#1456: Annihilus

ANNIHILUS

MARVEL SUPER HEROES (TOY BIZ)

“Power mad is the only word that can describe the flying nightmare known as Annihilus. He’s not satisfied being the merciless ruler of his own dimension, the bizarre Negative Zone – he wants to be the tyrant of Earth’s universe too! And because he carries the near-limitless force of the awesome Cosmic Control Rod on his chest, he has the power to make his wicked dream a reality! Only the Fantastic Four have been able to block his nightmarish plans of conquest.”

The foes of the Fantastic Four don’t ever seem to get much respect.  Beyond Doctor Doom and Galactus, it’s like they don’t exist.  And that’s a shame, because the FF have a lot of really fun villains.  One such villain is Annihilus, the ruler of the Phantom Zone.  Annihilus has had a few different figures over the years, but he got his very first in 1992, in what was effectively luck of the draw.  I’ll be looking at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Annihilus was released in Series 3 of Toy Biz’s Marvel Super Heroes line.  Series 3 included Toy Biz’s first versions of the Fantastic Four, and they needed a villain to go along with them.  However, Doctor Doom had already been released in Series 1, meaning TB needed another villain.  Why they chose Annihilus is anyone’s guess.  Perhaps they just thought he had the coolest design?  Who knows?  Annihilus is seen here sporting his classic design, which I believe was still the only one he had at the time of this figure’s release.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation.  Like most of the others from this line, Annihilus’s sculpt is rather dated, and looks a little out of place with more modern items, or even figures from just a few years later in TB’s run.  The details are a little more simplified, and, most noticeably, he’s really scrawny.  This was a recurring issue, after Toy Biz moved away from the slightly stockier figures of the first two series, where everyone went too far the other direction.  I don’t believe Annihilus has ever been quite this small.  It should be noted, though, that this is still not a bad sculpt.  There’s some nice work on some of the smaller details, especially on the head, which looks good for the time, if perhaps a little goofy in this day and age.  Though jiust how they’d be handled on later figures would vary, the wings on this Annihilus are permanently affixed to the figure, and much like the original Toy Biz Archangel, there’s a wing-flapping action feature that’s operated by the little lever on the back.  It doesn’t offer a ton of motion, and the wings are sort of small and silly, but it’s a mildly amusing little feature.  Paint on Annihilus is fairly simple.  Mostly, he’s just molded in the proper colors, with only a few actual painted details, which are all just straight colors.  It’s hardly inaccurate to his original design, though, so it’s hard to really complain.  Perhaps some metallics would have added some flair, but beyond that, this feels decent enough. Annihilus included no accessories, but he’s got the wings, so that’s at least something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have this figure growing up.  Instead, I had the later one from the main Fantastic Four line.  Unfortunately, that one had a removable head, and I lost mine, so I’ve been without a proper Annihilus for a little while.  I’m slowly working my way to getting a complete run of Toy Biz 5-inch figures, so I grabbed this guy at the Dave Hart Toy Show this past summer, in an effort to get one step closer to my goal. He’s sort of a goofy little figure. There’s no denying that.  But, he’s still entertaining, and that’s really all I look for in an action figure.

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#1446: Darth Vader

DARTH VADER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Once known as Anakin Skywalker, expert pilot and hero, Vader studied the ways of the Force under young Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. His impatience with the Jedi training made him susceptible to the dark side, which corrupted him as he gave in to his anger and aggression. Vader was almost killed in a confrontation with Kenobi, and was forced to adopt his current life support systems and fearsome body armor.”

