#2875: Synch



One of the primary appeals of ToyFare‘s exclusive mail away offers, for the 5-inch Marvel stuff, at least, was the ability to fill in some teams and line-ups that were just missing one stray character here or there, or at least give them at least a touch more depth to their numbers.  There were a lot of short-lived lines from Toy Biz in the ’90s, so they had plenty of loose ends to worry about.  Case in point: Generation X.  The X-spin-off team had their own line, which ran two series, and left the central team without a number of its core members.  While it was still rather lacking at the end of the day, they did get at least one extra core member via the mail-away set-up, and gave current main X-Men team member Everett Thomas, aka Synch, his very first (and to date, only) figure in the process.


Synch was offered up in ToyFare Magazine #9, first becoming available for order in May of 1998, and shipping out later that year.  After nine Marvel exclusives, they had a Witchblade figure for issue #8, and then came back to Marvel with this guy.  He was then the last Marvel exclusive for six months, when Havok picked up the baton.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  The Generation X figures were at a weird spot for Toy Biz, articulation wise, as they decided to eliminate the elbow and knee joints on all of the figures for some reason.  Synch did at least get extra shoulder movement, by virtue of making use of Banshee’s body from the main line.  Toy Biz apparently felt Banshee always needed the extra movement, and Synch got that on a technicality.  Or, perhaps he just copied it from Banshee using his powers.  That’s a pretty solid explanation, right?  In addition to using all of Banshee’s parts below the neck, Synch also got the head from the Space Riders version of Professor X.  It’s not quite the face I envision Synch having, but it was a bald head that actually had ears, which made it a better fit than the Silver Surfer head, I suppose.  It’s honestly not the worst choice.  The rest of the work is handled with the paint.  It does an okay job for the most part, but for some reason the belt buckle is way larger than the actual sculpted piece, which makes it look really strange.  That said, they did actually try on this one, and he even got some extra accenting on the yellow parts of his costume.  It’s a bit heavy handed in some spots, but the effort’s at least nice.


I actually kinda liked Generation X back in the day, and I really liked my figures of Jubilee, Chamber, and Skin from the toyline.  I didn’t have a Synch growing up, though, mostly because he just wasn’t a figure I ever saw turn up anywhere.  I know he’s not generally regarded as being a very good one, but I’ve never much looked into that.  Whatever the case, my first real chance to get one came quite recently, when he got traded into All Time, which made him an easy pick-up for me.  He’s not a bad figure.  Maybe not great, but he gets the job done.  It’s a shame that they didn’t ever get M or Husk out, leaving the team incomplete, even with this guy included.  Of course, with him just being added to the main X-team, maybe this won’t be the only Synch figure for too much longer.  Fingers crossed.

#1332: Skin



“Angela Espinosa’s body has six extra feet of skin – this is his mutant ‘gift’???. Even he doesn’t quite understand how it works and although he would never admit it, that scares him. He’s come to Xavier’s School form the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles to learn to control his skin, at least enough for him to appear as he did before his powers developed – normal.”

In the ‘90s, the X-Men were Marvel’s hottest property by far.  To cash-in on this success, they turned around and launched like a million spin-offs.  The more teen-oriented team of hip, fliggity-fly youngsters was Generation X, which was super, super ‘90s.  It had a pretty decent following back in the day, and since Toy Biz was giving a toyline to just about everything under the son, it also had one of those.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at one of the team’s central members, Skin!


