#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.

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#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.

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#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.

#0633: Giant-Man

GIANT-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINTE SERIES

GiantMan1

So, the Ant-man movie has finally found its way to its US release today. By the time you read this, I’ll have already seen it, and hopefully have enjoyed it. Now, Scott Lang, aka the second Ant-Man, takes the lead role in the film, but in both the comics and the movie, things are kicked off by Hank Pym. Pym actually moved out of the Ant-Man identity relatively quickly in the comics, becoming the slightly more useful (though also less fun) Giant-Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GiantMan2Giant-Man is the sixth figure in Hasbro’s Ant-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and features 32 points of articulation. Yes, you read that right: Giant-Man is normal sized. This has caused a little bit of contention within the collecting community. Ultimately, though, Giant-Man can change his size, and we’ve never gotten him at normal size, so I’m pretty happy about it. Giant-Man is based on his most recent design, which he first started wearing following his return to the identity after being the Wasp for a little while, right when he began teaching at Avengers Academy. It’s modern, but also not far from his original costume. I miss the blue, but it’s actually a pretty nice design. For the most part, the figure is just the Bucky Cap body, with a new head thrown in for good measure. The body is still a good one, and it’s well chosen for a normal sized Hank Pym. The head is fairly straightforward, but it’s still pretty good. The antennae were a little bit warped straight out of the package, but they go GiantMan3back to their proper shape pretty easily. The face has some of the trademarks of the post-ROML male faces, which aren’t my favorite sculpts, but the angles are softer here, so it’s not horrible. Giant-Man is a Hasbro figure, which almost always means questionable paintwork. This figure isn’t an exception. The general application is alright, and the base red plastic is nice and bright, but some of the edges are fuzzy and a few of the black sections don’t line up quite right. Also, the red on the tops of the boots doesn’t match the rest of the figure. However, as a whole, the figure doesn’t look atrocious. Giant-Man included no accessories of his own, but he did come with the right leg of Ultron.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Giant-Man was the only figure absent from the ones I found at my local TRU. As the figure I was most anticipating from this set, that bummed me out a bit, but I was able to get one courtesy of their online store. Ultimately, some of the issues with his paint, coupled with my unexpected enjoyment of Bulldozer, has resulted in him not being quite as exciting as I’d hoped. Still, he’s not a bad figure, and he does look pretty good when posed with the smaller scale Marvel Universe figures.

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#0628: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

AntManMovie1

Man, if you’d told me 5 years ago that I’d be sitting here today, with the theatrical release of the Ant-Man movie less than a week away, I’d have laughed in your face. I’d have probably laughed even harder if you’d told me it wasn’t just Ant-Man, but the Scott Lang Ant-Man. That’s just preposterous! I certainly would never have believed that the character would also be headlining his own series of Marvel Legends. And yet, here we are, with all those things totally happening. I couldn’t be happier. Now, I’m gonna review my mass produced action figure of Scott Lang as Ant-Man, based on the upcoming, big-budget film. Just go with it!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AntManMovie3Ant-Man is the first figure in Hasbro’s Ant-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series, released to coincide with the Ant-Man movie. The figure stands 6 inches tall and features 30 points of articulation. Ant-Man features an all-new sculpt, modelled, of course, on the design of the character in the film. He’s actually the only figure in the series to be based on the film’s designs, so there’s that. Of course, Scott just got a redesign in the comics that isn’t horribly far removed from the movie look (though it’s got more than a few differences), so you could easily fudge this one as being a comic figure too, if you were so inclined. The sculpt looks to do a pretty decent job of translating the movie look into plastic form. The helmet is configured with just the bottom half of his face showing, much like it looks in the comics, which is a look I haven’t actually seen in any of the film’s promotional material. It’s possible the look just hasn’t been shown, but it’s a little odd to see Hasbro go for a look that isn’t being widely promoted. Regardless, I think I might actually prefer him this way, so I don’t mind. The rest of the sculpt is pretty strong, with good proportions, and nice texturing and detail AntManMovie4work. The hands are posed in a slightly odd way, though, to Hasbro’s credit, it looks as though DST’s Marvel Select figure has pretty much the same hands. They just seem weird, and it would have been nice to get an extra pair of hands at the very least. The hands are still well-sculpted for what they are, and they’ve even got the little button that activates the shrinking. As with just about every figure produced by Hasbro these days, his only real downfall is his paint work. It’s not terrible; the colors are decent, the helmet’s got some nice weathering, and most of the paint stays within the sculpted lines. However, there’s a distracting amount of red slop on his left leg, which is really annoying. Ant-Man makes out pretty well in the accessories department; he includes miniature versions of himself, Yellow Jacket, as well as his pet ant Ant-hony (whom the miniature Ant-Man can ride). The figure also includes the head of the series’ Build-A-Figure Ultron.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The modern collecting world is very much built on knowing what’s coming and buying as much as you can online. That can kind of take a slight bit of the excitement out of getting new stuff, since there’s not really any victorious moment of finding new stuff. For a change, I actually found almost the entirety of this series at my local Toys R Us, and I didn’t even know they were out yet! Ant-Man is a figure with a few flaws, but he’s overall pretty fun.

