#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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#1252: Ms. Marvel

MS MARVEL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

After sorting out their issue of not ever being able to hold onto a character named Captain Marvel by promoting the original Ms. Marvel to Captain, Marvel ran into another problem:  what do they do about the Ms. Marvel name they just vacated?  They kind of need to have a character using that name, lest some distinguished competition steal it out from under them.  While they had solved the first problem by promoting an old character, the Ms. Marvel problem was solved be creating an all-new character entirely.  Enter Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teenager, who also happens to be an Inhuman (though that doesn’t really get brought up much; if she’d been introduced five years prior she would have just been a mutant) who possesses shape shifting abilities.  Not gonna lie, I like shape shifters, so that was a good start.  She hit the ground running with one of Marvel’s better solo books back in 2014, and she’s even made her way into the Avengers and the recently re-launched Champions.  And now, she’s got the very best thing of all: an action figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ms. Marvel was released in the Sandman Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s either the last 2016 series of Spider-Man Legends or the first 2017 series, depending on how you want to look at it.  The figures started hitting at the tail end of December (which is how I got Spider-UK), but a lot of places are only just starting to see them show up.  Why is Ms. Marvel in a Spider-Man series?  Your guess is as good as mine.  As far as I know, there aren’t any strictly Avengers-themed sets planned for a while, and she certainly fits in better here than with the X-Men or Guardians stuff.  A figure’s a figure; I’m certainly not going to complain.  Her figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Kamala is built not the Spider-Girl body, which is always a good starting point in my opinion, and is a good fit for the character.  She gets a new head, and upper and lower torso pieces, as well as add-ons for her bracelet and scarf.  All of the new pieces are really solid additions; Ms Marvel has a pretty distinctive art style, which kind of informs how the character should look, but can also be tricky when trying to have her fit in with an established line.  You never want to go too artist specific with a line like this, but you also don’t want her to end up too bland and generic.  She walks the line pretty well; she’s clearly taking inspiration from her solo book, but she also feels right at home with the rest of the line.  I sort of wish her face were a little more expressive or goofy, since that’s sort of her character, but I can see why they’d want something slightly more neutral.  It’s a nice sculpt regardless.  My one minor complaint is just an issue with my figure; one of her ankle joints is pretty well stuck, and it’s made keeping her standing quite the difficult task.  Kamala’s paint is nice, bold, and bright, which is definitely appropriate for her.  The gold in particular is a really nice shade, and doesn’t appear to be the sort of gold that will start to degrade over time. Application is mostly pretty sharp, with only some minor slop, mostly around the edge of her sleeves.  Shapeshifting can be a difficult power set to show off in toy form, but Hasbro’s given it their best go.  Kamala includes an alternate pair of foreams, which are enlarged and stretched out.  While they loose the wrist movement, they are otherwise really fun pieces.  This is probably the best way of handling the shapeshifting thing, and I hope they do something similar when they tackle Mr. Fantastic.  In addition to the extra arms, she also includes the torso the the Series’s Build-A-Figure, Sandman.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kamala was definitely at the top of my want list from this series.  I’ve been following her comic since issue 1, and I’ve really enjoyed the character.  I was bummed back in December when I thought I’d missed her figure.  Fortunately, I ended up finding her and the rest of the series at a local K-Mart.  Unfortunately, K-Mart seems to have started hiking up their prices, and were asking for an extra $5 per figure.  Not worth it for the others, but I didn’t mind so much in Kamala’s case.  This is definitely a solid figure, and another win for Hasbro!

#0553: Ultron & Ms. Marvel

ULTRON & MS MARVEL

MARVEL MINIMATES

Ultron&MM1

Countdown to Avengers: Age of Ultron: 3 days remaining.

