#1748: Apocalypse

APOCALYPSE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Apocalypse is the evil mutant who has used his sinister genius and mutant ability to turn himself into a merciless one man army! Apocalypse is incredibly strong, able to change his size at will, and has created for himself a weapon system designed to destroy the X-Men. Apocalypse is the most frightening evil mutant on Earth when he turns himself into a giant, puts on this deadly arsenal and attacks!”

Following Magneto’s turn to the side of good in the ’80s, the X-Men spent quite a bit of time in search of a new over-arching big bad.  They found a number of potential offerings, none of whom quite hit that same spot, but perhaps the most successful of them was En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse.  He was a consistent foe in the back half of the ’80s, up into the ’90s, so his place early into Toy Biz’s run was certainly sensible.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Apocalypse was one of the three villains released alongside our heroes in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  He served as a rather sensible counterpart to the same series’ Archangel figure.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he had 11 points of articulation (though two of those points can be somewhat debated, since they’re tied into his “action-feature”).  Apocalypse’s sculpt, like many others in this assortment, is definitely showing its age.  What’s interesting is that it’s due to slightly different factors than some of the others.  It’s not that he doesn’t quite live up to his comics appearance the way Archangel or Storm or Cyclops do, it’s actually that he’s too faithful to an Apocalypse design that itself has fallen out of fashion.  He depicts Apocalypse as he is seen in his earlier X-Factor appearances, when he was still rather lean, and still rather square and stiff.  It’s a very different take on the character, and his beefier revamp design from just a few years later would end up being the prevailing design and informing how the character was depicted for the three decades since his creation.  As such, this guy definitely looks out of place amongst the others, but paired with the Cyclops and Archangel from this assortment, he starts to fit in a bit better.  Ultimately, the actual sculpt is one of the more competent one from this first set.  I think I’d place him in the number three slot, after Nightcrawler and Magneto.  His proportions are certainly believable for this incarnation of the character, and his construction is quite sturdy.  Apocalypse’s paintwork is fairly standard stuff.  It’s rather limited, and the application is messy in some spots, especially the belt.   Apocalypse included a staff, which is supposed to have a “gem” at the top of it.  Mine’s gone missing, so my Apocalypse just looks like he’s holding a broken ball-point pen.  He also has an “Extending Body” feature, where his torso and legs extend outward, in sort of a stretching sort of fashion.  It’s rather goofy, and not really worth much extra, but it’s not like it impedes the figure overall.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m not 100% sure how I got Apocalypse.  He was an earlier addition to the collection, I know that much, most likely gotten during my parents early efforts to expand my collection.  I was watching the cartoon by that point, so I knew the character.  Regardless of how I got the figure, he’s stuck with me for quite some time, despite my not being super into Apocalypse.  As I noted in the review, he’s a somewhat dated figure, based on an out-dated design, but he’s actually one of the stronger figures in the first assortment, and he depicts a version of the character we don’t often see.

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#1734: Archangel

ARCHANGEL

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Archangel is the high-flying X-Man with a knock-out secret weapon– wingtip darts filled with paralyzing fluid! Archangel can fire these darts with uncanny accuracy from any height and speed. With his amazing metal wings, Archangel is able to fly faster than the speed of sound and silently attack like a striking eagle. This ability strikes terror in the hearts of evil mutants, for their first warning of Archangel’s attack is usually the impact of one of his darts!”

