X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Accidentally wrenched back through several decades by the time-twisting evil mutant named Fitzroy, Bishop arrived in our era from one of Earth’s many possible futures. Bishop survived the battle that followed, thanks to his mutant ability to absorb the energy attacks of others and turn that power back against his foes. Stranded in our time, Bishop has added his might to that of the present-day X-Men by joining their Gold Team!”
The X-Men really just became a haven for displaced time-travelers, didn’t they? Also guys with vague, unrelated “cool” names that were just common place words, and whose abilities translated to “has a gun”. All of these things nicely describe Bishop, an uber ’90s character, who could only be more ’90s if he wore a leather jacket and had shoulder pads. I suppose he got off easy in that regard. Bishop was prominent enough in the ’90s to feature on X-Men: The Animated Series, and by extension find his way into Toy Biz’s line of X-Men figures from the same period, getting what would be his very first action figure. I’ll be taking a look at that figure today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Bishop was initially released as part of Series 4 of the X-Men line, and would see subsequent re-release in the Marvel Universe line and as part of a multi-pack with Wolverine and Gambit. All three releases of the figure are functionally identical, but it’s worth noting that mine is a Series 4 release. Bishop is sporting his primary look from the ’90s, which was the only one he had at the time of the figure’s release. The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. Though he’s rocking a waist swivel, he loses movement in his neck, presumably due to his hair. Curiously, though, the Deluxe 10-inch figure and 2 1/2-inch Steel Mutants figure that are both patterned on the same sculpt both had a neck joint, so why it was missing from this guy is anyone’s guess. Beyond that, the sculpt is fairly typical for the time. He’s super bulky, but that’s just Bishop. I will say that they were starting to run into the limits of this slightly simpler style of elbow joint they used, since it’s a little small for such a large arm. It works overall, though. The detailing on the hair is pretty nice, and definitely does his very dated hair cut proud. Bishop’s paintwork is fairly basic, and a little bit messy on my figure. There’s a lot of fuzzy edges, and the yellow sections are definitely prone to some serious bleedover. In 1996, Bishop was also re-issued as part of the “Flashback” assortment, which was all repaints. For that release, his blue was swapped for grey and black, and his yellow for gold, and his skintone was made somewhat lighter. There was a second, predominantly red deco also shown, but it never hit shelves. Whatever the case, the paint is a little cleaner on that release, but of course the trade off is that he’s not in his classic colors any more. Whichever release you get, Bishop included two large blaster rifles in black, and features a “Quick-Draw Weapon Release” action feature. Press the button on his back and his right arm swings upward.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I didn’t have Bishop as a kid, largely because his episodes of the cartoon were some of my least favorite, so I never formed much of an enjoyment of the character. That said, I really dig the ’90s X-Men line and I’m slowly working through building a complete collection, which meant getting this guy at some point, right? I found both versions of Bishop at a toy show a while back, allowing me to close off that corner of the X-Mythos in one fell swoop, I suppose. He’s not really one of the better Toy Biz X-Men, but then he’s far from the worst. He fills in the roster pretty nicely.