#0680: Ant-Man Boxed Set

GIANT-MAN, GOLIATH, & HANK PYM

MARVEL’s ANT-MAN

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Marvel is definitely pushing Ant-Man pretty hard right now. The movie was a resounding success, in spite of all the negative press that seemed to be surrounding it, he’s joined the cast of the Avengers Assemble cartoon, and he’s headlining one of the best solo comics the company is currently publishing. Things are definitely looking up for the bug-sized hero. Marvel licensee Hasbro has been joining in on the fun, and two of their San Diego ComiCon exclusives this year were based around Ant-Man. Today, I’ll be looking at what I feel is the more impressive of the two exclusives.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Giant-Man, Goliath, and Hank Pym (along with two smaller Ant-Men) make up an Ant-Man-themed boxed set, released this year at SDCC. The set was also available after the convention on Hasbro’s online store, which is how I got mine.

GIANT-MAN

AntManSet2Hey! Haven’t I already looked at this guy? Well, sort of. Yes, this figure uses the same costume design as the Ant-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series Giant-Man. However, unlike that figure, this one lives up to the name-sake a bit better. The figure is 12 inches tall, making him twice the height of the Infinite Series version, and he has 32 points of articulation. The figure is built on Marvel Legends Icons Cyclops body, which was previously used for the Marvel Universe Gigantic Battles Goliath and Bill Foster figures. It’s a body that was good at the time it was created, and was still pretty serviceable when it was used for Gigantic Battles, but has started to look pretty dated in recent years. The proportions and sculpted details are still okay (though he does look a little underfed), but the range of motion on the joints is rather restricted. In addition, the body has a lot of sculpted details that are specific to Cyclops, and thereby look out of place on Giant-Man. In the case of seams and the like, it’s easy to overlook them, but the straps/buckles on the wrists and the clear outline of the boots on the calves are quite distracting. It doesn’t seem too unreasonable to want Hasbro to at least retool those particular pieces. Giant-Man does get a unique head and an add-on for his belt. The head is pretty decently sculpted, though, for some reason, the antennae look sillier here than they did on the smaller figure. The belt is decent enough, but it seems a little bulky, especially compared to the painted on belt of the MLIS figure. The paint on this figure is pretty decent, aside from the obvious issues with sculpted details not lining up with the costume. The black sections are slightly glossy, and incredibly sharp at the edges, which is nice to see. One minor issue: the two black lines emanating from the circle on his chest end at the shoulder joints, instead of continuing around the shoulders like they should.  Giant-Man includes no accessories of his own.

GOLIATH

AntManSet3Moving downward on the scale chart, we get to my personal favorite figure from the set, Goliath. He’s based on Hank Pym’s first costume for his third identity. Confused? That’s okay. Most people are. This figure ends up being the most unique of those offered in the set, mostly due to his color-scheme. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. He’s based on the ML Infinite Series Bucky Cap body, just like the single release Giant-Man. The body’s a pretty great base for a lot of characters, and it fits Hank rather nicely. Goliath gets a new head sculpt; it’s a little on the soft side as far as details go, but it’s pretty good overall. It’s a nice, classic hero-style head, and it isn’t too struck with the level of same-ness we’ve seen on a lot of Hasbro’s male heads in this scale. The figure also gets a new add-on piece for his belt, which is a little bit loose, but pretty well sculpted. While I like this figure a lot, oh boy did he get hit with some seriously messy paint. The colors are pretty nicely chosen, but the flesh tones are really thick and goopy, and the yellow has been applied too thinly in many areas, causing the blue of the plastic to bleed through. He’s also got some random scratches of blue on both forearms, where the glove paint has chipped. Viewed as a whole, the figure is alright, but he would have been a lot nicer if the paint had been even a little bit better. Like Giant-Man, Goliath has no accessories of his own.

HANK PYM

AntManSet5Moving down the scale chart again, we find our way to another version of Hank Pym, as well as our first actual Ant-Man figure in a set with Ant-Man plastered all over it. Hank’s presented here in his Ant-Man costume, but with a lab coat over top of it, which is a look that Hank’s been known to sport rather frequently, when he’s in an inventing mood. It’s an important look that’s largely been absent from toy form. The figure is about 4 inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. Structurally, Hank is very similar to the Ant-Man figure from last year. He uses the torso, legs, and feet from the basic skinny male body. It’s kind of an outdated body, but I guess it’s at least consistent with the last Ant-Man. He also has the arms and hands from the AIM Agent/Ghost Rider body, which are good for the AntManSet7looser sleeves, but are a little too long for the body. For the lab coat, he re-uses the add-on piece from G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra The Doctor figure, which isn’t a perfect fit for the body, but it isn’t too far off. The head appears to be a new piece, though it’s generic enough that it could potentially be a re-use. It’s an okay sculpt, but it seems a bit too angry for Hank. The paintwork on the figure is pretty decent. The actual Ant-Man costume is identical to the regular Ant-Man, which is good, I guess. It would be nice if the lab coat were more detailed than just straight white, but oh well. Hank gets the only actual accessory in the set: an alt helmeted head. It’s exactly the same as the normal Ant-Man’s head.