In the late ’80s/early ’90s, there was a trend in comics, of taking characters with formerly passive powers and either creating a new character with those powers plus an offensive component, or even just reforging the original into something more “kick-ass.”  Founding X-Men member Warren Worthington III, originally known as Angel, found himself on the receiving end of one of these make-overs, become the war-ready Archangel.  It was a lasting look, and one that was at the forefront when it came time for Warren’s first action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Archangel was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  His presence is somewhat interesting, as he’s the only X-Man in the line-up who wasn’t from the “All-New, All-Different” lineup.  Archangel was still wearing his hideous “Death” togs he got from Apocalypse at the time of this figure, so that’s what he’s wearing here.  Boy, was this costume ugly.  I mean, I love it, but it’s ugly.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation (his wings can also move, but it’s tied into his action feature, and they don’t really hold poses or anything).  His sculpt was unique to him.  It’s not terrible, but I do think he’s a fair bit more dated than some of the others in the set.  His head’s kind of large, and his facial expression is sort of goony. I think it’s the eyes; they seem too close together.  The body is rather stiffly posed, and his proportions are definitely a little off.  The arms are probably the worst part; they just look so scrawny when compared to the rest of him.  The wings are okay, though they suffer a bit from the comics’ lack of consistency on the exact shaping of them.  They’re also slightly marred by the “missile launching feature” at the tops.  I use the quotes because there’s no actual spring-loaded feature or anything; you just pushed them out with your thumb.  Kind of disappointing.  The torso is also impacted a bit by the wings.  Toy Biz wasn’t sure how to attach them, so they went for this this big honking block on his back.  Elegant it is not.  Archangel’s paintwork is decent enough; it’s a little brighter than a lot of interpretations of this costume tend to be, but it’s not like it was going to get *less* ugly.  There were two versions of this guy’s colorscheme; the original release had white wings, while the re-release offered both white and grey wings.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Archangel was one of my earlier additions to my collection.  Though the Invasion series had hit right when I started collecting (and given me my first three X-Men figures in the process), the Archangel variant included there wasn’t quite as plentiful, so I ended up getting this guy’s re-release instead.  He’s not aged particularly well, and I definitely prefer other Archangel’s, but he still has a quaint sort of a charm to him.

#1720: Wolverine

WOLVERINE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“When it comes to fighting Evil Mutants, the X-Men know there’s no one better than Wolverine! With his razor-sharp adamantium claws, his lightning-quick reflexes and his unmatched combat experience, Wolverine can outfight anyone! Thanks to his super-fast mutant healing ability, in just a few short hours he’s totally healthy and ready for action again, no matter how serious his wounds!”

Would you believe there was a time when a Wolverine figure was an exciting and new thing?  I know, that’s a bit hard to grasp.  But, until Mattel’s Secret Wars line, there were no Wolverine figures at all.  And that one wasn’t even all that good!  He’d have to wait until 1992 for a second go, courtesy of Toy Biz’s then-newly-launched X-Men line.  He would be the first of very, very many.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wolverine was released in Series 1 of the X-Men line.  He was actually unique amongst the 5-inch X-Men figures for being in Wolverine’s brown costume.  It was still his current look when these figures hit (which is more than could be said for a number of his Series 1 compatriots), but it was quickly replaced by the returning tiger-stripe design, which would be the main focus for a good decade.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall (making it one of Toy Biz’s few offerings to truly stick to Wolverine’s proper stature) and he has 7 points of articulation.  His sculpt was new to him, and remained unique for all of Toy Biz’s run.  It’s a pretty decent one for the time.  While it doesn’t quite eclipse the likes of Magneto and Nightcrawler, it’s still really quite good.  The build of the body is probably the strongest aspect; Wolverine figures tend to overlook his distinctive stature, so this one getting it down so well is certainly notable.  The head’s not quite as strong.  This was really the first time that Logan’s hair was translated into three dimensions, so they were still sorting it all out.  It ends up looking a little goofy and sort of impossible, but it’s not terrible.  Wolverine’s paintwork is reasonable, though not anything outstanding.  The base colors are all pretty decent recreations of the comics look, and he’s rather eye-catching.  There’s some unevenness with the lines in a few spots, especially on the torso.  Wolverine was packed with his mask, which works surprisingly well for the scale, as well as a katana.  He was also the first Wolverine to feature the popping claw action, which allowed him to simulate Wolverine’s signature “snikt” move.  It robs his arms of any elbow movement, and the claws are required to be rather small to facilitate.  That said, it works reasonably well, and is certainly fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was too young to get Wolverine new, and he wasn’t one that was prone to showing up later on.  Fortunately, Cosmic Comix had me covered there, and I got this guy not too long after getting into collecting.  He’s actually not a bad figure, and despite the sort of odd removable mask, it was one of the better Wolverines from the line.

#1705: Magneto

MAGNETO

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“The evil mutant master of magnetism, Magneto is the arch-enemy of the X-Men. With his magnetic power, Magneto’s magnetic force can pull even the heaviest objects to him, throw them miles away, or cause them to shatter with sudden explosiveness. Magneto plans to enslave mankind and mercilessly rule Earth with the other evil mutants. But first he must destroy the X-Men, the super hero mutants who are mankind’s defenders.”

