#2805: Firestar

FIRESTAR

MARVEL UNIVERSE (TOY BIZ)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

It wasn’t terribly long ago I was discussing the creation of Firestar, a Marvel character that *didn’t* make her first appearance in the comics, but rather on Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends.  Despite being a rather popular show, Amazing Friends never got any direct toy tie-ins.  And, while that’s not so big a deal for the likes of Spider-Man and Ice Man, whose comic-counterparts had plenty of notoriety on their own, for Firestar, whose comic version has never had quite the same prominence, it made her more difficult to place for toy coverage.  As such, her very first action figure came not as a mass release, but rather as a mail-way exclusive, which I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Firestar was the mail-away offer for ToyFare #2, made available to offer in October of 1997, and arriving the following spring.  Interestingly, while both Firestar and the immediate follow-up, Wonder Man, would gain prominence via membership in Busiek and Perez’s line-up for their relaunch of Avengers, that wouldn’t be until roughly a year after their releases, making it somewhat coincidental.  Much like Wonder Man, Firestar had no direct ties to any of Toy Biz’s currently running lines, making her another one-off.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and she has 10 points of articulation.  Firestar was a total repaint, specifically of the Medusa figure from the Fantastic Four line.  It’s admittedly not one of Toy Biz’s finest.  The articulation’s kind of wonky, as are the proportions, and she’s also got a lot of sculpted details for her costume that don’t correspond to Firestar.  On the plus side, the lack of volume to the hair is at least less of an issue here, and, honestly, her being stuck in this pose with her arms sort of raised, does at least work better for Firestar than it did for Medusa.  In general, I do feel like the sculpt works better as Firestar, which is odd, because it’s so clearly not for Firestar.  Really, everything about this sculpt just continues to be weird.  The paint work is fairly sparse.  For the most part, she’s just molded in the proper colors, mostly the yellow, though the hair is molded in the proper red.  Beyond that, the paint’s decent enough.  Firestar had no accessories, but that was fairly standard with these releases.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I mentioned in the Legends review, Firestar’s always been a favorite of mine.  I didn’t actually order this figure new, however, and she was one of those ones that had sort of a silly value for a while during my primary time collecting Toy Biz Marvel.  Instead, I wound up finally getting her during my period of getting back into 5-inch Marvel just after starting college.  I found her on a dealer’s table at Mego Meet of all places, and wound up getting her for something silly, like $5.  She’s not great.  She’s not even particularly good.  But, she’s an alright stand-in for the character, and she was our only Firestar for far too long.  All that said, the sting of this figure is certainly lessened by the existence of the Legends release from earlier this year.

#2798: Wonder Man

WONDER MAN

MARVEL UNIVERSE (TOY BIZ)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

I was just talking about Hulu’s M.O.D.O.K. earlier this week, so why not talk about it a little bit more?  The show brings in a lot of slightly more obscure characters, and does some fun stuff with them.  Amongst those characters is Simon Williams, aka Wonder Man, who is voiced by Nathan Fillion (who was previous supposed to cameo as Williams in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but had his role cut), and who serves as the rebound fling for M.O.D.O.K.’s wife Jodie.  As someone who’s been a Wonder Man fan since way before it was even approaching cool to be a Wonder Man fan (which, honestly, is any time before, like the last month), I was thrilled to see him show up, and loved the hell out of Fillion in the role.  I’d still love to see him pull it off in live action, though.  Wonder Man’s actually had a small handful of figures over the years, but today, I’m going back to the beginning and taking a look at his very first!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wonder Man was the exclusive mail-away offer in ToyFare #3, made available for order in November of 1997, and shipping out the following spring.  Interestingly, the character was actually still dead at the time of the figure’s release, although his return in the third volume of Avengers would wind up happening in the same year as this figure’s official release, by coincidence no doubt.  While Havok had ties to the X-Men line specifically, Wonder Man was a far more open-ended figure, since there was no dedicated Avengers line at the time.  Unlike the later figures, he got no fancy package and just shipped in a plain white mailer.  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Wonder Man’s sculpt is a complete re-use, namely of Archangel II, minus the wings, of course.  As I’ve discussed before, it was a sculpt that Toy Biz rather liked.  It’s not a terrible choice for Wonder Man, especially for that late ’80s, John Byrne West Coast Avengers look they seemed to be aiming for.  The head sculpt’s still a little bit wonky, and he’s got the remnants of the wing-flapping mechanism on his back still.  But, for a straight repaint, he actually really works, so I’ve got to give them some serious props on that.  The paint work’s fairly straight forward on this guy, but it certainly gets the job done, and conveys his design properly.  Wonder Man included no accessories, but he certainly falls into that territory of “what would you give him?”

