#0752: Age of Ultron Minimates Boxed Set

FINAL FORM ULTRON, IRON LEGION 01, TONY STARK, MARK 45, & NICK FURY

MARVEL MINIMATES

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So, Series 61 and 63 of Marvel Minimates, plus the two TRU exclusive sets and the blind bagged figures, did a pretty reasonable job of getting us just about every important character from Age of Ultron. We got the whole Avengers team, plus several Ultrons, a few Iron Legion drones, two minor villains, and the Hulkbuster. However, DST felt that wasn’t quite enough, so we’ve gotten an extra, special five figure (that’s a whole extra figure!) boxed set to fill a few holes in the collection.  Without further ado, let’s have a look at Final Form Ultron, Iron Legion 01, Tony Stark, Iron Man Mark 45, and Nick Fury!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set was one of the SDCC-exclusive sets offered by DST this year. The sets were then available at various retailers following the show.

FINAL FORM ULTRON

AoUMatesBox3Ultron looks a little….I don’t want to say puffy…  Yeah, so this is Ultron in his Vibranium infused body from the film’s big climactic battle, which is ever so slightly different from his main look for the rest of the movie. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Ultron uses the base Minimate body, with non-standard pieces for the head, hands, and feet, as well as add-ons for the shoulders and torso extension. All of these pieces are re-used from prior figures; the head is from Ultron Prime, the hands originated on DC Minimates’ Cheetah, the feet are from Nightcrawler, and the add-ons are pieces we’ve seen on numerous prior ‘mates. It’s definitely a hodge-podge of pieces, but the end result actually looks pretty sleek. Also, he amends the issue of size that plagued Ultron Prime; he’s not huge, but he’s certainly got a level of imposing-ness to him. The paintwork on this figure is superb. The silver is nice and cleanly applied, the detail lines are nice and sharp, and he does a pretty great job of replicating the film design. Everything looks really great, and he’s even got a full set of detail lines on the normal arms under the bulked up shoulders. Ultron includes a spare set of normal hands and feet painted silver, for those that don’t want the more unique pieces, as well as a clear display stand.

IRON LEGION 01

AoUMatesBox6Okay, so if there’s one thing this set might have been okay without, it’s another Iron Legion drone. The blind bags ran into a bit of an issue by seriously over-packing drones 02 and 04, which kind of got us all down on the drones in general. That said, there are actually supposed to be five of these guys, and we only had two (three if you count the Ultron Mk 1 as drone 03), so I guess getting another of them isn’t the worst thing. Of course, if I were choosing one more, I’d probably go with 05, since you could include the scepter the drone steals, but DST went with 01. I guess having 01, 02, 03, and 04 is better than having 02, 03, 04, and 05. This figure is virtually identical to the other two drones we got (reviewed here). He’s a vanilla ‘mate, with a fair amount of painted details. Obviously, he’s got “01” in place of the preceding “02” and “04,” and he’s also got grey accents as opposed to the blue and black, respectively, of the other two.

TONY STARK

AoUMatesBox2Hey, it wouldn’t be the Avengers without another Tony Stark, right? The “trying to lift the hammer” sequence from AoU was definitely one of the more popular scenes from the movie, so it’s not a huge surprise to see Tony in his look from that scene. Tony has 5 sculpted add-on pieces for his hair, vest, tie, and rolled up sleeves. These are all pieces we’ve seen numerous times before, and they do a good job of capturing his look from the scene. His paint is pretty simple, with mostly base color work. The facial likeness somewhat resembles RDJ, though I don’t think it’s as good as some of DST’s other versions of the guy. It’s also a little bit too high set. Tony includes one of his Iron Man gauntlets (taken from the Mark 43), which is kind of key to the scene, as well as a spare set of arms and a jacket piece, and a clear display stand. It would have been cool to include Mjolnir here, but I can’t say this guy’s lacking for extras.

