#1893: Ant-Man



“What matters most is not the size of the man in the fight, but the size of the fight in the man — and the bad guys take big hits from Ant-Man!”

A few weeks ago, I looked at *most* of the latest Vintage sub-series of Marvel Legends, but didn’t quite cover them all.  The two missing were Ant-Man and Hawkeye, and, while I still haven’t found a Hawkeye, I did manage to snag an Ant-Man.  So here he is!


Ant-Man is another piece of the second series of the Marvel Legends Vintage line, and is the natural pairing to the Wasp figure from this same assortment.  The set hit stores right around the time of Ant-Man and the Wasp’s home media release, so I guess they were pretty sensibly timed.  In terms of the character he’s representing (that being a Hank Pym version of Ant-Man), he’s actually a first for Legends, though in terms of the actual figure, he follows the rest of the assortment’s trend of being a lot of revisited ground.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Sculpturally, this Ant-Man is identical to the Walgreens-exclusive Black Ant from 2015.  Technically, it’s not a pitch-perfect translation, since the two designs hive some slight discrepancies, but it’s close enough that we’ve all pretty much been expecting this exact figure since Black Ant was first shown off.  That it took Hasbro so long to deliver it is the reals surprise.  His paintwork is the main difference, of course, as it returns Ant-Man to his classic red and blue.  It’s a striking combo, and the hues chosen are bold and eye-catching.  The silver for the helmet is just the raw color of the plastic, so it’s got that slight swirly effect going on, but it works alright for this particular design.  There are some slight flaws, most notably a spot of missing paint on the figure’s nose, but he overall looks pretty decent.  I was going to rag on this figure’s boots for being straight across the top and not jagged like his gloves, but a quick review of classic Ant-Man appearances shows that the boots were just as often depicted this way, so hey, Hasbro’s not wrong.  Since Ant-Man is designed to pair off with Wasp, he comes with the natural counterpoint to her mini Ant-Man accessory: a mini Wasp.  It’s the same one used twice before in the Marvel Universe line, but this time painted up to match the Wasp figure from this assortment.  I really do wish she had included a flight stand of some sort, but oh well.


Ant-Man’s a figure I’ve been waiting for, and I certainly didn’t want to miss out on him.  That said, I was willing to be patient, even when he wasn’t among the first round of these figures I found.  Fortunately, the same connection that got me Vision and Wasp was also able to snag Hank for me, so now I’m one step closer to a complete set.  Though there’s not a lot of new going on with this figure, the starting point was already a pretty good figure in the first place, and the new colors definitely make him pop.

#0825: SDCC Ant-Man Minimates




Ant-Man seems to be that movie I keep forgetting when looking back on 2015. It’s a shame, really, because I actually enjoyed the film immensely, and thought it was a highlight of the summer. But, I keep forgetting about it. For instance, there were two sets of Marvel Minimates based on the film, both of which have been readily available since November, and I’ve only picked up one. Furthermore, I’ve had said set since November and not yet gotten around to reviewing it. Today I fix that.


These four were one of the SDCC exclusive items this year, offered via a partnership between DST and Action Figure Xpress. This set is meant to accent the main specialty release set… which I don’t have. Oh well.


AntManSDCC2As the main character, it’s only natural for Ant-Man to get one or two variants. That said, the suit maintains a pretty standard look throughout the entirety of the film, so coming up with a compellingly different version of the character can be a little difficult. Enter the “shrinking” variant, which is certainly different. Structurally, he’s the same as the normal Ant-Man. He uses the standard Minimate body, so he stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. He has add-ons for his helmet and belt. They’re decent enough matches for the film designs; the helmet is a little off, but that’s true of all the figures for the movie, since the mask was changed somewhat last minute. Regardless, the pieces look pretty great. The paintwork is kind of the key thing with this figure. He’s (mostly) molded in clear plastic. The torso of the figure has some white detail lines, outlining a few different Ant-Men, each smaller than the last, to make it look like he’s shrinking. The effect works well enough, but you do really have to view him head-on to get it to look right. Under the helmet, instead of Scott Lang (like on the regular release) it’s a younger Hank Pym. The likeness is pretty fantastic, and I love that we actually got a young Hank Pym. Ant-Man includes a hairpiece (re-used from BSG’s Apollo), a normally painted torso piece, a slab of rock, a smaller ‘mate painted up in Ant-Man’s basic colors, an effect base, and a basic display stand, made up like a giant penny.


