#0640: Scarlet Witch (w/ Sub-Ultron 008)

SCARLET WITCH (W/ SUB-ULTRON 008)

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTON

ScarWitSubUlt1

Well, Age of Ultron has come and gone. As of last week, it’s officially no longer the hot new Marvel movie. That said, some of the tie-in product is still making its way into stores, or, in most cases, sales on more desired stuff have slowed enough that the average consumer can actually find them. That’s where I come in! Yay! Scarlet Witch was definitely one of the film’s breakout characters, so her (admittedly under-packed ) figures have been difficult to find for some time. But I got one!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ScarWitSubUlt2Scarlet Witch (along with Sub-Ultron 008) was released as part of the second round of Avengers: Age of Ultron Avengers Vs. Sub-Ultron sets. The figure stands 2 ½ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. She’s based on the character’s appearance in the big, climactic battle from the film. Seeing as this is when she actually joins up with the Avengers, it’s a sensible choice, and it’s the look we’ve seen on all of the merchandise so far. Scarlet Witch features a unique sculpt, which is pretty good, especially given the scale. There are a few minor issues; the neck is a little too long, and the hips feel a little detached from the torso. However, the head bears more than a passing resemblance to Elizabeth Olsen and the clothes are quite well detailed. It’s also nice to see the hands in a position other than the overly large, generic gripping pose that all of the GOTG figures had. The paintwork is simple and straightforward, but it’s cleanly handled and looks good overall. Scarlet Witch is packed with a pair of hex attachments. They’re a different mold from the ones used for the recent Marvel Legends and 3 ¾ scale figures; I guess that mold was too big. The solid red isn’t as nice as the translucent color of prior figures, but it’s serviceable. What’s that? Does she come with something else? Oh, right, that Sub-Ultron thing. Yeah, she’s packed with that. It has to be an accessory, because I really can’t count it as its own figure. There’s one of these things with every figure in this set. This one’s motorcycle-based; it first showed up, molded in blue instead of red, packed with Hulk. It’s okay, I guess. The Ultron portion is on the boxy side. The arms look to be cannons, and they sort of move at the shoulders. The cycle bit is just a solid hunk of plastic; the wheels are totally stationary.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

No exciting story here. I ended up finding this while at my nearest Walmart. There it is. There’s a clear focus for this set, and it’s Scarlet Witch. She’s a cool figure, and is definitely worth a purchase. The Sub-Ultron…ehhh. It’s not like it’s bad, but it doesn’t really offer a whole lot of fun.

#0637: Ultron

ULTRON

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

UltronBAF1

Well, it’s a little late, but here’s my Ultron Build-A-Figure review!  I actually had most of this review ready to go a few days ago, but, as I mention in my Orion and Onigumo review, computer issues left me without access to the lovely photos I’d shot for this.  So, I had to shelf it for just a little bit and work with figures of which I did have pictures.  Fortunately, I was able to get my computer issues mostly sorted out, so we’re back in business!  Yay!  So, he’s my review of yet another Ultron.  I know, it’s a real change of pace.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

UltronBAF2Ultron is the Build-A-Figure for the Ant-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series.  At face value, that might seem a little odd.  I mean, this is the movie version of Ultron, who’s in no way related to Ant-Man.  Wouldn’t he have made more sense as the BAF for the last series of Avengers Marvel Legends?  Well, yeah, he would, but I can kinda see why Hasbro went the way they did.  First of all, it gave them more time to get the details on Ultron accurate to what was seen on screen.  It also gave the Ant-Man series, which had to be something of a hard sell to retailers, more of a hook.  And, seeing as Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, created Ultron in the comics, there’s at least a little bit of a link.  So, as I noted above, this is the movie version of Ultron; specifically, it’s his Ultron Prime look, which was his main body for the majority of the film.  It’s kind of an important look.  The figure is 8 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  This is the first of the Ultron figures from the movie not to feel horribly undersized next to his fellow figures, and that’s actually a pretty big deal.  Ultron also gets a sculpt all his own, though, to be totally upfront, it’s not quite as good as it could be.  A lot of that has to do with how the articulation has been worked in, which is to say very clumsily.  It’s forgivable on the arms and legs, but the fact that the ab-joint doesn’t follow the sculpted detail lines feels inexcusable. Also, the  hands are kinda weirdly posed, which is annoying.  In fact, the hands in general feel less detailed than the rest of the figure, almost as if their unfinished.  He’s got webbed fingers for crying out loud!  However, complaints aside, there’s more than a few things to like about this sculpt.  The head is very well detailed and captures Ultron’s distinctive movie look very well.  They’ve chosen a more pondering expression, which some people don’t like, but I think it works for the character.  Ultron’s sculpt is also a fair bit closer to the on screen design than prior attempts, and manages to get pretty darn close.  Like the sculpt, paintwork is something of a mixed bag here.  Not in the usual sloppy Hasbro paint apps way, either.  No, everything’s clean here, it’s just…inconsistent?  I don’t know how to put it.  The figure is molded in a dark-ish grey, with silver painted over it.  The thing is, the silver is rather heavy in some areas and completely absent in others, with no real area between.  It’s jarring to say the least.  Also, many of the red sections feel like they were tacked on at the last minute, and don’t line up with the sculpt at all.  As an accessory himself, Ultron includes no pack-ins.  I can’t really think of anything to give him, so I guess that’s fair.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you’ve been following the Ant-Man Legends reviews, you can probably figure out where this guy came from.  I picked up all but Giant-Man from my local TRU, and then ordered Giant-Man online, thereby getting myself an Ultron.  How about that?  This is the movie Ultron I was most looking forward to, and it’s not wrong to say he’s the best we’ve gotten.  That said, he still has more than a few flaws, which prevent him from being quite as cool as he could have been, which is certainly a letdown.

