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Toybiz: Nostalgia or actually good figures?


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Simple, do you think that the Toybiz figures are looked on fondly today as a sort of nostalgia bias or were they generally good figures?

Personally, I like the idea of including a diorama piece or a comic book with the characters. However, I think that most Toybiz figures have aged pretty terribly (especially the female ones). While the paint shading was generally pretty good, the faces are almost always rough in my experience. In my opinion as well, the figures look rather gangly, like not human-like at all.

 

Just curious what everyone elses thoughts are. What are some things that Toybiz definitely did/does better than Hasbro? Why was Giant Man split up into a 12 figure wave, rather than 6-8 figure wave like everyone else?

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Genuinely great for the time. There are some flaws that stand out now (proportions were often a problem and they absolutely SUCKED at female figures 99 percent of the time), but for the era they were created in, they were absolutely huge leaps when compared to what came before. If you look at the Marvel stuff ToyBiz was producing only a few years prior in the late 90s, it's like night and day. 

As for what they did better than Hasbro, barring things that are simple economic matters of where we were in 2002 vs. where we are currently (I'd love a return of massive, Giant-Ma sized BAFs, but that simply isn't financially feasible anymore), the most obvious area where they still excel over Hasbro are the paint apps and washes. 

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13 minutes ago, watanabefan said:

Genuinely great for the time. There are some flaws that stand out now (proportions were often a problem and they absolutely SUCKED at female figures 99 percent of the time), but for the era they were created in, they were absolutely huge leaps when compared to what came before. If you look at the Marvel stuff ToyBiz was producing only a few years prior in the late 90s, it's like night and day. 

Exactly. They were good figures. Great figures. By today's standards they're not. I don't think it's nostalgia at all to say, "Man those were great...for their time."

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I can speak from personal experience that my opinion of any toybiz figure isn't nostalgia since I wasn't collecting then. I honestly think there's a lot of good in those older figures. My primary example would be Face-Off Captain America. That's one of the greatest figures I've ever had the pleasure of owning. The sculpt is phenomenal, the paint is fantastic and his anatomy is very realistic looking, the only negative being the weird hands. And when it came to build-a-figures they were really doing God's work, M.O.D.O.K. being another treasure in my collection is soooo impressive. But then you look at a figure like the Falcon or any of the female figure and I can't believe it's the same company. Rickety articulation, strange proportions and faces like something out of a funhouse mirror. There were definitely ups and downs with Toybiz but I believe for the time period they really were incredible but like any toyline there were flaws.

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I have being collecting since I pick up the series 3 Thor. Do I think some people are nostalgia? Oh absolutely. People say that if we were still with Toybiz we would get a unique stand, comic book and a larger baf piece. Stands were being phased out in favour of the BAF piece and even the ones that did come with a figure were only the flimsy flight stands. Toybiz move to the smaller baf because it was too expensive to make larger ones and they even said that if they had kept the licence they would have had to get rid of the comics and plastic clamp shells.

As for the figures themselves, while some do stand up to Hasbro's ones, most horrible nowadays, especially, like most people have said, the female figures. look at the female figures of today and toybiz and you see how horrid they were. 

Alot of people have been mentioning the paint wash but IMO I always found that the paint wash makes the figure dirty looking. Hasbro one are clean and look new. 

Then there's the argument that Toybiz would have given us unique sculpts for every figure. No they didn't. during the later days of Toybiz, they had to start reusing sculpt almost the whole times. some sculpt were even used multiple times in the same series. At least Hasbro tries and give a wave multiple sculpts in the same wave.

Do I still love my Toybiz figure? Yes. Do I think they are better then Hasbro? At this present time, NO. Currently Hasbro as surpassed Toybiz, with it's sculpting, clean paints and probably what they are best at, Character selection.

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20 minutes ago, tarot said:

Alot of people have been mentioning the paint wash but IMO I always found that the paint wash makes the figure dirty looking. Hasbro one are clean and look new. 

