#2016: Ebony Maw

EBONY MAW

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The dangerous assassin Ebony Maw puts his powers of persuasion to sinister use in the service of the evil Thanos.”

It’s kind of funny that the first member of the Black Order we see in Infinity War is the last one to get a figure, isn’t it?  Yes, despite his fairly prominent role as Thanos’ top hype-man, Ebony Maw was displaced by fellow Order member Proxima Midnight when it came to the initial toys.  In defense of the toy makers, Proxima does some like a more conventionally easy sell, what with Maw’s general non-action stance.  The important thing is that we have him now, and it only took a year (hey, that’s better than Red Skull, Ronan, and Crossbones).  So, was he worth the wait?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ebony Maw is figure 2 in the first series of Endgame-themed Marvel Legends.  Hasbro switched to referring to these assortments by the name of the figure you’re building, and I generally follow their lead, but seeing as this is our third “Thanos Series” since the relaunch, I have to be slightly more specific.  Despite his presence alongside Endgame products, Maw is officially an Infinity War figure, barring any surprise appearances during Endgame.  I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I wouldn’t know.  The figure stands 7 1/2 inches tall (retroactively making Corvus seem a little small compared to the rest of the team) and has 31 points of articulation.  Ebony Maw is sporting an all-new sculpt, because really, what could you possibly get away with re-using.  Well, I mean, I guess you could try, but it wouldn’t turn out very well.  This figure’s sculpt, on the other hand, turned out swimmingly.  Like Corvus, he benefits from having a year to get all the details right, and, while he’s not quite as smoothly articulated as Corvus, Ebony’s articulation is a marked improvement on Proxima’s.  The detailing on Ebony is crisp, and very spot-on.  The texturing on his sleeves and pants is really solid work, and that head sculpt is absolutely the spitting image of Maw’s Squidward-like visage.  His hands are suitably expressive, and I especially like the gesture of the left hand, which feels like a perfect match for the character’s personality.  Like all of the Black Order, Ebony Maw’s color scheme isn’t the most thrilling, but the figure replicates it nicely enough.  For me, the most impressive part of the paint is the subtle texturing of his exposed skin, giving him a properly lifelike, if perhaps alien, appearance.  Perhaps the only drag to Maw is what comes packed with him.  He has Thanos’ left leg, but nothing of his own.  A few effects pieces with the glass daggers, or even some alternate hand poses would have been really cool.  At least with his larger size, the packaging doesn’t feel as empty as it did with Cap.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was always fairly certain we’d be seeing Ebony in Legends, but I’ll admit I was getting slightly concerned as we moved away from the Infinity War product.  Once he was slotted into this assortment, it felt like it took no time at all to get him.  While I was initially distracted by getting the two Endgame figures, getting to finally complete the Black Order was a very nice feeling, and Ebony may well be the best figure in the set (I still *really* like Corvus, though.  I might be a little biased on that one).

I grabbed Ebony May from All Time Toys, and he’s currently in-stock at their store, here. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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#2013: Corvus Glaive & Loki

CORVUS GLAIVE & LOKI

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Known for his shifting allegiances, Loki faces evil head on when he is confronted by the Black Order — a sinister group of Thanos’ cohorts that includes the menacing Corvus Glaive.”

Hey, I hear there’s like, this movie coming out this week, that’s supposed to be a big deal or something.  You’ve probably never heard of it.  Yeah…

So, Avengers: Endgame will hit theaters this Thursday night, and is already starting to break all sorts of records.  Odds are good that it’s going to be the biggest movie of the year.  As the 22nd entry of the MCU canon, it’s got a lot riding behind it.  Product for Endgame officially started hitting shelves on the 31st of March, and is making its way around right now.  And I’m going to hype myself up for the movie by reviewing some of that product this week.  First up, something that’s not *technically* Endgame-related, Corvus Glaive and Loki!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Corvus Glaive and Loki are a Walmart-exclusive two-pack in the Marvel Legends line.  Though officially based on the characters as seen in Infinity War, the set is part of the official Endgame product, and has been showing up alongside it.  Corvus was shown last year (alongside Ebony Maw, who I’ll be looking at later in the week), but it was not until just a few months ago that we knew he’d be arriving alongside another Loki.

