Friday, April 20, 2012

Ancient Toys of Yesteryear – Marvel Legends: Deathlok By Toy Biz

Yes, I know that this is in no way an actual ancient toy, or even really all that old; I just wanted a funny title for the odd review that I’ll end up doing of a toy that is not currently available at retail.

I do pick up older toys to fill holes in my collection or just because I think they’re neat. Sometimes I won’t bother reviewing them, but sometimes I will. I feel they should have a distinct separation from my regular toy reviews.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Deathlok. He’s shown up from time to time in some of the books I read and has never really done anything for me. He looks cool and all, I just never got into his character. At least not until Rick Remender made the unlikely and surprising call to add the time-displaced cyborg to his X-Force team.

If you haven’t been reading Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, then you’ve been missing out on what basically amounts to Chris Claremont’s spiritual successor. The stories have been vast and amazing with payoffs that actually mean something. And the art – though passing through different hands – has been consistently great. This iteration of X-Force is the best mutant book Marvel has published in years, and that’s saying something with the current crop of strong writers such as Kieron Gillen, Jason Aaron, and Zeb Wells’ recent outstanding run on New Mutants (speaking of Claremont successors).

But anyway, X-Force ran into Deathlok and he just sort of joined up. He is, after all, technically a mutant in that he evolved beyond his programming. So naturally I had to have a figure of him.

First Glance: This thing really is a good representation of Eddie as he appeared on the cover of 
Somewhere In Time

Ha – just kidding. Deathlok here actually predates that particular version of Iron Maiden’s famous mascot by over a decade. And he looks pretty cool in the package. Cool enough that I wanted to buy him.

Sculpt: It’s kind of odd to see the old Toy Biz articulation these days. Mattel’s superhero figures are so generic and streamlined and Hasbro’s Marvel Legends are typically a step above almost any well-articulated 6” scale line. It certainly isn’t bad, but all those bulgy, round joints just look kind of funny.

And Deathlok has plenty of those bulgy, round joints. I’m not going to bother listing all of his points of articulation. If there could be a bendy spot on this guy, he’s got it. He even has the stupid toe joints that I for the life of me will never understand. Has anybody ever gotten a figure to stand in any position that requires that joint to bend?

And as loaded as our cyborg is with articulation, he’s just as loaded with detail. Every spot on him is comics-accurate. From the ridges on his metal bits to his ugly head, Deathlok is packed with little bits of personality. His gun is connected to his chest via a rubber hose. Since Deathlok has the finger joints that I find almost as useless as the toe joints, his gun attaches to his hand with a tiny peg. Otherwise he wouldn’t be able to hold it due to the loose finger joint.

Actually, my figure has a number of loose joints, to the point where he is extremely difficult to stand up. Mine’s actually leaning on something and I’m still afraid he’s going to topple and take half of my mutants with him.

Design: This guy has a really great paint job. The silver and red parts have a great metallic look and the rest of him is a nasty, deathly hue. There are a few extra details painted here and there to break up the overriding red/silver scheme.

Accessories: Deathlok comes with a backpack, a comic, and Galactus’ (whatever).
The backpack looks cool and has a bunch of tech-y little details. It fits securely into Deathlok’s back and isn’t going anywhere unless you want it to.

I haven’t opened the comic, but I’m sure it’s neat-o.

As far as the Galactus piece goes, I’d be really close to building him now if I hadn’t sold some parts off on eBay a few months ago. I had a ton of Marvel Legends build-a-figure pieces that I figured I’d just never get around to assembling or knew I didn’t want the figures the rest of the parts came with (I am still working on Blob, though). So anyway, despite the fact that I know Galactus looks really nice, I’ll be selling these off someday alongside my extra S.T.R.I.P.E. pieces (I still haven’t even seen DCUC 20 at retail).

Packaging: Toy Biz Marvel Legends were all packed in the dreaded clamshell. If I need scissors to open a toy I am not happy. It was, however, a really cool touch to include a (usually) relevant comic book as the backdrop.

Overall: All in all, Deathlok is a pretty good representation of what Toy Biz was doing with the Marvel license. A solid, accurate paint app with tons of articulation, only some of which was wonky. But the big problem is how loose he is. This wasn’t common among the Toy Biz Legends, but I do have a few with the problem. It certainly doesn’t kill the figure, but it does drop his score a point.

3 out of 5

eBay or a con are your best sources for getting this guy if you need him.


  1. I was the guy who busted your chops over Secret Wars but here you have taught me something. Haven´t followed comics since 98 and did not know Deathlok had joined XForce...Thanks!

    1. I'm pretty sure a couple more people have read Secret Wars than are reading Uncanny X-Force. I'll get around to it one of these days. You should see the stack of trades I've already got, though. Varis loaned me his copy of Rising Stars like a year ago and I haven't even touched it yet.

  2. have to admit that besides being a fan of the character . that the one thing that bugged me about the figure was his joints. not to mention the hose of his gun can fall out of its holes or get shredded on something. other wise nice to have a figure of him

    1. He is pretty much just leaning on the side of the shelf. But he does look nice.