#1846: Everett Ross & Erik Killmonger

EVERETT ROSS & ERIK KILLMONGER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“While Everette Ross is assigned to escort T’Challa to American soil, Erik Killmonger threatens the security of the Wakandan borders from which T’Challa hails.”

Despite having to share a year with the merchandising juggernaut that was Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther actually seems to have made out alright in terms of toys.  In fact, counting what we saw this year at SDCC, Panther may very well have the most complete selection of Legends figures of any of the MCU films, which is no small feat.  Today, I’m looking at our first taste of the continuing Panther offerings, Panther ally Everett Ross and Panther foe Erik Killmonger!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Everett and Erik are another Target-exclusive Marvel Legends two-pack, which hit alongside yesterday’s Falcon and Winter Soldier pairing.  Like that one, this set originally began its life as a Toys R Us-exclusive, before finding itself without a home over the summer.  Fortunately, Target was able to step-in and make sure these two still made it to us.

EVERETT ROSS

First debuting in Civil War (well, in the MCU, anyway), Everett gets his toy intro here, thanks to his rather substantially larger role in Black Panther.  Martin Freeman’s no stranger to toys, with multiple plastic versions of his turns as both Arthur Dent and Bilbo Baggins, but I don’t know that any of them have been quite up to this quality.  Everett is 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation, and is built primarily out of the suit body first introduced with Agent Coulson.  It’s fitting, as Ross is something of a late-game replacement for Coulson, and also just another guy in a suit.  It’s a perfectly reasonable starting point.  The body’s not without its flaws, but they’re not so bad that they break the figure or anything.  It’s all topped off with a brand-new head sculpt, which does a great job of capturing Freeman’s bemused and bewildered smirk.  Guy’s got a lot of character in his face, and it’s all perfectly present here.  In terms of paintwork, Ross is mostly pretty standard fare.  His suit is various shades of grey, which, not terribly exciting, is at leas clean, and accurate to the source material.  His head gets a printed face, and it’s definitely another success, resulting in quite a lifelike looking figure.  Everett is packed with a handgun, which is actually, like, a real gun, and not some sort of sci-fi contraption.  Crazy!

ERIK KILLMONGER

Amusingly enough, our first double-packed character from Black Panther isn’t the title character at all, but instead his main antagonist, Erik Killmonger.  Killmonger was, of course, in the main Legends assortment for the film, in this very outfit, even.  Tim was kind enough to review that one for me, but I knew this one was coming, so I decided to hold out.  Boy am I sure glad I did.  Like his predecessor, he stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Sculpturally, he’s completely identical to the prior release, barring one thing: the unmasked head.  The standard, masked head is, of course still included as well, but now you’ve got the option to also showcase Michael B. Jordan’s floppy hair!  Can you imagine how cruel the world would be without that as an option?  I certainly can’t.  It’s an excellent piece, with a spot-on Jordan likeness, and, unlike the equivalent T’Challa head, it actually sits properly on the body, so he won’t look super goofy with it on.  In addition to the extra head, another major change to this release is the paint.  The standard release Killmonger was somewhat lacking on the paint front, leaving an impressively detailed sculpt looking a little bit barren.  This offering fixes some of that, adding back in a lot of the gold detailing that was missing from the prior release.  Unfortunately, he exchanges it for the leopard print patterning of the last figure, which I’m a little sad to see missing this time around.  Given the darker coloring of the main suit, it’s not the end of the world, though, and it’s overall a net gain in terms of appearance.  Killmonger is packed with the same pair of blades as his regular-release counterpart, as well as an extra set of hands just for holding them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Falcon and Winter Soldier, I initially passed on this set.  And then, I passed on it a second time, because I really only had the funds for one pack, and I went for the other one.  But, as luck would have it, when I made my way back to that same Target, there was still one set left, so yay for me!  I don’t think this set quite has the “wow” factor of Falcon and Winter Soldier, but both figures are very solid offerings, especially if, like me, you skipped the standard Killmonger release.

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#1822: Black Panther & Ebony Maw

BLACK PANTHER & EBONY MAW

MARVEL MINIMATES

“Hear me, and rejoice. You are about to die at the hand of the children of Thanos. Be thankful, that your meaningless lives are now contributed to the balance…”

It’s black on black in today’s set, as Black Panther faces off against Ebony Maw!  Prepare to imagine a world where these two characters actually met…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Black Panther and Ebony Maw are part of the second assortment of the Infinity War-themed Marvel Minimates.  These two were supposed to be the Toys R Us exclusive set for this round but…well, we all know how that one went, right?  The set actually still has its TRU-exclusive sticker, presumably because it was too late in the process to get it removed before it started shipping to specialty stores.