ANT-MEN

AntManSet8Last up, it’s the two mini Ant-Men, who are really more accessories than outright figures. The larger of the two is based on Scott Lang’s Ant-Man costume from the 00s. It’s definitely a more modern design, but I like the enclosed nature. The figure AntMan2stands about an inch and a half tall and features no articulation. He’s got a unique sculpt, and he’s actually pretty nicely detailed for such a small figure. The paintwork is also pretty decent, with three different colors and no visible slop. The smaller Ant-Man is once again based on the classic Ant-Man design. It’s actually just the same smaller Ant-Man as was included with the Avengers Infinite Ant-Man. It’s under an inch tall and is, predictably, pretty light on the details.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, as noted above, I picked this set up after the con from Hasbro Toy Shop. I detailed the ordeal in my Book of the Vishanti review, so I won’t go into that again. Ultimately, I have to admit I’m a little underwhelmed by this particular set. Giant-Man and Hank Pym are both held back by outdated bodies, and Goliath has some rather annoying paint issues. The Scott Lang figure is kinda neat, I guess, but I’d have preferred to get a larger scale version. All-in-all, I certainly don’t feel like this is a bad set, and I don’t regret purchasing them, but they just seem a bit off.

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#0666: Book of The Vishanti Boxed Set

DOCTOR STRANGE, MAGIK, BROTHER VOODOO, DORMAMMU, & HELA

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Oh no! It’s review number 666! Number of the beast! Sign of the Devil! Other superstitious things as well! I really don’t know. In honor of the reviews number, I thought I might take a look at something a little more supernaturally-based today. Yes, I’m well aware it’s still a Marvel Legends review. That shouldn’t shock anyone at this point. It’s also a review of quite a few figures, so I’d best dive into the actual review part!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

BOTVPack1BOTVPack6These five figures (along with a life size version of the Amulet of Agamotto) make up Hasbro’s San Diego Comicon exclusive Book of the Vishanti boxed set, released this year at SDCC 2015. The set was also made available on Hasbro’s website following the con, which is how I got mine. More on that later. The set is packaged in a mock-up of the titular book, which features a few sample pages that give some backstory on the included figures. Sadly, the packaging doesn’t photograph very well, but you can sort of make out some of its details pretty well.

BOTVPack2 BOTVPack4 BOTVPack3 BOTVPack5

DOCTOR STRANGE

BOTV2Hey look! It’s Benedict Cumberbatch! Wait, sorry, not quite yet. He’s still just a relatively unknown comic book character. Ah well. Dr. Strange is presented here in his “Astral Projection” state, which is what he looks like when his mind leaves his body…and stuff. It’s kind of a standard variant for the character, though this is the first time the look has appeared in the Legends scale. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and he features 32 points of articulation. Structurally, Doctor Strange is a “pre-paint” of the upcoming Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series version of the character, which will release him in his non-Astral form. The figure uses the Bucky Cap body as a starting point, with a new head, torso, forearms, and hands, as well as an add-on piece for the belt and “skirt.” Most of the new parts are character-specific. The head does a nice job of capturing the somewhat aloof Doctor, and the hands have a nice spell-casting pose. The skirt is sculpted with a pit of flow to it, which helps to preserve the articulation. The torso pieces aren’t quite as character-specific; they tone down the musculature of the Bucky Cap body, which adds some nice variety. I’m sure there’s already some re-use planned on these particular parts. The good Doctor is fairly easy on the paint. For the most part, he’s molded in a translucent light blue plastic, which conveys the whole Astral Projection thing pretty well. Some of the costume details are outlined in silver, as are the eyes, and the eyebrows and mustache are done in a dark blue, but not the hair, which seems a little odd. Dr. Strange is packed with a pair of magic effects, which are the same as the ones we saw with the most recent comic Scarlet Witch.

MAGIK

BOTV5Just because the set is supernaturally themed doesn’t mean Marvel’s Merry Mutants get left out! Yes, it’s Colossus’s little sister, Magik, formerly of the New Mutants, formerly dead. Very exciting. I have only a passing familiarity with the character, so I’m not sure exactly which of her looks this figure represents. I think it’s fair to say it’s one of her more recent looks. It seems to sum up the character pretty well, so I’ll give it that. The figure is just shy of 6 inches tall and features 26 points of articulation. She uses the Spider-Girl body as a starting point, and adds in a new head, upper torso, and left arm, as well as an add-on for her belt. The Spider-Girl body is still one of my favorite Hasbro bodies, so it’s a good starting point, but I’m not sure this figure quite makes the best use of it. Something about the costume looks a little unsettling on this body. Maybe that’s just me though. The new parts are all very nicely handled; the head sculpt captures the character very nicely and the armored arm in particular exhibits some fantastic sculpting work. Magik’s paintwork is fairly decent overall. Most of the line work is nice and clean. The lack of pupils is a little odd looking, but that’s probably a design thing, so I can’t fault Hasbro. The red X on her right arm is a little uneven, but not terribly, and the hair and left arm have some great washes to help bring out the texture of the sculpts. Magik is packed with two differently sized swords. The smaller one is fairly basic, but the larger one is actually pretty awesome, and it’s even molded in iridescent plastic!

