#1103: Ant-Man & Falcon

ANT-MAN & FALCON

MARVEL MINIMATES

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There are a lot of different standout characters in Civil War.  For a great number of people, it was Spider-Man, and for an almost equal number it was Black Panther.  Me personally?  Vision and Scarlet Witch all the way.  There was also a pretty sizable contingent of people whose favorite bits centered around Paul Rudd’s (Gi)Ant-Man, who made the most of his screen-time.  As such, it’s not a huge surprise to see the character turn up amongst DST’s offerings for the film.  Alongside him, my favorite character from the last Captain America film (as well as one of my favorite parts of the Ant-Man film), Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ant-Man and Falcon are the second TRU-exclusive set for Civil War, and were released alongside Series 67 of the main line (meaning the hit in late July/early August).  It’s easily one of the better pairings we’ve gotten so far.

ANT-MAN

antmanfalconmm11Like so many characters before him, Ant-Man was one of those MCU characters who’s costume changed just enough from one movie to the next to warrant a new figure (hey, at least he’s more different than Vision).  I myself never got the basic Ant-Man from his solo movie (bad me), so this guy was actually pretty cool to get, and I can’t deny that the new design is pretty sharp.  The figure is built on the basic ‘mate body, and as such stands a little under 2 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He has one add-on piece for his helmet.  It’s new to this particular figure and is a pretty faithful recreation of the helmet he was sporting in the movie.  The paintwork on Ant-Man is nice and sharp, detailing all of the various bits of his costume, and overall looking pretty accurate to the source material.  That’s especially refreshing with regards to the helmet, since none of the Ant-Man movie merch got his helmet down right.  Ant-Man includes a spare hairpiece for displaying Scott sans helmet, as well as a clear display stand.

FALCON

antmanfalconmm10As cool as I think Falcon’s comic book costume is, it’s understandably a little hard to adapt to real life.  So, it wasn’t much of a surprise that he was sporting more or less real-world fatigues in The Winter Soldier.  That being said, it wasn’t the most exciting design.  Over the course of his cinematic appearances, his uniform has slowly evolved into something a bit more akin to his comics appearance.  His Civil War design is his most exciting yet, keeping the real world nature of the Winter Soldier design, but also adding the the color scheme from his comics incarnation.  Structurally, Falcon uses add-ons for his goggles and backpack, as well as a unique set of upper arms (with removable posable wings), and two different gloved hands.  The end result does a very nice job of converting his onscreen appearance, and improves in a number of ways on the last MCU Falcon (which was already a pretty awesome figure).  The paintwork on Falcon is decent, though not quite as clean as the work on Ant-Man.  The detail lines are all pretty sharp, and the colors are nice and bright.  The only real downside is the sloppiness on some of the basic color work, mostly on the shoulders.  The overall look is pretty cool, though.  Falcon includes a handgun (why just the one is a little baffling, since he always has two in the film), Redwing, two different styles of flight stands (one for him, one for Redwing), and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed this set while out and about looking for those pesky X-Men Legends at various TRU’s.  I was actually quite happy to find it, since these are two of my favorite characters from the movies (and the comics, truth be told).  Ant-Man is a pretty solid addition to the roster of Ant-Men, though he may not be the most exciting ‘mate to people who have the last two ‘mates.  Falcon is a really nice improvement over the last MCU Falcon, and even more welcome since that one’s a bit hard to find now.   Probably one of best sets to come out of the Civil War Minimates. 

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#0979: Ant-Man & Winter Soldier

ANT-MAN & WINTER SOLDIER

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – MINIVERSE

AntMan&WS1

Wow, it’s been two whole months since Civil War hit theatres. Consequently, that also means it’s been about a month and a half since I saw Civil War. That doesn’t seem right. I might have to fix that. In the meantime, how about a nice Civil War-themed review? Yeah, that’ll be cool. Today, let’s stick firmly on the #TeamCap side, with Ant-Man and Winter Soldier!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ant-Man and Winter Soldier are one of the two-packs in the second series of Hasbro’s current Captain America: Civil War Miniverse line, which just started hitting stores not too long ago. They’re yet another somewhat odd pairing, since Scott and Bucky don’t really spend much time interacting, but oh well.

