#2022: Thanos

THANOS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“I am inevitable.”

Heads up, there may be some mild spoilers for Avengers: Endgame in today’s review.  If you haven’t seen it, I’m not giving anything major away, but you’ve been warned just the same.

So, how about Endgame?  That was really something.  Captain Marvel gave it a nice lead-in, with all of the money it raked in, but Endgame‘s blowing away…pretty much everything, firmly marching its way to being the biggest movie ever.  But how was the movie, you know, as an actual movie?  Well, if you ask me, it was fantastic.  It was pretty much everything I wanted, and it was a wonderful cap to the previous 21 movies in the MCU.  I was very, very content with this finish.  Thanos is once again a central player in the story, but where Infinity War made Thanos a complex and intriguing figure, Endgame really ramps up his monstrous side.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thanos is the Build-A-Figure for the first Endgame-themed series of Marvel Legends.  Since he was also the first Build-A-Figure last year, it’s not a huge shock that he got this slot again for the follow-up.  When Thanos’ Infinity War appearance was first revealed, a lot of people were let-down a bit by its very stripped down nature.  While it grew on me after the movie had come and gone, I could definitely understand why some fans were bummed that we didn’t really get the Thanos that we’d been teased with since back in the first Avengers.  Endgame made it a definite point to use a fully armored up appearance, and this figure follows suit.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Apart from a lack of waist joint, and a slightly restricted set of shoulder joints, his articulation is pretty much comparable to his prior figure.  Thanos is sporting a mostly new sculpt with only his left hand and the slip-over for his forearm being reused.  This Thanos is just a little smaller than his unarmored appearance, at least in terms of bulk.  In terms of height, he’s actually a touch taller than the preceding figure.  The size change mostly comes into play with the torso, which is just not quite as broad across the shoulder as the prior figure.  Honestly, I’m not sure he’s really any less accurate than the prior figure, and to my eyes, his proportions actually seem a little more balanced this time, so I don’t mind it so much (it’s also nowhere near as pronounced a difference in person as it is in the photos).  Thanos’ sculpt is quite nicely rendered.  The armor appears to be accurate to what I’ve been able to find in way of reference for his film design, and the detailing is nice and crisp.  Under his helmet, there’s an angry grimace that matches the updated head from the Infinity War three-pack release, which seems to suit his more battle-ready appearance this time around.  The figure even manages to avoid the prior figure’s issue with popping apart easily after assembly, which is perhaps the biggest plus in my book.  Now, I do have one slight bone to pick with this figure when it comes to film accuracy, and that’s what’s going on with the left hand.  He’s sporting the Gauntlet, fully powered up and everything, which is…well, it’s just plain not accurate.  Thanos ditches his armor in Infinity War before gaining all of the stones, and by the time he’s armored up again in Endgame, he doesn’t have the Gauntlet in his possession.  In fact, keeping the Gauntlet away from him is a fairly major plot point.  What’s more, the original Gauntlet isn’t seen at all following the film’s opening minutes, so this isn’t the one he’s trying to get to anyway.  The point is, it’s really not accurate.  That being said, Thanos and the Gauntlet are definitely linked, so I can’t entirely fault Hasbro for wanting to include it.  I suppose perhaps the best case would be including an alternate forearm for him, but perhaps that was out of their price range.  Thanos’ paintwork is pretty good overall.  The skintone matches with the three-pack release (which was the more accurate of the two hues), and his face uses the printing style.  The armor is mostly rendered via molded plastic, but what paint is there is well-applied for the most part.  There’s a little slop on the arms, but it’s not as bad as some of the other figures in the series.  Thanos one-ups his prior figure by actually getting his own accessory.  It’s his double-bladed weapon…or at least an early version.  It’s not strictly screen accurate, but it gets the idea across, and it’s nice that it wasn’t left out entirely.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was a little disappointed with last year’s Thanos Build-A-Figure, and while the three-pack rerelease did a lot to salvage that sculpt, I was still happy to see him get another shot for Endgame.  The armored appearance is certainly more dynamic, and the resultant figure is generally a more solid release, and one that I’m actually pretty happy I assembled.

