Vintage Vault: X-Men X-Force Cable (2nd Version) by Toy Biz

It’s been a long week and I am more than a little bit hungover, so I’m afraid today is going to be a quickie… Vintage Vault hasn’t been back to Toy Biz’s early 90’s Marvel figures in quite a while, so I thought we’d remedy that today and start throwing some more of these into the mix in the weeks ahead. Today we’ll check out the second version of Cable where he dons his deep space armor.

There’s the packaged shot of Cable… I mean Grizzly… no, I mean Cable. Yeah, what we’ve got here is an error card with Cable in Grizzly’s packaging. This guy came to me as part of a lot, in which I got double screwed because it was supposed to be the first version of Cable, not the second version on the wrong cardback. Ah, well. I was going to keep this figure carded as a curiosity and eventually said, screw it, I need that wall space to hang other carded figures, so I decided to tear him open and feature him. Error or not, I’m still in love with the early Toy Biz Marvel packaging. I think these are some of the best comic inspired figure cardbacks. They’re colorful, the character art is great, and they kind of look like comic covers.

Out of the package, and we can see that this indeed isn’t the more iconic version of Cable, but it is still pretty damn cool. He’s in his bulky deep space armor, complete with a removable clear dome helmet over his head. You just need to pinch it a bit to undo the clips and take it off. The armor has a lot of sculpted detail, particularly for this fairly simple line. You know he’s from the 90’s because even in space armor, he’s still covered in enough belts and pouches to make Rob Liefeld blush. The head sculpt is classic Cable with a grim, angry visage. All in all, well done.

As always, Toybiz did a great job with the colors on this figure. Cable is bright orange and blue with a great glossy finish that makes him work so well as a comic book character in toy form. Unfortunately, they could have done a better job with the actual execution of the paintwork. Most of it is good, but there are a few spots, particularly on his legs that look like they might have been painted by blind cats.

Cable features six points of articulation. His arms rotate at the shoulders, his legs rotate at the hips, and his knees are hinged. The head doesn’t turn, otherwise it’s about the same level of articulation I expect from these 90’s Toy Biz figures. There’s not a lot of dynamic posing possibilities here, but just enough so that you can still have a little fun with him.

Cable comes with a big gun, but what else would you expect? It’s a big silver rifle and it has some kind of rapid-fire gimmick that completely eludes me. Either mine is broken or it just never worked right. It’s a nice piece of killing hardware, but since he has no elbow articulation, he can just hold it awkwardly with one hand, striaght out.

I’m always a bit unsure of how the current collector community feels about these 90’s Marvel Toy Biz figures. Sure, there’s been a lot of water under the bridge since these were hanging on the pegs, and you can’t deny that they’re thoroughly dated, but I still can’t help but love them, and they’re cheap as all hell, which makes them fun and painless to collect. If I had to do over, I might not have opened as many, because I love the packaging so much and they do look great hanging on the wall. At the same time, these figures have such a colorful, toyish charm that really meshes well with their comic book roots. It just makes me want to pick them up and play with them.

[Phew… and that’ll be a wrap for the week. Star Trek Saturday may or may not be back next week. We’ll see how things go. In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of stuff backing up in the toy hopper, so I’ll see y’all Monday with something new. –FF]

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