X-Men Come to Play

by Joseph Szadkowski

Prof. X. Courtesy of Bender/Helper Impact. © Toy Biz.
Wolverine. Courtesy of Bender/Helper Impact. © Toy Biz.
Storm. Courtesy of Bender/Helper Impact. © Toy Biz.

Mutant mania is spreading from the movie screen to the toy aisles with the launch of The X-Men figures sets by Toy Biz.

Already on the shelves, long before the movie's debut on July 14, the first wave includes 11 new figures sculpted in the likeness of the star-studded cast that includes Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Halle Berry (Storm), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Ray Park (Toad), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (Mystique).

Twentieth Century Fox's decision to speed up the opening date from November to July of 2000, had Toy Biz representatives and sculptors rushing to Canada to meet the actors on the set.

"We went to the sets to take pictures of the actors in their costumes, many of which were not even finalized yet," says Joanne McLaughlin, spokesperson for Toy Biz. "The sets were amazing and the actors really put a lot of energy into their characters. I got to watch Hugh Jackman, who plays Wolverine, practice on the side and actually do a scene and it was amazing to watch him change his voice and attitude and literally become Wolverine."

Cyclops and Jean Grey two-pack. Courtesy of Bender/Helper Impact. © Toy Biz.

As the Toy Biz team took photos and notes, they ran back to the hotel where product manager Damon Nee and the sculptors set to work with computers and wax melters to create the following figures and vehicles:

* Eleven 6" fully poseable figures of each character -- Logan, Storm, Magneto, Rogue, Professor X, Toad, Wolverine, Sabretooth, Cyclops, Jean Grey and Mystique -- with dedicated action feature that mimics their fantastic mutant power and packages with a character specific accessory. For example, Storm is equipped with a lightning base; Professor X has a motorized wheel chair and cerebro accessory; and Cyclops has a light up optic blast and slime trapped Jean Grey. ($5.99 suggested retail for individual figures.)

* A trio of battle ready twin packs will spotlight three of the most thrilling confrontations in the movie: Wolverine vs. Sabretooth, Logan vs. Magneto and Logan vs. Rogue. Each twin pack includes two intricately sculpted action figures with battle action features and accessories. ($12.99 suggested retail per twin packs.)

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