#2875: Synch

SYNCH

GENERATION X (TOY BIZ)

One of the primary appeals of ToyFare‘s exclusive mail away offers, for the 5-inch Marvel stuff, at least, was the ability to fill in some teams and line-ups that were just missing one stray character here or there, or at least give them at least a touch more depth to their numbers.  There were a lot of short-lived lines from Toy Biz in the ’90s, so they had plenty of loose ends to worry about.  Case in point: Generation X.  The X-spin-off team had their own line, which ran two series, and left the central team without a number of its core members.  While it was still rather lacking at the end of the day, they did get at least one extra core member via the mail-away set-up, and gave current main X-Men team member Everett Thomas, aka Synch, his very first (and to date, only) figure in the process.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Synch was offered up in ToyFare Magazine #9, first becoming available for order in May of 1998, and shipping out later that year.  After nine Marvel exclusives, they had a Witchblade figure for issue #8, and then came back to Marvel with this guy.  He was then the last Marvel exclusive for six months, when Havok picked up the baton.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  The Generation X figures were at a weird spot for Toy Biz, articulation wise, as they decided to eliminate the elbow and knee joints on all of the figures for some reason.  Synch did at least get extra shoulder movement, by virtue of making use of Banshee’s body from the main line.  Toy Biz apparently felt Banshee always needed the extra movement, and Synch got that on a technicality.  Or, perhaps he just copied it from Banshee using his powers.  That’s a pretty solid explanation, right?  In addition to using all of Banshee’s parts below the neck, Synch also got the head from the Space Riders version of Professor X.  It’s not quite the face I envision Synch having, but it was a bald head that actually had ears, which made it a better fit than the Silver Surfer head, I suppose.  It’s honestly not the worst choice.  The rest of the work is handled with the paint.  It does an okay job for the most part, but for some reason the belt buckle is way larger than the actual sculpted piece, which makes it look really strange.  That said, they did actually try on this one, and he even got some extra accenting on the yellow parts of his costume.  It’s a bit heavy handed in some spots, but the effort’s at least nice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I actually kinda liked Generation X back in the day, and I really liked my figures of Jubilee, Chamber, and Skin from the toyline.  I didn’t have a Synch growing up, though, mostly because he just wasn’t a figure I ever saw turn up anywhere.  I know he’s not generally regarded as being a very good one, but I’ve never much looked into that.  Whatever the case, my first real chance to get one came quite recently, when he got traded into All Time, which made him an easy pick-up for me.  He’s not a bad figure.  Maybe not great, but he gets the job done.  It’s a shame that they didn’t ever get M or Husk out, leaving the team incomplete, even with this guy included.  Of course, with him just being added to the main X-team, maybe this won’t be the only Synch figure for too much longer.  Fingers crossed.

#2868: Multiple Man

MULTIPLE MAN

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.

#2861: Morph – Age of Apocalypse

MORPH — AGE OF APOCALYPSE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

Toy Biz’s tie-in to the big X-books crossover “Age of Apocalypse” in 1996 was a pretty quick, almost slapdash sort of a thing.  A single assortment, one and done, with no real follow-up.  They covered some of the heaviest hitters from the set, but with a story so widespread, there were certainly some gaps.  Toy Biz wound up filling in the line-up a little bit in the ensuing years via a handful of one-off and oddball releases, including a mail away offer to get our boy Morph out to people.  I mean, really, how can you not have Morph, right?  It would just be wrong.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Morph was offered up as an exclusive through ToyFare Magazine #22, first made available to order in June of 1999, and shipping out later that year.  He was the fifth post-line addition to the AoA line-up, following Gambit, Rogue, Nemesis, Blink, and X-Man.  He wound up being the last addition, actually, which seems both fitting and also downright unreasonable.  I mean, sure, he’s a great character to end the line-up on, but also how could you wait so long to do him?  How could you do that, now defunct toy company?  I demand answers!  Okay, maybe not so much.  The figure stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  As with all of these mail aways, he was constructed from as few new parts as possible, which was effectively none.  He uses the body of the AoA Magneto, with the modified torso piece from the Battle Brigade release, which adds in the neck articulation.  In place of either of the Magneto heads, Morph instead gets the standard head from the Spider-Man line’s Chameleon.  It’s all topped off with a cloth cape, which is affixed to the back of the torso, which is also really prone to fraying at the edges.  In general, it’s a selection of parts that gets a lot of the specifics of his design down, but misses the broader design elements of the character.  Like, the head is bald, lacks a nose and ears, and has wider eyes, which is all accurate, but he’s also really angry and mean looking, and very square jawed, which isn’t so much.  Likewise, the body gets some of the costume details down, but then it’s also way too bulked up for him.  Given that he’s a shape shifter, you can make it work, but he does feel a little bit like he’s missing the forest for the trees.  Generally speaking, the paint’s not too bad for a Toy Biz release of the era.  All of the important details are there, and he matches Morph’s design from the books.  He’s perhaps a touch too bright, but I don’t mind that so much.  Some of the application is a little sloppy, but not terribly so.  That said, I did have a weird issue with the one in all the pictures here, which is that the cape sat up against his boot in the package, and now he’s got a weird pattern on that boot.  Morph included no accessories, but honestly, what is there to give him?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure is the reason I know that AoA Morph exists.  Well, not specifically this figure; this figure is a replacement I picked up last year, when a sealed one got traded into All Time.  My original’s not quite as photogenic these days (like I said, that cape likes to fray), but he was given to me by a family friend, who had ordered him specifically for me back in the day.  It was how I found out about the character, and a few years later, it was why I picked up the first trade of Exiles, because he was on the cover.  Subsequently, I’ve become quite a fan of the character.  This figure may not be the best version, but it was better than nothing, and I certainly have a soft spot for him.

