieces from the Series 6 brown costume Wolverine. It was one of Toy Biz’s best Wolverines, and one of the best parts about it was that they really got down Logan’s short, stocky physique. The re-use here was definitely warranted. He got a new head, lower arms, and lower legs, all of which fit pretty well with the rest of the parts, and make for an overall pretty cohesive looking figure. The head is actually really cool. I’m not sure if it’s based on a specific instance of Logan getting burned, since it happens a few times, but the level of detail is pretty awesome, and it’s a nice, refreshing take on the usual Wolverine look. The other unique piece here is the stump, which has claws on this version. In the story, it was revealed that Logan’s claws had been retracted when he lost his hand, so he could still pop them out of his wrist. That’s cool, I guess. The claws suffer from a bit of warping, but are otherwise pretty cool. Weapon X’s paint isn’t bad, provided you ignore his rather doofy looking outfit. Most of the work is pretty clean, and there’s some rather nice accent work in several places. There’s a few instances of scratches or slop, but that’s relatively minor. Also, the painted on arm hair’s a bit silly in some places, but it’s overall an okay attempt. The best part is once again the head, which looks convincingly burned, while still managing to not look too out of place next to the unburned skin of the neck and arms. The only accessory included with Weapon X was the left hand of Giant-Man. Honestly, it feels like the burned head and clawed stump would have made for decent accessories to the regular Weapon X, rather than being a separate figure, but I guess Toy Biz really wanted to sell that extra Logan.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Weapon X was given to me as a birthday present by my friend Cindy Woods. I was super into Marvel Legends at the time, and this particular series was fairly difficult to get. She was so excited to find this guy for me that she didn’t notice that some jerk had stolen the Giant-Man piece right out of the side of the box (in her defense, the piece was hidden by the figure’s name tag. Also, who steals just the piece? The figures were like $8!). Fortunately, my dad was able to find another Weapon X online with the piece, so it worked out alright. On the face, this feels like an extraneous Wolverine variant that nobody really asked for. However, this guy’s fun and different enough that he ended up being my one of my favorite Legends Wolverines produced. Definitely a winner!