#1187: Mandroid & Blizzard

MANDROID & BLIZZARD — DONNIE GILL

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Today, I’m making my way into the final five of the 2016 post-Christmas reviews, and wrapping up the last of my Marvel Minimates Series 69 reviews in one fell swoop.  I’ll be taking a look at the series’ resident army builder (boy has it been a little while since we’ve gotten one of these guys, especially a comic-based one) the Mandroid, as well as Iron Man baddie Blizzard!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

There are two Mandroid/Blizzard sets in Series 69.  The one seen here has the more heavily packed Donnie Gill version of Blizzard, but there’s also a variant set featuring Donnie’s predecessor Gregor Shapanka, which is packed one-per-case.

MANDROID

mandroidblizzard2The Mandroid is a ‘mate that’s been a long time coming.  It was first shown off as one of the potential choices during the big Series 50 fan-poll back in 2012, but was beaten by the Nova Corpsman.  We’ve actually seen a good chunk of the losing characters from that poll in the last five years, but the Mandroid is the first of the losing army builders to make it plastic form (I’m still pulling for classic Multiple Man), so good for it!  The figure stands about 3 inches tall when fully armored up, and sports 11 of the 14 usual points of articulation.  The Mandroid depicted here is more or less the classic version of the armor.  It’s a little bit more kibble-y than usual, but the armor tended to vary from appearance to appearance, so this sort of aims to capture the essential elements.  Amazingly enough, the Mandroid has been constructed entirely out of re-used pieces.  He’s got the helmet/chest of Nemesis, the hands of Iron Monger, and the upper arms, upper legs and feet of the Age of Ultron Hulkbuster.  Despite the pieces being from a span of  nine years, the actually mesh together pretty well and make for a pretty solid take on the Mandroid armor.  In terms of paint, the Mandroid is a whole lot of gold.  It’s a nicer gold than some of the earlier ‘mates to use the color, and hopefully this one won’t wear off like some of those.  Also, there’s actually more than one gold present here, which keeps things from getting too boring.  Remove the armor, and there’s a fully detailed figure underneath, showcasing the SHIELD Agent piloting the suit. But it’s not just any SHIELD Agent!  DST Rep Zach Oat confirmed at NYCC that this is none other than Agent Phil Coulson, making his third appearance as a ‘mate.  We had yet to receive a comic version of Phil, so it’s cool that they threw him in there.  The Mandroid is packed with an extra gun hand (taken from Alpha Flight’s Box), plus and extra hair piece, flesh colored hands, and grey feet to turn him into Coulson.  He also gets the usual clear display stand, but the coolest extra by far (for me, anyway) is the coffee mug with the SHIELD logo on it.  This was first shown on Jasper Sitwell’s control art, but ultimately cut.  It’s great to see DST finally got it out!

BLIZZARD

mandroidblizzard3You know how I said it’s been a while since we’d gotten a proper comic army builder?  Well, it’s been way longer since we got any Iron Man foes.  The last comic Iron Man villains we got were back in Series 36, almost 7 years ago.  Fortunately, Blizzard’s one of his cooler looking (heh) foes, and makes up for some of the lost time.  Here’s hoping more foes will follow!  Blizzard is a classic vanilla ‘mate, which makes sense, since his costume’s never really been anything but a basic spandex suit.  As such, this figure is really carried by the paint.  Fortunately, the paintwork is pretty solid.  The white and blue contrast nicely with each other, and the detail lines are all pretty sharply defined.  Sometimes, there’s a bit of bleed through under light colored paints, but not on Blizzard, showing that they actually took the time to apply the proper number of coats!  Yay for learning!  Blizzard includes a number of ice effect pieces, including an ice blast and ice sled (both borrowed from Series 59’s Iceman), as well as an ice fist (one of the Thing’s fists, remolded in clear plastic; it works surprisingly well).  The ice fist I got is a right hand, but DST actually produced both right and left and packed in one at random, so if you get two Blizzards and are particularly lucky, you can give him some ice-y boxing gloves!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the last two days of sets, this pair was a Christmas present from my parents.  I didn’t think much of this set when the series was initially announced (I was a bit distracted by the other sets), but I’ve always kinda liked Blizzard, and the Mandroid is an essential piece of any SHIELD display.  Both of these ‘mates could have been rather dull, but the execution makes them both really fun to play with, and the accessories really give them both that extra punch.

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#0737: Blizzard

BLIZZARD

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Remember how I talked about Hasbro refusing to let a Marvel Legends prototype go unused? Well, guess what? Yep, today’s another of those figures! This one’s kind of special though, because he rounds out the famed “Jubilee Series” from before Legends’ switch to the Infinite Series branding. Last year’s TRU exclusive X-Men series got us the Jubilee Build-A-Figure, the holiday season Avengers three-pack gave us Radioactive Man, the Thanos series brought us Batroc, and the Ultron series threw in Tiger Shark, leaving just poor old Blizzard out in the cold. Fortunately, that didn’t last long, and now we’ve officially gotten every figure from the most impossible series of Marvel Legends ever thought up.*

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Blizzard2Blizzard (or “Marvel’s Blizzard” as he’s listed on the box) is the last single-release figure in the Hulkbuster series of the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series figures. It’s interesting to note that he’s one of three figures in the series to get his own name on the box, which is a tad surprising, given that he’s freaking Blizzard. Not exactly a name that’s gonna get people lining up, but hey, I don’t mind. I’m just happy to have the figure! Blizzard stands about 6 ¼ inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, which is a good fit, and he gets an all-new head sculpt. It’s not really anything groundbreaking, but it’s a pretty great sculpt of a dude in a full face mask. So, that’s cool. Most of what makes this figure Blizzard is paintwork, which is actually pretty great. They’ve gone with the design of the more recent Donny Gill version of the character. It’s not my favorite of the two looks, but it’s certainly not bad. This could have been a pretty bland paintjob, but Hasbro opted to make the blue metallic and the white pearlescent, which makes him look pretty darn spiffy! Also, it’s a minor thing, but it’s really great to see that they successfully matched the painted and molded plastic colors, so the figure doesn’t clash. A lot of figures don’t get that down, so I’m really happy this one did. Blizzard gets no character-specific accessories, which is a bit of a letdown, but he does get the upper torso of the Hulkbuster, so that kind of makes up for it!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Blizzard is a figure I’ve been waiting for pretty much since he was originally announced. After getting the other three figures from the set, I was anxious to get him to finish up the group. He ended up being one of the four figures from this series I found at Walgreens, which was pretty cool. While I still think Valkyrie is the best figure in the series, I think I’d give this guy second best. He may not do much new, but he’s a pretty solid figure, and he’s got a fair bit of novelty to him.

*Seriously, can we address the Batman-level gambit that Hasbro played here? They legit showed off an entire series of villains who are at best C-list, with a Build-A-Figure of a has-been X-Man from the ‘90s (and a GIRL, no less). No big names, no special gimmicks. There was no way a retailer was gonna touch that line-up. But they showed it off at Toy Fair anyway, and built up all this pent-up fan demand for these literal nobodies, allowing them to slot every single one of those figures into a later assortment. The final scenario is literally the only case that any of these guys would have ever seen release. That’s damned impressive.

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