BLACK PANTHER

Black Panther has been no stranger to Minimates.  Heck, this is his fourth just this year alone. Since Panther’s IW design was the same as his suit from his solo outing, this figure uses that same design, and is quite similar to the basic Panther from those tie-ins.  He’s built on the usual body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Like his solo counterpart,  he’s got an add-on for his mask, as well as Cheetah’s clawed hands.  The paint on Panther is pretty solid work, and again, virtually identical to the last one.  The biggest difference between the two is what’s under the mask.  We’ve gotten yet another Chadwick Boseman likeness, this time with a much angrier expression than we saw even on the more energetic powered-up Panther.  I guess he’s taking things more seriously with it being the end of the world and all.  For accessories, Panther is packed with an extra hair piece to display his unmasked look, as well as the standard clear display stand.

EBONY MAW

As the member of the Black Order with by far the most dialogue and the most focus, Ebony Maw certainly stood out.  However, for whatever reason, it was Proxima Midnight who got all of the initial focus in the toy realm.  Fortunately, at least in the case of the Minimates, Maw wasn’t too far behind.  Ebony Maw is almost a completely vanilla ‘mate.  The only thing that mixes him up a bit is his skirt piece, which is a new offering.  It works well enough, adding the extra tails to his torso, while avoiding bulking him up too much.  I’m not for overly building up a ‘mate if you don’t have to, but I do feel Maw is missing…something.  Maybe a sculpted collar?  Certainly a hair piece of some sort.  His hair may have been thinning in the film, but it certainly wasn’t close-cropped, and it doesn’t look right being relegated purely to painted detailing.  I think something along the lines of Morgue’s hair piece would have really helped this figure out.  Maw’s paintwork is certainly his strongest suit.  The face is definitely the best part; it’s a pretty perfect recreation of his features from the movie.  The fact that he already lacked a nose probably helped.  The details on his uniform seem perhaps a touch bright for my eyes, but they are at least cleanly applied, and quite extensive.  Ebony Maw’s only accessory is a clear display stand.  It might have been nice to get some of those funky glass daggers or an energy effect of some kind, especially since he’s already light on the sculpted pieces as it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There’s no denying that this Black Panther feels more than a little bit redundant. There were two costumed versions of T’Challa in his own line, both of which are still quite readily available.  This one does attempt to be a little bit different, but not by much.  If you didn’t get any of the Black Panther movie Minimates, then I suppose this one’s a nice addition.  If you did?  Well, you’re really just here for the other half of the set.  As I noted with Corvus, the Black Order are really the only “new” part of the Infinity War assortments, which places some extra weight on them.  Unfortunately, I think Maw is another design that doesn’t translate all that well to the aesthetic, making this ‘mate somewhat middle of the road in terms of quality, and unlike Corvus, he doesn’t have a stronger pack ‘mate to carry him.

#1641: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL MIGHTY MUGGS (HASBRO)

While I have come to tolerate Funko’s Pop! line in recent years, and even put together a sizable collection, there’s no denying that they’ll always be my second choice for pseudo designer vinyl media tie-in figures.  Number one will always go to Hasbro’s sadly under-appreciated Mighty Muggs.  Fortunately for lovers of the Muggs, they’ve made a comeback this year.  I’ve looked at one of the Star Wars ones, but Hasbro’s also launched a Marvel line alongside them, and I’ll be looking at my first of those today with Black Panther!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther is figure 07, the second figure numerically in the second assortment of Marvel Mighty Muggs.  Panther’s design is based on his appearance from Captain America: Civil War.  A movie design allows Hasbro the chance to offer some more detailing, and of the two film designs, I’m still pretty partial to the original design.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall and has articulation at each shoulder.  Panther uses the same standard body used for Luke, with a different head piece depicting Panther’s mask.  Only the actual “face” of the mask is left uncovered.  It works with the natural lines and breaks of the mask, so the changeover from the sculpted headpiece to the painted face is fairly subtle, and doesn’t look to jarring.  The sculpted details of the headpiece are simple enough to fit the style, but still plentiful enough to add some nice depth to the overall design.  As I discussed in my review of Luke, the new Mighty Muggs all feature an action feature, allowing for changing facial expressions.  As a masked character, his expressions have to be a bit more inventive than Luke’s, I suppose.  It all comes down to the eyes.  There’s wide-eyed, squinty-eyed, and a mix of the two.  There’s a lot of variety offered by those different eyes, and it’s an impressive handling on Hasbro’s part.  I think the basic wide-eyed is my personal favorite, but all three are a lot of fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After being so impressed by the Luke figure, I was definitely on the lookout for some of the others.  Panther certainly looked cool, and Super Awesome Girlfriend ended up picking him up for me one day while she was at work.  My excitement for this line has not subsided at all; Panther is just as well handled as Luke, and I’m definitely on board with both currently running Mighty Muggs lines.

