MARVEL UNIVERSE 10-INCH (TOY BIZ)
“When a military robot from World War II is accidentally reactivated in the present, chaos sets in! Resuming its 50-year-old mission to destroy London, the robot begins smashing its way through the crowded city streets. Called in to stop the giant steel behemoth are Wolverine, Britain’s own Union Jack and Nick Fury agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.! With Fury using his advanced S.H.I.E.L.D. technology, Wolverine striking out with unbreakable adamantium claws and Union Jack relying on sheer cunning, the three heroes successfully neutralize the robot and leave it looking like scrap metal.”
For my fifth day of Post-Christmas reviews, I’m returning to a very comfortable ground, and looking back at one of my earliest collecting sources: Toy Biz’s run with the Marvel license. While their 5-inch line was the real star of the ‘90s, running in tandem with it was a line of double-sized figures which proved pretty popular with the younger audience. And in the ‘90s, the “younger audience” definitely included me. Through creative parts re-use, Toy Biz racked up quite an impressive roster for the scale, and today I’m looking at Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Nick was one of the larger scale Marvel Universe line’s 1998 offerings, hitting in an assortment that contained the Union Jack and a fairly standard Wolverine variant mentioned in the figure’s bio up there. I’m always quite amused by this line’s way of creating a playable story from the seemingly off the wall character choices. This one is admittedly one the most plausible of the ones I’ve found. This figure stands 10 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. While Nick had a 5-inch figure with its own unique sculpt, this figure was released after the 10-inch line was almost entirely in repaint territory, so that sculpt was never actually sized up. Instead, Nick is a repaint of the Spider-Man line’s Punisher. I looked the the 5-inch release of that sculpt a little while back. The designs of the two characters are similar enough that it’s really not much of a stretch I suppose. It’s a nice enough sculpt, especially for its time of release, so there are no complaints there. The larger version of the sculpt has the removable shoulder holster of the smaller figure permanently affixed, but this actually works out even better for Nick, since the shoulder piece is a pretty consistent element of his design. The main change is the addition of his eye-patch, with is a soft-goods piece that’s been glued in place over his eye. It’s a reasonable, cost effective way of handling the design change. Nick’s paint gives him a more SHIELD appropriate color scheme of blue and white. It ends up adding some details where there aren’t any on the sculpt, as well as overlooking some details that *are* on the sculpt, but that’s about par for the line. The coolest work is definitely on his hair, which is actually a black base with the brown dry brushed over, giving it a neat layered appearance. Pretty nifty! Nick was originally packed with a rather larger gun piece, which my figure lacks.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Nick was a stocking stuffer from my parents, and what a stocking stuffer he was! Obviously, I didn’t have this guy growing up. In fact, I remember seeing him only one time as a kid, and not even at a regular retail store. The nature of the line by the time Nick hit was really one of get as many different figures out as you can and don’t look back, so there are a large number of them whose existence is really only known to the people who happened upon them for the window the figures were available. Nick was definitely one such figure. The Punisher mold’s a good fit for the character, and is perhaps an even better mold than his 5-inch figure had. While he’s certainly on the goofy side by today’s standards, Nick’s still a lot of fun.