Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Silver Surfer Week Continues!

To help kick things off I'm starting with my all time favorite Surfer figure. The 1990 Marvel Super Heroes Silver Surfer with Action Surfboard. Okay I know what you're thinking, that's the lamest Silver Surfer ever! Wrong it was the start of the Toy Biz Marvel juggernaut, and to get a character like the Silver Surfer in the first series was amazing.

Up until now Toy Biz had made DC Comics Characters, starting with the 1989 Batman Movie and continuing with a whole set of heroes and villains from Hawkman to the Riddler. While not as well executed as the Kenner Superpowers line, these were still DC Heroes and in my opinion worthy of some notice. To this day plenty of people hate these figures because of the chunky style, but this is what gives them their charm, and now looking back an almost vintage feel.

Silver Surfer was the first of the series that I saw at retail and I quickly snapped him up. Other characters in the first series would soon share his fate. The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Punisher, Daredevil, Dr. Doom, Captain America, and Dr. Octopus were all part of the first series and at the time you could not ask for a better mix. What really draws me to these figures is the packaging, bright colorful, and well super hero like. Wonderful illustrations dressed the front as well as the collect them all gallery. I nice trick I might add to avoid showing actual product. Some product was featured on the back though. A Training Center as well as rides for Spidey and Cap were being released along with this first batch.

A bonus on the back of the package was a 50% coupon for your choice of a Amazing Spider- Man, Captain America, or Silver Surfer subscription. Needles to say I did take advantage of the Silver Surfer and Captain America subscriptions at the time, for a kid this was a pretty neat ideal, not only did you have the character but you could follow his adventures.

The figure itself is in a pretty stiff pose with a whopping seven points of articulation, coated in a matte silver finish. Almost like Toy Biz went down to the hardware store and bought your standard silver Krylon. The board has what can best be described as a outboard motor "hump" on the back, which hides the pull back and go mechanism, two slots for the Surfer's feet to fit into, and wheels on the bottom.

So while not the most visually pleasing representation of the Silver Surfer, he does have a great "vintage" feel and sort of a fun feature that does make sense. I guess if you really wanted him to fly you could just throw him across the room.


Legions Of Gotham said...

Ok I loved the Marvel Superhero line. I had hulk, spidey, punisher and capt america those were fun toys.

chunky B said...

At one time I had the entire series, my favorites (besides the surfer) where Cap, The Thing, and that first suction cup Spidey!

Punisher had two versions, cap firing and a wind up version that was supposed to sound like a machine gun!

Legions Of Gotham said...

THey also had a punisher with a backpack that made electronic machine gun noises..and they made a Punisher war van!

rob! said...

why were all the Toy Biz action figures so dang BEEFY? my TB Aquaman looks like John Goodman, and Surfer doesnt look like he's missing many meals!

Jay Amabile said...

I despised the Toy Biz batman line...they were AWFUL. They got alot better when they took on Marvel although I remember all the ones I had were broken easily even thought I wasn't rough with them. What I don't get is aside from articulation, how did Toy Biz actually move backwards in action figure manufacturing? Think about Secret Wars...they were awesome...if they only had more articulation they'd be the greatest figures. I must admit that the Toy Biz X-Men figures were pretty cool.

chunky B said...

Both the DC and Marvel lines from Toy Biz were rough, but I think they were just starting in the action figure market so they were learning the ropes so to speak. The 89 Batman movie was their first license I believe. They lost it the next year to Kenner with Batman Returns, which I think ended up using some existing molds for their re-introduction to the DC Universe.

I agree that the sculpts were stiff to say the least, but look where Toy Biz has gone from here in such a short time. I believe they ended up setting the bar that other companies had to follow or loose out too. Still, all that said you have to admit these figures, as chunky and stuff as they are, still have a "vintage" feel. The Thing figure from this line is still one of my favorites