#1368: Ms. Marvel & Kang

MS. MARVEL & KANG

MARVEL MINIMATES

Hey-ho there readers!  So, today’s gonna be another Marvel review, because, like 95% of what I’ve bought recently is Marvel.  On the plus side, I’m actually looking at a relatively new item for a change.  That’s cool, right?  I’ll be heading back over to the Minimates corner of my collection, and taking a look at one of my favorite new additions to the Marvel Universe, Kamala Khan, alongside long-time Avengers for Kang the Conqueror!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ms. Marvel and Kang were released in the fifth Walgreens-exclusive series of Marvel Minimates.  Both are based on their appearances in the Avengers Assemble cartoon, but in both cases, this translates to a look that’s essentially identical to their comics counterparts.

MS. MARVEL

“Exposed to the Terrigin Mists, Inhuman high-schooler Kamala Khan gains the ability to shape-shift, and decides to become one of the super-heroes she idolizes.”

It’s been a good year for Kamala!  First she got a Marvel Legend, and now she’s got a Minimate too!  Not too shabby for a character that’s only been around since 2014.  Ms. Marvel makes her Minimate debut here, and is based upon her appearance in the episode “The Inhuman Condition.”  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and she has 14 points of articulation.  She’s built on the standard ‘mate body, with add-ons for her hair, scarf, and skirt.  The skirt appears to be a fairly standard piece, but the scarf and hair are both new.  They’re decent enough pieces, I suppose.  Obviously, they’re a bit more on the simplistic side, as is the case with most of the animation-based mates.  It’s really only noticeable on the hair, which you can easily replace if you really want a more realistic look.  That being said, the pieces mimic her design from the show pretty well, and fit the character nicely.  The paint work on her is generally pretty solid; the colors are still a little more washed out than I’d like, but she generally looks like she does in the comics, and the colors have more “pop” than some of the others.  I’m not the biggest fan of the rather bland expression on the face, though; Kamala’s usually depicted as rather jovial, so a smile or grin would have been more true to the character in my opinion.  Ms. Marvel is packed with a spare right hand and left arm (borrowed from Mr. Fantastic), simulating her stretchy powers, as well as the usual clear display stand.

KANG

“Kang is a time-traveling warlord from the 30th century who finds himself repeatedly embroiled in conflict with the 21st century Avengers.”

Wow, another Kang?  Man, it was such a big deal to get him the first time, but I think I might have burned out all of the excitement.  Of course, that ‘mate was only in an exclusive 4-pack, which not everyone got, so I suppose a new one makes sense.  Like Ms. Marvel, he’s built on the standard body, and has the usual articulation.  He has add-ons for his head-piece, shoulder bit, and skirt.  The shoulder thing is re-used from the last Kang ‘mate (rather sensible), and the other two parts appear to be new.  They’re decently sculpted, though I’m not 100% sold on the head piece.  It’s an odd looking thing in the comics, and neither attempt at translating it into ‘mate form is particularly right.  This one’s not terrible.  This figure uses the standard upper-arms, which is one change I’m in favor of, since I was never much of a fan of the puffy sleeves from the last one.  As far as paint goes, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the paint on this guy; the colors just aren’t vibrant enough for my taste.  The green in particular just feels really dull and boring.  I’m also not a big fan of the reduced detail work, since the things like the wrinkles of the shirt and the lines on his mask were some of my favorite parts of the last Kang.  In terms of accessories, he only includes a display stand.  I feel like there has to be something else he could have gotten.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found these two while looking for Marvel Legends at Walgreens.  I’ve largely fallen out of collecting Minimates hardcore, in part because of the difficulty of finding the Walgreens releases, so these two sort of snuck up on me, and I was really surprised to find them as quickly as I did.  Ms. Marvel’s the real draw of the set for me, and aside from the slight disappointment with the expression, I’m really happy with her.  Kang is kind of meh.  Rather drab and un-interesting to me.  Perhaps it’d be different if I didn’t have the first one.  Still, it’s a pretty decent set all in all.

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#0957: Kang

KANG

MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS (MATTEL)

KangSW1

Yesterday, I said that Doctor Doom was the greatest comicbook villain of all time. But, what about the second greatest comicbook villain? If I’m honest, I’d probably go with the focus of today’s review, Kang the Conqueror. Now, I’m sure at least some of my readers aren’t super familiar with Kang. Kang’s an old-school Avengers villain. He’s a guy from the future, who went all the way back to ancient Egypt, then decided to come to the present, and then eventually went back to the future, so that he could then come back to the present. It’s a little complicated. In his past he was both Rama Tut and Iron Lad, and in the future he becomes Immortus (another Avengers villain). The point is, he’s a lot of fun. He’s managed to get a surprising number of action figures over the years, but today I’ll be looking at his very first.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

KangSW2Kang is another figure from the first series of Mattel’s Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars line. He’s kind of an odd choice, truth be told. He’s not one of Marvel’s better known villains, and plays a very minor role in the tie-in comics. Still,I’m hardly going to complain about getting a Kang figure! He stands 4 ½ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. Kang was built on the basic body for the line, with the arms from Iron Man (and Doctor Doom) and a unique head. The head is goofy, but not a terrible translation of his design from the comics. It’s not quite as good as some of the later Kang figures, but it doesn’t totally suck. It’s a little flat. The Iron Man arms are actually a pretty good fit, though Kang is usually depicted in a loose-fitting shirt in the comics. Kang also has an add-on piece for his belt/suspender thing, which works pretty decently for what it’s supposed to be. Kang’s paintwork isn’t super exciting. I mean, it’s accurate to his design, more or less, but it doesn’t do a whole lot to make it very exciting. The purple and green are both very dark and sort of run together. Also, the face is just straight light blue, with no variation, which looks kind of lazy. Kang included a blaster and yet another goofy lenticular shield.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Kang at the same time as Doom (and, by extension, Bane), from a dealer at Balticon. My Dad actually bought a Kang about 15 years ago at a flea market, and I’ve sort of wanted my own ever since, though not enough to do any serious searching. But, for $2, he was definitely worth picking up. There have been better Kangs since this one, but this one’s still not bad!

