X-MEN (TOY BIZ)
“Sauron is the most terrifying Evil Mutant. Sauron loves to silently swoop down and use his mutant power to hypnotize and drain the energy out of his victim! Then in the blink of an eye, he flies away ready to strike again! The more energy he drains, the more powerful he becomes. Because he can drain the energy from anyone, even another Evil Mutant, even Magneto, the leader of the Evil Mutants, fears him!”
Not to be confused with the evil ruler of Mordor, Sauron is one of the X-Men’s older foes, predating quite a few of the team’s more popular members (including a certain Canadian who goes “snikt”). Interestingly enough, despite what the bio above may tell you, he’s not a Mutant. At least not in the same way as the X-Men. He actually got his powers after being bitten by an Antarctic pteranodon and then being exposed to the mutant energies of Alex Summers, aka Havok. Yes, really. Just go with it. Despite the inherent coolness of a Pterodactyl-man, Sauron himself has only ever gotten a single figure, which I’ll be taking a look at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Sauron was released in Series 2 of Toy Biz’s ‘90s X-Men line. He was one of four villains in the line-up, and he was the most obscure of the set (though that would change in quick fashion). The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation. He lacks the elbow and knee movement that were standard at the time, but makes up for it with the addition of not only outward movement on his shoulders and a cut joint at the base of his tail, but also a hinge on his jaw, allowing for his mouth to open and close. That’s a pretty wizard! Sauron had a unique sculpt. It’s a fairly decent sculpt, on par with the rest of the line at the time. It does a nice enough job of capturing his classic comics design. The shoulders are a little weak, and prone to tearing under stress. Also, I’m no 100% sure what he’s supposed to be wearing, though. Usually, he would wear the tattered remains of Karl Lykos’s pants, or perhaps a loincloth of some sort. This is neither of those. It’s some weird conglomeration, I guess. Still, a solid sculpt overall. The paint work on Sauron is pretty simple; he’s mostly just molded in a dark green plastic. There’s a bit of paint for the eyes, the interior of the mouth, and the…whatever it is he’s wearing. It’s all pretty cleanly applied, and what’s there works. Less is definitely more on this one. Sauron was packed with a big ol’ club. You know, for clubbing stuff.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve been looking for a Sauron for a little while. I haven’t been looking particularly hard, but I’ve been keeping an eye out. The trouble with this guy is the shoulders; loose figures will almost always have one of them broken or about to break, which doesn’t work for me. Recently, I decided to start working on completing my Toy Biz X-Men collection, and I went to the Dave Hart Toy Show last month with this in mind. I looked though several bins of loose figures, and put back a handful of broken Saurons, before finally finding a fairly cheap packaged sample and calling that a win. Not a bad figure overall. A shame he’s not a touch more durable.