#1987: Nick Fury & Ronan

NICK FURY & RONAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

When it comes to Minimates, specifically the two-pack driven lines, there are bound to be some slightly oddball pairings.  The prior two sets for Captain Marvel made a lot of sense.  Today’s set?  Well, the two characters contained within it not only never meet, there never even on the same planet at the same time.  And yet, here we are.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Nick Fury and Ronan are the third set in the Walgreens-exclusive assortment of Captain Marvel-themed Marvel Minimates.  It’s worth noting that both characters in this set have had MCU-based ‘mates before, for what it’s worth.

NICK FURY

Though his name may not be in the title, Nick Fury is still an undisputed star in Captain Marvel, with his largest MCU role to date.  We get to see quite a different side of the character, and start to see where the Fury we met back in Iron Man came from.  Like the Legends release, this figure goes for his men-in-black style suit, which, while not his main look for the movie, is a fairly distinctive one.  The figure makes use of three add-on pieces for the hair, jacket, and tie.  All three are re-used from many prior figures.  They’re pretty basic, but then, so was his look.  The rest of the work is handled via paint.  My figure has one major flaw; a splotch of missing paint on his cheek.  Apart from that, I guess things are pretty decent.  The face doesn’t have much of a likeness of SLJ, but it doesn’t look unlike him.  I do particularly like the pattern on the tie.  That’s a fun touch.  Fury is packed with a handgun, a spare set of white arms, a shoulder holster, and a clear display stand.

RONAN

Unlike Fury, the movie doesn’t really give us any more backstory on Ronan prior to our introduction to him Guardians.  Pretty much, Ronan’s still just kind of Ronan, for better or for worse.  On the plus side, the film uses Ronan’s affiliation with the Kree Empire to give him his more traditional color scheme from the comics.  The figure uses two add-on pieces: one for his head piece, and one for his skirt.  They’re the same pieces used for the prior MCU Ronan figure, which is sensible enough, since, design wise, they’re pretty much the same.  The new paint job is a lot greener, as expected of this variation of the design.  Like yesterday’s Korath figure, Ronan’s green isn’t metallic like the first two Kree uniforms were.  Of course, since Ronan’s from a different group, I guess it’s not quite as odd for him.  Beyond that, there’s a lot of nice detailing going on.  Ronan is packed with his signature hammer (with it’s head on the proper way this time) and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this pair at the same time as the rest of the assortment.  Nick’s an important player, and the two distinct looks help him.  Ronan may be a much more minor character in the film, but he’s a nice, distinctive design, with a lot more pop than his prior Guardians release.

Advertisements

#1964: Nick Fury

NICK FURY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

In the years following the Cold War, Nick Fury wrestles with his sense of purpose within SHIELD.  When Nick crosses paths with Captain Marvel, they become Earth’s only hope of stopping a Skull invasion.”

