#1221: Goliath

GOLIATH

MARVEL UNIVERSE: GIGANTIC BATTLES (HASBRO)

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Black Panther is the Marvel Universe’s first prominent African character and not long after his introduction in 1966, they introduced their first noteworthy African-American character into their super hero world in the form of Hank Pym’s lab assistant, Bill Foster.  Bill was a big deal at the time, being totally competent in his job, and being the best expert in Pym Particles outside of Pym himself, all while avoiding many of the negative stereotypes that struck most black characters at the time.  In the ‘70s, he was promoted to a super hero in his own right, taking on the role of Black Goliath.  He then eventually took on Hank’s old Giant-Man name for a time, before retiring for a bit due to health issues.  In the early ‘00s, he was brought back, dropping the “Black” from his name and simply going by “Goliath.”  Then he got dragged into the stupidity of Civil War and ended up dead.  Thanks, Millar.  Well, at the very least he got an action figure out of all of it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

billfoster2Goliath was released in the second series of Hasbro’s Marvel Universe: Gigantic Battles line, a sub-line of their main Marvel Universe line.  He was originally packed with Ragnarok, the evil clone version of Thor from Civil War, as well as Civil War #4, the issue where Bill died.  Those two parts of the set were a little morbid for me, so I got rid of them.  Just the Bill figure for me!  The figure stands about 12 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Bill is wearing the costume he was sporting during Civil War (though it was introduced just prior to that, I believe during Dan Slott and Andrea Di Vito’s The Thing mini-series).  It was a short-lived look, but also one of Bill’s best designs, lacking a lot of the dated design elements his other designs possessed. Structurally, the figure’s mostly a re-use of the Marvel Icons Cyclops figure, the same body used for the previously reviewed SDCC-exclusive Giant-Man, as well as the Gigantic Battles version of Hank Pym Goliath.  As I noted in the Giant-Man review, it’s a body that’s started looking quite dated in recent years.  It’s really gangly, and the articulation isn’t particularly well worked-in.  The gangly-ness of the body is particularly notable with Bill, who was classically depicted as having a fair bit of mass in his giant form.  That being said, one of my major issues with its use on Giant-Man was how the sculpted costume details didn’t line-up with his design.  That’s not an issue for Bill, which results in him looking a whole lot less strange when compared to Hank.  Bill had a new head sculpt, which remains one of Hasbro’s greatest head sculpts to date.  The level of detail on this sculpt is really incredible, to the point that it almost kinda looks out of place on this particular body.  He’s also got an add-on belt piece, which covers up the sculpted x-belt-buckle.  Due to its design and size, it covers the original belt much better than the piece on the Giant-Man figure.  In terms of paint, Bill’s fairly decent.  The base colors match up pretty well with the comics, and there’s some nice airbrushing present on several parts of the costume.  Since the arms they used have sculpted seams and folds, they couldn’t do the proper bare arms, so instead they’re black like the pants and boots.  It sort of looks off, but I guess it works alright.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Bill is actually one of my favorite comics characters.  It all goes back to his appearance in the tie-in comics for Avengers: United They Stand, which is one of my personal favorite runs of Avengers comics.  I liked him there, which led to me tracking down some of his other appearances (with the Champions, another favorite team of mine, as well as in his short-lived solo series).  He’s just one of those cool background characters that I really enjoy, and I was beyond pissed when he was killed in Civil War.  I was super thrilled when Hasbro announced him as part of this line, and waited patiently for the two years it took for him to make it to retail.  Goliath isn’t one of Hasbro’s best, especially in light of the leaps and bounds they’ve made with Legends, but he was actually one of the best entries in the MU line at the time, and he’s the only Bill Foster action figure out there.

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#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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