CORVUS GLAIVE

As I noted when I reviewed his minimate release, Corvus Glaive is the Black Order’s least developed member in Infinity War.  And, if you don’t believe me, just read that bio up top from the back of the box.  That’s a Loki bio with “oh, and Corvus, too” tacked on the end of it, despite the fact that Corvus is undoubtedly going to be the main selling point for most buyers.  That said, I think he’s got the coolest name of the bunch, and I liked what I saw of him, so I’m certainly happy to have him cropping up here.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He ends up being a far more mobile figure than Proxima, which is a definite improvement (Cull gets a pass due to his extra bulk).  There’s some slight restricting on the left arm due to the design of the cape, but that’s a fairly reasonable sacrifice.  Otherwise, there’s a lot of potential with these joints, and he’s a very playable figure.  Corvus is sporting an all-new sculpt, and, of the three members of the Black Order I’ve looked at so far, it’s definitely the most screen accurate, thanks to having an extra year to get everything right.  His sculpt is, in addition to being film accurate, is nice and sharply detailed.  The details of costume in particular are really crisp and really pop out at you.  It’s all topped off with an impressively subtle paint scheme.  The gold detailing on his add-ons, as well as the entirety of his facial detailing, are handled via the printing technique, which gives them a nice amount of depth and realism.  Corvus’ only accessory is an acceptable choice: it’s his glaive, and it’s actually quite a nice piece, and is held well in his hands.  Plus, he can actually properly hold it, unlike the Minimate.

LOKI

Though only a small part in the overall film, Loki’s role in Infinity War is still a very prominent one.  Despite that, the sheer volume of characters in the film, coupled with his coverage in Ragnarok, meant that Loki was absent from IW‘s product line.  It’s not a huge shock to see him crop up in this set, though, especially given he was packed with the completely uniquely tooled figure.  This figure, comparatively, is a straight re-use of the Ragnarok version from 2017.  There are positives and negatives to that, because that sculpt was a bit of a mixed bag in regards to quality.  On the plus side, though, it means the two figures are consistent, so hey that’s cool.  The paintwork has been changed up to match Loki’s more stark green and black garb from the end of Ragnarok and the beginning of Infinity War, meaning we finally have the costume that actually goes with the headgear that came with the prior figure.  Also, I do think these colors work a little better for the sculpt.  Loki is packed with the most natural inclusion for an IW Loki, the Teseract, re-used from the Mandroid Series Red Skull.  It fits surprisingly well in his hand, and I’m glad it got another release.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hey, wanna guess where I got this Walmart exclusive?  That’s right, a Walmart!  Yeah, when the Walmart around the corner from work put out their Endgame display, this showed up in surprisingly high numbers, so I had no trouble at all getting one.  I’m on record that Corvus Glaive is my favorite of the Black Order members, and I was waiting for him to get his figure due.  I’m quite happy with this figure, and I think he’s probably the best of the three we’ve gotten so far.  The Loki he’s packed with is definitely a space-filler, but he’s a reasonably well chosen one, and honestly I think he improves on the prior release enough that I don’t mind that I had to get a second one to get Corvus.

#1994: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL SELECT (DST)

The retail product for the fourth Avengers film, Avengers: Endgame has officially started hitting shelves in preparation for the film’s April 26th release date.  However, with Endgame coming out just one year after its predecessor Infinity War, there’s just a touch of overlap, as the last of the IW product is still making its way to shelves.  I’m doing my best to keep up with it all (I ended up having to do a lot of picking and choosing during the onslaught of IW stuff) and to that end, I’m looking at Diamond Select Toys’ take on Captain America’s Infinity War appearance.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is one of the four Infinity War-based figures from the 2018 lineup of Marvel Select.  He ended up taking a little while to make it to shelves, and just started showing up in full force a few weeks ago.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  As far as scaling goes, he’s definitely nearer the taller end of Selects.  I had ever so slightly been hoping he might follow Daredevil’s lead, and potentially be closer to Legends scaling.  Of course one can’t really blame them for sizing him this way; he’s in proper scale with most of their other offerings, which wasn’t really true if DD.  This figure has a sculpt, handled by Gentle Giant Studios (who handle most of the MCU Legends as well), which appears to have at least some parts in common with the Civil War figure. It’s really for the best that this figure arrived so long after the movie; Cap’s “Nomad” design went through quite a few changes right up to production of the film, resulting in a lot of inaccuracies on his other figures.  This one is far more accurate to the final product.  He’s got his proper hair length (which neither Hasbro figure had), as well as both gloves, properly styled, and all of the appropriate wear and tear to his uniform.  The details of the uniform are also nice and sharp, and I really dig that texture work.  The head sculpt is probably the weakest aspect of the figure.  Its detailing is on the softer side, and it doesn’t quite have a spot-on Evans likeness.  That said, the likeness is still closer than all of the Hasbro attempts barring the unmasked Civil War head and certainly an immense improvement over prior unmasked Cap heads from DST, and the softer detailing may be more linked to the paint.  Speaking of the paint, slight thickness on the head application aside, it’s not a terrible offering.  The general appearance is accurate to the film, and there’s quite a bit of accent work going on.  In addition to the accuracy of the man figure, something else that really sets this guy apart is his accessory compliment.  In addition to a selection of eight different hands, as well as a display stand, he includes his Wakandan replacement shields in both collapsed and deployed configurations.  Prior Cap figures have been lucky to get a single shield, but this one can appropriately dual weild, and the deployed versions even have a sliding segment in the front like we saw in the movie.  By far, these are the most accurate versions of the shields we got on a small scale figure, and I would count them as a major selling point.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Legends version of this Cap was definitely the biggest disappointment of that set for me. I really liked the Nomad look, and such an inaccurate figure wasn’t cutting it.  I considered the Figuarts release, but he just traded in some inaccuracies for another set of them, and lacked the shields entirely, so I passed.  Once I saw the prototype for this guy, I was definitely on-board, making him an easy buy when he showed up at Cosmic Comix when he showed up a few weeks ago.  While I’m a little bummed that the best version of this guy out there doesn’t quite fit with the rest of my IW figures, there’s no denying this is a solid figure, and he’s nice enough that I’m probably just going to fudge the scale a bit on my shelf.

