#1638: Rocket & Teen Groot

ROCKET & TEEN GROOT

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

Remember last week when I looked at Star-Lord, and I did the whole thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy being part of the line?  Well, here’s the follow-up, Rocket and Groot, the inseparable pair, who make up the token Guardians slot of the deluxe assortment.  So, let’s see how they turned out!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair makes up the second half of the first deluxe series of Avengers: Infinity War figures.  Unlike Hulk, it’s not that either of them is really larger than a standard figure, but more the two-pack aspect that makes them deluxe.

ROCKET

Rocket’s look is essentially unchanged from his Guardians Vol. 2 look (which was itself pretty much the same as his look from the end of the first film).  The figure stands about 3 inches tall and the has 7 points of articulation.  The sizing of this figure is much smaller, so it made more sense to do the two-pack thing for him.  His sculpt is decent enough.  Obviously, not quite as impressive as the recent Legends figure, but certainly superior to the Vol. 1 version.  No elbow joints, but at least this one can actually move his legs.  That’s certainly a plus in my book.  The level of detailing could perhaps be a touch sharper, and it’s hard to make out any sort of expression on his face, but for the style of the line, it’s a pretty solid sculpt.  His paintwork is probably the most nuanced of the figures I’ve looked at so far from the line, especially on the face, which features a number of variations in the coloring of his fur.  The work on his jumpsuit and armor plates is a little fuzzy around the edges, but it isn’t terrible.  Rocket is packed with a rather large gun, which, unfortunately, he can’t really hold that well.  He also has the Power Stone, which is the first repeated stone we’ve gotten (having been also included with Black Widow).

TEEN GROOT

Groot is possibly one of the most changed characters for Infinity War, having aged to adolescence over the course of the Vol. 2 stinger scenes.  This is our first Teen Groot figure.  The figure is 5 1/2 inches tall and has the same 11 points of articulation as most of the other figures in this line.  His sculpt is once again all-new, and it’s probably my favorite of the sculpts from the basic line.  What I really like about it is how well it can slip in with a set-up of Legends figures, should you be so inclined.  The level of detail is still a little simpler, but it’s really not that far off.  He definitely has some similarities to the Build-A-Figure Groot, which was one of my favorite sculpts of the time.  I quite like Teen Groots sulky expression, which perfectly encapsulates what we’ve seen of him so far.  Like Rocket, Groot’s paintwork is more nuanced than the others in the line.  There’s some darker accent work, as well as a little bit of green, since he’s a plant and all.  It’s perhaps not as subtle as I’d like, but it’s still much better than just getting a straight brown.  Teen Groot has no accessories of his own, but with Rocket and all of his extras, it’s not like this pack is particularly light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set, along with Widow, is what really sold me on the whole line.  Sure, there’s a Legends set with these two in the pipeline, but without them being available right now, and with Groot being the only of the Guardians to be notably different, this set certainly has quite a bit of appeal.

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#1637: Hulk

THE HULK

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

Alright, after a short intermission and a quick word from our sponsors at…Kenner and DC Direct (coincidentally both dead companies, it should be noted), I’m diving back into the world of Avengers: Infinity War!  As I noted last week, Hasbro has two different main lines of product tying into the film, but there’s even some further division within those particular lines.  The basic line has its standard assortment, of course, but there’s also a complementary deluxe assortment, handling some of the more oddly-sized characters.  From that assortment, I’ll be looking at main Avengers member The Incredible Hulk!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk is one of two items in the first deluxe series of Avengers: Infinity War figures.  He’s based on Hulk’s newest look from Infinity War, which doesn’t appear to be all the different from the one he was sporting in Age of Ultron.  The sweatpants are a little shorter this time; that’s about it.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  He’s a bit on the small side for a proper MCU Hulk, who should probably have another inch or so of height to him, with bulk to match.  That said, he’s visibly taller than the others in the line, which is the most important thing when dealing with a Hulk figure.  The sculpt is decent enough I suppose.  As with a few others in this line, it reminds me of a Legends sculpt, specifically the Age of Ultron Hulk from 2015.  It was far from a perfect sculpt, but I think the issues of simplicity and lack of texturing are far less of an issue in the context of this line.  The paint on Hulk is fairly simple stuff, and it’s mostly pretty good.  The only real issue I have is with the eyes, which just sort of seem to be a little downshifted from where they should be.  It’s entirely possible that this is limited to my figure, though.  The accessories in this line so far have been rather connected to the characters they were included with.  Cap gets his shield, Thor gets his hammer, Widow gets her baton, etc.  Hulk?  Hulk gets his unforgettable weapon, the ol’ chunk of cement with a piece of girder sticking out of it.  You know, that thing that Hulk is never seen without?  Okay, yeah, it’s not exactly essential.  It’s largely just here to have something for the included Infinity Stone (the Soul Stone, for those keeping score; now I’ve got a complete set!) to be attached to.  There are certainly worse extras, and, if I’m totally honest, I like this extra more than Iron Man’s cannon.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Hulk at the same time as Cap and Star-Lord, from a somewhat out of my way Toys R Us I’d stopped by.  He’s an alright figure.  Nothing amazing to write home about, but a reasonable figure nonetheless.  And, without a Legends figure on the market at the moment, he’s your best bet for a new Hulk figure.

