#0752: Age of Ultron Minimates Boxed Set

FINAL FORM ULTRON, IRON LEGION 01, TONY STARK, MARK 45, & NICK FURY

MARVEL MINIMATES

AoUMatesBox1

So, Series 61 and 63 of Marvel Minimates, plus the two TRU exclusive sets and the blind bagged figures, did a pretty reasonable job of getting us just about every important character from Age of Ultron. We got the whole Avengers team, plus several Ultrons, a few Iron Legion drones, two minor villains, and the Hulkbuster. However, DST felt that wasn’t quite enough, so we’ve gotten an extra, special five figure (that’s a whole extra figure!) boxed set to fill a few holes in the collection.  Without further ado, let’s have a look at Final Form Ultron, Iron Legion 01, Tony Stark, Iron Man Mark 45, and Nick Fury!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set was one of the SDCC-exclusive sets offered by DST this year. The sets were then available at various retailers following the show.

FINAL FORM ULTRON

AoUMatesBox3Ultron looks a little….I don’t want to say puffy…  Yeah, so this is Ultron in his Vibranium infused body from the film’s big climactic battle, which is ever so slightly different from his main look for the rest of the movie. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Ultron uses the base Minimate body, with non-standard pieces for the head, hands, and feet, as well as add-ons for the shoulders and torso extension. All of these pieces are re-used from prior figures; the head is from Ultron Prime, the hands originated on DC Minimates’ Cheetah, the feet are from Nightcrawler, and the add-ons are pieces we’ve seen on numerous prior ‘mates. It’s definitely a hodge-podge of pieces, but the end result actually looks pretty sleek. Also, he amends the issue of size that plagued Ultron Prime; he’s not huge, but he’s certainly got a level of imposing-ness to him. The paintwork on this figure is superb. The silver is nice and cleanly applied, the detail lines are nice and sharp, and he does a pretty great job of replicating the film design. Everything looks really great, and he’s even got a full set of detail lines on the normal arms under the bulked up shoulders. Ultron includes a spare set of normal hands and feet painted silver, for those that don’t want the more unique pieces, as well as a clear display stand.

IRON LEGION 01

AoUMatesBox6Okay, so if there’s one thing this set might have been okay without, it’s another Iron Legion drone. The blind bags ran into a bit of an issue by seriously over-packing drones 02 and 04, which kind of got us all down on the drones in general. That said, there are actually supposed to be five of these guys, and we only had two (three if you count the Ultron Mk 1 as drone 03), so I guess getting another of them isn’t the worst thing. Of course, if I were choosing one more, I’d probably go with 05, since you could include the scepter the drone steals, but DST went with 01. I guess having 01, 02, 03, and 04 is better than having 02, 03, 04, and 05. This figure is virtually identical to the other two drones we got (reviewed here). He’s a vanilla ‘mate, with a fair amount of painted details. Obviously, he’s got “01” in place of the preceding “02” and “04,” and he’s also got grey accents as opposed to the blue and black, respectively, of the other two.

TONY STARK

AoUMatesBox2Hey, it wouldn’t be the Avengers without another Tony Stark, right? The “trying to lift the hammer” sequence from AoU was definitely one of the more popular scenes from the movie, so it’s not a huge surprise to see Tony in his look from that scene. Tony has 5 sculpted add-on pieces for his hair, vest, tie, and rolled up sleeves. These are all pieces we’ve seen numerous times before, and they do a good job of capturing his look from the scene. His paint is pretty simple, with mostly base color work. The facial likeness somewhat resembles RDJ, though I don’t think it’s as good as some of DST’s other versions of the guy. It’s also a little bit too high set. Tony includes one of his Iron Man gauntlets (taken from the Mark 43), which is kind of key to the scene, as well as a spare set of arms and a jacket piece, and a clear display stand. It would have been cool to include Mjolnir here, but I can’t say this guy’s lacking for extras.

MARK 45

AoUMatesBox5We got the Mark 43, we got the Hulkbuster, and we got a basic Tony. What’s left? The Mark 45, Tony’s armor from the last fight scene. It’s only a little bit different from the Mark 43, but it’s still its own armor, and it continues the trend of each model streamlining the basic design just a bit more. Structurally, he’s just a basic ‘mate, with the helmet from the Mark 42/43. It’s not 100% accurate, but at this scale, it’s close enough. The paint is the important part here, and it’s handled quite nicely. The red and gold are distinctly different from each other, and they’re both nice and bright. The details of the suit are rendered pretty nicely on the body, and look pretty accurate to the source material. Under the helmet, there’s another Tony face, which is much angrier looking than the regular Tony. It looks even less like RDJ, but I much prefer a different expression that looks less like the actor than the same expression over and over again. The figure includes the same hairpiece included with the other Tony, as well as a flight stand, and a clear display stand.

