This is the latest in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of blog posts memorializing cancelled toys. Our figure today is a ToyBiz Cable.
Reader Nance asked about this recently in relation to another set of unreleased X-Men:
"Wasn’t there also a Cable with T.O. virus in this line? I remember that one from the old issue of ToyFare that covered these."
Luckily yo promised he already had some pictures of the figure she was asking about.
That's definitely Cable, and that's definitely the T.O. Virus running wild in that Bill Mancuso sculpt. But he wasn't for that line.
When the photos were shared years ago, the filename identified the toy as "missile_fighters_cable," which you'd think would make identifying it fairly easy. But there's a problem with that: there's no such thing as "Missile Fighters." There's Missile Flyers and there's Flying Fighters, but no "Missile Fighters." It seems someone just got confused, and it's easy to extrapolate what really happened.
Originally ToyBiz sold figures in cases of 12, but that number kept shrinking as the years went on. 1995 alone saw lines drop from seven figures to six, then from six to five, and 1997 shrunk further to four. That's the year "Missile Flyers" came out, featuring Bishop, his sister Shard, and future versions of Wolverine and Apocalypse. You know who would fit in perfectly with that assortment of characters? Cable.
There are two possibilities: Missile Flyers was originally planned to be a five-figure series, and Cable just got dropped, possibly because he was too gruesome for toy aisles; or Missile Flyers was planned to be a four-figure series, and Cable got swapped out for a Wolverine (similar to Flying Fighters Jean Grey). After all, Shard and Bishop form a logical pair, Apocalypse and Cable form a logical pair... and then there's a made-up Wolverine for no reason.