#2091: Family Matters

MAGNETO, QUICKSILVER, & SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The parentage of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch has been quite a storytelling merry-go-round.  Originally just a pair of mutant siblings born to unnamed parents, they were eventually revealed to be the children of a Gypsy couple.  That couple then revealed they were actually the twins’ adoptive parents, and their real parents were the Golden Age heroes the Whizzer and Miss America.  That story stuck for a little bit, before the best known twist occurred, and X-Men foe Magneto was revealed to be their father.  That’s the story that stuck…well apart from a few years back when Marvel toyed with removing their connection to Magneto in the midst of their troubles with getting the X-characters’ media rights back from Fox.  It would seem they’ve decided to role back that decision, at least as far as other media is concerned.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Magneto, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch make up the “Family Matters” boxed set, an Amazon-exclusive Marvel Legends offering, coinciding with the “80 Years of Marvel” celebration.  The set was put up for order a few months ago, and just started shipping out two weeks ago.

MAGNETO

The biggest name in the set, and certainly the one with the most action figure coverage, Magneto actually has gotten two Legends releases since the line relaunched in the new packaging style.  The first was using old parts, and the second, while a solid figure, put Mags in a more recent, less classically-inspired costume.  This one goes for about as classic as you can get for Magneto, placing him with his early ’80s/’90s red and purple design.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Like the last figure, this Magneto is built on the Spider-UK body, which is honestly a fantastic choice for the character.  Beyond the base body, there actually aren’t any parts shared between the two figures.  This one gets a new set of forearms and boots, plus add-ons for his cape and belt, and is topped off with two brand-new head sculpts.  The forearms and boots fit right in with the pre-existing Spider-UK tooling, and give him all of the proper details he should have.  The cape is definitely one of Hasbro’s best, as it pretty much pitch-perfectly captures the way his cape is often drawn in the comics.  I really love how it sits over the shoulders.  The belt’s a pretty darn basic piece, but it works well enough for what it’s supposed to be doing.  The two heads are fairly similar, with the helmets in particular being the same sculpt.  I can appreciate that from a consistency stand-point.  Beneath the helmets is where the difference lies.  There’s a calmer, friendlier head, and an angrier, more power-crazed head.  Both are really nice, and work for the diverging takes on the character.  The helmet sits a little higher than I’d prefer on the calm head, but it’s not awful, and I don’t know which one will end up as my default.  Magneto’s paintwork is a definite step-up from the last figure.  It’s bright and eye-catching, and the application’s all very clean.  I really dig the glossy finish on the helmet, and the mix of metallic and flat finish on the purple sections.  Also, I dig that they used the same red and purple on this guy that they did for Onslaught, allowing for another head-swap option.  Magneto is packed with two pairs of hands (fists and open gesture), as well as a pair of energy effect pieces molded in a flecked purple plastic.

QUICKSILVER

Pietro Maximoff is the member of family who’s been absent from Legends for the longest period of time.  His first, and only, release was way back when Hasbro first took over in 2007, with no updates since then.  As the least prominent of the three, it’s not a huge shock, though it was a little surprising that he didn’t get any coverage around Age of Ultron.  Whatever the case, he’s here now, based on his classic blue and white attire.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Quicksilver is built on the ANAD 2099 body, which isn’t necessarily ideal.  I mean, it’s okay in theory, but not quite in practice.  I like this body’s posability, and general build, but the narrower shoulders compared to other bodies make scaling on the head a much more delicate art, and they just missed it with this guy.  His head’s just a tad too large for the body, which results in Quicksilver looking rather cartoony and goofy, at least in most poses.  Placed on something like the Bucky Cap body, it actually looks okay, so I wonder if they originally intended to build him that way.  I do like the head on its own; it captures that arrogance that only Pietro Maximoff can pull off, and the hair’s been translated in a pretty realistic, not super crazy fashion.  Quicksilver’s paint ends up as the weakest in the set, though that’s largely just my figure.  The base work is fine, and I particularly dig the slightly pearlescent finish on the boots and gloves.  However, my figure’s got some pretty serious slop on the lightning detailing on his front.  It’s pretty distracting, and hopefully this isn’t a widespread issue.  Pietro is packed with two pairs of hands in fists and flat-handed poses.