NICK FURY

AoUMatesBox7At last! A character who wasn’t released in any of the other AoU assortments! Fury was originally slated to be one of the figures in the blind bagged assortment before being pulled from the lineup, so it’s not a huge shock to see him turn up here. The figure depicts Fury in his somewhat more distinct look from his earlier appearances in the film. He gets two add-on pieces for his hat and coat. The hat comes from the Amazing Spider-Man Vigilante Spider-Man, and the coat is from Punisher War-Zone’s Frank Castle. These parts match up pretty closely with the look from the film, and their well-sculpted in general, so that’s good. Fury’s paint is fairly simple. He’s got a fairly drab color scheme, with a bit of detailing for the belt, shirt, and face. The face doesn’t really look much like SLJ, but he’s a decent looking Fury. Also, I really like that the eye patch’s strap goes all the way around the head, even under the hat, though it’s a little frustrating that the head has a peg hole at the top for the hat. Fury includes a spare head with the eye patch removed, a handgun, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I didn’t go to SDCC, I picked this set after the fact, courtesy of Luke’s Toy Store. This set doesn’t cover a whole lot of new ground, but it’s still a solid addition. Ultron is a significant improvement to Ultron Prime, Fury and Stark are both valid variants, and the Mark 45 and the Legion drone are decent enough. The final AoU line-up is pretty impressive!

AoUMatesBox9

Advertisements

#0738: Hulkbuster

HULKBUSTER

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

HulkbusterML1

If you’ve been keeping up with the last week of reviews, the focus of today’s review being the Hulkbuster really shouldn’t come as much of a shock to you.

So, umm, yeah. Hulkbuster! Whoooooo! That’s…well, not really new or different, or anything. Not that that’s a bad thing! Just, everybody and there mother’s been doing Hulkbuster figures recently (gee, I can’t imagine why…), so I’ve kinda run out of things to say about the armor. Let’s just get to the freaking review already!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HulkbusterML2The Hulkbuster armor is the build-a-figure for the (appropriately named) “Hulkbuster Series” of the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series line. This marks the second time that the Hulkbuster’s made into the Marvel Legends line, but it’s the first one in quite a while. He’s based on the design from Avengers: Age of Ultron, so he goes with that subset of Legends figures, though he also fits in just fine with the comic-based legends. The figure is 9 ¼ inches tall and has 31 points of articulation, which is pretty darn impressive for a figure this bulky. He also weighs a metric ton. No lightweight build-a-figure this time! Hulkbuster gets an all-new sculpt, and while it’s not Hot Toys level of detailing, it’s pretty great. Everything is nice and symmetrical, and they’ve done a pretty decent job of balancing the aesthetic of the sculpt with range of motion on the joints. As far as accuracy to what’s on the screen, he’s a little bit off. Not a lot, but enough to make it noticeable. In general, it seems Hasbro opted to give HulkbusterML4the suit a slightly more “heroic” build, broadening the shoulders, shrinking the head a bit, and lengthening the arms and legs. All minor nudges, but the end result is a bit different. Of course, it also ends up being something that looks more at home with the rest of the figures in this series, so I can see why they might tweak him. If there’s one area on this figure that has room for improvement, it’s the paint. Now, let me follow that up by saying that this figure’s paint is by no means bad. In fact, it’s actually pretty good for Hasbro. What’s there is bold and cleanly applied. It’s a good looking figure. However, the color palate is much too bright to be movie accurate (especially noticeable when this figure is placed next to the Mark 43) and the sculpt would very much benefit from a paintjob that does a better job of accentuating it. As is, it’s solid work, but with a better paint job it could be fantastic work.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Yeah, so, umm, see that build-a-figure part up there? Wanna take a guess as to how I got mine? As soon as this guy was shown off, I knew I wanted one. None of the other Hulkbuster stuff really excited me, but this one did. The final figure may have its flaws, but, like I said, this is still a really solid figure. Both metaphorically and physically. Seriously, in event of my house getting broken into, forget the baseball bat, I’m grabbing this guy!

HulkbusterML3

#0736: War Machine

WAR MACHINE

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

Warmachine1

Recently, Hasbro’s been putting a lot of effort into making sure that no Marvel Legends prototype gets left behind, so a decent percentage of just about every new series of the line in the last year has been made up of figures we’ve seen in some capacity before. Most of the time, these figures are comic-based figures who take advantage of movie popularity to get their sales, but today’s figure bucks that trend, actually being a movie-based figure who was salvaged from the scrap heap. So, let’s have a look at War Machine, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

