#1603: Killmonger & Klaue

KILLMONGER & ULYSSES KLAUE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Black Panther’s impressive supporting cast did the film a lot of favors.  While my personal favorites were amongst his allies, there’s no denying that the antagonistic side was pretty strong, too.  We not only got the returning ball of fun that was Klaue, but also one of the most fully-crafted of the MCU’s villains in Erik Killmonger.  What luck that the Minimates went and paired those two!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Killmonger and Klaue are the other shared two-pack in the Black Panther assortment of Marvel Minimates, though, unlike yesterday’s set, these two are only available in two-pack form, either from Toys R Us or Walgreens.  There’s a close but slightly different Killmonger in the specialty-exclusive four-pack.

KILLMONGER

This Killmonger uses the Black Panther-styled design that most of the figures are going with.  It wasn’t his main design, but it’s the one he wears during the final battle, and the one with all the parallels to T’Challa, so I suppose it makes sense.  The figure stands 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Construction-wise, Killmonger’s got the same exact set-up as Panther, with an add-on for the mask and the clawed hands.  The suits are meant to be very similar, so this is definitely a sensible re-use.  The main tweak here is the paint, which is slightly more involved than T’Challa’s was, thanks to all the leopard print and everything.  It looks pretty solid all-around, though I do feel I should note that my figure’s face is printed off-set to the right on the mask.  Under the mask, there’s another face, depicting a pretty solid (and somewhat angry) Michael B Jordan.  Killmonger includes a new hairpiece to show off this unmasked look, as well as the usual clear display stand.

ULYSSES KLAUE

Klaue was fortunate enough to have already gotten an MCU-‘mate, thanks to his Age of Ultron appearance.  But, that was back when he had two real arms, and a Klaue with two real arms is hardly Klaue.  The figure gets add-ons for his hair, vest, and sleeve cuffs, as well as a brand-new left forearm.  The hair and vest both look to be new to this particular figure (though the vest is already slated for re-use with the Series 75 Luke Cage) and both do an okay job capturing Klaue’s look.  The hair does seem a little hat-like, but it’s not awful.  The sleeves are the same pieces that have been in use since The Spirit, and they work just as well here as anywhere.  The new left arm is definitely awesome, and adds a nice bit of unique flair to what could have been a bland guy in a suit.  Klaue’s paint is reasonable enough, though not terribly exciting.  The Serkis likeness here is about on par with the last one, just with a more excited expression, which certainly befits the character.  There’s some slight slop around the mouth, making it look like Klaue’s just had a glass of milk or something, but he’s otherwise fairly clean.  Klaue is packed with an alternate left arm with his hand in compact form and a clear display stand.

THE  ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with yesterday’s set, I grabbed these guys while taking advantage of Walgreens’ sale on Minimates.  I had initially just planned to grab the two exclusive sets, but I liked the look of these two in person.  While neither of them is really my favorite from the assortment, or even necessarily  my favorite version of either character, both are definitely strong figures.

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#0723: Hulk & Ulysses Klaue

HULK & ULYSSES KLAUE

MARVEL MINIMATES

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So, when you’re doing a line that revolves around packing figures in even numbers, you will inevitably run into a bit of a “pair the spares” sort of moment, where you have an even number of characters, but there are just two that have next to nothing to do with each other. Yesterday’s Vision and Hydra Soldier certainly pushed the boundaries, but hey, Vision’s an Avenger, he’s bound to fight Hydra sometime, right? Today’s pair, Hulk and Klaue have absolutely no scenes together. In fact, Banner is very pointedly left back at the Quinjet when the rest of the team goes in to deal with Klaue. I’m not even sure the two have ever met in the comics. Their connection here is “was in Age of Ultron.” Which is more than some pairings, I suppose.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two are from Series 63 of Marvel Minimates, which is the second series to be based on this summer’s Age of Ultron.

HULK

Hulk&Klaue2Hulk is certainly no stranger to Minimates. Heck, this is the fourth version just of the MCU version of the character. This one gets the more dignified stretchy pants from AoU, which is a nice step up from the torn up pants he’s been stuck with in every movie before this. Nice of someone to buy him some stretchy pants! Hulk is a big guy, and as such, he gets all the “big guy” parts in DST’s catalogue: torso cover, bulked up upper arms and legs, a waist piece, larger hands and feet, and a torso extender. They’re just as good here as they have been on all the other figures to use these parts. He also has another piece for his hair. It’s the same piece that was used on both Zombie Hulk and Defenders Hulk, as well as a few others, and it’s a pretty good piece for Hulk. Hulk’s paint is quite well handled. The detail lines are nice and sharp and sum up his look from the movie very well, and his colors seem like a pretty good match. Accessories-wise, Hulk is rather light, featuring just a clear display stand.