You know, it’s been two weeks since I reviewed a Star Wars figure. That’s a long time.  I could go into withdrawal.  Or worse yet, I could get a huge backlog of Star Wars figures to review!  Oh…right…too late.  Well, let’s take another stab at getting through that backlog, shall we?  Let’s have a look at my man Vader here.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darth Vader was part of the very first series of the Power of the Force II line.  Believe it or not, this was only the second small-scale Vader ever released.  That’s kind of crazy in this day and age where you can’t go anywhere without tripping over like 50 of this guy.  This was long before the trend of 100% movie accuracy, so this figure ends up as a rather indeterminate version of Vader.  I suppose he’s technically an Empire/Jedi Vader, since his robes go under his shoulder armor.  Of course, even the original Vader, who was released to coincide with the first movie, had the robes under the armor, so I think it’s less an accuracy thing and more a “they just never really noticed” thing.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Vader’s not only taller than his compatriots, he’s also just generally larger.  This is Vader if Star Wars had been made in the ‘90s and he’d been played by Jeep Swenson…the ‘90s were a strange time.  Apart from the overall Swenson-ness, the sculpt isn’t terrible.  The quilted pattern on his undersuit is nice, and most of the important details are there.  The helmet’s a little off, but it was a marked improvement on the vintage version, and it’s not like anyone would ever confuse it for anything but Darth Vader’s helmet. The one notable omission on this guy is his lack of the bottom section of his robe.  However, as with the handling of the shoulder armor, this is something consistent with the vintage release, so maybe Kenner/Hasbro just hadn’t learned yet.  The figure’s topped off with a plastic cape, which makes the already bulky Vader even bulkier.  It’s not a bad piece, but it definitely has a flair for the dramatic.   Vader’s paint is fairly straightforward stuff.  Mostly, he’s just molded in black, with a few little spots of detail work.  Nothing spectacular, but it’s fair enough fore the time.  Vader’s one accessory was his lightsaber, which, like all of the early figures, came in short and long variants.  Mine no longer has his, but I’m fairly certain it was one of the short ones, given the basic time period of when I would have gotten this.  

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t know 100% how this guy came into my collection.  I know how he *didn’t* come into my collection.  Let me ‘splain: the first time I saw this figure, it was just after seeing The Hunchback of Notre Dame in the theatre.  After the movie, my parents took me to the KB Toys in the same mall so I could get one figure.  It came down to this guy or Phoebus from Hunchback.  Having just seen the movie, it was Phoebus, and not Vader, who went home with me that day.  I know that Vader was given to me by my parents shortly after.  Now, if I had to guess, using my much more fully-formed and adult investigative skills, I’d say my parents more than likely bought me both of these figures that day and just gave me Vader a little later.  I can’t know for certain, of course, but that’s certainly the type of thing they’re prone to do.

#1443: Moon Knight

MOON KNIGHT

MARVEL’S GOLD (TOY BIZ)

“Moon Knight possesses superhuman strength. His strength varies with the phases of the moon, being the strongest at full moon.  Moon Knight is an experienced fighter (used to be a boxer, marine and mercenary). He’s also skilled in the use of a great variety of weapons.”

Another Moon Knight for you, Konshu!!!

Hey, look at that, it’s another Moon Knight figure.  It’s been just over a month since the last Moon Knight figure, so why not have another one, right?  Three years of reviews without a single Moon Knight, and I’ve gotten three of them in the last four months.  What are the odds?  Ah, who cares?  Let’s just move onto the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Moon Knight was part of Toy Biz’s 11 figure Marvel’s Gold line, which was a sub-set of their 5-inch Marvel line available exclusively through specialty retailers.  The line made use of entirely re-used parts, and was notable for giving figure debuts to several cult favorite Marvel characters, including the esteemed Mr. Knight here.  This figure stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Moon Knight was built on one of Toy Biz’s Hercules figures from their Legendary Journeys tie-in line, which was itself a slight re-tooling of X-Men’s Gladiator.  It’s a slightly odd choice for Moon Knight, truth be told, and makes him a fair bit bigger than he’s usually depicted.  I personally would have preferred the Daredevil or Archangel bodies, both of which were frequently used pieces in this line, and I feel would have better summed up Moon Knight’s usual look.  Not helping matters on the oversized body front is the head, which is just a standard Spider-Man head.  There’s really nothing wrong with the head itself, but it’s really small when compared to the body, which only emphasizes the puffiness of the base.  To aid in fully transforming this figure into Moon Knight, there are also two cloth add-on pieces, for the cloak and the belt.  The pieces are slightly goofy looking, but the cloak does at the very least help to sort of mask the size differences between the head and the body.  It takes a little bit of work, but you can actually get the cloak to look pretty nice if you try.  In terms of paint, Moon Knight is actually pretty solid.  He’s largely done up in this great pearlescent white, which looks super slick, and then there’s black line work for his costume details.  It’s all pretty sharp and looks pretty polished for a straight re-paint.  Moon Knight included no accessories, which is a slight bummer.  At the very least, his staff would have been nice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I always wanted this figure growing up, but the Gold Series’s distribution was rather spotty, resulting in lots and lots of certain figures, and next to none of others.  Moon Knight was one of the ones I never saw.  I’ve kept an eye out over the years and ended up finding him at the Factory Antique Mall (America’s Largest Antique Mall!…in case you didn’t know) just this past summer.  Amusingly, I found him while I was still desperately searching for the new Legends figure.  In light of more recent Moon Knight figures, this one maybe hasn’t aged so great, but the 5-inch scale is kind of my jam and I’m super pumped to finally have this guy in my collection.  You can never have too many Moon Knights, right?