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#0623: Ultron 2.0

ULTRON 2.0

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

Ultron2c

It’s hard to believe it’s been two months since Avengers: Age of Ultron hit theatres. Time’s just flown by, and we’ve all moved onto other movies (such as another evil robot movie…), so it’s a little surprising that so much of the film’s merchandise is still slowly making its way to stores. The second set of the 3 ¾ inch figures made their way out about a month ago, but I’m still playing a little bit of catch-up. I’ve managed to piece together a pretty decent set of figures, including the first single release of the titular antagonist, Ultron.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultron2bUltron 2.0 was released in the second assortment of 3 ¾ inch Avengers: Age of Ultron figures. As the name denotes, this figure is based on Ultron’s second main appearance, more commonly referred to as Ultron Prime. I guess Hasbro just haaaaaad to be different. So, in an effort to be upfront, it should be noted that this figure is a repaint of the Ultron Prime included in the Ultron vs. Iron Man set. As such, it inherits all of that sculpts various flaws, the most pressing being that the figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall when it really should be over 5. So, he’s still really tiny. I will say that, for whatever reason, the sculpted details seem a little sharper on this figure than they did on the other. I don’t know if that’s just the lighter plastic allowing a better view or if the figure actually went through a better casting process. While I thought the sculpt was fairly accurate on first examination, another look at it shows that it’s got more than a few deviations from the source material. The head lacks the human flare of Ultron Prime, and a lot of the finer details of the armor are incorrect. Also, he has the sort of goofy, almost clown shoe like feet, instead of the toed feet from the movie. Some of it’s rather forgivable, but it’s annoying to see it be so off. Paint, or coloring at least, is what differentiates this figure from the last one. Fortunately, he’s much better overall than what we saw before. The lighter, more metallic plastic he’s been molded in looks a lot cleaner and makes the figure look more finished. He lacks the odd translucent arms, which is good for those wanting a more basic Ultron. The actual painted details aren’t much different, though he does have some extra red detailing on his torso, which is certainly nice. He includes the same accessory as his predecessor: a blast piece molded in red.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hey, remember when I found the Iron Legion and Scarlet Witch and decided to give the Scarlet Witch to my Dad? Yeah, this guy’s from the same purchase. Like the Iron Legion, this guy was more bought to hold me over until I could get my own Scarlet Witch. He’s really not the most thrilling figure, but at the very least he’s an improvement over the one from the three pack. Yay for me.

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#0597: Iron Legion

IRON LEGION

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

IronLegion1

It seems that not everyone agrees, but I thought that Avengers: Age of Ultron was a pretty fantastic movie. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish, and after having seen it five times, I feel it really holds up to repeat viewings. For me, perhaps the most disappointing piece of the movie experience has been the rather light offering of movie-based action figures. Hasbro’s offerings in particular seem to be missing several key pieces of what made me love the movie just as much as I did. Interestingly enough, more than one line of figures is placing a decent-sized focus on the Iron Legion, who ultimately have a minor role in the film. But, hey, new toys is new toys, so I got one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IronLegion2The Iron Legion figure is part of the second series of Hasbro’s 3 ¾ inch line of Avengers: Age of Ultron figures. The figure stands roughly 3 ¾ inches tall (not a huge shocker there) and has 5 points of articulation. It’s disappointing that Hasbro’s decided to switch to the lower articulation count, but I guess it’s, at the very least, consistent. The Iron Legion figure appears to be an all-new sculpt. It does a nice enough job of translating the movie’s design to the smaller format. The proportions are all pretty good, and the details seem to be well-placed. The sculpt is a little on the soft side in terms of details, but it’s about on par with the rest of the line. Overall, not a bad sculpt. Paint? That’s a different story. Hasbro desperately needs to work on the paint on their figures. It’s consistently their downfall. First of all, this guy is missing more than a few details. The blue is only applied to about half of the places it should be. Also, while they’ve chosen the red accent color (which I think belonged to either 03 or 05, depending on which one of those was Ultron Mk 1), they haven’t actually put in a number or done any of the detailing outside of a small section of the torso. The worst thing is that, with the exception of the small bit of red, all of the paint is very sloppily applied, with fuzzy edges, bleed over, inconsistent coverage, and splats of paint where there shouldn’t be. It’s an incredibly messy figure. The Iron Legion’s one accessory is some sort of an energy blade clip-on. Not really sure what it’s supposed to be, but I don’t think it was in the movie. At least it’s not a missile launcher…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Getting the Iron Legion was sort of bittersweet. I found him along with an entire case of Series 2 figures, which is really great. However, the figure I wanted most, Scarlet Witch, is only packed one per case (which is super dumb). My Dad really wanted one (he’s a long-time Scarlet Witch fan) so the single Witch I found went to him. So, I got this guy and an Ultron to hold myself over until I can get a Scarlet Witch for myself. The trouble is, he’s not particularly well done, nor is he a figure I was desperate to own, so my opinion of him is rather “meh.”

