#2679: Sabretooth

SABRETOOTH

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Although Sabretooth is usually one of the X-Men’s most fearsome foes, in this different reality, he is in fact an X-Man, fighting for peace alongside his former adversaries. And although he still possesses his savage strength and animal-like instincts, he also shares those traits via an empathic link with his feral companion, Wild Child who channels those primitive instincts, keeping rage in check.”

Following up on last week’s renewed coverage of the Toy Biz “Age of Apocalypse” figures after, like, a five year break, I’m taking a look at yet another figure who hasn’t yet been graced with an update from Hasbro*…coupled with someone who has!  Yes, it’s another pair of formerly villainous characters who found heroic traits during the crossover, Sabreooth and Wild Child!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sabretooth was released in the 12th series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was all AoA-based.  This was the fourth version of Sabretooth we’d gotten, though unlike Magneto, all of Victor’s figures had been uniquely different each other.  Sabretooth had one of the more drastically different designs for the cross-over, as this one removed him even more from the furry, more ferally-inspired costumes he’d had previously, in favor of one of he more Magneto inspired costumes the X-Men were sporting.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  This guy’s articulation was pretty interesting, because it’s just a sort of odd assortment.  Like, he adds swivels on the legs, which were actually new for this guy, I think.  Not sure exactly *why* they did that, as they’re not really essential for the character, but they were certainly appreciated.  Oddly, however, he’s only got a single elbow joint, just on the right arm.  The left is without.  Not sure why.  Whatever the case, he was by far the most articulated Sabretooth, after the last three figures were all missing some key movement of some sort.  In terms of height, he wasn’t much larger, but this guy was certainly wider than the prior Sabretooths, making him fit with the overall bulked up aesthetic for the figures in the line at this point.  As I’ve noted with the others from the set, it was certainly fitting, given that the crossover was happening at the height of the ’90s “X-Treme” trends, meaning that all of the characters wound up looking like Apocalypse was mandating some pretty heavy steroid use in this new reality.  It works out okay for Sabretooth in particular, since he has generally stuck with his bulk-up after the fact.  The sculpt here does wind up looking a touch awkward, but you can’t say they didn’t follow the stylings of the art. The ponytail is a separate piece that pegs in, so you can reorient it however you’d like when posing him.  My only real complaint would be how ferocious the facial expression is, given that Victor was generally a little friendlier in the cross over.  Sabretooth’s paint work is pretty basic, but also pretty clean, and again, pretty consistent with the art.  Sabretooth’s main accessory is his partner in crime Wild Child, who is depicted here as an unarticulated figurine.  He’s perhaps a touch on the small side for proper scaling, but otherwise not bad.  Also included is a chain to connect him to Sabretooth’s arm, as seen in the series.  It works pretty well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Sabretooth was the first AoA figure I got, and the only one I had when they were new.  He was a birthday present from my great aunt Nelda.  I was used to getting some weird gifts from the extended family, so this one was surprisingly on the mark for her.  It would not surprise me to find out that she had enlisted the help of my Grandmother, who was always pretty up to date on what I liked.  It was actually the first Sabretooth I had for my collection, and it was a few years before I found out that this one wasn’t supposed to be a bad guy.  It was also a little while before I had even the slightest clue who Wild Child was supposed to be.  This is a goofy, very tied to its time pair, but they actually aren’t bad figures looking back on them.

*Notably, while we haven’t gotten a Hasbro Legends update for AoA Sabretooth, he was one of the two figures from the crossover during the Toy Biz days.  Not that I’d call that one a worthy fit for the rest of the new set, but, it does still put him ahead of poor Magneto.

#2616: Captive Sabretooth

CAPTIVE SABRETOOTH

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Captured and restrained, Sabretooth, one of the X-Men’s most bitter enemies, has reached out to Professor Xavier for help. Sabretooth has never held back the more bestial side of his personality, and now that same side threatens to overwhelm him. A hostile air hangs throughout the mansion as the X-Men share their home with this ‘guest’, knowing that until his savage urge is suppressed, Sabretooth remains a ferocious animal, chained in a cage.”