SCARLET WITCH

Wanda’s gotten some pretty good toy coverage recently, no doubt because of her breakaway success in the movies.  We haven’t gotten a comics-based release of her since the Allfather Series in 2015, and I actually liked that figure a lot.  Apart from some minor issues, I really wouldn’t have expected another release.  The theme of the set kind of begs for her inclusion, though, and a more modern variant wouln’t really fit with the other two.  Hasbro took advantage of this opportunity to give us a proper ’80s Scarlet Witch, rather than the slightly amalgamated design we got last time.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  The majority of the body, as well as the cape of this figure are the same parts used on the Maidens of Might release (though I erroneously referred to them as Moonstone and Emma Frost parts the first time I reviewed them), which is fine, since they were pretty good the first time around.  She swaps out the heeled feet for flat soled ones, fixing my main complaint about that figure, and also swaps out the forearms for Kitty Pryde‘s flared gloves.  It’s all topped off with a brand-new head, which is not only an immense improvement on the old Toy Biz monstrosity, it’s also one of the most attractive female heads that Hasbro’s produced for this line.  The details on the head are crisp and numerous, and I really like how they’ve worked in all of the layers between the hair, headpiece, and face.  Wanda’s paintwork is pretty solid.  At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it compared to the prior figure, since the two shades of the costume look rather close, and I didn’t know how the metallics would work out.  In person, I actually think it looks really nice, and I prefer it to the straight red and pink from before.  Additionally, there’s a lot of very nice small detail work on the face, especially on the eyes, just further accenting the already very strong sculpt.  Wanda is packed with the two energy effect pieces introduced with the Infinity War Scarlet Witch, which have the advantage of not being super over-used yet.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been waiting for a classic Magneto pretty much since the line relaunched, and as much as I liked last year’s figure, I knew I wanted this one as soon as he was shown off.  The other two were really just along for the ride when I jumped on the preorder as soon as it went up.  I sort of forgot about them, if I’m honest, and after dropping a lot of money on two new series of figures two weekends ago, the last thing I thought I needed was more Legends. Then I got notification that these shipped, and boom, three more.  Magneto’s awesome, no doubt.  Definitely the definitive take on the figure, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets singled out for his own release later down the line.  Quicksilver is the real weak link of the set for me.  The body choice doesn’t work, and the paint issues just make things worse.  He’s not awful, but he could be better.  The real surprise for me is the one figure in the set I didn’t think I needed at all: Scarlet Witch.  Not only is she just an unquestionably superior figure to the last comics release, she’s also just my favorite part of the set, no doubt.

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#1646: Vision & Scarlet Witch

VISION & SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Both empowered by the Mind Stone, Vision and Scarlet Witch are powerful forces in the throes of battle.”

Avengers: Infinity War is almost upon us, which is pretty darn exciting.  There’s a metric ton of product out there for it right now, including the largest movie compliment of Marvel Legends Hasbro’s done yet.  When Age of Ultron came out, the MCU-Legends were still on the slow rise at retail.  This meant that it was tricky enough just to get the core Avengers all represented, so there was certainly no space for the team’s new recruits from the movie.  Scarlet Witch found her way into the Civil War assortments, but poor Vision’s been up in the air for three years.  Can I get a “finally”?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

When is an exclusive not an exclusive?  When the company that paid for it goes out of business.  Yes, this pair was supposed to be the first of a large number of Toys R Us-exclusive Marvel Legends two-packs planned for this year.  Because of Infinity War’s release date, this set was already produced and some of it had made its way to TRU’s warehouses prior to their announcement of liquidation.  They’re keeping what they already had, but anything not already in their possession is going to be distributed through online retailers later this year.

VISION

Vision is very obviously this set’s star, and looks set to play quite a pivotal role in Infinity War, what with possessing one of the Infinity Stones and all.  His design has remained consistent through all three of his MCU appearances so far, so this figure has an easy time of picking an appropriate look.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Okay, so first minor complaint about the figure: his height.  Bettany is 6’3”.  On a strict 1:12 scale, the figure’s height is fine, but Legends hasn’t really ever been on a strict 1:12 scale.  Bettany is the same height as Chris Hemsworth, and while the Thor figures have a tendency to slightly over-state Hemsworth’s height, I feel Vision should be at least a little taller, so as to not be totally dwarfed by Thor.  Moving past that, it’s worth noting that this figure is sporting a brand-new sculpt.  I have a few minor nit-picks, mostly having to do with him seeming a bit too skinny.  That said, the overall quality is pretty top-notch.  The likeness on the head bears a decent resemblance to Bettany, and the texture work all throughout the body is definitely impressive.  He’s certainly on par with the recent kick of very strong MCU sculpts.  Even the cape has a nice flow about it, and captures the intricate nature of the design from the films.  Vision’s paintwork is pretty decent.  The metallic colors are fun, and he uses the same face printing technique as the others for his eyes.  His cape is a slight letdown; the semi-translucent effect is nice, but rather than fully detailing the back of the cape like in the movie, he’s just got several streaks of metallic pink going down the back.  It gets the general effect alright, but it does rob the sculpt of some of its impact.  Vision’s packed with two sets of hands.  The standard ones are in open gestures, which feel very true to the character, and there’s also a pair of fists.  You know, for punchin’.

