#1019: Giant-Man




Huzzah!  We’ve made it to the final part of Giant-Man Week!  It’s time for the literal big guy himself, Giant-Man.  Giant-Man was probably one of Civil War’s worst kept secrets, thanks to both this figure and the Airport Battle Lego set.  It’s not like it was a huge shock or anything, and the actual moment from the film was hardly diminished by knowing ahead of time.  Anyway, Giant-Man is (pardon the pun) one of the bigger things to come out of Civil War, and as such, he’s found his way into quite a good bit of merchandise.  However, this is the first proper movie Giant-Man action figure, so let’s see how he turned out!


GiantManCW2Giant-Man is the build-a-figure for the Giant-Man Series of Marvel Legends.  I know, who would have seen that coming?  He’s obviously based on his appearance in Captain America: Civil War, specifically the airport scene.  The figure stands 10 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Giant-Man is another all-new sculpt.  It’s pretty decent work, with a slight caveat.  The figure offers a decent approximation of his design from the movie, but, like with the Ant-Man figures from the solo movie, this guy kind of misses the smaller details. Well, not misses, so much. All the details are there, but they’re sort of out of place. It’s not a bad look at all, just slightly inaccurate. But hey, this is what happens when you keep a main character’s look under wraps for so long.  It’s certainly not a bad sculpt, though.  There’s a lot of really great texturing on his suit, and he’s got nice, balanced proportions.  I particularly like the use of a separate piece for the faceplate, which allows for Scott’s eyes to be seen beneath the lenses.  It’s a really cool look.  Giant-Man’s paintwork is pretty solidly done.  The colors are all good matches for the movie, and everything is nice and cleanly applied.  The silver could, maybe, be a little brighter, but it looks fine as is.  As an accessory himself, Giant-Man doesn’t include any extras of his own, though I can’t really think of much you could give him.  Maybe a chunk of plane?


As a build-a-figure, Giant-Man is the result of a few weeks of searching for all the figures in this series.  I think he may be one of my favorite B-a-Fs in a a long time.  In general, this whole series was really strong.  The line-up seemed a little odd at first, but almost all of the figures are top-notch work, especially in terms of paint! Which has been one of Hasbro’s problem areas.


#0680: Ant-Man Boxed Set




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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


#0633: Giant-Man




So, the Ant-man movie has finally found its way to its US release today. By the time you read this, I’ll have already seen it, and hopefully have enjoyed it. Now, Scott Lang, aka the second Ant-Man, takes the lead role in the film, but in both the comics and the movie, things are kicked off by Hank Pym. Pym actually moved out of the Ant-Man identity relatively quickly in the comics, becoming the slightly more useful (though also less fun) Giant-Man!


GiantMan2Giant-Man is the sixth figure in Hasbro’s Ant-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and features 32 points of articulation. Yes, you read that right: Giant-Man is normal sized. This has caused a little bit of contention within the collecting community. Ultimately, though, Giant-Man can change his size, and we’ve never gotten him at normal size, so I’m pretty happy about it. Giant-Man is based on his most recent design, which he first started wearing following his return to the identity after being the Wasp for a little while, right when he began teaching at Avengers Academy. It’s modern, but also not far from his original costume. I miss the blue, but it’s actually a pretty nice design. For the most part, the figure is just the Bucky Cap body, with a new head thrown in for good measure. The body is still a good one, and it’s well chosen for a normal sized Hank Pym. The head is fairly straightforward, but it’s still pretty good. The antennae were a little bit warped straight out of the package, but they go GiantMan3back to their proper shape pretty easily. The face has some of the trademarks of the post-ROML male faces, which aren’t my favorite sculpts, but the angles are softer here, so it’s not horrible. Giant-Man is a Hasbro figure, which almost always means questionable paintwork. This figure isn’t an exception. The general application is alright, and the base red plastic is nice and bright, but some of the edges are fuzzy and a few of the black sections don’t line up quite right. Also, the red on the tops of the boots doesn’t match the rest of the figure. However, as a whole, the figure doesn’t look atrocious. Giant-Man included no accessories of his own, but he did come with the right leg of Ultron.