Digital de-aging for movies sure has come a long way in the last few years.  It feels like just yesterday that it turned out really odd and rubbery versions of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen for the opening scene of the equally odd and rubbery X-Men 3, but now it’s advanced enough that we can have a major character de-aged for the whole runtime of a film, as is the case for Samuel L Jackson in the upcoming Captain Marvel.  And he doesn’t even look half bad!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nick Fury is first officially numbered figure in the Kree Sentry Series of Marvel Legends (since the basic Captain Marvel didn’t include a BaF piece), and is based upon his ’90s-era appearance from the film.  It would appear that SHIELD’s standard of dress hasn’t changed all that much since the ’90s, as he’s wearing the same Men in Black get-up we’ve been seeing since Iron Man.  Of course, that’s kind of a new look for Fury, who tends to aim more for the trench coats and the like.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. Despite how things may look at first glance, Fury is *not* just a new head on the Coulson body.  He makes use of some parts from it, to be sure, but the torso and legs are definitely new.  Similar to the originals, but new nevertheless.  They actually work a lot better with the pre-existing parts, and result in a figure with much better overall proportions.  Were it not for the loosened tie, I’d say I’d expect this body to be the new standard, though pulling back the jacket also reveals a shoulder holster that would make that a little difficult as well.  The holster’s definitely a fun touch, though, and even makes me a little sad that there isn’t a spare set of arms without the jacket sleeves.  Still, it’s cool that they through that little touch in there.  There’s also a new head, which sports the best Jackson likeness we’ve gotten from Hasbro’s Fury figures, which is kind of funny given it’s non-standard nature.  The paintwork on Fury is okay, apart from one notable exception, that being the collar-line of his shirt.  The paint mask is way too high, so the white bleeds onto his actual neck, which looks weird.  Other than that, he’s okay, I guess, though not terribly exciting perhaps.  Fury is packed with a fairly standard handgun, as well as Carol’s cat Goose in a possibly spoilerific-state, and the right arm of the Kree Sentry.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, this is a figure I was a little bit dreading when it was first shown off, since it looked like he was just going to be on that same suited body we keep getting.  Upon getting him in hand and realizing he was mostly new, I was a lot happier with this guy.  The weird paint mask thing is still a little annoying, and it’s a shame he couldn’t have come with a ’90s Coulson head to go on the old boxed set figure, but I ended up liking this guy quite a bit.

Nick was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and he’s still available here.  And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1906: Nick Fury

NICK FURY

MARVEL UNIVERSE 10-INCH (TOY BIZ)

“When a military robot from World War II is accidentally reactivated in the present, chaos sets in! Resuming its 50-year-old mission to destroy London, the robot begins smashing its way through the crowded city streets. Called in to stop the giant steel behemoth are Wolverine, Britain’s own Union Jack and Nick Fury agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.! With Fury using his advanced S.H.I.E.L.D. technology, Wolverine striking out with unbreakable adamantium claws and Union Jack relying on sheer cunning, the three heroes successfully neutralize the robot and leave it looking like scrap metal.”

For my fifth day of Post-Christmas reviews, I’m returning to a very comfortable ground, and looking back at one of my earliest collecting sources: Toy Biz’s run with the Marvel license.  While their 5-inch line was the real star of the ‘90s, running in tandem with it was a line of double-sized figures which proved pretty popular with the younger audience.  And in the ‘90s, the “younger audience” definitely included me.  Through creative parts re-use, Toy Biz racked up quite an impressive roster for the scale, and today I’m looking at Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nick was one of the larger scale Marvel Universe line’s 1998 offerings, hitting in an assortment that contained the Union Jack and a fairly standard Wolverine variant mentioned in the figure’s bio up there.  I’m always quite amused by this line’s way of creating a playable story from the seemingly off the wall character choices.  This one is admittedly one the most plausible of the ones I’ve found.  This figure stands 10 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  While Nick had a 5-inch figure with its own unique sculpt, this figure was released after the 10-inch line was almost entirely in repaint territory, so that sculpt was never actually sized up.  Instead, Nick is a repaint of the Spider-Man line’s Punisher.  I looked the the 5-inch release of that sculpt a little while back.  The designs of the two characters are similar enough that it’s really not much of a stretch I suppose.  It’s a nice enough sculpt, especially for its time of release, so there are no complaints there.  The larger version of the sculpt has the removable shoulder holster of the smaller figure permanently affixed, but this actually works out even better for Nick, since the shoulder piece is a pretty consistent element of his design.  The main change is the addition of his eye-patch, with is a soft-goods piece that’s been glued in place over his eye.  It’s a reasonable, cost effective way of handling the design change.  Nick’s paint gives him a more SHIELD appropriate color scheme of blue and white.  It ends up adding some details where there aren’t any on the sculpt, as well as overlooking some details that *are* on the sculpt, but that’s about par for the line.  The coolest work is definitely on his hair, which is actually a black base with the brown dry brushed over, giving it a neat layered appearance.  Pretty nifty!  Nick was originally packed with a rather larger gun piece, which my figure lacks.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Nick was a stocking stuffer from my parents, and what a stocking stuffer he was!  Obviously, I didn’t have this guy growing up.  In fact, I remember seeing him only one time as a kid, and not even at a regular retail store.  The nature of the line by the time Nick hit was really one of get as many different figures out as you can and don’t look back, so there are a large number of them whose existence is really only known to the people who happened upon them for the window the figures were available.  Nick was definitely one such figure.  The Punisher mold’s a good fit for the character, and is perhaps an even better mold than his 5-inch figure had.  While he’s certainly on the goofy side by today’s standards, Nick’s still a lot of fun.