SCARLET WITCH

Scarlet Witch’s design has only changed minimally since Civil War, so it follows that this figure is mostly just a retread of that one.  It’s the same exact sculpt, which is fine by me, since that sculpt was a favorite of mine.  It still holds up well two years after its release.  The figure gets a new paint scheme, detailing her lighter hair color from this film, as well as upgrading her to the new face printing tech, which has improved her likeness to an amazing level I didn’t realize was possible.  I thought the Civil War release was pretty solid at the time when it hit, but this release makes that one look kinda goofy.  This figure also ditches the effects pieces form the last version, and adds in a new set.  I thought the old effects pieces were by far the weak point of the last figure, so the new pieces are a very welcome addition.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been wanting Vision since 2015, so I was happy to hear he’d be getting a figure courtesy of Infinity War.  I was less happy to hear it would be a TRU exclusive, and even less so when they announced the impending closures.  I initially thought I might be missing this set, but then when Entertainment Earth put it up for pre-order, I planned to just wait to get it from them.  Then TRU started clearing out their warehouses, and I walked in one day to find a case of this set sitting on the shelf.  That was most definitely a pleasant surprise.  If only I’d had more experiences like that *before* they were going under.  Vision isn’t a perfect figure, but he’s a very, very good one, and an awesome addition to my collection.  Scarlet Witch takes a figure I already loved and makes it bafflingly better than it was before.  This is a fantastic set, and I hope everyone who wants one can get one.

#1450: Scarlet Witch & Vision

SCARLET WITCH & VISION – SUITED

MARVEL MINIMATES

Hey there FiQ-fans!  Rather than continuing the Voltron love with a Keith review, today I will instead be turning back to one of my old faithfuls, Marvel Minimates.  It’s been a fair while since I’ve looked at anything from this line, so let’s make up for that, and take a look see at Scarlet Witch and Vision!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Scarlet Witch and Vision were released in the summer of 2016 as a SDCC-exclusive two-pack.  Both figures are based (theoretically) on their appearances in Captain America: Civil War.

SCARLET WITCH

“A product of secret HYDRA experiments, Wanda Maximoff once believed the Avengers to be her enemies. However, after fighting beside them to protect her homeland in the battle of Sokovia, she realized that her one-time foes were in fact a force for good. As the Scarlet Witch, Wanda must learn to control her uncanny powers in order to aid humanity alongside her new allies.”

Wanda was the source of much contention when the Civil War ‘mates were first being unveiled.  Despite being a central figure in the film’s plot, she wasn’t available in any of the retail sets.  Fortunately, she turned up here.  Yaaaaaaaay.  The ‘mate sports her spiffy red jacketed look, which is certainly a nice design.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. She’s built on the standard ‘mate base body, with add-ons for her hair and the bottom segment of her jacket.  The hair is the same piece used for the AoU Scarlet Witch (which was itself a re-use from Series 50’s Songbird), which does at the very least sit a little better on this figure than it did the last one.  That’s a plus, I suppose.  The jacket appears to be new to this figure, and it looks decent enough.  I do wish the segment between the torso and the pelvis wasn’t quite as obvious, but that’s fairly minor.  The paintwork on Wanda is fairly solid work.  It’s all pretty clean and the line work is nice and sharp.  Once again, I do wish the center of the jacket piece were painted to match the two bits of torso on either side.  Also, I’m not sold on the likeness on the face, but it’s at least still a nice looking face.  Wanda includes a pair of spell-casting hands (borrowed from her comic book counterpart) and a clear display stand.

VISION – SUITED

“The Vision is a sentient artificial intelligence housed in a highly advanced synthetic body. Since joining the Avengers, Vision has endeavored to further understand humans and his place among them. Though he has yet to come to a definitive conclusion, Vision knows it is his responsibility to use his incredible powers to protect the world in which he now lives.”