Okay, yesterday was a bit of a downer. Sorry about that. Guess not every Ultron can be a winner. But hey, things do get better from here out. And what better way to kick off that whole “Turning things around” thing than a look at one of my favorite lines, Marvel Minimates. They not only got us a good, classic Ultron, but also a Ms. Marvel to go with him. So, why don’t we take a look at them now?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ultron and Ms. Marvel were released as a two-pack in Series 19 of Marvel Minimates. 19 was released in conjunction with Series 20, and together they helped to fill some rather sizeable holes in everyone’s Minimates Avengers.

ULTRON

Ultron&MM2Alright, first up is the man (or robot) of the hour, Ultron. This is not only his very first Minimate, but also the first figure to depict his classic design, so it’s a two-fer. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Ultron is constructed from the standard Minimate body, with the addition of a brand-new sculpted head. The piece sits a little low on the shoulders, causing a little bit of no-neck syndrome, but aside from that, it’s a rather nice classic Ultron head. It has, of course, been adapted into the ‘mate style, which works very nicely, and it includes all the important details for an Ultron head, plus a few additional texture details here and there. And check out the antennae! They’re actually where they should be! Imagine that… The paintwork on Ultron is pretty great. He’s mostly just silver, but he’s got plenty of detail lines to effectively translate his design and give him quite a bit of dimension. Also, the head is molded in translucent red plastic, with silver painted over it, which, when combined with the patch of unpainted plastic on the back of the head, allows the eyes and mouth to be illuminated. It’s not perfect, but it looks cool enough, and the patch isn’t visible from the front. Ultron included two energy blast pieces, molded in red, which can be placed on his hands.

MS MARVEL

Ultron&MM3This is really Ultron’s week, but seeing as this was a two-pack, it seems good ol’ Carol Danvers here is along for the ride. Surprisingly enough, this remains Carol’s only Minimate to date, but I have a feeling that might change soon enough. Ms. Marvel is about 2 ½ inches in height with, you guessed it, 14 points of articulation. Ms. Marvel is presented here in her second, Dave Cockrum designed costume. It was far more distinctive than her first, and it was the one she was most associated with before switching over to Captain Marvel a few years back, so it’s a good choice. The figure is built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for her hair and sash. The hair first saw release way back in Series 5, on the New X-Men Phoenix. It ended up finding its way on to quite a few Minimate females, but I think this actually may have been its last appearance. It’s not a bad piece, but it seems just a little too big and blocky for Ms. Marvel. I think the sash was a new piece, but I can’t say for sure. It’s well sculpted and accurate to the character regardless of its origins. Ms. Marvel features a far more detailed paintjob than Ultron, with several different colors and accents. Generally, it’s pretty good, though there are some minor issues with fuzzy lines here and there. Also, I kind of would have preferred straight black for her costume instead of dark grey, but I suppose that’s just me. Ms. Marvel included no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was released right as I got back into Marvel Minimates in full force. It was picked up the day it was released from my local comic book store, Cosmic Comix. I remember being quite excited, specifically for the Ultron. It’s a pretty fun little set, and it’s still a pretty important one, too. The two figures aren’t without their flaws, but they both hold up pretty well, especially for only being released a third of the way into the line.