BROTHER VOODOO

BOTV3Hey, it’s another character I don’t know a ton about! I mean, I know the character’s basic schtic and I could pick him out of a line-up, I’ve just never followed any of his adventures very closely. I know he took over as the Sorcerer Supreme a few years back, but I don’t really know what’s happened with him since then. I do know that the figure is based on one of his more recent looks, following his promotion, and it was relatively short-lived. I guess it ties in with the set, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. Oh well. The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and features 32 points of articulation. Like so many male figures these days, he uses the Bucky Cap body as his base, with a new head and right hand, plus the left hand of Spider-Man 2099 and add-ons for the cape, hood, belt, and gauntlets. The head does a fairly decent job of capturing the character. Once again, it’s not my preferred look, but it’s well-sculpted to say the least. The sash piece is well textured and is once again sculpted with a bit of wind flow to it. The cape is the same one we saw on Grim Reaper; it’s not my favorite, but I guess it works okay. The hood piece is sculpted to match and even includes the Eye of Agamotto. The pieces all fit well together and do a good job of translating the comic design to three-dimensions. Voodoo’s paintwork is pretty decently handled. Some of the skeleton outlines are a little fuzzy around the edges and the cape and sash could use a bit of a wash or something to dirty them up a bit, but everything is generally pretty good. Brother Voodoo is packed with a staff, which is a bit difficult for him to hold, but a nice extra overall.

DORMAMMU

BOTV6You can’t really have a Dr. Strange-themed set without including one of him main foes, Dormammu. So, here he is, making his debut appearance in Marvel Legends. When he first appeared, he just had a Human Torch head and a pair of purple long johns, which isn’t the most imposing look of all time. In the last few years, he’s gotten a bit of an upgrade, which has definitely made him just a touch more threatening. This figure goes with the newer look. I can’t blame them on that one, but I do sort of hope we see good ol’ purple long john-ed Human Torch at some point. He has a sort of a goofy charm to him. Now, how about the actual figure? Well, he stands almost 8 inches in height and has 31 points of articulation. He makes use of Hasbro’s under-used Terrax body, from way back in the first series of the Return of Marvel Legends. It’s a good, solid, large body, and it’s an excellent starting point for a big guy like Dormammu. It also matches up pretty well stylistically with the rest of the based bodies, which is always good. The BOTV7figure gets a new head and hands, as well as add-ons for his shoulder armor, belt/loincloth, and boot covers. All of these pieces are nicely-sculpted. The shoulder piece is a little on the loose side, but it looks nice. The head in particular captures the character’s look really well, and has a lot of nice, clean line-work. Dormammu’s paintwork is probably the spottiest of the set. It’s not bad, per say, but a lot of the edge work is fuzzy and he’s got a bit of slop on one of his shoulders. Also, the red is kinda thin, but that might be on purpose. I do like how the plastic on the arms is slightly translucent. Dormammu is packed with a pair of flaming skulls (re-used from one of Hasbro’s Ghost Riders) which are actually pretty nifty.

HELA

BOTV4If the mutants get a slot, I guess the Norse Gods are owed a spot too. So, we got a stand-in for the devil (in Dormammu), why not a version of Death? The last version of Death I looked at was Nekron, who’s super boring. Hela’s definitely a lot cooler! Well, cooler looking to say the least. Hela appears to be based on her original design, which seems to have re-surfaced more recently, allowing her to fit in with both classic and modern figures. That’s always a plus! The figure stands roughly 7 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. Hela makes use of the body Hasbro developed for Red She-Hulk during the RoML line. Some have said it’s too big for Hela, but her listed height is 6’6”, which makes this body about right. The body itself is pretty well sculpted, and it avoids any odd proportions for the most part. The hip articulation is a little out of date, but it’s not the worst thing ever. Hela gets a new head sculpt, which is quite nicely sculpted, and quite attractive. The weird head gear is made up of two separate pieces that plug into the back of the head. Be careful not to lose those! I almost did! Hela also has an add-on for her shoulder pads, which are attached to a cloth cape. I’m usually not big on cloth capes, but this one’s alright, and certainly preferable to the one on Brother Voodoo. Hela has a fairly complex paint job, but she actually manages to get one of the cleaner paint jobs in the set. The basic dark green is nice and shiny and the lighter green is a nice, flatter complement. All of the details are nice and clean, which is great to see on a Hasbro figure. She’s packed with a pretty nifty broadsword, which I believe is a new piece. Her grip on it is a little loose, but it looks cool enough.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I wasn’t going to SDCC this year, I had to resort to getting this on Hasbro’s online store or risk having to pay twice its original value on Ebay. So, I found out what day the SDCC stuff was going on, opened the site on my computer, and sat there and refreshed the page for several hours. Eventually, the stuff got listed and I got this set put in my cart (actually, I put 3 in my cart by accident and had to spend a decent chunk of time trying to remove the two extras). Hasbro’s servers were overloaded of course, so there was a lot of wait time from page to page, which definitely made things pretty stressful for 20 minutes or so. What’s funny is I hadn’t planned on grabbing this set initially, since I only have a passing knowledge of most of the characters included. But, for some reason, as the con got closer, this set became more and more appealing. I’m really glad I picked it up. Astral Strange is a fun variant, Voodoo and Magik are passable, and I’ve always liked Dormammu. Hela steals the show for me, though. The paint is superb and she’s just a solid figure all around!