#1623: Black Panther & 90s Storm

BLACK PANTHER & 90s STORM

MARVEL MINIMATES

The subjects of today’s review, Black Panther and Storm, have actually been on my review docket since February, believe it or not.  For one reason or another, they’ve been on the chopping block no less than five times since they went on the schedule.  Fortunately for them, the original item I planned to review today has itself been bumped.  Gotta love that, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther and 90s Storm were released in the 29th Series of Marvel Minimates.  At the time of their release, Panther and Storm were still married, so I guess this pairing made some sense, though the choice of costumes was sort of incompatible.

BLACK PANTHER

“The leader and defender of his native Wakanda, T’Challa became the Black Panther afther his father’s demise at the hands of the villainous Klaw. His blend of physical prowess, mental discipline and scientific study makes him a truly formidable opponent in any setting.”

This wasn’t Black Panther’s first Minimate, but it was the first complete one, since the Marvel Zombies variant that preceded it was missing an arm and a leg.  He’s based on his at the time current design from the comics, which was certainly a sensible choice.  The figure uses the standard ‘mate body, with the standard 14 points of articulation and an approximate height of 2 1/4 inches tall.  Panther came from a time in the line when the necks had gotten kind of short and the feet had become shallower, which isn’t 100% ideal, but not the end of the world.  He has add-on pieces for his mask, cape, belt, and wrist bands.  The mask was re-used from the Zombies variant, and it’s an okay piece, but in conjunction with the shorter neck, and shallow feet, it kind of makes him look a little bobble-headed.  Fortunately, it’s masked (heh) a bit by the cape piece, which was new to this particular figure, and is a pretty decent piece.  The only problem it has is how top-heavy it made the figure, so it can be a little difficult to keep him standing.    As far as paint work goes, Panther was ambitious in idea, but ultimately rather flawed in execution.  There’s a lot of detail work on the mask and torso, which would look really great if it were actually visible, but the shades are just too close together.  Similarly, there is detailing on the shins and wrists, which is meant to capture the striped gloves of Panther’s classic costume, if you take off all of the add-ons.  But, as with the other details,  these are essentially lost on the final figure.  T’Challa included a hairpiece, allowing for an unmasked look.

90s STORM

“The leader of the X-Men’s Gold Team, Ororo Munroe’s weather-altering abilities are powered by an innate control over nearly all forms of energy – limited only by her emotions and fears.”

This marked Storm’s fourth time as a Minimate, and also the fourth ‘mate in the ‘90s X-Men sub-set that ran for a few years.  This depicts her white Jim Lee-styled costume, which has a fair bit of notoriety, being on the cartoon and everything.  She has add-ons for her hair and cape/shoulder pads, and she was the fist ‘mate to have the unique puffy sleeved upper arms.  All of the pieces were pretty well sculpted, airing heavier on the detailed side of things.  She’s a bit on the bulky side, and a little hard to pose (those upper arms don’t stay in place quite as well as the standard ones), but a decent recreation of the design from the comics.  The paint work on Storm is a bit better than T’Challa’s, by virtue of not having all those issues with contrast.  The pearlescent white is pretty great looking, and the details are pretty sharp.  The shading on the torso was an interesting experiment.  It was a style they were trying in this series, but it was pretty quickly abandoned.  Also, like the rest of the ‘mates in this assortment, the color palette is a little washed out.  I’d have at least liked a more yellow-y gold.  Storm was packed with a pair of electricity effect pieces, which are a little tricky to get in place, but pretty neat nonetheless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with most ‘mates of this era, this pair was picked up brand-new, on the day of release from Cosmic Comix.  I was excited for them when they were announced, given how much I like Black Panther, and my at the time lack of a Storm Minimate.  With that said, I’ve never been as happy with these two as I’d hoped to be.  In retrospect, they’re better than I remember, but they both have some notable flaws.