There was already one Vision ‘mate from Civil War, which depicted him in his standard garb.  One of the cool things Civil War did was put Vision is civilian clothing, which made for rather an interesting visual.  This ‘mate captures that, but not in the most movie accurate way, strictly speaking.  See, in the movie, he’s wearing sweaters and khakis and stuff; kind of a Cary Grant sort of thing.  This ‘mate instead presents him in a fairly standard suit and tie, which we never see him wearing.  He was supposed to wear it during Peggy’s funeral, but his scenes there were cut, making this ‘mate largely irrelevant.  And it means we don’t get Vision in that sweet sweater get-up.  For shame.  Not really DST’s fault, though.  This ‘mate gets add-ons for his jacket and tie, which are the same ones that have been the standards since the Senate Hearing Tony from Iron Man 2.  Not a bad standard suit and tie.  The paint is mostly limited to the head, which is the exact same piece we saw on the TRU-exclusive Vision from earlier last year.  I preferred that one to the AoU release, and I do still really like it here.  Vision’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I meant to get these guys way sooner than I did.  I mean, I loved Civil War and everything, and I have a bunch of the ‘mates.  But then the shipments containing these guys and the Punisher/DD set were super delayed after SDCC, and they just fell under my radar.  My brother Christian ended up getting them for me over the summer, after he found them at GameStop for a sizable discount.  I like both of the ‘mates here, but I can’t really say either of them is incredibly exciting.  Vision’s not actually a design from the final film, and while Wanda’s new look is nice, she’s not so different from the last version.  Still, not a bad set.

#1140: Scarlet Witch

SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

scarletwitchcw2

As superhero movies have begun to feature larger and larger casts of colorful heroes and villains, sadly the toys that tie-in with those films have become smaller and smaller.  When it comes to the MCU, ever since the first Iron Man (which really only has like, what, four figures you really need to make?  And two of them are essentially the same sculpt), no movie has really gotten a full-lineup, especially not in the 6-inch scale most collectors prefer (Avengers did eventually get there, but only after a few years and additional movies).  Age of Ultron came pretty close, giving us the six basic Avengers and Ultron Prime, but the three newest additions to the team were sadly left out.  Hasbro’s put quite a lot of effort into getting as many figures as possible out of  Civil War, including Scarlet Witch, one of the characters who got left out of the larger Age of Ultron product.  I’ll be taking a look at her today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

scarletwitchcw4Scarlet Witch is the first figure in the Abomination series, which is the latest series of the Captain America-themed Marvel Legends.  She’s this series’ resident movie tie-in, and appears to be the last of the Civil War-based Legends, unless Hasbro pulls a surprise out of their sleeves, but that seems unlikely at this point.  The figure stands just under 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Scarlet Witch features an all-new sculpt, based on her Civil War design.  It’s my favorite of the three looks we’ve seen her in so far, so I’m pretty happy about the costume choice.  This figure may actually have one of my favorite MCU sculpts (really, only Panther is better, and his was reeeeeaaaaaally good).  There are a few small details that are a little off (the shoulders on the coat should really be a little more squared off, but that change probably has more to do with better range of motion than anything), but the overall figure is very accurate.  The head’s easily got one of the best likenesses of any of the MCU Legends; there are a few angles where it’s ever so slightly off, scarletwitchcw1but there’s really no denying that this is Elizabeth Olsen.  Also, I rarely talk about hands, but the hands on Wanda are pretty phenomenal; they’re perfectly posed to replicate her “spellcasting” look from the movies, and look awesome in a ton of different poses.  Hasbro’s been trending upwards in terms of paint application, and Scarlet Witch definitely benefits from this.   Slop and bleed over is minimal, and the colors match pretty well with the onscreen design. The face in particular is not only very clean, but also has degree of life to it, which a lot of the MCU figures haven’t quite gotten.  If there’s one downside to this figure, it’s the accessories.  She includes two effects pieces for her hands, which aren’t awful, but don’t really look much like how her powers manifest onscreen, and are just sort of a general step down compared to the effects pieces included with more recent figures.  She also includes the head of this series’ BAF, Abomination.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is a figure I’ve been waiting for since Hasbro first showed it off earlier this year.  I’ve yet to see this particular series turn up anywhere nearby, and on top of that, Wanda’s by far the most sought after in the set.  Her price online was pretty high for a while, but she finally came down to pretty much retail on Amazon, so I ordered her there.  I really like this figure a lot, and I’m very happy to be able to add her to my MCU collection.  Between her and Panther, I have high hopes for future MCU Legends.

scarletwitchcw5

#0975: Scarlet Witch

SCARLET WITCH

AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES (TOY BIZ)

