Thursday, August 18, 2011

X is also for X-Men

The X-Men are a superhero team in the Marvel Comics Universe. They were created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, and first appeared in The X-Men #1 (September 1963). Xavier recruited Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast, and Marvel Girl, calling them "X-Men" because they possess special powers due to their possession of the "X-Gene," a gene which normal humans lack and which gives mutants their abilities. The X-Men comics have been adapted into other media, including animated television series, video games, and a commercially successful series of films.

This is the 1997 Toy Biz Marvel Comics Marvel Collector Editions Original X-Men action figure boxed set. It includes all FIVE of the classic X-Men in their original uniforms / costumes: CYCLOPS, MARVEL GIRL, BEAST, ICEMAN and ANGEL.

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Here are pictures of the Toy Biz Marvel Comics Marvel Collector Editions Original X-Men action figure boxed set cover and inner flap, with a short description of each of the X-Men characters.

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The five original X-Men figures in their original costumes in the box. I liked that Toy Biz used images from the X-Men comics as part of the box design. It seems like the X-Men just popped right out of the comic book. Man, those were fun times :) reading about the X-Men and all the other comic book heroes in the good old days were just FUN. Nowadays, it gets very complicated with so many twists and turns, and parallel universes that it can get very confusing. Things were much simpler back then - good guys thump bad guys, no deaths and resurrections either.

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Cyclops (Scott Summers) is the first X-Man recruited by Professor Charles Xavier; Xavier hand-picks Scott to lead his X-Men, and to carry on the legacy of his mutant-human-harmony ideals. Xavier views Scott as one of his most -- if not the most -- prized pupils; their relationship exhibits father / son qualities.

Cyclops has the power to emit beams of energy from his eyes described as an "optic blast." The beams have the appearance of red light (i.e., electromagnetic radiation in a red wavelength); however, they do not give off heat and instead deliver concussive force. The beams are tremendously powerful and can be used to rupture steel plates and pulverize rock.

For all Cyclops' skill in manipulating his optic beam, he is unable to completely shut it off. The optic beam continuously projects from his eyes which he must keep closed to prevent the destruction of objects within his field of view. Cyclops uses a pair of ruby quartz eye glasses developed by Professor X to contain the devastating rays. In his X-Men uniform he uses a ruby quartz battle visor in place of the glasses.

The Toy Biz original X-Men Cyclops figure comes with eyes that glow when held up to a light! Cyclops visor is also movable and he can lift his visor up

Cyclops seems to possess an uncanny sense of geometry, in this sense used to describe his observation of objects around himself and the angles found between surfaces of these objects. Cyclops has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to cause his optic blasts to ricochet and/or reflect off those objects in a trajectory to his liking. This is commonly called a "banked shot" when applied to this talent.

Marvel Girl / Jean Grey is a mutant born with telepathic and telekinetic powers. Jean first appeared as Marvel Girl in X-Men #1 (September 1963). As the original team's sole female member, Marvel Girl was a regular part of the team through the series' publication.

Initially possessing the ability of telekinesis, the character was later granted the power of telepathy, which would be retconned years later as a suppressed mutant ability.

Marvel Girl / Jean Grey's telekinetic strength and skill are both of an extremely high level, capable of grasping objects in Earth orbit and manipulating hundreds of components in mid-air in complex patterns. She uses her telekinesis to often lift herself and others giving her the ability of levitation and flight. She also uses her telekinesis to create durable shields and energy blasts.

When first introduced, Henry Philip McCoy a.k.a. the Beast—a mutant—possesses ape-like superhuman physical strength and agility and oversized hands and feet, though he otherwise appears to be a normal human being.

Stan Lee writes in the foreword to X-Men: The Ultimate Guide that he made Beast the most articulate, eloquent, and well-read of the X-Men to contrast with his brutish exterior. Hank McCoy is born with a vast intellect, unusually long arms and legs, and unusually large hands and feet for a human; in fact, his body's proportions are comparable to those of a gorilla and later stories reveal his nickname in school was "Magilla Gorilla".

Henry's mutation more fully manifests during adolescence, providing greater strength and agility, and although his powers allow him to briefly excel in athletics during his remaining time at school, he soon attracts the animosity of his fellow students and other non-mutant humans. As he seeks refuge, he is approached by Professor Charles Xavier, who invites him to study at "Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters".

Robert "Bobby" Louis Drake aka Iceman has the ability of cryokinesis where he can freeze anything around him and can also turn his body into ice. Iceman's appearance while in ice form has changed significantly over the years. In the early X-Men stories, his appearance is more reminiscent of a snowman. The explanation given is that frost formed on his skin when he used his abilities.

Bobby is the second member of the X-Men. He is later joined by Henry "Hank" McCoy, Jean Grey and Warren Worthington III as the founding members of the X-Men. Iceman quickly befriends Hank McCoy (Beast), and the two serve as comic relief for the team.

Warren Kenneth Worthington III is the high flying Angel and one of the founding members of the X-Men.

Angel originally possesses a pair of large feathered wings extending from his back, enabling him to fly. He is the heir and CEO of the multi-billion dollar Worthington Industries. This privileged background results in Warren being stereotyped as an arrogant and self-absorbed playboy during his early years with the X-Men.

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And here are all the Toy Biz Marvel Comics Marvel Collector Editions Original X-Men action figures gathered together for a shot. These were indeed the original classic X-Men - all five were the first members and pupils of Professor Xavier. The X-Men have come a long way since.

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Super-Duper ToyBox said...

DAMN! Those are GREAT! I wondered if there was ever a set like this- you really gave me an eyeful, Man :D LOVE IT!

alex teo said...

yup Colin, these are NICE :)

this was followed up by the 1998 released Toy Biz Giant-size X-Men 6-figure boxed set with Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Sunfire, Banshee and Thunderbird

there was also the Toybiz 1999 released classic 1963 "The Avengers - Earth's Mightiest Super-Heroes" boxed set as well. It featured THE ORIGINAL AVENGERS in their original costumes. Figures range in height from 8" for Giant Man, 5" for Thor, Hulk & Iron Man, and 2.5" for Ant Man & Wasp.


Kal said...

I have both this and the Giant Sized X-MEN figure box as well as the Avengers First Team Set. The Giant Man is huge to scale. Thanks for reminding me I had these down in the Cave.

alex teo said...

U R most welcome Kal :)