#2139: Luis & Ghost

X-CON LUIS & GHOST

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

After the monumental undertaking and twists and turns and misfortune of getting the first Ant-Man film to the screen, its sequel Ant-Man & The Wasp had a comparatively much easier time.  Perhaps because of that, the film seems to have faded into the background a little quicker than its predecessor.  Of course, there’s also a good chance that it was due to it being right in the middle of a run of six films in two years, and the fact that it was honestly the least overarching-MCU-plot relevant of those six.  I will admit that while I enjoyed it in theaters, I honestly haven’t given it a whole lot of thought since then.  So, I guess it’s Marvel Legends‘ job to come along and remind me, with today’s pairing of Luis and Ghost!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Luis and Ghost make up the final movie-based pairing from the basic two-pack assortment of the 80 Years of Marvel sub-line of Marvel Legends.  As noted above, they are based on Ant-Man & The Wasp, and round out the versions of the title characters released alongside the movie last year.

GHOST

“Ava Starr gained the ability to become intangible after a quantum accident.  She began working for SHIELD at a young age, under the codename Ghost.  Years later, she realizes she is slowly dying and makes plans to harness the energy of the Quantum Realm, putting her into direct conflict with Hank Pym, Hope Van Dyne, and Scott Lang.”

In the comics, Ghost is a mysterious enigma wrapped in a question, and is more or less agreed to be male.  For the film, Ghost was made definitively female and given an actual backstory, which works far better for an antagonist you’re hinging the movie on.  It also made her a far more interesting character than the first film’s primary antagonist, which was certainly a plus.  She was really the main thing I was sad to miss when the initial product for the film hit, so she was a very strong choice for this pairing.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Ghost is an all-new sculpt, based on her design from the movie.  Though her backstory may have changed, the movie’s costume design for Ghost is actually not a bad adaptation, merging the two main designs from the comics into one fairly pleasing design.  The figure translates that design pretty well, with reasonable proportions and some really solid texture work.  She’s not quite as posable as I might like, but she’s certainly not bad.  Ghost’s paintwork is fairly monochromatic, but it works for the character, and it’s overall fairly well-rendered.  The figure also includes a spare unmasked head and a pulled-down hood, for the look she sports for most of the film’s back-half.

X-CON LUIS

“The best friend of Scott Lang, also known as Ant-Man, Luis is a fast-talking, wise-cracking former thief.  After he, Scott, and two of their other friends are hired to help Hank Pym steal his own technology, the group bands together to form their own company, X-Con Security Consultants.”

Created for the first film, Luis’s inclusion was met with near unanimous praise, and led to introduction in the comics just a few months later.  Unsurprisingly, he was given an even larger role for the sequel, which has him participating in Scott’s security consultancy firm that the film had adapted from the comics.  Given how popular the character is, it’s not a huge shock that he found a spot here, even if he’s not super toyetic.  The figure stands a little over 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Luis is built on the Coulson body, with a new head, right hand, feet, and jacket.  The head’s a decent likeness of Michael Peña; it’s not spot-on, but it definitely captures the spirit of the character.  The new jacket is interesting, because it’s actually the first closed up suit jacket we’ve gotten, and despite being new to the figure, his X-Con tag isn’t scultped in place.  The new feet give Luis a pair of slightly less formal shoes, which I guess is a nice touch, though it’s definitely something I wouldn’t have missed if they’d skipped it.  The new parts are all well and good, but end up suffering a bit due to the Coulson body, which is too skinny and a bit too tall for Luis, which makes the head in particular stand out, since it was clearly meant for a more properly proportioned body.  Luis’ paintwork is fairly decent, but I think the face print doesn’t quite work as well for him as it does for others.  Luis is packed with some fun accessories, even if they aren’t necessarily just for him.  He’s got the shrunken down Pym building (complete with handle and wheels), and the ant that Hope and Hank swap for Scott.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kind of like the film it’s based on, this set definitely took a bit of a back seat to the rest of the 80 Years offerings.  I was certainly excited to see Ghost get a figure, and the idea of getting Luis certainly has a degree of novelty to it.  That being said, the execution of Luis doesn’t really work out as well as you might hope.  He’s not bad, but he’s certainly one of the weaker Legends of late.  Ghost is a pretty solid figure in her own right, but it’s tough to say if it’s really worth buying the set just for her.  If you like the film and you like the characters, this isn’t a bad set, but I don’t see it grabbing a lot of casual fans.

Luis and Ghost came from my sponsors at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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#1893: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“What matters most is not the size of the man in the fight, but the size of the fight in the man — and the bad guys take big hits from Ant-Man!”