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#0384: Hawkeye – Classic & Ant-Man – Lab Attack

HAWKEYE – CLASSIC & ANT-MAN – LAB ATTACK

MARVEL MINIMATES

Marvel Minimates is quite a long-running line. With 60 main series, along with 19 Toys R Us exclusive series and countless boxed sets, spanning over 10 years, getting into the line can be a little bit intimidating for the new collector. Fortunately, Diamond Select Toys has come up with a solution: the Best Of Marvel Minimates. This sub-line offers updates of heavy hitter characters, and they are offered up for re-order on a near regular basis, allowing new collectors the chance to get their collection off to a good start with relative ease. What’s more, they are consistently high-quality, and they offer lots of new parts to entice older collectors. They truly are the Best Of. DST just released the third assortment of the line, and today I’ll be looking at Hawkeye and Ant-Man, two long-time Avengers.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

As noted in the intro, Hawkeye and Ant-Man were released as a two pack in the third series of the Best Of off-shoot of Marvel Minimates.

HAWKEYE – CLASSIC

Hawkeye is one of the quintessential Avengers, having stuck with the team for most of its tenure. Unfortunately, just as the Avengers started showing up in Marvel Minimates, he ended up dead for a little while. Fortunately, he recent Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought the character some new life, and he’s gotten his fair share of Minimates in the last few years. And now it seems he’s popular enough to warrant a Best Of release. Hawkeye is depicted here in his classic costume. It’s shown up twice before in the line, but previous figures were a little off, so another stab at it is nice. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation. He’s built on the standard body, with some additional pieces for his mask, collar/quiver, loincloth, arm and wrist bands, and boots. They were all previously used on the Disney Store exclusive Hawkeye, and before that the boots first showed up on the Invaders boxed set Captain America, the wrist bands are from DC’s Ocean Master, and the arm bands are from Series 25’s Iron Man. All of these pieces add up to a very nice classic Hawkeye. On the previous Hawkeye, the mask seemed too bulky, but it doesn’t seem so bad here, and all of the other pieces look great. The paint on Hawkeye is pretty solid work over all, aside from one small issue: the blue on the loincloth doesn’t quite match that on the rest of the figure. It’s not too bad, but it is a minor annoyance. Other than that, everything is excellent. In particular, I love the palate on this version. The purple and blue both feel like just the right shades. Hawkeye includes his trusty bow (from the Tomb Raider line), two pointed arrows (first seen way back in the BSG line), two rounded arrows (from the Disney Hawkeye), an alternate hairpiece (from Series 27’s Ultimate Cap), and a clear display stand. Hawkeye doesn’t really have an alternate look like some of the others in this series, but he comes very well armed, and all the sculpted parts that go into his look are really great.