As Wolverine’s most recurring nemesis (who, amusingly enough, started with no connection to Wolverine in the slightest), Sabretooth has generally had decent luck when it comes to the world of toys.  In the ’90s, when Wolverine was filling up every peg, Sabretooth was making the rounds with him.  Toy Biz had already covered his two actual costumed looks, but lucky them, there was another look floating around in the comics at the time, just ripe for the toy making.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captive Sabretooth was released in 1995 as part of the “Invasion” series, the eleventh series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  He’s based on Sabretooth’s appearance from roughly around the same time in the comics, while he was in captivity at the X-Mansion, as described in the figure’s bio.  It’s a more “civilian” appearance, though certainly plays up the more bestial side as well.  The figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  I’ve looked at the majority of this figure’s sculpt before, when it was rather oddly re-used for a Wolverine figure in 1997 as part of the Battle Blasters line-up.  I was not very kind to it that time, because it’s really wrong for a Wolverine, since it’s, you know, not one.  Even for it’s intended purpose as a Sabretooth, it’s still really not great.  I mean, I guess it’s slightly less awful in this context, but only slightly.  It still remains a rather hideous and really stiff in terms of movement.  It’s also got a rather lame action feature, which is partially responsible for the stiffness and the ugliness.  The figure’s color scheme is at least more character appropriate this time, and not trying to again force the sculpt into something it’s not.  It’s still not great, being rather drab and a bit uninspired if I’m honest, but at least the application’s pretty clean.  Captive Sabretooth was originally packaged with a set of restraints, which mine is missing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though the Invasion Series was the one on shelves when I started collecting, this was not anywhere near my first Sabretooth.  In fact, it was one of my last, only being added to my collection a couple of years ago, when I found it in a bag of other figures at the 2nd Avenue near my house.  Given how inexpensive he was, it was kind of hard to pass him up.  I can’t say I really like this figure all that much, but he’s also not the worst thing Toy Biz did at the time.

#2287: Wolverine & Sabretooth

WOLVERINE & SABRETOOTH

MARVEL MINIMATES

In a lot of ways, the earliest assortments of Marvel Minimates are an interesting time capsule of Mavel’s media presence in the early ’00s.  That’s why the first series is based on the two properties that were getting movies in 2003, and why our first set of X-Men weren’t based on anything from the mainstream universe, but rather the Ultimate line, which was getting Marvel’s big push at the time.  Though not the resounding success of Ultimate Spider-ManUltimate X-Men was still pretty big deal.  We got four sets dedicated to the team, plus a bunch of repacks made up of those sets.  Today, I’m looking at Wolverine and Sabretooth.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Wolverine and Sabretooth were released in Series 3 of Marvel Minimates, specifically the specialty assortment.  Both were available at TRU in a five-pack, and Wolverine was also packed with Cyclops at Target and Walmart (and I’ve already reviewed him here). Both characters are, as noted above, based on their ultimate universe incarnations.

Sabretooth’s Ultimate incarnation started out fairly close to his mainstream counterpart, with some of his first movie counterpart injected in.  Also four adamantium claws, because four is more than three, so he’s better than Wolverine.  Take that Wolverine.  The figure is built on the original long-footed ‘mate body, meaning he stands 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  The articulation is a bit restricted by the add-on pieces, so it’s mostly just the arms that move.  He’s got add-ons for his hair, hands, belt, and jacket.  They fit that older, much more simple aesthetic of the line, but are still pretty nicely sculpted pieces.  Honestly, the only part that looks really dated is the hair, and that’s amusingly the one piece of this figure that was re-used later in the line.  His paint work is again in line with the rest of the older stuff, but there’s a fair bit of detail going on, especially on the face and torso, showing some shades of where the line would go with such details.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The only Series 3 set I picked up new was Cyclops and Jean Grey.  Everyone else I passed on, I guess probably because they were the Ultimate versions…of course, then I also passed on the GSXM boxed set, so I have no idea.  This set is one I picked up from Luke’s Toy Store during one of their many sales for a ridiculously low price.  I already had the Wolverine, but it’s worth it just for Sabretooth.  He may not be my preferred version of the character, but he was quite an under-appreciated ‘mate.