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Busiek and Perez’s relaunch of Avengers was happening right as I got into reading comics, and my dad was picking it up and letting me read it with him.  Wonder Man’s return is kind of a notable part of that, and I definitely gained an attachment to the character through that.  I remember that there was a comic store near my parents’ house that had this figure in their glass case, for the unthinkable price of, like $25, and I used to stare at it all the time, but never got it.  My dad wound up getting me this one as, I believe, and Easter gift, more than likely in 2000 or so.  His nature as a repaint makes him a little iffy, but ultimately, he does work pretty well.

#2791: Havok

HAVOK

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

In the Series 3 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, the original line-up included a Havok figure, who, like US Agent and Adam Warlock later would be, was cut from the line-up due to the slow-roll of scaling back how many figures were in each assortment.  Unlike those two, however, Havok was scrapped before getting to the prototyping stage, so the only thing we saw of him was an illustration of his head alongside the others in the assortment on the card backs for that set.  While Havok would of course make his way into the line proper several years later as part of the Invasion Series, that was after he had changed over to his X-Factor team uniform.  His classic attire would go un-produced for another six years, when it would finally make its way into toy form as an exclusive through ToyFare magazine.  I’ll be looking at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Havok was offered up as an exclusive mail-away figure in ToyFare #16, officially going up for order at the end of 1998, and arriving to collectors in early 1999.  Though clearly designed to accent Toy Biz’s ongoing X-Men line, the only branding on his fairly simple white box was his own name and the ToyFare logo.  Honestly, it was a bit surprising that he got anything at all, as earlier figures had just been in plain white boxes.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has an impressive 16 points of articulation.  Havok is based on the body of the Spider-Man line’s Daredevil, one of Toy Biz’s very best bodies from their 5-inch days, not only on a sculpt front, but especially on an articulation front.  It also was a fairly blank canvas, which made it a decent starting point for Havok.  There are some remnant details for the glove, boot, and belt lines, but given that he’s all black, they’re easy enough to look past.  Havok’s head sculpt is borrowed from Black Bolt, but with the tuning fork on the head removed and replaced with Havok’s usual head gear.  That head gear does have a tendency to come loose if you’re not careful, and the actual head’s eye holes on the mask don’t line up with Havok’s, but it’s generally an okay set-up, and certainly good given the standards for prior exclusives up to this point.  Havok’s paint work is fairly basic, but follows the design well.  It does have to contend with the sculpt not matching with the paint on the head, but it could be worse.  It hits the right notes, and that’s what’s important.  Havok included no accessories, but I’m honestly not sure what he could have gotten.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s again a Havok figure’s fault for a huge chunk of my collecting.  I know; you’re all terribly surprised.  I already had the main line Havok by this point, but when this guy was announced as an exclusive and I read about it on my main source for toy news, one Raving Toy Maniac, I was all about getting him, which meant buying my first issue of this weird ToyFare thing.  Upon reading this weird ToyFare thing, I was pretty well hooked, and got myself a subscription, which I hung onto until rather close to the end of the magazine’s publication.  It undoubtedly was responsible for me being as up-to-date with toys as I was at the time, and got me buying plenty of things I would have otherwise not even known had existed.  Havok himself is a pretty nice little figure.  Sure, he’s mostly repaint, but he’s a good repaint, and probably one of the stronger 5-inch Marvel exclusives from ToyFare.

#2749: Polaris

POLARIS

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Lorna Dane, a long-time friend to the X-Men, is the mutant known as Polaris! Able to manipulate the forces of magnetism, she has learned to utilize her powers in various ways, such as creating force fields and firing pure bolts of magnetic energy! As a member of the government sanctioned X-Factor Team, Polaris will not hesitate to use her powerful mutant abilities to help the X-Men whenever she is needed!”