ANT-MAN

AntMan&WS2Both Guardians and Age of Ultron got their own 2 ½ inch lines, but poor Ant-Man was not so lucky. Which is kinda weird, since he’s the character who it makes the sense to have available in lots of different scales (especially smaller ones). But it’s okay, because he’s got a 2 ½ inch figure now! This figure stands just over 2 ½ inches tall and he has the same 5 points of articulation as any other figure in this line. Ant-Man is based on his slightly tweaked design from Civil War, which wasn’t a bad look. I can’t really say I like or dislike this look more than his last one, since they’re ultimately pretty similar. His sculpt does a pretty nice job of capturing the design from the movie, and he has quite a lot of very sharp detail work. He’s one of the more pre-posed figures from the line, with a rather wide stance and his arms slightly angled from his side. I’m not sure exactly what look they were going for, but it’s not as odd as some of the pre-posed figures I’ve gotten over the years. The Miniverse line is generally a bit light on the painted details, which can prove a problem for those with more intricate designs, such as Ant-Man’s. That being said, this is one of the few figures in the line not to lose too many painted details. Sure, there’s still a few silver accents here and there missing, but most of the important stuff is there. Of the two figures in this set, Ant-Man is the one that gets the weird armor thing. On the plus side, it seems the armor’s main purpose is to make Ant-Man a bit larger, to simulate his Giant-Man look, making it the first of these armor sets not to be totally useless.

WINTER SOLDIER

AntMan&WS3This is the second Winter Soldier we’ve gotten from this line of figures, but this is the first one to actually be based on his look from Civil War. Like Ant-Man, this guy stands a little over 2 ½ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. Surprisingly enough, this figure doesn’t share any parts with his Series 1 counterpart. His sculpt is quite well-handled, with lots of excellent detailing. The likeness isn’t a spot-on Sebastian Stan, but at this scale it’s good enough. Also, as with many of the figures in the line, the feet are a bit large, but the proportions are otherwise pretty good. Bucky has a much more subdued pose than most of the line, which is actually kind of nice to see. The paintwork here is pretty simple, being limited to the head, torso, and left arm, but the application is nice and clean, and he looks about right for the movie design. Winter Soldier has no accessories, but if all he was gonna get was more goofy armor, I’m not really going to complain.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up these two from Target. They were the only new set the store had in stock, which means I missed out on the Scarlet Witch set, but hey, this is a decent consolation. Unlike a lot of the other sets from this line, where there’s one good figure and one iffy figure, this set contains two pretty solid additions to the line. Definitely glad I got them!

#0920: Whirlwind

WHIRLWIND – FORCES OF EVIL

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

Whirlwind1

The Marvel universe has a lot of pretty amazing super villains, but for me, the best sub-set of villains they have are the laughably terrible ones. The ones that keep showing up, getting their butts kicked, and generally being ineffective. The likes of Shocker, Stiltman, Batroc the Leaper, and even today’s focus character Whirlwind. He initially started his career as the Human Top, which isn’t as cool a name as Whirlwind, but is probably more fitting for the character. There’s actually one thing that sets Whirlwind apart from the other lame villains: he’s actually the got an arch-nemesis. Yep, ol’ spinhead here is the arch enemy of the Wasp (also her chauffeur, but that’s a whole other story). I mean, he still kinda sucks, but that’s part of the charm. Amazingly enough, Whirlwind has a whole three action figures in his tenure as a villain, the latest of which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Whirlwind2Whirlwind is another figure from the third series of Captain America Marvel Legends(why he’s in a Captain America-themed series instead of getting a slot in last year’s Ant-Man Marvel Legends is anyone’s guess. Maybe Wasp finally got that restraining order). He’s been dubbed “Forces of Evil,” which is a name he shares with the Serpent Society’s Cottonmouth. The figure stands about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Whirlwind is presented in his classic costume, after he’d added the chainmail (before that he’d just been shirtless, which was weird). He uses the slightly larger male body, introduced with Grim Reaper. To aid in making him more “Whirlwind-y” he has a new head, torso, and forearms. The head is actually two pieces: face and helmet. This results in a figure with the proper level of depth to his eye and mouth slits, which looks pretty neat. The actual helmet does a very nice job of capturing Whirlwind’s comic look. The torso also does a decent job of handling Whirlwind’s weird chest armor, and the forearms feature actual spinning blades, which is a nice touch. It’s a bit of a shame that he doesn’t have any chainmail detailing, but that would have meant giving him a 100% new sculpt, which seems like a bit much to ask for whirlwind3Whirlwind. Whirlwind’s paintwork isn’t particularly complex, but what’s there is fairly clean. I especially like how well the eyes turned out. Also, the choice of a metallic finish takes what could have been a slightly bland figure and gives him some pop. Whirlwind’s only accessory is his Build-A-Figure piece, which is the left arm of Red Onslaught.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

On my search for the other three figures I wanted from this series, I saw quite a few Whirlwinds, and passed several times. It’s not that I don’t like the character, nor is it that I wasn’t excited for the figure, I guess I was just prioritizing the others. After finding the other three, I broke down and got Whirlwind. I’m glad I did. He’s a very well-put-together figure. He sticks to the established formula of a few new parts on a base body, but he’s the sort of character that really lends himself to such a concept.