I can appreciate a light wash to bring out details and make figures seem more "real." However, I have to agree with you here because to me the Hasbro figures and their bright colors just scream comic book while the Toybiz seemed to be going for grit and reality.

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I think it's mostly nostalgia. I collected the 5" X-Men when I was a kid, because I loved X-Men and that's what we had, but even at the time I knew some of them were very strange looking. Then, I passed entirely on Legends when it first launched because I thought it looked awful. Most figures just looked like a collection of hinges and joints, everything was weirdly proportioned, the faces mostly looked terrible, and a lot of stuff was way overpainted. I didn't reconnect with X-Men toys until a friend got me Rogue and Kitty from the Juggernaut wave, which he had found on clearance, and I saw how hugely improved the line was.

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It is nostalgia. You can't really compare a toy now with a toy 20 years ago and say that the old toy is truly the superior product. Hasbro have beaten Toy Biz in basically everything now but that is due to techniques ad materials improving. Of course the Toy Biz figures were great toys and still have their charm but they had their time. Probably in another twenty years we'll be looking back at the figures we have no and wonder, how did we ever consider these to be good?

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People definitely feel nostalgia for the old Toybiz figures, I personally was never really a fan of Marvel Legends during the Toybiz days, I thought they looked oldly proportioned, dirty, overly painted, I didn't collect legends when they first released I thought Selects were better and were actually my step into Marvel Figure collecting as an older person, all of that being said, yes for the times they were pretty amazing for what they were, in terms of articulation, accessories, sculpting and attention to detail, as well as value (with comics/stands and huge bafs), Toybiz legends had a ton of fantastic aspects, but don't hold up now IMO (except for maybe a Beta Ray Bill or a Doc Strange), they innovated with so many things I can't hate on them, but they also had some of the most hideous horrors in terms of figures released...ahem poor female figures. 

 

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At this point, it is largely nostalgia.  ToyBiz deserves metaphorical tons of respect for their contributions to collectable super-posable action figures, however, Hasbro has come a long way since they took over. We all need to realize that it took Hasbro the better part of eight years to produce anything that was on par with the worst of what ToyBiz had to offer.  It's only really been since 2014 and the Ultimate Green Goblin wave that Hasbro has shown that they can eclipse ToyBiz.  And for that matter, they should be able to, I mean these figures are coming up on 20 years old in some case, there's not much of an excuse for Hasbro to fall short of ToyBiz at this point, I mean if I compared a ToyBiz figure to an 80s or early 90s figure they'd blow it out of the water, and that's what Hasbro should be able to do...all...the...time.  

Do I like Hasbro's offerings more than ToyBiz's? In over 90% of all cases yes.  But the general opinion here seems to overlook that there are still ToyBiz figures that not only hold up, but are better than those Hasbro has given us of the same character.  Other than the female figures, most of them since the aforementioned Ultimate Green Goblin wave, very few characters were completely botched by ToyBiz. 

The BAFs of that era alone are something we will never see again, unless you have $350 to put down on a figure that is a year (maybe more) from being in your hands.  Then there are characters like Lizard, Rhino, and Hobgoblin that Hasbro hasn't managed to get right.  Even the much lauded Retro Spidey still can't hit the same poses as the majority of ToyBiz Spider-Men, and I find that not only hard to admit, since I love the figure, but that shouldn't be true of a figure that was set up to redefine what a domestic release Spider-Man could be in six inch scale.  But like I said, ToyBiz is owed a measure of respect for what they did and for the things they created that still stand up today, they had their problems in plenty of cases, but it's pretty amazing that figures from 2006 or possibly before can even think to stand next to figures from today and still work, I'd call that impressive.      

 

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What Satam said in a nutshell, Great for their time but by today's standards not very good at all. I'm sure their are a few that may still stand the test of time but not many. And as far as the body proportions compared to today, no contest hands down. I still have a few I hang on to, but if not for the onset of Covid I may have traded them in by now. Yes we have moved on into the future of action figures and it's a wonderful time to be a collector or just a fan.