Giant-Man was the only figure absent from the ones I found at my local TRU. As the figure I was most anticipating from this set, that bummed me out a bit, but I was able to get one courtesy of their online store. Ultimately, some of the issues with his paint, coupled with my unexpected enjoyment of Bulldozer, has resulted in him not being quite as exciting as I’d hoped. Still, he’s not a bad figure, and he does look pretty good when posed with the smaller scale Marvel Universe figures.


#0176: Avengers Boxed set



If there’s one toyline I like more than all others, it’s Minimates, particularly the Marvel Minimates subset. Frequent readers should be well aware of this fact, given the sheer volume of Marvel Minimates reviews present on this site. Anyway, I’ve got another Marvel Minimates review for today. This set is important in that it heralded the first release of long-demanded villain Kang!


This was one of two boxed sets released exclusively through the Disney Store in 2012. The sets were both Avengers related, in an attempt to tie into the movie release. The sets featured three all new figures packaged with five re-releases from Marvel Minimates series 44.


The Hulk is one of the three re-packs in this set. He’s based on his Professor Hulk incarnation, from Peter David’s run of Hulk. The basic idea was that Banner’s intelligence remained when he turned into the Hulk. It was a pretty big moment in the comics, and it definitely deserves a Minimate. This is actually the second Minimate of Professor Hulk, but the less said about the first one, the better. The figure is built on the standard Minimate body, with sculpted add-ons for bulk. He stands a little over 2 ½ inches tall and has 12 points of articulation. Most of the bulked up pieces are the same ones seen on other large characters, but he does feature a new set of feet, new hair, and it’s the first official release of the basic bulked up hands. All of the pieces look pretty good, and it’s nice to finally get a hairpiece that accurately resembles Hulks occasional bowl cut look. The paint work is good overall. There’s a bit of slop a few places, but all detail work is sharp. Hulk includes two rock slabs.


GiAnt Man is yet another of the repacks from this set. He’s based on George Perez’s redesign of the character from his and Kurt Busiek’s run on The Avengers in the 90s. The idea behind this redesign was creating a look that could easily morph between Hank’s Giant Man and Ant Man personas, hence the GiAnt Man title. It’s not a bad look, so its inclusion here is fair. He’s also built on the standard Minimates body, so he’s about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. The number of add-ons depends on how you set him up, but amongst them are a Giant Man helmet, an Ant Man helmet, a belt, a torso extender, a pair of tall feet and a pair of short feet. The figure seems to be a case of better in concept than in execution, as the Giant Man set-up looks a bit strange, the Ant Man set-up is a bit too large, and neither helmet actually fits his face properly, leading to his mouth being too far down, making him look silly. The figure also includes a spare hairpiece to display him unmasked. It’s a re-use of Renfield’s hair from the Dracula set, and I’m not sure it quite fits Hank. Overall, this figure had some potential, but ends up being a bit of a mess.



Cap is the final repack in this set. He based on Cap’s typical look, though it does take some of the more specific cues from George Perez’s work. The figure is on the standard body, so he’s got the usual stats. He features six sculpted add-ons: mask, glove cuffs, shield strap, and boots. All of these are reuse from previous Captains, but it’s kind of a case of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The paint work is all pretty good. Everything is nice and clean, and he’s even got little details, like the scales on his shirt or the blue shorts he’s sometimes depicted wearing over the pants. One area that is a bit off is the face, which seems a little bit angry looking for Cap. Other than that, he’s a pretty great standard Cap release. He includes his mighty shield (in metallic colors!), and a spare hairpiece, which is a re-use from one of the Back to the Future Marty McFly figures.


KAAAAANG!!! Yeah, he was a pretty big deal. Kang is the only exclusive figure in this set. For those of you who don’t know Kang, he’s one of the more pivotal Avengers foes. He was a conqueror from the future that came back in time to take over earlier. The Avengers of course would always stop him, as they do. For a quick explanation, I’d recommend checking out the character’s appearances in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, which is currently available for streaming on Netflix. Kang is built in the standard Minimates body, so he has all the typical stats. He features 7 sculpted add-ons: helmet, gloves, shoulder armor, belt, and upper arms. The upper arms are the same ones seen on Betsy Braddock and the Hydra Elite. They aren’t my favorite piece, but they do work for depicting more billowy shirt material, which Kang does have. I think the rest of the pieces are new, though the gloves mightbe a re-use. The paint work on Kang is pretty good. Nothing spectacular, but it isn’t bad and everything is nice and sharp. Kang includes two guns and a pink teleportation stand.