ANT-MAN – LAB ATTACK

Ant-Man is one of the last two founding Avengers to “hit it big.” Hopefully, his upcoming 2015 movie will help to change that. I would imagine the buzz around that movie is what warrants his place in the Best Of line, so I’d say he’s moving up. This is the Hank Pym version of Ant-Man, and he’s had two previous Minimates. I liked the first one a lot, but it looks a bit dated by current standards, and the second one was just based on too specific a look. So, an update was much needed. Like Luke Cage, it’s not a strict update of a previous look, but rather a newer look that is close to the old ones. Hank’s look is taken from the Marvel Adventures line that Marvel was running a few years ago. It’s pretty much just a streamlined version of the classic costume, so that’s not too bad. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and he features 14 points of articulation. He makes use of the standard Minimate body, with the addition of his trademark helmet. The helmet is a re-use from the very first Ant-Man, which is reasonable. It’s still a good piece, and it’s a great translation of the comic look to three dimensions. The rest of his look is done with paint, and the paint work is really great. Everything is even and clean, and all the detail work is nice and sharp. Under the helmet is Hank giving a friendly smile that is just perfect for the character. About the only thing that could stand to be different is the shade of the blue, which seems a touch too dark. Ant-Man includes a spare hairpiece (first used on the Captain America: Through the Ages Armored Cap), a lab coat (first seen on the Ghostbusters Janosz) and a spare set of arms for a more scientific look, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Luke and Iron Fist, I got these two from my local comicbook store Cosmic Comix. This is the set I was looking forward to the most form this series. Hawkeye and Ant-Man are two of my favorite Marvel characters, so I’m really happy to see them get updates. Hawkeye is easily the best version of the character to date, and is the version of the character I’ve been wanting since the line started. Ant-Man’s a really solid figure too, and while I still hope for an update to his classic design someday, this one is a great version of the character to have in the meantime.

#0302: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

AVENGERS INFINITE

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Avengers Infinite, which serves as Hasbro’s replacement for Marvel Universe, certainly has an interesting character selection. When it was first announced by Hasbro that MU was going to be rebranded with the Avengers name to make it more marketable, a lot of fans were worried that this would mean other areas of the Marvel universe would be left out. Given that, of the figures I’ve reviewed recently, there’s been one actual Avengers member (and a more recent one at that) and two characters not really related to the Avengers at all (not to mention the assortment also including Cyclops, who at this point is like the only X-Man NOT to be a member of the Avengers), I think it’s safe to say the “Avengers” section of the title is mostly a formality. Still, Hasbro is doing their best to keep the Avengers mainstays coming, as evidenced by today’s figure of founding Avenger Ant-Man.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AntManWilsonAnt-Man is part of the third series of Avengers Infinite, which is just now starting to hit stores. Ant-Man was long rumored to be part of a two-pack in Marvel Universe before the line’s cancellation, but he never saw release. You guys sensing a common theme with this series of AI, because I sure am. According to the back of the box, he’s the Hank Pym version of the character, but it could just as easily be Scott Lang if you so desire. It’s mostly based on the character’s original design, although the helmet seems to be a bit more Ultimates inspired. The figure stands about 4 inches tall and sports 24 points of articulation. He’s built on the Black Spider-Man body, specifically the incarnation of it from the end of the MU line when they added the thigh cuts. The body is one of the older bodies from the MU line, and while it doesn’t such, it’s not the greatest. In a perfect world, Hasbro would come up with another “skinny” buck, but this one works okay in a pinch. Ant-Man’s only new piece is his head. I’m not a fan of The Ultimates, so I’d prefer a more classically inspired helmet, but this one’s not terrible. It’s well sculpted, and there are a lot of nice details, so that’s cool. There are holes where it looks like they meant to place antennae, but there’s nothing there. I guess they couldn’t get them to work feasibly. For the most part, Ant-Man is molded in red plastic, except for his head, which is skin tone. Everything else is handled via paint. The paint aps are overall pretty clean, though the red to blue transitions are a bit rough. They’ve chosen to give his straight gloves and boots instead of his usual jagged ones. It’s unfortunate, as it robs the figure of a unique design element. Ant-Man includes one accessory: a mini Ant-Man, similar to the mini Wasp included with her figure.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ant-Man is the fourth, and final, of the Avengers Infinite figures I picked up from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix. I’ve always been a pretty big Ant-Man fan, so I’ve been waiting for this figure since he was supposed to be in a two-pack way back in the MU line. I’m glad to finally have the figure, but he’s at best middle of the road. I’m more of a Scott Lang Ant-Man fan, and while this one works perfectly fine as Scott, I would mind seeing him get a figure based on either of his more recent designs.