AntManSDCC3If you have two main characters with shrinking abilities, it’s not really fair to give just one of them a figure replicating the shrinking feature. So, here’s shrinking Yellowjacket. Like Ant-Man, he’s structurally the same as his normal release version. He’s got add-ons for his helmet and harness/extra legs. These are pretty decent parts, but I don’t feel they’re as strong as Ant-Man’s, and I do wish the legs were actually poseable. Still, they work well enough, and he certainly looks the part. His paint is handled very similarly to Ant-Man’s, with the necessary changes for the differences in character designs. Under the helmet is Darren Cross. His expression is a bit more angry than the regular version, so there’s a bit of variety there. The face doesn’t really look much like Cross in the movie, especially the stubble, which just seems to be too heavy. Yellowjacket includes a normally painted torso, a slab of rock, a smaller ‘mate in black and gold, a flying stand, and a display base painted like a bottle cap.


AntManSDCC5Scott’s ant buddy Ant-Hony was definitely a surprisingly enjoyable character, and who would have thought he’d actually get three whole figures? I certainly expecting the ‘mate, though. Ant-Hony follows the lead of ‘mates such as the Brood drone, moving away from the standard Minimate build. Ant-Hony uses the head and arms (three sets of them, actually) of the basic ‘mate, along with the six-armed torso piece, which has been used a few times before. The figure also uses the little nubby feet pieces from the Brood, wings from the Wasp, and all-new pieces for the top of the head and his lower half. The end result is a slightly odd looking figure, but it approximates an ant’s shape fairly well. The paint is mostly just the same dark brown, but he does also have detailing for his eyes. Ant-Hony comes packed with a flight stand.


AntManSDCC4Civilian variants are fairly commonplace with movie ‘mates, so getting a basic Scott in this set is to be expected, especially since he’s not the one in the Ant-Man suit. He’s based on the look he sports when breaking into Pym’s mansion early in the film, which is easily the most distinct of his non-costumed looks. The figure is entirely reliant on re-used parts, with the hat from Punisher: Warzone’s Looney Bin Jim and the coat from Big Bang Theory’s Leonard. The parts are both pretty generic, but they certainly work well to capture Scott’s look from the film. Scott’s paint is pretty straightforward; it’s mostly just a bunch of dark blues (which is film accurate). There’s not an overabundance of detail work on the body, but the waist of his pants has a bit of line work. His face is actually a really great likeness of Paul Rudd, and I love that he’s got the little bandages on his brow. Scott includes an extra hair piece, a spare set of short-sleeved arms, ungloved hands, a backpack, and a clear display stand.


As noted several times before on this site, I didn’t go to SDCC 2015. So, I had to wait for this set to show up elsewhere. Specifically, I waited for it to come into stock at Luke’s Toy Store, my preferred Minimate retailer. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from this set, but I was pleasantly surprised by every ‘mate contained. Definitely a worthy purchase.

#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.


#0678: Avengers #1 Boxed Set




The Avengers may be a hot commodity now, but about ten years ago, they were mostly unknown to the public at large. This meant that they were somewhat absent from the whole merchandising thing. When Marvel Minimates was launched, the Avengers were few and far between, with only a few of the mainstays showing up here and there. Fortunately, things started turning around, right around the release of the first Iron Man. With the announcement of the Avengers Initiative in that film’s stinger, people seemed to be on board for merchandise based around Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. DST met demand by offering a boxed set based on the team’s first appearance in Avengers #1.


Hank Pym, Iron Man, Hulk, and Wasp were released as a boxed set in the fall of 2008, based around the first appearance of the team. Thor, the other founding member, was noticeably absent from the pack. He wouldn’t see another Minimate for another year, and his classic design wouldn’t be seen again for another year after that, which proved a bit frustrating for fans just getting into things with this set. This set also has the notoriety of being the final boxed set to be packed in a window-less box.


AvengersFA3Henry Pym, man of many names, made his Minimate debut with this set. He had the option of being displayed as Ant-Man or Giant-Man, giving fans two of his identities in one fell swoop. Since this was an Avengers #1 boxed set, let’s consider Ant-Man the main look. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation. He used the basic Minimate body, with an add-on for his helmet. The helmet was new to this figure, and was also used on the recent Best of Series 3 Ant-Man. It’s a very well sculpted piece, and it manages to capture the comic design of the helmet without looking too goofy. The paint on Hank is nice and bold; the colors are bright, and the line work is pretty clean. The face AvengersFA6under the helmet looks maybe a bit too chiseled for Hank, but it’s not bad. Hank included a separate mask, torso cover, and waist cover to transform him into Giant-Man, as well as a spare hairpiece to allow him to be unmasked. The Giant-Man parts are alright, but not great. They bulk him up a lot, but don’t add any height, so he looks rather off. It’s clear they were trying their best, but he just doesn’t quite work right. The hair is perfectly fine; it’s a re-use from the classic Battlestar Galactica Starbuck, which seems odd for Hank stylistically, but it doesn’t look too bad once it’s in place.