“Long-time friend” kind of down plays that whole period in the ’60s when she was an actual member of the team.  Or that period in the ’80s when she was an actual member of the team.  Heck, you can’t even use the “maybe they were trying to keep it in line with the cartoon” excuse, because, there too, she was an actual member of the team.  What I’m getting at here is a simple question: why does this unnamed Toy Biz copy writer have a personal vendetta against Lorna Dane?  Is it because of all the times she’s been brainwashed and crazy?  Because you’re going to have to rule out, like, 90% of the X-Men, if that’s your thing.  I will not stand for this slander libel against Lorna.  It’s unreasonable, I tell you!  I’m so mad, I’m gonna review this action figure.  I know, that’s so out of character for me.  See?  See how mad I am?  It’s your move, person that wrote the packaging text on a figure from 25 years ago for a toy company that’s been defunct for over a decade…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Polaris was released in the “Flashback Series” of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which hit shelves in 1996, and was the 15th assortment in the line.  It was that year’s requisite repaint series, which they’d gotten somewhat attached to, I suppose.  Polaris marked the third member of the ’90s X-Factor team added, and would be the last one added to the mainstream line.  She’s ostensibly in her ’90s team attire, but I’ll get a bit more into that in a moment.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation.  Since it was a repaint series, Polaris is, unsurprisingly, a repaint, specifically of the Series 6 Rogue figure.  It’s not a terrible sculpt, I suppose, but it was a little outdated by this point, making her a little stiffer than other figures from the same year.  And, while the overall design of the character matches up alright with the sculpt if you squint, it’s not a super close match, and ends up amalgamates a few of her different X-Facter looks.  It’s seems to be closes to the sleeveless w/ headband look she had slightly later in the run, but adds a jacket to the mix (since Rogue’s was sculpted in place), and somewhat awkwardly recreates a few of her costume design elements by ignoring or reinterpreting the actual sculpted Rogue elements.  This is largely done by the paint work, which does the heavy lifting to make Rogue look like Polaris.  Honestly, it does a pretty respectable job, and while it looks like she’s a repaint, she’s at least distinctly different enough to not look totally out of place if both figures are on the shelf.  Polaris was packed with a removable belt, and a weird translucent green gun thing…I suppose to make up for Rogue’s general lack of the obligatory unnecessary gun?  She also keeps Rogue’s “Power Upper Punch” action feature, which is a little out of place with Lorna, but it’s a part of the sculpt, so it stays.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had Havok in my X-Men collection from the very beginning, so I couldn’t very well not have Polaris to go with him, right?  I got her back when she was new, and if I’m recalling correctly, I believe she was given to me by my parents, alongside the second of the two X-Men carrying cases I had as a kid.  I actually got her before Rogue, if I recall correctly, which made her stand out a bit more in my collection at the time.  She’s perhaps not the most exciting or inventive figure in the line, but she’s not a bad figure either, and that places her into the half of the “Flashback” assortment that wasn’t totally pointless.  Good for her.

#2742: Archangel

ARCHANGEL

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Rich playboy Warren Worthington III was the X-Men’s Angel until the day that he was captured and transformed into one of the horsemen of Apocalypse. A darker reflection of his previous self, Archangel now possessed wings made of metal – wings that he could barely control, wings that fired paralyzing “feathers” at friends as well as enemies. Constantly battling his dark side, Archangel longed to regain the goodness that he once stood for. Recently finding kinship with the X-Men’s Psylocke, Archangel has come to terms with his transformation, and has started to rebuild the life he thought he had lost forever!”