#1016: Nick Fury

NICK FURY

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

NickFuryMLS1

Alright, let’s keep moving steadily through Giant-Man week. Today, we go back to the comics side of things with Nick Fury. Though the general public is familiar with Samuel L Jackson’s performance from the MCU movies, Fury spent the first 38 years of his existence as a middle-aged white guy (he was also once played by David Hasslehoff, but the less said about that, the better). The SLJ Fury has gotten a couple of Marvel Legends figures from Hasbro, but it’s been a fair while since we’ve seen a figure of the original Nick. Fortunately, Nick’s one of the figures in the latest round of Marvel Legends. On to the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

NickFuryMLS3Nick Fury is figure 5 in the Giant-Man Series of Marvel Legends. He’s the second of the three comic-based figures in the set. He’s a slightly odd choice, since Fury isn’t much of a player in either the comic or movie Civil War stories, but it’s not like Nick’s exactly an off-the-wall choice. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Fury is seen here in his classic SHIELD uniform. It’s a slightly more recent incarnation of the uniform (the color of the boots gives it away) but the changes are minimal enough that this Nick could really fit in just about anywhere. He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, which is a pretty good fit for the character. He’s got a new head, as well as add-ons for the shoulder holster, belt, glove cuffs, and thigh strap. This Fury’s head seems to go more for suave super-spy over the Toy Biz Fury’s grizzled old warrior. While I don’t mind it, and I think it may be one of Hasbro’s nicer unmasked heads, I can’t help but miss some of the character from that old sculpt. Comparing the two bodies is no contest, though: Bucky Cap is a huge improvement over the old Namor body, and all of the add-ons look really nice. It’s too bad we’re back to a permanently attached gun on the shoulder holster, but I won’t deny it looks better that way. The paintwork on Nick is all pretty solid. They’ve gone for the solid patch of grey method of handling his 5 o’clock shadow, but it doesn’t look atrocious on this figure. I quite like the SHIELD logos on the shoulders, and I really appreciate the accent work on the white parts of the uniform. Definitely some solid work from Hasbro here. Nick includes two spare heads. The first is a fully helmeted one, allowing for him to double as a generic SHIELD agent, which is much appreciated. The second (and more fun) head is Dirk Anger, Director of H.A.T.E., the Fury parody from Nextwave. Technically, Dirk should have a different uniform, but seeing as this is probably the only way he was ever going to make it into figure form, I’m hardly going to split hairs. Nick also includes a pistol (which can be holstered on his thigh) as well as the left arm of Giant-Man.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember what I said in my Red Guardian review about how finding these guys in stores was happening with increasing frequency? Well, it applies here. I was out with Super Awesome Girlfriend and Tim for my birthday, and we stopped by my local TRU, which had apparently just put out a case of the Giant-Man series. Super Awesome Girlfriend insisted on getting this one for me, so here he is. I can’t say a re-done Nick was high on my wants list, but this guy turned out pretty well. Add in the Dirk Anger head, and I’d definitely call this guy a winner!

NickFuryMLS2

#0752: Age of Ultron Minimates Boxed Set

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

MARVEL MINIMATES

AoUMatesBox1

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!