#0570: Age of Ultron Minimates Single Packs

BARON STRUCKER, ULTRON MK 1, SUB-ULTON – BLUE, SUB-ULTRON – RED, IRON LEGION 02, & 04

MARVEL MINIMATES

AoUSingles1

Okay, today wraps up my reviews of the first “assortment” of Avengers: Age of Ultron-themed Marvel Minimates. For a while now, Diamond Select Toys has been doing “army dump” cases, where you have the chance to buy a few army builder figures in single packs, as well as one or two single-packed non-army builders. Just a few months ago, I looked at the army dump case for the Aliens line. They’ve also shown up a few times in the Marvel Minimates line, to tie-in with several of the movies. They’ve done it once more for Age of Ultron, albeit with a few differences. Technically, these are each single releases, but I received them all as one, and they sort of work as one entity. Also, there are some minor spoilers for Age of Ultron below. Nothing that would ruin your movie-going experience, but if you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to hold off.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These figures are all part of the first series of Marvel Minimates Age of Ultron blind-bagged figures. They ship in a case of 18 blind bagged figures. Previous army dump cases have not been blind-bagged and they have generally been cases of 12, so these are both changes. The ratio of the figures is 1x Strucker, 1x Ultron Mk 1, 3x Sub-Ultron – Blue, 3x Sub-Ultron – Red, 5x Iron Legion 02, 5x Iron Legion 04.

BARON STRUCKER

AoUSingles2Strucker, Strucker, Strucker. This guy was pushed pretty hard as being really important in AoU, and, truth-be-told, his part in the film is rather small. I mean, the guy still has an impact on the story, but I was sort of expecting more, given all the lead-up. His figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. While the line is based upon Age of Ultron, Strucker’s design here is actually the one he had in the post-credits scene of The Winter Soldier. Of the two, the chosen look is definitely the more distinctive, and it means he also goes pretty well with the various Hydra soldiers we’ve gotten. As far as structure, Strucker’s actually almost identical to Black Widow. Obviously, he doesn’t have the hair piece, but he has the same belt and holster. Seeing as they’re both pretty standard paramilitary pieces, they work just as well here as on Widow. The figure’s paint is generally pretty good. His uniform is done with two different tones of green, which adds some fairly nice depth to the design. The line work is also all pretty clean, and rather detailed. The uniform has some great detailing and texturing, and it looks like the one from the movie. I can’t say that the face looks a whole lot like the actor, but it’s not like it doesn’t look like the actor. Also, it seems like the hair may be a)too low set, and b) too dark. Strucker is packed with a handgun and a clear display stand.

ULTRON MK 1

AoUSingles3Hey, another Ultron Mk 1! Cool! It seems more than one toy company was influenced by that distinctive appearance. The fact that it played such a central role in the first trailer probably helped up the popularity of the design. Ultimately, it ended up with a little less screen time than I expected, but what screen time it did have was well-used. The figure is the same height as Strucker, but it only has 13 points of articulation, due to being down a hand. He’s built on the standard Minimate body with the damaged lower arm of the Battle-Damaged T-800 in place of his own lower left arm. The arm’s a good piece. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. The paint is this figure’s real shining point. The torso and waist are molded in clear plastic, with the actually body painted on. This allows for a more proper robotic appearance for the figure, and it works quite well. The detail lines are superbly handled, and this thing is just covered in texture. The only real drawback is that my figure has some paint rub on the back of the torso, presumable from being packed in with the stand. The stand, for the record, is this figure’s only accessory. That’s pretty much on par with the rest of the assortment, but I wouldn’t have minded getting an extra drone head or something to simulate the partial drone he crushes.

