#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.

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#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.