Though only a recurring guest star in the show the line was loosely attempting to tie into, Archangel was treated alright by Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  He was in the initial assortment (which, admittedly, predated the show, so, you know…), and got a follow up just a few years into the line, in the Invasion Series.  Thanks to a rather notable costume change, which also made it’s way into the show, he got a third time up to bat, this time with a more radically different figure, which I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Archangel was released in the “Battle Brigade” Series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was the 14th series of the line.  Unlike the last time around, Archangel stayed with this assortment through it’s whole run (although he, like the rest of the line-up, did get a color variant later into the run).  He’s sporting his white and blue costume, which had first appeared under Neal Adams’ tenure in the comics, and had been revived following Warren’s drive to distance himself further from Apocalypse’s influence.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  The figure is predominantly a re-use of the mold from Archangel II, sensible from a consistency stand point, I suppose.  I still think it’s a little bulky for Warren, and it’s still got the sculpted wrist bands from the prior costume, which this one just sort of pretends aren’t there.  Prototype shots had this guy reusing the entire sculpt, including the head, but the final product got a new head sculpt.  It would become one of Toy Biz’s favorites, with quite a few re-uses as the progressed.  It’s quite a lot thinner, and also really pouty, which was honestly pretty appropriate for Warren circa this era.  It does seem perhaps a touch small for the body, but it’s not awful, and I generally like this one more than the prior head sculpt.  The paint work on this one does its best to change the sculpt over to the changed costume, while ignoring the previously mentioned sculpted wrist bands.  It’s not terrible, but it’s kind of on the sloppy side, especially on the legs.  Definitely could be cleaner.  This Archangel had no accessories, but he retained the prior figure’s wing-flapping action feature, which is nifty enough.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Growing up, my go-to Archangel was the first one, but my Dad had this one, back when we were sort of sharing the collection a bit.  A few years later, I actually got one of my own, courtesy of a 5-inch Marvel collection that came through Cosmic Comix.  He was my favorite Archangel of the 5-inch run, but wound up getting lost in a box of other figures that got misplaced for about a decade or so.  In the mean time, I wound up getting a replacement at a con, but I was lucky enough to find that whole box of figures not long after, and, boom, now I have two.  Yay?  Yay.

#2735: Elektra

ELEKTRA

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Seeking to put her past behind her, the ninja warrior known as Elektra found kinship during her time spend with the X-Men’s Wolverine. Along with Wolverine’s help, she began a new chapter in her life devoted to righting the wrongs of her past. Now facing her future as a hero, Elektra relies on the lessons she has learned and her twin ninja sais to overcome the evil force that would sway her from her path!”

Man, doesn’t that bio seem like a rather convoluted and forced way to justify putting Elektra into an X-Men toyline?  I mean, when you think Elektra, don’t you think “X-Men”?  Certainly there are no other areas of the Marvel universe that she’s got any closer ties to at all.  Clearly, Wolverine is Elektra’s closest connection from the Marvel universe who has also had a definitive run featuring Frank Miller on the creative duties.  No one else would have a more sensible place in the bio at all.  Uh huh.  Well, uh, let’s look at this totally naturally placed Elektra figure, then, I guess.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Elektra was released in the “Classic Light-Up Weapons” Series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, released in mid-1996.  Now, I’m going to go in hard contrast to my intro up there and say that Elektra’s a pretty wonky choice of a character for an X-Men assortment.  Why in the world?  Well, I’ll sort of get to that in a moment.  The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall and she has 9 points of articulation.  If you feel like you’ve seen this sculpt before, that’s because you have.  I reviewed it once before, back when it was Psylocke, from this same assortment.  While the other figures in the line-up all got paint variants that were the same character, for some reason, Psylocke’s alternate colors were used to make her an entirely new, entirely unrelated character instead.  I guess that Elektra and Psylocke have vaguely similar designs, but it’s really hard to say it’s not a stretch.  The paint serves as the main change up, here, of course, with the costume switching from blue to red, her hair from purple to black, and her skin tone shifting ever so slightly.  It looks more like Elektra than it did before, I suppose, but it’s not like it’s spot on, or anything.  Elektra is packed with the same accessories as Psylocke was, a katana and the light-up psychic knife.  They’re definitely more Psylocke than they are Elektra, and it means she lacks the sais her bio quite blatantly mentions, but I suppose it could be worse.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Elektra’s presence in this line-up has always perplexed me.  This figure was my first real knowledge of the character, and lead to me being rather confused about who exactly she was, given that, you know, she’s not an X-Men character, but she was in an X-Men assortment just the same.  I’m not really sure what possessed Toy Biz to do Elektra this way, but I guess it got her a figure, and it was her first time as a toy and all, so it was better than nothing.  I ultimately wound up getting this figure from All Time a few years back, after putting off getting her for a while, just because of the weirdness of the figure.  She’s really just exactly what she is, which is a Psylocke repaint.  And I guess that’s not the worst thing, but it’s just…weird.