SUB-ULTRON – BLUE

AoUSingles6If you feel like you’ve seen this figure before, it’s because you have…essentially. This figure is effectively the same as the Sub-Ultron included with Winter Ops Hawkeye. If you really want my feelings about the figure, I’d recommend reading the review here. There is one notable difference between this version and that one: the blues of the single release are much paler than the two pack version. Oddly, I actually find myself liking this look a little bit more, for whatever reason. My only real fault with this figure is that there aren’t more of him! Seriously, there are like hundreds of these guys in the final battle, and all we get is three? That’s a little weak.

SUB-ULTRON – RED

AoUSingles7Remember all the stuff I just said about the Blue Sub-Ultron? Well, this is the exact same figure, aside from the blue accents being swapped out for red. Same head, same body, same basic detailing, same display stand. The red, of course, means that Ultron is directly controlling the drone. Thing is, we only see him control them one at a time, so having three seems excessive. Still, I like the red detailing, and this works as pretty decent classic Ultron.

IRON LEGION 02

AoUSingles4Oh boy, the Iron Legion. These guys. Look, I don’t hate them, but I do sort of resent them. See, it’s really their fault that I don’t have more Sub-Ultrons. Because, instead of more Ultron figures, we were subjected to five each (ten total) of these guys. There are a few issues with that. First off, the Iron Legion play kind of a small role in the movie. Secondly, there are only actually 5 Iron Legion drones in the film. How might I know this, you ask? Because, thirdly, the Iron Legion are NUMBERED! As in there is one 01, one 02, one 03, one 04, and one 05. You’ll notice that the figures here are labeled as “02” and “04.” That’s because they represent those numbers of the Iron Legion. So, not only do I have TEN of these guys, but they’re also evenly split between 02 and 04, so they actually aren’t army builders. So, I just have a bunch of extras of two rather specific figures. All that aside, how are the actual figures? Well, 02 is built on the standard body, with no add-ons. Just a vanilla ‘mate. This isn’t bad, because the Iron Legion are depicted as being rather sleek, and since they aren’t actual armor, they aren’t sized to fit a person. Now, being a plain Minimate, 02 relies on paint to convey the design. The paintwork isn’t perfect, but it’s still pretty good. The colors are nicely chosen, and the detail lines are clean and plentiful. The real issue here is that the colors tend to stray outside of the lines.  The 02 has a lighter blue as its accent color, which offers a little more brightness to the design. Iron Legion 02 includes a clear display stand as its only accessory.

IRON LEGION 04

Iron Legion 04 is essentially the same figure as Iron Legion 02. It too uses just the basic Minimate body, has the usual articulation, and includes a clear display stand as its sole accessory. The difference between the two is paint. Now, obviously, this one has a “04” in place of the “02” of the last one, but it also swaps out the light blue accents for black. It doesn’t look bad, but it does result in a slightly duller figure, color-wise.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I purchased these figures as a full case from my favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. Ultimately, I’m torn on these guys. Strucker is technically well handled, but isn’t the most exciting Minimate. I do like Ultron Mk 1 quite a bit, and he was certainly a well-chosen figure for this assortment. The additional Sub-Ultrons are certainly appreciated, but I really wish there were more of them, specifically the blue ones. The Iron Legion? Well, I like the figures well enough, but I really have a difficult time getting past how many of them were included in the case. They aren’t army builders, and even if they were, I really don’t see how anyone could see them being in greater demand than the Sub-Ultrons. It just feels like very poor planning.

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#0569: Hawkeye – Winter Ops & Sub-Ultron

HAWKEYE – WINTER OPS & SUB-ULTRON

MARVEL MINIMATES

HawkeyeWO&SubUltron1Alright, yesterday’s review did turn out quite as up-beat as I’d hoped. Not every set of Minimates can be a total winner, I suppose. Today’s review isn’t too far removed from yesterday’s. the same two characters are covered here, but I think this one might turn out a bit better. Let’s see if I’m right!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two are part of Marvel Minimates Series 61. This set is the last piece of the first assortment of Age of Ultron-themed Minimates.  It’s one of the two specialty exclusive sets, and it’s the short-pack of the two.

HAWKEYE – WINTER OPS

HawkeyeWO&SubUltron2It’s Hawkeye again! Yay Hawkeye! The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation, although the hip articulation is a little restricted by the waist piece. Hawkeye is depicted here in his coated look from the film, which he wears during the opening and closing battles of the film. Since both of those battles take place in the more frigid Sokovia, I guess “Winter Ops” is a reasonable enough name. It’s actually a pretty nice design, and it works in a few more of the classic Hawkeye elements that were absent from the first movie’s design. While the majority of the figures in this series are complete re-use, this Hawkeye’s only re-used part is his hair, which is the same as the regular Hawkeye’s hair. The figure also has new add-ons for his collar/quiver and his belt/lower jacket. Both pieces are well sculpted and match up nicely to the design of the costume from the movie. The only real issue I ran into is that the quiver on my figure wasn’t very well affixed to the collar, so it fell out almost as soon as I took the figure out of the packaging. It was a quick fix, but it was still a little annoying. Hawkeyes’s paintwork is quite well handled.  From the waist down, it’s the same as the regular Hawkeye, which, given that the jacket of this version is just supposed to go over the regular version, adds a nice bit of consistency. The upper half of the figure is sharply and cleanly detailed, and it does a great job of capturing the jacket’s look. The face on this figure has a more intense expression than the regular, and I think it actually results in a stronger likeness of Jeremy Renner. Guess I just associate the guy with looking pissed off. Hawkeye features the same selection of accessories as his regular counterpart: a bow, three arrows, and a clear display stand.

