#1521: Ego & Ayesha



Every good movie needs a good villain.  Sometimes a bad movie tries to compensate for its badness by adding extra villains in the hopes of that making the badness less noticeable, like in the Joel Schumacher Batman movies.  Fortunately, that wasn’t at all the case with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which deftly handled having two antagonists by having one be the primary (Ego), and the other just a secondary (Ayesha).  It allowed both to have their own moments to shine, without the film feeling too cluttered.  As luck would have it, those two are the two figures I’m looking at today!


Ego and Ayesha, like yesterday’s set, are exclusive to Marvel Minimates Series 71.  Also like yesterday’s set, the pairing is a little bit off.  I mean, it’s not quite as bad, since these two at least share one scene (not that they actually interact during it), but I can’t help but feel the pairings would have made more sense if it had been Ego/Mantis and Ayesha/Taserface.  But I bought the whole assortment anyway, so I guess it doesn’t ultimately matter.


As noted in my last Ego review, the film changed a few things about the character in order to translate him to film, but I thought it worked out pretty well.  Like that figure, he’s based on Ego’s modern-day “human” appearance.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He’s based on the standard ‘mate body, with add-ons for his hair and his shirt/cape/belt.  Both of these pieces are new for Ego, and they’re both fairly decent.  I wouldn’t mind if the details of the sculpt were a little bit sharper, but they could be worse.  I’m not 100% sure why they’ve gone with a sculpted torso rather than just painting the details on, but it looks alright in the end.  Ego’s paintwork is decent enough, though like his movie counterpart, he’s a tad on the bland side.  Still, that’s accurate, so one can hardly hold that against him.  The face is a passable rendition of Kurt Russel as Ego, though it’s not quite as spot-on as some ‘mate likenesses.  Ego’s only accessory is a clear display stand.  What, no extra head with only the most minor cosmetic changes?  For shame!


Like Ego, Ayesha got some changes in her journey from the page to the screen.  In the comics, she’s an artificial human like Adam Warlock (who she looks to be the creator of in the movie-verse), and only actually an antagonist in the loosest sense of the word.  Neither version of her is super prominent.  She has a number of different designs over the course of the film, but this ‘mate goes for her more active pilot’s gear from when she’s flying the remote ship at the end of the movie.  I personally liked this design the best, so no complaints there.  She’s also constructed on the standard body, with a new hairpiece.  It’s an okay piece, but it’s very restrictive of the head movement (a common issue with the females in this series), and it looks a bit more inorganic than I’d expected.  Ayesha’s paint is clean and bold, and does a reasonable job of recreating the on-screen design.  All of the gold stands out really well against the darker blue, and gives her a lot of pop.  Like Ego, her only extra is a clear display stand.  I guess a piloting console was a bit much to ask for…


I didn’t know much what to expect from this set.  I liked both of the characters in the movie, so I’m certainly glad to have them in figure form, and they do a nice job of rounding out my overall set.  Neither one of them stands out quite as much as any of the others in the set, but they’re still solid additions.

#1511: Star-Lord & Ego



“Roguish and unpredictable, Ego and Star-Lord share many of the same qualities as father and son. But when it comes to defending the galaxy as each sees fit, their approaches unquestionably differ.”

It’s been about three months since I took a look at the second assortment of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2-themed Marvel Legends.  While those reviews mostly wrapped up the Legends releases for the movie, there’s still one item I haven’t yet reviewed.  I’ll be taking care of that today, with a look at the film’s main antagonist Ego, as well as another variant of his son, Peter Quill, better known as Star-Lord!


Star-Lord and Ego were released as a two-pack over this past summer.  They’re officially the last of the GotG2 releases to hit stores, but thanks to some wonky distribution, a lot of areas saw them before the Mantis Series (I live in one such area).  They hit around July/August, a fair bit after the movie’s release, which may not have been the strongest marketing strategy.


This marks Star-Lord’s third Legends figure this year.  It’s functionally the same figure as the one released in the Titus Series, but there are some notable differences if you own both.  As far as the sculpt goes, the only real change is the hair, which is the more coifed Mantis Series piece, denoting this as a more official Vol. 2 figure than the first Star-Lord.  The hair’s seated better on the head this time around, making for a better overall appearance.  Beyond that, the sculpt’s identical to the first figure, which is hardly a bad thing since that was a phenomenal sculpt.  Like the sculpt, the paint is largely the same as the first release, but there are a few differences.  The most minor is the shirt, which is now a light grey instead of a dark one.  The more intense changes are on the face, which uses the fancy new face printing method.  It’s not terrible, and it’s certainly a vast improvement over the Mantis Series head, but the Titus Series head is still my overall favorite.  Star-Lord includes an extra helmeted head, his two element guns, and his Walkman.


In the comics, Ego and Peter Quill’s father are two separate characters.  James Gunn disliked Quill’s father’s identity in the comics, and decided to go for something a bit more exciting, finally deciding on Fantastic Four villain Ego the Living Planet.  He was slightly re-worked for the film (he doesn’t tend to have an actual body in the comics), but his overall characterization was pretty spot-on, and Kurt Russel was clearly having a lot of fun with the part.  It should be noted that this figure’s official name is actually “Marvel’s Ego,” which I found to be rather amusing in its own unintentional way.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  His sculpt is new to him, and it’s…well, it’s alright, I guess.  Compared to some of the other Guardians figures, it feels a little weak.  It’s mostly how the articulation’s been worked in.  It just feels rather stilted and unnatural.  It’s not like we’re at Mattel levels of bad or anything, but it definitely could have been better.  It’s not all bad, though.  The head actually has a pretty solid likeness of Russel, and I was rather impressed with the texture work on his clothing.  Overall, I’m happy with the sculpt, I just think it wasn’t helped by being packed with one of Hasbro’s best sculpted figures ever, that’s all.  The paintwork on Ego is pretty solid work.  It’s not the most exciting set of colors, but it’s true to the movie, and there’s enough accent work to keep him from looking too bland.  Like Peter, he gets a printed face, which I think ends up looking a bit better than Peter, and is my favorite sample of this technique so far.  Ego is packed with an extra head, which is largely the same as the standard one, just with a slightly friendlier expression.  It’s not really all that noticeably different, and I can’t even say for sure that it’s even a different sculpt.  Personally, I’d have rather had a battle damaged head from when Peter shoots him, but I guess that might have been too morbid.


When this set was first announced, I was pretty excited for it, even if I did already have the basic Star-Lord.  Then it took its sweet time getting here, and I had some financial things going on, and so by the time it actually arrived on shelves, I just could bring myself to drop the full $40 on it.  Ultimately, I ended up getting it for about half price from Target, meaning I pretty much just payed for the Ego figure.  The set’s alright, but I don’t find it to be quite as entertaining as the Thor/Valkyrie set.  Star-Lord’s different enough from the Titus Series figure for me to notice, but not enough to make me actually care to have the extra, which is a bit frustrating.  Ego’s not a bad figure, but he’s not a great one either, and I feel he’s a little bit of a step down from the rest of the set.  At half-price, I don’t feel ripped off, but I’m certainly glad I didn’t buy it when it was brand-new.