THANOS, IRON MAN, BLACK WIDOW, & WINTER SOLDIER
“As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and us them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.”
Hey, did you guys know there was another Marvel movie released last weekend? Well, let’s pretend there wasn’t, because I’m still making my way through the product from the one before that. Avengers: Infinity War was a big movie, and by extension, it had a ton of merchandise. As they have since the first Iron Man, Diamond Select Toys put out a few assortments of Minimates based on the film. I’ll be looking at the main boxed set today.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Thanos, Iron Man, Black Widow, and Winter Soldier make up the specialty-exclusive Infinity War boxed set. This follows the trend that was set by Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther, where a movie gets a four-pack at comic book stores, and then two-packs at Walgreens and Toys R Us (Of course, it also ends the trend, what with TRU going under, but let’s not go there). Thanos and Iron Man were also available in two-pack form through Walgreens and the would-have-been-Toys-R-Us-but-instead-became-another-specialty assortments. This makes Black Widow and Winter Soldier the two specialty exclusives. Admittedly, the packout here is a little strange. Tony and Thanos make sense, but Widow and Bucky never interact with Tony at all, only really interact with Thanos via proxy, and don’t actually interact with *each other*. What’s more, neither of them is particularly plot relevant. Of course, we ended up with pretty much all of the major players anyway, so the packout isn’t so important, I guess.
After all this time, we finally get an MCU Thanos Minimate! It sure took its time, didn’t it? This figure uses the same casual look as the Marvel Legend, which is sensible, since it’s his main look. It’s perhaps not as exciting as other designs, but that’s hardly on DST. He’s built on the usual body, with add-ons for his chest, pelvis, upper arms, hands, thighs, and boots. His torso, upper arms, right hand, and thighs are all re-used; standard “large character” pieces. The left hand, pelvis, and boots are all new pieces, detailing Thanos-specific parts. While the skirt clashes a little bit with the more standard upper body, the boots are quite sharply detailed and true to the film. The left hand is perhaps the most important piece, since it’s the Infinity Gauntlet. Like all of the more recent larger figure hands (and unlike the corresponding right hand), it’s ambidextrous, should you wish to place it on someone’s right hand. It actually seems a little small when compared to his non-gloved hand. Thanos must have really needed help getting that thing on there! Fortunately, it’s not overly noticeable if you get the posing right. Thanos’s paintwork is about what you’d expect at this point from a Minimate. The colors are pretty good matches for the movie, and the linework is all nice and crisp. He’s sporting an angrier expression than a lot of the IW product. It’s different, though I kind of wish we could have gotten an extra head with a different expression. Thanos is packed with a spare left hand without the gauntlet, as well as a clear display stand.
Iron Man is no stranger to Minimates, of course, especially not his MCU incarnation. This figure replicates his nano-tech based Mark 50 armor from the movie, which is one of his coolest armors yet. The ‘mate uses the usual construction, with a unique set of upper arms, as well as add-ons for his helmet and shoulders. The helmet is just a basic slipcover mask, rather than a new sculpt. However, given the sleekness of the design in the movie, this is a reasonable choice, and I certainly prefer it to another re-use of the Mk 42 helmet. The new upper arms are also a huge improvement on the heavily restricted 42 arms. Overall, decent basic construction. The paint is also pretty great, being a very bright, striking metallic red and gold. The biggest flaw of this figure is the accessory compliment. He’s got a flight stand and a hair piece for an unmasked look. The armor in the movie could shift into all sorts of additional tools and weaponry, so the fact that none of this is replicated here is quite disappointing. Sadly, this isn’t the only Mark 50 figure to have this issue.
Despite not yet having her own movie, Black Widow has made out pretty well in terms of Minimates. In fact, her MCU version has actually made out a lot better than her comics counterpart. This one, of course, presents her rather altered look from the movie. The figure uses the same standard body as usual, with an add-on piece for her hair. It appears to be new piece, and recreates her look from the movie well enough, though it seems a little more simplified than other recent pieces. She also has a pair of holsters (the same holsters used by all of the Widow figures since Avengers)…with nothing to really go in them. I’ll get to that in a second. Widow’s paintwork is overall pretty decent, with the exception of her face, which, for some reason, looks nothing like Scarlet Johannsen. They’ve gotten it down before, but this looks nothing like her. So, onto those holsters with nothing inside of them. Widow includes her staff in its fully assembled form, as well as the split form, and a handgun. There are two holsters, so obviously the gun doesn’t go there. Then there’s the split version of the staff, but each half is as long as her leg, and she definitely stores them on her back in the movie. In the film, she has some sort of tasers stored in the holsters, at least going by the Marvel Legend. So she’s just got the holsters and they just sort of remain empty. I think it might have made more sense to just leave them out completely.
Winter Soldier/Bucky has been fortunate enough to get a ‘mate from every movie he’s been featured in, and Infinity War is no exception. His role is rather minimal truth be told, so I guess the fact that he’s relegated just to this boxed set is pretty sensible. Bucky’s design for this film is a nice merging of prior designs, keeping the basic design of his first Winter Soldier look, and the more classically inspired color scheme of his First Avenger look. It’s my favorite of his designs so far to be sure. He uses the usual body, with add-ons for his hair, wrist guard, the bottom of his jacket, and knife sheath. All of the pieces are re-used, but they match well with his design from the movie, so it’s hard to complain. The rest of the work is paint. They’ve had some trouble with Stan’s likeness on past figures, but this one seems to get it a bit closer. Still not perfect, but at least he doesn’t have the goofy eyes that all of the others ended up with. His uniform’s detailing is pretty sharp, and looks really bold. Winter Soldier is packed with a submachine gun and a knife, as well as a clear display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I kind of dragged my feet on this set, truth be told. I don’t quite know why, but I had trouble getting too excited for it. I ended up grabbing it from Luke’s Toy Store while picking up a few other items. I’m of mixed feeling about it. Thanos is decently handled, but a little bland. Iron Man’s another Iron Man, and lacks any of what really makes this armor all that unique. Black Widow’s got her confusingly implemented accessories, but is alright apart from that. Winter Soldier’s simultaneously the least essential and yet the best figure in the set.