AoUMatesBox9

#0524: Agents of SHIELD

AGENT COULSON, NICK FURY, & MARIA HILL

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

AgentsOfShield1

After a few years of treading water and treating the line as second best, Hasbro has really turned things around with Marvel Legends. It seems the 6 inch scale is here to stay, and the 3 ¾ inch scale is on its way out (for Marvel, anyway). One of the things that helped Hasbro to build a successful line is partnering with big retail stores to offer exclusive figures, allowing them to up the number of characters released in a given year. So, let’s have a look at their latest exclusive set, the Agents of SHIELD set!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This three-pack, consisting of Agent Coulson, Nick Fury, and Maria Hill, was released exclusively through Toys R Us (and eBay!) just in the last few weeks. Though the set is named “Agents of SHIELD” it’s not really based on the show (although all three characters present here have been on the show). All three of these figures present the characters as they were seen in 2012’s Avengers. So, these guys might be just a little late to the party, but we’ll let them slide.

AGENT COULSON

AgentsofShield2Yes, his first name is very definitely Agent. Coulson is really the main draw of this set, for a few reasons. First off, there’s that whole “Son of Coul,” most popular character in the MCU thing he’s got going for him. I don’t think anyone would have guessed that was going to happen to the bit part guy from the first Iron Man movie, but holy crap did it ever. The second, more toy-geek centric thing is that Coulson is also the first character to make use of Hasbro’s new suit body, which lots of people are excited about. Anyway, the figure is about 6 inches tall and he’s got 30 points of articulation. That’s a lot of articulation for a guy in a suit, but, aside from his elbows being a touch low, it works out really well. Coulson’s sculpt is all-new from head to toe. The suit body is definitely a strong sculpt. With something like a suit, finding a good balance between movement and sculpt can be tricky, but Hasbro’s done admirably here. The articulation all flows with the sculpt, and the sculpt maintains a great level of detail. The suit has all the proper fold, creases and even the stitching you’d expect from the real deal. He’s even got a proper crease at the front of his legs; Coulson does not let his pants go un-ironed! The hands feature a great level of detail, and work well with the included accessory, so that’s great too. Coulson has two head sculpts included: with or without sunglasses. He comes wearing the “without” head, which has a pretty decent likeness of Clark Gregg. It’s just a tiny bit off, but how much of that is sculpt and how much is paint is hard to tell. The “with” head is the same as the “without,” but with the addition of the sunglasses. The head ends up being the stronger of the two, and the likeness looks pretty much spot-on. As far as paintwork goes, Coulson ends up being mostly straightforward; the suit is molded in black, the shirt is molded in white, and the hands and head are molded in flesh-tone. The paint is mostly on the face and tie. The tie is pretty nicely done, with nice, clean, straight lines. The sunglass-ed head is pretty decent, but the one without has some slightly wonky eyes and eyebrows. Coulson comes packed with the extra head and, best of all, the Destroyer gun, which fits perfectly in the figure’s hands.

NICK FURY

AgentsofShield4Fury here is kind of the requisite “re-issue” of the set, sort of filling the same slot as Cap in the Avengers set. We’ve essentially seen this figure twice before, although there are a few small differences here and there. The figure is just a little taller (though not as much taller as he should be) than Coulson and features 31 points of articulation. Fury makes use of Hasbro’s trench coat body, which was originally sculpted for the Ultimate Nick Fury several years ago. It’s an okay looking body, but the poseability isn’t really up to par, especially when compared to newer offerings. A basic standing pose is fairly attainable, but the biggest issue is easily the shoulders, which can’t get any closer to his sides than about a 45 degree angle. Fury specifically makes use of the Red Skull version of this particular body, which had newly tooled hands and lower legs. The new pieces end up being rather detrimental to Fury. The feet were designed to shorten the body, robbing him of the appropriate height, and the hands have been designed to fit the more meglomaniacal Skull. In particular, his left hand, which was sculpted to hold the Cosmic Cube, makes little sense for Fury. Topping it all off is the head sculpt, which appears to be the same piece used on the version of the character from the Walmart-exclusive First Avenger line. It’s a decent piece, with a good likeness of Samuel L Jackson, so that’s good. The figure’s paint is fairly basic, but good nonetheless. He’s mostly just molded in black plastic, with a few small silver and shiny black details here and there to keep things interesting. The head does have a slightly crazy eye thing going on, but it’s not as bad as some Hasbro figures. Fury includes two small handguns, deco-ed to look like the “night-night” guns from Agents of SHIELD.

