#1889: Rocket & Adam Warlock

ROCKET & ADAM WARLOCK

MARVEL MINIMATES

What’s this?  New Walgreens-exclusive Minimates?  And someone’s actually found them?  Crazy concept, I know.  Even though Series 8 and 9 have yet to show up in full force in many parts of the country, it would appear that Series 10 is starting to make its way out there.  Today, I’ll be looking at its Guardians of the Galaxy-themed set, featuring Rocket & Adam Warlock!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Rocket and Adam are one of the four sets in Series 10 of the Walgreens-exclusive animated sub-line of Marvel Minimates.  Both figures are based on their animated counterparts, but should fit in pretty well with most comics-inspired ‘mates as well.

ROCKET

Due to his smaller stature, the first two Rocket ‘mates we got weren’t proper ‘mates at all, but were instead unarticulated pack-ins.  Since Guardians Vol. 2 and Infinity War both gave us a proper figure for the MCU Rocket, it’s only fair that we’d also get an update to the animated Rocket (who can, of course, double for a Vol. 1 Rocket, for those so inclined).  Rocket is constructed from the same selection of pieces as the Infinity War release, so he uses the Series 71 head and belt/tail piece, the shortened child-sized arms, the IW legs, and the torso from NBX’s Sally.  For those keeping track, that means Rocket’s only “classic” Minimate piece is the pelvis, but unlike some overly sculpted figures we’ve seen in the past, Rocket still feels very true to the Minimate form, and fits well with his teammates.  As with the Infinity War release, this is my favorite selection of parts for the character.  Since cartoon Rocket is still wearing his orange jumpsuit from the first movie, that’s the look we get for this figure.  The paint translates it well, and while he’s definitely of a more animated style than his movie counterparts, I think they’ve left in enough details that he won’t look out of place with the movie stuff.  One slight change that stands out is the presence of actual, discernible pupils for Rocket, which I think are the one main thing to marks him as “animated.”  I actually like them a lot, as they add a little more life to the figure, I feel.  Rocket is packed with a repainted Nova Centurion blaster, as well as a clear display stand.  The Centurion blaster works a lot better for him than the two prior guns, so I’m happy with its inclusion, and I’m honestly just happy to see it crop up in another release.

ADAM WARLOCK

It’s been a good long while since we’ve gotten an Adam Warlock Minimate.  His first and only prior to this figure was part of the Infinity Gauntlet set from back in 2009.  Fortunately, his presence on the Guardians cartoon’s second season made him a prime choice for a spot in the line-up here.  Adam is constructed from three add-on pieces, used for his hair, shoulder pads, and belt.  They’re all re-used parts; the belt’s a standard piece, the hair’s from Archangel, and the shoulder pads are from the GSXM Nightcrawler.  The hair is perhaps not a 100% perfect match for his animated look, but it’s close enough, and the overall construction and choices of parts are well-thought-out.  The paintwork on Adam is cleanly applied and has a nice amount of pop to it.  He doesn’t look as washed out as a lot of the animated ‘mates end up looking, and even his details, especially on the face, are actually more in line with the comics-based ‘mates than the average animated ‘mate.  The highlight work on his infinity stone and the black portions of the costume really add some solid dimension to the whole figure as well.  The last Adam Warlock suffered from somewhat lackluster paint, but that’s very much not the case with this guy.  Adam’s only accessory is a clear display stand, which feels a little light.  An extra Magus head or even a flight stand would have been nice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I happened upon this set back in November, at a Walgreens nearby a run that my mom and brother were participating in.  I wasn’t expecting to find them, since I haven’t seen anything from the two series that preceded this one, but the whole set was there.  I was only immediately interested in these two, so they were the only ones I bought.  Come to find out, I’m one of the first people to find them, and they aren’t officially hitting until the spring.  Now I’m kicking myself for not grabbing the whole set!  Oh well, I’ll just have to make due with these two.  The IW Rocket was my favorite version of the character, but this one’s edging him out on that front.  Another solid take on the charatcer.  The IG Warlock has been representing the character for almost a decade now without much issue, but for a character as prominent as Adam, it’s nice to get another chance, and the somewhat differing nature of his animated design makes for some nice variety, even if you have the previous release.  This figure’s got a lot going for him.  All in all, a pretty solid set.