#2142: Sabretooth

SABRETOOTH

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Sabretooth is just one of the several man-made killers created by the Weapon-X project. Once an ally of Wolverine, he is now one of the most vicious of the X-Men’s foes. He has an incredible healing factor that makes him immune to most drugs and poisons, and he has greater endurance than most human beings. With his fearsome claws, sharp teeth and innate savagery, Sabretooth has a bloodlust that is rivaled only by his hate for Wolverine!”

Early in the Toy Biz X-Men line, there was a frequent occurrence of characters having just changed their costumes just as their figures would get made.  Mainstay X-Men Wolverine and Cyclops needed V2s pretty quickly, but so did a few of their foes.  Sabretooth was a notable example, having just gotten a major redesign right before his V1 figure’s release, requiring a second go less than a year later.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sabretooth was released in Series 5 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line (the same series that also gave us the second Cyclops figure) in 1993.  He uses Sabretooth’s updated Jim Lee design, which, in addition to streamlining his costume, also began the trend of bulking the character up considerably.  It was also the look that was used on X-Men: The Animated Series, which had started not long before this figure’s release.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 4 points of articulation.  He’s actually pretty limited on the articulation front for one of these figures.  Necks and elbows were still pretty inconsistent at this point, so that’s not a huge shock, but the lack of knee joints is certainly odd.  It also makes him incredibly hard to keep standing, which isn’t exactly a plus.  Why exactly they opted to cut so much articulation from this figure isn’t exactly clear.  The sculpt itself isn’t bad.  It capture’s Victor’s bulked up look pretty well without going too overboard.  He matches up well with Lee’s usual depiction of the character, even if his stance is perhaps a little rigid.  The paintwork is on the basic side, and there’s definitely some slop on the edges of the brown, but it’s about what you’d expect for the time.  Sabretooth included no accessories, but he did have a “Snarl and Swipe” action feature; squeezing his legs swings his arms in and out and opens his mouth. It’s not a bad gimmick, all things considered, and the lack of exposed levers and such was a marked improvement on Toy Biz’s earlier offerings, taking a page out of the Super Powers book.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first V2 Sabretooth was not his original release, but was instead the Marvel Universe re-release, given to me as a gift by a family friend.  That one eventually broke on me and got lost in a shuffle of figures some time back.  The one seen here is the original release, which I actually got for my birthday a couple of years ago, alongside a handful of other ’90s Marvel figures.  He’s not exactly a very playable figure, but he certainly looks the part.

#1998: Sabretooth

SABRETOOTH

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Sabretooth is Wolverine’s greatest enemy. Both are products of the Top-Secret Weapon X program. But instead of using his super-sharp claws and fighting abilities for good, Sabretooth became the Evil Mutants’ master assassin! Sabretooth has the same powers as Wolverine, including a mutant healing ability. What makes Sabretooth so dangerous is the fact that he’s even more savage in battle than Wolverine! When the two of them fight, it’s anyone’s guess who will win.”

Despite his connection to Wolverine, Victor Creed, better known as Sabretooth, first appeared as a foe to Iron Fist.  Like fellow X-foe Mystique, he was an example of long-time X-scribe Chris Claremont spreading the love so to speak, and introducing characters he intended to use in X-Men in some of his other books.   Whatever his source, he’s been an enduring foe for Wolverine and the X-Men, and was at the height of his popularity alongside them in the ’90s, when he got his first action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sabretooth was released in Series 2 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  He’s based on Sabretooth’s original John Byrne-designed costume, which, interestingly enough, Sabretooth had just ditched in the comics at the time of this figure’s release.  The early line was kind of plagued with things like this, which is why characters had a tendency to show up a second time pretty quickly (Sabretooth’s second figure would arrive just three series later).  The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation.  Sabretooth lacked neck articulation, a surprisingly common phenomenon in the early years of the line.  Unlike other figures this happened to, Sabretooth doesn’t really have any specific gimmicks preventing a neck joint from being added, so I guess it was just a design thing.  Whatever the case, it’s a bit limiting on posing.  Sabretooth’s sculpt was unique to him.  It’s okay, but not really anything to write home about.  It leans closer to the weaker of the Series 1 sculpts than it does the stronger Series 2 sculpts.  The details are rather soft, especially on the face, the hair is rather oddly shaped, and the proportions are really on the scrawny side for a Sabretooth figure.  His paintwork is pretty basic; the standard colors are all handled decently.  The two shades of yellow for the fur and his hair are kind of close to each other, meaning they kind of blend together and look kind of odd.  Sabretooth was packed with this weird sort of claw thing to hold.  He also had an action feature, where the front plate of his stomach could be flipped back and forth.  One side is clean, while the other has claw marks, thereby simulating his healing factor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

