The characters who appear in Marvel's comic books have been immortalized as action figures since the '60s, with Spider-Man toys made of cloth being sold in stores. The current success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, coupled with the clout of Disney, means that the Spider-Man, Avengers, and X-Men toys that you can buy in stores now are of a much higher quality than the ones you may have played with as a kid.
The Marvel name hasn't always been associated with quality. There were periods of time when Marvel released some garbage-quality toys, just to have something on the marketplace. The comic book industry has always profited more from the merchandise and adaptations than the actual comics themselves, so it should come as no surprise that Marvel sold you some trash as a kid, just so that they could pay the bills.
We are here today to look at the worst action figures based on Marvel characters. From the mutant who became a ninja, to the most lovingly detailed rolls of fat you will ever see.
Here are The Twenty Worst Marvel Action Figures Of All Time!
20 Iceman Could Be The Next Hokage
Bobby Drake was the second person to ever join the X-Men, where he took on the Iceman code name. He has consistently been a member of the team over the years, where his ability to lower temperature is considered to be a major asset in battle. Iceman is not a ninja, nor has he ever been. He might be one of the most powerful mutants on the planet, but he was never trained in any secret assassination/stealth-based martial arts. This information didn't stop Marvel from releasing a Ninja Iceman figure, which presumably comes from an alternate reality where Xavier's Academy existed in Feudal Japan.
Ninjutsu is one of the most popular classes at Xavier's school
The fact that Iceman is see-through would actually be beneficial if he was trying to sneak into somewhere, but this advantage would be lost by the cheap trashbag robe he is wearing over his body.
It took the might of Disney to finally dethrone the X-Men as the biggest Marvel franchise. Even Spider-Man had a hard time keeping up with the mutants of the Marvel universe during the '80s and '90s.
The popularity of the X-Men characters led to some truly bizarre choices for action figures. The X-Men Secret Weapon Force line of toys was just the tip of the iceberg, as numerous X-Men action figures had unusual accessories that never appeared in the comics.
The reason the Wolverine Battle Blaster action figure makes this list is due to the terrible quality of the figure itself. He looks more like Ronnie James Dio in his gym clothes than Wolverine. It also looks like they mixed Wolverine's hands with those that were meant for Beast's action figures.
18 "These Characters Will Never Become Toys"
The popularity of The X-Men in the '90s (thanks to the animated series) led to numerous new action figures being produced. This caused Scott Lobdell (one of the most prominent X-Men writers of all time) to create characters who would be impossible to turn into action figures, as almost every character was receiving one.
This led to the creation of Spat and Grovel; two bounty hunters who were after Gambit. Spat was a woman who was aging backward and Grovel was her huge green mount. Spat and Grovel did eventually become action figures, as there was clearly a market for a little girl in a fur bikini and her big ugly dog. This the action figure set for those with a desire to meet Chris Hansen.
17 Blue Paint Defeats The Cold
It is a time-honored tradition among toy makers to release different colored variants of the same action figure. There are some characters who were created for this very purpose, such as Faker in He-Man, who looked just like He-Man except with a different color scheme. The Arctic Armor Iron Man figure might be the laziest example of a color variant of all time. All they did was change the red part of Iron Man's armor blue. There is no difference between the regular Iron Man figure and the Arctic Armor one save for the color scheme.
This suit was created on the off-chance that an Avengers villain decided to hide in the Arctic Circle
The Arctic Armor Iron Man toy was released as part of the Iron Man 2 action figure set. This was a movie where no one traveled to the Arctic.
16 A.I.M. For Mediocrity
The average action figure line is made up of a handful of different characters, which is usually just enough to cover the protagonist, his allies, and the villain. If a toy line does well, then it will receive extra "Waves" which will include new figures. It didn't take long for the Marvel Legends Infinite Series to run into the problem of lacking recognizable characters when toys for the first Captain America movie were released. This led to the creation of the A.I.M. Soldier figure, which is about as boring as they get.
What child doesn't dream of finding a generic bad guy under the Christmas tree?
The A.I.M. Soldier is just a guy in a bright yellow outfit, which obscures his face. Two of his guns are also bright yellow. Could they really not find any other characters in the first Captain America movie to make a figure of?
15 My Best Yellow Hiding Pants
Charles Xavier's dream is one of peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants. In order to make this dream come to life, he trained a team of super-powered mutants to possess the skills of a SWAT team, so that they could do whatever was necessary in order to save mutants from persecution.
Wolverine has performed several covert operations for the X-Men. It is during these missions that he needs to be sneaky, so he dons his baby blue shirt and shin-guards, as well as his bright yellow mask and unnecessary yellow straps. The Stealth Wolverine action figure is what Wolverine would look like if he appeared in the latest Kingdom Hearts game, which may happen if Disney manages to acquire Fox.