MARIA HILL

AgentsofShield5The other new piece of this set is Maria Hill. Hill’s comic incarnation got a figure a few years back, but this is the first time Hasbro’s tackled the MCU version. Hill is just shy of 6 inches tall and she sports 26 points of articulation. Like Fury, Hill seems a little on the short side, due to parts re-use. Hill’s sculpt makes use of the legs and upper arms from last year’s Black Widow figure, along with an all-new head, torso, lower arms, and hands. I really liked the Widow figure, but I think that was a “whole is better than the sum of the parts” situation. The individual parts don’t hold up quite as well, and the legs in particular just don’t work quite as well here. The new pieces are okay, but not fantastic. The torso is probably the best. It’s nicely proportioned and decently textured. The head is okay, but it’s too large, and it has some very strange proportions when viewed from any angle but head-on. The likeness isn’t too bad, but it feels more like a caricature of Colby Smolders than a proper likeness. The hands end up being the worst piece of the sculpt. The right’s not bad, but the left is in a fist for some reason, and it’s not even a well-sculpted fist at that. The paintwork on Hill is probably the best of the lot. There’s actually a fair bit of detail and layering. The logos on the shoulders are nice an sharp, and the head manages to avoid any of the wonky eye issues. Hill includes no accessories, which is really annoying. Fury has two guns, so you can give her one of those if you want, but there really should have been enough of those to go around.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Well, feel free to take a guess as to where I acquired this Toys R Us exclusive set. Okay, I didn’t actually get this at a physical TRU location, I ordered it online. And I even had a pleasant experience. Shocking, isn’t it? I, like most people, bought this set for Coulson. For that purpose, the set lives up to expectations. Coulson is the star attraction here. He’s got the best pieces, the best likeness, and the best accessories. Fury ends up being the set’s weakest link, mostly due to the choice of body, and Hill falls somewhere in between the two, but probably closer to Fury than Coulson. All in all, it’s a decent set, and I can’t really ask for much more from Hasbro.

AgentsofShield3

#0130: Age of Ultron Minimates

CONQUEROR ULTRON, NICK FURY, IRON MAN, & ANGELA

MARVEL MINIMATES

 

I mentioned yesterday that I just got a new shipment of Minimates, so I’m gonna continue looking at those today.

I’ll be going back to old faithful, the Marvel line, this time looking at a boxset based on the recent Marvel crossover “Age of Ultron.”  I won’t go into my thoughts on “Age of Ultron” itself, because I’m trying not to go all nerd-rage-y too often.  Suffice to say, I did not care for it.  But, they made Minimates, and Minimates have the ability to make most things better, so I bought the set.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These guys were released late last year as a 4-pack centered around the aforementioned “Age of Ultron” story.  They’re all based on the looks of certain characters from the series.

CONQUEROR ULTRON

First up, it’s the title character, Ultron.  He’s not actually based on a look from the series itself, but rather from one of the variant covers to the series.  It’s a decent design, so I have no issues with them deciding to use it here.  Ultron is built on the basic body, but thanks to a new set of lower legs and a few other add-ons, he stands roughly 3 inches tall and features 24 points of articulation (The 6 arms really help him there).  Ultron has a buttload of sculpted pieces: head, upper arms, 3 different hand sculpts, torso, upper legs, and lower legs.  The upper arms and one of the sets of hands are shared with the Marvel Now! Iron Man that was released in the 16th Toys R Us wave, but everything is brand new to Ultron.  The amount of new pieces present is impressive.  I had assumed, due to the quantity of sculpted pieces, that Ultron would be a bit more lax on the painted details.  This is definitely not the case.  He’s got a detailed face, both on the Ultron head, and on the translucent red standard head underneath it.  Plus, he’s got full detailing on the torso under the sculpted piece, allowing you to display Ultron in a more classic two-armed state if you so desire.  Ultron’s only accessory is a display stand, which he can’t use due to the new foot sculpt.  I’m willing to be a bit forgiving on that front, given how many add-ons he features.