#0493: Terminator Cyberdyne Assault Minimates

CYBERNETIC T-800, SWAT SARAH CONNOR, MILES DYSON, & SCORCHED ENDOSKELETON

TERMINATOR 2 MINIMATES

So, like, it’s been a whole twelve days since my last Minimate review. And that was just a Sisko Minimate (plus some other dude I really don’t care enough about to know his name. I think it was Jim or something…). You have to ask yourself, does Sisko really count? Anyway, it’s time for my first look into the world of Terminator 2 Minimates, which is a line that I kinda feel was the first “modern Minimate line.” Seriously, these guys were really influential to how future lines were handled, in character selection, property selection, assortment layout and even distribution. They were pretty darn epic!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four figures were released as a San Diego Comicon exclusive set, distributed by Action Figure Xpress. AFX aren’t really one of the big players online toy sales anymore, but they used to be at the top of the list, and they were pivotal to helping Minimates get on the map. Anyway, the set was dubbed “Cyberdyne Assault” after the attack on the Cyberdyne building late in the movie.

CYBERNETIC T-800

It would hardly be a proper T2 set without a version of Arnold (or, as he’s known in the movie, Uncle Bob). This particular version of the character is not from the “assault on Cyberdyne,” but is instead from a scene right before the attack, where the T-800 demonstrates the concept of the machines to Miles by slicing open his hand to reveal the robotic component beneath. Fun times. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the standard Minimate body, with a unique left hand, as well as add-ons for the hair and belt. All of this figure’s pieces are re-use, but given that he’s a T-800 variant, that’s pretty sensible. The hair and belt are both from the previous T-800s in the line, and the hand is from the basic endoskeleton. The hair’s not bad, though I always found it to be a bit too long for Arnold’s T2 look. The belt is a rather standard piece, so no issue there. The hand is a nice sculpt, but it’s a little weird to see it next to the normal hand on the other side, since it’s actually too big to fit under a normal hand. Just one of those things. The figure’s paint work is fantastic, aside from one small inaccuracy. Namely, those tears in the front of his shirt aren’t accurate, as he hadn’t taken any damage at that point in the movie. But, they’re nicely detailed, so I can’t really complain. Also, the figure’s Arnold likeness is totally spot on, which is great to see. The T-800 included a spare hand in silver (so you could replace the sculpted hand if you want to) and a plasma rifle.

SWAT SARAH CONNOR

So, the other important piece of T2 set is definitely Sarah Connor. According to James Cameron, she’s actually meant to be The Terminator of the movie, so there’s that. Like the T-800, Sarah’s not actually from the attack on Cyberdyne; she’s actually from a little earlier in the movie, when she attacks Dyson’s house. Maybe this set should have been called the “Attack on Dyson’s.” This is Sarah’s most iconic look from the film, so it’s a good choice, regardless of which attack it’s part of. Seeing as this was the first Sarah Connor to actually be released, being iconic is a good thing. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. She’s built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for her hat/glasses, web gear, and belt. All three of these pieces are new to Sarah, and they are all very well sculpted and accurate to the source material. The hat and glasses in particular are a dead on interpretation of the look from the movie. Sarah’s paint is a lot simpler than the T-800’s, but it’s still rather nicely done. Underneath of the glasses, there’s a pretty great Linda Hamilton likeness, and all of the line work is nice and sharp. Sarah includes an alternate hair piece with the glasses and hat removed, as well as a machine gun.

MILES DYSON

Poor Dyson. This guy really got the short end of the stick, didn’t he? Probably one of the most genuinely likeable people in the movie, and he gets his house blown up, his family attacked, he gets shot (a bunch) and then he dies. But, hey, for what it’s worth, he’s the only figure in this set that’s actually from the attack on Cyberdyne. So there! Dyson is about 2 ½ inches in height and he has 14 points of articulation. He’s got the same body as the others, with add-ons for the hair and coat. The hair is new to Dyson, and it’s a pretty good approximation of hos look from the movie. The coat actually began its life on a cancelled Colonel Tigh Minimate from the BSG line, before making it to an actual release with Miles here. It’s a nice, standard coat piece. It’s well sculpted and rather versatile, so it’s nice that it actually got released somewhere. Dyson probably has my favorite paint work of the set. He has a spot on likeness of actor Joe Morton (great if you want to do any Eureka Minimates), but my favorite part is the detailing on the shirt. With the jacket on, it looks like just a regular button down shirt, but remove the jacket and there’s a fully detailed bandaged gunshot wound, complete with slightly dried blood. It’s a fantastic touch, and something that could have been easily overlooked. Dyson includes a fire axe, which is definitely important to the character and is my favorite accessory in the set.