This set of figures kind of dropped on us quickly, so I didn’t have the same time to soak up the line-up that I’ve had previously, meaning I didn’t so much go into it with much by expectations.  I knew I wanted this Thanos, and I was right on that front, but, aside from the somewhat weak Living Laser figure, I really enjoyed this assortment as a whole.  Hercules tops off the singles as one of Hasbro’s best single releases, Nighthawk and Citizen V are good formula figures, Ronin and Ebony are strong film-accurate releases, and even Cap, in all his inaccurate glory is still a fun figure in his own right.  If you’re interested in getting a set of your own, all seven of the single figures are still in-stock at All Time Toys’ webstore.  And, as always, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out All Time’s website and their eBay storefront.

Advertisements

#1978: Thanos, Iron Man Mark L, & Doctor Strange

THANOS, IRON MAN MARK L, & DOCTOR STRANGE

MARVEL LEGENDS — MARVEL STUDIOS: THE FIRST TEN YEARS

Despite being the central piece of the Tenth Anniversary celebration for Marvel Studios, Avengers: Infinity War was initially absent from the dedicated line of MCU figures from Hasbro, due largely to the initial MCU line figures hitting at the same time as the initial Infinity War offerings.  It wasn’t completely left out though, coming in right at the end with a boxed set based on the film.  So, what thrilling new, untouched characters did we get?  Well, none, actually.  New looks?  Again, no.  So what’s the point?  I’ll get to that.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Infinity War set is item 10 in the Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sub-line of Marvel Legends, and contains Thanos, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange, meaning it’s a set entirely based on the battle on Titan.  All three figures in the set are slight reworkings of prior figures.

THANOS

As the central character of Infinity War, Thanos’ presence in this set is rather sensible, I suppose, though it is perhaps a little undercutting to the people that went to the trouble of actually building the Build-A-Figure.  This figure is a reworking of that one, reviewed here. As I noted the first time I reviewed it, it’s an okay sculpt overall, but not without its issues.  Fortunately for this figure, a couple of those problems have been addressed.  The figure comes pre-assembled, so the issues of falling apart don’t occur.  Additionally, his kind of gassy looking expression has been replaced with two different heads.  The first has a simple grimace, while the second has an angry teeth-baring expression.  Both are much better suited to Thanos than the one included to the BaF, and look like pitch-perfect recreation of his look from the movie.  Additionally, his gauntlet hand is a new piece; rather than the fist of the prior release, this Thanos’ hand is in an open gesture, which feels like a more classic Gauntlet pose.  I actually like this a lot more than I’d expected to, and it adds a lot to the figure’s posing options.  Lastly, the paint on Thanos has been changed, to better match the film.  The skin in particular is a lot nicer looking, being lighter, more lively, and flatter in its finish.  The rest of the paint is a bit brighter, slightly more contrasting, and just generally more exciting to look at.

IRON MAN MARK L

As cool as Iron Man’s armor was in Infinity War, none of the figures really captured the full extent of said coolness, his Legends release included.  This one doesn’t really fix that, but let’s see what it does.  He’s a re-working of the Thanos Series Iron Man, which is the same suit, so I guess it makes sense.  I actually liked that one a lot, despite it not being completely film accurate.  This one swaps out the torso for a new one, which loses the mid-torso joint, but in exchange gains a light-up feature on his arc reactor.  It’s gimmicky and somewhat restricting, but it’s still pretty fun.  This Iron Man includes the same accessories as his predecessor, extra hands and blast effect pieces.  No cool nano creations or anything, which is sad, but not a huge surprise.

DOCTOR STRANGE

Despite his decently sized role in the film, Doctor Strange was actually not featured in the Legends line-up for Infinity War.  As such, this figure goes back to Strange’s figure from his solo outing, reviewed here. This figure’s actually pretty substantially changed compared to the other two figures in the set, since the initial figure was based on early designs, rather than his final film look.  This one amends that, with a new head, cape, and right forearm.  The head sports a much better likeness of Cumberbatch, especially his disheveled self from the movies.  The new cape also captures the proper shaping of the movie much better, plus it actually pegs into his back this time, so it doesn’t shift all over the place like the original.  The new forearm has the Time Stone effect sculpted on it.  It’s a little warped on mine, but still looks pretty cool.  It’s not removable, and there’s no standard forearm to replace it, so you have no choice but to have him using it.  That’s really the only flaw against this figure.  Strange’s paintwork is also a bit different from the last release.  The most major change is the printed face, which certainly looks more lifelike.  He also changes up the overall color scheme of his costume, following Thanos’ lead by making the overall design brighter and more contrasting.  Doctor Strange is packed with a spare left hand, as well as another magic effects piece, which looks a little odd in conjunction to the Time Stone effect.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this set was unveiled, I will admit, I was quite underwhelmed, since I had the original releases of all three figures and all.  It didn’t really matter, though, since it never really showed up around me.  Or so I thought.  The set showed up at Super Awesome Fiancee’s store, and was actually there long enough to get decently clearanced. Being the ever-supporting Fiancee that she is, she of course bought it for me.  I knew going in the Strange was going to be my favorite, and that proved true.  I didn’t anticipate how much I was going to like the Thanos figure, who is just across the board an improvement to the BaF.  And, while Iron Man may not blow his predecessor away like the other two, I actually like the light-up feature a fair bit, so I’m happy enough to have him.