#0833: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

MARVEL HERO MASHERS

AntManMasher1

Hasbro’s Hero Mashers lines are kind of an odd thing.  They’re incredibly gimmicky, and as actual figures they don’t really have much to offer an adult collector.  For a kid, I’m sure they’re awesome, but I think it’s safe to say I’m not in their target demographic.  So, it’s a bit hard for me to explain why I keep buying them.  A toy addiction is a serious thing, folks.  Let’s look at one I bought a while ago and have been putting off reviewing for far too long, Ant-Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AntManMasher2Ant-Man is part of the mid-2015 assortment of Marvel Hero Mashers.  He was undoubtedly released to coincide with the Ant-Man movie released last summer.  He’s part of the basic figure assortment, which means he’s at the lowest price-point is somewhat minimal on extras.  The figure is about 6 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  Like the Star Wars line’s Darth Vader, Ant-Man’s shoulders are just simple cut joints, not disc and pin joints like prior Mashers.  This is a slight letdown, but I’ve moved on.  At least they look the same aesthetically.  Design-wise, Ant-Man actually uses the second Eric O’Grady Ant-Man design for his costume choice.  The only real difference between the classic Ant-Man look and this one is the presence of the shoulder pads, which make hiding the shoulder plugs a bit easier.  That’s probably why they went with this one.  His sculpt is pretty standard for a human Masher; he’s rather jagged and squared-off at the edges, and his proportions are on the cartoony side.  If I had to guess, I’d say he probably uses some previously used parts for most of the body, since none of his specific costume details have been sculpted in.  That’s fine, since Ant-Man’s usually a “re-use a body” sort of a character.  The head is definitely a new piece; it’s not my favorite Ant-Man head, and I feel it compromises the helmet design a bit too much to adhere to the style, but it fits well enough and doesn’t look terrible.  Ant-Man’s paint is pretty decent; the colors are nice and vibrant and there’s minimal slop and bleed over.  He certainly fits in with what we’ve seen before from the line.  Ant-Man includes a pair of giant ants, which both have handles, making them look like weird bug guns.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked Ant-Man up waaaaaay back in August, while Tim and I were out hunting for Nerf Rival stuff.  He was at a Walmart where we stopped, and I thought he looked sort of cool.  Plus, he’s an Ant-Man figure, and I don’t tend to pass on those.  So, why the six month delay in reviewing him?  Well, to be totally honest, he’s a perfectly decent figure, but he really didn’t “wow” me in any capacity.  He’s a fine toy, but I feel more and more that Mashers just aren’t for me.  Now, if only I could stop buying them…

#0825: SDCC Ant-Man Minimates

SHRINKING ANT-MAN, SHRINKING YELLOW JACKET, ANT-HONY, & SCOTT LANG

MARVEL MINIMATES

AntManSDCC1

Ant-Man seems to be that movie I keep forgetting when looking back on 2015. It’s a shame, really, because I actually enjoyed the film immensely, and thought it was a highlight of the summer. But, I keep forgetting about it. For instance, there were two sets of Marvel Minimates based on the film, both of which have been readily available since November, and I’ve only picked up one. Furthermore, I’ve had said set since November and not yet gotten around to reviewing it. Today I fix that.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were one of the SDCC exclusive items this year, offered via a partnership between DST and Action Figure Xpress. This set is meant to accent the main specialty release set… which I don’t have. Oh well.

SHRINKING ANT-MAN

AntManSDCC2As the main character, it’s only natural for Ant-Man to get one or two variants. That said, the suit maintains a pretty standard look throughout the entirety of the film, so coming up with a compellingly different version of the character can be a little difficult. Enter the “shrinking” variant, which is certainly different. Structurally, he’s the same as the normal Ant-Man. He uses the standard Minimate body, so he stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. He has add-ons for his helmet and belt. They’re decent enough matches for the film designs; the helmet is a little off, but that’s true of all the figures for the movie, since the mask was changed somewhat last minute. Regardless, the pieces look pretty great. The paintwork is kind of the key thing with this figure. He’s (mostly) molded in clear plastic. The torso of the figure has some white detail lines, outlining a few different Ant-Men, each smaller than the last, to make it look like he’s shrinking. The effect works well enough, but you do really have to view him head-on to get it to look right. Under the helmet, instead of Scott Lang (like on the regular release) it’s a younger Hank Pym. The likeness is pretty fantastic, and I love that we actually got a young Hank Pym. Ant-Man includes a hairpiece (re-used from BSG’s Apollo), a normally painted torso piece, a slab of rock, a smaller ‘mate painted up in Ant-Man’s basic colors, an effect base, and a basic display stand, made up like a giant penny.