#1606: Tactical Killmonger & Casino T’Challa

TACTICAL KILLMONGER & CASINO T’CHALLA

MARVEL MINIMATES

Movie merchandise is always a tricky thing, especially with “top secret” movies like the Marvel Studios stuff.  It can often prove difficult to determine which characters, and more specifically, which designs for those characters, are going to end up with the most prominence in the final product.  For Black Panther, while it was a pretty safe bet which look would be T’Challa’s main costume, his primary antagonist Killmonger proved a different story all together.  His rogue Black Panther look ended up on all of the merch, and while that was prominent, it was actually his more unique tactical gear that most people were drawn to.  Unfortunately, if you want a properly articulated version of this design, Minimates are your only way to go.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Tactical Killmonger and Casino T’Challa are the second Walgreens-exclusive Black Panther two-pack.  Though they don’t quite interact with these particular looks, Killmonger’s rescue of Klaue happens just after the Casino sequence, so they fit together reasonably well in the timeline of the film.

TACTICAL KILLMONGER

Obviously, this figure is the draw of this set.  Erik’s tactical design doesn’t really have direct comics counterpart (though it does share a few elements with some of his looks over the years), but it offers him a more unique design than the basic Panther-riff.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, so he stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Killmonger has a single add-on piece, but it’s a good one.  It’s the tribal mask he steals during his museum heist with Klaue, which he then uses to obscure his face later on.  It’s only worn in one scene in the film, but it certainly has a lasting impact.  For this figure, it’s an all-new piece, which does a pretty respectable job of recreating the mask and simplifying it enough to look proper on the ‘mate.  The rest of Killmonger’s design is handled via paintwork.  The armor plating on the torso is definitely impressive, as is the camo and all of the stitched elements on his pants.  The likeness under the mask is also quite good; it depicts a slightly calmer Killmonger than is seen on the first ‘mate, which makes for nice variety.  There are a few spots of white on his face, but otherwise all of the paint is quite clean, and the colors are nice and vibrant.  Killmonger is packed with the same hairpiece as the last figure, allowing for the much needed unmasked look, as well as a pair of blades (the same stylings as were included in with the Legends figure), and a clear display stand.

CASINO T’CHALLA

Not quite a “civilian” take on the character, but very close, Casino T’Challa depicts T’Challa as he is seen when he goes undercover in South Korea while on the hunt for Klaue.  I would guess this look was chosen over T’Challa’s other “civilian” look in the film because this one could be made with all pre-existing parts.  And made with pre-existing parts he is!  The hair is the same piece used for the unmasked look on both of the prior Black Panthers from this line, and the jacket is re-used from all the way back on the very first George McFly Minimate.  That one’s gotten some milage.  The paint does the hard work here, selling this guy as “all-new.”  The likeness on the face gives us yet another T’Challa expression.  This one’s somewhere between the other two in terms of intensity, but certainly still looks like the same guy.  The jacket and arms get extra detailing, depicting the texturing of his jacket from the film, and preventing this figure from being dressed in just flat black.  Casino T’Challa’s only accessory is a clear display stand.  A little light, but I think Killmonger makes up for it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was the set I went to Walgreens to get, the others were all just along for the ride.  Of the two Killmonger designs, this one was definitely my preferred, and this being only way to really get it right now, makes this guy top priority.  Fortunately, he’s one of the best ‘mates from the whole assortment.  Casino T’Challa’s not anything to write home about, being essentially just a guy in casual clothes, but he’s still a solid figure overall, and I certainly don’t mind that we got him.

#1605: Powered Up Black Panther & Everett Ross

POWERED UP BLACK PANTHER & EVERETT ROSS

MARVEL MINIMATES

For Black Panther, we had a few returning players.  In addition to T’Challa and Ulysses Klaue, there was another, more minor return in Martin Freeman’s Everett Ross.  It’s not a shock, since Ross began his comics carrier as a Black Panther supporting player, and all.  I have to say, after getting virtually no impression from the character at all in Civil War, I was actually quite pleased by his reappearance.  Suffice to say, I was happy to find he was one of the many Minimates offered for the film, alongside a variant of its main character.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Powered Up Black Panther and Everett Ross are the first of the two Walgreens-exclusive Black Panther two-packs.  It’s not actually a terrible pairing, since Ross first appears during the sequence that also introduces Panther’s new uniform’s kinetic deflection abilities.

