If you were a kid between the early 90’s and today, there’s a good chance you owned (or are at least familiar with) Marvel’s action figure lines. The biggest of those, by far, was the X-Men line. With hundreds of variations, it’s understandable that some crappy ones made it through, but these go way beyond that. These are just outright bizarre.
10. Space Riders Beast
Apparently, Beast has decided that he doesn’t need a suit to go into outer space, making him the hands-down worst scientist in the history of science. He comes with an oxygen mask, but that won’t help much against the cold, dark vacuum of space. Especially when all he’s wearing is a pair of skivvies and, for some insane reason, shoulder and knee pads. You got a space football game planned or something, Beast?
This just seems like a thinly veiled ploy by the rest of the team to kill him off. “Hold your breath really tight, Hank. You’ll be juuuuuust fine.”
9. Series 1 Nightcrawler
And speaking of hate for blue guys, there’s just no excuse for this Nightcrawler figure. Yeah, he’s one of the originals, and maybe the designers hadn’t really figured things out yet, but come on.
He’s got a pair of crappy suction cups on his left hand and right knee. Never mind that suction cups on toys always suck– or rather, don’t suck at all…cuz they’re…terrible, and…ah, forget it. Anyway, how is that positioning even supposed to work? That’s the most uncomfortable wall-crawling since the time Spider-Man forgot his pants.
A minor character for a few years in the late 90s, Marrow was never terribly popular. Her mutant power is that her bones grow outside of her body, so she looks like a walking skateboarding accident. She can also remove the bones and use them as weapons, which is incredibly impractical because you kind of need those to move and stuff. It’s weird, but that’s comics for you.
When it comes to the figure, though, it’s less weird and more freaking terrifying. She has an insane grin on her face, and holes in her body where you can jam in and remove bone shards. Also, she probably turns on the light while you sleep and just stares at you from across the room.
7. Cable and Hope
Seeing as Cable’s one of Marvel’s heavy hitters, it’s no big surprise that there are dozens of variations on the character. He’s a huge dude with huge guns and stuff, and that works in pretty much any situation. Except maybe one with a baby stuck to his chest.
Hope Summers is one of X-Men’s current plot device characters, which means she’ll be really important for a year or two, until they dump her in the pile with Dark Phoenix and Stryfe and Apocalypse and so on. So fine, make an action figure of her (preferably her grown-up self), but don’t jam a baby of her in with Cable. He’s got freaking guns. And she’s a baby. He looks like a freaking psychopath here. “Just put the kid down, Cable. We can talk about this. It’s cool, man. Just…drop the guns and hand the baby over.”
6. Savage Land Bonus Figures
The Savage Land is a tropical oasis in the middle of Antarctica, filled with dinosaurs and stuff like that. Basically, it’s a cheap excuse to have the X-Men battle prehistoric beasts. Nothing wrong with that. When it came to the figures, though, things got crazy.
They released Savage Land versions of all the popular characters, but some of them also came with weird bonuses, like Colossus the Triceratops (no relation– he probably gets a lot of wrong numbers), or Crawler Rex, who is a mini T-Rex. Honestly, they’re just plain old dinosaurs. Apparently the factory had some leftovers from an unrelated toy line or something.
Stranger still is Zabu, a minor character in the X-Men universe. He’s a smilodon with near-human intelligence, which isn’t reflected in the figure, where he just looks like a dumb old saber-toothed tiger. Sure, these were freebies, as you were paying for the actual character you liked (except for Ka-zar, whoever the hell he was) but that kinda doesn’t matter, because they’re still really awful.
Doop is, essentially, a joke character created for the X-Force/X-Statix series. He’s just a green, Slimer-esque booger creature who speaks in a made-up language represented by symbols, and has powers which tend to range from “anything he wants” to “whatever we need him to do to fix this screwed-up storyline.” He’s got some fans, though, so fair enough, you know?
Except the figure of him is just a hunk of green plastic with poseable arms. And you could only get him as a pack-in with a Deadpool figure. He also happens to have a really incredulous look on his face, like he’s not even sure why he got an action figure. Maybe they got a great deal on green paint and had to use it up somehow.
Trevor Fitzroy is an exceptionally minor villain who only deals with former X-Men member Bishop, and everyone forgot about him after the 90’s. So, from the get-go, they were obviously scraping the bottom of the barrel, but what were they gonna do instead? Make yet another Wolverine figure? Yeah, that would’ve been preferable, actually.
Fitzroy’s power is absorbing energy and using it to open time portals. It’s not terribly useful on a daily basis, but they can’t all have laser eyes and stuff. So how did the manufacturer decide to portray this? With some janky, snap-on, translucent “Futuristic Crystal Battle Armor” that makes him look like a bubble boy or something. And no, he doesn’t do anything else. He is simply a dude with stupid hunks of plastic around him.
An X-Men villain who was barely even in the comics, Ahab is just kind of a lame knock-off Captain Ahab from Moby Dick. He’s supposed to be some sort of tech pirate thingy, apparently, but really he just looks silly. Also, he’s wearing lavender.
That’s not what makes this one weird though. Nor is it the figure’s ability, which is to use a boring old harpoon gun, just like every G.I. Joe ever. No, it’s that freaking peg leg he’s got. You may have noticed that humans have feet, as do action figures. Without feet, our balance gets all screwed up, but we can learn to compensate for that. Action figures are hunks of plastic that can’t compensate for crap. This thing constantly falls over like he just downed a whole bottle of Johnnie Walker. Thanks, Mom and Dad. No, this totally isn’t the worst Christmas ever.
Somewhere, there has to be a point where you’ve run out of interesting characters to make into action figures. Maybe you’ve already made a dozen different variations and costume changes and repaints of all the famous characters. You’ve just gotta put out something new. And that’s where Quark comes in.
He’s so minor, he’s only been in 12 issues, and not just of X-Men. Of anything. Most of his appearances were in Longshot’s self-titled series, and who even remembers Longshot anymore?
So what is Quark now? He’s a goat person with guns, and that’s all. Basically, all he’s good for is pretending that the world of Pan’s Labyrinth got really hardcore or something. He might as well have kung-fu grass munching action. At least then he’d be useful.
When your name is synonymous with male genitalia, you’re in trouble from the get-go. Looking like someone microwaved a Halloween decoration isn’t helping things. Yet another super-minor character, Sack is just a glob of plasma-like goo coating a skeleton. That’s not exactly an attractive choice for, well, anything, much less an action figure.
In fact, he’s so unattractive, they never even released the figure. All that remains of him is a prototype. It was probably for the best, honestly: the first time a kid yelled out “Mommy, I want Sack!” or “whoa, that Sack looks awesome!” or “that Sack sure is slimy!” in a toy store, they’d be shut down within an hour.
Written By M. Asher Cantrell