SHRINKING YELLOWJACKET

AntManSDCC3If you have two main characters with shrinking abilities, it’s not really fair to give just one of them a figure replicating the shrinking feature. So, here’s shrinking Yellowjacket. Like Ant-Man, he’s structurally the same as his normal release version. He’s got add-ons for his helmet and harness/extra legs. These are pretty decent parts, but I don’t feel they’re as strong as Ant-Man’s, and I do wish the legs were actually poseable. Still, they work well enough, and he certainly looks the part. His paint is handled very similarly to Ant-Man’s, with the necessary changes for the differences in character designs. Under the helmet is Darren Cross. His expression is a bit more angry than the regular version, so there’s a bit of variety there. The face doesn’t really look much like Cross in the movie, especially the stubble, which just seems to be too heavy. Yellowjacket includes a normally painted torso, a slab of rock, a smaller ‘mate in black and gold, a flying stand, and a display base painted like a bottle cap.

ANT-HONY

AntManSDCC5Scott’s ant buddy Ant-Hony was definitely a surprisingly enjoyable character, and who would have thought he’d actually get three whole figures? I certainly expecting the ‘mate, though. Ant-Hony follows the lead of ‘mates such as the Brood drone, moving away from the standard Minimate build. Ant-Hony uses the head and arms (three sets of them, actually) of the basic ‘mate, along with the six-armed torso piece, which has been used a few times before. The figure also uses the little nubby feet pieces from the Brood, wings from the Wasp, and all-new pieces for the top of the head and his lower half. The end result is a slightly odd looking figure, but it approximates an ant’s shape fairly well. The paint is mostly just the same dark brown, but he does also have detailing for his eyes. Ant-Hony comes packed with a flight stand.

SCOTT LANG

AntManSDCC4Civilian variants are fairly commonplace with movie ‘mates, so getting a basic Scott in this set is to be expected, especially since he’s not the one in the Ant-Man suit. He’s based on the look he sports when breaking into Pym’s mansion early in the film, which is easily the most distinct of his non-costumed looks. The figure is entirely reliant on re-used parts, with the hat from Punisher: Warzone’s Looney Bin Jim and the coat from Big Bang Theory’s Leonard. The parts are both pretty generic, but they certainly work well to capture Scott’s look from the film. Scott’s paint is pretty straightforward; it’s mostly just a bunch of dark blues (which is film accurate). There’s not an overabundance of detail work on the body, but the waist of his pants has a bit of line work. His face is actually a really great likeness of Paul Rudd, and I love that he’s got the little bandages on his brow. Scott includes an extra hair piece, a spare set of short-sleeved arms, ungloved hands, a backpack, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As noted several times before on this site, I didn’t go to SDCC 2015. So, I had to wait for this set to show up elsewhere. Specifically, I waited for it to come into stock at Luke’s Toy Store, my preferred Minimate retailer. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from this set, but I was pleasantly surprised by every ‘mate contained. Definitely a worthy purchase.

#0702: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

MARVEL SELECT

AntManMS5

Ant-Man was a cool movie. After things went pretty colossal with Age of Ultron, it was kind of refreshing to move back to a smaller scale.  And who better to move back a smaller scale with than Ant-Man, dude who shrinks. That seems downright ingenious. As the latest smash-hit of the Marvel Universe, Ant-Man has found himself privy to more than a few action figures, including Diamond Selects non-Minimates line, Marvel Select.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AntManMS4As noted above, this Ant-Man is a part of the Marvel Select line. There are two different versions of this figure available: a basic one, with just the helmeted head, offered at specialty stores, and one with both helmeted and un-helmented heads, offered exclusively through the Disney Store. I’ve got the Disney exclusive version, because I felt the need to own a tiny Paul Rudd. Just go with it. The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. Ant-Man is, obviously, based on his movie appearance, though, like pretty much all of the other movie Ant-Men, he’s based on slightly out of date promotional artwork. This means that a few of the details on the face of the mask are a little bit out of place compared to the final design. Because of this, the figure feels slightly unfinished, or at least the helmet does. However, this is hardly DST’s fault, and at least they didn’t give us the weird half mask thing that Hasbro did. The rest of the sculpt is a bit closer to the final look, and it’s quite nicely handled. There’s plenty of texturing on the suit and the various metal parts look appropriately machined. Due to the interchangeability of the head, the hoses in the back have a tendency to pop out of place, which is really annoying, but ultimately not very noticeable. This figure definitely has the best paint we’ve seen so far on a movie Ant-Man, which is definitely cool. Everything’s pretty cleanly handled, and the gradation on the red parts looks quite good. He also exhibits a greater deal of smaller detailing, especially on the sliver parts, than other Ant-Men. All in all, very solid work. The figure includes the previously mentioned un-helmeted head, as well as three pairs of hands (fists, open gesture, and relaxed), and a miniature version of himself. The extra head isn’t spot-on, but it has a decent Paul Rudd likeness, which is really only held back by somewhat below par paintwork. It’s not terrible, but it could be a little better. The hands swap out easily enough, and are definitely a step up from the other Ant-Men with their permanently splayed hands. Mini Ant-Man is, obviously, not as detailed as his larger counterpart, but he’s got a decent level of detail and looks pretty good.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Ant-Man at the same time as Sunday’s Hulkbuster Iron Man. He was another purchase courtesy of my always amazing parents. When all the various Ant-Man stuff was announced, this was the figure I wanted the most. In the end, he’s definitely the best of the currently available Ant-Men, which isn’t a small (heh!) feat.