14 I'm A Rocket Spider-Man, Burning Out His Fuel Out Here... Alone
Spider-Man is one of Marvel's most iconic characters. As such, he has had numerous action figures based upon him, as well as his many villains. You would think that there were only so many different kinds of Spider-Man action figures that you could make. This is because you lack the imagination to give Spider-Man a giant water-powered rocket that he fires from a backpack.
Who could forget the classic issue of Spider-Man where he shot a rocket right into the Green Goblin's stupid face?
Rocket Blast Spider-Man is one of those figures where they seem to have completely abandoned the point of the character for no other reason than to use a gimmick. Why does Spider-Man even own a giant rocket launcher? Is the extra firepower needed to take down muggers in Central Park?
13 1080 Fireboarding
The 2005 Fantastic Four movie was incredibly dumb, for reasons that we could spend all day listing. One of the stupidest scenes in the movie involves Johnny Storm snowboarding with his girlfriend while a Sum 41 song plays in the background. It is during this sequence that Johnny's powers activate, causing him to start burning while snowboarding. This culminates with Johnny burning his clothes off and inviting his girlfriend to join him in his freshly created sauna.
For those who want to relive this cinematic gem, or just like to own an effigy of a man who is on fire, then the Snowboarding Human Torch action figure is the one for you. Johnny Storm is at least taking the immolation in his stride, with his bemused expression perfectly reflecting his current predicament.
12 Every Bike Needs A Trebuchet
Magneto's mutant ability grants him mastery over magnetism. This is a power with an incredible amount of utility, considering how many things actually have metal in them.
Magneto can use his powers to make himself and those around him fly. This is due to the iron in the blood, which grants him a degree of control over the human body. There must be some occasions when Magneto is sick of flying around and wants to take it easy. It is during these times that he goes to his garage and takes his Magnetron bike out for a spin.
Why fly when you can ride around on a bright-purple bike?
The idea that Magneto rides around in a vehicle is absurd on its own, but why would he use one with a miniature catapult? Is he planning to lay siege to Xavier's mansion with his fearsome magnetic discs?
11 Storm In The Bath
The X-Men have been involved in numerous armed conflicts over the years, such as the battle in Genosha that occurred during "Bloodties." None were ever so deadly as the Water Wars, where they all went to the pool and splashed each other vigorously.
The Water Wars figures were designed to be played with in the water. The Storm figure makes this list due to the bizarre appearance of her Weather Fury Storm accessory. It looks like figure comes with a diaphragm that was designed by H.R. Giger.
The Storm figure itself is also lacking in articulation, to the point where it is stuck in the same wide-legged stance. All she can do is stand in an imposing stance and lift her arms up and down.
10 Spider-Man's Sponge Catapult
Rocket Blast Spider-Man might have been incredibly dumb, but it pales in comparison to the stupidity of Soak 'N' Toss Spider-Man. One can only imagine the kind of imagination that came up with the idea that Spider-Man would fight crime using a personal catapult that he straps to his own body and uses to fire big wet balls of sponge at his foes.
A big wet sponge would probably defeat Sandman... but that's about it
It's feasible that Spider-Man may have needed to use a rocket at one point or another during his career, to stop one of his bigger enemies in their tracks. It's a lot more difficult to come up with a reason as to why he would need a giant catapult that is strapped to his own body. It doesn't help that the balls are made from wet sponge, which probably won't take out many villains.
9 David Hasselhoff's Spider-Man
There are times when Spider-Man is sick of swinging from the tall buildings in Manhattan and decides that he wants to take things easy. It is at this point that Spider-Man goes on vacation. His favorite holiday destination is the Jersey Shore so that he can soak in some sun and play in the sand.
Spider-Man isn't allowed to shirk his superhero duties, even while on a sunny vacation, so he has to have a costume made that can help him perform lifeguard duties, while also maintaining his secret identity. Beach Spider-Man has his suit cut off into shorts so that he can show off his calves. He's also rocking a muscle shirt and his own Spider-Man branded volleyball, on the off-chance that someone doesn't recognize him.
8 The Punisher's Gun Is Huge
There have been several Marvel action figures that can change into different forms, in the same manner as the Transformers toys. These have sometimes included the regular human characters transforming into weapons or vehicles.
The most infamous transforming Marvel toy is the Punisher action figure from the Shape Shifters set. This is a regular Punisher action figure that transforms into a "Power Pistol." The problem with the Shape Shifters Punisher is that it is easy to put the figure into a situation where it looks like he has a giant metal dong.
