X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
The ‘90s X-spin-off teams that weren’t X-Force all had to sort of find their footing within the already established lines that Toy Biz was putting out, which meant that some of them were fewer and further between. The line up to Peter David’s X-Factor run was definitely a slow build, as they sort of trickled out of the main X-Men line. The likes of Strong Guy, Havok, and Polaris all found spots, but Jaime Maddrox was, I guess, a step too far for the main line at the time. Good thing we had the exclusives game to rely on, huh?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Multiple Man was the mail away offer in ToyFare Magazine #4, offered up in December of 1997, and shipping out in early 1998. Though ostensibly part of the X-Men line still running from Toy Biz at the time, his box had no such branding, or any branding at all. It was just an all-white shipper, with him bagged up inside. They hadn’t gotten very fancy yet at this point. The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation. He got extra joints at the ankles! Good for him, I suppose. Multiple Man was built on the body of Octo-Spider-Man, which was one of Toy Biz’s favorites to repaint. It’s a pretty decent slender build body, and it fits usual depictions of the character, so it works well for him. His head is re-used from Silver Surfer, and, apart from being perhaps a little devoid of character, it works perfectly alright for his full cowled look. It does have a slightly weird fit on the body, but generally it works okay. The rest of the magic is done with paint. Much like the Polaris figure, Multiple Man’s paint work gives him a weird amalgam of his various costume designs over the years. It was blue and yellow to match the rest of X-Factor, and it also had the x-symbol on the head, but the overall detailing on the main suit more matches up with his original costume design. Ultimately, this is a case where I think the amalgamated approach may really work better, since it just feels like a classic Multiple Man. It’s sort of a greatest hits set-up. He’s unfortunately missing out on his usual overcoat of the era; surely a cloth one wouldn’t have messed up their margins too badly?
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was exactly a year behind on getting a Multiple Man new, so I had to wait a few years. He still wound up as one of my earlier additions when I started actually get them. I remember seeing him in the same glass case that held the Wonder Man I was always looking at, but my first one actually came out of a $5 bin of loose figures, which was a real steal at the time. I also picked up a second one, quite recently, when it got traded into All Time, because it really never hurts to have more Multiple Men. He’s a simple figure, but I really liked him when I got him, and he’s a surprisingly effective figure.