ScarletWitchAR1

I’ve been tackling a lot of characters’ first action figures as of late. Oddly enough, it’s not really been an intentional choice, just sort of something that’s cropped up. Today, I’ll be looking at the first figure of one of the quintessential Avengers, the Scarlet Witch. Though she’s been with the team since the mid-60s, and was also a recurring character in the ‘90s Iron Man cartoon (she was actually the only member of Force Works not to get a figure from that show’s tie-in line), Scarlet Witch’s first figure wouldn’t be released until 1996, when the Avengers got their own dedicated series of figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ScarletWitchAR2Scarlet Witch was released in the first (and only) series of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, a line which was designed to roughly tie-in with the Heroes Return event. The figure stands about 5 ½ inches tall and she has 7 points of articulation. The articulation isn’t particularly useful, sadly. You can get a bit of decent posing out of the shoulders, but even then, the arms have a tendency to pop off if you move them too much. Also, did you catch that height? Yeah, at 5 ½ inches, this figure is 6-inch scale. While that’s a prevalent scale now, at the time of her release, it made her too tall to go with couple hundred 5-inch scale Marvel figures that Toy Biz had put out. The first Scarlet Witch figure ever made, and she was out of scale with just about every one of her teammates. That’s a bit frustrating. On the plus side, the sculpt actually isn’t horrid, especially when compared to Toy Biz’s next attempt. The head is probably the best part. The hair a little thick and hard to work with, but the face is still probably the most attractive take on the character in sculpted form. The rest of the body isn’t bad, but some of the proportions seem a little out of whack. Her waist is definitely too small, but her whole torso in general feels a bit tiny when compared to the arms.  To be fair, the slightly oversized nature of the arms is preferable to the stick arms many female figures are saddled with. I do wish they were a bit less tubular, but the gloves and hands are certainly nicely detailed. Originally, this figure also had a cloth cape, which my figure no longer has. It wasn’t anything especially impressive, though. The paintwork on this figure is pretty straightforward, but also pretty good overall. My only real complaint is the nose: like McFarlane’s Carol from Walking Dead, Wanda has painted nostrils, and she would definitely look much better if they had been left unpainted. Wanda was packed with two “magic orbs” and a hex bolt.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Scarlet Witch is yet another figure from the 15 figures I picked up at this year’s Balticon. Despite how much I liked the character, I never got one of these when it was new (I had actually been holding out for the United They Stand version, which didn’t even make it to the prototype stage…). While this isn’t a perfect figure, it’s certainly better than the one that followed, and it was the best Scarlet Witch figure available for over a decade. Which is honestly kinda sad, but there it is.

#0890: Captain America & Scarlet Witch

CAPTAIN AMERICA & SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL MINIMATES

Cap&ScarletWitch1

When Minimates first started out, getting just one Avenger was a pretty big deal.  It’s less of a big deal now, especially when it comes to heavy hitters like Captain America and Iron Man.  That said, it’s still kind of cool to get those slightly less well-known Avengers, like Scarlet Witch.  Although, it’s hard to imagine Scarlet Witch being quite as overlooked following her fantastic appearance in Age of Ultron and upcoming appearance in Captain America: Civil War.  Time will tell.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cap and Scarlet Witch were released as part of the 16th series of Toys R Us exclusive Marvel Minimates.  They were done to sort of tie-in with the release of the Marvel Now!-themed Series 51.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Cap&ScarletWitch2This figure is Cap’s 29th foray into the world of Minimates (although it’s only the 27th for Steve Rogers as Cap) and it showcases Cap’s redesign following the Marvel Now! relaunch.  The design still shares most of the pivotal details of Cap’s traditional costume, while also working in a few more movie-esque parts.  Cap makes use of add-on pieces for his helmet, gloves, and belt.  Each of these is a brand-new sculpt, and they are all quite well handled.  The helmet is a very adept recreation of the comics design, and it features etched in lines for the ‘A’ and the head wings.  The gloves are bulky, but not overly, and they offer a more intricate, stylized take on the character’s traditional flared gloves.  The left glove has a peg allowing it to be used with the shield, and it can be swapped out with a non-pegged hand for display sans-shield.  Lastly, the belt is a fairly straight forward piece, which does its job without being obtrusive.  Isn’t that what belts are for?  The painted detailing on Cap is really quite good.  Some of the white areas on the helmet miss their mark just a slight bit, but the detail work, specifically on the figure’s torso which features an intricate hexagonal design, is very sharp and brings a lot of dimension to the figure.  Also, even after all this time, I still marvel (heh) when Diamond gets the eye placement perfect on a figure.  The eyes here line up exactly with the painted face, and it just looks really cool.  For accessories, Cap includes the standard clear base, as well as his mighty shield, and a hairpiece that allows him to be displayed unmasked.