#0484: Captain Marvel

CAPTAIN MARVEL – MAIDENS OF MIGHT

MARVEL LEGENDS

CapMarvel1

So, Hasbro’s finally gotten around to releasing some of their merchandise for the upcoming summer-blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it’s… not quite what I expected. So far, there are four possible scales to collect: 2 ½-inch, 3 ¾-inch, 6-inch, and 10-inch. Curiously absent from every line-up is the titular antagonist, Ultron, which is a bit of a bummer. The 6-inch line actually isn’t getting any proper movie figures until Series 2, meaning the first series is made up of comic-based figures who tie-in at least a little with the movie (although some ties are looser than others…), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Still no Ultron, though…. Anyway, I’ll be taking a look at the line’s take on the current Captain Marvel. She’s not in the movie, but she’s been a recurring member of the Avengers since the 70s, so she’s run into Ultron once or twice.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CapMarvel2Captain Marvel is part of the first series of the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. She’s listed under the name “Maidens of Might,” a title she shares with Scarlet Witch. I can’t say it’s the best name; in fact it kinda feels like it’s down playing both characters. Carol’s a colonel in the air force for God’s sake! “Maiden” seems just a tad below her, especially when the character only recently got away from being saddled with Ms. Marvel. Ultimately, it’s a minor issue, but still. The figure is about 6 inches tall and she features 27 points of articulation. This is Carol’s second Marvel Legends Infinite Series figure, and her third ML figure overall. However, it’s the first figure to depict Carol as Captain Marvel, the title she inherited a few years ago. From the neck down, Captain Marvel’s sculpt is a re-use of the Moonstone body. It’s one Hasbro’s best base body’s and it’s very nicely sculpted and pretty well proportioned (odd abdominal cut aside). It’s also the same body used for the three-pack Ms. Marvel, so it’s good for consistency’s sake. The figure features a new head and an add-on for her sash, which is different from the one on Ms. Marvel. The default head depicts Captain Marvel sans helmet with windswept hair. Windswept hair doesn’t always work, but with the shorter hair it actually looks okay. The paint on Captain Marvel is decent, if maybe not perfect. The biggest issue is the face. My figure has a chunk of her left eyebrow missing, and her eyes are a little wonky. Other than that, the line work is nice and clean, and the colors are pretty great matches for those in the comics. Captain Marvel includes an extra helmeted head, an energy blast attachment, and the head, cape, and axe of Future Thor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Machine Man, Captain Marvel was purchased for me by my Dad, from Walmart of all places. I think Captain Marvel’s probably the figure I overlooked the most, and that’s too bad, because she’s a really good figure. The new costume is pretty great, and it’s awesome to see it get a figure.

#0414: Ms. Marvel, Captain America, & Radioactive Man

MS. MARVEL, CAPTAIN AMERICA, & RADIOACTIVE MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

MsMarvelCap&RM1

Okay, last day of Marvel Legends reviews this round. But, we’re going out with a bang. Not one, not two, but THREE (count ‘em THREE!) figures this time. Target is doing something of a push for more business in their action figure department, so they’ve just started carrying exclusive sets from Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Infinite Series and Star Wars: the Black Series lines, as well as Playmates’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line. I just got the Marvel set, so let’s see how that turned out.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ms. Marvel, Captain America, and Radioactive Man are part of the exclusive Marvel Legends Infinite Series three-pack currently for sale at Target. Radioactive Man was previously slated for a regular release in the Marvel Legends line before the move to the Infinite Series branding, but he ended up getting cancelled. It’s nice to see him find a place here.