WarMachine2War Machine is the second to last figure in the Hulkbuster Series of the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series figures. He also has the notoriety of being the only movie-based figure in a series with a movie-based Build-A-Figure, which has caused some people a bit of frustration. This figure was originally supposed to be a part of the third series of the Iron Man 3 Marvel Legends, but that series ended up cancelled. He was meant to be based on the concept drawings for the pre-Iron Patriot War Machine 2.0 armor, but now he gets to be based on the actual armor design from Age of Ultron. Yes, it’s the same design, but now it’s more official, right? The figure stands roughly 6 ¼ inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation (counting the shoulder pads and the mounted gun). Sculpturally, this figure is an almost 100% re-use of the Iron Man 3 Marvel Legends Col. James Rhodes/Iron Patriot figure. Literally the only difference between the two sculpts is the left hand, which was open on the Iron Patriot figure, but is closed here. However, this is one of those cases where re-use is not only warranted, but pretty much necessary for the appropriate look. They’re supposed to be the same armor in-universe. It helps that the Iron Patriot sculpt was a pretty good one, too. The fine detail work is just great, it’s super accurate to the source material, and he has decent proportions to boot. The only real downside to this guy is the mounted gun, which doesn’t get the full mobility of the film version, resulting in it being stuck in a somewhat hard to work with pose. It’s workable, but a little frustrating. The main difference on this guy is that paint job. The Iron Patriot figure was (obviously) in more patriotic colors. This figure returns Rhodey to his more traditional black and grey color scheme for which he’s what he’s more known. It’s not the most exciting color selection of all time, but it’s accurate. Plus, he still has all the small writing and insignias that were seen on Iron Patriot, which is definitely nice to see. Another big difference between this guy and his predecessor is his accessory compliment. In addition to the requisite Hulkbuster piece, War Machine also gets an alternate head with his faceplate up, revealing a pretty decent Don Cheadle likeness.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I definitely got this guy for the Hulkbuster piece. There’s no two ways about that. When he was initially announced for the IM3 Legends line-up, I was definitely going to pass. I like the armor design and all, but I find the Iron Patriot color-scheme much more exciting, so that was the figure for me. But, then he got moved to this set and I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. Honestly, he’s a pretty great figure. He’s the same great sculpt, plus he gets that cool new head sculpt, which really makes him work. I don’t regret getting this guy.

WarMachine3

#0725: Bruce Banner & War Machine

BRUCE BANNER & WAR MACHINE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Banner&WM1

Age of Ultron had quite a few characters in it, just about all of whom deserved to be represented in toy form. Of course, getting all of those characters actually released in said form is kind of a different story. Diamond Select toys has by far made the best stab at it, giving us figures of almost every character, including today’s entries, Bruce Banner and War Machine.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Banner and War Machine are the TRU exclusive set from the second series of AoU-inspired Marvel Minimates. They don’t have quite the clever pairing of yesterday’s Hulkbuster and Hulk, but it’s not a huge stretch to consider this the “pals of Tony” set.

BRUCE BANNER

Banner&WM3This isn’t the first Bruce Banner Minimate, or even the first MCU Banner Minimate, but it is the first Mark Ruffalo Bruce Banner ‘mate. Banner was actually supposed to get a ‘mate from the first Avengers, but the army builder case which was meant to include him was scratched before it was even solicited. But here he is now! Yay for him! Banner represents his look from the lab scenes in AoU. It’s a look that falls back in line with the more classic depictions of Bruce from the comics, which isn’t really a look he’s had in the movies. It’s certainly more befitting of Bruce’s scientific nature. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and he has the usual 14 points of articulation. Banner has two main add-on pieces: his hair and his lab coat. Both are re-used. The hair dates back to El Indigo from the Fistful of Dollars set, and the jacket first appeared on Ghostbusters 2’s Janosz. The hair is passable; it’s not a perfect match, but it’s not horribly off either. The coat is really just a basic coat, so no issues there. Banner’s paintwork is all pretty nicely handled. The checkering on the shirt under his coat is very well-done, and adds a nice bit of pop to the figure. It makes me wish he had a set arms with sleeves to match, but, alas, he’ll always be stuck with the lab coat. The face is a good Ruffalo likeness, which is always a plus. Banner includes the standard clear display stand, as well as an extra angry head. The extra head is a fantastic addition, and I love the bright green eyes.

WAR MACHINE

Banner&WM2War Machine has a somewhat minor role in AoU, but he does play into the big climactic fight and he was part of the Avengers roster in the final shot, so his inclusion is certainly warranted. In AoU, War Machine is wearing the his Iron Patriot armor from Iron Man 3, but done up in his more traditional War Machine colors. Since it’s the same armor, it’s an easy repaint for all the toy companies that made IM3 stuff, which is why he’s shown up in several of the AoU tie-in lines. Structurally, this figure’s the same as Series 49’s Iron Patriot ‘mate. He’s got add-ons for the helmet, torso piece, waist, upper arms, boots, and gloves. I thought the armor looked just a bit pudgy on that figure, and I still feel that’s the case here, but it’s not horrible. His paint is more or less identical to Series 49’s War Machine 2.0. Since it’s the same basic design and the same sculpted parts, that’s kind of expected, though. There are a few differences: the Air Force linsignias from the gloves of the 49 version are no longer there, his facial expression has been changed, and the overall finish of the figure is much shinier. The loss of the insignias is a bummer, but not a big deal. The face looks a bit more like Cheadle, but I can’t say I’m a fan of his dopey expression. War Machine includes the usual clear display stand, as well as a flight stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this TRU exclusive at TRU. What a novel concept, right? I actually picked him up while out on this big video game shopping trip we did for my brother’s birthday, which was kind of cool. Banner’s a fun addition to the line, and I’m glad he finally made it out. War Machine feels a little unnecessary, and not quite as good as his Series 49 counterpart, but he’s a good figure for those that missed out on the first version, I suppose. Not the most thrilling set of all time, but a pretty solid one.