ULYSSES KLAUE

Hulk&Klaue3The Marvel villain Klaw has gotten a handful of figures in the last few years, but this is the first time we’ve gotten a figure of his pre-sound-monster form, Ulysses Klaue. I do believe this is the first time we’ve gotten a figure of Andy Serkis the actual person, as well. Pretty nifty, right? Klaue makes use of three add-on pieces, for his hair, belt, and wrist band. The hair is a re-use of Pvt. Lerner from Platoon, which, while not a perfect match, is close enough to work. The armband is one of Street Fighter vs Tekken’s Heihachi’s. Again, not a perfect match, but close enough to work. The belt looks to be a new piece, and it’s quite nicely done, with some nice texturing and such. Klaue’s paintwork is, simply put, Hulk&Klaue4fantastic. Easily some of the best Minimate paint I’ve seen in some time. Everything is really clean, the detail lines are nice and sharp, and there’s plenty of cool detail work, especially on the tattoos. The likeness is pretty spot-on to Serkis, which is quite impressive. Klaue is packed with a knife, a handgun, and a clear display stand. The gun and knife have a little difficulty staying in their appropriate spots on the belt, but they’re both pretty cool additions.

THE ME HALF IF THE EQUATION

These two were another purchase from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix. Unlike yesterday’s set, where the clear star was Vision, I feel like this set is much more balanced. Hulk is a great improvement to his first Avengers figure, and he nicely rounds out the AoU Avengers line-up. Klaue is a surprisingly enjoyable figure. On the surface, he’s just a drab civilian, but there’s actually a lot of cool little details that make this guy a real stand-out.

 

#0647: Marvel’s Klaw

MARVEL’s KLAW

RETURN OF MARVEL LEGENDS

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Hasbro’s really been making some great strides with Marvel Legends lately. When they took over the license several years back, they certainly had a rough time managing the line, leading to the whole scale being scrapped for a little while. Then they came back and they came back strong. Now, I’ll admit, I was a hard sell on Marvel Legends after the hiatus. I was happy with my Marvel Universe figures, and Hasbro’s early Return offerings still had some issues to work out. But, they gradually got better, almost sneakily so, and now that they’ve moved onto the Infinite Series, I’ve become thoroughly hooked. So, now I’m playing the catch-up game with some of those Return figures, such as today’s figure of Klaw, major foe of the Black Panther, and a supporting player in this summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Klaw2Klaw was released as part of the Terrax Series of the Return of Marvel Legends, which was the first series of Marvel Legends following the hiatus. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and sports 30 points of articulation. This figure represents Klaw post soundwave-based transformation. Not really much of a shock there, since a pre-transformation Klaw wouldn’t exactly be the most exciting thing, and he’s spent 99.9% of his career as a red sound guy. Klaw is built on the body first used for Hasbro’s take on Silver Surfer. It was one of Hasbro’s earliest attempts at a base body, and it’s definitely before they had quite gotten the hang of designing these things. It’s not terrible, and certainly not as bad as some of ToyBiz’s worst sculpts, but it’s definitely got some issues. For one thing, it’s really scrawny. Klaw’s not the hugest guy ever, but he’s usually shown with a fair bit of heft to him. Also, the muscles are really, really defined, as if he’s flexing really hard, which looks rather uncomfortable. Throw in articulation that can best be described as clunky and obtrusive, and you’ve got a body that holds poor Klaw back. To Hasbro’s credit, the new pieces (the head and his sound converter) are both very well handled. The head does a great job of capturing Klaw’s very Kirby-styled head and is appropriately menacing, and the “claw” is full of fun little details (though it’s been warped a bit by the packaging, which is annoying). The paintwork on Klaw is pretty decent. It’s rather straightforward, but that works well for a character like Klaw. There’s a little bleed over here and there, but it’s all relatively minor. The biggest issue for me is that the reds of the arms and legs don’t match with the torso. It’s really noticeable on such a simple figure. Klaw’s only accessory was the left leg of the series’ B-A-F Terrax. I don’t have any of the other figures from this series and I doubt I’ll be getting them anytime soon, so all I’ve got’s a leg. Huzzah.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t purchase Klaw when he was new. Nor did I buy him any of the many times I saw him on clearance at Target. I really can’t say why. I like Klaw, I really do. I guess I was just cold on Legends as a whole. Anyway, I ended up finding this guy at Yesterday’s Fun while on vacation this year. He was less than I would have paid at retail, so I really can’t complain. Ultimately, the figure’s fatal flaw is the unfortunate choice of body. I’d be curious to see how the head and claw might look on the Bucky Cap or Grim Reaper body, as it might make for a nice improvement. As is, he’s passable, which isn’t the worst thing.

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