#1728: Infinity War Boxed Set

THANOS, IRON MAN, BLACK WIDOW, & WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL MINIMATES

“As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and us them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.”

Hey, did you guys know there was another Marvel movie released last weekend?  Well, let’s pretend there wasn’t, because I’m still making my way through the product from the one before that.  Avengers: Infinity War was a big movie, and by extension, it had a ton of merchandise.  As they have since the first Iron Man, Diamond Select Toys put out a few assortments of Minimates based on the film.  I’ll be looking at the main boxed set today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Thanos, Iron Man, Black Widow, and Winter Soldier make up the specialty-exclusive Infinity War boxed set.  This follows the trend that was set by Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther, where a movie gets a four-pack at comic book stores, and then two-packs at Walgreens and Toys R Us (Of course, it also ends the trend, what with TRU going under, but let’s not go there).  Thanos and Iron Man were also available in two-pack form through Walgreens and the would-have-been-Toys-R-Us-but-instead-became-another-specialty assortments.  This makes Black Widow and Winter Soldier the two specialty exclusives.  Admittedly, the packout here is a little strange.  Tony and Thanos make sense, but Widow and Bucky never interact with Tony at all, only really interact with Thanos via proxy, and don’t actually interact with *each other*.  What’s more, neither of them is particularly plot relevant.  Of course, we ended up with pretty much all of the major players anyway, so the packout isn’t so important, I guess.

THANOS

After all this time, we finally get an MCU Thanos Minimate!  It sure took its time, didn’t it?  This figure uses the same casual look as the Marvel Legend, which is sensible, since it’s his main look.  It’s perhaps not as exciting as other designs, but that’s hardly on DST.  He’s built on the usual body, with add-ons for his chest, pelvis, upper arms, hands, thighs, and boots.  His torso, upper arms, right hand, and thighs are all re-used; standard “large character” pieces.  The left hand, pelvis, and boots are all new pieces, detailing Thanos-specific parts.  While the skirt clashes a little bit with the more standard upper body, the boots are quite sharply detailed and true to the film.  The left hand is perhaps the most important piece, since it’s the Infinity Gauntlet.  Like all of the more recent larger figure hands (and unlike the corresponding right hand), it’s ambidextrous, should you wish to place it on someone’s right hand.  It actually seems a little small when compared to his non-gloved hand.  Thanos must have really needed help getting that thing on there!  Fortunately, it’s not overly noticeable if you get the posing right.  Thanos’s paintwork is about what you’d expect at this point from a Minimate.  The colors are pretty good matches for the movie, and the linework is all nice and crisp.  He’s sporting an angrier expression than a lot of the IW product.  It’s different, though I kind of wish we could have gotten an extra head with a different expression.  Thanos is packed with a spare left hand without the gauntlet, as well as a clear display stand.

IRON MAN

Iron Man is no stranger to Minimates, of course, especially not his MCU incarnation.  This figure replicates his nano-tech based Mark 50 armor from the movie, which is one of his coolest armors yet.  The ‘mate uses the usual construction, with a unique set of upper arms, as well as add-ons for his helmet and shoulders.  The helmet is just a basic slipcover mask, rather than a new sculpt.  However, given the sleekness of the design in the movie, this is a reasonable choice, and I certainly prefer it to another re-use of the Mk 42 helmet.  The new upper arms are also a huge improvement on the heavily restricted 42 arms.  Overall, decent basic construction. The paint is also pretty great, being a very bright, striking metallic red and gold.  The biggest flaw of this figure is the accessory compliment.  He’s got a flight stand and a hair piece for an unmasked look.  The armor in the movie could shift into all sorts of additional tools and weaponry, so the fact that none of this is replicated here is quite disappointing.  Sadly, this isn’t the only Mark 50 figure to have this issue.

