The brainchild of legendary comic book writer Stan Lee, and artist Jack Kirby, Juggernaut aka Cain Marko first appeared during the Silver Age of Comic Books in X-Men #12 published in 1965. When Toy Biz issued this 5-inch Juggernaut action figure as part of the Evil Mutant subset of characters in the first series of its hugely popular Uncanny X-Men line decades later in 1991, the villain was riding a surge of new notoriety thanks to the 1990s X-Men animated television show. Indeed, he got his own showcase episode in 1993 entitled The Unstoppable Juggernaut, and that same year Toy Biz reissued this figure with a fresh lick of paint, switching his reddish boots and midriff for a brighter shade of orange. My Juggernaut here is the earlier version, date stamped 1991, although both versions are identical in every way bar the colour.
Of all the figures in the line, Juggernaut is one that seems to divide action figure fans – you either love him, or hate him. He looks great face-on – broad and bulky, a mass of muscle-bound power – turn him sideways, however, and he’s really rather thin.
The major action feature of this Juggernaut figure is undoubtedly his Power Punch mechanism. Flick the switch on his back and he will still swing his arms and land a powerful thump. His left fist is molded ready as if to hold some kind of weapon, but he was only issued with a Battering Ram accessory (missing with my Juggernaut) that would snap onto his torso – there were never any hand-held weapons issued for this figure.
The articulation is also necessarily rather limited, with four points only at the shoulders and hips, with his fixed helmet making neck rotation impossible. As if to compensate for this lack of movement, however, Toy Biz added an extra, rather curious feature – those enormous Frankenstein clodhoppers are actually roller shoes with built-in wheels. Give him a slight push and he’ll glide a few inches on a smooth surface!
On the whole, I actually really like this figure – he feels satisfyingly heavy in the hand as befits a human battering ram – and his power action still works really well! Definitely a must-have vintage action figure to add to any X-Men or Marvel Comics collection!