 

#1978: Thanos, Iron Man Mark L, & Doctor Strange

THANOS, IRON MAN MARK L, & DOCTOR STRANGE

MARVEL LEGENDS — MARVEL STUDIOS: THE FIRST TEN YEARS

Despite being the central piece of the Tenth Anniversary celebration for Marvel Studios, Avengers: Infinity War was initially absent from the dedicated line of MCU figures from Hasbro, due largely to the initial MCU line figures hitting at the same time as the initial Infinity War offerings.  It wasn’t completely left out though, coming in right at the end with a boxed set based on the film.  So, what thrilling new, untouched characters did we get?  Well, none, actually.  New looks?  Again, no.  So what’s the point?  I’ll get to that.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Infinity War set is item 10 in the Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sub-line of Marvel Legends, and contains Thanos, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange, meaning it’s a set entirely based on the battle on Titan.  All three figures in the set are slight reworkings of prior figures.

THANOS

As the central character of Infinity War, Thanos’ presence in this set is rather sensible, I suppose, though it is perhaps a little undercutting to the people that went to the trouble of actually building the Build-A-Figure.  This figure is a reworking of that one, reviewed here. As I noted the first time I reviewed it, it’s an okay sculpt overall, but not without its issues.  Fortunately for this figure, a couple of those problems have been addressed.  The figure comes pre-assembled, so the issues of falling apart don’t occur.  Additionally, his kind of gassy looking expression has been replaced with two different heads.  The first has a simple grimace, while the second has an angry teeth-baring expression.  Both are much better suited to Thanos than the one included to the BaF, and look like pitch-perfect recreation of his look from the movie.  Additionally, his gauntlet hand is a new piece; rather than the fist of the prior release, this Thanos’ hand is in an open gesture, which feels like a more classic Gauntlet pose.  I actually like this a lot more than I’d expected to, and it adds a lot to the figure’s posing options.  Lastly, the paint on Thanos has been changed, to better match the film.  The skin in particular is a lot nicer looking, being lighter, more lively, and flatter in its finish.  The rest of the paint is a bit brighter, slightly more contrasting, and just generally more exciting to look at.

IRON MAN MARK L

As cool as Iron Man’s armor was in Infinity War, none of the figures really captured the full extent of said coolness, his Legends release included.  This one doesn’t really fix that, but let’s see what it does.  He’s a re-working of the Thanos Series Iron Man, which is the same suit, so I guess it makes sense.  I actually liked that one a lot, despite it not being completely film accurate.  This one swaps out the torso for a new one, which loses the mid-torso joint, but in exchange gains a light-up feature on his arc reactor.  It’s gimmicky and somewhat restricting, but it’s still pretty fun.  This Iron Man includes the same accessories as his predecessor, extra hands and blast effect pieces.  No cool nano creations or anything, which is sad, but not a huge surprise.

