BLACK PANTHER & HAWKEYE
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR MINIVERSE
Civil War was released yesterday, so now I get to write review all the associated merchandise in light of actually knowing what happened in the movie (which was seriously awesome, by the way). I’ve been steadily making my way through Hasbro’s small-scale line of figures; of the four characters I’ve looked at, three have pretty sizable parts. The two characters I’m looking at today, MCU-mainstay Hawkeye and newcomer Black Panther, both get decently sized roles, though one of them is definitely more pivotal to the plot than the other.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These two are part of the first series of the Captain America: Civil War Miniverse line. Their pairing together isn’t the weirdest pairing the series has given us (that’s definitely Winter Soldier and Vision, who I don’t believe so much as glanced at each other in the final film), since the two have a brief bit of interaction. Still, Bucky would kinda seem like the more natural partner for Panther. But hey, I’m gonna wind up with the whole set anyway, so does it really matter?
Early reviews of the movie were all very complimentary of Chadwick Boseman’s performance as the Black Panther, and man, they weren’t kidding. Guy just about steals the show! His figure stands 2 ¾ inches tall and he has the same 5 points of articulation as the rest of the line. The overall quality of the Panther’s sculpt is pretty good, but he seems to be suffering from a phenomenon similar to Crossbones, where the upper half of the sculpt is quite good and the lower half is less so. It’s not quite as pronounced on Panther, though, so it’s not too bad. He exhibits some tremendous texture work, replicating his rather distinctively patterned suit from the movie very nicely. I do wish his legs were a little less weirdly posed, as they make it very hard to keep him standing, but that’s really it. Paint is quite minimal on Panther, with detailing only on the eyes and collar. However, that’s appropriate to the movie, and the texture on the sculpt does the heavy lifting here. Panther is the figure in this pairing who gets the weird armor pieces. T’Challa’s is a little cooler than the others, since it at least fits well with him thematically. Still goofy as heck, but it is what it is.
Hawkeye’s Civil War appearance is, to me, the closest he’s come to that super awesome comics version of Hawkeye that I always loved. And that makes me very happy. You know what doesn’t make me very happy? This figure. That sounds harsh; I don’t hate him, but he’s far from what I wanted. He’s supposed to be based on Hawkeye’s new look from Civil War, but, um, that’s not what he’s wearing. He lacks the asymmetrical sleeves, and has two gloves instead of one. That’s not the biggest issue though. See, Hawkeye’s gun is holstered on his right leg, which isn’t correct, since Movie Hawkeye’s a lefty. A closer look shows that, not only is the holster on the wrong side, but his whole quiver set-up is totally reversed. Now, a quick Google search shows that the promo shots of Hawkeye had a tendency to get mirrored, so maybe that’s where the confusion came from. He’s still sculpted to hold his bow in his right hand, though, which would make the placement of his quiver on his right shoulder more than a little impractical. It seems to me that this should have dawned on at least one person during the development process. His paint’s not much better. In the movie, his costume has a number of different purples, but none of them are the garish shade that is used for the majority of this figure. Also, whatever you do, don’t look directly into those soulless black holes that have taken the place of his eyes. That’s the stuff of nightmares. Cap got actual eyes, so I’m not sure what happened to Hawkeye. Hawkeye is packed with one accessory: his bow. It’s got no drawstring, but at this scale, that’s a minor issue.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I picked up this set at the same time as Cap and Crossbones. I was a bit more interested in Hawkeye when I bought it, though I certainly didn’t mind getting Panther. After opening it up, neither figure is perfect. That said, Panther’s the real winner here, even with the leg issues. Hawkeye’s a little disappointing, because he’s just not the figure I was expecting.