Banner&WM5

#0724: Hulkbuster Iron Man & Rampaging Hulk

HULKBUSTER IRON MAN & RAMPAGING HULK

MARVEL MINIMATES

Hulkbuster&Hulk1

Keeping the discussion about character pairings going, if Hulk and Klaue are a rather unlikely duo, then today’s pairing, Hulkbuster Iron Man and “Rampaging” Hulk, are kind of the flip side of the coin. Seriously, I can’t think of a more perfect pairing than these two, so kudos to DST for making such a thing happen. Now, let’s see how the figures actually turned out!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two are the third set of figures from Marvel Minimates Series 63. They’re also available as part of the second TRU assortment of AoU Minimates, but mine in particular are from the specialty release.

HULKBUSTER IRON MAN

Hulkbuster&Hulk3An Avengers series is kind of a hard sell without an Iron Man, so here one is. At least it’s a unique, story important variant, though. Plus it’s widely different from the Mark 43 variant of the preceding series. No minor paint difference variant here! *glares at Boarders Exclusive sunglasses wearing Mark 4* This figure marks the third time the Hulkbuster has graced the line, though it’s the first time it’s made it into a regular release series. He is, of course, based on “Veronica’s” one scene wonder appearance from AoU, which is kind of an amalgam of all the various Hulkbuster looks from over the years, with a dash of the movie armor style thrown in. Hulkbuster has got to be one of the most heavily sculpted figures of late, with a whopping 10 add-on pieces. These include a torso/helmet, bicep covers, hands, thigh covers, boots, and a torso extender. With the exception of the torso extender, all of these pieces are new to this figure. The pieces are loaded with detail, and do a pretty great job of translating the movie’s design to the Minimate aesthetic. Unsurprisingly, the parts restrict the articulation, but that kind of goes hand in hand with such a bulky look. The torso/helmet is the star piece here; its very nicely sculpted, and the helmet is on a hinge, so it can swing up to reveal the Hulkbuster&Hulk4underlying smaller IM helmet. On the flip side, the thigh pieces are probably the weakest parts. They’re decently detailed, but they just kind of float around on the thighs. Hulkbuster’s paintwork is pretty great overall. The outer armor has pretty straightforward work. It’s a little messy around some of the edges, but looks pretty good overall. Under the armor, the arms and legs are solid silver and gold, respectively. The torso and head, however, are fully detailed, incredibly well I might add, depicting the Mark 43 under the Hulkbuster armor. The Mark 43 ‘mate was a touch on the bulky side, so the slightly sleeker pieces offered here are much appreciated. Hulkbuster Iron Man’s only accessory is a clear display stand, but the large quantity of new parts on the actual figure more than make for that.

RAMPAGING HULK

Hulkbuster&Hulk2Hey, remember the Hulk Minimate I looked at yesterday? Yeah, this one is really similar to that one. However, instead of just being a basic, run of the mill Hulk from the movie, this one is specifically based on the scene where Scarlet Witch messes with Banner’s head and causes him to transform into a more unsettled Hulk. He then does the rampaging bit, necessitating the use of the Hulkbuster armor. So, it’s a pretty good choice to go alongside the Hulkbuster Minimate, I suppose. He uses the same parts loadout as the regular version, which is at the very least consistent. These parts worked well there, and they work well here. The paint is where the differences occur. The basic detail lines and such are mostly the same, though the face has been tweaked to make him a little more rampage-y. Rather than the simple teeth-baring grimace of the regular Hulk, this guy’s got a full-on screaming look. The other main change is the color scheme. Hulk is noticeably much paler than his usual self. In fact, he was originally supposed to be grey Hulk during the rampage sequence, but it was changed at the last minute. It appears this figure is based on the original scheme, though perhaps with more of green tinge than an all-out Grey Hulk would have. He’s also got red around his eyes, indicating the Witch’s influence over him, which a subtle but nice touch. For some reason, his pants are also a different shade. I don’t think they were different in the movie, so it seems like an odd choice on DST’s part. Rampaging Hulk matches his regular-colored counterpart in the accessories department, only including a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After the more balanced Hulk and Klaue set, this one feels much more weighted to one of the two figures. Hulkbuster Iron Man is this set’s clear star. He’s fantastically sculpted, and his paint is pretty great too. Add in the new, streamlined torso and head for the Mark 43, and he comes out a serious winner. Rampaging Hulk is well done from a technical standpoint, but a bit drab and unexciting. Being in the same series as the regular version doesn’t do him a whole lot of favors. He’s also hindered by the decision to negate the change in his coloring for the final film. I feel like this look would have been better served as an extra head for the main Hulk, so as to free up a slot for someone else from the movie.