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#0006: Avengers First Appearance Boxed Set

ANT-MAN, WASP, HULK, IRON MAN, THOR, & GIANT-MAN

TOY BIZ AVENGERS FIRST APPEARANCE BOXED SET

Now a days, pretty much every one knows who the avengers are, but back in the mid 90s, they were  kind of obscure outside of the comic collecting community.  So, sets like the one I’m reviewing today were kind of a big deal.  I’ll be taking a different approach to these, and reviewing the whole set all in one shot.

ANT-MAN

THE FIGURE ITSELF

First up is Ant-Man, the first of the two Hank Pym figures included in this set.  He’s a good deal smaller than all of the other figures in the set, but that’s to be expected.  He’s got 7 points of articulation, which is good for the scale.  The most impressive part, I feel is the removable helmet, which is astounding on a figure this size.  And it looks great to boot!

WASP

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Next is Hank’s girlfriend, then wife, then ex-wife, then it got really complicated, Janet Van Dyne, aka The Wasp!  The Wasp is depicted in her original uniform, as is appropriate for an Avengers #1 set.  It’s not my favorite look of hers, but it’s not bad.  The figure shows the look off pretty well.  Wasp is about the same height as Ant-Man and has pretty much the same articulation, though his works better.  It would have been nice to get a regular sized Jan as well, but this one worked fine.

HULK

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Next is the jade giant, the Incredible Hulk.  Hulk is in his shown here wearing his Avenging shorts (I mean, that has to be their purpose, right?  Because we only ever see him wearing them with the Avengers).  Hulk is well sculpted, but the paint leaves a little bit to be desired.  Or more specifically the choice of plastic color.  They went with this sickly looking pale green, which doesn’t befit Dr Banner at all.  He looks like he needs a little sun.  Overall, a fine figure.

IRON MAN

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Onto the armored Avenger, Iron Man.  He’s depicted in his second suit of armor, the same as his original, but gold plated.  To emulate the coloring properly, Toybiz offered two versions of the set.  One came with a Vac Metalized shiny, gold chromey paint job, and the other came with a dull, brozish style of coloring.  My original was the dull version, but when his helmet got stepped on and crushed, I upgraded to the shiny one, found loose at a toy show.  Oh, and that helmet I mentioned?  Yeah, it was removable, which was definitely this figure’s coolest feature! Just look at Tony’s handsome mug!

THOR

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Oh boy.  This Thor.  Man this Thor.  This was not a good Thor.  Though, amazingly, it was the only Thor figure I owned until late into the Marvel Legends line.  But it’s not a very good figure.  The Chrome helmet and chest-circle-thingies (technical term!) are cool, and the basic body’s okay.  But then you look at that face.  Oh, man that face.  It’s bad.  And to top it all off, he has this weird poofy cloth cape, which pretty much never looked right.  I’m fairly certain this figure is the reason why I didn’t like Thor until the movie came out in 2011.

GIANT MAN

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lastly, we have what I consider to be the best figure in the set:  Giant Man!  He’s the second version of Hank Pym we’re looking at in this set, and he’s actually not quite accurate, what with Hank not being Giant Man until Avengers # 2, but man this is a cool figure, so I’m willing to overlook it.  The coolest thing about this figure, I feel, is the size.  He had some serious scale on his side.  Plus he’s just about a picture perfect representation of Hank in this costume.  The paint is sharp, the sculpt is good.  This figure’s got some serious win on his side!  He once had a set of antenna, but they fell of after a few months of play.  But at least they both fell off, preserving the symmetry.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These figures are pretty important to me, because they represent a first for me:  waiting for a figure to be released.  In the early days of the internet, I remember seeing the control art for these guys on Raving Toy Maniac.  I was absolutely thrilled.  I printed it out, and made paper figures to hold me over.

I finally saw these figures on an end-of-the-school-year shopping trip with my Nanna.  They were on an end cap and I eagerly picked them up and informed her that I didn’t need to look at anything else.  I was done.  She didn’t really get it.  Who were these characters?  Didn’t I want a Spider-Man, or a Batman instead?  Nope.  I wanted my Avengers and that’s what I got.  And man was it a great day!