AntManMS3

#0680: Ant-Man Boxed Set

GIANT-MAN, GOLIATH, & HANK PYM

MARVEL’s ANT-MAN

AntManSet1

Marvel is definitely pushing Ant-Man pretty hard right now. The movie was a resounding success, in spite of all the negative press that seemed to be surrounding it, he’s joined the cast of the Avengers Assemble cartoon, and he’s headlining one of the best solo comics the company is currently publishing. Things are definitely looking up for the bug-sized hero. Marvel licensee Hasbro has been joining in on the fun, and two of their San Diego ComiCon exclusives this year were based around Ant-Man. Today, I’ll be looking at what I feel is the more impressive of the two exclusives.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Giant-Man, Goliath, and Hank Pym (along with two smaller Ant-Men) make up an Ant-Man-themed boxed set, released this year at SDCC. The set was also available after the convention on Hasbro’s online store, which is how I got mine.

GIANT-MAN

AntManSet2Hey! Haven’t I already looked at this guy? Well, sort of. Yes, this figure uses the same costume design as the Ant-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series Giant-Man. However, unlike that figure, this one lives up to the name-sake a bit better. The figure is 12 inches tall, making him twice the height of the Infinite Series version, and he has 32 points of articulation. The figure is built on Marvel Legends Icons Cyclops body, which was previously used for the Marvel Universe Gigantic Battles Goliath and Bill Foster figures. It’s a body that was good at the time it was created, and was still pretty serviceable when it was used for Gigantic Battles, but has started to look pretty dated in recent years. The proportions and sculpted details are still okay (though he does look a little underfed), but the range of motion on the joints is rather restricted. In addition, the body has a lot of sculpted details that are specific to Cyclops, and thereby look out of place on Giant-Man. In the case of seams and the like, it’s easy to overlook them, but the straps/buckles on the wrists and the clear outline of the boots on the calves are quite distracting. It doesn’t seem too unreasonable to want Hasbro to at least retool those particular pieces. Giant-Man does get a unique head and an add-on for his belt. The head is pretty decently sculpted, though, for some reason, the antennae look sillier here than they did on the smaller figure. The belt is decent enough, but it seems a little bulky, especially compared to the painted on belt of the MLIS figure. The paint on this figure is pretty decent, aside from the obvious issues with sculpted details not lining up with the costume. The black sections are slightly glossy, and incredibly sharp at the edges, which is nice to see. One minor issue: the two black lines emanating from the circle on his chest end at the shoulder joints, instead of continuing around the shoulders like they should.  Giant-Man includes no accessories of his own.

GOLIATH

AntManSet3Moving downward on the scale chart, we get to my personal favorite figure from the set, Goliath. He’s based on Hank Pym’s first costume for his third identity. Confused? That’s okay. Most people are. This figure ends up being the most unique of those offered in the set, mostly due to his color-scheme. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. He’s based on the ML Infinite Series Bucky Cap body, just like the single release Giant-Man. The body’s a pretty great base for a lot of characters, and it fits Hank rather nicely. Goliath gets a new head sculpt; it’s a little on the soft side as far as details go, but it’s pretty good overall. It’s a nice, classic hero-style head, and it isn’t too struck with the level of same-ness we’ve seen on a lot of Hasbro’s male heads in this scale. The figure also gets a new add-on piece for his belt, which is a little bit loose, but pretty well sculpted. While I like this figure a lot, oh boy did he get hit with some seriously messy paint. The colors are pretty nicely chosen, but the flesh tones are really thick and goopy, and the yellow has been applied too thinly in many areas, causing the blue of the plastic to bleed through. He’s also got some random scratches of blue on both forearms, where the glove paint has chipped. Viewed as a whole, the figure is alright, but he would have been a lot nicer if the paint had been even a little bit better. Like Giant-Man, Goliath has no accessories of his own.