MS. MARVEL

MsMarvelCap&RM2“When her human DNA fused with that of the mighty Kree warrior Mar-Vell, Carol Danvers became the superhuman Ms. Marvel.This is the star attraction of the set for a lot of people. It’s understandable, given that the character hasn’t seen a figure in this scale since way back in the Toybiz days. That’s a pretty dated figure, and near impossible to find, at that, so a new figure is a great move. The figure is about 6 inches tall and she features 29 points of articulation. She’s depicted here in her second costume, designed by the late Dave Cockrum. It’s generally the design she’s most associated with, and it’s probably one of the better ones. Ms. Marvel’s sculpt is head-to-toe identical to that of the Moonstone figure from the Thunderbolts boxed set. Generally, a complete re-use for a separate character doesn’t work out for the best, but Ms. Marvel and Moonstone have generally been rather similar in looks, so a little bit of paint is enough to make it work. It’s a pretty solid sculpt, with good proportions and movement. In addition to the Moonstone pieces, Ms. Marvel’s also been given a sash add-on, which actually does a nice job hiding the flatness of the lower torso. That was the only real issue with the original sculpt, so it makes the figure even better. The paintwork is, obviously, key on this figure, and for once Hasbro really made it work. Everything is really clean, and all the details are nice and sharp. The gold on the logo in particular looks really nice. About the only issue with the paint is the decision to have the exposed skin go up quite so high on the hips. If the costume came down a bit further, the articulation would be pretty well hidden, but as it is they look a bit unsightly. Ms. Marvel included no accessories, but apart from maybe an energy blast or something, there’s not much that would make sense.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MsMarvelCap&RM3“Science made Steve Rogers a super-soldier with extraordinary speed, agility, strength, and durability, but it’s his heart that makes him Captain America.Cap here is kind of the requisite heavy hitter of the set. It’s highly unlikely he’ll have much pull for the set’s intended audience, but he’s kind of unavoidable. The figure is about 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. He’s something of an amalgam of Cap’s various looks over the years. The strongest influence seems to be from the Ultimate universe version of the character, but the color palate is more classically inspired, and the painted on head wings are from the most recent incarnations of the costume. The end result is actually not bad. Like the design, the figure’s pieces are also something of an amalgam of previous figures. Most of the figure is re-used from the most recent Ultimate Cap (Which it should be noted took a lot of its parts from the ML Face-Off version of Punisher). The only pieces not from that figure are the right thigh, which is from the X-Men Marvel Legends Infinite Series Magneto, and the shoulder strap, which is from the ML Commander Rogers figure. The body is a little dated in comparison to some of the more recent stuff, but it’s not terrible. The add-on shoulder strap and belt pieces do a lot to mask some of the flaws, allowing it to serve as a decent mid-way point between the body like we saw on Carnage and the one used for Radioactive Man. I’m still not 100% sold on the head, but it could be worse. It’s just a bit too mean looking. The figure’s paint is pretty solid. Everything is pretty clean. I dig the boldness of the blue. The stars on the shoulders present a bit of an issue with posing, as moving the shoulders causes them to be a bit misaligned. Cap includes his mighty shield and an extra unmasked head. The shield is the same one we’ve seen a few times. It’s a good piece, plus it can be placed on his back, which is cool. The head is a re-use from Commander Rogers. It has a lot of the same issues as the regular head, but at least it matches.

RADIOACTIVE MAN

MsMarvelCap&RM4“A nuclear physicist with his eye on taking over the world, Dr. Chen Lu transformed himself into the walking atomic meltdown known as Radioactive Man. Not to be confused with the Simpsons character of the same name. Radioactive Man is probably one of the primary reasons for this set’s existence, since I imagine Hasbro didn’t want the sculpt going to waste. The figure is about 6 ½ inches tall and he features 32 points of articulation. He’s based on Radioactive Man’s classic appearance, which is one of my favorites, as goofy as it is. Radioactive Man’s a big guy, and as such he’s built on Hasbro’s new bulky body, which I believe was first used for Hyperion. It’s a pretty good body, especially for larger characters, although the neck might be just a tad too far back. Still, it’s well-proportioned and poses well. Not much else you can ask for. Radioactive Man’s also got a brand new head and an add-on piece for his, uh, skirt. The head is pretty decent, though Hasbro’s male heads are starting to look a bit repetitive. Too many similar features, I guess. The skirt piece is nice, though it can end up being a bit restricting in some poses. Radioactive Man’s paint is pretty decent, if a bit sparse. For the most part he’s molded in translucent green, which is definitely cool. The skirt and boots are molded in s darker, solid green, and the torso’s painted to match. The logo on the chest is clean, which is good. I would have liked it to be more of a yellow, but it looks fine. The only other details are his eyes, which are just simple white. Unfortunately, the left eye on mine is out of place, but it’s not too noticeable. Radioactive Man includes no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Unsurprising for a set that is exclusive to the store, I picked these three up from Target. My brother and I had gone to pick up Lego Batman 3 (which is awesome by the way), and I happened to find this set as well. As luck would have it, I had exactly the right amount of cash on hand to get both. Sure, I don’t really need another Captain America, but this one’s inoffensive and the other two more than make the purchase worth it. Plus, Radioactive Man. How can you say no to Radioactive Man? You just can’t!