SCORCHED ENDOSKELETON

Ah, yes, the scorched Endoskeleton, hero of the… no wait, ummm… yeah, so I literally have no idea what this figure is meant to represent. Like, there’s some endoskeletons at the beginning, but they’re all shiny and new. None of them get “scorched” and none of them go back in time, so it doesn’t even really make sense for this figure to be in this set. But, I guess you have to get and endo in somewhere. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall, with 14 points of articulation. It uses the same body you’ve seen three times before in this review, with unique hands and feet, and well as add-ons for the upper torso and pelvis (which is missing on mine). All of these pieces were initially seen on the normal endo, released both in the first series of two-packs and in the single pack case. I’m of two minds about the pieces. The feet are well done, and the hands, while large, are still pretty cool. But, the torso and pelvis pieces, while nicely sculpted, make the figure way too big to believable be the thing under Arnold’s skin. It just doesn’t work. On the plus side, the figure’s paint has that covered. There’s a fully detailed normal torso under the sculpted one, so you can remove the sculpted piece and have a seeker looking Endo. The figure has some pretty decent paint, with detail lines for all of the various tech pieces. The main difference between the normal endo and this one is that this one is done in more of a dull gray, to look “scorched.” The endo includes a plasma rifle, which is the same as the one with the T-800.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was beyond thrilled when the T2 license was announced for Minimates. I rushed out and bout the first series from TRU (back when TRU was getting their Minimate assortments first!) and I patiently awaited the arrival of others. This set excited me the most, because it offered my favorite version of Sarah, as well as Dyson, the unsung hero of the film. SO, I ordered this set the day it went up on AFX and patiently awaited its arrival. Sadly, it seems not everyone else was quite as thrilled by the set, as it hung around for quite some time, and was eventually clearanced off by the CASE! I still think this a really solid set. Sure, the endo’s pointless and a little boring, but Miles and Sarah more than make up for that, and you get a fun version of the T-800 to boot!

#0352: Days of Future Past Minimates

FUTURE WOLVERINE, FUTURE KITTY PRYDE, MYSTIQUE & FUTURE SENTINEL

MARVEL MINIMATES

DOFP2

Minimates! Oh, how I’ve missed you. It’s been almost 30 reviews since I last looked at a set of Minimates, and almost 50 since I last looked at any Marvel Minimates. I’m not sure how I let that happen. I guess I was just buying too much other stuff. So, here’s a set based on one of the best known X-Men stories of all time!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set was released as a San Diego Comic Con exclusive, just this summer. It’s based on the “Days of Future Past” story that ran through X-Men #141-142. The set was released to coincide with the movie adaptation of that story, released this past summer.

FUTURE WOLVERINE

DOFP3It wouldn’t be a proper X-Men set without Wolverine, now would it? Wolverine is, as the figure’s name notes, based on the version of the character from the bad future presented in DOFP. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this version of Wolverine in Minimate form, as it was also a variant all the way back in Marvel Minimates Series 13. However, a few things necessitate a re-do of this particular look: 1) The style of Minimates has changes since then, 2) This figure actually represents what wolverine looks like in the actual issue, while that one was based on the slightly different look from the cover, and 3) the old figure just isn’t very good. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the basic Minimate body, with a set of clawed hands and additional pieces for his hair, coat, belt and the pouch on his leg. All of these pieces are re-use. The hair and hands have been used on a handful of previous Wolverines. Thecoat is from the Street Fight Wolverine from Series 52. The belt is a generic piece used several times before, and the pouch has been used before, but I don’t know where. Aside from the coat being a touch long for the one Wolverine was sporting in the story, all these pieces are spot on, and they do a great job translating the look to the Minimate form. For the most part, the paint on Wolverine is relatively basic, but it’s pretty good. There are a few areas on the coat and around the boot lines where the lines are a little sloppy, but otherwise it looks pretty great. The face and torso also have some very nice detail line work, which give the figures some pretty good dimension. Future Wolverine includes a clear display stand. DOFP7

FUTURE KITTY PRYDE

DOFP4Okay, so right off the bat, I have a slight bone to pick with DST: In DOFP, Kitty isn’t Kitty Pryde, she’s Kate Pryde. It’s a small but important difference. That being said, I suppose for marketing purposes, it makes sense to call her Kitty. Anyway, she’s the main character of the comic version of the story, so it’s good to see her included here. She is, of course based on the future version of Kitty from the story. In her default setup, she’s meant to replicate Kate’s look from the cover of X-Men #141. Kate stands about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. She’s built on the standard Minimate body, with additional pieces for her hair, collar, and coat. Like Wolverine, all of the pieces are re-use. The hair is from the Shadowcat Minimate from Series 31, the coat is from the Series 46 Peter Parker, and the collar is just a generic collar piece. These pieces make for a decent approximation of Kate’s cover look, which is good. The coat has a small hole on the right shoulder where Peter’s book bag originally attached, but it’s forgivable since it’s re-use. The paint on Kate is basic, but clean. The jacket, pants and shoes are all solid colors, but at least she doesn’t have any slop. The facial expression is a near perfect recreation of her face from the cover, so that’s great. Kitty includes a clear display stand, a spare hairpiece (re-used from Series 43’s Aunt May), and extra arms and legs. By removing the coat and replacing the arms and legs, you can recreate Kate’s prison camp look, which is the look she actually has in the story itself. It’s a masterfully done extra look and it’s absolutely spot on to what she looked like in the story.