A few weeks ago, I looked at *most* of the latest Vintage sub-series of Marvel Legends, but didn’t quite cover them all.  The two missing were Ant-Man and Hawkeye, and, while I still haven’t found a Hawkeye, I did manage to snag an Ant-Man.  So here he is!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ant-Man is another piece of the second series of the Marvel Legends Vintage line, and is the natural pairing to the Wasp figure from this same assortment.  The set hit stores right around the time of Ant-Man and the Wasp’s home media release, so I guess they were pretty sensibly timed.  In terms of the character he’s representing (that being a Hank Pym version of Ant-Man), he’s actually a first for Legends, though in terms of the actual figure, he follows the rest of the assortment’s trend of being a lot of revisited ground.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Sculpturally, this Ant-Man is identical to the Walgreens-exclusive Black Ant from 2015.  Technically, it’s not a pitch-perfect translation, since the two designs hive some slight discrepancies, but it’s close enough that we’ve all pretty much been expecting this exact figure since Black Ant was first shown off.  That it took Hasbro so long to deliver it is the reals surprise.  His paintwork is the main difference, of course, as it returns Ant-Man to his classic red and blue.  It’s a striking combo, and the hues chosen are bold and eye-catching.  The silver for the helmet is just the raw color of the plastic, so it’s got that slight swirly effect going on, but it works alright for this particular design.  There are some slight flaws, most notably a spot of missing paint on the figure’s nose, but he overall looks pretty decent.  I was going to rag on this figure’s boots for being straight across the top and not jagged like his gloves, but a quick review of classic Ant-Man appearances shows that the boots were just as often depicted this way, so hey, Hasbro’s not wrong.  Since Ant-Man is designed to pair off with Wasp, he comes with the natural counterpoint to her mini Ant-Man accessory: a mini Wasp.  It’s the same one used twice before in the Marvel Universe line, but this time painted up to match the Wasp figure from this assortment.  I really do wish she had included a flight stand of some sort, but oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ant-Man’s a figure I’ve been waiting for, and I certainly didn’t want to miss out on him.  That said, I was willing to be patient, even when he wasn’t among the first round of these figures I found.  Fortunately, the same connection that got me Vision and Wasp was also able to snag Hank for me, so now I’m one step closer to a complete set.  Though there’s not a lot of new going on with this figure, the starting point was already a pretty good figure in the first place, and the new colors definitely make him pop.

#1777: Ant-Man & Stinger

ANT-MAN & STINGER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Both powered by Pym Particles and able to shrink to the size of an ant, Scott and Cassie Lang have more in common than a family name.”

Though still not quite one of Marvel’s top-tier heroes, there’s no denying that Ant-Man’s gotten a bit more prominent in recent years.  Having two movies under your belt will do that sort of thing for you.  It also translates to a greater action figure presence, but it’s only just recently translated to a better presence for the character’s comics incarnation.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ant-Man and Stinger were *supposed* to be a TRU-exclusive two-pack, but…well, we all know what happened there.  Had all gone according to plan, it would have been released to coincide with the release of Ant-Man & The Wasp, but, again, we know what happened there.  Ultimately, it was handed off to Entertainment Earth, who took most of the planned TRU-exclusives.

ANT-MAN

It sure has been a while since we got a comics-styled Scott Lang.  The last one was back during the Toy Biz days (and was, in fact, the first Legends Ant-Man).  This one gives us Scott in his most recent costume, from Astonishing Ant-Man.  It’s a nice melding of his prior costumes, and also has a number of elements in common with the movie designs, so I’m definitely a fan.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He’s built on the 2099 body, which is really shaping up to be a favorite of mine.  It’s definitely a good match for how Scott’s classically been depicted.  He actually gets a sizable selection of new parts, which includes his head, torso, pelvis, and knees.  The head is a good match for recent depictions of Scott, and includes one of the least silly-looking takes on his helmet in action figure form.  The other pieces add in the armored elements of the costume, which is an improvement over the painted work from prior figures in the line.  Most impressively, his lower torso is also a new piece, just to give him some slight wrinkles at the base of his belt.  Very true to the way this suit is usually depicted, and a really fun little character detail that could have easily been overlooked.  Scott’s paintwork is pretty standard fair for the line.  The colors have a nice contrast and the red in particular is bright and eye-catching.  There’s a little bit of slop on my figure’s shoulders, but nothing super major.  Ant-Man includes no accessories, which is a slight let-down.  An unmasked head would have really been nice.

