X-MEN: CLASSICS (TOY BIZ)
I’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks searching for the latest Marvel Legends Cyclops figure, with no luck so far (he’s the only one who illudes me.…). Fortunately for me, I have an extensive backlog of figures I can pull from, allowing me to review a Cyclops just about any time I want to. Heck, I can even review one that’s wearing the same costume! In the same scale! Isn’t that nifty? I sure think it is! So, without further ado, here’s a Cyclops figure!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Cyclops hails from the first (and sadly only) series of Toy Biz’s X-Men: Classics line. Since they had launched Marvel Legends, Toy Biz had been using Spider-Man: Classics to release Spider-related characters in the same style, thereby clearing the way for Legends to release more obscure characters from elsewhere. In 2004, they launched both X-Men: Classics and Hulk: Classics, in an attempt to do the same with those groups of characters. Somehow, the X-Men got the short straw, and their line only lasted a single series before the team was rolled back into Marvel Legends (the line didn’t even last long enough for them to actually exit Legends, of course). On the plus side of things, the line did manage to give us our first version of the X-Men’s stalwart field leader, Cyclops! The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation. Due to a light up feature, his neck movement is restricted to just a cut joint, and even then, it can only go so far in each direction. It’s better than no movement at all, but frustrating that that this guy is hampered by the same issue that the 5-inch figures had finally moved past. Cyclops had an all-new sculpt, based on his Jim Lee-era design. Though every piece here is new, I’ve always thought he looked rather similar to the Legends Gambit in terms of aesthetics. I have to wonder if they had a common starting point. The sculpt is a bit of a mixed bag if I’m honest. The head is definitely the strongest bit; it’s probably the best Cyclops sculpt that Toy Biz ever produced, and just encapsulates the character very well. I wish the body lived up to it. It’s not awful, but it’s very scrawny. Sure, Scott’s long had the nickname “Slim,” but this seems a bit excessive. It also doesn’t help that it’s the Jim Lee design, and Lee always depicted Scott as pretty solid. The figure suffers from some rather obvious articulation as well (a common issue with TB figures of this era), which only makes the lankiness look worse. The actual details of the costume are actually pretty nice, and the work on the boots in particular is really top-notch, so that’s a plus. The paintwork on Scott is okay overall. The work is mostly pretty clean, and there’s some pretty good accent work. There’s the usual slight inconsistencies of accenting from piece to piece of the figure, and the head seemed particularly prone to chipping, but other than that it seems fine. I think my biggest gripe is the shade of blue they used; it just seems too muted for Cyclops. While Legends was all about the collector driven extras, the Classics lines went a little more toy-etic. Cyclops included a stand that I believe is meant to replicate a portion of the Danger Room. There’s a cannon hooked up to one side, and Scott can be hooked up to the pole on the other side. There’s a box at the top of the pole with a plug that goes into Scott’s back, and a lever at the base of the stand. When the lever is pulled, Scott spins 90 degrees and his eyes light up, and then the cannon “explodes” via a spring-loaded feature, simulating him hitting it with his optic blast. It’s quite gimmicky, and never worked particularly well on my figure.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When I first saw this figure, it was as part of Raving Toy Maniac’s coverage of one of the Toy Fairs. He was there alongside Series 5 and 6 of the main Legends line, with no info as to where he would be showing up. Eventually we found out. Of course, 2004 was kind of when Legends was at its worst in terms of scarcity and scalpers, so I never actually saw this guy at retail. That summer my family took a trip to the large KB Toys warehouse store located in Dover, which I had been to once before, and which housed a huge selection of figures going back almost a decade . When we arrived at the store, it was cleared out and closed, which was more than a little bit of a bummer. Feeling bad for me, my Dad tracked this guy down from an online vendor, and bought him for me (he likes to buy me Cyclops figures when I’m down. It’s a thing). He paid a whopping $15 with shipping, which is kind of laughable these days. This figure’s not perfect, but he was one of my favorites for a good long while, and I still think of him quite fondly.