Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Retro Toy Week: Toy Biz's the Goblin Queen!

Show of hands: who remembers Mutant X? Not the TV show (which I don't think I ever watched) but the comic featuring Havok? I'm going to do this off the top of my head, since I only read a few issues of that one: after apparently getting blow'd up in the last issue of X-Factor, Alex Summers wakes up in the body of an alternate universe version of himself, in said alternate universe. As is traditional, it's the evil dimension. Well, it wouldn't be very dramatic if Alex woke up in a friendly, awesome universe, would it?

Alex and the readers have to piece together what happened differently in this universe. For starters, Alex, not his brother Scott (Cyclops), married Madelyne Pryor: in the regular timeline, Scott would have a son that would eventually become Cable, and Madelyne would go all psycho, make deals with demonic powers, and become the Goblin Queen in the crossover Inferno. In Mutant X, however, Maddie and Alex had a son, Scotty; and together they led a splinter X-group called the Six. The other members of the Six? A vampire Storm called Bloodstorm, a bat-winged and green Angel called the Fallen; and similiarly altered versions of Iceman and Beast.

Do you get the feeling that this series was by and for hardcore X-Men and Marvel fans? Well, maybe. Not only did it run for 32 issues and three annuals, but towards the end of Toy Biz's five-inch action figures, Mutant X got a four figure wave: Havok, Bloodstorm, the Fallen, and Goblin Queen here. (It always sucks when a team of six gets a four-figure wave...in the same vein, I'm never going to have a complete Authority, either.)

Hello Cleveland! This was pre-Marvel Legends: I did a quick check, and the first Captain America Legend is marked 2002, while the Goblin Queen is 1999. Maddie is probably chock-full of recycled pieces from the X-Women that came before her, but I'm pretty sure the arms (with the armbands) and her short cape are new. The paint isn't super-crisp up close, but there is a nice tampoed-on design on her right leg. Articulation-wise, she has ball-jointed shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles: her neck may have been intended to turn, but her hair isn't letting it go anywhere. And in case you've forgotten her outfit from Inferno, this is a more restrained outfit for her. Seriously. Compared to the old one, it's a tasteful frock.

The Mutant X set was one of a batch of short waves Toy Biz put out, often as Previews Exclusives. I know there were at least a couple MC2 figures like Spider-Girl and American Dream; and there was a Shang-Chi towards the end that I've never seen. It makes me a little sad, that back in 1999 a relatively mid-range book like Mutant X could get thrown a bone in the form of action figures, and that's probably never going to happen again. It would be neat to see something like that for figures of the Agents of Atlas or Marvel's cosmic characters like Quasar and the Guardians of the Galaxy, or even some of the New Mutants/X-Men kids if you want to get more commerical.

On the other hand, I know I bought these at a clearance outlet, and marked down quite a bit; so maybe that business model wasn't working then, either.

Goblin Queen is still available, if you still have figures in that scale; or a soft spot for alternate-reality continuity orphans and women done wrong. Sadly, she's too small to hang with the Marvel Legends, and too big for the Marvel Universe; so it's probably back to the storage bin with her.