POWERED UP BLACK PANTHER

Our first proper Black Panther variant.  Very cool.  This is, of course, the same suit as the last one, just fully charged up with kinetic energy.  So, the construction is identical between the two.  He’s still 2 1/4 inches tall with 14 points of articulation, and he still has the mask add-on and clawed hands.  Everything works just as well here as it did on the first ‘mate, and the consistency is certainly sensible.  The main changes are obviously to the paint.  It’s the same basic starting point, but with some additional metallic blue details added to indicate his energy build-up.  It’s a subtle difference, but a cool one, and I actually find myself overall liking the look of this one a little more.  Under the mask, we get a second expression for T’Challa.  This one’s angrier, which makes sense for this particular look.  He’s packed with an extra hair piece and a clear display stand.

EVERETT ROSS

This is Everett Ross’s first ever figure, but won’t be his last (or, shouldn’t, anyway.  His Legends figure was set to be a TRU-exclusive.  It’s future’s a bit up in the air at the moment).  For a normal guy in a suit, that’s not terrible.  Ross is seen here in his suit and tie from the Casino sequence. It’s probably the best overall look for the guy, and it’s the same look he had in Civil War, so there’s crossover appeal.  He has add-ons for his hair, jacket, and tie.  All of these are re-used from elsewhere, though I don’t know 100% where the hair first showed up.  I just know it’s been used on others.  The pieces are all perfectly fine for Ross.  Generic, but that’s rather true to the character.  His paintwork is fairly straightforward stuff.  Lots of greys, which don’t excite all that much, but the Freeman likeness is quite good, so that’s a plus.  Ross is packed with a display stand.  It would have been nice for him to get a gun or something.  He just feels a bit light otherwise.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up this pair as the same time as Panther/M’Baku and Killmonger/Klaue, during Walgreens’ recent sale on Minimates.  I was impressed by Ross in the film, and liked how the powered up effect looked in action, so I was definitely on board.  Sure, there’s not a whole lot of new going on here, but they’re both still pretty solid ‘mates.

#1604: Dora Milaje Nakia & Dora Milaje Okoye

DORA MILAJE NAKIA & DORA MILAJE OKOYE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Prior to seeing Black Panther, I was largely unfamiliar with both Nakia and Okoye.  Fortunately, the movie fixed that for me, and in fact I found both characters to be immensely entertaining and a great addition to the MCU.  Sure, they weren’t M’Baku or Shuri, but they were still solid supporting cast members.  Seeing as the two of them essentially never leave T’Challa’s side, they’ve found their way into just about every format of figure, including the Minimates, where they’re even packed together.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Nakia and Okoye are the Toys R Us-exclusive pair from the Black Panther assortment of Marvel Minimates.  They shipped alongside the non-exclusive Black Panther/M’Baku and Killmonger/Klaue sets.

DORA MILAJE NAKIA

Okay, so, right off the bat, this figure’s a bit of a misnomer.  Nakia is not a part of the Dora Milaje.  She *is* wearing one of their uniforms (since it was what was available in the few moments before she charged into battle), but that hardly makes her one of them.  In fact, it’s kind of an important plot point that she’s not bound to their oaths.  So, yeah.  Nakia is based on the standard ‘mate body, so she’s roughly 2 1/4 inches tall and she has the usual 14 points of articulation.  The figure has four add-on pieces for her hair, belt/skirt, and wrist bands.  All of these are new to Nakia, and they work pretty well for her.  I think the shaping of the hair is a little off; it should be more top heavy than it is.  The paintwork is pretty solid.  The likeness is sort of generic, but it’s not awful.  The details on the uniform are sharp and cleanly applied, and she’s quite on the colorful side, which is always a plus.  Nakia is packed with her pair of hoop blades, as well as a clear display stand.