BLACK WIDOW

Despite not yet having her own movie, Black Widow has made out pretty well in terms of Minimates.  In fact, her MCU version has actually made out a lot better than her comics counterpart.  This one, of course, presents her rather altered look from the movie.  The figure uses the same standard body as usual, with an add-on piece for her hair.  It appears to be new piece, and recreates her look from the movie well enough, though it seems a little more simplified than other recent pieces.  She also has a pair of holsters (the same holsters used by all of the Widow figures since Avengers)…with nothing to really go in them.  I’ll get to that in a second.  Widow’s paintwork is overall pretty decent, with the exception of her face, which, for some reason, looks nothing like Scarlet Johannsen.  They’ve gotten it down before, but this looks nothing like her.  So, onto those holsters with nothing inside of them.  Widow includes her staff in its fully assembled form, as well as the split form, and a handgun.  There are two holsters, so obviously the gun doesn’t go there.  Then there’s the split version of the staff, but each half is as long as her leg, and she definitely stores them on her back in the movie.  In the film, she has some sort of tasers stored in the holsters, at least going by the Marvel Legend.  So she’s just got the holsters and they just sort of remain empty.  I think it might have made more sense to just leave them out completely.

WINTER SOLDIER

Winter Soldier/Bucky has been fortunate enough to get a ‘mate from every movie he’s been featured in, and Infinity War is no exception.  His role is rather minimal truth be told, so I guess the fact that he’s relegated just to this boxed set is pretty sensible.  Bucky’s design for this film is a nice merging of prior designs, keeping the basic design of his first Winter Soldier look, and the more classically inspired color scheme of his First Avenger look.  It’s my favorite of his designs so far to be sure.  He uses the usual body, with add-ons for his hair, wrist guard, the bottom of his jacket, and knife sheath.  All of the pieces are re-used, but they match well with his design from the movie, so it’s hard to complain.  The rest of the work is paint.  They’ve had some trouble with Stan’s likeness on past figures, but this one seems to get it a bit closer.  Still not perfect, but at least he doesn’t have the goofy eyes that all of the others ended up with.  His uniform’s detailing is pretty sharp, and looks really bold.  Winter Soldier is packed with a submachine gun and a knife, as well as a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I kind of dragged my feet on this set, truth be told.  I don’t quite know why, but I had trouble getting too excited for it.  I ended up grabbing it from Luke’s Toy Store while picking up a few other items.  I’m of mixed feeling about it.  Thanos is decently handled, but a little bland.  Iron Man’s another Iron Man, and lacks any of what really makes this armor all that unique.  Black Widow’s got her confusingly implemented accessories, but is alright apart from that.  Winter Soldier’s simultaneously the least essential and yet the best figure in the set.

#1654: Thanos

THANOS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe. But this… does put a smile on my face.”