#2728: Nightcrawler

NIGHTCRAWLER

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Once misunderstood because of his appearance, Nightcrawler is the warmest and most charming member of the X-Men. A trained swordsmen and acrobat, Nightcrawler’s mutant ability to teleport lends itself well to his unique fighting style! A swashbuckler at heart, Nightcrawler would be at home in the age of pirates and buccaneers – but finds more than enough adventure with the X-Men!”

Though there were plenty of variants of the titular team’s members to be found, the early run of Toy Biz’s X-Men line was really without a lot of straight up redos of prior figures, at least from a ground up sort of approach.  That changed in 1996, when, five years into the line, they realized some outright updates might be an okay idea.  Our first taste of this new mission statement for the line came in the form of the “Classic Light Up Weapons” assortment, which gave us proper updates on the likes of Gambit, Juggernaut, and today’s focus, Nightcrawler.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightcrawler was released in the above mentioned “Classic Light Up Weapons” set of Toy Biz’s X-Men in mid-1996.  It marked his second inclusion in the line, after a rather lengthy hiatus following his Series 1 inclusion.  The figure stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  Like the others in this assortment, his light up feature hampers the movement on his right arm, and his left removes the usual elbow joint in order to more properly match-up.  He does, however, gain ankle joint movement, which is quite useful for him, as well as an additional cut joint at the base of the tail (which is not bendable this time).  Nightcrawler gained an entirely new sculpt for this figure, and one more in line with the line’s stylings by this point.  It’s not bad, but it’s definitely removed from the more classic interpretations of Kurt I tend to prefer.  It also makes him a bit taller than he really should be, as well as amping up the definition in his muscles.  At least he wasn’t as majorly bulked up as the other male figures in the set.  Nightcrawler’s paint work is generally pretty decently handled, with all the usual colors.  There was a variant of this figure with less of the usual colors, which swapped out silver for the spots that are usually red.  It was an odd color variant, but it was there.  It’s not one of the one’s I have, though.  Nightcrawler’s only accessory was a sword, which was also the source of most of his gimmick, as it wasn’t just any sword: it was a flaming sword.  Pretty nifty, and definitely on the better front as far as the light-up accessories for this set went.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Any reliable stock of Series 1 Nightcrawler had long since dried up by the time I got into the line, so this Nightcrawler was my first shot at the character.  For whatever reason, this one never really clicked with me.  I mean, he’s not bad, or anything, but I guess he doesn’t quite fit my mind’s eye version of the character.  He got replaced by the Series 1 version as soon as I got a hold of one, and that one’s still the one I stick with for my main display.  That said, I have warmed more to this guy in recent years, and I can acknowledge his pretty cool, even if he’s not my preferred.

