We’ve seen many iconic hero franchises represented on our BEST. GIFTS. EVER. advent calendar, but our first official representative from comics numbers amongst the villains!
X-Men Sentinel Robot Playset (1994) by Toy Biz
Toy Biz put out their X-Men toyline in 1991, a year before Marvel scored a hit with their cartoon show on TV. That line produced some memorable toys and playsets, but what was great about Sentinel was it was both a toy AND a playset. It was a giant robot action figure that “interacted” with your other toys by capturing the hell out of them.
This monster was over a foot tall (14 inches) and more than doubled the size of your typical X-Men figure of the line (about 5 inches). It had a retractable claw hook that it could use to snare your favorite heroes like it were playing the world’s most morbid crane-game with them, it had rocket hands, and inside its chest cavity it could hold mutants prisoner/maybe digest them.
On of the weird features bad guy toys always seem to get is unusual weaknesses; ways in which the toy was designed to be beaten by heroes. I think that is great! You’d think that most kids wouldn’t want a toy that was built to be defeated, but it turns out that giving your other action figures a chance to destroy your most expensive toy is alright so long as the battle damage looks cool enough. In this case, hitting the Sentinel in its shins makes its feet fly off, which admittedly seems like a design flaw for a giant robot.
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