DOCTOR STRANGE

Despite his decently sized role in the film, Doctor Strange was actually not featured in the Legends line-up for Infinity War.  As such, this figure goes back to Strange’s figure from his solo outing, reviewed here. This figure’s actually pretty substantially changed compared to the other two figures in the set, since the initial figure was based on early designs, rather than his final film look.  This one amends that, with a new head, cape, and right forearm.  The head sports a much better likeness of Cumberbatch, especially his disheveled self from the movies.  The new cape also captures the proper shaping of the movie much better, plus it actually pegs into his back this time, so it doesn’t shift all over the place like the original.  The new forearm has the Time Stone effect sculpted on it.  It’s a little warped on mine, but still looks pretty cool.  It’s not removable, and there’s no standard forearm to replace it, so you have no choice but to have him using it.  That’s really the only flaw against this figure.  Strange’s paintwork is also a bit different from the last release.  The most major change is the printed face, which certainly looks more lifelike.  He also changes up the overall color scheme of his costume, following Thanos’ lead by making the overall design brighter and more contrasting.  Doctor Strange is packed with a spare left hand, as well as another magic effects piece, which looks a little odd in conjunction to the Time Stone effect.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this set was unveiled, I will admit, I was quite underwhelmed, since I had the original releases of all three figures and all.  It didn’t really matter, though, since it never really showed up around me.  Or so I thought.  The set showed up at Super Awesome Fiancee’s store, and was actually there long enough to get decently clearanced. Being the ever-supporting Fiancee that she is, she of course bought it for me.  I knew going in the Strange was going to be my favorite, and that proved true.  I didn’t anticipate how much I was going to like the Thanos figure, who is just across the board an improvement to the BaF.  And, while Iron Man may not blow his predecessor away like the other two, I actually like the light-up feature a fair bit, so I’m happy enough to have him.

#1938: War Machine & Cull Obsidian

WAR MACHINE & CULL OBSIDIAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

“As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.”

Man, three Marvel movies in one year sure does have a way of burning out and making it easy for some of the merch to slip through the cracks for way longer than you’d expect.  Good thing I made it through last year unscathed and I don’t have to do it again…crap, I have to do it again, don’t I?  Well, I’d best get through the last of *last* year’s stuff, then, shouldn’t I?  So, without further ado, War Machine & Cull Obsidian!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

War Machine and Cull Obsidian were one of the two Walgreens-exclusives pairings in the second Infinity War-based assortment of Marvel Minimates.  Compared to the more retread-heavy Drax and Gamora, they had a tendency of being the first set to vanish a lot of the time.

WAR MACHINE

After peddling the same War Machine ‘mate three times, DST finally gave us an honest to god update for his Infinity War appearance.  Though not amazingly different from his armor in Civil War, Rhodey’s suit had still been slightly tinkered with for its somewhat brief appearance in IW, so that’s what we’re seeing here.  The figure is based on the standard ‘mate body, with a generic slip-on mask piece, a new torso cap, upper arms, and belt, and the gauntlets from the last five versions of the character.  It does a respectable job of estimating Rhodey’s appearance from the movie.  I don’t mind the move back to printed faces for the helmets, and it’s at the very least consistent with how they handled Tony’s Mark 50 armor.  The more specific parts are as well-sculpted as ever, matching up with the re-used gauntlets in terms of design aesthetic and level of detailing.  The paint work on this figure is better than the last few War Machine’s; the mix of gunmetal grey and silver looks nice, and I’m happy that they kept the camo patterning the armor had in the movie.  It helps to make this armor seem a bit more unique compared to the others.  Under the helmet is another stab at a Don Cheadle likeness.  I think this one’s not as good as the IM2 version, but at least it doesn’t look as goofy as the AoU variant.  War Machine is packed with a flight stand and a standard clear display stand.

CULL OBSIDIAN

Poor Cull Obsidian.  He just can’t catch a break for accuracy.  His Legends release, though an awesomely fun figure, was based on an early design that wasn’t all that close to the final.  The ‘mate clearly was put into production later in the process, as he ends up a lot closer, but there are still some slight inaccuracies.  He gets a unique head, torso cap, upper left arm, and skirt piece, as well as re-using the standard “big guy” parts for his right arm, left hand, legs, and feet.  The detail work on some of the character-specific parts, the head in particular, is a little soft, but the important details are all there, and he’s got more sculpted elements than not.  The design, at least from a sculpting standpoint, isn’t that noticeably different from his final look in the movie.  The paint is is decent, though he’s again a little light on the detailing.  I think it’s the skin that bugs me the most, especially after the Legends figure.  The colors on the costume were ever so slightly tweaked by the time the movie came out as well, but they aren’t terribly far off.  The biggest change from this figure to the screen comes in the form of accessories.  In the movie, Cull has a sort of hammer/axe/chain sort of thing.  Here?  He’s essentially got some space-brass-knuckles.  The Pop! and one of the statues also had these, indicating the weapon he had in the final movie was a very late game adjustment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked these up…gosh…back in September, if you can believe it.  The second set took forever to hit Walgreens, but I managed to find this particular pair without too much trouble once they actually started showing up.  And then they sat and waited for me to open them for a good four months, because I got distracted and kind of forgot I had them…whoops.  It’s nice to finally get a new War Machine after all this time, and a more accurate Cull Obsidian is pretty cool too.  Definitely not a bad pack.

#1845: Falcon & Winter Soldier

FALCON & WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Trained by different armies, but equally prepared to defend their allies from any threat, Winter Soldier and Falcon stand their ground to protect the Earth from other worldly adversaries.”

