During the 1990s, leading toy manufacturer, ToyBiz produced a seemingly endless array of action figures and playsets based around Marvel Comics characters. The company – a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment – made figures of the most iconic (and most obscure) heroes and villains in the Marvel portfolio, and kids lapped them up.
Most of the figures were awesome (some not so much), and they always looked so damn good on toy shelves. This was in large part to the colourful packaging the figures came in, which really made them stand out from the competition.
In this post, I am taking a look at some of the box art, to give you a flavour and a reminder of the golden era of ToyBiz toys. Little snippets here and there to highlight the luscious colours and tiny details that made the toys look so visually appealing.
The art of the packaging
Below is a selection of images, offering a look at some of the box art for ToyBiz’s hugely successful run of Marvel toys. The toys featured are from the following lines: X-Men, X-Force, Generation X, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Fantastic Four and Marvel Superheroes.
The images featured in this post highlight some of the big Marvel lines from the ToyBiz days, but this really is just the tip of the iceberg. ToyBiz produced many lines during the ‘90s (Hulk, Ghost Rider, Blade, Silver Surfer etc), so there is still much more to explore.
Scroll through the images, ‘marvel’ at some of the neat touches on the packaging, and enjoy a burst of ‘90s nostalgia.
Toys of future past
To say the Marvel ToyBiz figures were popular would be somewhat of an understatement. ToyBiz’s various Marvel lines were immensely successful; so much so, they appeared on toy shelves throughout the majority of the 1990s.
And as everyone knows, if a brand is huge during its original run, then it is ripe for a revival at a later date. It is for this reason that in recent years we have seen homages to the Marvel/ToyBiz days, be it on comic book covers or through the packaging of new toys and collectibles.
One of these homages was seen on the packaging for ARTFX+’s X-Men statues/models which started to hit shelves in 2018. The statues were based on X-Men ‘92 (aka X-Men: The Animated Series) but the box art recreated the look and feel of the ToyBiz era.
A similar technique was also used by Hasbro for a couple of waves of Marvel Legends figures. One wave, released in 2020, utilised the same colours and designs previously seen on ToyBiz Spider-Man figures, while another borrowed the colours and designs of the ToyBiz X-Men figures.
As you can see with this Dazzler figure from 2019, the packaging works really well and is a great callback to the ‘90s figure line.
Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to take a look at this post about the box art of ToyBiz’s Marvel toys. I hope you found it to be truly ‘marvellous’ and it has brought back very fond memories from childhood.
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