SCARLET WITCH

Cap&ScarletWitch3Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, hasn’t received anywhere near as many Minimates as the good Captain.  However, this was her third Minimate and it was even released in fairly close proximity to the second.  That’s not bad for a character most people hadn’t heard of before Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Like Cap, Wanda is presented here in her first Marvel Now! costume.  Unlike Cap, it moves a bit further away from the “classic” design.  YMMV on how well that works out, but there were far worse redesigns during Now!  Wanda has additional sculpted pieces for her hair/headpiece and the bottom of her jacket.  These are new to the figure.  The headpiece is similar to the two prior Wandas, but it sits a little lower, and the hair is a little fuller.  It makes for a good rendering of John Cassidy’s illustrations of the character in Uncanny Avengers, which I feel certain is what they were going for.  The bottom/skirt of her jacket is similar to Cap’s belt; it’s not the most thrilling piece ever, but it does what it’s supposed to.  It’s nice that it has a more organic shape and flow to it than a lot of skirt pieces, so there’s that going for it.  Wanda’s paint is mostly a mix of reds, befitting a character named the Scarlet Witch.  The metallic red of the head piece certainly pops, although there’s a fair bit of bleed over from her hair, made more noticeable by the aforementioned popping of the metallic red.  Aside from that, the paintwork is relatively clean.  The detailing on the torso block is fairly sharp and does a fairly nice job of giving her a more feminine figure.  Wanda is accessorized with a clear display stand and a pair of spell-casting hands, which were first introduced on the AvX Scarlet Witch.  They were cool there and they’re cool here.  They’re a great representation of her powers as they are usually depicted in the comics, and they make the figure stand out a bit more on the shelf.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got these two from TRU’s online store.  Things actually went pretty smoothly that time.  Generally, I overlook variants of A-listers, and I wasn’t super thrilled then Cap’s Now! redesign was unveiled, but I find myself very impressed with the quality of this figure.  He reminds quite a lot of the original Wave 5 Cap, and that’s a very good thing.  Wanda is one of my favorite Avengers, so I’m always happy to see her turn up in the various Marvel toylines.  The Now! look isn’t my favorite, but it’s unique and it is certainly a valid choice for a figure.  Being released in close proximity to a more classically inspired Wanda, this one comes across as a little less exciting.  Still, it’s a solid Minimate and a decent version of the character.

#0712: Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver

SCARLET WITCH & QUICKSILVER

MARVEL MINIMATES

SW&QSMM1

Oh wow, more Minimates! What a shocker, right? So, yeah, today I’m jumping a little ways back into Marvel Minimates (which just released its 63rd Series not too long ago) and looking at two characters that are certainly a lot more prominent now than they were when this particular set was released: Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair was released in Series 16 of the Marvel Minimates line. Series 16 was an Avengers-themed series (not the first, but a close second), and was notable for being entirely made up characters that were new to the Minimate form, these two included. It was also the first comic-based series to feature new tooling, following the complete reliance on re-used parts by Series 10-13.

SCARLET WITCH

SW&QS2Wanda was arguably the second most important Avenger to debut in this series (after Thor). She’s presented here in her classic costume. She stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation, though the neck movement is definitely limited by the combination of the hair and the cape. Speaking of the hair and cape, both of these were new to this figure. While they don’t have the level of detail that the more modern sculpts do, they’re both good for the time, and they fit in pretty well with other ‘mates from before this series. The details are a little softer than I’d like, but it’s mostly forgivable. The rest of the figure’s look relies on paint, which is handled decently enough, but not amazingly. Mostly it’s just basic color work, which looks fine. There’s some nicer line work on the torso, which sets her apart from some of the preceding Minimates. The weakest part is definitely the face, which just doesn’t look like Scarlet Witch. I can’t say exactly why, but it doesn’t feel like the character at all. Scarlet Witch was packed with a little spellcasting piece, which is the same as the “Chi energy” piece from Iron Fist. It’s not a lot, but it’s on par with other sets from the time.

QUICKSILVER

SW&QS3So, he’s not as important to the Avengers, but Pietro’s still a character with quite a history at Marvel, meaning his inclusion here was nice to see. Like Wanda, he was presented in his classic look, which is actually his second costume (his first was green). He too is built on the standard Minimate body, but his articulation is left totally un-hindered. Quicksilver’s lone add-on piece is his hair, which is actually a re-use from the Series 3 Ultimate Wolverine. It’s certainly not a perfect match for Pietro’s distinctive ‘do, but, like the more recent Quicksilver ‘mate, this piece works in a pinch. It would be nice for a future ‘mate to give the poor guy his own hairpiece, though. The paint work on Quicksilver is pretty decent, if a bit basic. The blue used here is just a bit too turquoise for my taste, but it’s not too far off. He’s also missing the black shorts that this costume was usually depicted with, but they weren’t always there in the comics, so I guess it’s alright. If there’s one leg up this guy has on his successor, it’s his face. It’s still not perfect (those eyes are a little big), but it looks pretty good overall. Quicksilver included no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Series 16 holds the notoriety of being the first series of Marvel Minimates of which I was actively awaiting the arrival. I really like me some classic Avengers, and they were originally supposed to be released on my birthday of that year. Unfortunately, the series got pushed back a month, but my Dad was still nice enough to buy them for me when they were finally released. These two may not have aged the best, but they were my only versions of the characters for a while, which gives them a special place in my collection.