MYSTIQUE

DOFP5Mystique is the only “current” figure in the set. She’s a great choice, seeing as she operates as the main antagonist in all of the present day sequences, plus she was in dire need of an update. Mystique is in her classic costume, which is the one she was wearing in DOFP, so that’s cool. Mystique is about 2 ½ inches in height and features 14 points of articulation. Like the others, she features the standard Minimate body as her starting point, with add-ons for her hair and skirt. The hair is re-used from the “Curse of the Mutants” Vampire Jubilee and the skirt is from the Series 38 Elektra. These are both very nicely sculpted pieces, and they work great for Mystique. Mystique’s paint is very well done. Everyhing is clean and sharp, and the line work brilliantly translates Mystique from the page to the Minimate. There are even ties on her sides going from the front to the back of her dress! Mystique includes a clear display stand and two extra heads: one Senator Kelly and one half-Kelly/half-Mystique (both of which make use of the hair previously seen on the Lost in Space Minimates Doctor Smith). The heads are a great idea. The half-and-half head makes for a perfect illustration of Mystique’s abilities and with the addition of a spare suit body, the Kelly head allows you to make your own Senator Kelly, another character pivotal to the story. (For reference, I used the body of a Series 43 J Jonah Jameson, which I have several of thanks to SHIELD Agent army building.)

DOFP8

FUTURE SENTINEL

DOFP6This particular Sentinel could work equally as a current day and future Sentinel, but the box says “Future” so that’s what I’m going with. The Sentinels are the antagonists of the future sequences, so the inclusion of one here is perfect. I just wish it were available outside of this four pack because I’d love to have a few of them. The Sentinel is based on the classic Sentinel design, as was seen in DOFP. The figure is a little over 2 ½ inches tall and features 12 points of articulation. The height puts him way out of scale with the rest of the set, but that’s just a thing we’ll have to live with. The Sentinel is built using the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for the helmet, hands, torso extender, and feet. The helmet first saw use on the Marvel vs Capcom 3 Sentinel, the hands are from the TRU exclusive Annihilus, the torso extender has seen a few uses, and the boots are from the TRU exclusive Box. All of these pieces add up to the best looking Sentinel the line has offered yet. The paint on the Sentinel seems particularly good. All of the details are very shard and clean, and the shades of purple and pink are just right, which was something I always found off about the previous Sentinels. The Sentinel includes an alternate battle-damaged head, an orange flight base, and a clear display stand.

DOFP9 DOFP10

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I did not attend San Diego Comic Con, this set was picked up from my very favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. When Diamond first announced they were planning on doing a set based on the story, I was pretty excited, and this set really lives up to my expectations. Mystique and the Sentinel are easily my default versions of those characters now, and Wolverine and Kate are fun variants. Throw in the fact that I can build my very own Senator Kelly, who I never though in a million years we’d get, and I’m as happy as I could be with this set.

DOFP1

#0205: Hal Jordan, Sinestro, & Abin Sur

HAL JORDAN, SINESTRO & ABIN SUR

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED

IMG_1737

It’s no secret that I’m a pretty big Green Lantern fan. Due to this, I own a metric ton of Green Lantern crap. Good or bad, I own it. There is, however, one Green Lantern item that I will never, ever, own. That is the Hal Jordan Green Lantern figure based on the character’s brief cameo in the Justice League Unlimited episode “Once and Future Thing.” Mattel decided to give this figure out as a gift to a number of Warner Brothers executives one year. I believe the number of figures in existence is in the low three-figures. Unsurprisingly, the figure rarely shows up on the aftermarket, and when one does, they go for prices far beyond what someone like me can reasonably pay.

So, I was bummed. I mean, Hal Jordan was one of my favorite characters of all time, and I would be unable to own him in the primary DC scale of the time. What a bummer! Then came the set I am reviewing today, offering me another chance at the character. No, it’s not the same, but it’s something, so I’ll take it.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Hal Jordan, Abin Sur, and Sinestro were released as part of a San Diego Comic Con exclusive three pack, meant to sort-of promote Justice League: New Frontier. Hal and Abin are based loosely on their appearances there, and Sinestro is based on his GL look in the comics. All three feature swappable heads, to allow Hal to be displayed in either of his GL uniforms. It’s debatable as to whether it works or not.

