One of the greatest storylines Marvel ever did with the X-Men was the Age of Apocalypse (AOA). The premise of the AOA was that Professor Xavier’s son, Legion, went back into the past to kill Magneto before he would become the X-Men’s greatest enemy. However, Professor Xavior in an attempt to protect Magneto, was killed instead. This created an alternate reality where the X-Men villain, Apocalypse, would take over most of the planet. In this reality many of the X-men are villains, and many villains are actually heroes. Also, Magneto is the one who leads the X-Men in a quest to defeat Apocalypse and restore the time to the original X-Men reality.
When the Age of Apocalypse came out in the 1990s Toy Biz created some great figures to go along with this storyline.
Of the original Toy biz AOA line there were five character released on single cards
The first I got in my collection was Sabretooth with Wild Child. In the original X-Men reality he is a villain, but in the AOA he is an X-Man.
Magneto leader of the X-Men
Wolverine is actually called Weapon X. He was once an X-man, but now he fights for himself and his love Jean Grey.
Under the leadership of the evil Mr. Sinister, Cyclops is a villain in the Age of Apocalypse.
Last, but not least, is the master villain himself. Apocalypse has taken over most of the world and advocates world domination by the mutant race. Apocalypse is an ancient mutant, with a wide range of incredible mutant abilities, including the ability to control his entire molecular structure to suit his needs. He lives by the creed of “survival of the fittest”.
Besides the original release of the AOA figures, there were also other figures released later on.
One of these is Nate Grey/X-Man. The X-Man story within the Age of Apocalypse is one of my favorites. He is a creation of Mr. Sinister using the DNA of Cyclops and Jean Grey. His counterpart in the original X-Men reality is time travelling Cable. He is also one of the few characters to cross over to the original X-Men reality when the AOA ended. X-Man was released in the late ’90s under the “Most Wanted” series.
Also released under the most wanted series is Blink. She is a mutant with teleporting abilities.
Holocaust/Nemesis was a major villain in the AOA, but he never got the proper treatment by Toy Biz. He was released later in the X-Men Ninja series in 1997 with his new armor. Nemesis was also one of the few characters that crossed over to the original X-Men reality with Nate Grey.
Jean Grey was released in 1998 as part of the Secret Weapon Force series.
Omega Red is a major villain in the original reality of the X-Men. In the AOA, however, he is a minor character called Rossovich, who meets an untimely death at the hands of Domino in the X-Man storyline.
Gambit, one of the most famous characters in the X-Men universe was not released as a single carded figure. Instead he was released in a famous couples two pack with Rogue. They technically weren’t a couple but there was love and tension between them. Ultimately Rogue chose Magneto, and Gambit left the X-Men.
Rogue was included with Gambit in a famous couples two pack.
There were a few other figures released under Toy Biz that I don’t have. Nevertheless, the Age of Apocalypse was an awesome storyline with awesome characters released as figures.
If you want to find out more of Toy Biz’s X-Men line check out Raving Toy Maniacs page about it.
All photos taken by me