Do you remember that South Park episode when Cartman made everyone buy him a different action figure from the same series so he could collect them all? Yeah I did that once….
From the early 90’s to mid 2000’s, ToyBiz had a goldmine on their hands. In 1990, ToyBiz started producing the ‘Marvel Super Hero’ line, this series featured many different figures, that I specifically remember buying and playing with. This awesome set included classics like Captain America, Daredevil, the Punisher, and more! The next year, ToyBiz branched off and created an X-Men line, and this was the only thing I wanted for Christmas that year:
The Wolverine even had retractable claws, a miracle in toy design at that time! The HUGELY popular X-Men animated series and the Jim Lee penciled comic series helped tremendously with the marketing of these toys. Interestingly enough, wave one actually featured three X-Factor characters. Not saying they weren’t core X-Men characters but it was a nice nod to the current comic status. Of course, no toy-line is without its excessive goofy figures (here’s looking at you TMNT), if you wanna see some of ’em check this out. With the success of wave one, more figures were to follow. Gifting us with beauties like these:
That Rogue is just scary. ToyBiz had a real difficult time with female sculpts, something, I won’t say they ever mastered, BUT they did get better at it by the time Marvel Legends hit the scene:
Anywho, I actually remember customizing and repainting a lot of these, including that Gambit and the 90’s style Bishop, I believe a lot of them are in storage, I should check sometime. The success of this line only increased as ToyBiz altered the look by investing in better molds and started creating figures with better articulation. The line expanded to other properties like Fantastic Four, Hulk, Spider-Man, even Silver Surfer! Then came Spider-Man Classics, a line that birthed an action figure revolution called Marvel Legends. But that’s a story for another time…
Stay tooned 😛