MARK 45

AoUMatesBox5We got the Mark 43, we got the Hulkbuster, and we got a basic Tony. What’s left? The Mark 45, Tony’s armor from the last fight scene. It’s only a little bit different from the Mark 43, but it’s still its own armor, and it continues the trend of each model streamlining the basic design just a bit more. Structurally, he’s just a basic ‘mate, with the helmet from the Mark 42/43. It’s not 100% accurate, but at this scale, it’s close enough. The paint is the important part here, and it’s handled quite nicely. The red and gold are distinctly different from each other, and they’re both nice and bright. The details of the suit are rendered pretty nicely on the body, and look pretty accurate to the source material. Under the helmet, there’s another Tony face, which is much angrier looking than the regular Tony. It looks even less like RDJ, but I much prefer a different expression that looks less like the actor than the same expression over and over again. The figure includes the same hairpiece included with the other Tony, as well as a flight stand, and a clear display stand.

NICK FURY

AoUMatesBox7At last! A character who wasn’t released in any of the other AoU assortments! Fury was originally slated to be one of the figures in the blind bagged assortment before being pulled from the lineup, so it’s not a huge shock to see him turn up here. The figure depicts Fury in his somewhat more distinct look from his earlier appearances in the film. He gets two add-on pieces for his hat and coat. The hat comes from the Amazing Spider-Man Vigilante Spider-Man, and the coat is from Punisher War-Zone’s Frank Castle. These parts match up pretty closely with the look from the film, and their well-sculpted in general, so that’s good. Fury’s paint is fairly simple. He’s got a fairly drab color scheme, with a bit of detailing for the belt, shirt, and face. The face doesn’t really look much like SLJ, but he’s a decent looking Fury. Also, I really like that the eye patch’s strap goes all the way around the head, even under the hat, though it’s a little frustrating that the head has a peg hole at the top for the hat. Fury includes a spare head with the eye patch removed, a handgun, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I didn’t go to SDCC, I picked this set after the fact, courtesy of Luke’s Toy Store. This set doesn’t cover a whole lot of new ground, but it’s still a solid addition. Ultron is a significant improvement to Ultron Prime, Fury and Stark are both valid variants, and the Mark 45 and the Legion drone are decent enough. The final AoU line-up is pretty impressive!

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#0597: Iron Legion

IRON LEGION

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

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It seems that not everyone agrees, but I thought that Avengers: Age of Ultron was a pretty fantastic movie. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish, and after having seen it five times, I feel it really holds up to repeat viewings. For me, perhaps the most disappointing piece of the movie experience has been the rather light offering of movie-based action figures. Hasbro’s offerings in particular seem to be missing several key pieces of what made me love the movie just as much as I did. Interestingly enough, more than one line of figures is placing a decent-sized focus on the Iron Legion, who ultimately have a minor role in the film. But, hey, new toys is new toys, so I got one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IronLegion2The Iron Legion figure is part of the second series of Hasbro’s 3 ¾ inch line of Avengers: Age of Ultron figures. The figure stands roughly 3 ¾ inches tall (not a huge shocker there) and has 5 points of articulation. It’s disappointing that Hasbro’s decided to switch to the lower articulation count, but I guess it’s, at the very least, consistent. The Iron Legion figure appears to be an all-new sculpt. It does a nice enough job of translating the movie’s design to the smaller format. The proportions are all pretty good, and the details seem to be well-placed. The sculpt is a little on the soft side in terms of details, but it’s about on par with the rest of the line. Overall, not a bad sculpt. Paint? That’s a different story. Hasbro desperately needs to work on the paint on their figures. It’s consistently their downfall. First of all, this guy is missing more than a few details. The blue is only applied to about half of the places it should be. Also, while they’ve chosen the red accent color (which I think belonged to either 03 or 05, depending on which one of those was Ultron Mk 1), they haven’t actually put in a number or done any of the detailing outside of a small section of the torso. The worst thing is that, with the exception of the small bit of red, all of the paint is very sloppily applied, with fuzzy edges, bleed over, inconsistent coverage, and splats of paint where there shouldn’t be. It’s an incredibly messy figure. The Iron Legion’s one accessory is some sort of an energy blade clip-on. Not really sure what it’s supposed to be, but I don’t think it was in the movie. At least it’s not a missile launcher…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Getting the Iron Legion was sort of bittersweet. I found him along with an entire case of Series 2 figures, which is really great. However, the figure I wanted most, Scarlet Witch, is only packed one per case (which is super dumb). My Dad really wanted one (he’s a long-time Scarlet Witch fan) so the single Witch I found went to him. So, I got this guy and an Ultron to hold myself over until I can get a Scarlet Witch for myself. The trouble is, he’s not particularly well done, nor is he a figure I was desperate to own, so my opinion of him is rather “meh.”