#0723: Hulk & Ulysses Klaue

HULK & ULYSSES KLAUE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Hulk&Klaue1

So, when you’re doing a line that revolves around packing figures in even numbers, you will inevitably run into a bit of a “pair the spares” sort of moment, where you have an even number of characters, but there are just two that have next to nothing to do with each other. Yesterday’s Vision and Hydra Soldier certainly pushed the boundaries, but hey, Vision’s an Avenger, he’s bound to fight Hydra sometime, right? Today’s pair, Hulk and Klaue have absolutely no scenes together. In fact, Banner is very pointedly left back at the Quinjet when the rest of the team goes in to deal with Klaue. I’m not even sure the two have ever met in the comics. Their connection here is “was in Age of Ultron.” Which is more than some pairings, I suppose.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two are from Series 63 of Marvel Minimates, which is the second series to be based on this summer’s Age of Ultron.

HULK

Hulk&Klaue2Hulk is certainly no stranger to Minimates. Heck, this is the fourth version just of the MCU version of the character. This one gets the more dignified stretchy pants from AoU, which is a nice step up from the torn up pants he’s been stuck with in every movie before this. Nice of someone to buy him some stretchy pants! Hulk is a big guy, and as such, he gets all the “big guy” parts in DST’s catalogue: torso cover, bulked up upper arms and legs, a waist piece, larger hands and feet, and a torso extender. They’re just as good here as they have been on all the other figures to use these parts. He also has another piece for his hair. It’s the same piece that was used on both Zombie Hulk and Defenders Hulk, as well as a few others, and it’s a pretty good piece for Hulk. Hulk’s paint is quite well handled. The detail lines are nice and sharp and sum up his look from the movie very well, and his colors seem like a pretty good match. Accessories-wise, Hulk is rather light, featuring just a clear display stand.

ULYSSES KLAUE

Hulk&Klaue3The Marvel villain Klaw has gotten a handful of figures in the last few years, but this is the first time we’ve gotten a figure of his pre-sound-monster form, Ulysses Klaue. I do believe this is the first time we’ve gotten a figure of Andy Serkis the actual person, as well. Pretty nifty, right? Klaue makes use of three add-on pieces, for his hair, belt, and wrist band. The hair is a re-use of Pvt. Lerner from Platoon, which, while not a perfect match, is close enough to work. The armband is one of Street Fighter vs Tekken’s Heihachi’s. Again, not a perfect match, but close enough to work. The belt looks to be a new piece, and it’s quite nicely done, with some nice texturing and such. Klaue’s paintwork is, simply put, Hulk&Klaue4fantastic. Easily some of the best Minimate paint I’ve seen in some time. Everything is really clean, the detail lines are nice and sharp, and there’s plenty of cool detail work, especially on the tattoos. The likeness is pretty spot-on to Serkis, which is quite impressive. Klaue is packed with a knife, a handgun, and a clear display stand. The gun and knife have a little difficulty staying in their appropriate spots on the belt, but they’re both pretty cool additions.

THE ME HALF IF THE EQUATION

These two were another purchase from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix. Unlike yesterday’s set, where the clear star was Vision, I feel like this set is much more balanced. Hulk is a great improvement to his first Avengers figure, and he nicely rounds out the AoU Avengers line-up. Klaue is a surprisingly enjoyable figure. On the surface, he’s just a drab civilian, but there’s actually a lot of cool little details that make this guy a real stand-out.

 

#0722: Vision & Hydra Soldier

VISION & HYDRA SOLDIER

MARVEL MINIMATES

Vision&Hydra1

In my recent Age of Ultron boxed set review, I noted the difficulty of getting a complete line-up of the Avengers from the film. While Hasbro’s only managed to get the main team from the first film in one cohesive scale, Marvel Minimates actually offers the whole team from the second film, add-ons and all. I’ve already looked at the twins, so the one major missing link is the team’s resident synthezoid, the Vision, aka the absolute coolest character in the movie. That’s indisputable fact!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Vision was packed alongside a generic Hydra Soldier as a part of Series 63 of Marvel Minimates, which is the second AoU-based series. This is the more common of the two Vision packs; the variant set has a phasing version.

VISION

Vision&Hydra2Vision makes his MCU debut here, though this is fourth time he’s made his way into the Minimates style. He’s based on his main, final battle look from the film, which itself is pretty decent adaptation of his classic comics look, with a bit of his Now! look thrown in. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he’s got 14 points of articulation. Vision makes use of a single add-on piece for his cape. It was first used on the DC Minimates Superman. It’s really just a fairly standard cape, which works well enough for Vision’s design. It lacks the more intricate shoulder piece of the film design, but at the smaller scale, it’s not really noticeable. The rest of Vision’s detail work is handled via paint. He has a bunch of detail work, on just about every surface, which is pretty cool. The likeness bears more than a passing resemblance to Paul Bettany, which is always good. The rest of the details translate his film costume pretty nicely. The colors are a bit more drab than I’d like, but they aren’t as off as most of the other Vision merchandise, which is a plus. The cape being clear is still a little odd, if I’m honest, but the intricate detailing on the back does a lot to make up for it. For accessories, Vision is pretty basic. He’s got a flying stand and a more basic display stand. Some extra phasing parts might have been cool, but the variant figure has that pretty well covered a guess.