STINGER

Cassie Lang has never gotten a Legends release before.  She’s gotten one prior figure, which was also in her Stinger identity, although that one was her MC2-incarnation, whereas this figure’s clearly meant to be her more recent turn as Stinger from the main universe.  While I’m happy to finally add Cassie to my Legends collection, and I understand Stinger is her current incarnation, there’s definitely a frustration on my part that after waiting a decade to round out my Young Avengers display, I finally get a Cassie figure, and she’s not in her Stature costume.  Alas, I’ll just have to live with it.  Stinger stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 33 points of articulation.  The figure is built on the teen female body, which is not only a pretty decent body, but also a good fit for how Cassie tends to be depicted.  She gets a new head and a slightly tweaked upper torso, and also makes use of the Wasp’s wings.  The head is a solid piece of work, and we get a nice, crisp sculpt on the helmet.  The torso is pretty much just the basic piece, but with the appropriate ports for the wings.  Stinger only has two wings, rather than Wasp’s usual four, so these ones are just the main ones, with the secondary wing pieces removed.  Obviously, it’s an accuracy thing, but it does mean she’s just got empty peg holes where the secondary wings would have plugged in.  That’s sort of frustrating.  Cassie’s paintwork is overall pretty decent, but there’s a slight issue with the purple on the thighs not really matching the rest of the suit.  Don’t do light over dark, guys! Like her father, Cassie doesn’t include any accessories.  Given that she has far less unique pieces, this is even more frustrating.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was definitely interested in this set when it was shown off, since I quite like Cassie, and I’ve been hoping for a decent update to Scott for a little while.  Scott’s definitely the star here, being a fun costume choice, and a solid set of new pieces on one of Hasbro’s strongest base bodies.  I would have definitely preferred if Cassie had been Stature instead, but I suppose that would be better served to a BaF release at some point down the road.  As is this figure is a decent, if slightly flawed stand-in.

Since Toys R Us obviously wasn’t a viable option, I instead grabbed this set from my friends over at All Time Toys.  If you’d like one of your own, it’s still in-stock here.  And, if you’re looking for other toys, both old and new, please also check out All Time’s full eBay store front, and take a look at their webstore at alltimetoys.com.

#1669: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Scott Lang suits up as Ant-Man with a specialized suit engineered by Pym Technologies that lets him blast into any battle, big or small.”

Ant-Man was a film that sure took its sweet time making its way to the big screen, but its sequel, Ant-Man & Wasp seems to have had a much easier time of it, being released just three years after its predecessor, and without any notable production issues.  Like the first film, it would appear this sequel will be serving as a little bit of a breather, following the much heavier Avengers: Infinity War.  The first time around, Ant-Man got its own series of Legends, which hung around for a bit.  This time, Hasbro’s rolled the Infinity War and Ant-Man & Wasp figures into one more generically “Avengers” themed assortment, which seems like a pretty smart move.  Up first, the guy who’s name is first in the title, Ant-Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ant-Man is part of the Cull Obsidian Series of Marvel Legends.  Though the theme is more Infinity War, the first Ant-Man assortment had Ultron as the Build-A-Figure, so Ant-Man being part of an assortment that builds an Avengers foe isn’t without precedent.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  This Ant-Man gets an all-new sculpt, based on his design from the upcoming film.  It appears that Ant-Man’s suit has been tweaked yet again, giving us something that’s sort of a midway point between his solo and Civil War designs.  It’s definitely my favorite of the the three we’ve gotten so far, and seems to preserve even more of the classic comics design than we’ve seen in previous costumes.  Unlike both Ant-Man and Giant-Man, this figure appears to actually be pretty darn close to the final film design, at least from what we’ve seen in the trailers.  At the very least, the helmet’s quite accurate, which is a tremendous improvement over the first figure.  His body also lacks the overall scrawniness of the Giant-Man figure, which is another plus.  Even without comparing it to the prior figures, the texturing, the layering, and the overall proportions of the sculpt are just really strong, and make it a definite standout.  If I have one complaint, it’s that I miss the visible eyes from the Giant-Man figure.  That would have added an extra kick to this already strong sculpt.  The paint work on this guy is also pretty strong.  The costume has a lot more red this time around, which I certainly prefer to all that black from the first design.  The application is all pretty solid, with only minimal bleed over.  I’m not super crazy about the swirly molded silver plastic on the helmet, but fortunately, all the other silvers are painted.  Ant-Man is packed with an extra, unmasked Scott Lang head.  It has a decent likeness of Paul Rudd, but that grin is definitely more caricature than realism.  I mean, I prefer it to another bland expression, and I’m glad Hasbro tried something different, but I’m going to be keeping this one helmeted.  Also included is the leg of the Build-A-Figure Cull Obsidian.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I made the most of it at the time, I was always a little let-down by the first film’s figure of its main character.  Sure, it’s not a terrible figure by any stretch, but there are more than a few inaccuracies.  Hasbro was just in a very different place when that figure was released, and this guy definitely shows that.  I didn’t know quite what to expect from this guy, but I was very pleasantly surprised when I got him in-hand.  A stand-out figure in an already very strong line-up.  If not for Black Knight’s presence in this series, I think Ant-Man could have been top-dog.

Ant-Man was purchased from my sponsors over at All Time Toys.  You can visit them in person on Main Street in Ellicott City, MD, or you can view their sizable online catalogue via their online store or their eBay store front!

#1103: Ant-Man & Falcon

ANT-MAN & FALCON

MARVEL MINIMATES

antmanfalconmm1

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. 

#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.

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