HANK PYM

AntManSet5Moving down the scale chart again, we find our way to another version of Hank Pym, as well as our first actual Ant-Man figure in a set with Ant-Man plastered all over it. Hank’s presented here in his Ant-Man costume, but with a lab coat over top of it, which is a look that Hank’s been known to sport rather frequently, when he’s in an inventing mood. It’s an important look that’s largely been absent from toy form. The figure is about 4 inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. Structurally, Hank is very similar to the Ant-Man figure from last year. He uses the torso, legs, and feet from the basic skinny male body. It’s kind of an outdated body, but I guess it’s at least consistent with the last Ant-Man. He also has the arms and hands from the AIM Agent/Ghost Rider body, which are good for the AntManSet7looser sleeves, but are a little too long for the body. For the lab coat, he re-uses the add-on piece from G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra The Doctor figure, which isn’t a perfect fit for the body, but it isn’t too far off. The head appears to be a new piece, though it’s generic enough that it could potentially be a re-use. It’s an okay sculpt, but it seems a bit too angry for Hank. The paintwork on the figure is pretty decent. The actual Ant-Man costume is identical to the regular Ant-Man, which is good, I guess. It would be nice if the lab coat were more detailed than just straight white, but oh well. Hank gets the only actual accessory in the set: an alt helmeted head. It’s exactly the same as the normal Ant-Man’s head.

ANT-MEN

AntManSet8Last up, it’s the two mini Ant-Men, who are really more accessories than outright figures. The larger of the two is based on Scott Lang’s Ant-Man costume from the 00s. It’s definitely a more modern design, but I like the enclosed nature. The figure AntMan2stands about an inch and a half tall and features no articulation. He’s got a unique sculpt, and he’s actually pretty nicely detailed for such a small figure. The paintwork is also pretty decent, with three different colors and no visible slop. The smaller Ant-Man is once again based on the classic Ant-Man design. It’s actually just the same smaller Ant-Man as was included with the Avengers Infinite Ant-Man. It’s under an inch tall and is, predictably, pretty light on the details.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, as noted above, I picked this set up after the con from Hasbro Toy Shop. I detailed the ordeal in my Book of the Vishanti review, so I won’t go into that again. Ultimately, I have to admit I’m a little underwhelmed by this particular set. Giant-Man and Hank Pym are both held back by outdated bodies, and Goliath has some rather annoying paint issues. The Scott Lang figure is kinda neat, I guess, but I’d have preferred to get a larger scale version. All-in-all, I certainly don’t feel like this is a bad set, and I don’t regret purchasing them, but they just seem a bit off.

AntManSet4

#0678: Avengers #1 Boxed Set

HANK PYM, GOLDEN ARMOR IRON MAN, INCREDIBLE HULK, & WASP

MARVEL MINIMATES

AvengersFA1

The Avengers may be a hot commodity now, but about ten years ago, they were mostly unknown to the public at large. This meant that they were somewhat absent from the whole merchandising thing. When Marvel Minimates was launched, the Avengers were few and far between, with only a few of the mainstays showing up here and there. Fortunately, things started turning around, right around the release of the first Iron Man. With the announcement of the Avengers Initiative in that film’s stinger, people seemed to be on board for merchandise based around Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. DST met demand by offering a boxed set based on the team’s first appearance in Avengers #1.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Hank Pym, Iron Man, Hulk, and Wasp were released as a boxed set in the fall of 2008, based around the first appearance of the team. Thor, the other founding member, was noticeably absent from the pack. He wouldn’t see another Minimate for another year, and his classic design wouldn’t be seen again for another year after that, which proved a bit frustrating for fans just getting into things with this set. This set also has the notoriety of being the final boxed set to be packed in a window-less box.

HANK PYM

AvengersFA3Henry Pym, man of many names, made his Minimate debut with this set. He had the option of being displayed as Ant-Man or Giant-Man, giving fans two of his identities in one fell swoop. Since this was an Avengers #1 boxed set, let’s consider Ant-Man the main look. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation. He used the basic Minimate body, with an add-on for his helmet. The helmet was new to this figure, and was also used on the recent Best of Series 3 Ant-Man. It’s a very well sculpted piece, and it manages to capture the comic design of the helmet without looking too goofy. The paint on Hank is nice and bold; the colors are bright, and the line work is pretty clean. The face AvengersFA6under the helmet looks maybe a bit too chiseled for Hank, but it’s not bad. Hank included a separate mask, torso cover, and waist cover to transform him into Giant-Man, as well as a spare hairpiece to allow him to be unmasked. The Giant-Man parts are alright, but not great. They bulk him up a lot, but don’t add any height, so he looks rather off. It’s clear they were trying their best, but he just doesn’t quite work right. The hair is perfectly fine; it’s a re-use from the classic Battlestar Galactica Starbuck, which seems odd for Hank stylistically, but it doesn’t look too bad once it’s in place.