Magneto’s first action figure came from Mattel’s Secret Wars line.  Though sold as a villain, the story was an early adopter of the heroic turn for the character.  By the time of his second figure, he’d run the whole gamut of villain to hero and back again.  It’s a little odd to see the character referred to simply as an evil mutant, but that’s where he landed when the team came into all of their notoriety, I suppose.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magneto was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s X-Men line, as one of three villains presented therein.  Magneto had gone through a few different costumes by this point, but returned to his classic design just in time for this figure’s release.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Magneto’s sculpt was an all-new offering, and it remained unique to this figure all throughout Toy Biz’s tenure with the license.  Magneto sports perhaps the finest sculpt in the whole first series.  His proportions are notably less goofy and his posture far less stilted than other figures from this assortment.  He’s not painfully scrawny like Cyclops was, and he can actually manage some decent poses, unlike Storm.  His helmet was removable, and while that made it more than a little bit oversized, and just a touch goofy looking, it does mean we were treated to the fully detailed un-helmeted head beneath it, which does a very nice job of capturing Magneto’s usual stern but well-meaning expression.  Despite the big emphasis on the whole “evil” bit in the bio, that’s not quite what was presented by the figure here, and he ends up very true to the character in that regard.  Though later figures in the line would go the sculpted cape route, this one got a cloth piece, keeping with the vaguely Super Powers-esque aesthetic that these early Toy Biz offerings had.  Like the bulkier helmet, it’s a bit dated looking and slightly goofy, but it’s not bad for what it is.  Magneto’s paintwork is pretty straight forward stuff.  The red parts are all molded plastic, and everything else is painted.  Application is mostly pretty clean; there’s some slight slop on the boots and gloves, but it’s very minor.  In addition to the removable helmet and cape, this guy came with three pieces of “metal debris,” which, via magnets in his torso and hands, could be attached to the figure, thus simulating his powers.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have two of this guy, and it’s all my dad’s fault.  Well, not directly, I suppose.  When I was just getting into collecting, my dad and I were doing a lot of tandem buying, where we’d both get something.  On one of our trips, he got this figure, and I really liked it, but I never ended up finding another at retail.  A few years later, I found this guy (along with Nightcrawler) at a flea market, sans helmet and cape.  Despite the missing pieces, that was certainly good enough for me, at least at the time.  In recent years, I become slightly more picky about such things, so I ended up tracking down a second one, via my friends at Yesterday’s Fun, and this one had the missing pieces.  This remains my favorite Magneto figure, and I’m happy to have a more complete release.

#1695: Cable

CABLE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

A powerful mercenary, Cable uses telekinetic abilities and combat expertise to get the job done.”

I started off my last Cable review by making fun of his box-bio’s hefty simplification of the character’s complex backstory.  For this one, I’m willing to cut Hasbro a little slack, since the character was presented in a much more simplified form in Deadpool 2, his appearance in which is one of the primary reasons he got this figure in the first place. Despite his lessened presence in the franchise in recent years, he gotten no less than two separate Marvel Legends releases in two years.  I’ve already looked at the first, and now I’m looking at the second.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cable is figure 3 in the Sasquatch Series of Marvel Legends, joining Deadpool and Domino in the loose DP2 theme of the assortment. He’s based on a more classic look than the last Cable.  It’s a costume that was prominent on a few covers in the ’90s (though less so the actual interiors; that’s just how ’90s comics do), notably the cover to X-Force #1. It was also the look Cable was sporting on his first action figure, and in the X-Men cartoon.  It’s about as quintessential as you get for Cable looks.  The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Like his predecessor, this Cable figure is built on the Hyperion body, though the actual pieces shared between the two are pretty minimal.  For the most part, this guy uses the Nuke variant of the body (so, he’s got the cargo pants and combat boots), but he gets a new head and arms (which are all distinct from the prior Cable figure, it should be noted), as well as an overlay piece for his shoulderpads/belt/suspenders, and another for his collar.  The head is the star part here, of course, and it manages to capture the spirit of Liefeld’s illustrations without really getting into the drawbacks behind them.  I particularly like how they’ve captured his glowing eye; that’s a nice touch.  The overlay piece is a little loose for my tastes, but it looks nice, and it means that Cable’s finally got shoulderpads!  Yay!  Cable’s paintwork is a good match for the palette that goes with this design, and the application, though sparse, is all clean.  Cable, being all about the guns, naturally includes three of them.  The biggest of them is an original design, and looks exactly like the sort of thing Cable would be brandishing on a cover in the ’90s.  There are also two smaller guns, which, fun fact, are both scaled-down Nerf guns.  The larger of the two is the Doomlands Vagabond, while the smaller is based on the Barrel Break.  They’re both nice gun designs, and they fit the style of the character quite well.  Thanks to our resident Nerf-expert Tim for helping identify the exact models!  I certainly hope this trend of scaling down Nerf guns continues.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had a moderate interest in this figure.  I’m not the world’s biggest Cable fan or anything, but the fact that this is the design from the cartoon really gave me a reason to track him down.  Of course, he’s the most demanded in the set by far, so I missed him several times.  I eventually found him at Cosmic Comix, who got a case in a few weeks ago.  He’s a goofy figure to be sure, but that’s sort of the point.  I love him for what he is, though.