There were a *lot* of characters in Infinity War, so its not a huge shock that even several months later, there’s still a pretty healthy helping of action figures streaming out of the Hasbro toy machine.  While there were plenty of MCU characters granted their very first figures over the course of all of this, today’s set actually concerns two who we’ve seen before, The Cap’s bestest pals, Falcon and Winter Soldier.  Since their last figures were both exclusives that not everyone could find, Hasbro decided to re-issue them in…an exclusive set that not everyone can find.  You win some, you lose some.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Falcon and Winter Soldier ended up as a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends two-pack, alongside Black Panther’s Everett Ross and Killmonger.  The sets were shown off early in the year and initially theorized to be Toys R Us-exclusives, but we all know how that turned out.  Both figures are based on their Infinity War appearances…in theory, at least.

FALCON

Falcon’s look from Civil War to Infinity War didn’t change much, and, much like the Minimate, this figure reflects that, really being quite similar to the previous release.  He stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  His sculpt appears to be identical to that last figure.  The head may possibly be new, but the body is definitely the same.  While not perfect, the previous sculpt was certainly passable, and its re-use is certainly more acceptable than, say, that same Cap body that Hasbro keeps giving us.  The main difference between these two releases is the paint, but oh boy what a difference does it make.  The Civil War figure was somewhat lacking on a few of the smaller applications, which gave him this almost unfinished vibe.  This figure, on the other hand, adds back in a lot of the smaller details, and just overall gives the figure a better finish, making him look comparatively much more complete.  The figure includes the same wing pack as the last release, so the wings are still not posable.  He also lacks the deployed version of Redwing, but that’s acceptable, given Redwing doesn’t factor into the movie.  Also still missing are his guns, but at this point that’s no surprise, and it has to be some sort of a licensing issue.

WINTER SOLDIER

I haven’t actually reviewed a Winter Soldier Legends since, well, Winter Soldier.  He had a Civil War release, but that one just never spoke to me for whatever reason.  By extension, this guy ended up as the main draw of the set for me.  While Falcon’s design was fairly unchanged from Civil War to Infinity War, Bucky actually had a number of changes implemented, resulting in a design that’s actually a little closer to the comics incarnation of the character in design.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s a mix of old and new parts, with the same head and arm as the Civil War figure, and the boots from the WS/AoU/Civil War Cap, with everything else being new to this release.  The head actually has an amazing likeness of Sebastian Stan, far better than the prior release might have made clear.  The only real trouble is that it’s clearly Bucky circa Winter Soldier, not the scruffier, recuperating-in-Wakanda-for-a-year of Bucky Infinity War.  That said, it’s an issue that bugs me far less here than it did on Cap.  From the neck down, he’s actually quite accurate, and marks some improvements in movement from the WS variant of the character.  I particularly like all of the small detail work on the stitching on his torso; it adds to the realism.  Bucky’s paintwork is definitely one of the figure’s strongest suits.  The work on the body is reasonable in its own right, though not necessarily anything particularly stand-out.  The head, however, uses the face printing, and it’s one of the best instances of it I’ve seen, certainly rivaling the likes of Hot Toys in the realism department.  Bucky is packed with two different rifles.  The first is the same goofy dead-fish-looking thing that the WS release got, but this time in gold.  I hate it just as much this time as I did the first time around.  Fortunately, this figure also includes the assault rifle from the Netflix Punisher, which is a far more sensible piece, and will be the one my figure will be keeping.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw these figures once at an out of the way Target, and passed on them at the time, reasoning that Falcon wasn’t all that different from the one I had, and I’d be perfectly content to just keep my first Winter Soldier.  I also figured I might see them later, at a more local location.  Well, then I didn’t, so when I happened upon that same Target again, I was more easily swayed.  I knew Bucky would be the star of the set for me, and I was correct on that front.  While he may not be 100% accurate to the film, he’s still the best version of the character to date, and an all-around fun figure.  I didn’t expect much out of Falcon, having already picked up the CW release.  This one makes just a few subtle changes, and yet still ends up feeling almost like an entirely new figure, and he’s a lot better than I’d expected him to be.

#1822: Black Panther & Ebony Maw

BLACK PANTHER & EBONY MAW

MARVEL MINIMATES

“Hear me, and rejoice. You are about to die at the hand of the children of Thanos. Be thankful, that your meaningless lives are now contributed to the balance…”

It’s black on black in today’s set, as Black Panther faces off against Ebony Maw!  Prepare to imagine a world where these two characters actually met…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Black Panther and Ebony Maw are part of the second assortment of the Infinity War-themed Marvel Minimates.  These two were supposed to be the Toys R Us exclusive set for this round but…well, we all know how that one went, right?  The set actually still has its TRU-exclusive sticker, presumably because it was too late in the process to get it removed before it started shipping to specialty stores.

