Xevoz Master Modifier Figures
Item No.: Asst. 85501 No. 85508 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Sticker sheet and a ton of parts Action Feature:Firing rocket arm, rebuildable figure Retail:$10.99 Availability: January 2004 Other: Some pieces were redecorated and packaged with the Toys R Us exclusive Grim Skull
Back in the early to mid 2000s, Hasbro was a lot more experimental with weird lines like Nak Naks, and Stikfas-- the Stikfas being distributed exclusively to toy specialty, bypassing the "marts." Born out of the Stikfas concept were Xevoz, a series of action figure kits fully-painted with spare parts, stickers, and a customizable component all mixed in with game elements. The items were priced comparably to Transformers of the day and offered as much if not more bang for the buck. Oddly, the line showed up on retail shelves in early 2004 with no fanfare or announcement, so if you went in to Toys R Us in January you may have been greeted by the Infenro Fury, Sledge Trooper, and 3 other kits. And if you were lucky, you bought one of them to discover the greatest original toy line concept of the decade.
Measuring about 6-inches and change, fire man was a member of the "Hyperfuries," a faction on the planet Zeotopia who-- as is their lot-- fights to the death. The action figure includes three different heads including one with an iron mask, another composed largely of flame (the eyes are tough to see), and another one that's a big flaming eyeball. The head-- and all the parts-- pop off at the joint, similar to Glyos, Stikfas, or Bionicle in particular. (Later Bionicle were closer in construction to Xevoz, focusing almost entirely on the ball joints without the Technic rod connection pieces.)
Made mostly of clear red and yellow hard plastic, this is a figure you'll want to be careful with-- he has a ton of parts and some figures in this line can snap apart if you aren't careful, with the posts breaking off if mishandled. As you can see in the picture, there are numerous weapons including a staff and a sword, plus a firing wrist-mounted fire launcher. Hands are either small red flames or giant claws, plus you can attach a set of wings to it. And if you don't like these parts, that's fine-- you can swap out limbs with any other Xevoz kit to make whatever you want. They honestly, truly don't make them like this any more. Well, I guess Hero Factory at the mass retailers, but as far as raw diversity goes Xevoz was unmatched with its classic horror monsters, undead creatures, mutant animals, cyborgs, and elementals all fighting for total supremacy.
With stiff joints and big feet, these figures had no problems being posed in any of several increasingly ridiculous ways. If you want to balance him on one foot, you can do that. If you want him menacingly clawing the camera, that's no problem. He could even hop on the shoulders of another figure and beat him with a sword-- these things are nothing if not versatile, and their quick fall from grace meant you could've picked them up quite cheaply. The sets were down to $1-$2 at some Wal-Marts in under 7 months after their launch, with series 1 and 2 being where the line ended at most stores. Select Targets-- only certain larger stores-- picked up wave 3, while the bulk of wave 4 was unceremoniously "canceled" until surfacing online at Entertainment Earth online and Tuesday Morning stores at brick-and-mortar in early 2005. With only 25 items released, including swell 2-packs, vehicles, and an attempt at a carry case, it ended pretty darned fast.
The Inferno Fury was a reasonably common figure, showing up at Toys R Us early and sticking around for a while. When the clearances started, he tended to dry up fast and a number of his parts were repurposed for a Toys "R" Us exclusive Grim Skull, a redeco of the Skull Jack with an exrta sack of pieces at a higher price point. (The Grim Skull also has a white eyeball head, which you'll want.) Other Hyperfuries included the Shock Berserker and Cryo Katana. Today, the Inferno Fury isn't exactly an expensive piece-- you should be able to score one for under $10. The entire line is an excellent example of toymaking and arguably the last Hasbro toy line to be made with the raw feel of the 1980s creativity we've all come to love. Figures were fun, they could stand and sit with no real problems, there was an attempt at a comic book which lasted only one issue, and support was completely withdrawn almost as quickly as the line appeared.
There's a game component and a sticker sheet for adding details to the figures, but given the nature of how these are played with I may advise you to ignore the stickers. The game allows you to build your own "die" which you can roll in battle, claiming pieces from your opponent. So you can slice off his head if you want, for example. This may have been the best toy line ever for older boys, arguably ideal for kids ages 8-12 or collectors who are willing to buy things clearly aimed for boys ages 8-12. If you have any love for toys as toys, go to eBay and buy the first, cheapest sealed Xevoz figure you can find. And open it.
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