DORA MILAJE OKOYE

Okay, so Okoye *is* one of the Dora Milaje.  In fact, she’s the leader of the Dora Milaje, so the title here is definitely appropriate.  Structurally, Okoye is essentially identical to Nakia.  Same belt/skirt, same wrist bands.  The only actual difference is her lack of hair.  Seeing as it’s a uniform, the shared pieces are certainly acceptable.  The difference between these two is just paint.  Okoye’s paint is still somewhat similar, of course.  The details are sharp on her uniform, and her likeness is actually pretty darn spot-on.  The slight change in her color denotes her higher rank as well, and, like Nakia, she’s quite colorful.  Okoye includes her staff and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set is ultimately the main reason I ended getting the whole assortment of Black Panther ‘mates.  After seeing the movie, Super Awesome Girlfriend wanted Pop!s of Nakia, Shuri, and Okoye.  Unfortunately, Okoye isn’t available at regular retail.  So, this set is another joint custody item, purchased so that SAGF could have some version of Okoye.

#1603: Killmonger & Klaue

KILLMONGER & ULYSSES KLAUE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Black Panther’s impressive supporting cast did the film a lot of favors.  While my personal favorites were amongst his allies, there’s no denying that the antagonistic side was pretty strong, too.  We not only got the returning ball of fun that was Klaue, but also one of the most fully-crafted of the MCU’s villains in Erik Killmonger.  What luck that the Minimates went and paired those two!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Killmonger and Klaue are the other shared two-pack in the Black Panther assortment of Marvel Minimates, though, unlike yesterday’s set, these two are only available in two-pack form, either from Toys R Us or Walgreens.  There’s a close but slightly different Killmonger in the specialty-exclusive four-pack.

KILLMONGER

This Killmonger uses the Black Panther-styled design that most of the figures are going with.  It wasn’t his main design, but it’s the one he wears during the final battle, and the one with all the parallels to T’Challa, so I suppose it makes sense.  The figure stands 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Construction-wise, Killmonger’s got the same exact set-up as Panther, with an add-on for the mask and the clawed hands.  The suits are meant to be very similar, so this is definitely a sensible re-use.  The main tweak here is the paint, which is slightly more involved than T’Challa’s was, thanks to all the leopard print and everything.  It looks pretty solid all-around, though I do feel I should note that my figure’s face is printed off-set to the right on the mask.  Under the mask, there’s another face, depicting a pretty solid (and somewhat angry) Michael B Jordan.  Killmonger includes a new hairpiece to show off this unmasked look, as well as the usual clear display stand.

ULYSSES KLAUE

Klaue was fortunate enough to have already gotten an MCU-‘mate, thanks to his Age of Ultron appearance.  But, that was back when he had two real arms, and a Klaue with two real arms is hardly Klaue.  The figure gets add-ons for his hair, vest, and sleeve cuffs, as well as a brand-new left forearm.  The hair and vest both look to be new to this particular figure (though the vest is already slated for re-use with the Series 75 Luke Cage) and both do an okay job capturing Klaue’s look.  The hair does seem a little hat-like, but it’s not awful.  The sleeves are the same pieces that have been in use since The Spirit, and they work just as well here as anywhere.  The new left arm is definitely awesome, and adds a nice bit of unique flair to what could have been a bland guy in a suit.  Klaue’s paint is reasonable enough, though not terribly exciting.  The Serkis likeness here is about on par with the last one, just with a more excited expression, which certainly befits the character.  There’s some slight slop around the mouth, making it look like Klaue’s just had a glass of milk or something, but he’s otherwise fairly clean.  Klaue is packed with an alternate left arm with his hand in compact form and a clear display stand.

THE  ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with yesterday’s set, I grabbed these guys while taking advantage of Walgreens’ sale on Minimates.  I had initially just planned to grab the two exclusive sets, but I liked the look of these two in person.  While neither of them is really my favorite from the assortment, or even necessarily  my favorite version of either character, both are definitely strong figures.

#1602: Black Panther & M’Baku

BLACK PANTHER & M’BAKU

MARVEL MINIMATES

Black Panther was not at all hurting for merchandise, which is certainly a good thing, since it was a pretty darn awesome movie.  And I like having action figures from awesome movies, so that all works out pretty well for me.  Minimates are usually the best way to get the largest cross-section of characters from any given property, and that’s definitely the case here.  So, without further ado, I present the first in a week of Black Panther Minimates reviews, starting off with Black Panther and M’Baku!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair is one of the shared sets for this whole assortment.  They’re available in two-pack form from both Toys R Us and Walgreens, and also in the specialty-exclusive four-pack.  For the sake of posterity, this particular set came from Walgreens.

