#2471: Morph

MORPH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A natural mimic, Kevin Sydney transforms himself into any shape at will.”

Okay, it’s fine guys.  We got through Weapon X and Wild Child.  Now, we get to the good stuff.  Yeah, now we get to the best part of Age of Apocalypse: Morph!  After obscure ’60s X-foe Changeling was re-imagined as Morph in order to have a sacrificial lamb in X-Men: The Animated Series‘s pilot episode, he was then further re-imagined in 1995’s line-wide reboot with Age of Apocalypse.  Admittedly, he was so far re-imagined that he was practically a new character, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t an *awesome* practically new character.  In fact, he was so awesome that Marvel even wound up creating an almost identical version of the character to star in Exiles, meaning today’s figure is kind of a two-fer.  Yay!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Morph is figure 6 in the Sugar Man Series of Marvel Legends, and is notable for being the only of the single releases to actually be a new character for Legends.  While we’ve gotten two prior AoA Morphs, they were a Minimate and a 5-inch Toy Biz figure.  So, this is kind of notable, in that regard.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Morph’s built on the 2099 base body.  In the series, his shape-shifting meant that his physique was somewhat variable, but this base is a pretty solid middle ground for his usual default.  He gets a new head, forearms, and boots, as well as a new add-on for his cape (which I wouldn’t be too shocked to see show up on the inevitable AoA Magneto).  The new parts are all pretty clean and cartoony, which is certainly appropriate for the character.  I especially like the head, because, as simple as it is, it really just hits all the proper notes.  I love the wide eyes and the slight smirk.  It’s definitely a “less is more” situation.  The new gloves and boots are surprisingly detailed for what they are, but unlike the equivalent pieces for the Bucky Cap body, they aren’t riddled with too much over texturing so as to clash with the rest of the pieces.  The cape’s an okay sculpt, but is just a touch floaty for my taste.  It’s not quite as bad as some of the earlier Hasbro capes, but it does hinder his playability just a touch.  His paint work is, like his sculpt, rather on the clean and basic side.  For the most part, I’m a fan, even of the outlining of the mouth and brow.  The only thing I’m not quite as big on is how dark the primary blue on the body suit is.  If it were just a touch brighter, I think the figure would really pop.  Morph doesn’t get any accessories of his own, which I suppose isn’t as much of a surprise given how light the rest of the set has been.  That said, it might have been nice to get a few different shape-shifting attachments.  He does get another leg for Sugar Man, though, so at least it’s not a total loss.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, as you may have gathered from the intro, I rather like AoA Morph.  I mean, I rather like Morph in general, in all of his many forms, but this is AoA Morph we’re talking about here, so I should maintain the focus.  I had the Toy Biz AoA Morph as a kid, and I’ve been waiting for an update since we got Blink.  This guy was at the top of my list for this set as soon as it was shown off, and he’s, unsurprisingly, my favorite figure from the set.  Sure there are a few things that might make the figure perfect, but he’s still a really, really solid figure.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2199: Morph

MORPH

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Once a member of the uncanny X-Men, Morph sacrificed his life to save his teammates from the mutant-hunting Sentinels. Resurrected by the evil Mister Sinister and set against his one-time allies, Morph now uses his shape-shifting abilities in an attempt to put an end to his former friends!”

When launching X-Men: The Animated Series, the makers of the cartoon wanted to demonstrate the serious nature of the situations the team faced by presenting the audience with an ill-fated mission that would end with one member of the team killed in battle.  Of course, they weren’t exactly looking to throw out any of the highly profitable a-list characters in the initial starting line-up, meaning they needed to build a character specifically for the purpose of sacrificing.  Combing through the back catalog of X-Men characters, they came across Changeling, a rather minor foe-turned-teammate from the ’60s, who died in Xavier’s place at one point.  The character was updated and renamed “Morph” and boom, sacrificial offering for the TV gods.  What they didn’t count on, however, was the character being as popular in his debut appearance as he was, leading to a whole assortment of shenanigans to bring him back during the show’s second season, and enough prominence to get this boy an action figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Morph was released in Series 6 of the Toy Biz X-Men line, and is notable for being pretty much the only figure in the line to be completely based on the show.  Others were clearly using the show for inspiration of character and costume choice, but Morph was the one true instance of something only from the show making its way into the line.  Morph would also see a subsequent re-release not too long after the release of the X-Men movie in 2000, as part of a KB Toys-exclusive line of reissues and repaints.  The two releases are more or less identical, though the reissue his a slightly darker skintone.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  He’s honestly one of the most practical implementations of articulation this era of the line offered, with elbows, knees, and a waist joint.  None of those were strictly standard at this point.  His sculpt was an all-new affair, and is a pretty decent offering.  He remains faithful to the cartoon’s design while still adapting the character to better fit the design of toys as a whole.  For the purposes of Morph himself, there are two heads included: good Morph and evil Morph.  Both are conceivably the same guy, and capture the cartoon’s versions of the looks nicely, making him an easy match for his show appearances.  In terms of paint, Morph is pretty basic, but still pretty cleanly done.  The application is sharp, and the colors are all nice and eye-catching.  It’s worth noting that they changed his default hair from black to brown, presumably so that he would match Changeling in the comics (it’s also worth noting that the show would change his hair color to match in his later appearances).  In addition to his own extra head, Morph also included two additional heads to demonstrate his changing ability.  There’s a Wolverine and a Cyclops, which both work reasonably well in conjunction with the body to sell them as the “real” character, while still showing that there’s something a little off about them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Morph was pretty much gone from shelves when I really started collecting, so my first figure of him was actually the ToyFare-exclusive AoA version.  I then picked up the KB Toys re-release when he came out, and I was always very fond of him, as I quite like the character.  That figure ended up going missing (along with a bunch of my other X-Men figures), and I eventually ended up replacing him with a proper Series 6 release.  Of course, then I found my original, so I’ve got them both again.  Cool!