BLACK PANTHER

Black Panther has been no stranger to Minimates.  Heck, this is his fourth just this year alone. Since Panther’s IW design was the same as his suit from his solo outing, this figure uses that same design, and is quite similar to the basic Panther from those tie-ins.  He’s built on the usual body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Like his solo counterpart,  he’s got an add-on for his mask, as well as Cheetah’s clawed hands.  The paint on Panther is pretty solid work, and again, virtually identical to the last one.  The biggest difference between the two is what’s under the mask.  We’ve gotten yet another Chadwick Boseman likeness, this time with a much angrier expression than we saw even on the more energetic powered-up Panther.  I guess he’s taking things more seriously with it being the end of the world and all.  For accessories, Panther is packed with an extra hair piece to display his unmasked look, as well as the standard clear display stand.

EBONY MAW

As the member of the Black Order with by far the most dialogue and the most focus, Ebony Maw certainly stood out.  However, for whatever reason, it was Proxima Midnight who got all of the initial focus in the toy realm.  Fortunately, at least in the case of the Minimates, Maw wasn’t too far behind.  Ebony Maw is almost a completely vanilla ‘mate.  The only thing that mixes him up a bit is his skirt piece, which is a new offering.  It works well enough, adding the extra tails to his torso, while avoiding bulking him up too much.  I’m not for overly building up a ‘mate if you don’t have to, but I do feel Maw is missing…something.  Maybe a sculpted collar?  Certainly a hair piece of some sort.  His hair may have been thinning in the film, but it certainly wasn’t close-cropped, and it doesn’t look right being relegated purely to painted detailing.  I think something along the lines of Morgue’s hair piece would have really helped this figure out.  Maw’s paintwork is certainly his strongest suit.  The face is definitely the best part; it’s a pretty perfect recreation of his features from the movie.  The fact that he already lacked a nose probably helped.  The details on his uniform seem perhaps a touch bright for my eyes, but they are at least cleanly applied, and quite extensive.  Ebony Maw’s only accessory is a clear display stand.  It might have been nice to get some of those funky glass daggers or an energy effect of some kind, especially since he’s already light on the sculpted pieces as it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There’s no denying that this Black Panther feels more than a little bit redundant. There were two costumed versions of T’Challa in his own line, both of which are still quite readily available.  This one does attempt to be a little bit different, but not by much.  If you didn’t get any of the Black Panther movie Minimates, then I suppose this one’s a nice addition.  If you did?  Well, you’re really just here for the other half of the set.  As I noted with Corvus, the Black Order are really the only “new” part of the Infinity War assortments, which places some extra weight on them.  Unfortunately, I think Maw is another design that doesn’t translate all that well to the aesthetic, making this ‘mate somewhat middle of the road in terms of quality, and unlike Corvus, he doesn’t have a stronger pack ‘mate to carry him.

#1804: Hulkbuster & Corvus Glaive

 

HULKBUSTER & CORVUS GLAIVE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Hulkbuster and Corvus Glaive would both make for pretty sick band names, wouldn’t they?  Sorry, no pithy intro here; that’s really all I got…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Hulkbuster and Corvus Glaive are part of the second assortment of Infinity War-themed Marvel Minimates.  They’re the second of the two sets shared between specialty and Walgreens (and were originally supposed to be offered at Toys R Us).  It’s kind of an odd pairing, since I don’t know that these two ever interacted, but they were at least both part of the big final battle, so there’s that.