GOLDEN ARMOR IRON MAN

AvengersFA7Iron Man was at the top of his game in 2008, so seeing him turn up in this set was pretty much a guarantee. This was his eighth Minimate that year alone! He presented here in his second armor, which was really just a repainted version of the Mark 1. It’s the armor he was wearing for the first two issues of Avengers, and it’s also a pretty memorable look for the guy. He was built on the usual body, with 5 add-ons: helmet, torso, skirt, and bracelets. The helmet and bracelets were both generic pieces, used on numerous figures around the same time. The torso and skirt pieces were re-used from the AFX exclusive First Appearance IM, released a few years before. That’s a pretty sensible re-use, since they were supposed to be the same armor in-universe. The IM-specific parts are nicely crafted. They don’t have tons of sculpted detail, but the look from the comics is captured well. Paint on this figure is kind of a mixed bag, mostly due to the fact that, in its current state, it really doesn’t represent how it AvengersFA2looked out of the box. The gold paint seems to have not adhered very well to the plastic, resulting in a rather chipped and tarnished looking figure, which is a bit of a disappointment. Subsequent gold-based figures have remedied the issue, but this one is left looking somewhat lackluster. On the plus side, the detail lines are all very well handled, especially on the underlying torso and face, which you don’t even see in the main set-up. Iron Man is packed with a spare hairpiece, for unmasked display, a hammer attachment for his hand, and a spare set of flesh-toned arms so that you can display Tony in re-charge mode.

INCREDIBLE HULK

AvengersFA5He may not have been quite as successful as Iron Man, but Hulk was pretty big in 2008 as well, making him another heavy hitter in this particular set. Hulk is presented here in his purple shorted look, which was rather short(heh!)-lived in the comics, but was the look Hulk had in the two issues this set is based upon. So, it’s an interesting enough variant of the character. The figure has a unique head sculpt, as well as add-ons for the torso, waist, and the infamous “duck feet.” The torso and waist pieces were both re-used from Series 20’s Abomination, and are both rather basic pieces. The head was only ever used on this figure, most likely due to the negative reaction it garnered from fans. It seems to try to capture the more Frankenstein’s Monster-inspired head of the early Kirby Hulk, but it comes out looking a bit lumpy. And then there’s the “duck feet.” They were one of Diamond’s first attempts at adding extra height to figures, and they built up a rather infamous reputation in the Minimate community, due to their general goofiness and lack of adherence to the usual Minimate style. Fortunately, Hulk included a spare set of regular feet, so no one was stuck with the weird ones. Hulk’s paint is decent enough. I think this might actually be my favorite shade of green for Hulk, and I do really like the Kirby inspired line work.

WASP

AvengersFA4Wasp was another character that debuted in this set, though, unlike Hank Pym, she’s yet to actually get a follow up. Which is kind of a shame, since she’s had a boat-load of different costumes over the years. She’s presented here in her original costume, which has gotten a fair number of figures over the years. The figure makes use of 7 add-on pieces, used for her headgear, vest, gloves, skirt, and wings. The parts are a little on the bulky side, especially for Wasp, but they balance each other out pretty well, I guess. The skirt is a lot boxier than later pieces would be, which makes the whole figure look rather stiff. The wings are probably the best part of the sculpt, and they actually do a decent job of replicating the comic look. The paint on Wasp was pretty decent from a design standpoint. The line work is all pretty well laid out,AvengersFA8 and everything. The real issue is in assembly. The figure was clearly assembled before fully drying, so several pieces, the wings in particular, were stuck, almost to the point of breaking. Wasp made out pretty well on the accessories front, including a spare hairpiece, a set of normal hands, an alternate mask, and an extra wing mount so that she can be displayed without the bulky vest piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I actually ended getting a couple of this set when it was released, without even trying. I got one from my friend Lance, and then won another in a contest, and then eventually picked up a few more from Record and Tape Traders at super marked down prices. The set itself is pretty decent, if maybe a bit out of date when compared to more current stuff. Ant-Man and Wasp were definitely the stars here, and they both still hold up pretty decently.

#0671: Ant-Man & Ant

ANT-MAN & ANT

MARVEL’S ANT-MAN (HASBRO)

AntMan&Ant1

Ant-Man was a pretty fun movie. It really was. Also, seeing as the main character’s whole gimmick is his size changing, toy makers get an excuse to release figures in just about any scale they want. Hasbro’s already pretty big on different scales, so they’ve done a little bit to exploit this, though not as much as you might think. So far, they’ve offered the main character in 3 ¾ inch, 6 inch, and 12 inch sizes. I already took a look at the 6 inch Marvel Legends figure (which was a little inaccurate) and now I’ve gotten the 3 ¾ inch-sized Ant-Man and Ant set, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two are packed as a deluxe boxed item. The packaging is similar in style to Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Infinite Series, but the Marvel Legends brand isn’t mentioned on the packaging. He’s just billed under Marvel’s Ant-Man.

