Trends come and go, and toy trends are pretty cyclical. The X-Men were top dog for Gen Xers in the 1990s, as were action figures and micro toys. These were smaller, metal, and cheap - Wolverine vs. Sabretooth were one of many micro lines based on Marvel's mutants, with roughly 2 3/4-inch figures sporting 4 joints each. Today we're in the midst of an X-Men merch revival thanks to Disney possibly owning Fox, and mini metal figures from Jada are out and about. So how did these look 23 years ago?
Quite good - and they aged well, too. The body is metal, with a jointed waist - the legs are static. Each arm and head are plastic, giving you a decent range of movement. The figure designs are very close to the Fox Kids cartoon's stylings, which in turn were inspired by the comics of the era. Both figures stand nicely, but Sabretooth will tip back if you aren't careful.
The joints swivel and closely match the spiffy packaging art. Much like Hasbro today, Toy Biz would experiment with countless scales before coming up with the one embraced by the olds, Marvel Legends. A very popular animated line was the core of the 1990s era of Marvel toys, but these were a nice tangent as the sculpts were similar but they were significantly cheaper. Wolverine's claws have a little bit of give, but they're not rubbery. The waist joints of metal-on-metal are tight, but they move. Well, Wolverine movies - Sabretooth barely budges.
X-Men 1992 was sort of like Batman 1966 (and also Batman: The Animated Series) in how it singularly defined the characters for a generation. When you say "X-Men" people tend to think of either the movies or the cartoons, because those colorful, pulpy episodes were a self-serious guilty pleasure even when you were a kid. You knew it was good - but you also knew it was corny. There's really little doubt as to why the figures did so well, with pent-up comic readers jumping on board alongside kids being introduced to them for the very first time. The designs were stellar and the costumes were closely taken from the comics, so it only makes sense to put out smaller, collectible figures for lower-income kids and fans. The cardboard collector's stand is almost laughable, but it looked nice. A mirrored piece of cardboard on a cardboard insert won't do much to excite anybody, but it's a decent call-out to make this seem just a little bit better than it actually is. It's worth remembering that back in the 1980s and 1990s, the word "collectible" on a toy was usually code for "smaller," "cheaper," or "not as good as a real toy." (See: the Applause! collectible figures.)
I won't say get it - but if you see them cheap at an old toy store, they're nice little desk accessories and the right size to pal around with your Glyos figures or Imaginext.
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