#2693: Weapon X

WEAPON X

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

Wrapping up the radical changes that occurred to the many X-Men characters within the “Age of Apocalypse” storyline, we have Wolverine, who has such radical changes as “not called Wolverine” and “has one less hand.”  Okay, the hand thing’s a bit more radical, I suppose.  Not that it really impacted anything about who he was as a character, of course.  But it did at least give him a new look to make a toy out of, and Toy Biz was always down for that, weren’t they?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Weapon X was the final figure in the AoA Series of X-Men.  He was the requisite Wolverine variant for the set, which is sensible, I suppose.  The figure stands 4 1/4 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  Well, sort of 8 points, I guess.  The sculpting on the hair is such that the neck joint can’t move at all, but on the flip side, when he’s got one of his attachments for the stump in place, it gives him an extra joint there.  So it kind of works out, I guess.  As I addressed during my review of Patch back during the “Day of the Wolverines”, the Weapon X mold was retooled into that particular figure, though it’s worth noting that most of the parts are still technically unique between the two figures, thanks to a handful of minor changes to each of them.  It’s…not the worst thing ever?  It does slightly trend away from the ever increasing size of Wolverines at this point in the line, so I suppose that’s nice, though he’s forever stuck in this sort of mid-lunge-hunch posture, which really can’t be good for his back, adamantium spine or not.   His arms are also kind of weirdly outstretched, and I don’t even know what’s going on with his neck.  It’s weird to say the least.  Logan’s costume for the crossover isn’t a terribly involved one, and the paint is likewise not terribly involved.  Everything is rather basic.  The blue is a bit brighter than it should be, I suppose, and he’s missing the yellow, but the application is at least pretty clean, I guess.  Weapon X was packed with a handful (heh) of attachments for his stump, of varying quality.  The claws make sense, of course, being all story relevant and everything.  The hook is kinda goofy, and the missile launcher just made no damn sense.  I’ve only got the claws anyway, so I guess it doesn’t really matter too much at the end of the day.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I only got Sabretooth when these were new, and by the time I was starting to track them down after the fact, I was pretty well overloaded on Wolverines, so this one never really jumped out at me.  My brother Christian was always a little more of a Wolverine fan than I, so he actually got this one as a kid, from our local comic shop Cosmic Comix, I believe.  When he got around to not wanting most of his figures anymore, this was one of the ones I happily assimilated into my collection, mostly because it meant I didn’t actually have to put time or money into getting one of my own.  He’s alright, I guess, but I again confront the fact that this just isn’t that interesting of a design, and doesn’t really make for a terribly fun toy.

#2686: Apocalypse

APOCALYPSE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Apocalypse is the ruler of America. New York City is now Apocalypse Island, and all humans are sentenced to slavery! Only the most powerful mutants survive to reign alongside the high lord En Sabah Nur! Those who oppose him, like Magneto and his X-Men must live in hiding, under the constant threat of being caught – or surrender. This is not some bleak view of the future – this is now… the Age of Apocalypse.”

Hey, look at that, two AoA Apocalypse figures within the same month.  That’s pretty nifty.  It’s almost like I…planned it.  Yeah, sure, that’s why I delayed reviewing the Legends figure for so long.  Just for this awkward tie in here.  Yep.  That’s totally it.  Let’s go with that.  Onto the review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Apocalypse is another figure from the twelfth series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, which was totally inspired by the “Age of Apocalypse” event that was just wrapping up in the comics at the time.  He’s really the most obvious figure out of the set, what with the event being named after him and all.  It marked his third figure in the line, though this one was something of a departure from the prior releases.  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  He gained extra movement at the forearms on both of his arms, but notably lost the movement at the neck, for some reason.  He and Magneto were both very anti-neck movement, I guess.  Apocalypse’s AoA design was in some ways a bit less built up than his mainstream look, but was more built up in others.  Whatever the case, it was different, and required an all-new sculpt.  It’s alright, but not quite as strong as either of the prior two Apocalypses.  His proportions are really wonky, especially on the arms, which make up about 50% of the figure’s mass.  He’s also a bit lighter on detailing than other Apocalypse figures, in part due to how the design works out.  The hands can be popped at the forearms (hence the extra joints there), but they definitely have some trouble staying in place.  Likewise, the cape and collar are separate from the main body, but have trouble really staying attached, since there’s nothing to really hold them there.  So, they just kind of jostle around a lot.  Not a ton of fun to play with, really.  The paint work on Apocalypse is pretty straight forward, and not bad overall.  The only part I’m really iffy about is the metallic purple, used on the head, hands, and part of the boots.  It’s not a terrible color, but it does kind of clash with the other colors on the figure.  Apocalypse was packed with an extra buzzsaw arm attachment, which can swap with either of his standard arms, as well as an imprisoned Shadow King, which is actually a pretty cool little extra.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As a kid, Apocalypse I was my Apocalypse, and I never really cared enough about the character to feel the need to own another version.  So, I didn’t.  This guy wound up being a more recent addition to the collection.  I picked him up along with a batch of other sealed Toy Biz figures a couple of years ago from Collector’s Corner, who were running a sale on them at the time.  He’s remained sealed since then, and I really only opened him for the review (which is the case with a handful of my more recent Toy Biz acquisitions), meaning he’s largely removed from any real nostalgia or anything.  He’s not a terribly impressive figure, to be honest, and lacks a lot of the toyetic qualities that made the prior two figures fun.

#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.