MARVEL UNIVERSE (TOY BIZ)
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.