Thursday, December 18, 2014

Out of the Box: Shatterstar (ToyBiz X-men/X-Force)

I was preparing a holiday-themed photo-shoot earlier this week, but the weather decided to not cooperate and a lack of sunlight meant those photos weren't going to happen.  As a result, I distracted myself by digging through the retro/discount bins and looking for more of ToyBiz's early '90s X-men figure, and Shatterstar (a fitting companion for the Rictor I found last month) joined my collection.
Shatterstar
In the box.

As is typical for superheros of that era he's awesomely (and ridiculously) over-the-top: a huge ponytail, an open-mouthed grimace, a pair of giant swords and a degree of muscularity that went out of fashion by the late '90s.  The features are fairly broadly done, but the figure (face and outfit) are neatly-painted, which isn't always the case for figures of this vintage, so that's certainly a plus.


The character might not look much like this in the comics these days (he was primarily used in  humour and romance plotlines when X-Factor v.1 was wrapping up last year), but the figure is a perfect reflection of how he was drawn 20 years ago.

A closer view of the face.

The figure has 10 points of articulation - shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, neck, and waist - two more than the Rictor figure (whose neck and waist were fixed).  As with the other figure, the boots are made out of a slightly softer vinyl than the rest of the figure, and that softer vinyl appears to have degraded somewhat.  Shatterstar's boots were slightly less sticky than Rictor's were, but the oiliness was still fairly noticeable.  It cleaned up fairly easily, but I imagine that the boots will continue to degrade over time.

Dual Sword Action, as described on the box.

As with all of the figures in this line, the toy has a unique action feature: "Dual Sword Action" in this case. Before taking the figure out of the box, I assumed that this would be one of those push-a-button/arms-move type actions, but it's actually less intuitive than that.   In order to make the arms swing from the shoulders, you need to push the back so that the figure rotates quickly from the waist.  It works (in a fashion), but it's such an awkward way of providing a fairly standard arm-swinging feature that I wonder why they bothered coming up with something so (relatively) complicated.

Overall I'd say that this is a solid playline figure - this Shatterstar may not be collector quality, but he's an awesome example of the ridiculousness of early 90s superheros, so I'm totally pleased with him on that front.







16 comments:

  1. For that period In time,I'm sure comic book/X-Force fans went ga-ga over these figures.I remember how much I loved the ToyBiz Nightcrawler figure with the horrendously big suction cups on both hands,lol!Even still this Is a solid rendition pf Shatterstar.

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    1. I remember that version of Nightcrawler! I found him in the loose figure bin about 8 years ago and I'm still kicking myself for not picking him up - I love how random the toys from this period were.

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  2. The 1990s had so much weirdness up its sleeves... Great find! :)

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    1. Thanks! :)

      And yes, it's so true about the 1990s!

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  3. Love this guy! His ponytail is awesome :-). The sticky plastic is something I discovered with shoes from my Sideshow figures too, it's such a pity these older toys deteriorate!

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    1. It is too bad that they weren't made to last. I think I'd be more upset by a deteriorating Sideshow figure though - at least with figures like this one there are lowered expectations to go with the price point. Sideshow's prices are so much higher that I'd have hoped they'd age better. Ah well...

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    2. Oh, but the figures I have weren't very expensive, thank goodness. If I see the prices now, I miss the "old" Sideshow so much LOL! The figures themselves are a bit stained, but okay for their age. But the boots are lost I'm afraid.

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    3. Ah, that much is a relief then! Still a shame about the boots though.

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  4. Ha ha sticky plastic boots, reminded me of my old Tupperware! I always enjoy your reviews even though I don't collect a lot of your toys.
    Happy Christmas!
    X

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    1. Heh, it's exactly that Tupperware feeling!

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  5. That's a ponytail?! I thought that was the plumage or triumph or whatever you call that fluffy stuff on top of a gladiator's helmet. So that's his HAIR?

    The color of his utility belt makes it looks like he has croissants wrapped around his waist. Hehehe. I like this dude!

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    1. Heh, now that you've compared his hair to plumage I can't unsee it! LOL!

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  6. He's cool! I have the cannonball from this line and he's pretty fab!

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    1. Coolness - what's Cannonball's action feature?

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  7. I have him. Found him down here in ole Mexico. Missing his swords though. I should have my artist make me some.

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    1. Cool. I bet you could have swords made that would totally surpass these default ones!

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