Toy Biz originated in Canada in the late 19th century. Over time, the company would change names, grow and solidify its presence in the toy industry. By 1988 Toy Biz had established itself in the United States and commenced a relationship with DC Comics first and eventually with Marvel Comics, manufacturing a variety of action figures and toys for these companies.
While partnering with DC comics in the late 80s, Toy Biz developed Superman action figures. The company also produced the first toys for the 1989 Batman movie, such as vehicles, the Batcave playset and the Joker and Batman action figures.
In the 90s, Toy Biz changed venues and formed a partnership with Marvel. The new venture started manufacturing toys based on Marvel Comics. The first Marvel action figures released under the Toy Biz brand were Captain America, Doctor Octopus, Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk. These new figures came equipped with some unique cool features, such as the bendable tentacles and snapping claws on the Doctor Octopus’ figures.
Over the next decade, Toy Biz would produce action figures and accessories for several of Marvel lines like X-Men and even a line for the Spider-Man series on Fox Kids network.
During the 90s, Toy Biz also licensed brands from Gerber and NASCAR, manufacturing educational toys for young kids and racing-related cars, computer games and action figures. Some of the toys produced through these partnerships were Baby Tumbles Surprise, Wild and Wacky Painter, Battle Builders and Baby So Real.
By 1995, Toy Biz was acquiring other toy companies: Spectra Star, Inc., specialized on yo-yos and kites and Quest Aerospace Education, Inc., which focused on small model rockets. The Company even had an agreement with Apple Computer to produce a line of electronic and soft toys in 1996.
The competitive nature of the toy business and a shift from Marvel Comics to produce its line of toys with Hasbro in the early 2000 rocked the foundation of Toy Biz and by 2008 the company was no longer in business.
Some avid collectors consider the line of action figures produced during the Marvel-Toy Biz partnership as the gold standard for the industry, surpassing anything Marvel has produced with other manufacturers and distributers in recent years.
Toy Biz produced a variety of action figures based on Marvel Comics characters, from the Incredible Hulk to the X-Men series. One of Toy Biz most successful lines was the Marvel Talking Heroes, in which the different characters would say a distinctive line taken out of the Marvel comic books, such as the Spiderman action figure that would say “Spider sense tingling!” or the Venom’s figure line “I want to eat your brain.”
Through different partnerships Toy Biz also produced different types of toys, such as racing-related cars through its collaboration with NASCAR, fashion dolls distributed by Revlon or toy camping equipment through a partnership with Coleman.
But Toy Biz most iconic products in the market to date are its Marvel action figures. At swap.com, there are dozens of Toy Biz X-Men and other action figures produced by the successful partnership, still in the original package.
Toy Biz Marvel action figures are a classic toy. Although comic book characters have been since the late 30s, the characters seem to come to life again, brand new and fresh with each generation of kids.
We love the timeless allure of super hero action figures. The Toy Biz super heroes the company made with Marvel are designed with a deep understanding of the essence of each super hero, something lost in posterior iterations of the same figures by other companies.
Toy Biz is no longer in business, but we still give their toys 5 stars out of 5