HYDRA SOLDIER

Vision&Hydra3This definitely isn’t the first MCU Hydra Soldier we’ve gotten, but it is the first one to be from the modern day, so that’s cool. This figure is a general representation of the Hydra Soldiers the Avengers fought during the opening sequence of the film. It’s not the most visually distinct look, but it’s what they looked like in the movie. The Hydra Soldier has add-ons for his helmet, jacket/hood, and the pouches on his legs. The helmet is a re-use from Series 51’s Heavy SHIELD Agent; it’s a good match for the look from the film, so it works. The pouches on the legs look familiar, but I can’t place exactly where I’ve seen them before. They’re well-sculpted regardless. The jacket piece looks to be new to this figure; it’s a pretty straightforward winter coat, and it fits well on the figure. It’s a little light on details, but otherwise decent. The paintwork on this guy is actually pretty great. The camo has some decent coverage, which is always nice to see. The rest of the paintwork is also pretty clean, and he’s even got a fully detailed shirt underneath of the coat, should you chose to display him without it. The face isn’t based on anyone in particular, but it’s a good generic face. The Hydra Agent is packed with a decent allotment of accessories. He has a traditional machine gun, a more science-y gun, a baseball cap for additional customizability, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this set up from my local comic book store. As one of the few versions of AoU Vision available, I was pretty eager to get the set for him. Vision’s definitely a strong ‘mate, and a worthy addition to the Avengers line-up. He’s definitely the main draw here. The Hydra Agent isn’t the most exciting army builder, but the ‘mate is decently put together, and there are worse things than having a fairly straightforward soldier. All-in-all, this is a pretty fun set of ‘mates.

Vision&Hydra4

#0716: Age of Ultron Boxed Set

THOR, BLACK WIDOW, BRUCE BANNER, & HAWKEYE

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

AoUML1

Trying to get a full line-up of the whole Avengers team from Avengers: Age of Ultron has been a barren source of amusement. Hasbro’s 2 ½ inch line has given us all but Black Widow and Quicksilver. The 3 ¾ inch line is missing those two again, plus Hawkeye and Vision. Up until recently, the Marvel Legends figures had only given us movie versions of Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America. Amazon has stepped in to help us at least finish up the main team (sans new additions), giving us a boxed set containing Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye from the second film, as well as figure of Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner for good measure.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were sold as a single boxed set, which just started shipping out a few weeks ago. They’re technically an Amazon exclusive, but time will tell if that sticks or if other stores might start getting them.

THOR

AoUML2This guy’s probably the most surprising to see relegated to an online-only boxed set. I mean, he’s Thor. That seems pretty big. But, I guess stores are still afraid of him after the incredibly slow sales of the toys from his first solo movie (available at a Toys R Us near you!). The figure is about 7 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation. He’s based on his design from Dark World/Age of Ultron (They’re more or less the same), specifically the sleeveless look. Since he’s lacking the sleeves in both of AoU’s main fight scenes, that seems like a good choice. Structurally, this guy’s all-new, making him the only AoU figure outside of Ultron to get all-new tooling. The sculpt is really great, all around. The face isn’t a pitch-perfect Hemsworth, but it’s definitely the closest Hasbro’s gotten so far, and it really isn’t far off. The hair manages to be rather intricately detailed, and it doesn’t get too bunchy anywhere. It also doesn’t restrict movement nearly as much as you might think, which is a definite plus. The rest of the body is well proportioned and loaded with detail, all of which looks pretty accurate to the movie design. Even the cape is handled well, which doesn’t happen often. If there’s one drawback, it’s the choice to make both hands gripping; I feel like one of them being in a more outstretched pose could have added to the posing options. The paint on this figure is interesting, as it’s quite a bit different from what was seen on the prototype. In addition to the paint being much thicker than on the final figure, the prototype also had many of the accents painted gold, making the figure a Dark World figure, not an Age of Ultron figure. The final still has a slight tint of gold on those areas, but it’s minor enough that it won’t stand out as obviously wrong in an Avengers set up. It’s a happy medium, which is a good choice. Thor is armed with his mighty hammer Mjolnir, which is very nicely sculpted and painted and fits well in his hand to boot.

