BRUCE BANNER & WAR MACHINE
Age of Ultron had quite a few characters in it, just about all of whom deserved to be represented in toy form. Of course, getting all of those characters actually released in said form is kind of a different story. Diamond Select toys has by far made the best stab at it, giving us figures of almost every character, including today’s entries, Bruce Banner and War Machine.
Banner and War Machine are the TRU exclusive set from the second series of AoU-inspired Marvel Minimates. They don’t have quite the clever pairing of yesterday’s Hulkbuster and Hulk, but it’s not a huge stretch to consider this the “pals of Tony” set.
This isn’t the first Bruce Banner Minimate, or even the first MCU Banner Minimate, but it is the first Mark Ruffalo Bruce Banner ‘mate. Banner was actually supposed to get a ‘mate from the first Avengers, but the army builder case which was meant to include him was scratched before it was even solicited. But here he is now! Yay for him! Banner represents his look from the lab scenes in AoU. It’s a look that falls back in line with the more classic depictions of Bruce from the comics, which isn’t really a look he’s had in the movies. It’s certainly more befitting of Bruce’s scientific nature. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and he has the usual 14 points of articulation. Banner has two main add-on pieces: his hair and his lab coat. Both are re-used. The hair dates back to El Indigo from the Fistful of Dollars set, and the jacket first appeared on Ghostbusters 2’s Janosz. The hair is passable; it’s not a perfect match, but it’s not horribly off either. The coat is really just a basic coat, so no issues there. Banner’s paintwork is all pretty nicely handled. The checkering on the shirt under his coat is very well-done, and adds a nice bit of pop to the figure. It makes me wish he had a set arms with sleeves to match, but, alas, he’ll always be stuck with the lab coat. The face is a good Ruffalo likeness, which is always a plus. Banner includes the standard clear display stand, as well as an extra angry head. The extra head is a fantastic addition, and I love the bright green eyes.
War Machine has a somewhat minor role in AoU, but he does play into the big climactic fight and he was part of the Avengers roster in the final shot, so his inclusion is certainly warranted. In AoU, War Machine is wearing the his Iron Patriot armor from Iron Man 3, but done up in his more traditional War Machine colors. Since it’s the same armor, it’s an easy repaint for all the toy companies that made IM3 stuff, which is why he’s shown up in several of the AoU tie-in lines. Structurally, this figure’s the same as Series 49’s Iron Patriot ‘mate. He’s got add-ons for the helmet, torso piece, waist, upper arms, boots, and gloves. I thought the armor looked just a bit pudgy on that figure, and I still feel that’s the case here, but it’s not horrible. His paint is more or less identical to Series 49’s War Machine 2.0. Since it’s the same basic design and the same sculpted parts, that’s kind of expected, though. There are a few differences: the Air Force linsignias from the gloves of the 49 version are no longer there, his facial expression has been changed, and the overall finish of the figure is much shinier. The loss of the insignias is a bummer, but not a big deal. The face looks a bit more like Cheadle, but I can’t say I’m a fan of his dopey expression. War Machine includes the usual clear display stand, as well as a flight stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got this TRU exclusive at TRU. What a novel concept, right? I actually picked him up while out on this big video game shopping trip we did for my brother’s birthday, which was kind of cool. Banner’s a fun addition to the line, and I’m glad he finally made it out. War Machine feels a little unnecessary, and not quite as good as his Series 49 counterpart, but he’s a good figure for those that missed out on the first version, I suppose. Not the most thrilling set of all time, but a pretty solid one.