#0570: Age of Ultron Minimates Single Packs

BARON STRUCKER, ULTRON MK 1, SUB-ULTON – BLUE, SUB-ULTRON – RED, IRON LEGION 02, & 04

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Okay, today wraps up my reviews of the first “assortment” of Avengers: Age of Ultron-themed Marvel Minimates. For a while now, Diamond Select Toys has been doing “army dump” cases, where you have the chance to buy a few army builder figures in single packs, as well as one or two single-packed non-army builders. Just a few months ago, I looked at the army dump case for the Aliens line. They’ve also shown up a few times in the Marvel Minimates line, to tie-in with several of the movies. They’ve done it once more for Age of Ultron, albeit with a few differences. Technically, these are each single releases, but I received them all as one, and they sort of work as one entity. Also, there are some minor spoilers for Age of Ultron below. Nothing that would ruin your movie-going experience, but if you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to hold off.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These figures are all part of the first series of Marvel Minimates Age of Ultron blind-bagged figures. They ship in a case of 18 blind bagged figures. Previous army dump cases have not been blind-bagged and they have generally been cases of 12, so these are both changes. The ratio of the figures is 1x Strucker, 1x Ultron Mk 1, 3x Sub-Ultron – Blue, 3x Sub-Ultron – Red, 5x Iron Legion 02, 5x Iron Legion 04.

BARON STRUCKER

AoUSingles2Strucker, Strucker, Strucker. This guy was pushed pretty hard as being really important in AoU, and, truth-be-told, his part in the film is rather small. I mean, the guy still has an impact on the story, but I was sort of expecting more, given all the lead-up. His figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. While the line is based upon Age of Ultron, Strucker’s design here is actually the one he had in the post-credits scene of The Winter Soldier. Of the two, the chosen look is definitely the more distinctive, and it means he also goes pretty well with the various Hydra soldiers we’ve gotten. As far as structure, Strucker’s actually almost identical to Black Widow. Obviously, he doesn’t have the hair piece, but he has the same belt and holster. Seeing as they’re both pretty standard paramilitary pieces, they work just as well here as on Widow. The figure’s paint is generally pretty good. His uniform is done with two different tones of green, which adds some fairly nice depth to the design. The line work is also all pretty clean, and rather detailed. The uniform has some great detailing and texturing, and it looks like the one from the movie. I can’t say that the face looks a whole lot like the actor, but it’s not like it doesn’t look like the actor. Also, it seems like the hair may be a)too low set, and b) too dark. Strucker is packed with a handgun and a clear display stand.

ULTRON MK 1

AoUSingles3Hey, another Ultron Mk 1! Cool! It seems more than one toy company was influenced by that distinctive appearance. The fact that it played such a central role in the first trailer probably helped up the popularity of the design. Ultimately, it ended up with a little less screen time than I expected, but what screen time it did have was well-used. The figure is the same height as Strucker, but it only has 13 points of articulation, due to being down a hand. He’s built on the standard Minimate body with the damaged lower arm of the Battle-Damaged T-800 in place of his own lower left arm. The arm’s a good piece. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. The paint is this figure’s real shining point. The torso and waist are molded in clear plastic, with the actually body painted on. This allows for a more proper robotic appearance for the figure, and it works quite well. The detail lines are superbly handled, and this thing is just covered in texture. The only real drawback is that my figure has some paint rub on the back of the torso, presumable from being packed in with the stand. The stand, for the record, is this figure’s only accessory. That’s pretty much on par with the rest of the assortment, but I wouldn’t have minded getting an extra drone head or something to simulate the partial drone he crushes.