Thanos has arrived.  Maintaining my non-spoilery stance on discussing Infinity War, I will say this much:  it’s Thanos’s movie.  The other’s may reside in it, they may all have their moment, but the film as a whole undeniably belongs to the Mad Titan.  Josh Brolin, the Russo brothers,  Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely did the character a lot of justice, and he’s finally more than just a shallow, looming threat.  Also, he’s a Marvel Legend!  How ’bout that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thanos is the Build-A-Figure for the first Infinity War-themed series of Marvel Legends.  He’s undeniably the best choice for the slot, and it’s nice to finally get the MCU version of the character in Legends form.  He’s using Thanos’s casual look from the film, which I know kind of upset some people, since it’s not the armored look we’ve been seeing over the last several years.  That said, it’s unquestionably his main look from the movie, and in light of that, it would have been silly to do a different look.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Thanos is certainly a big one, towering over even the above-average Proxima Midnight.  It’s certainly appropriate to the movie, though.  He sports an all-new sculpt, patterned after the movie design.  It’s pretty decent.  The expression on the head is a little goofy; I get what they were going for with the slight smile, but he ends up looking more like he’s a bit gassy than content with his killing spree.  It’s far from awful, though, and the detail work on the wrinkles in his face is absolutely top-notch. The proportions of the body are pretty good, though his neck seems a little stubby.  Once again, the detailing and texture work is exceptional, especially in his tunic, and what’s left of his armor.  The gauntlet is sharply detailed, and matches up very nicely with the depictions of it on-screen.  One rather frustrating thing I noticed about Thanos when compared to earlier BaFs is how easily he pops back apart after assembly.  This is especially an issue with the arms, which frequently pop out during normal posing.  Obviously, this is a bit of a tricky area in terms of figures that don’t come pre-assembled, but Hasbro’s done better in the past.  Hopefully Thanos is just an aberration on that front.  Color-wise, Thanos isn’t the most thrilling figure, since his movie design is mostly dulled out variations of purple.  The figure captures the look pretty well.  It’s a lot of unpainted plastic, but what paint is there is mostly applied in a clean manner.  There’s a bit of slop on the edges of the Infinity Stones, but it’s pretty minor.  Thanos, being a Build-A-Figure, is an accessory himself, so he doesn’t include any of his own.  For the most part, he doesn’t feel too lacking, but I do think this figure would have really benefited from an extra head with a different expression, just to cover all of our bases.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, I put this guy together from the pieces included with all the figures in this series.  Going in, I think completing him was my main goal, but as I picked up the individual figures and as I slowly assembled Thanos, I started appreciating the individual figures a bit more.  I mean, this guy’s certainly not bad, and I’m happy to have finished him, but ultimately, he’s sort of middling.

#0535: Thanos

THANOS

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

ThanosML1

Hey, man, remember back in 2012 when Thanos showed up at the end of Avengers and nobody knew who he was (well, nobody who didn’t go in with a preexisting knowledge of the character). When I saw it, a guy in front of me totally went “Hey, look, it’s Hellboy!” and his friend was all like “No, you idiot, that’s Darkseid!” and I just sat back and laughed quietly to myself. Well, now a lot more people know who he is! Okay, a few more people. I checked with Super Awesome Girlfriend, and she recognized him, but couldn’t name him. Don’t know where that places the guy. Look, the point is that he’s sort of becoming a big deal, and he’s gonna be important in the next few years. So, perfect time for him to get a Marvel Legend!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ThanosML2Thanos here was the Build-A-Figure for the second series of Hasbro’s Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Interestingly enough, this is actually the very first figure of Thanos ever in the whole of Marvel Legends. For a line this long-running and all-encompassing, that’s a little surprising. The figure is about 7 ½ inches in height and he features 30 points of articulation. Before I delve too much into the figure, I should point out that the left calf on my figure is turned the wrong way around in all the pictures. This is apparently a rather common occurrence with this figure. It’s a super easy fix; all you have to do is spin it the right way around. I just didn’t notice until after. Sorry everybody! In a rare move, Thanos is head-to-toe a brand-new sculpt. He’s presented here in his latest look, which debuted during the Infinity cross-over event. It’s not a bad look, and it maintains a lot of the classic Thanos sensibilities. The only real downside is that it means he doesn’t get the Infinity Gauntlet. The sculpt is really solid work. The head is my favorite piece, by far. It’s a perfect translation of the character’s comic book appearance to three dimensions. The texturing on the skin is great and the head gear is sharply detailed. I know not everyone likes the grin, but for me it’s the perfect expression for the character. He is the “Mad Titan” after all, so an insane grin doesn’t seem too far-fetched. The body is appropriately structured to maintain Thanos’ solid, boxy look, without ending up too hulkingly huge. There’s also a fair bit of detailing present on the armor. He’s got plenty of etching and layering, all of which looks really great. If I had one complaint, it would probably be that the collar, as a separate piece, has a tendency to pop out of place a lot. Thanos’ paintwork is generally pretty solid. Once again, the head ends up being the best part. There’s a lot of variation in the purple on the face, the eyes have a great amount of depth, and the head gear is nice and clean. The rest of the body maintains the overall clean nature of the paint, with little, if any, slop or bleed over.  As a Build-A-Figure, Thanos himself is an accessory, so he doesn’t get any of his own, but given the level of quality present in the sculpt, that’s easily forgiven.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Thanos is the culmination of getting the entire second series of figures from the line from Amazon and Big Bad Toy Store. He was a big piece (heh!) of me getting the whole line-up of figures, so there was a lot riding on him to be a good figure. I’m happy to say that he’s far and away the best part of this series, and he’s definitely one of the best Build-A-Figure’s Marvel Legends has ever seen. Hasbro really knocked it out of the park on this one!

