Of the various e-mails we receive about the site features, the Most Requested Figure column seems to get the most attention. Some people e-mail in their support for our request (and some denounce them). Some folks send in requests they’d like to see or ways to go about getting more support for their particular want. This week though, we received a unique e-mail. One reader asked about the futility of the column and why we do it. It really made us think.
For the most part, we don’t see this column as futile. A Martian Manhunter DC Classic is certain. Mattel skipping out on JLU Toyman would be a bonehead move. Hasbro will eventually do a 25th Covergirl. Mezco *could* make more comic Hellboy. We do think about the likelihood when we plan these articles and we usually cast aside the ones we think would be futile. But why not do a futile one? So, contrary to what our reader may have intended, we’re going to feature one of those futile requests: Xevoz.
There’s a ton of reasons that we know this is futile. One, the line debuted and died nearly five years ago. Two, the product was a collaboration between the company that produces Stikfas and Hasbro. While both companies are still operating, they no longer operate together and we’re not sure if one company could make the line without the other. But what makes the futility sting all the harder is that the ensuing years have shown us the designs of many of the wave 5 and 6 characters. We haven’t seen a copy of the insight book that Hasbro released this summer, but even that revealed a couple never before seen figures. Not that we don’t love seeing the designs, but we also hope that book will feature the last “news” about the old Xevoz line to ever come out. We’re tired of the disappointment.
So why does Xevoz have a cult following half-a-decade later? Well, we think it’s because of the untapped potential of the concept. At its core, it was a line of figures based on various toy archetypes with interchangeable parts. You could buy the soldier and the gunfighter and then make a cowboy soldier. You could buy the werewolf and the eagle to make a griffin. Heck, one of us even bought two Dune Stingers just to make a huge super-bug. The combinations were unlimited. They had a ton more play value than most other toylines to this day.
So why did a line with all that potential die? We could name a lot of reasons. There was no tie-in. The price points fluctuated heavily between stores. Distribution was spotty. But, we all agree there was one reason the figures were a tougher sell: the game. Xevoz figures were marketed as a game where players would roll and disassemble each other’s figures in combat. We think it made the whole line complicated and confusing. We’re sure there are some folks that enjoyed the game, but we have a feeling that most of the Xevoz fans have a drawer or box full of the little game cylinders that weren’t even used once. Hasbro would have been better off marketing these as action figures with the ability to recombine into new action figures rather than selling them with a game where you have to take your figure apart as you lose.
Preferably, Hasbro or the Stikfas company would bring back Xevoz someday. That’s the only way we’ll ever see actual product of Mech-Shell, Warlock, Ursa Khan, and others. But we’re not going to limit ourselves to that futile request. No, this is more of a call to the other toy companies: Mattel. Playmates. Neca. Mezco. Whichever. We want to ask them to make a toyline *like* Xevoz. Wild Planet has Skeleflex, and we like those somewhat, but they are all skeletons (hence the name). If they would start doing some regular figures, we’d be right there.
Until then, we’ll keep cherishing Hyper Guardian, Thunder Shaman, Quick Slinger, etc. Even five years later, they’re still some of the best toys we own.