#0176: Avengers Boxed set

HULK, GIANT MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, & KANG

MARVEL MINIMATES

AvengersBoxedSet2

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!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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.

HULK

ProfessorHulk

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

GiAntMan

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.

GiAntManUnmasked GiAntMan2

CAPTAIN AMERICA

CaptainAmericaDisney

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.

KANG

Kang

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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.

#0136: Young Avengers

PATRIOT, IRON LAD, ASGARDIAN, & HULKLING

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOYBIZ)

YoungAvengers

Today, I’m once again venturing into the land of Toybiz’s Marvel Legends.  I’ve actually stated to dread these reviews a little because I was quite fond of these figures when they were released, but looking back at them takes away all the nostalgia.  It doesn’t help that most of them are also accompanied by a story of how difficult they were to acquire.  Some of the figures still hold up, though, and occasionally some of them even lack the frustration inducing stories.  The Young Avengers set is actually one of those.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These guys were released as a boxed set during the final year of ToyBiz’s possession of the Marvel license.  They’re based on their appearance in the first issue of the original Young Avengers, which was also included with the set.

PATRIOT

Patriot

First up, the effective leader of the team, Patriot.  Patriot was Eli Bradley, the grandson of Isaiah Bradley who was the “Black Captain America.”  He acquired the Super Soldier serum thanks to a blood transfusion from his grandfather.  He’s shown here in his original costume, which was patterned after Bucky’s costume.  It’s not the costume he spent the majority of his appearances in, but it’s actually my favorite of his two costumes.  Patriot stands about 6 inches tall and features 38 points of articulation.  Amazingly for a Marvel Legends sculpt, everything is actually well proportioned.  My only complaint would be that his feet are probably at tad too big, but the rest looks good.  The detail on the uniform is great, with lots of great little wrinkles and folds.  The head is also spot-on to Jim Cheung’s art on the series.  The paint work is all nicely done, with no real issues.  I do wish they had used differently colored pins for the lower knee articulation because the black actually ended up bleeding into the white plastic around it.  Patriot included the original Captain America shield and a display stand with his picture on it.  Small issues aside, Patriot’s my favorite figure in the set, in spite of being my least favorite of the characters.

IRON LAD

Iron Lad

Ah, yes Iron Lad.  Remember how Patriot was my favorite figure and least favorite character?  Iron Lad is the exact opposite.  I loved the character, but the figure’s just eh…  Anyway, Iron Lad is actually a young Kang the Conqueror.  For those of you not in the know, Kang is one of the Avengers’ greatest adversaries.  Iron Lad found out who he was destined to become and rebelled.  The first arc of the series largely deals with the ramifications of this.  Iron Lad stands about 6 inches tall and features 30 points of articulation.  He doesn’t put his articulation to very good use, as some key points are missing, leaving him stuck in some awkward positions.  Iron Lad’s armor did have a tendency to change around a little bit, so I guess he was a bit hard to capture.  The head is great.  It looks just like the character.  Sadly, the body’s a mess.  The proportions are a mess, and the articulation is incredibly obvious.  The paint is also quite sloppy, which doesn’t do the sculpt any favors.  Iron Lad included a display stand with his picture on it.  I don’t hate this figure, but I wish it had turned out a little better.

ASGARDIAN

Asgardian

Next up is Asgardian, or as he’s been known in every appearance following the first arc, Wiccan.  He’s Billy Caplan, and he’s the reincarnated spirit of one of the Scarlet Witch and Vision’s deceased children.  It makes more sense in context.  Billy stands about 6 inches tall and features 35 points of articulation.  The sculpt looks pretty good, and his body sculpt is probably the best in the set.  All the proportions look about right, which is cool.  His head sculpt isn’t quite as nice as the other two, but it’s not terrible by any stretch.  The paint isn’t the best in the set, but it’s passable.  There’s a few spots with some noticeable slop, and the paint on the arms is super thick, but it doesn’t look too bad.  Asgardian included a staff and a display stand with his picture on it.

HULKING

Hulkling

Lastly, it’s Billy’s boyfriend Hulkling.  Hulkling is also the offspring of Kree Captain Mar-Vell and the Skrull Princess, so there’s that.  Hulkling stands closer to 7 inches and features 34 points of articulation.  The sculpt is pretty good, and super textured.  Like, there are no smooth areas on this guy.  Even his arms have a pretty cool skin texture.  The head is spot on to Jim Cheung’s drawings of the character, and all the proportions look appropriate to the character.  My only real complaint is that the hands look oddly flat, which looks a bit weird from certain angles.  Hulkling’s paint is all very well applied, with no noticeable slop, and some rather nice dry-brushing.  Hulkling includes a stand with his picture on it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was very excited for this set when it was released.  I had been following the comic and was very happy to see them on display at Toy Fair that year.  I received this set form my parents for Christmas and have greatly enjoyed it since.  When I packed up my Marvel Legends a few years ago, it was amongst the very last of the items put away.  My greatest complaint about this set is that we never got the remaining members of the team.