ToyBiz went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1988, going on to be one of the more profitable toy companies in the world, in spite of being surrounded by giants like Mattel, Hasbro, and Tyco. Low overhead and creative licencing in the form of a percentage of its equity for an exclusive, royalty-free license to Marvel's characters gave Toy Biz a remarkably low employee-to-sales ratio, generating nearly $2 million in annual revenues for each employee in the mid-1990s. Marvel's bank debt due to over-expansion and the near collapse of the comics industry in the mid nineties driven by consumer's over speculation and a compromised cost threshold changed the game(fundinguniverse.com). Some cool toys were made by ToyBiz, including the Marvel Famous Covers and Marvel Legends, as were a great deal of cheap toys like those deluxe 10" Marvel Universe & X-Men figures I love (I can't help it!). Drax here falls into the latter category.
I found this gem at V-Stock the other day, along with a few other carded Silver Surfer figures- he was the cheapest, and somewhat a novel find in his classic form. Hasbro just released a modern Drax as part of the new Legends line, also included in the 3 3/4" Marvel Universe Guardians of the Galaxy boxed set I just reviewed, but I'd never seen the classic Marvel version in action figure form. I don't think ToyBiz could have exaggerated his features anymore- he looks pretty ridiculous, and I like that about him. The deco Drax looks very cheap and flat- no great paint apps or anything, which is totally in character with his absurd sculpt.
Drax has some pretty good shoulder articulation, but none in the wrists. His neck and waist art swivel joints, which helps, but the legs are somewhat limited due to his buttocks and the heel-up, lunging position of his left foot (which does look cool). His cape is made of a softer plastic, and pops off and on easily.
The sculpt on Drax's face is great! He looks so pissed off -made me laugh out loud :D The combination of this figure's garish coloring, gnarly visage, and oversized hands embody the urgency and rage of this character, his sole purpose to destroy the Mad Titan Thanos. First appearing in Iron Man #55 (1973), Drax is basically a Marvel's answer to a "Space Hulk", and had a recurring role in the first volume of Captain Marvel. He was created by Mike Friedrich and Jim Starlin, the latter author known for his sprawling cosmic operas such as Infinity Gauntlet and Warlock and the Infinity Watch. I wouldn't call this toy a work of fine art, but it did make me smile!
Drax came with a pretty terrible accessory, as bad as any included with the recent Thor Movie figures. The instructions said to place the "Cosmic Flame Skull" into the clip atop the staff, which snapped. It was likely due to aged plastic, but no one could tell me that design was going to survive repeated firings by pressing the bottom of the staff against a hard surface. It was also supposed to light the disc when fired, mine loaded with fifteen year old batteries,so... looking at the mechanism, I'd be really surprised if that worked. That said, it made for this cool photo using a small flashlight...
I'll be the first to admit it takes little to amuse me, and Cosmic Blasters Drax was certainly my kind of cheap thrill- Hilarious! :D