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#1437: Adam Warlock

ADAM WARLOCK – COSMIC PROTECTORS

MARVEL LEGENDS

“Masters of energy manipulation, these supreme beings seek to defend the cosmos at all costs.”

In one of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s five post-credits scenes, the audience returns to minor antagonist Ayesha, who sits in front of her newest creation, dubbing it “the next step in our evolution.  More powerful; more beautiful; more capable of destroying the Guardians of the Galaxy,” before eventually uttering it’s name: “Adam.”  After getting out of the film, I received a text from my boy Tim, asking what was the deal with the weird pod thing named Adam.  The best description I could come up with was “Space Jesus,” which I don’t think is a completely terrible way of describing Adam Warlock.  So, without further ado, here’s this Space Jesus action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Adam Warlock is figure 5 in the Mantis Series of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends.  He’s dubbed “Cosmic Protectors,” which is a name he shares with Ex Nihilo.  This marks Adam’s second time as a Marvel Legend, following the one from the 2008 Target-exclusive Red Hulk Series.  That one was weak even when it was new, so an update was long overdue.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  The previous Adam was sporting his Infinity Guantlet garb, but this one goes more modern, giving us Adam’s look from the 2009 relaunch of Guardians (the one that first assembled the line-up from the movies).  It’s not a bad design overall.  It keeps a lot of elements from his prior costumes, but adds a bit more flair to them.  I miss the cape, though.  Adam is built on the Bucky Cap body, which is a reasonable fit for the character.  He gets a new head and skirt/belt add-on, as well as a pair of Pizza Spidey hands for added gesturing.  The belt’s a little on the loose side for me, but it looks cool enough.  I really like the head; it feels very much in-character for Adam, and I like that the hair has a bit of a flow to it.  In terms of paint, Adam is pretty good overall.  There’s a bit more slop than we’ve seen as of late, but it’s still better than what we were getting a year ago, so I’m not complaining.  The black and red contrast well, and the gold is a pleasing shade, and doesn’t look like it’ll have a weird change in finish over time.  The head is actually orange like it is in the comics, which is a major improvement over the last Legends figure’s pale tan.  Adam is packed with a pair of the same effect pieces seen with Havok, Polaris, Wonder Man, and Shocker, this time in an opaque pale blue.  I’m getting a little tired of these pieces, truth be told.  I liked them at first, but they’re super over used.  Fortunately, that’s not the only extra included here.  No, he also has two more heads!  Granted, one of them is for the Build-A-Figure Mantis, but the other one depicts Adam’s bad alternate self, Magnus!  It’s definitely a modern Magnus (which is sensible, given the costume choice), which is probably for the best.  The afro’s just not as intimidating these days.  As much as I love the Adam head, I like the Magnus head even more.  The intense, completely insane grin just looks awesome, and is certainly unique.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Read the last several reviews?  Care to guess where I got this guy?  I almost picked this figure up several times.  I’ve always had this weird soft-spot for Adam Warlock, and this figure definitely looks cool, but I managed to hold off until I found a whole set.  While the movie Guardians definitely steal the show, there’s no denying that this is a fun figure.  I tried my hardest to like the last Warlock, but he was really not great.  This one’s so much better.  Throw in that extra Magnus head and you’ve got a real winner.  I’m honestly not sure which way I want to display him.  I may just have to track down a second figure at some point.

#1095: Adam Warlock

ADAM WARLOCK

MARVEL OVERPOWER CARD GAME

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Around this time last year, I discussed the interesting case of the US Agent figure from Toy Biz’s ‘90s Iron Man line.  He was slotted for the third series of the line, but dropped at the last minute when Toy Biz cut all of their lines back to six figures per series.  US Agent’s mold would bounce around for a bit, and he was ultimately only available through a difficult to acquire, non-Toy Biz or Marvel sanctioned release. 

