#2170: Tigra

TIGRA

AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)

“Greer Nelson was subjected to treatments meant to enhance her physical prowess and make her the greatest female athlete in the world – but something else happened. She was transformed into a fur-covered cat woman, and gifted with all the graces of a feline – heightened speed and agility, enhanced senses, and dangerously sharp claws. As Tigra, she can be as playful as a kitten, but when trouble arises she becomes a savage warrior. The symbol on her belt joins Tigra with Earth’s mightiest heroes, and she heeds the call, ‘Avengers Assemble!'”

Back before the Avengers had a whole bank of movies to make them a household name, Marvel had tried their hand at expanding their outreach via animation.  Hoping to capture some of the success of X-Men: The Animated SeriesSpider-Man: The Animated Series, and the Marvel Action Hour, they launched Avengers: United They Stand.  It was…not a success.  It lasted just one 13-episode season and never had much of a following to speak of.  Me?  Well, I loved it, and the toyline it spawned, which provided figures for the team’s more obscure members, like today’s focus Tigra!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tigra was part of the second series of Toy Biz’s Avengers: United They Stand tie-in line, though as I always note with these guys, the numbering was really just clerical; both series shipped to stores at the same time.  This figure would mark Tigra’s second figure ever, and her first that wasn’t just a straight repaint of someone else.  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and has 13 points of articulation.  The UTS figures were by and large notable for their inclusion of a decent amount of articulation for the scale, and Tigra is the first figure I’ve looked at to truly showcase this.  It’s not perfect, as she misses out on things like elbows and is still saddled with those dreaded v-hips that Toy Biz was so fond of for female figures,but the inclusion of wrists, and more than just cut shoulders was downright revolutionary at the time.  Tigra sculpt is sort of an interesting concept; they were clearly going for something dynamic, as is dictated by the sway to the hair and the slight twist to her waist and legs.  It doesn’t quite work out for a dynamic pose and also means she’s stuck in a wonky pose when just standing.  It’s not terrible, though, and honestly isn’t any worse than some of the really stiff poses from earlier in Toy Biz’s run.  The detailing on the sculpt follows the styling of the cartoon, but does inject some more realism into it, with some solid texturing on the hair and fur.  It’s definitely solid for the time.  Also pretty solid for the time is the paintwork, which gives Tigra her distinctive stripes and is generally pretty cleanly applied. She’s got an Avengers insignia on her shorts…and also on the backs of her hands?  Guess she really wanted to be on brand.  Tigra was packed with a base with a training robot attached.  The robot had magnets in its hands which matched with the ones in Tigra’s hands, allowing for her to “spar” with it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When these figures first started hitting shelves, they were a little scarce.  Tigra had the honor of being the first of them added to my collection, alongside Falcon.  It’s always given me a special appreciation for the character, given I had her longer than any of the others, and I’d been so desperately searching at that point.  She’s perhaps not the greatest figure the line had to offer, but she’s still pretty decent, and certainly not bad when compared to the other figures in Tigra’s limited run of toys.

#1186: Falcon & Tigra

FALCON & TIGRA

MARVEL MINIMATES

falcontigra1

Following yesterday’s lead, today I’ll be looking at another set of figures from the latest comic-based series of Marvel Minimates, which is heavy on the classic Avengers theme this time around.  Today’s set gives us another take on one of my favorite parts of the Captain America mythos, Falcon, as well as recurring Avenger and all-around under-appreciated character Tigra.  Yes, that’s right, they packed the bird person and the cat person together.  Clever DST.  Clever.  Onto the figures!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Falcon and Tigra are both part of Series 69 of Marvel Minimates, officially dubbed the “Most Wanted” series.  These two are something of an odd pairing for their main universe counterparts (aside from the cat and canary gags), but it’s worth nothing that the two were sort of an item in the 1999 Avengers: United They Stand cartoon, for what that’s worth.  It’s worth a lot to me, but probably not much to others, since I think I’m like one of two people in existence who even remembers that show.

FALCON

falcontigra2Man, remember when it was a really big deal when Falcon finally got his first ‘mate in Series 54?  In less than three years, he’s gone from no Minimates to a whopping 6 of them!  Not bad!  So far, most of Falcon’s ‘mates have skewed more modern, but this one goes back to his early days.  Well, not his earliest days, with all the green and yellow and the total lack of wings.  No, this would be Falcon’s second costume, which is the one that set the tone for all costumes to follow.  Falcon stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has the usual 14 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s the same as his Series 54 counterpart.  Same hair, same wings.  He’s the same person, so that makes sense.  Plus, the parts were a good fit the first time, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  The main difference here is the paintwork, which I have to say, is really well handled.  All of the important details of his classic costume have been translated very nicely into the Minimate form, and the details are all nice and sharp.  They’ve managed to choose the least tacky red/white combo available, which is certainly a good thing, and I really like the nice, friendly smile on his face.  Falcon’s always been characterized as a pretty easy-going guy, so I’m happy we got a more jovial expression for him (and in general, really.  Minimates can sometimes get a little on the stern side).  There are a few spots that could probably stand to be a little cleaner (the hands in particular are rather uneven), but the paint is by and large very good, and better than most of Falcon’s previous ‘mates.  Falcon is packed with his sidekick Redwing, a flight stand, and a clear display stand.

TIGRA

falcontigra4Falcon may be raking in all the Minimates these days, but Tigra here makes her Minimate debut with this figure.  Poor Tigra doesn’t seem to get much respect these days.  It’s a shame, because she’s an awesome character when written the right way, but almost none of the current crop of writers seem to be able to do that, so she’s either reduced to simple sex appeal or just shoved off to the side and totally ignored.  Perhaps she’ll make her way into the movies and get some respect there.  In the meantime, she’s got this pretty sick Minimate!  She makes use of Dazzler’s hair and Cheetah’s claws and tail (they went waaaaaay back for those parts!).  It makes for a pretty good match for Tigra’s usual depictions, showing that some times, re-use really is the best way to go.  The paintwork on Tigra is downright amazing if you ask me.  She’s one of those rare ‘mates that’s completely painted, which always looks better if you ask me.  The orange really makes her pop and the sharpness of the linework, especially on her stripes is just great.  Her facial expression is a much more intense one than Falcon’s, but it’s well-rendered and works quite well for the character.  Tigra’s only accessory is a clear display stand, but I can’t really think of any accessories she’s incomplete without, so it’s enough to make me happy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s Black Knight and Enchantress, these two were a Christmas gift from my parents.  Black Knight may be my favorite figure from this series, but boy do these two give him a solid run for his money (if this were the first Falcon ‘mate, he’d have definitely come out on top).  Tigra is a fantastic new addition to the Avengers line-up, and Falcon is a more than welcome replacement for the Series 54 version.  Another winning set to be sure.