Skin was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s Generation X line of figures.  He appears to be patterned after the character’s earlier appearances in the book, before he got all scruffy.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  For some reason, the Generation X figures were less articulated than most of Toy Biz’s Marvel output from the same time.  Perhaps it was to minimize potential risk on the financial side of things, should the line fail?  I don’t know.  Anyway, Skin was an all-new sculpt.  It seems to take the Kenner route, offering a more preposed figure with less movement.  It looks pretty solid; I like all the little minor details, like the folds in his skin.  In makes for quite a unique looking figure.  I also appreciate that his costume isn’t simply depicted as painted on, but actually has some dimension to it.  Now, if you want to get picky, the hands and feet shouldn’t be done the way they are here, since the skeletal structure is clearly elongated here, and his abilities only actually had to do with his skin.  That being said, most artists tended to ignore this rule, so the figure’s hardly inaccurate.  The paint work on the figure is okay, but there are a few issues.  The base work is overall okay, but the magenta on the arms and legs doesn’t quite match the torso.  It’s not as bad in person as it is in the photos, but it’s still noticeable.  The yellow paint is also a bit prone to chipping, which is a little annoying, but otherwise he’s pretty decent.  The figure has a “Growing Fingers” action feature on his left hand.  There’s a little latch on the forearm, and when you release it, the fingers shoot forward a half-inch or so.  It’s pretty much the same mechanic that was used on several of TB’s Wolverine figures, and it works pretty well, without disrupting the overall look of the figure too much.  Skin was packed with a back pack that can be clipped on his back.  It originally had a little headset attachment, but I’ve lost mine.


I missed out on most of the Generation X figures when they were new.  Around 2000 or so, I got some still-packaged mid-90s figures, and the whole first series of Gen X figures was pictured on the back, leading me to attempt to track down Skin and his team-mate Chamber.  It wasn’t easy (we had eBay, but the ‘90s action figures market wasn’t really there yet), but I eventually found both figures at a nearby comic book store for a pretty decent price.  Despite never being super huge into Generation X, I’ve always really liked this figure, and he holds up pretty well.

#0617: Mondo




The 90s were a very strange time. I can’t say it enough. Amongst other things, Marvel’s merry mutants, the X-Men were really, really popular. That meant spin-offs out the wazoo. One such spin-off was Generation X. They weren’t “X-Treme” like X-Force, but they still had a very definite 90s flare to them. They were popular for a while, but the team eventually fell into some pretty serious obscurity. However, they managed to get more than one series of an action figure line, leading to a lot of figures that nowadays make people go “Who?” One such figure is team member Mondo. Yeah, I don’t really know him all that well either.


Mondo2Mondo was released in the second series of ToyBiz’s Generation X line. Mondo was the only actual team member in the series, making him the last released in the line (though a ToyFare exclusive version of Synch would be released not too long after. Who’s Synch? Exactly.) The figure stands about 5 inches tall and features a whole 6 points of articulation. Usually, ToyBiz’s Marvel stuff was pretty well articulated, but for whatever reason, the Generation X figures were less so. Mondo’s sculpt was also pretty pre-posed. His arms are somewhat spread at his sides and his legs are in a deep walking stance. Unlike a lot of pre-posed figures, Mondo is actually quite stable and well-balanced, so the lack of movement isn’t really too detrimental. The sculpt is actually pretty well handled; there’s plenty of texturing and detailing, and his proportions are in line with what he looked like in the comics. He’s definitely an angry spud, which seems a little out of character, at least going by the bio on the back of the package. The paintwork on Mondo isn’t super complex, but there are a few more minor details that are handled rather nicely. Plus, there’s not really any slop or bleed over, which is always cool. Mondo included a set of clip on armor pieces for his arms, which help to simulate his “omnimorph” abilities. The right side is meant to be wooden and the left is made of stone. Both clip on well enough, and are decently detailed (though the right is definitely a step above the stone). He also has the standard “X” stand, which was included with every figure in the line. He doesn’t need it, but hey, consistency isn’t bad!


Mondo is another piece of the lot of figures I picked up from my local comicbook store during a recent sale. I only had a passing familiarity with Generation X growing up, so I never really got many of the figures. I saw Mondo sitting there and, for whatever reason, he called to me. He’s actually a pretty neat figure, truth be told. Sure, he’s not the most standout character of all time, but it’s clear a lot of effort went into this guy, and that always makes a figure better.