SUB-ULTRON

HawkeyeWO&SubUltron3So, when you need Ultron, but the regular one calls in sick, you get a Sub-Ultron, right? Nah, not really. The Sub-Ultron is really just the name of the generic Ultron Drones from the movie. Interestingly enough, while Hawkeye never has much interaction with Ultron Prime, he does have a ton of interaction with the Sub-Ultrons, so this packing makes a lot more sense than the last one did. The figure has the same basic height as Hawkeye and he has 14 points of articulation, unimpeded this time. Design-wise, there was really only one real Ultron drone design in the film. I kind of like this one a little bit more, because it’s a more classically styled take on the character. Like Ultron Prime, the Sub-Ultron features a newly sculpted head on the basic Minimate body. It works better here, though, since the Sub-Ultrons aren’t meant to be big and imposing. The head is a fairly straight forward piece. It’s well-sculpted and it looks like the heads from the movie. Paint is really where the strong suit lies on this figure. All of the many pieces of the Ultron body are clearly outlined, and there’s plenty of great texture work. The lines are also all crisp and dark, which hasn’t really been the case with the AoU-mates I’ve looked at so far. The figure also has a few spots of nice, bright blue, which works as a great accent and (in-movie) indicates that Ultron is not in direct control of this drone body. The Sub-Ultron’s only accessory is a clear display stand, but I can’t really think of anything else that could have been included.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s set, I got this one as part of a complete set of Series 61, which I ordered through Big Bad Toy Store. This was actually the set I was looking forward to the most in this series, and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint. This Hawkeye design is a little stronger than the last one, and the figure translates it very well. I also like the more intense expression, and it was nice to get a few new parts for this one. The Sub-Ultron is a much more solid figure compared to Ultron Prime. It maintains the same level of paint detail, but without the issues with size. This set is a great addition to the line.

#0568: Hawkeye & Ultron Prime

HAWKEYE & ULTRON PRIME

MARVEL MINIMATES

Hawkeye&UltronPr1

Alright, now we get into the good stuff. I mean, sure, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were fun , and Iron Man, Widow, Thor, and Cap weren’t bad, but the movie was called Age of ULTRON. Dude’s in the title. That makes him a little important. Add in Hawkeye who got short changed by the first Avengers movie, both in Minimate form and in the film itself, and you’ve got what makes for quite a winning combination. So, let’s look at the basic Hawkeye and Ultron Prime.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Hawkeye and Ultron are part of Marvel Minimates Series 61, which is the specialty store portion of the first assortment of Age of Ultron Minimates. This set is one of two specialty-exclusive sets from the first assortment, and it is the heavier packed of the two.

HAWKEYE

Hawkeye&UltronPr3Hawkeye’s the requisite Avenger here, though I guess he’s the least “heavy-hitter” of the main six. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has the usual 14 points of articulation. This figure is based on Hawkeye’s no-sleeve appearance, which is pretty much the same as his main appearance in the first Avengers film. The figure shares his collar and quiver with the Hawkeye from the last movie, but this time around he’s got the Series 27 Ultimate Cap hair, which had been popping up with increasing frequency. It’s actually a better fit for Jeremy Renner’s hair than the previous piece, and a better sculpt in general. At first glance, Hawkeye’s paint isn’t much different than the last Avengers film version. However, a closer look shows that his paint is actually a fair bit more detailed, cleaner, and better aligned to the body. Hawkeye’s face is probably the biggest departure from the last one. I’m not sure that they’ve necessarily captured the Renner likeness any better, but I personally like this face a little more than the last. To be fair, the hair also plays a large part in how the face looks. Hawkeye is armed with his bow and three arrows, and he’s also packed with a clear display stand.