SUB-ULTRON – BLUE

AoUSingles6If you feel like you’ve seen this figure before, it’s because you have…essentially. This figure is effectively the same as the Sub-Ultron included with Winter Ops Hawkeye. If you really want my feelings about the figure, I’d recommend reading the review here. There is one notable difference between this version and that one: the blues of the single release are much paler than the two pack version. Oddly, I actually find myself liking this look a little bit more, for whatever reason. My only real fault with this figure is that there aren’t more of him! Seriously, there are like hundreds of these guys in the final battle, and all we get is three? That’s a little weak.

SUB-ULTRON – RED

AoUSingles7Remember all the stuff I just said about the Blue Sub-Ultron? Well, this is the exact same figure, aside from the blue accents being swapped out for red. Same head, same body, same basic detailing, same display stand. The red, of course, means that Ultron is directly controlling the drone. Thing is, we only see him control them one at a time, so having three seems excessive. Still, I like the red detailing, and this works as pretty decent classic Ultron.

IRON LEGION 02

AoUSingles4Oh boy, the Iron Legion. These guys. Look, I don’t hate them, but I do sort of resent them. See, it’s really their fault that I don’t have more Sub-Ultrons. Because, instead of more Ultron figures, we were subjected to five each (ten total) of these guys. There are a few issues with that. First off, the Iron Legion play kind of a small role in the movie. Secondly, there are only actually 5 Iron Legion drones in the film. How might I know this, you ask? Because, thirdly, the Iron Legion are NUMBERED! As in there is one 01, one 02, one 03, one 04, and one 05. You’ll notice that the figures here are labeled as “02” and “04.” That’s because they represent those numbers of the Iron Legion. So, not only do I have TEN of these guys, but they’re also evenly split between 02 and 04, so they actually aren’t army builders. So, I just have a bunch of extras of two rather specific figures. All that aside, how are the actual figures? Well, 02 is built on the standard body, with no add-ons. Just a vanilla ‘mate. This isn’t bad, because the Iron Legion are depicted as being rather sleek, and since they aren’t actual armor, they aren’t sized to fit a person. Now, being a plain Minimate, 02 relies on paint to convey the design. The paintwork isn’t perfect, but it’s still pretty good. The colors are nicely chosen, and the detail lines are clean and plentiful. The real issue here is that the colors tend to stray outside of the lines.  The 02 has a lighter blue as its accent color, which offers a little more brightness to the design. Iron Legion 02 includes a clear display stand as its only accessory.

IRON LEGION 04

Iron Legion 04 is essentially the same figure as Iron Legion 02. It too uses just the basic Minimate body, has the usual articulation, and includes a clear display stand as its sole accessory. The difference between the two is paint. Now, obviously, this one has a “04” in place of the “02” of the last one, but it also swaps out the light blue accents for black. It doesn’t look bad, but it does result in a slightly duller figure, color-wise.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I purchased these figures as a full case from my favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. Ultimately, I’m torn on these guys. Strucker is technically well handled, but isn’t the most exciting Minimate. I do like Ultron Mk 1 quite a bit, and he was certainly a well-chosen figure for this assortment. The additional Sub-Ultrons are certainly appreciated, but I really wish there were more of them, specifically the blue ones. The Iron Legion? Well, I like the figures well enough, but I really have a difficult time getting past how many of them were included in the case. They aren’t army builders, and even if they were, I really don’t see how anyone could see them being in greater demand than the Sub-Ultrons. It just feels like very poor planning.

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