BLACK WIDOW

AoUML4On to opposite end of the spectrum from the all-new Thor figure is Black Widow, who is just a repaint. Yep, Widow here is head to toe a repaint of her Winter Soldier figure. You can read my opinions on the sculpt, here. Briefly recapping, it was a good sculpt then, and it still holds up pretty well here, aside from being too tall for Johansson. She uses the Avengers-styled head (the hair is seated a bit better this time around, so the likeness is better), which is sensible, since her hair in AoU was more or less the same. What wasn’t more or less the same was her costume, which actually had several differences between TWS and AoU. The figure uses paint to make these changes, but doesn’t quite make it work. The most notable change to the costume was the addition of red gauntlets, which this figure skips all together. There are these random red squares on the forearms, but they don’t even come close to being “gauntlets.” Widow also had full gloves this time, as opposed to the usual fingerless ones. Rather than actually changing the hands, Hasbro opted to just mold them in a solid black. It’s not immediately evident that they aren’t right, but to someone like me, who knows the lines for the ends of the gloves are there, it’s kind of annoying that nothing was done to fix this. They did at least get the blue “tron lines” right, so there’s that. Also, the kneepads seem a little too bright, but they are, at the very least, close to accurate. For accessories, Widow loses the extra head and hands of her TWS counterpart, and still has the non-removable guns. She does get her baton thingies from the movie, but they’re kind of a little…droopy.

BRUCE BANNER

AoUML5Believe it or not, this is the first proper, Marvel Legends-scale Bruce Banner we’ve ever gotten. We got a Banner figure from Toy Biz’s Hulk Classics line (packed with Series 2’s Gamma Hulk), but he had inferior articulation and was just slightly out of scale. We haven’t seen another until now. Civilian versions of heroes are kind of a hard sell, I guess. Banner appears to be based on his arriving at the Helicarrier look from the first Avengers movie, though it’s really just a basic business casual look, so it can work a lot of places. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. Banner uses the recently developed suit body (first used on Agent Coulson) as his base. It’s a well sculpted body, and it’s certainly the best suit body on the market, so it’s a good starting point. Bruce gets a unique head sculpt, as well as a new upper torso piece. The head is a halfway decent interpretation of Mark Ruffalo. It’s far from perfect, but you can see who it’s meant to be. I think a better paint job could bring the likeness a lot closer. The new upper torso piece is really just a minor tweak on the old, removing the tie and opening up the collar, and thereby giving Bruce a more movie-accurate look. The paintwork on Banner is alright, but not fantastic. As noted above, the paint on the head hides the sculpt; it’s just a bit too sloppy and there’s virtually no work done to play up the sculpt’s strengths. The rest of the paint is just sort of there; the colors are good and everything stays where it’s supposed to, but there’s not much that stands out. Banner includes no accessories.

HAWKEYE

AoUML3It’s everybody’s favorite punching bag, Hawkeye! After being somewhat pushed to the side in the first Avengers, Hawkeye was presented a more substantial role for Age of Ultron, where he took a slightly divergent path from his comics counterpart and went straight to work checking off every “I’m gonna die” box possible. Then he made it out without dying! And there was much rejoicing (yay).  Hawkeye is right at 6 inches tall (like Widow, he’s just too tall) and he has 30 points of articulation. The figure is largely made of re-used parts from the first movie’s Walmart exclusive Hawkeye; only the head and quiver are different, and even the quiver is re-used from the more recent Marvel Legends comic Hawkeye. This of course means that Hawkeye is in his costume from the first movie, as opposed to his snazzy jacketed look from AoU. This look does still appear during the final battle, though, and the first release of this figure wasn’t the easiest to find, so this look is pretty valid too, I guess. Overall, the sculpt is pretty decent. The articulation scheme is a little outdated and the proportions are a little wonky in some spots, but the texture work on the uniform is superb. The new head sculpt is noteworthy because it finally gives us Hawkeye without the sunglasses that every figure seems to saddle him with, despite him not wearing them in either film. The Renner likeness is pretty decent, though the head does feel just a touch too wide. The paintwork on Hawkeye is pretty good overall. The eyes are a little bit off, but not terribly so, and all of the colors are well chosen. I also appreciate that the quiver isn’t just a solid color. I do wish the spot for the SHIELD emblem had something on it, because it’s distracting for it to just be a differently textured but unpainted bit, but that’s minor. Hawkeye is packed with his trusty bow, but, like the other Hawkeyes from Hasbro, no arrows.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Wanna take a guess as to where I got this here Amazon exclusive set? Yeah, I preordered this set pretty much as soon as it went up. Not gonna lie, I actually came pretty close to cancelling it, but Amazon went and shipped it without telling me it had arrived, so here it is. It’s not the most thrilling set of all time, but it does contain some pretty important figures. Thor’s definitely the star here, being the only truly new figure, and Widow’s definitely the weakest link (in terms of accuracy and not having anything new to offer. She’s still a good figure). Banner and Hawkeye both fall somewhere in between, being nonessential, but cool to have nonetheless. I think this set might be more exciting if Amazon were to follow it up with another 4-pack featuring Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, and Falcon, so we could actually finish up the team, but that seems like wishful thinking.

