Vintage Vault: X-Men X-Force Warpath by Toy Biz

I’ve been sitting on a whole box full of unopened Toy Biz X-Men figures for a while now and since things have been slow here at FigureFan, I decided to bust some of these open and take a look. I’ll start peppering them throughout the next couple of weeks. If you weren’t collecting toys in the 90’s or perhaps you just collect Toy Biz’s Marvel figures with the Marvel Legends line, then these guys are going to be quite a departure for you.

One thing I’ve always loved about Toy Biz’s Marvel figures from this era? The packaging. I mean, just look at that. It takes all the colorful and exciting qualities of a comic book cover and transfers them onto the cardback. You get some awesome character art, Just check that out. The Marvel Universe package art is often good, sometimes mediocre, but this image of Warpath is capital stuff. Not to mention the exposition explosion that tells you what the figure’s special play gimmick was. In this case? “SMASHING POWER PUNCH!” Hell, there’s even a sticker advertising a T-shirt. The front of the card is just bursting with activity. The back of the card has a little bit about the character and photos of some of the other figures in this line.
If your only action figure experience with Warpath is the Marvel Universe version then this guy is likely to shock. His design is deliciously comic book inspired and he’s certainly got that wonderful bright and obnoxious 90’s toy motif that meshes so well with comic book and animated inspired figures. There isn’t even a remote attempt to go for realism here. Warpath is a brick wall of a mutant with a neckline that nearly matches his waistline. The glossy, retina-burning red and blue paint job is just stellar. There’s no way this guy is going to appear in any multi-million dollar live action movie treatment. Nope, he’s straight from the panel of a funnybook.
For a 90’s era figure, Toy Biz’s Warpath sports some pretty decent articulation. The arms rotate at the shoulders and he has hinged elbows. His legs rotate at the hips and he has hinged knees. His roast beef sized neck doesn’t move at all, but this is still better than the standard 5-points I’m used to seeing in figures of this era. Warpath also swivels at the waist, but that’s more a part of his “Smashing Power Punch” gimmick. Swivel him at the waist and his right arm goes up. Let him go and he springs back and his arm comes down. It’s an ok gimmick in that it really doesn’t screw up the figure or mar his articulation.
I’m not knocking the more realistic approach that Hasbro takes with their Marvel Universe line, but from package to figure, Toy Biz’s Warpath represents everything that is awesome about comic books and their characters, distills it, and pours it into action figure form. Granted, as we’ll see in the coming weeks, these X-Men figures could be hit and miss (just check out the fright face on Rogue down there), but when they were great, like Warpath, they were really great. What’s better is you can usually buy these guys carded for next to nothing. Certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but I absolutely love this guy.

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