HULKBUSTER

What is a Hulkbuster with no Hulk to bust?  Well, if we’re going by Infinity War rules, it’s a pretty decent Hulk stand-in, actually.  Who’d have guessed?  Yes, after the slight misdirect all of the merchandise gave us by including the almost entirely absent Hulk in the early assortments of just about every tie-in, we finally got some follow-up with the Hulkbuster, Banner’s far more prominent look.  This is our seventh time getting some variation of the Hulkbuster in Minimate form, and in fact our second time seeing Banner in the suit.  The Hulkbuster armor uses 11 add-on pieces.  Since the ‘buster’s design has had an overhaul since we last saw it in Age of Ultron, it gets a number of new parts.  In fact the only parts shared between this figure and that one are the hands and the torso extender (well, and the basic Minimate body, but that’s kind of a given).  The torso and feet are brand new parts, and he also uses standard power-house pieces for his upper arms and legs, as well as a blank slip cover mask for the helmet.  The new pieces are great; they really add some bulk to the figure, and are filled with tons of great little details from the screen.  The power-house pieces work well in conjunction with these new parts, adding some decent bulk to largely unseen areas that don’t need quite as much extra detail.  The mask…I’m not sure about the mask.  It’s hardly the first time we’ve seen an Iron Man helmet handled this way (in fact, Infinity War‘s own Mark 50 uses the same basic style), but it does make the figure look a little off when placed next to the AoU variant.  Of course, this one also loses that one’s neck seam, and actually has a posable head, so you win some and you lose some.  The Hulkbuster’s paint is pretty decent.  The red and gold are a little brighter than prior Iron Men, and therefore a little more eye-catching.  The last Hulkbuster was far more reliant on sculpted elements to carry things, but this one is more willing to fall back on painted detail lines, which I do think helps him look a little sharper, and more defined.  Under the mask is a Bruce Banner face; It doesn’t dethrone the Ragnarok version as the definitive likeness, but at least it’s actually the right person in the armor.  Unlike prior ‘bustersthis one doesn’t feature any sort of detailing on the torso, but since Bruce isn’t wearing another suit of armor like Tony, I guess there wouldn’t be much to detail.  A dirty t-shirt maybe?  Yeah, I think DST can be forgiven for leaving it blank. The figure includes two accessories.  The first is a spare hair piece, allowing for an unhelmeted Banner to be displayed.  The piece looks familiar, so I think it might be a re-use, but it’s curiously not the same piece from the Ragnarok set.  The Hulkbuster also includes a standard clear display stand, for all your clear displaying needs.

CORVUS GLAIVE

Perhaps the least developed of the Black Order, Glaive’s main character trait seems to be “gets knocked down a lot.”  Nevertheless, the guy’s still got a really cool name, and a pretty solid design, so I like him.  Plus, it’s not like you can only make part of the Black Order and not the rest.  Right, Hasbro? Corvus is built using three add-on pieces on the standard body.  He’s got his headgear/ears, shoulder decoration, and loincloth/belt.  All three of these pieces are new to this figure, and they’re pretty decently sculpted, if perhaps a bit soft in some spots.  The torso piece seems to get the worst of the softness, and I’d say it at least partly is due to lack of reference material. The rest of the detailing is handled via paint, and it’s overall pretty decent work.  It’s perhaps not the most thrilling color palette, but the detail lines are all pretty sharp.  I think his face is the weakest part of the figure.  Corvus’s face is thin, angular, and very pointy, which are all the things a Minimate’s head is *not*, so his face ends up looking a bit nondescript.  He just looks like a fairly average guy who’d generally prefer not to hear about his co-worker’s vacation.  Doesn’t exactly ooze intimidation. Corvus is, unsurprisingly, packed with his glaive. It’s a solid recreation of the design from the movie, and he can hold it well enough, for a Minimate weapon, anyway.  He also includes a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since Walgreens was kind of slow getting this assortment out, I grabbed these from Cosmic Comix when they came in.  The AoU Hulkbuster was kind of the star of those tie-in waves, so this one has some big shoes to fill.  While the differences in design and approach make it difficult to outright compare the two, I feel that this one is still a pretty admirable addition to the collection. The Black Order are actually the only “new” offerings from the Infinity War assortments, so in that way Corvus is sort of this set’s draw.  However, his design isn’t particularly minimate-friendly, and the end result is a kind of bland offering.  Not terrible, but just sort of “meh.”

#1773: Captain America & Falcon

CAPTAIN AMERICA & FALCON

MARVEL MINIMATES

Infinity War saw a lot of familiar faces returning, and by extension so have the accompanying toys.  The Minimates have been split into two main assortments, and by far the most noticeable absence from the first one was the Star-Spangled Man himself, Captain America.  Fortunately, he’s headlining the second assortment, alongside his frequent partner in crime, the Falcon!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cap and Falcon are part of the second assortment of Infinity War-themed Marvel Minimates.  They’re one of the two sets shared between specialty and Walgreens (and were originally supposed to be offered at Toys R Us).

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Captain America’s got quite a different look this time around, owing a lot to his appearance during his days as Nomad in the comics.  Given the similar thematic elements between the storylines, it’s a well-chosen look, and it aids in filling us in on how things have gone for him since he abandoned the shield at the end of Civil War. Cap’s construction is very similar to his Civil War figures, which is sensible, since it’s the same costume and all.  He uses the shield harness, gloves, and belt from that set-up, and swaps out Ego’s hair for the usual close-cropped fare.  The end result makes for a pretty solid approximation of his design from the movie. Sure, the shape of the buckles on the harness isn’t movie accurate (they should be circular), but that’s an exceedingly minor change that DST is forgiven for overlooking.  In terms of paint, Cap is pretty well-off.  The face is sporting a pretty decent likeness of the bearded Chris Evans, and the rest of the details on the uniform and such are very crisp, and all of the important details are there.  The intent from his missing star insignia is clearly defined, as are all of his pockets and such on his uniform.  It’s a shame his uniform isn’t showing the small rips and tears like in the movie, but that’s another small detail. Cap is packed with an extra set of hands, featuring his replacement Wakandan shields.  They’re a bit on the small side, and it’s kind of difficult to tell the difference between them and the standard hands.  That said, they’re new pieces, and they’re certainly better than nothing.  He also includes the usual clear display stand.