#1694: Domino

DOMINO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Domino creates her own luck with a subconscious ability to predict the success of any given action.”

In the ’90s, there was this quiet sort of trend amongst new X-Men characters, where they took the basic power set of a prior character, but added “carries a lot of guns” to them, and there they were.  Domino was amongst that crop of characters, taking the luck-based gimmick of Longshot, and…adding guns.  The luck bit tends to get pushed to the side, but that’s seeming to change, with her new solo series and appearance in Deadpool 2.  She’s also gotten another Marvel Legends release along the way.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Domino is figure 3 in the Sasquatch Series of Marvel Legends.  She’s definitely based on a more recent incarnation of the character, though I’m not really familiar enough with her history to pinpoint exactly which costume this one is wearing.  I’m thinking this is meant to be the costume she wore during her run with Wolverine’s X-Force?  Whatever the case, it’s a fairly decent summation of her various looks over the years, and has the benefit of not looking anywhere near as terrible as some of them.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Domino shares quite a few pieces with 2016’s Mockingbird figure.  She gets a new head, hands, and a slightly tweaked torso that removes some buttons.  Mockingbird’s sculpt was a pretty good one, and although it’s got some more specific details than others, they don’t stand out so much as to make the re-use to exceedingly obvious.  Also helping in keeping the two unique from each other are the shoulder harness and belt add-on pieces, which fit Domino’s more prepared nature.  It adds up to a solid looking sculpt that the average onlooker probably wouldn’t realize had any re-use.  Her paintwork is appropriately stark and contrast-y.  The mostly black and white thing translates quite well here, and the few bits of silver we get break it up pretty well.  The application is all nice and sharp.  The prior Domino Legends figure got pretty standard guns.  This one goes slightly more unique, but not at the same time.  The two guns included with this figure are the actually scaled down from the pair included with the 12-inch Legends Deadpool figures, and as an added bonus, the smaller of those two guns is actually based on Hasbro’s own Nerf Vortex Diatron (thanks to our in-house Nerf-expert Tim for spotting that one).  In addition to the guns, Domino also includes the right arm of Sasquatch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Had the TRU that I purchased Deathlok from had a Domino in-stock, I would have likely gotten her instead of X-23.  But they didn’t, so I didn’t.  Given how much I liked the X-23 figure, that was probably for the best.  Nevertheless, it did spark in me a moderate desire to grab a Domino figure.  I ended up taking advantage of a Barnes & Noble coupon I had to get her for a pretty good deal.  Though I’m not overly familiar with her (I say as a man who owns three action figures of the character), I do quite like this figure.  She’s a lot of fun!

*Want a Domino figure of your own?  She’s currently in-stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check her out!

#1691: Nightcrawler

NIGHTCRAWLER

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Nightcrawler is the X-man with the most amazing mutant ability – teleportation! Nightcrawler can instantaneously move himself to a spot up to three miles away in the blink of an eye. Nightcrawler is also an excellent acrobat. He can crawl up almost any surface. His amazing tail is almost like a third arm… not only can Nightcrawler hang from it, he can make it hold and use weapons ranging from swords to ray blasters!”