 

#2854: Bullseye

BULLSEYE

MARVEL UNIVERSE (TOY BIZ)

He’s maybe not Daredevil’s most prominent villain, but Bullseye’s probably his most *consistent* villain.  While DD’s other foes either didn’t start as his, or got passed off to other heroes, Bullseye actually debuted in DD’s book, and stayed with him most of his career.  How kind of him.  Of course, with Daredevil not tending to get his own dedicated toylines, that does mean that there are less reasons for him to get toy treatment.  That being the case, his first figure wasn’t a mainstream release at all, but rather an exclusive.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bullseye was the mail-away exclusive offer in ToyFare #1, made available to order in September of 1997, and shipping out early the next year.  Bullseye’s costume really hadn’t changed much at this point in his career, apart from some minor adjustments here and there.  This one went for the most adjusted possible appearance, in order to keep him more current.  The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Structurally, Bullseye was built mostly out of parts from Punisher, with the head of Scorpion, both from the Spider-Man line.  Since they’re the same line and roughly the same time, the parts mesh together pretty decently.  The head maybe looks a bit too small, and it’s sort of tilted downward, but it generally works, and the parts do match up alright with Bullseye’s usual depictions.  The paint work on Bullseye is alright.  It gets the important details and he looks the part, but the application could certainly stand to be a little cleaner.  The stripes on the boots and gloves are a little uneven, and the paint on the face doesn’t quite seem like it knows exactly where it wants to go.  Overall, though, he’s about par for the course on these.  Accessories were a rarity on these figures, but Bullseye does actually get one; he’s got the same small knife that was included with Punisher, presumably so as to not leave him forever with an empty sheath on his leg.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Bullseye is one of the most recent ToyFare exclusives that I acquired.  I picked him up in late 2019, as part of a collection of otherwise ’90s DC stuff that came into All Time.  I wasn’t really expecting him to be there, you know, being Marvel and all, but he was, which saved me the trouble of tracking one down.  He’s not much to write home about, I suppose, but he does an alright job of capturing the character, and he’s a good choice for re-use, because he really doesn’t suffer much from the lack of new parts.  Ultimately, a decent addition.

#2812: Union Jack

UNION JACK

MARVEL UNIVERSE (TOY BIZ)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

Union Jack is one of those characters that’s rather hard to group within the Marvel Universe.  As effectively the British equivalent to Captain America, he generally tends to get fitted in there, but in the ’90s, when Cap wasn’t quite as much of a bankable power-house, that made getting a Union Jack figure a sort of a meandering task.  Enter the world of exclusives!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Union Jack was offered as a mail-away offer in ToyFare #7, made available to order in March of 1998 and shipping out later that same year.  At this point in time, the current Union Jack, Joey Chapman, was wearing a radically different costume, but this one of course had the appeal of potentially being any of the three of them, and Joey would eventually return to it anyway, making it a solid choice.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  He gets everything that was standard for these figures in terms of movement, as well as getting universal joints on his shoulders.  Yay for extra movement!  Union Jack is a repaint of the Spider-Man line’s Web-Glider Spider-man.  It was a pretty basic, clean base body, so it works overall.  The only slight downside is the presence of peg holes on the outsides of the calves, the back, and the sides of the torso.  They’re generally pretty small and easy to miss, though, and ultimately worth the trade-off of everything else the body offers.  It’s nicely balanced in terms of proportions, and just works well for the character.  He also gets a soft-goods belt piece, which is a little ill-fitting and goofy, but fits with the general aesthetic of other figures in the style.  His paint work is generally pretty solid.  They’ve done a nice job of capturing the distinctive layout of the character’s costume.  Some of the edges are a little fuzzy, and he makes the usual mistake of getting the pattern of the Union Jack inaccurate, since the white border is more or less uniform on all sides.  Still, it’s not horrible for what it is.  Despite a usual lack of accessories with these figures, Union Jack does get one: his knife.  Not typically his main go-to, but it’s one of the two weapons he’s always seen carrying, and it can even be stored in his belt.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Seeing as I’ve already stated that Havok was my entry point on these exclusives, I suppose it’s fairly obvious that this was another one I didn’t get new.  He’s a relatively recent addition to my collection, picked up not too long before I started the site in 2013 (in fact, he just missed the window of me starting to look at new additions to my collection by four figures, according to my list; cut that one very close), courtesy of Cosmic Comix.  He’s a fairly basic figure, but also a rather well done one.  Probably one of the better ToyFare exclusives.

#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.