You won't see this version of The Punisher on Netflix anytime soon
The fact that the Shape Shifters Punisher figure turns into a firearm would probably exclude it from being released today, but the robotic wang definitely relegates this figure to the second-hand market.
7 Sabretooth's Spinning Stomach
Sabretooth is one of Wolverine's most iconic villains. He was an important character throughout the X-Men comics of the '90s, as an attempt was made to try and rehabilitate his violent tendencies. The outfit that Sabretooth used throughout the '90s is the one that most people recognize. Despite this, a figure was made using his original design.
The original Sabretooth toy has one of the ugliest designs of any X-Men action figure, with barely any work being put into his face. His gimmick is also rather creepy, as the stomach spins around to show a damaged side, complete with open wounds. His weapon/accessory is also baffling. How is it supposed to work? Using it in battle must be like trying to fight someone with a giant letter H.
6 Conan O'Cyclops
Cyclops has always been the heart and soul of the X-Men. Despite this, he has always been one of the less-popular members of the team, due to his bland powers and uptight personality. There are some X-Men fans who claim that Cyclops is their favorite character, but they only do it so that they can look down on other X-Men fans and claim that they don't "get" the series. Cyclops has a hard enough time earning fans, so why did Marvel make the bobblehead figure of him look like Conan O'Brien? Were they hoping for some kind of crossover synergy between fans of both late-night talk show hosts and The X-Men?
Scott Summers would have been a far better host of The Tonight Show
The Conan/Cyclops fusion looks imposing, but it's not something you could proudly display on a shelf.
5 Spider Vs. Shark
Spider-Man is based in New York City, which means that he rarely has cause to sail the Seven Seas in order to fight crime. It's common for popular superheroes to receive action figures based on them being in situations that they normally wouldn't be in, but one has to wonder why Spider-Man would ever need to own a shark trap?
Shark Trap Spider-Man comes with a set of flippers and an inflatable shark trap, for those moments when Spider-Man needed to fight sharks. If Disney purchase DIC Entertainment, then there is a chance we might see a Spider-Man X Street Sharks crossover. This is the only time he is likely to whip out his shark trap in the comics or movies.
4 DeviantArt Jean Grey
The first X-Men movie includes a scene where Jean Grey faces off against Toad and uses her telekinesis to hold him in midair. Toad responds by firing a blob of slime out of his mouth, which binds her face and breaks her concentration, causing Toad to drop. This moment was immortalized in an action figure. The Cyclops X-Men movie action figure came with a smaller figure of Jean Grey who was covered head-to-toe in green slime.
Only a certain part of the fandom would want a figure of a slime-covered Jean Grey (you know who you are)
It tells you a lot about how toys are advertised that Jean Grey, who is one of the founding members of the X-Men, is just an accessory to the Cyclops figure. Not only that, but her outfit and situation are far more sexualized than what actually happened in the film.
3 Everyone Hates Jubilee
Jubilee left the X-Men during the '90s and joined a team of teenage mutants named Generation X. The Generation X comic series was actually really good, which is more than you can say for their action figures.
Jubilee has never been the most popular member of the X-Men, but that doesn't excuse the horrible job they did with her figure. This is one of the lowest quality figures on the list, with almost no detail put into her face or body.
It was also an unusual choice to give Jubilee the "cowboy who is just about to draw his gun during a duel" stance. It makes it look like she is always getting read to take someone on in a sumo match.
2 The Whistling Banshee
Banshee has always been one of the most underrated members of the X-Men. He has an awesome power set that is based entirely around screaming, which would probably be really annoying to deal with if you were actually a member of the X-Men. There was no real need to replicate Banshee's power in his action figure. Toy Biz decided that Banshee's powers needed representing, to the chagrin of parents of X-Men fans across the world. The Banshee action figure has a whistle built into it, which the kid is expected to blow into constantly in order to show off Banshee's powers.
Blowing the Banshee is also the title of the next Twilight book
Did the people at Toy Biz hate their customers so much that they inflicted one of the most annoying action figures of all time upon them? This is an action figure that encourages children to blow constantly into a whistle. Enjoy!
1 The Blob's Blobs
A certain amount of respect has to be given to the sheer amount of care and detail that went into creating an accurate depiction of Fred Dukes, who is better known as the Blob. He is one of the oldest X-Men villains and his action figure deserves the same level of respect as that of Magneto.
The Blob action figure from the Marvel Legends set is, frankly, one of the most disgusting toys ever made. Even the biggest fan of The X-Men would have a hard time spending money on a figure that accurately displays the rolls of fat bubbling up and down the limbs of an incredibly obese man. This isn't the sort of thing you would display in your home, nor would you give it a child to play with (unless you hated the child for some reason).
The real question about this disgusting Blob action figure is who in their right mind would actually buy it?
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