The first assortment of Toy Biz’s long-running X-Men line is a veritable who’s who of heavy hitters from the franchise.  It’s before they’d committed to going deep into the mythos the way later assortments the way they did later.  Included amongst those figures was fan-favorite Nightcrawler.  Interestingly enough, Nightcrawler wasn’t actually with the team at that point, having moved onto Excalibur in the mean time.  Nevertheless, they were going for more of greatest hits thing, so in the line he went.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightcrawler was, as noted in the intro, part of the first series of X-Men figures.  He was also re-released a bit later, during the “repaints” portion of Series 3, but unlike others in that sub-set, he was essentially unchanged.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Fun fact: when the prototypes for this series were first developed, the original plan was for all figures in the assortment except Nightcrawler to have the basic 5 POA.  That changed (mostly anyway), but it’s nice that they always planned to give Nightcrawler actual articulation.  His sculpt is the strongest of the Series 1 figures (rivaled only by Magneto for that title), and has aged far better than others.  He’s not as limited in movement as Storm, nor is he as rudimentary in design as Cyclops.  He’s actually just a pretty darn faithful recreation of the character’s ’80s design.  The only slight marring of the sculpt are the two suction cups mounted on his left hand and right thigh.  They’re super obvious, rather goofy looking, and not particularly effective.  I actually ended up prying them off of one of my two Nightcrawler figures, which improves his look a bit, though he’s still got the visible pegs.  Why they added these things kind of baffles me, since it mars an otherwise quite strong sculpt.  Nightcrawler’s paintwork is decent enough, being mostly pretty basic work.  It matches the others in the assortment, and his comics appearances as well.  Nightcrawler was originally packed with a cutlass, which both of my figures are, sadly, missing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got my first Nightcrawler from a flea market near my house.  He was my go-to version of the character for a long time.  And then I packed up a bunch of my figures like some stupid baby, and this guy got put in the box that ended up buried in the back of the garage, so he was missing for about 5 years.  In the mean time, I had tracked down a replacement.  Now I have both, and I couldn’t be happier, because, as I noted, he was my go-to.  I think he’s still my favorite Toy Biz version of the character.

#1657: Professor X

PROFESSOR X

MARVEL MINIMATES

Charles Xavier started with a dream, to locate young mutants and enroll them in a school using his ancestral mansion home as a base to train them to use their powers for humanity’s benefit. Prior to his forming the X-Men, Charles encountered the alien scout Lucifer in the Himalayas. To prevent interference in his race’s planned invasion of Earth, Lucifer dropped a massive stone block on Charles, crippling his legs leaving him confined to a wheelchair.”

Though not necessarily the most toyetic character out there, Professor Charles Xavier has had quite a high number of figures.  And more of them than you might expect are totally true to his comic origins.  Seriously, there’s only three figures out there that come up with some wacky excuse to let him not be in a wheel chair.  Today’s figure isn’t even one of those!  (If you’re curious, I’ve actually reviewed all three, here, here, and here).

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Professor X was part of Series 37 of Marvel Minimates.  He was originally packed with X-Force Warpath, who was an odd ball choice.  Of course, they did actually have a common theme between them; they both helped complete (or mostly complete) a particular team line-up.  In Xavier’s case, it was the ‘90s X-Men, which had been a running team for a little while at this point.   It was the third Xavier in the line, but the first to use his fancy ‘90s hover chair look.  He uses the standard ‘mate body, so he’s *theoretically* got the same height of 2 1/4 inches and 14 points of articulation as others built on the body, but that kind of is affected by the use of the chair.  The big focus here is the chair.  It was an all-new piece, and to date, this is the only time its been used.  It’s a pretty awesome piece, at least on it’s own.  It’s got a ton of detailing, especially on the inner lining, and both the arm rests also flip open to show off various gadgets.  On its own, it’s great.  The issue it faces is when you actually put Xavier into it.  It’s still not awful, but keeping the whole thing properly assembled without his legs popping the hatch open is quite a chore.  But, if you get it just right, it’s pretty nifty.  The actual figure re-uses the suit jacket/vest/tie combo that first cropped up on Justin Hammer.  It’s a little on the bulky side, but it gets the job done, I suppose.  Fortunately, if you’re not a fan of the jacket, you can remove it, and underneath is Xavier’s field jacketed look he frequently sported in the ‘90s.  It’s a fun extra, and adds a nice extra layer to the figure, and gives us a prominent look that hasn’t been done anywhere else.  Xavier includes a Cerebro helmet, which is pretty cool (even if it means he has a peg hole in his head), as well as a blanket to go over the top of his legs, and a stand to connect to his chair.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed the two pack this guy was included in back when it was new.  At the time, my brother Christian was putting together an X-Force set, so Warpath went to him, and I kept Xavier.  He’s pretty decent, though I have to say, I’ve never found him quite as exciting as I’d hoped.

#1627: Psylocke

PSYLOCKE

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“A master of martial arts, Psylocke is also one of the most powerful telepaths on Earth! Focusing her mental power, Psylocke can create what she calls her “psychic knife”. Using this weapon, Psylocke is able to incapacitate her opponents without any physical injury! As beautiful as she is powerful, Psylocke is a key member of the X-Men team!”

