MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES
Back when Toy Biz was still handling Marvel toys, they were prone to showing off figures that would never see the light of day (and they frequently showed them after these decisions were made, because apparently someone working there just loooooved rubbing salt in wounds). For the 13th series of Marvel Legends, dubbed “Bring on the Bad Guys,” they initially planned to pack each villain with one of the Marvel universe’s many faceless henchmen, but they were eventually cut and replaced with the Onslaught Build-A-Figure. Seven henchmen were shown: a Skull, a Brood, a Hand Ninja, a Hellfire Club Guard, a Doom Bot, a Hydra Agent, and an A.I.M. Soldier. The Scrull and Brood eventually were released as part of DST’s Marvel Select line, and Hasbro would release their own versions of the Hydra Agent and Hand Ninja. When it came time to make an A.I.M. Soldier, Hasbro has switched to the smaller-scale Marvel Universe line; he was a cool figure and all, but it just wasn’t the same. Eight years after Series 13’s release, the A.I.M. Soldier finally made his way into Marvel Legends. That’s the figure I’ll be looking at today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The A.I.M. Soldier was released in the first series of the Captain America: The Winter Solider Marvel Legends Infinite Series. The official title is “Soldiers of A.I.M.” which he shared with Baron Zemo (who I reviewed back when he was new). It certainly fits him better than it did Zemo. The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. At the time of his release, the A.I.M. Soldier was an all-new sculpt, but most of the body was re-used for last year’s Ghost Rider. He has a different head, obviously, depicting the signature “beekeeper’s mask,” as well as different forearms, and a unique belt. The overall appearance is that of the classic A.I.M. design. There are some slight discrepancies on the front of the chest and the specifics of the gloves, due to this body being preemptively designed to work for the comic version of Star-Lord released just a few months after this figure. The discrepancies aren’t anything incredibly distracting, and there have been enough slight variations to the A.I.M. design that it doesn’t immediately jump out as being “wrong.” Plus, it’s just an A.I.M. Soldier. How important is it for them to be spot on? The figure also gets an add-on piece for his bandolier, which gives him some nice extra details (and also covers up some of those inaccuracies on the torso). In terms of paint, the A.I.M. Soldier is decent enough. He manages use lots of yellow without looking totally ridiculous (he’s still ridiculous, but not totally ridiculous), and most of the application is pretty clean. There’s a slight matching issue with the yellow at the bottom of the belt piece, but that’s really it. The A.I.M. Soldier included two blasters, one large and one small, as well as right arm of the Mandroid (the same piece included with Zemo).
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Mandroid Series was back when Hasbro was still working out some of their distribution issues, and also still learning some hard lessons about case-packouts. While I got all of the necessary pieces for the Mandroid, I never had any luck finding the two swap figures. While I was out for my birthday last year, I found this guy at 2nd Chance Toyz. He was loose, but I already had the BAF piece, so no big deal there. I’m glad to finally have him, and I feel he was worth the wait. Now, I’ll take my Hellfire Club Guard whenever you’re ready, Hasbro.