#0683: Scarlet Witch

SCARLET WITCH

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

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It’s September and I’m still making my way through the Age of Ultron toys from the beginning of the summer. It’s not like I’m just now getting these figures or anything, I’ve just had a ton of stuff to review over the summer. Anyway, I’m finally getting around to reviewing these guys, so yay. Let’s take a look at yet another of one of the film’s breakout characters, Scarlet Witch.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ScarletWitchAoU2Scarlet Witch was released in the second series of Avengers: Age of Ultron 3 ¾ inch figures. As such, she stands roughly 3 ¾ inches tall and she has 5 points of articulation. The lowered articulation on these guys still really sucks, but I guess it’s consistent. Wanda has a unique sculpt, but it’s similar in a lot of ways to her smaller figure from the 2 ½ inch line, at the very least in terms of pose. Given the larger scale, the sculpt is understandably more detailed. Her clothing in particular is a fair bit more textured, which adds a nice touch of realism. The larger scale has also allowed for slightly better proportions on the figure, as well as a better likeness of Elizabeth Olsen. In general, this is probably one of the best sculpts the 3 ¾ inch line has produced, which makes the reduced articulation a little easier to swallow. The paintwork on Scarlet Witch is passable, but nothing amazing. She’s got the most basic colors, without much variation, which is true to the rest of the line. At the very least, it’s pretty cleanly applied, with no real slop or bleed over. So, that’s good. Scarlet Witch is packed with a pair of spellcasting effects, which are the same pieces as the ones included with the recent ML Infinite Series Scarlet Witch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After giving the first 3 ¾ inch Scarlet Witch I found to my Dad, I was finally able to find one for myself a few weeks later. It seems more cases of this set have started hitting, so Scarlet Witch is a lot easier to find. That’s good, because she’s one of the better figures the line has had to offer.

Looks like it was a shorter review than usual! Not a whole lot of new stuff to say!

#0640: Scarlet Witch (w/ Sub-Ultron 008)

SCARLET WITCH (W/ SUB-ULTRON 008)

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTON

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Well, Age of Ultron has come and gone. As of last week, it’s officially no longer the hot new Marvel movie. That said, some of the tie-in product is still making its way into stores, or, in most cases, sales on more desired stuff have slowed enough that the average consumer can actually find them. That’s where I come in! Yay! Scarlet Witch was definitely one of the film’s breakout characters, so her (admittedly under-packed ) figures have been difficult to find for some time. But I got one!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ScarWitSubUlt2Scarlet Witch (along with Sub-Ultron 008) was released as part of the second round of Avengers: Age of Ultron Avengers Vs. Sub-Ultron sets. The figure stands 2 ½ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. She’s based on the character’s appearance in the big, climactic battle from the film. Seeing as this is when she actually joins up with the Avengers, it’s a sensible choice, and it’s the look we’ve seen on all of the merchandise so far. Scarlet Witch features a unique sculpt, which is pretty good, especially given the scale. There are a few minor issues; the neck is a little too long, and the hips feel a little detached from the torso. However, the head bears more than a passing resemblance to Elizabeth Olsen and the clothes are quite well detailed. It’s also nice to see the hands in a position other than the overly large, generic gripping pose that all of the GOTG figures had. The paintwork is simple and straightforward, but it’s cleanly handled and looks good overall. Scarlet Witch is packed with a pair of hex attachments. They’re a different mold from the ones used for the recent Marvel Legends and 3 ¾ scale figures; I guess that mold was too big. The solid red isn’t as nice as the translucent color of prior figures, but it’s serviceable. What’s that? Does she come with something else? Oh, right, that Sub-Ultron thing. Yeah, she’s packed with that. It has to be an accessory, because I really can’t count it as its own figure. There’s one of these things with every figure in this set. This one’s motorcycle-based; it first showed up, molded in blue instead of red, packed with Hulk. It’s okay, I guess. The Ultron portion is on the boxy side. The arms look to be cannons, and they sort of move at the shoulders. The cycle bit is just a solid hunk of plastic; the wheels are totally stationary.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

No exciting story here. I ended up finding this while at my nearest Walmart. There it is. There’s a clear focus for this set, and it’s Scarlet Witch. She’s a cool figure, and is definitely worth a purchase. The Sub-Ultron…ehhh. It’s not like it’s bad, but it doesn’t really offer a whole lot of fun.