I was pretty excited about this set. The update on Professor Hulk was much needed, and the release of Kang was super cool! I wish Giant Man had been a bit better, but overall, this is a pretty good set. I got this set from Disney’s online store, as none of the Disney Stores near me carry Minimates. I like the idea of Disney exclusives, if it gets us cool sets like this, but they should definitely work on distribution.

#0006: Avengers First Appearance Boxed Set



Now a days, pretty much every one knows who the avengers are, but back in the mid 90s, they were  kind of obscure outside of the comic collecting community.  So, sets like the one I’m reviewing today were kind of a big deal.  I’ll be taking a different approach to these, and reviewing the whole set all in one shot.



First up is Ant-Man, the first of the two Hank Pym figures included in this set.  He’s a good deal smaller than all of the other figures in the set, but that’s to be expected.  He’s got 7 points of articulation, which is good for the scale.  The most impressive part, I feel is the removable helmet, which is astounding on a figure this size.  And it looks great to boot!



Next is Hank’s girlfriend, then wife, then ex-wife, then it got really complicated, Janet Van Dyne, aka The Wasp!  The Wasp is depicted in her original uniform, as is appropriate for an Avengers #1 set.  It’s not my favorite look of hers, but it’s not bad.  The figure shows the look off pretty well.  Wasp is about the same height as Ant-Man and has pretty much the same articulation, though his works better.  It would have been nice to get a regular sized Jan as well, but this one worked fine.



Next is the jade giant, the Incredible Hulk.  Hulk is in his shown here wearing his Avenging shorts (I mean, that has to be their purpose, right?  Because we only ever see him wearing them with the Avengers).  Hulk is well sculpted, but the paint leaves a little bit to be desired.  Or more specifically the choice of plastic color.  They went with this sickly looking pale green, which doesn’t befit Dr Banner at all.  He looks like he needs a little sun.  Overall, a fine figure.



Onto the armored Avenger, Iron Man.  He’s depicted in his second suit of armor, the same as his original, but gold plated.  To emulate the coloring properly, Toybiz offered two versions of the set.  One came with a Vac Metalized shiny, gold chromey paint job, and the other came with a dull, brozish style of coloring.  My original was the dull version, but when his helmet got stepped on and crushed, I upgraded to the shiny one, found loose at a toy show.  Oh, and that helmet I mentioned?  Yeah, it was removable, which was definitely this figure’s coolest feature! Just look at Tony’s handsome mug!



Oh boy.  This Thor.  Man this Thor.  This was not a good Thor.  Though, amazingly, it was the only Thor figure I owned until late into the Marvel Legends line.  But it’s not a very good figure.  The Chrome helmet and chest-circle-thingies (technical term!) are cool, and the basic body’s okay.  But then you look at that face.  Oh, man that face.  It’s bad.  And to top it all off, he has this weird poofy cloth cape, which pretty much never looked right.  I’m fairly certain this figure is the reason why I didn’t like Thor until the movie came out in 2011.



Lastly, we have what I consider to be the best figure in the set:  Giant Man!  He’s the second version of Hank Pym we’re looking at in this set, and he’s actually not quite accurate, what with Hank not being Giant Man until Avengers # 2, but man this is a cool figure, so I’m willing to overlook it.  The coolest thing about this figure, I feel, is the size.  He had some serious scale on his side.  Plus he’s just about a picture perfect representation of Hank in this costume.  The paint is sharp, the sculpt is good.  This figure’s got some serious win on his side!  He once had a set of antenna, but they fell of after a few months of play.  But at least they both fell off, preserving the symmetry.


These figures are pretty important to me, because they represent a first for me:  waiting for a figure to be released.  In the early days of the internet, I remember seeing the control art for these guys on Raving Toy Maniac.  I was absolutely thrilled.  I printed it out, and made paper figures to hold me over.

I finally saw these figures on an end-of-the-school-year shopping trip with my Nanna.  They were on an end cap and I eagerly picked them up and informed her that I didn’t need to look at anything else.  I was done.  She didn’t really get it.  Who were these characters?  Didn’t I want a Spider-Man, or a Batman instead?  Nope.  I wanted my Avengers and that’s what I got.  And man was it a great day!