#1634: Iron Man

IRON MAN

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

So, yesterday, I had to review a Thor because it was Thor’s Day.  Obviously, I have to review an Iron Man today, what with it being….Friron Man’s Day?  Not buying it?  Yeah, that’s okay, I don’t blame you.  I’m still reviewing the Iron Man figure, though.  You know, because, well, I reviewed all of the others.  So, without further ado, here’s another Iron Man!  Woo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man is the last figure in Series 1 of the basic Avengers: Infinity War line.  Tony is seen here in his brand-new Mark XLVIII armor, which is being called the “Bleeding Edge” armor, after a similarly advanced armor from the comics (pretty much all of the movie armors since Mk 43 have been patterned on the Bleeding Edge’s design, but it sounds like they’re actually using the name this time).  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  The sculpt is once again all-new.  It reflects the more organic nature of this armor’s design pretty well.  It’s very smooth and sleek; sort of divergent from the rest of the figures from this assortment so far, who have all been full of a lot rough textures.  It does make this figure seem a bit simpler at first, and I wasn’t sure I liked that so much, but ultimately, I’ve found it to actually be a very clean and polished looking figure.  I also quite like the repulsor hand on the right arm; it’s a subtle change-up in the posing, but it adds a lot of character to the figure, as well as offering up some more variety in posing.  The paint is, like the sculpt, rather on the basic side; mostly he’s just molded in the appropriate red, with paint for the gold, silver, and blue.  The application is mostly pretty clean, though there’s a little bit of missing paint right at the top of Tony’s faceplate here.  Other than that, it’s solid work.  Iron Man includes a…cannon?  Something like that.  It’s done up to match his armor, which is nice enough.  I don’t know if it’s actually going to be in the movie, though, especially since it’s hand-held, which doesn’t quite seem like Tony’s style.  It’s also rather awkward for him to hold.  Really can’t see this getting much use, from collectors or kids, honestly.  It does at least have a peg for attaching the included Infinity Stone, which, for those keeping track, is the Time Stone.  Well, as long as it’s with *one* of the Sherlock Holmeses, I guess it’s okay.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Iron Man was the last of these I picked up.  I actually just got him within the last week, grabbed from my local TRU during one of my many visits.  I’d seen him a few times before, when I picked up the others.  Since there were an odd number of figures, and I grabbed the others during “buy-one-get-one” sales, he was just the actual odd-man-out every time.  I’m glad I finally grabbed him.  I mean, an Iron Man’s an Iron Man, but I didn’t have one in this particular style, and this design is actually pretty strong.

#1633: Thor

THOR

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

Okay, you had to know which Infinity War figure I was reviewing today.  You just had to.  Because it’s Thursday, aka Thor’s Day.  When a guy’s got the day named after him, he’s kind of a lock for the subject of the review.  If you’re thinking to yourself, “hasn’t Ethan already done this gag?,” the answer is yes, I very definitely have.  I very definitely will again.  It’s probably a safe assumption that I’ll do this with every Thor figure I remember to do this with going forward (so, probably about a 50/50 split; I’m forgetful).  Anyway, here’s my latest Thor!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thor is another figure from Series 1 of the basic Avengers: Infinity War line.  Thor’s design has not changed drastically since we last saw him in Ragnarok.  Well, actually, a little before we last saw him in Ragnarok, truth be told.  He’s got both of his eyes again.  As of yet, all of the trailers and the like have shown him still sporting the eyepatch.  It’s still possible it will be healed during the film.  Of course, Hemsworth wasn’t actually wearing the eyepatch on-set for Ragnarok, and I don’t believe he was for Infinity War either.  It’s always possible licensees were seeing unfinished shots from the film, in order to preserve Ragnarok’s twist, and now we just have a bunch of inaccurate Thor figures.  I guess we won’t know until we see the movie.  Anyway, the figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  Like yesterday’s Star-Lord, his sculpt has some definite similarities to last year’s Legends release.  Understandable, since they’re adapting similar looks.  The Hemsworth likeness is halfway decent.  It’s not amazing, but it’s hardly like it’s impossible to figure out who it is.  The body, particularly the proportions, feel a bit more cartoony and exaggerated than the others I’ve looked at from the line.  I think that’s largely the arms, which have almost a Popeye sort of feel about them.  It’s not like it looks bad or anything, just slightly different from the previously established style.  The rest of the body is fairly well detailed, and his costume is quite well-defined.  The paint on this figure is passable, but definitely more on the basic side.  Where Cap’s hair went too brown, I think Thor’s goes too yellow, adding more to that whole cartoony thing.  Also, his eyes seem a bit off.  Or maybe it’s his eyebrows.  Either way, he ends up looking like he just remembered he didn’t put the trash out to the road last night.  That’s not how I tend to think of Thor looking.  Thor is packed with his new weapon, Stormbreaker, which is actually pretty cool, and has some pretty awesome electricity effects going on.  Also, like the other figures in the set, Thor’s got an infinity stone, specifically the Space Stone.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Thor seems to be a rarer figure in the first Infinity War assortment, as he’s the one I’ve seen the least.  When I found most of the others, he wasn’t there, so I ended up getting him alongside Widow the new day.  I wasn’t even sure I was going to get him, but I sort of wanted all of the stones.  He’s not a bad figure.  Perhaps a little bland in terms of design (having the eyepatch probably would have helped), but he’s still cool.