BLACK PANTHER

T’Challa’s actually not as frequent a Minimate as you might think, though this movie has certainly changed that.  This particular version marks his fourth time in the format, and, unsurprisingly, it’s based on his updated suit from Black Panther.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  For his non-basic parts, he’s got an add-on for his mask, as well as Cheetah’s clawed hands.  The claws are definitely a welcome addition, as their absence from the Series 66 version was really my only major complaint.  The paint on Panther is pretty solid work.  Detail lines do a nice job of capturing all of the intricate details of the costume from the movie.  I like the use of the dark blue for the base body so that the details stand out.  Under the mask, there’s a new Chadwick Boseman likeness, and it’s a marked improvement from the Civil War version.  The expression is fairly neutral, but avoids being too bland.  Panther is packed with an extra hair piece to display his unmasked look, as well as the standard clear display stand.

M’BAKU

M’Baku was perhaps my favorite character in the film, thanks in no small part to Winston Duke injecting a lot of life into what could have been a rather two-dimensional character.  His absence from most of the figure lines is understandable (I mean, he’s only got, what, 15 minutes of screen time?), but still somewhat disappointing.  The Minimate is currently the only figure version available, and he’s based on his garb from the film’s climax, which is a sensible choice (though a challenge two-pack of him and T’Challa might be a fun exclusive).  He’s got add-on pieces for his hair, torso armor, and skirt piece.  All three of these are new to this figure, and they’re decent enough.  The armor’s a little bit on the restrictive side, but not a bad piece overall.  M’Baku’s paintwork is solid, if maybe not super exciting.  Nevertheless, the likeness on the face is definitely a good match, and the more intricate work on the wrist bracers and the shins is really awesome.  M’Baku is packed with his staff and the usual display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been debating whether or not to pick up this pair.  Obviously, I wanted both of them (M’Baku in particular), but I was initially going to holdout for the four-pack, but then Walgreens was running a buy-one-get-one-50%-off sale, and I’d otherwise have ended up with an odd number of sets.  Both figures here are pretty solid additions to the line.  And, hey, where else are you going to find an M’Baku figure?

#1596: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

With Infinity War pushed up a week, we’re quickly moving past Black Panther, but there’s still a ton of cool toy stuff that I want to look at.  While I looked at all of the standard Marvel Legends offerings, there’s one more Legends offering that’s slightly off the beaten path.  I talk, of course, of the 12-inch scale Black Panther.  I haven’t looked at this line since the first series’ Captain America, but I’m jumping back in for Panther!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther is the ninth figure in the larger-scale Marvel Legends line.  He’s noteworthy for actually being the very first figure in the line to be movie-based; others have clearly taken inspiration, but this is the first direct adaptation.  Of course, the line has generally done slight tweaks to the characters’ designs to add a little extra detail here and there, and if you do that to Black Panther, you pretty much just get his movie design.  So, he’ll actually fit in pretty well with the others, is what I’m getting at.  The figure stands 12 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  In a lot of ways, this figure’s just a scale-up of the Okoye Series Panther.  Obviously it’s not the same sculpt, since the articulation scheme is slightly different, but it’s certainly similar.  That being said, the additional texturing and slightly more natural proportions make for a figure that I enjoy quite a bit more than his smaller counterpart.  Seriously, the 6-inch figure was fine and all, but oh boy does this figure blow that out of the water.  The layering and the texturing, especially to the levels of his mask, is truly impressive.  I really dig that the eyes are a separate piece; it makes the mask actually look like a mask, which is a rarity on this sort of figure.  Panther’s paintwork is generally fairly straight forward, blacks and silvers.  There are two different finishes to the black, which breaks up the monotony of the color a bit, and the silver is bright and clean.  Panther is packed with an extra unmasked head, three pairs of hands, and a short blade.  The unmasked head is a decent enough likeness of Chadwick Boseman; not perfect, but certainly not terrible.  The paint could be a little cleaner, but the overall appearance is pretty solid.  And, best of all, the head actually sits properly on the body this time, in nice contrast to the smaller figure.  The hands come in fists, claw bearing, and gripping.  They all swap out pretty easily, and make for a nice variety when posing the figure.  The blade is pretty cool, but I don’t actually recall him using it in the film.  Fun piece nonetheless, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was actually pretty impressed by the Captain America figure, but for a multitude of reasons (cost of the figures being high on the list), I never got around to picking up any others.  I saw this guy in the store a number of times and really liked the look of him.  The week after the film’s release, Target was running a 20% off sale on all Black Panther toys, so I took advantage of that to get this guy.  I’m very glad I did because he’s the best Black Panther figure out there right now!