#1442: Spawn

SPAWN

SPAWN (TODD TOYS)

“The kids like chains.”

-Todd McFarlane

SPWAAAAAAAWWWWN!  He’s X-TREEEEEEME! He’s the hippest dude on the block!  He’s fliggity-fly!  Other goofy and dated phrases as well.  In the ‘90s, Spawn was just like Raymond: everybody loved him.  And why wouldn’t they?  He had all the best stuff.  He was like Batman and Spider-Man and Venom all rolled into one.  And he even had the one thing so heinously lacking from those three: chains!  Kids love those things!  Todd McFarlane used Spawn as one of the main launching points for Image Comics, with the hopes of building a merchandising empire to rival his old employers at Marvel.  He initially shopped Spawn and all associated characters around to various established toy makers, including Mattel, who almost took Todd up.  Ultimately, Todd decided the process was just taking too long, cut out the middle man, and founded Todd Toys* to release the Spawn figures on his own.  I’m looking at one of those early figures today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spawn was released as part of Spawn Series 1.  He was the main Spawn of that particular series (there was also a Medieval Spawn released), based on Spawn’s standard look at the time, which is more or less the same look he’s had for all the years since.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  His sculpt was new to him (though pieces of it were used elsewhere later).  For all of Todd’s insistence that his toys were the next step, this figure feels very much like a slightly dumbed down Toy Biz release.  This dude would look right at home with the Spider-Man figures of the same era.  The detail work is all rather on the simplistic side, and the details are a little soft, especially as when compared to Todd’s rather sketchy illustrations from the book.  I mean, admittedly, I sort of like this look a little bit more than Todd’s stuff, since it’s a little bolder this way.  Hands down, the most awkward feature is that damned sentient cape.  It’s big, and it’s floppy, and the “hinges” on the sides don’t really work at all.  Also, unlike every other cape on every other caped figure ever, there’s this weird extra attachment piece that plugs it into his lower back and keeps it elevated above his shoulders in a really awkward way.  When a character whose whole gimmick is his cape looks better without the cape, you may have made a wrong turn at some point.  The paint work on Spawn is okay, but not top notch or anything.  It gets all the basic work down, but most of it’s pretty fuzzy around the edges, and there’s not really anything beyond the very standard color work.  In addition to his removable cape, Spawn also included a….wooden board…with a nail…sticking out of it?  I don’t know Spawn that well, but I don’t recall this being one of his signature items.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I went almost 25 years of my life without a single Spawn figure.  Which…seemed wrong somehow.  I found the standard Spawn at Lost in Time Toys over the summer, and figured why not, right?  He’s okay.  Nothing particularly special or noteworthy.  But this launched a toy company, and had quite an impact on the industry as a whole in the long-run, so it’s a nice piece of history.  And now it’s in my collection.  Woooeeee.

*Todd Toys is now known as McFarlane Toys, due to pressuring from Mattel, who wanted to avoid confusion with Barbie’s younger brother Todd…who they then abandoned.