ThanosML3

#0429: Infinity Minimates

SPACE SUIT CAPTAIN AMERICA, ARMORED HULK, INFINITY THANOS, & THANE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Marvel Minimates is really just the line that keeps on giving. I have a pretty substantial back log of figures I already had before the site was started, so they were already going to show up a lot. However, they also provide new releases on a very regular basis. Which makes for even more frequent reviews. Yay.

Marvel Minimates is also one of the few Minimates lines to be fairly consistently supported by Toys R Us. TRU has carried 18 of their own exclusive series of the line. In addition, they’ve offered fans the opportunity to influence the line a bit with Fan’s Choice boxed sets based on certain events. Today, I’ll be looking at the most recent of those sets, based on last year’s Infinity cross-over. Full disclosure: I haven’t read any of Infinity, so I can’t really speak to any story specific stuff. I know the general gist of it, and I know who the one storyline specific figure in this set is.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were released as part of a Toys R Us exclusive four-pack. The line-up was chosen via a poll on Toys R Us’s website. There were two other figures, Ronan the Accuser and Space Suit Iron Man, who did not make the cut for this set, but will be appearing in the TRU Series 19.

SPACE SUIT CAPTAIN AMERICA

There have been a fair number of Captain America ‘mates, especially recently, but this is the first time he’s been space worthy. It’s also the third ‘mate based on Cap’s Marvel Now! appearance. Cap’s clearly the “safe” figure in this set, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he sports 14 points of articulation. He’s based on Cap’s space-faring look from Infinity, which I understand is the look he had for most of the story. It’s basically just a tweak on his regular Now! design and it looks pretty good. The figure makes use of the standard Minimate body, with non-standard upper arms and hands, as well as add-ons for his helmet and space-y web gear. The hands and helmet hail from the previous two Now! Caps, which is a sensible re-use. They’re well-sculpted pieces that are accurate to the source material, so it’s a win-win. The upper arms originally appeared on the Series 49 Mark 42. They aren’t quite as warranted as the hands and helmet, but they’re reasonable enough as a generic set of tech-y arms. The web gear is the only really new piece present. It’s well enough sculpted, and it seems to be pretty accurate to the source material. It’s not the most exciting piece, but it does its job. Cap’s paint work is pretty decent. For the most part, everything is clean, and the details are sharp. However, the paint on the helmet/head is applied in such a way that is impossible for me to get the helmet off his head, which is rather annoying. Cap includes his mighty shield and a hand wield said shield (both reused from the previous Now! figures), as well as a hair piece (also from the Now! Cap), and a clear display stand. The shield is a bit sloppy paint-wise, and the hair is ultimately not very useful due to the issues with the helmet.

ARMORED HULK

Hulk here is a bit less space-ready than the Cap figure. As the name implies, he’s just an armored version of the character. The figure is over 2 ½ inches tall, closer to the 3 inch mark, and he features 12 points of articulation. He’s based on the character’s Now! look. This is the second Minimate based on the look, but the first one was more armor-lite. This is what the character’s looked like for most of the Now! run. The figure is built on the basic Minimate body, with non-standard pieces for the hands and feet, as well as add-ons for the hair, torso, upper arms, waist, torso extender, and upper legs. The hair and upper arms first cropped up on the Series 41 Mega Rage Hulk, the feet first appeared on TRU’s Hulk as Nul, the hands are from the Hulk TTA Maestro, and the torso extender, waist cover, and upper legs are from the TRU 16 Now! Hulk. The chest piece is the only truly new part, however it’s nicely handled. The reused pieces are used a such a way that it wasn’t immediately obvious that the torso was the only new part, which is a sign of good re-use. The shift from sculpted detail lines on the armor on the torso and upper legs to painted on the feet is a little bit jarring at first, but it’s not too bad. Hulk’s paint alright, but it could be better. There’s some bleed over on the transitions from armor to skin, and there’s some pretty bad slop on the back of the figure’s head and torso. The figure also suffers from the same stuck pieces that plagued Cap, something that is a common theme in this set. Hulk includes a clear display stand.