FALCON

Unlike Cap, Falcon’s look for Infinity War is largely unchanged from his prior appearance in Civil War.  However, the Civil War release was exclusive to Toys R Us, so it’s sensible that DST would want to give buyers another chance at the character.  Falcon is built from the same collection of pieces as his Civil War figure (reviewed here).  They worked very well the first time around, and they continue to work here.  As it’s the same costume in-movie, it would be silly for DST to try and recreate these pieces wholesale.  Falcon’s paintwork is also rather similar to his last figure, but there are a few minor differences.  His facial expression has changed slightly, closing his mouth, but still keeping his angrier appearance.  The colors of the costume have also been subdued a bit, which actually brings him a bit more inline with how he appears onscreen, since the Civil War release was using an earlier color scheme.  Sadly, Falcon takes a little bit of hit in the accessories department.  He’s got his flight stand and gets both of his twin guns (as opposed to the single one from last time), but loses the Redwing drone.  It doesn’t get any play in Infinity War, but it’s still a little sad to see him with less extras than before.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cap’s the undeniable selling point of this set, and he’s a very strong entry.  After getting a lot of very similar looks in the first round of Infinity War ‘mates, this distinctly different looking Cap is definitely a breath of fresh air, and a fun figure in general.  How much you like this FALCON figure is going to be very connected to whether you got the last one.  He’s still a solid release, no doubt, but he doesn’t have much new to offer.

#1745: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A Sleek suit design and technological upgrades let Tony Stark gear up as the Armored Avenger, Iron Man.”

I thought I was more or less done with the Infinity War-themed Marvel Legends, barring any late-game releases (which I’ve no doubt there will be), but no, no there was one more figure, that’s just been sitting there.  Waiting.  Watching.  Other “w” words as well…

Anyway, I’ve looked at most of the film’s major players, but there was one very prominent one missing, namely Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.  In a further effort to work my way through that pile of figures awaiting review, I’ll be looking at Stark’s latest Legends release today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man is the final figure in the Thanos Series of Marvel Legends, the first Infinity War-themed assortment of the year.  He’s also the last of the four specifically movie-based figures in the line-up.  And, most importantly, he’s the only figure in the set that isn’t needed to built the Thanos figure, which is why everyone was skipping him.  Tony’s wearing his Mark 50 armor from the film, which is also his *only* armor for the film, so I guess it’s a sensible choice, now isn’t it?  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  His construction is very similar to the Mark 46 figure from the Giant Man series, but there are no actual pieces shared between the two.  This guy is an all-new sculpt, which does an okay job of capturing the Bleeding Edge armor’s design from the movie.  It’s not a spot-on recreation; it’s definitely not quite as sleek as the design in the movie.  There are far more pronounced ridges and connecting points, bringing its overall design closer to the Mark 46.  This is likely a symptom of Hasbro working from earlier designs to get the figure out before the movie.  Ultimately, it’s close enough that you know which armor it’s supposed to be, and it’s nowhere near as off as either Captain America or Cull Obsidian.  Fortunately, it’s got some pretty great proportions, and the articulation is also worked in pretty well.  Iron Man’s paintwork is decent and certainly eye-catching, but like the sculpt, it’s not 100% accurate.  The main culprit is the red.  It should really be a deeper, more metallic color than it is.  That being said, the color they’ve used is still nice to look at, so I’m not going to complain too much.  What I will complain about?  Just the figure’s single greatest failing: his accessories.  In the movie, Tony’s using this armor to create all sorts of nano-tech-based weaponry and tools.  What does this figure get?  An extra set of hands and the same blast effects pieces they’ve been using since the 46.  No extra attachments, no unmasked head, no build-a-figure piece.  The extra hands don’t even have hinges on the wrists.  That’s really weak.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I passed on this figure quite a few times at retail.  After seeing the movie, I was really impressed by the armor.  I had some Cosmic Cash to spend at Cosmic Comix, so I ended up grabbing him from them.  And then he sat on my shelf for three months.  I know, bad Ethan.  I’ll be honest, I actually kept forgetting I hadn’t reviewed him, since I’d already looked at the basic figure.  The only real difference between the two is posability, and that’s a little sad.  He’s a figure that could have been a lot of fun–well, okay, he’s still a fair bit of fun, but he could have been a lot more fun than he is.  As it stands, he definitely feels phoned in.