#1432: R2-D2

R2-D2

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“R2-D2 is a tripodal computer repair and information retrieval robot, or astromech droid. As an R2 unit, he is equipped with navigational starfighter interfaces, plus extensive sensor packages and numerous devices to facilitate in-flight repairs: laser arc welder, circular saw, grasper arm, and fire extinguisher. He communicates through information-dense chips, beeps and whistles and seems to take pleasure in causing anxiety for his neurotic companion, the protocol droid C-3PO.”

More Star Wars?  Really?  Listen hypothetical reader, I have a lot of Star Wars figures, and I can’t just stop reviewing them for three months every year just because there’s a big explosion of new product.  That would be insane.  Almost as insane as writing an action figure review every single day for the rest of my life.  Moving on.  One major player absent from all of the new stuff I reviewed was astromech droid R2-D2, who for the second time in a row has been left out of the initial product launch for a Star Wars film.  Fortunately, I have a whole back catalogue to fall back on.  So, here’s an R2 figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

R2 was released in the first assortment of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1995.  While later R2s in the line would go for more scene-specific looks, this one is just a standard R2; no special bells or whistles.  The figure stands about 3 inches tall and he has 3-ish points of articulation.  I say “3-ish” because in addition to joints at his head and the tops of his legs, R2 also has an extending middle leg, which I guess is *sort of* articulation.  This was the first time an R2 figure got the extending leg.  It’s still sort of in a prototype stage, and isn’t as cleverly designed as later models, but it works well enough.  R2’s sculpt was new to him, and it’s not bad.  Most of the important details are there, and they’re nicely defined.  He does end up a little skinnier than he’s usually depicted, but with all the wonky proportions that were going on in this line, I think it’s safe to say that R2 got off pretty easy.  R2’s paint is passable, though not without a few flaws.  Let’s start with the head: the vac metalizing, though inaccurate to the film, is certainly a cool feature, and helps him stand out.  Of course, as is usually the case on vac metalized pieces, some of the overlying paint has had a fair bit of chipping.  The body was mostly molded in white plastic, and, as you can probably see from the photos, it was pretty prone to yellowing.  The overlying paint is fairly decent overall, though it’s important to note that the’ve left off one of the blue stripes that makes up R2’s “face.”  I only just noticed that while writing this review, actually.  Now I’ll never be able to un-see it; the sacrifices I make for these reviews.  R2 included no accessories, but he does have a pretty nifty light-piping feature in his head, which illuminates his eye when you get the light just right.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

R2 was a gift from my parents, I believe on a Valentine’s Day?  Since I was never much for lots of candy, they tended to get me a small figure of some sort instead, and that was R2.  This was my first R2 (and I believe one of my earlier Star Wars figures in general), and he’s really the only one I had until well into the 2000s.  Like the rest of the line, he shows his age, but he’s a fun figure, and certainly not bad for the time.

#1430: Thor

THOR

MARVEL SUPER HEROES (TOY BIZ)

“Thor, the legendary Norse God of Thunder, is the most powerful Marvel Super Hero. With his amazing hammer, Mjolnir, Thor can fly, smash through any obstacle and create and control the mightiest storms – even tornadoes and hurricanes. Though Thor’s home is Asgard, where all the Norse gods live, Thor spends most of his time on Earth with his friends Iron Man and Captain America helping them fight the forces of evil and injustice that threaten the world.”

