Friday, November 22, 2013

Toybiz Marvel Legends Pyro 2006

Ah, Marvel Legends. It has a bit of a convoluted history. Started by ToyBiz, it was later taken over by Hasbro when ToyBiz went belly up and Hasbro bought the license. It was a rough transition, as ToyBiz put out its best work just as Hasbro put out its first work, making for a confusing time and some very disappointing figures. Pyro was actually put out in the "Onslaught" wave in 2006, a time when ToyBiz worked hard to find a balance between articulation and sculpt and began to get it right. In my review of Hasbro's Thor, I shared a picture of Spider-Man as an example of ToyBiz at its worst. This figure is them at some of their best. Let me show you why.

Before I start, I want to say that I'm writing this on the same day I got my first ban on Facebook. It was a piddling twelve hour ban for stating that someone used the word "gay" as a pejorative term. Apparently, it was the word pejorative that got me banned, as more than a few people would have had to report it as offensive. If I write this with a smaller vocabulary, it's simply because I don't want to et banned from my own website. Kidding. Kidding.
Pyro was born in 1981 during the height of Chris Claremont's run on X-Men titles at Marvel. Being created in 1981 means we get to avoid roller skates and bell bottoms, but we also manage to avoid all kinds of unnecessary shoulder pads and pouches. It's the best of both worlds!
Toybiz took a small amount of creative license with the outfit. I should say that the backpack that Pyro wears contains flammable fluid. It comes out at his hands, where it is ignited and gives him flames that he can manipulate. Why he decides to wear a large tank on his bank that is utterly flammable instead of, say, a couple of Bic lighters is entirely beyond me. Still, it is all represented accurately. What was changed was the coloring. The yellow and red are both accurate, but the tan sections of his outfit were actually orange. That said, Toybiz made the right call.
Orange and red do not ever go well together, despite being an artistic representation of flames. Going with tan makes for a better figure, and keeps it from being an eye sore on the shelf. still, all the best color choices in the world don't matter if the sculpt is ugly.. and Pyro is a beauty to look at.
He has more than enough articulation to go around, from moveable fingers to toes, but it doesn't get in the way of his appearance. The worst of the articulation breaking the sculpt is in the ball-hips, which is something that Toybiz believed in using very strongly - but there are no unclothed hips created that don't interrupt the sculpt in one way or another. As long as they don't jut out too far, I tend to be forgiving, and Pyro's isn't too extreme.
I'm not going to lie - his face is the absolute best part of the sculpt. From the flowing hair to the convex lenses over the eyes, he is just an incredibly handsome figure. The amount of personality in this face could serve as a lesson to the Four Horseman and any other sculptor in action today. It just nails it, as well as the cockiness of the actual character. Phil Ramirez gets the credit for the sculpt, but he'll never get credit enough for it.
This figure is an example of why people loved Marvel Legends. It toed the line between sculpt and articulation, nails the individual sculpted aspects, and is able to provide a great deal of personality on any shelf he is displayed on. I should not that I used a stand in my photos, but not because he is unable to stand easily on his own. My light tent has a slight bit of give in the fabric along the bottom, which means that some figures have a harder time standing on it than they would on the shelf. I assure you, he has no issue standing upright normally.
Get this figure. It's really that simple. It comes with a couple of pieces of the Onslaught Build-A-Figure, but be warned - I actually want to complete this one. It's that impressive. Other figures in his wave are pretty expensive now, but Pyro can be had on the super cheap with just a bit of shopping around. Do yourself a favor and put this guy on your shelf, if you don't already have him! With no small pieces, he'd also be a great toy for a child. He's playable and sturdy and would be great in child-imagined adventures.


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