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Nostalgia for me with a few exceptions. Most of my old Toy Biz figures do not hold up very well. They were over manufactured with unnecessary hand and foot articulation. Looking back, many have arms or shoulders that remove anatomy realism.

now a few that have stayed in my collection are the First Appearance Hulk and Iron Man, The Giant-Man BAF and Thor from that wave and I hang onto the Ant Man and Wasp mini figures that came with the Goliath figure. Mostly since there aesthetics look pretty spot on for that era of the Avengers and that Hasbro hasn’t made updated versions of these specific costumes.

 

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I happily display my Toy-Biz with my Hasbro, and I happily display my Hasbro with my Toy-Biz. I don't hate on either one. I think, in my display, they complement each other. Some of the TB articulation has gotten loose, but I expect that will happen over time with any plastic toy. It really is a fun time to collect.

I don't think it's nostalgia for me. Nostalgia comes in to deciding to purchase or pass on certain figures and chase the BAF part on the secondary market. In the TB years I bought everything. Now I stick to X-Men, and even those are limited to before the Grant Morrison reboot, so no HoX/PoX.

I don't agree with the generalized sentiment that the Toy-Biz females were all ugly. Putting aside the fact that it is odd to speak thusly of pieces of plastic, the TB Psylocke, Shadowcat, Ms. Marvel (Warbird), Phoenix, and Mystique are perfectly acceptable allowing for diversity. I wouldn't say that Polaris, Jubilee, Boom-Boom, Dazzler, or Songbird are "10's" compared to those TB figures. I would put all of these figures in a group as comparable.

I would argue that the "prettiest" female figure is the Jim Lee Jean Grey, but they couldn't even keep consistency between her comic look and her TV show look. The AoA Jean isn't up to that standard either.

I'm not arguing that the TB Rogue or Spider-woman (either one) are competitive with their updates. They did make some clunkers, but Hasbro has too.

Now I'm going to go do something manly like hammer an engine block a la Hot Rod....

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On 2/13/2021 at 7:26 AM, Benn said:

I think it's mostly nostalgia. I collected the 5" X-Men when I was a kid, because I loved X-Men and that's what we had, but even at the time I knew some of them were very strange looking. Then, I passed entirely on Legends when it first launched because I thought it looked awful. Most figures just looked like a collection of hinges and joints, everything was weirdly proportioned, the faces mostly looked terrible, and a lot of stuff was way overpainted. I didn't reconnect with X-Men toys until a friend got me Rogue and Kitty from the Juggernaut wave, which he had found on clearance, and I saw how hugely improved the line was.

This was my exact journey with my action figure collection, loved my Toybiz 5" figures, had about a 100 of them. I stopped collecting when they transitioned to Marvel Legends because they were too tall for my taste. I thought it was a huge mistake for Marvel to do.

I finally decided to pick up Legends when I saw pics of the Rogue from the Juggernaut wave and was determined to hunt for her on my trip to Southern Florida. I found her at a Walgreens and then that green Phoenix from the same wave.

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I'm usually happy with newer lines, but only when they are better (with exceptions). I only got into Marvel with Legends, but my Star Wars experience was a roller coaster. I had the originals in the 80's and stupidly sold them for LEGO money. Then POTF2 came out and I went crazy. I hated the buff design, but lived with it. I recollected all the vintage figures but hated the low detail. When Hasbro made their modern lines, peaking with TVC, I was really happy with them. I totally ditched POTF2 (with exceptions) and the 80's vintage. Even though I should have nostalgia, I get that feeling even more with modern TVC design.

But now Hasbro has the 6" SW line, but I don't collect it. Sure they are nicer characters, but the 3.75" SW line will always be better because of the vehicles and environments.

6" Marvel works pretty well because there aren't many vehicles to worry about. I really hope they can make some. The best I have are the Slam WWE vehicles.

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