INFINITY THANOS

Thanos here is probably the biggest draw of this set. This is the third version of Thanos in the Marvel Minimates line, but it’s been five years since his last figure. If you’re a faithful follower of my reviews, you’ll recall I didn’t think the last one was very good. Plus, he’s set to be a major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the next few years, so it’s really good timing. Thanos is the largest ‘mate in the set, coming in at just shy of 3 inches tall, and he has 12 points of articulation. He’s based on Thanos’s recent redesign from Infinity. It’s not far off from his original design, but there are a few differences in the execution of some of the details. Thanos uses the basic Minimate body as a starting point, with non-standard hands and feet, as well as add-ons for his helmet, torso, upper arms, waist, torso extender, and upper legs. The upper arms and legs are from the Series 41 Hulk, the extender is from the TRU 16 Hulk, and the waist cover is from a whole bunch of Minimates (I’m not sure who used it first). The helmet, torso cover, hands, and feet are new to Thanos, and they’re pretty good overall. The torso is probably the best piece. It has a lot of ornate detail work that looks really good. The hands and feet are decent, though they seem a little too rounded. The helmet is good in theory, but not quite in practice. It’s well sculpted, but it sits too low on the head, which obscures a lot of the details on the face. Thanos’s paintwork is pretty clean overall. There are a few spots with some bleed over, but most of it’s pretty sharp. The face in particular looks really good, and it definitely improves on the last one. Unfortunately, Thanos was not exempt from the stuck paint issues. His helmet was practically glued on when I got him and took quite a bit of effort to remove. Thanos includes a clear display stand. It would have been nice to get an Infinity Gauntlet that matched this figure, but since it wasn’t in the story, I can understand its absence here.

THANE

Hooo boy, Thane. This guy. So, Thane is the one new character in the set. He’s also new to the storyline, and he has a sort of important role, so I guess his inclusion makes sense. In case you were unaware, Thane is Thanos’s son and he’s half Inhuman, which sort of makes him a bit of a mess. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Thane is based on the character’s appearance post-Terrigen Mist exposure, which is notably Thanos-inspired. It’s an okay design, though not particularly thrilling. The figure is mostly a “vanilla ‘mate” with his only unique piece being his left hand. This piece is re-used from the DC Minimates Series 6 Cheetah figure. It’s a pretty standard clawed-hand, so that’s good. The rest of Thane’s detail is done with paint. For better or worse, Thane exhibits the best paintwork of the lot. The base colors are clean and even, the colors are pretty bold, and the detail lines are nice and sharp. Thane didn’t have any issues with stuck pieced due to paint, although that’s likely due to his lack of add-ons. The figure includes a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found this set while killing some time during one of my brother’s rehearsals. Obviously, I got it from Toys R Us, it being an exclusive and all. I did participate in the vote on this one, and three of the four I voted for are in the final set, so I guess that’s cool. Unfortunately, Ronan, the one I wanted the most, lost out to Thane, which is a bummer. Guess I’ll have to wait for TRU 19. All in all it’s a pretty good set. Cap and Hulk are fun variants and Thanos offers some nice improvements to the last one. Thane is good on a technical level, but sadly neither the character nor his design is particularly exciting.  But hey, three out of four ain’t bad!

#0162: The Infinity Gauntlet Minimates

ADAM WARLOCK, MEPHISTO, DRAX THE DESTROYER, & THANOS

MARVEL MINIMATES

InfinityGauntletBoxSet

Have you guys had enough of a break from Minimates? No? Well, this is a bit awkward… I’ve already got the review written. I guess we’ll just power through!

Today, I’ll once again be pulling a set from the Marvel Minimates line, the line that keeps going and going. It’s like the Energizer Bunny! This is a boxed set from a few years back, and it’s one of the few ventures into the cosmic side of Marvel. I imagine that might change thanks to August’s Guardians of the Galaxy film.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were released back in 2009 as part of boxed set based on the classic cross-over series The Infinity Gauntlet. It features Adam Warlock, Mephisto, Drax, and the main man himself Thanos in their looks from the series.