Happy Thorsday everyone!  …She already did this bit earlier, didn’t she?  *sigh* This is what I get for letting other people write for the site.  Well, there goes my intro.  Anyway, I’m also looking at a Thor figure today, but I’m looking at the original, Odinson variety of Thor.  This one hails from the ‘90s, which was actually a pretty barren time for Thor figures, believe it or not.  There were only three figures of him in the space of the decade, and today I look at the first of those three.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor was released in the second series of Toy Biz’s Marvel Super Heroes line, alongside fellow Avenger and previous subject of review Iron Man.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation.  He’s ostensibly based on Thor’s classic design, though he’s a bit removed from how he usually looks.  See how he doesn’t have a cape?  There’s no missing piece there; he just never had a cape.  They left it out, for whatever reason.  Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe they were actually basing him on Thor from Adventures in Babysitting?  I mean, he doesn’t look *unlike* Vincent D’Onofrio.  Maybe I’m onto something here.  Thor’s sculpt was unique to him, and follows the style seen with the likes of Cap, Iron Man, and Silver Surfer.  There’s a definite Super Powers sort of aesthetic, albeit a slightly dumbed down version.  It’s not quite as strong a sculpt as Series 1’s Captain America (which is probably my favorite in the line), but it’s certainly an improvement over the really goofy Iron Man sculpt.  Still, he’s kind of oddly proportioned, and the hair just sort of looks weird suddenly stopping the way it does.  Thor’s paintwork follows the sculpt in its strange lack of cohesion to his usual design.  Instead of the usual black for the tunic, this guy’s got the same blue used on his pants.  It makes for a slightly less bold look, and means he looks a little blander than usual.  It probably that doesn’t help that the little chest circles are light blue instead of silver, and the helmet is just a straight white.  The paint definitely seams a bit lax on this guy.  Thor was originally packed with his hammer Mjolnir, which mine is missing.  He also has a hammer swinging action feature built into his right arm.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Marvel Super Heroes Series 2 was pretty much entirely gone from retail when I started collecting, so I went quite a while without a Thor (all I had was the rather lackluster Marvel Masterpiece boxed set version).  I ended up getting this guy over the summer, via Yesterday’s Fun.  He’s okay, I guess.  Not anything amazing, but he fits well enough with the rest of the set of Marvel Super Heroes Avengers.

#1404: Luke Skywalker – Jedi Knight

LUKE SKYWALKER – JEDI KNIGHT

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Under the tutelage of Obi-Wan and Yoda, Luke Skywalker learned the ways of the Force and became a Jedi Knight.Using his newly-developed powers, Luke successfully led a campaign to rescue Han Solo from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt. After Yoda confirmed what Luke feared most – that Darth Vader was his father – he decided to confront Vader, not to do battle, but to reach whatever good remained in the man once known as Anakin Skywalker. The diabolical Emperor Palpatine wanted Luke’s power under his tutelage, but the young Jedi was strong and resisted the potent allure of the dark side – though it nearly cost him his life. When the Emperor rose to annihilate Luke Skywalker, Vader hurled Palpatine to his death, sacrificing himself for his son.”

Wow, spoilers much?  Not only do we know that Darth Vader’s Luke’s dad, but also that he kills Palpatine *and* sacrifices himself?  This is a lot to process, you guys.  Or it would be if I hadn’t seen the movies, I guess.  But then, what are the odds of me buying an action figure of Luke Skywalker?  I’d say slim.  But I have and I did, so now onto the review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jedi Knight Luke was released during the second year of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line.  He was the fourth version of the character in the line, and the second that year.  He’s based on his Return of the Jedi appearance.  He’s sort of an amalgamation  of the looks from that movie; for the most part, he’s from Luke’s introductory scene, hence the vest and the cloak.  However, he’s also got the glove covering his damaged right hand, which he starts wearing after the scenes on Tattooine.  He’s a horrible monster mash!  Who could ever love him!?!  Nah, it’s not really that big a deal.  Anyway, the figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  His sculpt is actually pretty tame for this line.  Sure, he’s still got the same head sculpt that never looked much like Hamill, and sure he still looks like his pecs are about to burst out of his shirt, but all things considered, he’s really not bad.  The proportions aren’t terrible, and he’s just in a fairly basic standing pose.  The paint work on this guy is largely very basic.  Mostly, it’s just black plastic, with a little bit of paint for the hand and some work on the face.  There’s a tiny bit of glossier finish on the boots, which is a cool touch.  The earliest samples of this figure actually had a tan/grey color for the vest, which made it stand out more, but this was eventually replaced with what’s seen on the figure in this review.  The second figure is a little blander, but is also the more accurate look, so that’s fair.  This figure was packed with his trusty green lightsaber, as well as a rubber cloak piece.  Both pieces are fairly decent for the time, but do look slightly goofy by modern standards.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Jedi Luke was the third version of Luke I got, after the Dagobah and Tattooine versions.  I recall making a special trip to the local Toys R Us with my mom and dad, sitting in the middle seat of their Ford Ranger pickup truck.  I also recall the figure’s distinctive smell wafting through the car on the ride home.  Not long after I acquired this figure, it served as the inspiration for my Jedi Luke Halloween costume, which has the notoriety of being one of my favorite Halloween costumes pretty much ever.  A lot of good memories are attached to this figure is kind of what I’m getting at here.