ANT-MAN

AntMan&Ant2Here we have the titular character, who’s kind of responsible for selling the set. The figure is 3 ¾ inches tall with 20 points of articulation. Movement is a little awkward, to be honest. His hip joints are a somewhat limited and he’s definitely held back by the lack of any torso or waist articulation. He has an all-new sculpt, which is based on his movie design. It’s similar in style to the ML figure, just shrunk down a bit. While that figure had a strange open-mouthed mask, this one has a more movie-accurate closed mouth design. It’s still not a perfect match for the movie design, but it’s pretty spot on to a lot of the earlier promotional art from the film, so it’s forgivably off. The sculpt of the body is well proportioned and features a nice bit of texture and detailing. The hands are in the same slightly odd pose as they were on the ML figure. I’m not sure what the deal is there, but they’re well sculpted hands at the very least. The paintwork on Ant-Man is cleanly handled; it’s a bit on the simpler side. It feels a bit lacking, especially when compared to the larger Ant-Man, but it looks decent enough. The red’s too bright, though, and his eyes should be a bit lighter. But, he’s not bad. Ant-Man includes no accessories, but he is packed with…

ANT

AntMan&Ant3…the Ant. One would assume that this is meant to be Ant-Hony, the ant that Scott rides in the movie, but he’s simply referred to as “Ant” in all references to him on the box. The figure is about 5 inches tall and 7 inches long, with 12 points of articulation. He’s a pretty big ant! The articulation is rather rudimentary, and it seems like they could have easily added a bit more movement if they’d wanted to, but it’s serviceable as is. All of the articulation is handled via ball and socket joints, which aren’t the sturdiest things. That means that Ant-Hony has a habit of falling apart on a frequent basis, which is more than a little annoying. From a sculpting standpoint, he’s another all new sculpt. It’s not a super-detailed sculpt or anything, but it does a respectable job of upscaling an ant. The main body has some decent texturing to it and the wings are patterned to match those on Wasp, which is certainly nice for consistency’s sake. The legs are all hollow on one side, which kind of kills a lot of the realism of the sculpt, but you can pose them so that the hollow portions are inward. Ant-Hony’s paintwork is actually pretty decent. There’s not a lot, but there’s more than you might think at first glance. The eyes are, obviously, different, but there’s also some fairly subtle red accents on the front legs and the head, which add a nice bit of variety and pairs him up well with the included Ant-Man. Like Ant-Man, Ant-Hony doesn’t have any accessories of his own.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s Super Awesome Girlfriend’s fault again! We were at my local Toys R Us and they had just put out their shipment of this set. I wasn’t sure I was going to get it, but SAGF saw that Ant-Hony was included and told me I needed to get it. I’ve learned that arguing with her on such things is relatively pointless, so I went ahead and got it. The set isn’t anything out of the ordinary for Hasbro, but it’s entertaining enough, especially given that it’s the same cost as a Marvel Legend.

AntMan&Ant4

#0659: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

BlackAnt1

Well, it would seem that, as with just about every Marvel Studios film before it, Ant-Man has propelled its lead character into a new level of popularity.  It’s the kind of poularity that gets you a store exclusive, which always a pretty rad sort of deal.  The Walgreens exclusives continue to be a somewhat weird development, but, hey, it did get us another Ant-Man, so I won’t complain.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BlackAnt2Ant-Man is the latest Walgreens exclusive from Marvel Legends Infinite Series, following up debut exclusive Agent Venom.  Unsurprisingly, this figure has been branded as part of the recently released Ant-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series line-up.  While he’s billed as Ant-Man, he’s actually based on Black Ant, the LMD duplicate of Irredeemable Ant-Man Eric O’Grady who turned out to be a bad guy.  Aant-Man’s definitely the more recognizable name, though.  The figure is just over 6 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  He uses the recent Spider-Man base body, making him the first non-Spidey character to do so.  It’s definitely a nice sculpt, and it works well for the character, so it’s a good choice.  The figure gets a brand new head sculpt, as well as an add-on belt piece.  The head is quite nicely done, with plenty of sharp detail work.  It’s a nice translation of the comics design.  The belt is a little bit loose, but once it’s properly placed it looks pretty good.  Ant-Man’s paintwork is pretty well handled.  The reverse color scheme is quite striking, and the Reds and blacks are both pretty clean.  The orange details on the helmet are definitely a cool touch, as they are painted to look as though they’re illuminated.  If there’s one mark against this figure, it’s  lack of any sort of accessories.  He only has the basic fist hands, which feels a bit limiting after getting a nice selection of hands with two of the previous figures to use this body.  He also lacks any sort of mini Ant-Man, which has sort of become a staple of Ant-Man figures.  Neither of those would have required any new tooling, so the fact that this guy gets nothing is a bit of a let down.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Another Walgreens exclusive, another round of trying to find Walgreens locations near me that actually carry their exclusives.  In actuallity, finding him wasn’t that hard, since I discovered there’s a Walgreens rather close to me that manages to have a pretty decent selection of toys at most times.  So, no real issues with this guy.  Though I’m not a big fan of the storyline he comes from, I must admit to quite liking this figure.  I’d love to see him repainted into more traditional Ant-Man colors, though, if anyone at Hasbro is reading.