NICK FURY

Next, it’s Nick Fury, Agent of Shield.  What’s that you say?  He doesn’t look like Samuel L Jackson?  Yeah, this is classic Nick Fury, before the Ultimate Universe recast him in his more SLJ state.  Specifically, this is the look Fury was sporting during the crossover.  It looks to be a “business casual” style SHIELD uniform, with a polo shirt, combat boots and a tactical vest.  I still prefer the basic SHIELD uniform, but this doesn’t look to terrible, and I suppose it does add some variety to the SHIELD line-up.  Fury is built on the usual Minimate body, so he’s got the standard 14 points of articulation, and he stands around 2 ½ inches tall.  Fury features 6 sculpted pieces: hair, vest, gloves, belt, and a holster.  The hair and holster are definitely reused, with the hair hailing from the Tomb Raider line, and the holster first appearing on the Avengers Movie Maria Hill, Fury and Widow figures.  The belt and gloves might be reused, but I can’t say for sure.  The vest is a brand new piece, and it looks really cool, and has the jetpack previously seen on Hope Summers and the Heavy SHIELD Agent attached to it.  Apparently, the jetpack was supposed to be a removable piece, but a mix up at the factory led to it being glued to the vest.  It’s too bad it can’t be removed, but it doesn’t ruin the figure.  The paint detailing is pretty good.  All of the detail lines are nice and sharp, though he does have a fair bit of noticeable slop, particularly around the sleeves and on the hands.  But, the logos all look great, and he even has a fully detailed shirt under the vest.  Fury includes a large gun, a hand gun, a blast base for his jetpack, and a clear display stand.

IRON MAN

Next up, it’s the biggest name in the set, Iron Man.  He’s shown here in his slimmed down armor from the series, which also bears a resemblance to the armor he was sporting towards the end of Matt Fraction’s run on Iron Man.  He’s built on the usual body, so he’s got all the typical stats.  Iron Man is the most basic of the set, with only a single sculpted piece: his helmet.  I think the helmet is a reuse from the Marvel Now Iron Man from TRU wave 16.  Since he’s only got one sculpted piece, the figure mostly relies on paint.  Fortunately, the figure delivers on this front.  All of the paint work is nice and sharp, with none of the slop that was seen on Fury.  Iron Man’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

ANGELA

Last, and very much least in my opinion, it’s Angela.  Angela!  The big, highly kept secret from the end of the series!  Oh boy, I’m so glad that was a thing.  Yeah, I have, like, no interest whatsoever in this character.  But, since she was packed in a set with other figures I wanted, I got her anyway.  So, she’s built on the basic Minimate body, with all the usual stuff.  She’s got 5 sculpted add-ons: hair, one shoulder pad (because kids dig asymmetry!), two separate hand sculpts, and a belt with a sheath.  Near as I can tell, all of these are new pieces.  From a purely technical standpoint, all of its well-handled, with some pretty decent detailing.  The paint on the figure is neither the best nor the worst in the set, which is fine.  Angela includes a newly sculpted sword, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this set in a recent order from my favorite place to get Minimates, Luke’s Toy Store!  I really only bought this set for the Ultron and the Nick Fury, and after having the set in hand, I pretty much still only got the set for those two.  Ultron is, without a doubt, the star of this set.  I’d be hard pressed to find something I don’t like about that figure.  Fury isn’t quite as good as Ultron, which is due mostly to the sloppy paint that plagues him.  Still, he’s a nice update on the classic Nick Fury, who’s been in dire need of an update for a while now.  Iron Man’s actually not too bad.  I enjoy him more than I thought I would, and he really is well put together.  But, at the end of the day, he’s just another Iron Man variant that is gonna get tossed in a box.  Angela is Angela.  This set has in no way swayed me on the character.  I’m happy for those who wanted her, I guess, but she’s just not for me.