#1398: Sword Fighting Hercules

SWORD FIGHTING HERCULES

DISNEY’S HERCULES (MATTEL)

“He’s the greatest sword fighter of all time! Whether he’s fighting the terrifying Hydra, or battling the dangerous Nessus, Hercules fights the bravest of battles with his mighty sword and shield!”

You may have noticed a slight theme to the last few Sundays here at the Figure in Question.  That theme is Disney’s Hercules.  Today, I’m continuing that theme, though I can’t make any promises for keeping it going past this week.  I’ve looked at a variant of Herc, as well as his main foe Hades, but I’ve yet to just look at the standard Hercules.  That changes today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sword Fighting Hercules is another entry in the Basic Assortment of Disney’s Hercules figures from Mattel.  As noted in the intro, this was the line’s take on Herc’s standard hero togs he sports for the majority of the film’s run-time.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  In a change from the last two figures I’ve looked at from this line, this guy actually gets some elbow movement, which is cool, but it’s at the cost of all of his leg movement.  You win some, you lose some.  It does cause him to be a touch harder to keep standing than the Hydra Slaying variant, but he’s mostly pretty manageable.  The elbows are a little loose, presumably to aid in the use of action features, but still rather useful.  Also: neck articulation! That sure is nice.  Being able to look side to side and all.  Like the other two, this figure’s sculpt diverges somewhat from his film counterpart.  This one is probably the most faithful of the three I have; most of the changes come from simply translating him into three dimensions.  There are a few slight oddities to his proportions.  His neck’s rather long, as are the arms. Still, not a bad sculpt overall.  Like his Hydra Slaying counterpart, Sword Fighting Herc has a removable cloth cape.  The same cape, in fact (exactly the same in my case; this guy’s borrowing his).  If you want to get technical, it should be a little brighter to be accurate to the film, but it works nonetheless.  The paintwork on this guy is generally pretty decent.  The colors are a little bit more washed out than in the film, but they aren’t far off, and the overall look is quite nice.  Herc is packed with his sword (obviously), as well as his shield.  My figure is missing the shield, but that’s really the less essential piece, so I’m not losing sleep over it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After finding Hydra Slaying Herc and Hades, I was figuring that would be it for my whole Hercules collection, especially since this guy in particular had a rather high after market price.  Then I found this guy at Yesterday’s Fun over the summer, sans cape.  Since I already had the cape from the Hyda Herc, I was able to put together a mostly complete figure for a fraction of his going rate.  As with the Hydra variant, this figure was a pretty pleasant surprise, and I’m very happy to have found him.

#1397: Eradicator

ERADICATOR

MAN OF STEEL (KENNER)

