ToyBiz is not an unfamiliar name with toy enthusiasts, especially those who swear by Marvel and Lord of the Rings! Their success with the Spider-Man Classics line, which evolved into the Marvel Legends line, set new standards and traditions in the industry for companies and collectors alike.
The whole ‘Build a Figure’ gimmick to the ‘Chase’ Figure concept were revolutionary marketing strategies aimed at the OCD collectors, which were introduced by other companies in their own release strategies. At one point of time, they bailed out Marvel Comics from bankruptcy.
Currently though, The Marvel Legends line has been taken over by Hasbro while ToyBiz is not a separate entity anymore and is part of the Marvel Entertainment brand under a name Marvel Toys – although they have produced nothing since 2007.
About the figure; Wolverine, in his John Byrne drawn avatar of the brown suit, is considered by most Marvel/Wolverine Geeks as the more feral and preferred suit. The brown suit gave him a more ‘outcast look’ and was also more in sync with the X-Men. Some fans, as a joke, tend to demean the original Yellow and Blue classic suit as the ‘clown suit’. And I personally don’t disagree with them – however only a character as bad-ass as Wolverine can probably pull off a BLUE and YELLOW suit…
Wait doesn’t Cyclops have that same combo too?
The Standard Classic Marvel legend’s Clam-shell package with the customary complimentary comic. In this case, it had The Uncanny X-Men #213 – Fair, but its not that much of a Wolverine story IMO to be included with the figure. There is a diorama too, which has me confused, whether to praise its inclusion or crucify it. More on the latter in the accessories section
You can’t find fault with the sculpt. The comic art has been excellently translated into three dimensions and its not surprising as ToyBiz had been extremely consistent on the sculpt of their comic art based figures. I think that the the sculpt was probably based on John Silvestri’s style of art. One thing I really like about the figure is that he is sculpted by default in his signature hunched shoulder/neck look instead of the standard upright pose. Special mention for his claws, they are sculpted like angular razors, which was the way they were drawn in the 80’s, not the current trend of long sharp spikes.
The weak link of ToyBiz’s Marvel Legends is the paint. ToyBiz could do well with investing more research on improving their paint applications, with the highest standard being set by competitors like McFarlane. There aren’t any glaring errors, but there are little paint sops here and there. Of course, the comic art design of the figure may make people overlook it as a deliberate stylization to represent the hand drawn animated/art style. However, that illusion shouldn’t hide that the paint holds back the figure from being represented even better.