Running concurrently with the Iron Man line was a Fantastic Four line, which was also subject to the downsizing of assortments.  US Agent’s equivalent in this line was Adam Warlock, who was presumably dropped from the FF line-up because he, like US Agent, was the only character not to be featured on the cartoon the line was meant to tie-in with.  Adam would prove far more fortunate than poor US Agent in regards to his figure’s release, however, with Toy Biz actually finding a venue to put him out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

adamwarlocktb2After being dropped from the third series of Toy Biz’s Fantastic Four line in 1995, Adam Warlock was ultimately released in 1996 as part of a small KB Toys-exclusive line of four figures designed to coincide with Fleer’s Marvel: Overpower Card Game. The other three figures were straight forward repaints of earlier figures, and much more popular characters to boot, making Adam seem like an odd choice.  I guess Toy Biz just really wanted to get him out there!  Adam is seen here sporting his early ‘90s design, which was kind of a merging of his two previous looks.  It’s my favorite of his looks, but it’s entirely possible that I like it because it’s the one I saw on all those card backs in the ‘90s.  The figure is just over 5 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  Because of the light-up feature integrated into his eyes and Infinity stone, Adam doesn’t get any neck articulation, which results in him feeling rather stiff, even when placed with this compatriots from the same time period.  Stiffness aside, Adam’s sculpt is pretty good.  It’s certainly on par with the rest of the ‘90s FF figures, which is good, overall.  The proportions are a little weird in some areas (especially the upper arms; those things are huge), and the head’s a little soft in terms of detail, but he generally looks pretty good.  Warlock has a removable cape, which actually a fair bit different from the cape his FF prototype was sporting.  This one is much more dynamic in pose, and fits more with the stuff Toy Biz was starting to put out in 1996.  I kind of prefer the prototype version, if I’m honest.  The flow of this one kind of clashes with the style of the figure proper, since he’s just sort of standing there, and it’s all crazy wind-blown.  It also has some trouble sitting right on his shoulders, which can get very annoying.  Another thing that was changed from Adam’s prototype to thee Overpower figure is the paint scheme.  It’s not terribly different, but the yellow was swapped out for gold, and the red has been made a little less vibrant.  Like the new cape, it’s more in keeping with the sort of work TB was doing in 1996, but it results in him not fitting in quite as well with the FF figures as he should.  The gold paint has also not stood the test of time, meaning some of the details get lost.  Adam included his signature staff, as well as an Adam Warlock  Overpower card.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like US Agent, Adam Warlock is a figure I always wanted, due to his presence on the back of the Iron Man and Fantastic Four card backs, but was never able to find, due to the lack of information on such things at the time (the internet was around, but we toy geeks hadn’t quite migrated to it yet).  I’ve known about the existence of this particular figure for several  years, and I’ve even seen him once or twice in person, but I never got around to picking him up.  I ended up finding Adam while exploring the new area I’m living in, at a very cool shop called Power Comics.  Adam’s not quite as fun as US Agent, mostly due to Toy Biz changing so much from ’95 to ’96, and this guy getting hit with some weird amalgamation of those two years’ styles.  If he’d been a straight recreation of the figure as originally intended (like US Agent was), I think he might have been a bit better.  As it stands, I think he’s still the best version of the guy out there.

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#0162: The Infinity Gauntlet Minimates

ADAM WARLOCK, MEPHISTO, DRAX THE DESTROYER, & THANOS

MARVEL MINIMATES

InfinityGauntletBoxSet

Have you guys had enough of a break from Minimates? No? Well, this is a bit awkward… I’ve already got the review written. I guess we’ll just power through!

Today, I’ll once again be pulling a set from the Marvel Minimates line, the line that keeps going and going. It’s like the Energizer Bunny! This is a boxed set from a few years back, and it’s one of the few ventures into the cosmic side of Marvel. I imagine that might change thanks to August’s Guardians of the Galaxy film.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were released back in 2009 as part of boxed set based on the classic cross-over series The Infinity Gauntlet. It features Adam Warlock, Mephisto, Drax, and the main man himself Thanos in their looks from the series.