#0565: Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch

QUICKSILVER & SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Let me kick things off here by saying that Avengers: Age of Ultron was a really, really, really, really, really good movie. Just fantastic. If you haven’t seen it, you should do so. I’ve seen it three times and I still feel like I should see it a few more.

As a Marvel Studios movie, it is of course entitled to the usual tie-ins, specifically Marvel Minimates, one of my favorite lines. The first round of them hit just before the film’s release, so I’ll be taking a look at them over the next few days. Let’s kick things off with newcomers Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are the Toys R Us Exclusive two-pack from the first assortment of Avengers: Age of Ultron-based Marvel Minimates. They were released to coincide with Series 61 of the main line.

QUICKSILVER

QS&SWAoU2Quicksilver gets to go first because he’s technically 2 minutes older. Also fast. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of unimpeded articulation. He’s based on the character’s appearance in the film’s big climactic battle scene at the end. It’s a good choice, given that it’s the look that sees the most action. Pietro is built on the standard Minimate body, with an add-on piece for his hair. The hair was previously used on Series 58’s Young Magneto figure. Father and son sharing the same hair piece really appeals to the comic nerd in me. The hair piece is a pretty decent approximation of what his hair looks like in the movie, so it was well chosen. The rest of the design is handled via paint. There’s some good, some bad, and some just plain annoying on that front. The good is that the face features an excellent Aaron Taylor-Johnson likeness and the detailing on the torso and upper legs does a fantastic job of evoking the costume details from the movie. The annoying is that the patterns on his arms don’t line up quite right, resulting in some colors being too thin and some lines being much more jagged than they ought to be. The bad is that the brown detailing of the lower portion of his hair has been missed entirely. This leaves his hair a stark white, which isn’t accurate to his depiction in the film and also looks rather bland. As a whole he isn’t a bad looking figure, but he could be better. Quicksilver includes a dust cloud base to simulate running, as well as a more conventional clear display stand.

SCARLET WITCH

QS&SWAoU3Quicksilver may have been first, but Scarlet Witch is definitely my favorite of the twins, both in the comics and the movie. This marks the fourth time that Wanda has graced the Minimate form, beating Pietro by one. Like her brother she is about 2 ½ inches tall and she sports 14 points of articulation. The articulation here is a little more impeded than it was with Quicksilver; the hair and skirt both do their share of restricting. Scarlet Witch is also based on her final battle look, I’d gather for much the same reasons as Quicksilver. She uses the basic body, with add-ons for her hair, jacket, and skirt. All of the add-ons are re-used. The hair is from Series 50’s Songbird, the jacket is from Knight Rider’s Michael Knight, and the skirt is just one of the generic skirt pieces. They add up to a pretty decent approximation of Wanda’s film appearance. The only piece I’m not 100% sold on is the hair, just due to how it sits, but it isn’t bad. Wanda’s paintwork is actually quite good. I can definitely see Elizabeth Olsen’s likeness on the face and the outfit features plenty of great detail work. She’s even got little gold rings on her hands, which is an easily overlooked detail. Wanda’s only accessory (unless you count her brother) is a clear display stand. She feels kinda light without any extras. Something to illustrate her powers, such an energy piece for her hand or an extra head with red eyes, would have been a very welcome addition to the figure. Oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Oh boy, the story of getting these guys. Well, my local Toys R Us sold out of this set before I got there. So, I had to resort to ordering via TRU’s online store, which is really never a fun experience. The item shipped, and I got my tracking information. Like any good collector, I religiously watched the tracking, waiting to see when it would arrive. The item was marked “Out For Delivery” a whole two days before the expected delivery. Cool, I was gonna get it early. But, then it didn’t arrive that day. Or the next. Or the one after that. Another day passed and I finally called my local postal service about it. I was informed that someone would look into it, and I’d get a call back shortly. The next day, after not hearing back, I actually drove to the post office to check on things. I was informed that it was on a truck somewhere and I should come back the next morning before business hours. So, the next morning, I got there before business hours. And no one was there. So, I called them from outside the building and had a long, rather uninformative chat with someone in the back. They told me to go home and wait. Finally, these guys actually arrived, a week after going “Out For Delivery.” Yay, I guess. Anyway, I have them now. To be honest, they aren’t the most thrilling Minimates, but I like them well enough, and I’m damn sure going to enjoy them after all the stress of actually getting them.

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