HAL JORDAN

Hal is presented here in his Ferris Aircraft-issued test pilot gear. He stands just shy of 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. He features a brand new head and legs, along with the basic medium build torso and arms and a coat add-on previously used on Mr. Terrific. The head looks pretty accurate to what Hal looks like in New Frontier, so that works. The re-use all works appropriately as well. The paint work is okay, though there are some fuzzy lines in a few spots.  Hal has no accessories, unless you want to count Abin and Sinestro…

ABIN SUR

Abin Sur is presented here in the GL uniform he wore in his original appearance. This was a bit of a contentious point amongst fans, because it’s not the design he sported in his appearance in the Animated universe. It was done to facilitate the Hal Jordan thing, but I guess I can see the annoyance. Abin is built on the medium build body with a brand new head. The head is a bit big for the body, but overall it looks nice, and the medium body was the best of the bucks Mattel used for this line. The paint is serviceable, though it also still has a few fuzzy lines.

SINESTRO

Sinestro is shown here in his GL uniform, which he never actually sported in any of the animated material, but they wanted to do the interchangeable heads thing, so there it is. Sinestro is a complete re-use. He’s built on the same medium body as Abin, and shares a head with the previous Sinestro figure. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The paint is nice and clean, cleaner than the other two, in fact, which is something I suppose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this set up off of Matty Collector following SDCC. It was mostly painless. It’s not the same as the super rare Hal, but this set isn’t too bad. It provides a perfectly fine version of Hal, and Abin and Sinestro are pretty cool too. It’s not a thrilling set, but it is cool for someone who’s a fan of Green Lantern, which is a bill I fit. Yay.

#0099: He-Ro

HE-RO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS

So, I’ve looked at Mattel’s popular DC Universe Classics line a few times before on the site.  Based on the popularity of that line, Mattel decided to create a similar line based on their own in house property Masters of the Universe, handled by the Four Horsemen, the group of sculptors responsible for the amazing work present in DCUC.  They called the line Masters of the Universe Classics, and they used it to spear head the launch of their online store Matty Collector.  I’ll go into the wonderfulness of that store (read: sarcasm) in a bit.

Anyway, in addition to monthly releases on the webstore, they also have a yearly San Diego Comicon exclusive.  He-Ro is one of those.

Little backstory on He-Ro.  Towards the end of the original Masters of the Universe line, they had planned on rebranding the line “The Powers of Grayskull”, and moving the focus from He-Man to his distant ancestor He-Ro, a heroic sorcerer who had helped establish the Eternia we all knew and loved.  The line never took off, but a lone prototype of He-Ro was produced.  This figure is based on that.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

He-Ro was released as the 2009 San Diego Comicon exclusive for Masters of the Universe Classics.  He’s based on the unproduced He-Ro prototype from the 80s.  He stands about 7 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  In a similar fashion to DC Universe Classics, MOTUC is built on the buck system.  However, MOTUC has two bucks: Male and Female*.  He-Ro is built on the male buck.  I hope that didn’t shock you.  In addition to the base body, He-Ro has a new head, lower arms, kilt-thingy, boots, and chest/cape combo.  These pieces are all well done, and have a lot of great little details.  The head has a bit of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger feel to it, which actually really works for the character.  The paint on the figure is well applied, no slop or bleed over.   I feel like he could possibly use a few accents to highlight some of the subtleties of the sculpt, but it’s not bad by any means.  He-Ro includes two accessories: a power sword and a staff thing.  The power sword is the same sword that’s been used many times over the course of the line, but this time molded in a clear, sparkly blue, which is cool if you’re into that sort of thing I suppose.  The staff is brand new, and can open up to show off the gem inside the top.  It was possible to get a green, red or purple gem.  I got purple.  So there…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you’ve read my DCUC reviews, you know I’m not the biggest fan of Matty Collector.  I also wasn’t a fan of the price tag associated with the figures.  They were selling for $20 a piece (at a time when DCUC were still under $15), and when you added in Matty’s outrageous shipping costs, you weren’t getting one of these without dropping at least $30.  Of course, the price mattered not, because the only way you could get the figures was to get onto Matty’s site at noon (eastern time) the day they went up and pray to God that you were able to get one within the less than 10 minutes the figure was in stock.  And to make matters worse, Matty wasn’t willing to up their bandwidth to allow for the increased traffic, so you’d get stuck in perpetual loading screens.

I was a moderate fan of Masters of the Universe, but all that was enough to make me say: “I’ll spend my money elsewhere.”

But then a funny thing happened.  Mattel decided to release a select few MOTUC figures in two packs with DCUC figures.  Perhaps this was my chance, I thought!  But then they arrived and they were $40 retail.  Which definitely killed my excitement.  But then, the Toys R Us near me went out of business (well actually it moved across the street, but they still sold all of their stock because…?) and I found a Skeletor & Lex Luthor two pack for $15.  For that price, they were worth it.  And Skeletor was actually a really cool figure!  So, I decided to track down a few more.  I found He-Ro at a nearby toy store called Alltime Toys, who had him for about $25, which was pricey, but not outrageous.  And here he is.  And wow this review is a lot longer than I was expecting it to be.