#1631: Black Widow

BLACK WIDOW

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

All of our favorite heroes are back for Infinity War…okay, most of our favorite heroes…amongst our favorite heroes, many of them are—right, I’ll come in again.

Today, I’m looking at the latest figure of Black Widow, a character who has far too often been left out of the whole merchandising thing. For Infinity War, Hasbro looks to be making a conscious effort to avoid that, with two figures already out and a third one on its way.  I’ll be looking at one of those first two today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Widow is part of the first series of the basic Avengers: Infinity War line.  This figure gives us Widow’s brand new look for the film, which, despite her prior looks all being just slight variations on the same basic design, is actually kind of new and different.  This time around, she’s sporting a look based on the second main Black Widow from the comics, Yelena Belova.  It’s mostly the blonde hair that informs this.  Supposedly, she’s changed her hair color while on the run after the events of Civil War.  The figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall and she has 11 points of articulation.  It’s the same articulation scheme as we saw on Cap (and before that, Shuri and Star-Lord).  Her sculpt is actually quite good.  The proportions are well-balanced, the head has a pretty solid Scarlett Johansson likeness, and the level of detail is almost on par with what you’d get from a Legends release.  My only real nit with the sculpt is that only one of her hands is in a gripping position, which limits her posing potential slightly when it comes to her weapon.  Even her paint is pretty decent.  It’s still rather on the basic side, but her face in particular gets some really clean work.  Certainly cleaner than what we saw on Cap yesterday.  Widow is packed with her staff, which is sadly only in its full assembled form.  No separate batons, but I guess she couldn’t hold them anyway.  There’s a rather obvious peg on it, where the Infinity Stone is meant to attach.  Not the smoothes way of handling that, but I guess it’s not awful.  Widow’s included stone is the Power Stone, which is the only one to be doubled-up in the first assortment (it also comes in the Rocket/Groot pack).  Giving her, rather than a bruiser like Hulk, the Power Stone is certainly an interesting choice.  I wonder if it means anything.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Widow is actually kind of the figure that sold me on this line.  I saw her in the store and I really liked her, and almost bought her on the spot.  That said, she was actually one of the few figures in the set I did *not* pick up from Toys R Us.  They were all out, so I ended up finding her at Target the next day, rounding out the set that way.  She’s actually a pretty good figure.  I’m curious to see how much the Legends release is able to improve on her.

#1630: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

Apparently, there’s some sort of an Avengers movie coming out at the end of this month.  I know, it’s easy to miss it.  It’s not like there’s been *any* coverage or anything.  I’d imagine most people are planning to stay home that weekend, right?  Or perhaps go and see…<checking movies for April 27th>…the re-release of When Harry Met Sally perhaps.  Yep, that’s totally what the people want.  Or, I suppose, they could just see Infinity War.  I mean, I’m planning to see it.  I have to justify all this stuff I bought!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is from the first series of Hasbro’s basic Avengers: Infinity War line.  He depicts Cap with his bearded “Nomad” look, which is looking to be his main (possibly only) look from the movie.  It’s the same suit he was wearing in Civil War, but it’s looking a bit more worn.  As the name suggests, it’s calling back to his Nomad identity from the (first) time he quit being Captain America in the comics, though it doesn’t really look much like that particular design.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  The lack of knee joints is still kind of bugging me, but he’s actually pretty posable for the price point.  His sculpt is unique to this particular figure, and does a pretty respectable job of recreating what we’ve seen from the trailers.  The level of detail isn’t quite on par with a Legends release, but it matches up well with the Homecoming and Black Panther offerings.  The paintwork is likewise a slight step-down from other offerings in the scale, but it’s not like it’s awful or anything.  Honestly, I think my only real complaint is how dark the hair and beard are.  At least some highlights or something would make it look a little better.  As it is, it’s decent, but kind of looks like an animated version of the character.  Cap is packed with one of his new Wakandan-designed shields, which he can’t quite hold like an actual shield, but it’s fairly cool.  Each figure in this series also comes with an Infinity Stone; Cap gets the Mind Stone, which can be clipped onto his shield.  It’s kind of nifty, and apparently ties into the “Hero Vision” gimmick that Hasbro’s currently pushing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was initially just planning to stick with the Marvel Legends offerings for Infinity War, but I ended up seeing these figures in the store, and they sort of oddly called to me.  I passed on them the first time I saw them, but ended up picking up Cap alongside most of the rest of Series 1 on one of my very many trips to Toys R Us recently.  He’s actually quite a good figure, especially for the price.  Sure, he’s not high-end, but I was hardly expecting that, now was I?