AoUML6

#0683: Scarlet Witch

SCARLET WITCH

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

ScarletWitchAoU1

It’s September and I’m still making my way through the Age of Ultron toys from the beginning of the summer. It’s not like I’m just now getting these figures or anything, I’ve just had a ton of stuff to review over the summer. Anyway, I’m finally getting around to reviewing these guys, so yay. Let’s take a look at yet another of one of the film’s breakout characters, Scarlet Witch.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ScarletWitchAoU2Scarlet Witch was released in the second series of Avengers: Age of Ultron 3 ¾ inch figures. As such, she stands roughly 3 ¾ inches tall and she has 5 points of articulation. The lowered articulation on these guys still really sucks, but I guess it’s consistent. Wanda has a unique sculpt, but it’s similar in a lot of ways to her smaller figure from the 2 ½ inch line, at the very least in terms of pose. Given the larger scale, the sculpt is understandably more detailed. Her clothing in particular is a fair bit more textured, which adds a nice touch of realism. The larger scale has also allowed for slightly better proportions on the figure, as well as a better likeness of Elizabeth Olsen. In general, this is probably one of the best sculpts the 3 ¾ inch line has produced, which makes the reduced articulation a little easier to swallow. The paintwork on Scarlet Witch is passable, but nothing amazing. She’s got the most basic colors, without much variation, which is true to the rest of the line. At the very least, it’s pretty cleanly applied, with no real slop or bleed over. So, that’s good. Scarlet Witch is packed with a pair of spellcasting effects, which are the same pieces as the ones included with the recent ML Infinite Series Scarlet Witch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After giving the first 3 ¾ inch Scarlet Witch I found to my Dad, I was finally able to find one for myself a few weeks later. It seems more cases of this set have started hitting, so Scarlet Witch is a lot easier to find. That’s good, because she’s one of the better figures the line has had to offer.

Looks like it was a shorter review than usual! Not a whole lot of new stuff to say!

#0641: Vision (w/ Sub-Ultron 011)

VISION (W/ SUB-ULTRON 011)

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

VisionAoU1

With the last few Marvel movie tie-in toy lines, Hasbro’s been trying out a variety of different scales and styles, just to see what sticks, I guess. Guardians of the Galaxy skipped the company’s signature 3 ¾ inch scale in favor of the slightly smaller 2 ½ inch scale. Age of Ultron has delivered the best of both worlds (sort of) by giving us both scales. I’ve looked at a few of the 3 ¾ inch figures with…mixed results. Yesterday’s Scarlet Witch review was my first look at the smaller line, and, aside from the weird Sub-Ultron pack-in, I quite liked her. Now, Scarlet witch was one of my favorite additions to the team in Age of Ultron, but, for me, the absolute top was today’s focus, The Vision. That dude rocked super hard. Currently, his only movie-based figure (not counting the Pop! bobble-head) is in the 2 ½ inch line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

VisionAoU2Vision (and his pack-mate Sub-Ultron 011) was released in the second assortment of 2 ½ inch Avengers: Age of Ultron figures. Given the scale, it’s no surprise that the figure stands 2 ½ inches tall. This is a slight point of annoyance for me because he’s just a smidge shorter than the Scarlet Witch figure, which isn’t accurate. Vision is played by the 6’3” Paul Bettany, while Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Scarlet Witch, is only 5’6”. Scale’s a bit harder when they’re this small, so it’s sort of forgivable, but still annoying. But what about the figure outside of comparative heights? Well, obviously, he’s based on Vision as portrayed by Bettany in the movie. That being said, he appears to have been based on an earlier design for Vision. He’s not incredibly different, but the headpiece is a little bulkier and more rounded that it was in the final film. Aside from that, he’s got a pretty decent sculpt. The proportions are all nicely balanced, and his “uniform” VisionAoU3has the appropriate texturing. The cape is a little bulky at the top, but not horribly so, and it does a very nice job of capturing the intricate design from the movie. The paintwork is another area where the people at Hasbro were clearly working from a less than finalized design. In general, his palate is far more washed out than it was on screen; the greens are grey and the reds are more of a magenta. The yellow’s about the same, but the cape is missing all of the accent work of the one seen in the film, which puts the very nice sculpt somewhat to waste. Also, his headgear is just straight silver instead of green, and he’s lacking pupils. If Wanda can get pupils, so can he! Vision has no accessories of his own, but he does get packed with yet another Sub-Ultron. This one continues the wheeled theme, though we get a set of treads this time around. I think this particular Sub-Ultron is new to this pack, though the upper torso(s) did show up on a few other Sub-Ultrons in the first assortment. I like 011 more than 008, but the dual upper torso thing does confuse me a bit. Which one of them drives?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My parents went to Hawaii and all I got was this Vision action figure. Okay, not really. I mean, yes, my parents buy him for me while they were in Hawaii, but it’s not like it’s all I got. Plus, it’s the Vision. As I stated above, he rocks super hard. I think he’s on par with Hawaii. I will admit, Vision’s not quite as good as the Scarlet Witch in this scale, but he’s pretty decent, overall. Add in the fact that I like this Sub-Ultron more than the last, and you’ve got a pretty winning set. I do hope Hasbro does Vision in one of the larger scales, though. He’s too cool to be contained in a 2 ½ inch figure.