After producing one of the most expansive DC toylines ever in the ‘80s with Super Powers, Kenner ran into some issues keeping up with the whole “expansive” aspect as they moved into the ‘90s.  If it wasn’t Batman, it really wasn’t selling.  They tried out a Superman line, Man of Steel, in the mid-90s, which was at best moderately successful.  After two series at retail (the second of which was virtually nonexistent) the line’s third series was scrapped.  Fortunately, two of the proposed figures were salvaged and offered later down the line as exclusives.  I’ll be looking at one of those two, prospective Superman-replacement Eradicator, today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Eradicator was offered by ToyFare magazine as a mail-away offer, extending Kenner’s Man of Steel line by one figure.  He’s based on Eradicator’s design from the “Reign of the Supermen” arc, which was, at the time of this figure’s release, the character’s only design.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.   His sculpt was unique to him, and is a pretty decent recreation of Eradicator’s page bound counterpart.  He’s a little more pre-posed than the earlier Man of Steel figures, showcasing Kenner’s steady move into the Total Justice style of pre-posed figures.  Eradicator is at least not ridiculously pre-posed; the slight upturn of the arms at the elbows makes sense for his energy-based powers, and the slight step in his legs helps to keep him balanced with the slightly heavy cape piece.  The head sculpt has a rather intense expression, which was fairly in character for Eradicator, and offered a nice change from the standard Superman sculpts.  The hands on the figure do seem a little on the large side, but perhaps it’t just the pose throwing things off.  His cape is a removable piece, which plugs into place.  It’s a little on the bulky side, but not terribly so.  Underneath is a fully detailed sculpt, which actually has a pretty nifty light-piped feature where the usual logo would be.  Eradicator’s paintwork is pretty decent; the application is mostly clean and sharp.  The contrast could maybe bee a little higher on the blue sections of the costume, but the metallic sheen is still pretty cool.  Also pretty cool?  The translucent feature on his arms.  That’s a lot of fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Eradicator predates me really getting a lot of the ToyFare exclusives, so I didn’t get him new.  I’ve been on the look out for one recently, and I ended up fishing this guy out of 2nd Chance Toyz’s $1 bin.  He was still in his little baggie and everything!  This guy’s okay overall.  Not the most exciting figure of all time, but he’s a solid rendition of the character.

#1394: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL SUPER HEROES (TOY BIZ)

“Iron Man is the world’s greatest high-tech hero. Iron Man’s armor is made of space-age alloys and is virtually indestructible. Not only that, but the armor is filled with an awesome arsenal including energy blasting repulsor rays, a navigational computer and rocket-powered boots that can fly him at a top speed of 960 miles an hour! Iron Man is really the millionaire inventor and industrialist, Tony Stark. When he’s not wearing his armor and helping his friends Thor and Captain America save mankind from super-powered enemies, Tony’s in his lab creating a new invention to save lives or clean the environment.”

You can’t go anywhere these days without tripping over like 50 Iron Man figures, but that wasn’t always the case.  When Toy Biz took over the Marvel license back in the early ‘90s, there were only two prior Iron Man figures.  They eventually released a whole line of Iron Men, but their first figure of the character was released as part of their early Marvel Super Heroes line.  He’s kinda goofy and I’m looking at him today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man was released in the second series of Marvel Super Heroes.  Along with that series’ Thor figure, he completes the “Avengers” set started in Series 1 with Cap and Hulk.  He’s based on the Neo-Classic armor, which is more rare amongst action figures.  This was actually its first time in plastic form, and would remain its only appearance until the Marvel Legends Showdown line more than a decade later.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  These earlier figures kind of mimicked the Super Powers aesthetic, albeit in a slightly lower quality way.  This figure’s sculpt is…interesting.  It’s not the worst thing ever, but it’s not as nice as, say, the Captain America figure.  A lot of the figure’s issues come from the rather primitive snap-on armor.  While later Iron Men would place the focus on getting a decent starting figure and then enhancing them with extra armored bits, this figure goes for a combo Iron Man/Tony Stark.  The problem is that the end result is an Iron Man and a Tony Stark that are both off.  The armor is really bulky and has obvious clips (which are rather difficult to work with), and the underlying Tony Stark is just…odd.  Really, really odd.  I mean, just look at him.  That ain’t right.  The paint work on this guy is okay overall, but his armor is lacking a few of the yellow details.  Maybe they were working from a classic Iron Man image?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure slightly pre-dates me getting into collecting…and me existing…so I didn’t get it new.  I did eye it up a few times over the years, but it’s not the most common figure, and it was never high enough priority for me to actually go and track him down.  I ended up finding this guy at the most recent Dave Hart Toy Show back in July, for a pretty decent price.  He’s…strange?  I guess that’s the word.  I find him intriguing as sort of a pre-formed version of the later Toy Biz Iron Men, but as his own figure, he’s not Toy Biz’s strongest offering.