ADAM WARLOCK

Adam Warlock is an interesting character. He was created back in the 90s by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby while they were working on Fantastic Four, but there he was just known as “Him.” It wasn’t until 1972 that he would acquire his name in a story written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Gil Kane. The character really came into some popularity under the helm of Jim Starlin, who would go on to use him as a prominent character in The Infinity Gauntlet. He’s presented in his third costume, which also happened to be the first time he actually had pants. So, yay for pants, I suppose. He uses the standard Minimate body, so that means he has 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall. He has 2 sculpted pieces: his hair and his cape. These were both new pieces to this figure. The hair has only been used with this figure, but the cape was actually shared with pack mate Drax. Both pieces look accurate to the source material, and have lots of very cool finer details. The paint work on the figure is passable, but not great. The detail work, especially the face look great, but some of the basic paint apps are sloppy or fuzzy. The collar of his cape gets hit the worst by this, with some pretty bad over bleed from the red of the rest of the cape. Warlock’s one accessory is his Karmic Staff. It’s appropriately detailed, and looks like a staff should.

MEPHISTO

Mephisto is the Devil. No, seriously, Mephisto is the Marvel universe version of the Biblical Devil. That’s pretty much his whole deal. He serves as an advisor of sorts to Thanos during The Infinity Gauntlet. Mephisto’s had two looks in the comics and they’ve gone with the original, which was a good move. The other design was from the 90s, and no one wants to see that. Mephisto is on the standard body with 5 sculpted add-on pieces: hair, cape, belt, and clawed hands. The clawed hands originally were released on the X-Men Origins: Wolverine version of Sabretooth. The cape, hair, and belt were new pieces, with the cape later being reused on the classic version of Mandarin. The new pieces really have some expertly handled detail work, which is impressive to see on a Minimate. The paint work is clean and well detailed. The face in particular looks spot on to Starlin’s interpretation of the character. Mephisto includes no accessories.

DRAX THE DESTROYER

Drax the Destroyer is the character in this set that will probably be a bit better known once Guardians of the Galaxy is released. Simply put, he’s a guy who was killed by Thanos and placed in robot body without any of his memories. He’s green, and he seems to like the color purple. Drax is on the typical body, and has 7 sculpted add-ons: cowl, cape, bracelets, pelvis add-on, and boots. The cape is shared with Warlock, the bracelets were originally released on Ocean Master, and the pelvis piece and boots have been used on numerous figures. The cowl is a new piece, though it appears it might be a re-tool of the helmet used on one of the Classic Iron Man releases. So, he’s a bit of a mix-and-match of parts, but it works. The paint work on Drax is pretty good. He’s better than Warlock, though there is still a little bit of slop. He has a butt-load of detail lines, though. I do wish his belt detailing continued down just a bit further, so he didn’t have that small green patch there. Otherwise, he’s a great figure. Drax includes no accessories.

THANOS

Thanos is the most important character in the set, being the wielder of the titular item. He’s also likely to be a pretty big character in the coming years, thanks to his recent play as a main antagonist in the recent mini-series Infinity, and his appearance post credits at the end of 2012’s The Avengers. This guy’s going places! Thanos is on the usual body, with 6 sculpted add-ons: helmet, torso cover, gauntlets, and boots. The boots were originally used on several figures from DC Minimates. Everything else was unique to this figure. Everything has some great detail work. Thanos is one of the few Minimates to actually have 10 defined fingers. I’m still uncertain of this move, but DST wanted to get the gems of the Infinity Gauntlet to line up properly, so this is what they went with. I also feel like the “helmet” is far too bulky. Thanos was usually depicted has having a rather small head compared to the rest of him, and this piece makes him look a bit like a bobble head. The paint on this figure is easily the worst in the set. The muscles on his torso are set too far down, and every instance of gold is sloppy and uneven, which really makes the figure look pretty bad. The face actually turned out nicely, but gets lost amongst the missteps of the rest of the figure. Thanos includes no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like with so many of the Minimates I own, this set was purchased from my local comicbook store upon its release. I really like Drax, and Warlock is still good despite his sloppy paint. Mephisto is great for fans of that character, but I’m not really one of those. Sadly, Thanos, who should have been the star of the set and is worth the big bucks on the aftermarket, is easily the worst in the set. He has some good qualities, but he’s a miss overall. Hopefully his newfound fame with general audiences will get him a re-do sooner rather than later. Overall, this wasn’t a bad set, and I hope Guardians of the Galaxy leads to us getting more sets like it.