AvengersFA7Iron Man was at the top of his game in 2008, so seeing him turn up in this set was pretty much a guarantee. This was his eighth Minimate that year alone! He presented here in his second armor, which was really just a repainted version of the Mark 1. It’s the armor he was wearing for the first two issues of Avengers, and it’s also a pretty memorable look for the guy. He was built on the usual body, with 5 add-ons: helmet, torso, skirt, and bracelets. The helmet and bracelets were both generic pieces, used on numerous figures around the same time. The torso and skirt pieces were re-used from the AFX exclusive First Appearance IM, released a few years before. That’s a pretty sensible re-use, since they were supposed to be the same armor in-universe. The IM-specific parts are nicely crafted. They don’t have tons of sculpted detail, but the look from the comics is captured well. Paint on this figure is kind of a mixed bag, mostly due to the fact that, in its current state, it really doesn’t represent how it AvengersFA2looked out of the box. The gold paint seems to have not adhered very well to the plastic, resulting in a rather chipped and tarnished looking figure, which is a bit of a disappointment. Subsequent gold-based figures have remedied the issue, but this one is left looking somewhat lackluster. On the plus side, the detail lines are all very well handled, especially on the underlying torso and face, which you don’t even see in the main set-up. Iron Man is packed with a spare hairpiece, for unmasked display, a hammer attachment for his hand, and a spare set of flesh-toned arms so that you can display Tony in re-charge mode.


AvengersFA5He may not have been quite as successful as Iron Man, but Hulk was pretty big in 2008 as well, making him another heavy hitter in this particular set. Hulk is presented here in his purple shorted look, which was rather short(heh!)-lived in the comics, but was the look Hulk had in the two issues this set is based upon. So, it’s an interesting enough variant of the character. The figure has a unique head sculpt, as well as add-ons for the torso, waist, and the infamous “duck feet.” The torso and waist pieces were both re-used from Series 20’s Abomination, and are both rather basic pieces. The head was only ever used on this figure, most likely due to the negative reaction it garnered from fans. It seems to try to capture the more Frankenstein’s Monster-inspired head of the early Kirby Hulk, but it comes out looking a bit lumpy. And then there’s the “duck feet.” They were one of Diamond’s first attempts at adding extra height to figures, and they built up a rather infamous reputation in the Minimate community, due to their general goofiness and lack of adherence to the usual Minimate style. Fortunately, Hulk included a spare set of regular feet, so no one was stuck with the weird ones. Hulk’s paint is decent enough. I think this might actually be my favorite shade of green for Hulk, and I do really like the Kirby inspired line work.


AvengersFA4Wasp was another character that debuted in this set, though, unlike Hank Pym, she’s yet to actually get a follow up. Which is kind of a shame, since she’s had a boat-load of different costumes over the years. She’s presented here in her original costume, which has gotten a fair number of figures over the years. The figure makes use of 7 add-on pieces, used for her headgear, vest, gloves, skirt, and wings. The parts are a little on the bulky side, especially for Wasp, but they balance each other out pretty well, I guess. The skirt is a lot boxier than later pieces would be, which makes the whole figure look rather stiff. The wings are probably the best part of the sculpt, and they actually do a decent job of replicating the comic look. The paint on Wasp was pretty decent from a design standpoint. The line work is all pretty well laid out,AvengersFA8 and everything. The real issue is in assembly. The figure was clearly assembled before fully drying, so several pieces, the wings in particular, were stuck, almost to the point of breaking. Wasp made out pretty well on the accessories front, including a spare hairpiece, a set of normal hands, an alternate mask, and an extra wing mount so that she can be displayed without the bulky vest piece.


So, I actually ended getting a couple of this set when it was released, without even trying. I got one from my friend Lance, and then won another in a contest, and then eventually picked up a few more from Record and Tape Traders at super marked down prices. The set itself is pretty decent, if maybe a bit out of date when compared to more current stuff. Ant-Man and Wasp were definitely the stars here, and they both still hold up pretty decently.