Today’s review subject is brought to you in part by Tim, who ran through about five potential review subjects, before we both agreed to a Psylocke figure.  Sometimes that’s just how things work here at the FiQ offices (okay, it’s not so much an office as it is the Jeep Cherokee that we both happened to be riding in at the time).  So, without further ado, here’s Psylocke.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Psylocke was part of the “Light-Up Weapons” Series of Toy Biz’s X-Men toyline.  This was Psylocke’s first action figure, and is based on her Jim Lee-inspired post-mind swap look.  While it’s not my personal favorite, it’s the look that she was sporting for a decade or so and it’s how most people know her.  The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall and she has 9 points of artiuculation.  As with all of the figures in this particular assortment, she looses movement in her arms in order to facilitate the light-up feature, so her posablity is a bit down.  She’s also got the dreaded v-hips, so sitting isn’t much of an option.  Essentially, she’s only good for a basic standing pose.  ….Which is odd when you take into account the sculpt’s decision to give her very dynamically flowing hair.  That just ends up looking weird, like she’s standing sideways in a wind tunnel or something.  I mean, the rest of the sculpt is decent enough, though, and for all of her restricted posing, the figure has a natural sort of posture to her, so she doesn’t look too unreal.  The paintwork on her is alright, but has some notable flaws.  The straps on her arms and legs are really showing some slop, which is a bit frustrating.  Also, the coloring of her hair is a bit off, since it shouldn’t really be so much a straight purple color as a black with purple dye.  Psylocke was packed with her psychic knife (which is the basis of her light-up feature), as well as a more standard katana.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Psylocke is a recent addition to my collection.  I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot recently.  I swear, I had a lot of these figures growing up, I just happen to be reviewing the more recent ones.  Anyway, I picked her up back in December from Time Warp Toys, during Ellicott City’s Midnight Madness event.  She’s an alright figure, but, admittedly, not one of the stronger Toy Biz X-Men or even one of the stronger figures just in this series alone.

#1625: Mr. Sinister

MR. SINISTER

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Mr. Sinister is a mysterious Evil Mutant mastermind who loves to plot and scheme but prefers to let others do the fighting for him. But if he’s trapped and has to fight…watch out! He’s super strong and super tough…even cannon shells bounce off him! Mr. Sinister’s goal is to make everyone – even Evil Mutants – his slaves! And what scares everyone is the fact that he has the power to make that goal a reality!”

In the mid-80s, after reforming Magneto, killing the Phoenix, and thoroughly humiliating the Hellfire Club, the X-Men were in need of a new big bad.  Enter Mr. Sinister, a character with dubious origins and a dubious plan and a dubious obsession with Scott Summers that wouldn’t be fully explained for quite some time.  Even the bio here doesn’t really say much about him, since his origin wouldn’t actually be given for another three years after this figure’s release.  At this point in time, he still had the potential to be a dark take on the Shazam concept.  Kind of crazy, right?  Well, let’s just get onto the review.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Sinister was first released in Series 2 of X-Men.  Despite the packaging showing him clean-shaven, that particular figure was sporting a goatee.  This fresh-faced fellow is from the repaint series, which coincided with Series 3’s release.  The only difference between the two is the facial hair, which isn’t even a sculpted element.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  He’s missing the joint at the neck that most X-Men figures, due to a light-up feature in his eyes, not unlike Series 1’s Cyclops and Storm.  The sculpt is pretty decent, and an early example of Toy Biz finding their footing, after the slightly more rudimentary sculpts in Series 1.  It may look somewhat familiar to my loyal readers, as it served as the inspiration for the smaller-scale Steel Mutants figure.  It’s a good summation of the character, especially as he was depicted in the late ‘80s.  The proportions are well balanced, especially for the era, and he’s got a passable amount of detail work.  Like the smaller figure, the cape is removable.  It still sits a little high, but at the larger scale, it’s not quite as bad.  The paint work on Sinister is passable.  Not amazing or anything, but it’s about par for the rest of the line.  There’s some slight slop, especially on the belt, but I’ve seen worse.  Mr. Sinister included no accessories, instead just relying on the previously mentioned light-up feature to add extra value.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mr. Sinister is a somewhat recent addition to my collection, in my current drive to get a complete set of ‘90s X-Men figures.  I picked him up last fall from House of Fun, fished out of their rather extensive selection of loose figures.  Mr. Sinister is actually a lot better than I’d been expecting.  The character’s never done a whole lot for me, but his design really suits an action figure.