ULTRON PRIME

Hawkeye&UltronPr2And now we finally get to the titular villain, Ultron. It’s taken a little time, but here we are. The figure has 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall. That last bit is sort of an issue. Like the Hasbro figure before him, this Ultron Prime is simply too small. Now, it’s not unheard of for a Minimate to be slightly out of scale (just ask the Sentinels) but for a character like Ultron, who only needs to be a little bigger than the rest of the line, Diamond usually uses a few add-ons to bulk the character up just a tad. Characters like Groot have received a few pieces here and there to bring them to a more proper height. Ultron’s only additional sculpted piece is his head. Aside from that, he just uses the basic body. This makes him feel rather… unintimidating, especially when supposedly compact designs like the Mark 43 are so much bulkier than he is. The figure really would have benefited from at the very least a waist extender and a bulker torso piece. As is, he feels far too puny for the film’s version of the character. Now, moving past the issues with scale and sculpt, it should be noted that the paintwork on this particular figure is tremendously handled. All of his detail lines are nice and crisp, and his many textural details extend around almost the entirety of the figure. At the very least, on his own, he looks like Ultron. Ultron Prime’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I got the last two sets from my local comicbook store, they sadly had already sold out of both of the Hawkeye and Ultron sets by the time I got there. To make matters worse, my other go-to retailer for Minimates purchases, Luke’s Toy Store, ended up not getting adequate supplies of Series 61 due to a mix-up with Diamond. So, I ended up having to order a complete set of Series 61 (extras of Iron Man, Black Widow, Cap, and Thor included) from Big Bad Toy Store. I don’t dislike this set. I can’t say it wowed me as much as I’d hoped it would, though. Hawkeye is a great update on the original Avenegrs design. From top to bottom, he is a superior figure to his predecessor. Sadly, Ultron ends up being the disappointing piece here. He isn’t terrible, but he’s been horribly undercut by the lack of any sort of add-ons. His head piece is the first new part we’ve seen so far in this assortment, which leads me to believe that DST were trying to get as much as they could out of re-used parts. Perhaps Ultron’s additional pieces just didn’t cost out. Or it could even be possible that DST was unaware of Ultron’s final scale until it was too late to change. I don’t really know, but the end result is a somewhat lackluster take on the movie’s primary villain. That’s unfortunate.

#0567: Captain America & Thor

CAPTAIN AMERICA & THOR

MARVEL MINIMATES

ThorCapAvAoU1

Alright, we’re starting to get into full swing here with the Age of Ultron Minimates reviews. I looked at two of the new comers and two of the mainstays of the main team. Today, I’ll be taking a look at another set of the returning team members. Interestingly enough, it’s my favorite member of the main team and my least favorite member of the main team, packed together, Captain America and Thor. Now, hopefully the Hemsworth fans won’t kill me before I finish the review.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two are part of the first assortment of Age of Ultron Minimates. Cap and Thor were one of the two sets of Age of Ultron-themed Marvel Minimates available in both the TRU assortment and Series 61 of the main Marvel Minimates line. Mine are the specialty release, and there are a few differences between Thor in the two releases, which I’ll get to shortly.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

ThorCapAvAoU2Chris Evans as Captain America may very well be one of my favorite things about the Marvel movies. His take on Cap is on par with Christopher Reeve’s Superman in terms of definitiveness. This figure is the 7th Minimate of his take on the character. He stands approximately 2 ½ inches tall and features the normal 14 points of articulation. Cap is based on his primary look from the film, which, as I noted in my review of the Marvel Legends version of the costume, is a tweak of his STRIKE team suit from The Winter Soldier. As such, it shares many of the same pieces with Series 55’s version of that suit. The helmet, harness, and belt are all the same, and they are just as good here as they were there. The gloves are a reuse of the ones seen on the AoU boxed set’s Nick Fury figure, and they represent a closer match to the gloves from the film than the WS pieces. The paintwork on Cap is generally not bad. There’s a bit of slop in a few areas, and, like the rest of the series, the detail lines could stand too be a little darker, but he looks pretty good overall. The face has a passing resemblance to Evans, which is certainly more than Hasbro’s managed. At first, I didn’t care for the facial expression, but it’s grown on me a little. I still feel that it should commit to either a calm expression or an aggressive one. This one is somewhere in between and ends up looking a little goofy. Cap includes his mighty shield (which is the same as all the previous movie shields), a hand for it to plug onto, a spare hairpiece (which is the same as last year’s Star-Lord, among others), and a clear display stand. These are mostly good pieces, but I don’t think the hair-piece works very well for Cap. It seems he was given this one so that he, Iron Man, and the two Hawkeyes didn’t all have the same hair, but it doesn’t work.