ADAM WARLOCK

Adam Warlock is an interesting character. He was created back in the 90s by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby while they were working on Fantastic Four, but there he was just known as “Him.” It wasn’t until 1972 that he would acquire his name in a story written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Gil Kane. The character really came into some popularity under the helm of Jim Starlin, who would go on to use him as a prominent character in The Infinity Gauntlet. He’s presented in his third costume, which also happened to be the first time he actually had pants. So, yay for pants, I suppose. He uses the standard Minimate body, so that means he has 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall. He has 2 sculpted pieces: his hair and his cape. These were both new pieces to this figure. The hair has only been used with this figure, but the cape was actually shared with pack mate Drax. Both pieces look accurate to the source material, and have lots of very cool finer details. The paint work on the figure is passable, but not great. The detail work, especially the face look great, but some of the basic paint apps are sloppy or fuzzy. The collar of his cape gets hit the worst by this, with some pretty bad over bleed from the red of the rest of the cape. Warlock’s one accessory is his Karmic Staff. It’s appropriately detailed, and looks like a staff should.

MEPHISTO

Mephisto is the Devil. No, seriously, Mephisto is the Marvel universe version of the Biblical Devil. That’s pretty much his whole deal. He serves as an advisor of sorts to Thanos during The Infinity Gauntlet. Mephisto’s had two looks in the comics and they’ve gone with the original, which was a good move. The other design was from the 90s, and no one wants to see that. Mephisto is on the standard body with 5 sculpted add-on pieces: hair, cape, belt, and clawed hands. The clawed hands originally were released on the X-Men Origins: Wolverine version of Sabretooth. The cape, hair, and belt were new pieces, with the cape later being reused on the classic version of Mandarin. The new pieces really have some expertly handled detail work, which is impressive to see on a Minimate. The paint work is clean and well detailed. The face in particular looks spot on to Starlin’s interpretation of the character. Mephisto includes no accessories.

DRAX THE DESTROYER

Drax the Destroyer is the character in this set that will probably be a bit better known once Guardians of the Galaxy is released. Simply put, he’s a guy who was killed by Thanos and placed in robot body without any of his memories. He’s green, and he seems to like the color purple. Drax is on the typical body, and has 7 sculpted add-ons: cowl, cape, bracelets, pelvis add-on, and boots. The cape is shared with Warlock, the bracelets were originally released on Ocean Master, and the pelvis piece and boots have been used on numerous figures. The cowl is a new piece, though it appears it might be a re-tool of the helmet used on one of the Classic Iron Man releases. So, he’s a bit of a mix-and-match of parts, but it works. The paint work on Drax is pretty good. He’s better than Warlock, though there is still a little bit of slop. He has a butt-load of detail lines, though. I do wish his belt detailing continued down just a bit further, so he didn’t have that small green patch there. Otherwise, he’s a great figure. Drax includes no accessories.

THANOS

Thanos is the most important character in the set, being the wielder of the titular item. He’s also likely to be a pretty big character in the coming years, thanks to his recent play as a main antagonist in the recent mini-series Infinity, and his appearance post credits at the end of 2012’s The Avengers. This guy’s going places! Thanos is on the usual body, with 6 sculpted add-ons: helmet, torso cover, gauntlets, and boots. The boots were originally used on several figures from DC Minimates. Everything else was unique to this figure. Everything has some great detail work. Thanos is one of the few Minimates to actually have 10 defined fingers. I’m still uncertain of this move, but DST wanted to get the gems of the Infinity Gauntlet to line up properly, so this is what they went with. I also feel like the “helmet” is far too bulky. Thanos was usually depicted has having a rather small head compared to the rest of him, and this piece makes him look a bit like a bobble head. The paint on this figure is easily the worst in the set. The muscles on his torso are set too far down, and every instance of gold is sloppy and uneven, which really makes the figure look pretty bad. The face actually turned out nicely, but gets lost amongst the missteps of the rest of the figure. Thanos includes no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like with so many of the Minimates I own, this set was purchased from my local comicbook store upon its release. I really like Drax, and Warlock is still good despite his sloppy paint. Mephisto is great for fans of that character, but I’m not really one of those. Sadly, Thanos, who should have been the star of the set and is worth the big bucks on the aftermarket, is easily the worst in the set. He has some good qualities, but he’s a miss overall. Hopefully his newfound fame with general audiences will get him a re-do sooner rather than later. Overall, this wasn’t a bad set, and I hope Guardians of the Galaxy leads to us getting more sets like it.