AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)
“Greer Nelson was subjected to treatments meant to enhance her physical prowess and make her the greatest female athlete in the world – but something else happened. She was transformed into a fur-covered cat woman, and gifted with all the graces of a feline – heightened speed and agility, enhanced senses, and dangerously sharp claws. As Tigra, she can be as playful as a kitten, but when trouble arises she becomes a savage warrior. The symbol on her belt joins Tigra with Earth’s mightiest heroes, and she heeds the call, ‘Avengers Assemble!'”
Back before the Avengers had a whole bank of movies to make them a household name, Marvel had tried their hand at expanding their outreach via animation. Hoping to capture some of the success of X-Men: The Animated Series, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and the Marvel Action Hour, they launched Avengers: United They Stand. It was…not a success. It lasted just one 13-episode season and never had much of a following to speak of. Me? Well, I loved it, and the toyline it spawned, which provided figures for the team’s more obscure members, like today’s focus Tigra!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Tigra was part of the second series of Toy Biz’s Avengers: United They Stand tie-in line, though as I always note with these guys, the numbering was really just clerical; both series shipped to stores at the same time. This figure would mark Tigra’s second figure ever, and her first that wasn’t just a straight repaint of someone else. The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and has 13 points of articulation. The UTS figures were by and large notable for their inclusion of a decent amount of articulation for the scale, and Tigra is the first figure I’ve looked at to truly showcase this. It’s not perfect, as she misses out on things like elbows and is still saddled with those dreaded v-hips that Toy Biz was so fond of for female figures,but the inclusion of wrists, and more than just cut shoulders was downright revolutionary at the time. Tigra sculpt is sort of an interesting concept; they were clearly going for something dynamic, as is dictated by the sway to the hair and the slight twist to her waist and legs. It doesn’t quite work out for a dynamic pose and also means she’s stuck in a wonky pose when just standing. It’s not terrible, though, and honestly isn’t any worse than some of the really stiff poses from earlier in Toy Biz’s run. The detailing on the sculpt follows the styling of the cartoon, but does inject some more realism into it, with some solid texturing on the hair and fur. It’s definitely solid for the time. Also pretty solid for the time is the paintwork, which gives Tigra her distinctive stripes and is generally pretty cleanly applied. She’s got an Avengers insignia on her shorts…and also on the backs of her hands? Guess she really wanted to be on brand. Tigra was packed with a base with a training robot attached. The robot had magnets in its hands which matched with the ones in Tigra’s hands, allowing for her to “spar” with it.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When these figures first started hitting shelves, they were a little scarce. Tigra had the honor of being the first of them added to my collection, alongside Falcon. It’s always given me a special appreciation for the character, given I had her longer than any of the others, and I’d been so desperately searching at that point. She’s perhaps not the greatest figure the line had to offer, but she’s still pretty decent, and certainly not bad when compared to the other figures in Tigra’s limited run of toys.