THOR

ThorCapAvAoU3So, hey, remember in the intro when I said Thor was my least favorite cinematic Avenger? Please don’t hurt me, I can explain. See, Thor’s never been one of my favorite Avengers. Yes, he’s a founding member, but he just doesn’t fit well with the whole team thing. Now, I do love Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of the character in the movies, and I enjoy his interaction with the others, but I can’t say I’m hurt by him having reduced screen time in AoU. Anyway, Hemsworth’s Thor has shown up a little less frequently as a Minimate, with this only being his 5th appearance in the line. Thor is just a slight bit taller than Cap, though he’s only got 12 points of articulation, thanks to the boots. Thor is based on his sans-sleeves look from the film. Seeing as it’s the look he has for both the opening and closing battles, it’s certainly well chosen. It’s also more or less the same design he had in The Dark World, and the figure uses the same selection of parts as the Series 53 Thor from that movie. I don’t actually have that figure (cuz Malekith sucks), but these pieces are all pretty decent parts, and they result in a Thor that looks like Thor. Yay. Now, for paint, it’s important to note that I have the specialty release of Thor, which, simply put, means the paint is better. The TRU Thor was missing a fair portion of the silver detailing on the torso and prevalent instances of the detail lines of the face not lining up with the colors. These issues aren’t present here. However, the figure still has a fair bit of bleed over on the major color changes, and the whites of the eyes and mouth are still the slightest bit misalligned. Also, the face on this figure doesn’t particularly capture Hemsworth’s likeness, though it is DST’s best attempt to date. Perhaps his likeness is just hard to translate. Thor includes his hammer Mjolnir, a flying base, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Iron Man & Black Widow, I picked up this set from my local comicbook store. This set is a little bit more exciting than yesterday’s, I think in part due to the strength of the two figures that these two are based upon. I’m glad to have another movie Cap in a more conventional set of colors, and this is the best movie Thor that I own (and I didn’t even have to buy a Malekith to get him!). All in all, this is a pretty decent set, and a worthy update on two rather important characters.

#0566: Iron Man – Mark 43 & Black Widow

IRON MAN – MARK 43 & BLACK WIDOW

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Alright, it’s the Age of Ultron Minimates extravaganza part 2 (Electric Boogaloo)! I kicked things off with two of the film’s new characters, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, but now I’ll be turning back to the “old faithful” characters that we’ve seen a few times before. Iron Man is the “oldest” MCU character, and Black Widow isn’t far behind him. And look at that, they’re even packed together. How convenient.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Iron Man and Black Widow are part of the first assortment of Avengers: Age of Ultron-based Marvel Minimates. They are one of the two sets in the first assortment to be available both at Toys R Us and as part of Marvel Minimates Series 61.

IRON MAN – MARK 43

IM43WidowAoU2It would be weird to have an assortment of Avengers merch without an Iron Man, so here he is. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 12(ish) points of articulation. As noted in the name of the figure, this is Iron Man in his Mark 43 armor, which he ends up wearing for the first half or so of the film. It’s worth noting that this makes him not actually fit with the rest of the team’s final battle looks, though it does mean you can display them from the opening battle. Structurally, this figure is the same as the Series 49 Mark 42, which is rather sensible, given that the 43 was just a recolored 42 in the movie. The add-on pieces for the 42 are serviceable, and they do a decent job of replicating the movie’s armor, but they have a few issues. Chief among them is that the upper arms are sculpted in such a way that the shoulders are effectively nothing more than cut joints. That’s really limiting to the figure. In addition, the figure feels a little too built up in general. The 42/43 are meant to be rather sleek, but the ‘mates are rather chunky. All that aside, the pieces do feature some nice detail work and some nice, sharp lines. The paint on Iron Man is pretty decent, actually. In particular, the shades of red and gold that have been chosen are nice and vibrant and have a really great finish to them. The line work is all pretty decent, although it’s perhaps a touch faint. As has become the norm on Iron Men, there’s full detailing under the helmet and torso. The torso offers a cool look at the inner workings of the armor, and the head offers a look at Tony’s face. The Tony face isn’t as good as some of the previous ones; they seem to have missed the mark on the RDJ likeness. The Mark 43 includes a spare hairpiece, a rocket blast piece, and a clear display stand.

BLACK WIDOW

IM43WidowAoU3In the comics, Black Widow is a marginal member of the Avengers at best, but the movies have changed that. There, she’s upgraded herself to one of the most central members of the team. And that’s pretty cool. Her presence in Marvel Minimates is rather reflective of this change. Of the seven Minimates of the character, five of them are movie-inspired. Anyway, onto the actual figure. Widow is roughly 2 ½ inches in height and she’s got 14 points of articulation. She is, of course, based on Widow’s main appearance in the movie. Structurally, she’s similar to the Winter Soldier version of Widow from Series 55. She shares the same belt and one of the holsters, but loses the Widow’s stingers. Also, the hair has been replaced with that of Battlestar Galactica’s Pegasus Six, which is actually quite a good match for her hair from the movie. This Widow ends up being a bit sleeker than previous versions of the character, which is a plus in my book. Widow’s paintwork is certainly passable. There is a bit of slop around the edges of her arm bands, but other than that pretty much everything is clean. One thing I noticed is that the detail lines seem a little duller here than usual. Things such as the “tron lines” kind of fade into the rest of the costume, and the details on the face seem a little light. Speaking of the face, it presents a good likeness of Scarlett Johannssen, but the somewhat vacant expression is a little disappointing in light the Winter Soldier Widow’s more intense look. Widow includes two eskira sticks, a handgun and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After the craziness that was acquiring Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, getting this set was actually rather simple: I just picked them up from my local comicbook store. I can’t say that this is a set that thrills me. The Mark 42 was not my favorite Iron Man Minimate, and the 43 still has several of the same issues, plus the step down in likeness. Widow fairs a bit better, and I do like a lot about this figure. I think that swapping the heads on this one and the Winter Soldier version might provide me with my preferred version of the character.

