When Mondo‘s line of 12-inch scaled X-Men figures were first introduced, they were the only fully articulated figures specifically based on the ’90s animated series. Then Hasbro took notice and started making their own, much cheaper animated-style repaints in the 6-inch scale. At the time, this felt like it really took the wind out of Mondo’s sails.
Now, however, the latter are back with Sabretooth. While their initial Wolverine arguably underwhelmed, this big chonk definitely does not. The company upped their size and their game on Logan’s large, feral foe.
Standing over 13 inches, Sabretooth consists of solid plastic. He feels top-heavy, so his figure stand utilizes a waist clip rather than a crotch underhook. It can barely get around him, though. The stand needs to extend to maximum height without coming apart, and doesn’t seem like it’s grabbing a solid hold. Ol’ Victor might be better placed in action poses — he’s one of the first figures I’ve reviewed to hold the “superhero landing pose” well.
Back to the Drawing Board
Sabretooth comes in a beautiful window box with opening flap, held closed by Velcro. The white box features animation storyboards in black and white — presumably reproduced from originals — to form some of Mondo’s most elaborate box art yet.
The interior tray, by contrast, comes in black, with faux-storyboards for the cartoon opening sequence in white print. It doesn’t feel as authentic, but just as pleasing to the eye.
The review sample sent by Mondo is the timed addition, with a couple of extra accessories; that one now only sells on the secondary market, while a regular version with fewer items can still be had at sites like our partners Entertainment Earth for $225. Both include a severed Talos head, alternate smiling and serious headgear-wearing heads for Sabretooth, three sets of hands, a bomb, and the remote control for the bomb. The limited version includes an additional no-headgear head, a pistol with extra trigger hands to hold it, and a metal mouthguard that fits on both headgear-heads.
Of the extra hands provided, two sets are so extremely similar it’s not clear why we need both. Only on really close examination can a person see that the linework is slightly different, and the grip mildly less tense. Viva la variety, maybe.
Inkin’ Ain’t Easy
This version of Sabretooth has the huge fur collar — unafraid to show off his drip. It’s not removable, but is nicely detailed and cel-shaded. The overall deco features outline “ink” lines, coloration, and shading for light effects, making teh figure look like he popped off of a giant animation cel. Articulation is nicely hidden — Mondo may be the best at double-knee joints, making them as smooth as possible with hidden pins. Elbows are disc and pin, as is becoming the norm on a lot of action figures these days, though again, better hidden so as not to break up the aesthetic.
Sabretooth appropriately towers over Wolverine, making him a worthy foe on the shelf and in any action diorama you might want to create.
As far as interaction with other Mondo Toys, the visual styles may clash but he can indeed ride Battle Cat. He-Man might be jealous of the way his muscles are so strongly delineated in black linework.
Something about the big, monstrous characters just works better in this animated style. Maybe its because, as larger characters onscreen, they contained more linework and more colors. It’s nice that Mondo contours the body with musculature that — while larger-than-life — feels more organically shaped than stylized.
The sculpted fur contains more detail than it would in the show. Stylization is achieved with the line-drawn details rather than angular body parts. The X-Men cartoon’s look was an antidote to the Bruce Timm style of Batman: The Animated Series and subsequent DC Comics cartoons, and so the toys should be too.
A skilled enough artist could probably repaint these figures to look photo-real, and the base body would still work.
The gun and the detonator fit well into his hands; the head and bomb aren’t specifically made with places to hold them, but his larger hands can be adjusted to carry them without much issue. The metal mask can go on the face in a variety of ways — either functionally covering his fangs, or pushed down so he’s reasonably free. How bite-y do you want him?
Victor Gets Spoiled
Whether you display figures in the box or out, Sabretooth looks good. Plus, even though he’s labeled as not a toy, you could probably let kids play with him, depending on how violent they get with figures. Some Mondo figures fall apart if posed too hard; this ain’t one of them. The extra accessories from the timed version are nice, but inessential — you’ll do just fine ordering the more basic edition.
For many, many more images and good looks at him from all angles, check out the images below.