#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.


#0384: Hawkeye – Classic & Ant-Man – Lab Attack



Marvel Minimates is quite a long-running line. With 60 main series, along with 19 Toys R Us exclusive series and countless boxed sets, spanning over 10 years, getting into the line can be a little bit intimidating for the new collector. Fortunately, Diamond Select Toys has come up with a solution: the Best Of Marvel Minimates. This sub-line offers updates of heavy hitter characters, and they are offered up for re-order on a near regular basis, allowing new collectors the chance to get their collection off to a good start with relative ease. What’s more, they are consistently high-quality, and they offer lots of new parts to entice older collectors. They truly are the Best Of. DST just released the third assortment of the line, and today I’ll be looking at Hawkeye and Ant-Man, two long-time Avengers.


As noted in the intro, Hawkeye and Ant-Man were released as a two pack in the third series of the Best Of off-shoot of Marvel Minimates.


Hawkeye is one of the quintessential Avengers, having stuck with the team for most of its tenure. Unfortunately, just as the Avengers started showing up in Marvel Minimates, he ended up dead for a little while. Fortunately, he recent Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought the character some new life, and he’s gotten his fair share of Minimates in the last few years. And now it seems he’s popular enough to warrant a Best Of release. Hawkeye is depicted here in his classic costume. It’s shown up twice before in the line, but previous figures were a little off, so another stab at it is nice. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation. He’s built on the standard body, with some additional pieces for his mask, collar/quiver, loincloth, arm and wrist bands, and boots. They were all previously used on the Disney Store exclusive Hawkeye, and before that the boots first showed up on the Invaders boxed set Captain America, the wrist bands are from DC’s Ocean Master, and the arm bands are from Series 25’s Iron Man. All of these pieces add up to a very nice classic Hawkeye. On the previous Hawkeye, the mask seemed too bulky, but it doesn’t seem so bad here, and all of the other pieces look great. The paint on Hawkeye is pretty solid work over all, aside from one small issue: the blue on the loincloth doesn’t quite match that on the rest of the figure. It’s not too bad, but it is a minor annoyance. Other than that, everything is excellent. In particular, I love the palate on this version. The purple and blue both feel like just the right shades. Hawkeye includes his trusty bow (from the Tomb Raider line), two pointed arrows (first seen way back in the BSG line), two rounded arrows (from the Disney Hawkeye), an alternate hairpiece (from Series 27’s Ultimate Cap), and a clear display stand. Hawkeye doesn’t really have an alternate look like some of the others in this series, but he comes very well armed, and all the sculpted parts that go into his look are really great.


Ant-Man is one of the last two founding Avengers to “hit it big.” Hopefully, his upcoming 2015 movie will help to change that. I would imagine the buzz around that movie is what warrants his place in the Best Of line, so I’d say he’s moving up. This is the Hank Pym version of Ant-Man, and he’s had two previous Minimates. I liked the first one a lot, but it looks a bit dated by current standards, and the second one was just based on too specific a look. So, an update was much needed. Like Luke Cage, it’s not a strict update of a previous look, but rather a newer look that is close to the old ones. Hank’s look is taken from the Marvel Adventures line that Marvel was running a few years ago. It’s pretty much just a streamlined version of the classic costume, so that’s not too bad. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and he features 14 points of articulation. He makes use of the standard Minimate body, with the addition of his trademark helmet. The helmet is a re-use from the very first Ant-Man, which is reasonable. It’s still a good piece, and it’s a great translation of the comic look to three dimensions. The rest of his look is done with paint, and the paint work is really great. Everything is even and clean, and all the detail work is nice and sharp. Under the helmet is Hank giving a friendly smile that is just perfect for the character. About the only thing that could stand to be different is the shade of the blue, which seems a touch too dark. Ant-Man includes a spare hairpiece (first used on the Captain America: Through the Ages Armored Cap), a lab coat (first seen on the Ghostbusters Janosz) and a spare set of arms for a more scientific look, and a clear display stand.


Like Luke and Iron Fist, I got these two from my local comicbook store Cosmic Comix. This is the set I was looking forward to the most form this series. Hawkeye and Ant-Man are two of my favorite Marvel characters, so I’m really happy to see them get updates. Hawkeye is easily the best version of the character to date, and is the version of the character I’ve been wanting since the line started. Ant-Man’s a really solid figure too, and while I still hope for an update to his classic design someday, this one is a great version of the character to have in the meantime.

#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!