By the time I was collecting, this figure had vanished from shelves, replaced by his more cartoon-indicative second figure, so that was the one I had.  I picked this one up a couple of years ago second hand.  Part of his appeal was being the first copy of this guy I’d seen without horrible paint scraping on the eyes.  He’s not really a great figure…or even a particularly good figure.  I guess if you really like his original costume, that’s a plus, but it’s not even the best version of that costume on the market.

#1765: Sabretooth

SABRETOOTH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A skilled assassin armed with sharp, beast-like fangs and claws, Sabretooth is a paid mercenary of evil.”

I can’t believe I’ve never reviewed a Sabretooth figure on this site.  That seems a little nuts, doesn’t it?  As the dark reflection to Wolverine, Victor Creed has hardly been scarce when it comes to toys.  Prominent placement in several cartoons, not to mention two of the X-Men movies, have made him fairly prominent.  Almost makes you forget he wasn’t originally an X-Men villain at all, but instead faced off against Iron Fist in his debut appearance.  Who would have guessed he’d have taken off quite this way?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sabretooth is figure 4 in the Apocalypse Series of Marvel Legends.  This marks Sabretooth’s fifth time getting the Legends treatment.  This one follows the original figure’s lead, and presents Sabretooth in his Jim Lee-designed costume from the ’90s.  While I’ve always had a soft spot for his first appearance design, there’s no denying that this is the definitive take on the character, and it’s in keeping with the running sub-theme to the recent X-Men assortments, which have given us quite a few of the Jim Lee designs.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Like yesterday’s Gladiator figure, Sabretooth is built on the Hyperion body.  Not necessarily the most up-to-date body, but it’s the same one that was used for the last Legends Sabretooth, and it’s at the very least a good match for his general build.  He gets a new head sculpt, tweaked forearms, and an add-on piece for his “mane.” He also makes use of the same clawed hands as his last release (which were also used on Venom).  The head is a fantastic piece, which matches well with the character, and has a very dynamic, very expressive look to it.  The lower jaw is a separate piece, which means its got some slight seams on the edges, but they’re not anywhere near as obvious as I’ve seen from similar construction on other figures.  The mane is a handy piece, because it masks the main issue with the base body, which is that odd torso shelf.  With it in place, it’s hardly an issue, and the piece itself is quite nicely sculpted, matching the head in terms of dynamics (a marked improvement over the rather flat piece from the original Toy Biz figure).  Topping it all off are some solid claw hands and forearms with elbow spikes, which all add-up to a very pointy guy.  Sabretooth is up to the standards we’ve come to expect from Hasbro’s recent crop of Legends.  Application is pretty clean overall, and he’s bright and rather eye-catching and the two-toned nature of his costume has a satisfying contrast to it.  Sabretooth has no extra parts of his own.  While I wouldn’t have minded an extra head or maybe some fists to swap out for the claws, his larger stature prevents him from feeling too light.  He does include the left arm of the Build-A-Figure Apocalypse, which is certainly a plus if you’re looking to build that (which I am).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back in the day, I was actually quite a fan of my old Toy Biz Legends Sabretooth.  As the years have gone on, of course, he’s started to look a little out-dated.  Hasbro’s last version wasn’t easy to find, or a variant of the character I was particularly interested in.  So, when this guy showed up in this line-up, I was intrigued, though I’m not sure he was at the top of my list.  I’m pleasantly surprised by this figure.  He’s quite well-handled, and an important version of an important character.  When paired up with this assortment’s Wolverine, he just exudes the best sort of ’90s animated goodness.

Sabretooth was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys and he’s currently available here.  If you’re interested in purchasing other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.