*Okay, so technically there’s a few variations on the male body to allow for, like, furry characters and stuff, but it’s the same underlying musculature, and I really liked my witty banter back there.  Yeah, it was witty!

#0033: Alpha Flight Minimates Part 1

GUARDIAN, PUCK, NORTHSTAR & MARINA

MARVEL MINIMATES

Did somebody say I should review more minimates?  No?  Oh…well, too bad ‘cause that’s what I’m doing, whether you like it or not!

Today’s review focuses on another set of the greatly expansive Marvel Minimates line.  This is also another set of characters from Canada’s premier super-hero team:  Alpha Flight!

Guardian is (was?) the leader of the group, husband of fellow member Heather Hudson, and all around generic hero guy!  Puck’s a short guy!  Northstar’s a guy who’s powers can only be activated by holding hands with his twin sister!  Also gay.  And Marina does water stuff!  There, now you know the characters as well as I do.  Let’s get to the review!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were released as a boxed set available through online retailer Action Figure Express during San Diego Comic Con 2012.

GUARDIAN

Guardian is depicted in his basic red and white, Canadian flag costume.  He’s built on the basic minimate body, so he stands a bit over 2 inches tall and features the standard 14 points of articulation.  He has a sculpted mask, with an alternate hairpiece to swap out to display James Hudson unmasked.  The detailing on the figure is well done, with little slop or bleed over.  James also doesn’t suffer from the same red paint bleed that Heather did, which is nice.  Lastly, Guardian includes an alternate robot head, so that you can depict the artificial replacement Guardian from after James’s death, which is a neat little throw in.

PUCK

Puck is shown here in pretty much the only uniform he’s ever had: Black unitard with boots and wrist bands.  It’s certainly an odd look, but I guess he looks fairly unique, so there.  Puck is built on the basic minimate body, with one slight deviation.   To simulate Puck’s diminished stature, he’s been given a set of “slipper” feet in place of the regular ones.  This brings Puck’s articulation down to 12 points, and only really reduces his height in a very subtle way.  It does help to make him appear a bit more stocky, however, so it’s not too bad.  Puck’s got a sculpted cowl, as well as a new hand that is sculpted to let him do hand stands with the included stand.  Puck’s detailing is well done, and fairly detailed, especially the hair on his arms and legs.  And I really like his face for some reason…

NORTHSTAR

Ah, Northstar.  This guy.  He’s probably the best known of the characters featured here, due to also being a member of the X-Men and, most likely, his status as one of Marvel’s  few long lasting gay characters.   He’s depicted in what is his best known, and in my opinion best designed, costume.  The simple black and white is rather striking, and it looks pretty good in Minimate form.  Northstar’s only sculpted piece is his hair, which he includes in both black and white.  This is a nice touch, given the variance in the coloring Northstar’s hair has received over the years.  I think I prefer the black just because that seems to be the way he’s depicted most often.  His details are handled with some pretty good simplicity, which really fits the character’s design.  Lastly, Northstar includes a stand to simulate his flying abilities.

MARINA

Marina was a later addition to the team, and she honestly didn’t stick with them for too long.  She married the Sub Mariner and joined the Avengers, where she was turned into a giant monster and killed by her husband.  Which is a bit of a bummer.  She’s depicted in what I believe is her only costume.  She’s built on the basic minimate body, though she has a set of specially sculpted hands to depict her webbed fingers.  She also has a sculpted hair piece, which is nicely done.  The entire figure is painted, no molded colors, which is a bit of a rarity for a minimate.  It looks nice, though, and helps to set her apart from the others.  She is certainly a unique looking minimate.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this set, like so many other “Action Figure Xpress exclusives” from my very favorite minimate retailer: Luke’s Toy Store.  I do really like this set, which is really saying something, because I only have a passing familiarity with the characters it features.

#0025: John Stewart

JOHN STEWART – GREEN LANTERN

DC MINIMATES

So today is yet another Minimate review.  I promise to take a bit of a break from the Minimates, but they do make up a fairly large chuck of the collection, so they’ll tend to pop up fairly often.

We’re looking at a Minimate from the DC line today.  This figure is Green Lantern John Stewart, the first Minimate produced in DC Direct’s attempted revival of the DC Minimates line after the initial Lego inspired C3 line failed.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

John was a San Diego Comic Con give away, meant to drum up interest in the full DC Minimates line.  Like many Minimate give aways, he features no additional parts, but that’s not an issue with this design.  John is built, unsurprisingly, on the basic Minimate body.  He stands about 2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  John is based on his appearance from the Justice League cartoon, which is a good look.  The lines are all very clean and sharp looking.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Although he was released a while ago, John is a fairly recent addition to my collection.  I don’t know why, as I’m a huge Green Lantern fan and a pretty big fan of John himself, but I’d say it’s mostly to do with him only being available at SDCC.  Anyway, I’ve got one now, and he’s a great addition to my collection.