#0565: Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch

QUICKSILVER & SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Let me kick things off here by saying that Avengers: Age of Ultron was a really, really, really, really, really good movie. Just fantastic. If you haven’t seen it, you should do so. I’ve seen it three times and I still feel like I should see it a few more.

As a Marvel Studios movie, it is of course entitled to the usual tie-ins, specifically Marvel Minimates, one of my favorite lines. The first round of them hit just before the film’s release, so I’ll be taking a look at them over the next few days. Let’s kick things off with newcomers Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are the Toys R Us Exclusive two-pack from the first assortment of Avengers: Age of Ultron-based Marvel Minimates. They were released to coincide with Series 61 of the main line.

QUICKSILVER

QS&SWAoU2Quicksilver gets to go first because he’s technically 2 minutes older. Also fast. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of unimpeded articulation. He’s based on the character’s appearance in the film’s big climactic battle scene at the end. It’s a good choice, given that it’s the look that sees the most action. Pietro is built on the standard Minimate body, with an add-on piece for his hair. The hair was previously used on Series 58’s Young Magneto figure. Father and son sharing the same hair piece really appeals to the comic nerd in me. The hair piece is a pretty decent approximation of what his hair looks like in the movie, so it was well chosen. The rest of the design is handled via paint. There’s some good, some bad, and some just plain annoying on that front. The good is that the face features an excellent Aaron Taylor-Johnson likeness and the detailing on the torso and upper legs does a fantastic job of evoking the costume details from the movie. The annoying is that the patterns on his arms don’t line up quite right, resulting in some colors being too thin and some lines being much more jagged than they ought to be. The bad is that the brown detailing of the lower portion of his hair has been missed entirely. This leaves his hair a stark white, which isn’t accurate to his depiction in the film and also looks rather bland. As a whole he isn’t a bad looking figure, but he could be better. Quicksilver includes a dust cloud base to simulate running, as well as a more conventional clear display stand.

SCARLET WITCH

QS&SWAoU3Quicksilver may have been first, but Scarlet Witch is definitely my favorite of the twins, both in the comics and the movie. This marks the fourth time that Wanda has graced the Minimate form, beating Pietro by one. Like her brother she is about 2 ½ inches tall and she sports 14 points of articulation. The articulation here is a little more impeded than it was with Quicksilver; the hair and skirt both do their share of restricting. Scarlet Witch is also based on her final battle look, I’d gather for much the same reasons as Quicksilver. She uses the basic body, with add-ons for her hair, jacket, and skirt. All of the add-ons are re-used. The hair is from Series 50’s Songbird, the jacket is from Knight Rider’s Michael Knight, and the skirt is just one of the generic skirt pieces. They add up to a pretty decent approximation of Wanda’s film appearance. The only piece I’m not 100% sold on is the hair, just due to how it sits, but it isn’t bad. Wanda’s paintwork is actually quite good. I can definitely see Elizabeth Olsen’s likeness on the face and the outfit features plenty of great detail work. She’s even got little gold rings on her hands, which is an easily overlooked detail. Wanda’s only accessory (unless you count her brother) is a clear display stand. She feels kinda light without any extras. Something to illustrate her powers, such an energy piece for her hand or an extra head with red eyes, would have been a very welcome addition to the figure. Oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Oh boy, the story of getting these guys. Well, my local Toys R Us sold out of this set before I got there. So, I had to resort to ordering via TRU’s online store, which is really never a fun experience. The item shipped, and I got my tracking information. Like any good collector, I religiously watched the tracking, waiting to see when it would arrive. The item was marked “Out For Delivery” a whole two days before the expected delivery. Cool, I was gonna get it early. But, then it didn’t arrive that day. Or the next. Or the one after that. Another day passed and I finally called my local postal service about it. I was informed that someone would look into it, and I’d get a call back shortly. The next day, after not hearing back, I actually drove to the post office to check on things. I was informed that it was on a truck somewhere and I should come back the next morning before business hours. So, the next morning, I got there before business hours. And no one was there. So, I called them from outside the building and had a long, rather uninformative chat with someone in the back. They told me to go home and wait. Finally, these guys actually arrived, a week after going “Out For Delivery.” Yay, I guess. Anyway, I have them now. To be honest, they aren’t the most thrilling Minimates, but I like them well enough, and I’m damn sure going to enjoy them after all the stress of actually getting them.

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