BARON STRUCKER, ULTRON MK 1, SUB-ULTON – BLUE, SUB-ULTRON – RED, IRON LEGION 02, & 04
Okay, today wraps up my reviews of the first “assortment” of Avengers: Age of Ultron-themed Marvel Minimates. For a while now, Diamond Select Toys has been doing “army dump” cases, where you have the chance to buy a few army builder figures in single packs, as well as one or two single-packed non-army builders. Just a few months ago, I looked at the army dump case for the Aliens line. They’ve also shown up a few times in the Marvel Minimates line, to tie-in with several of the movies. They’ve done it once more for Age of Ultron, albeit with a few differences. Technically, these are each single releases, but I received them all as one, and they sort of work as one entity. Also, there are some minor spoilers for Age of Ultron below. Nothing that would ruin your movie-going experience, but if you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to hold off.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These figures are all part of the first series of Marvel Minimates Age of Ultron blind-bagged figures. They ship in a case of 18 blind bagged figures. Previous army dump cases have not been blind-bagged and they have generally been cases of 12, so these are both changes. The ratio of the figures is 1x Strucker, 1x Ultron Mk 1, 3x Sub-Ultron – Blue, 3x Sub-Ultron – Red, 5x Iron Legion 02, 5x Iron Legion 04.
Strucker, Strucker, Strucker. This guy was pushed pretty hard as being really important in AoU, and, truth-be-told, his part in the film is rather small. I mean, the guy still has an impact on the story, but I was sort of expecting more, given all the lead-up. His figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. While the line is based upon Age of Ultron, Strucker’s design here is actually the one he had in the post-credits scene of The Winter Soldier. Of the two, the chosen look is definitely the more distinctive, and it means he also goes pretty well with the various Hydra soldiers we’ve gotten. As far as structure, Strucker’s actually almost identical to Black Widow. Obviously, he doesn’t have the hair piece, but he has the same belt and holster. Seeing as they’re both pretty standard paramilitary pieces, they work just as well here as on Widow. The figure’s paint is generally pretty good. His uniform is done with two different tones of green, which adds some fairly nice depth to the design. The line work is also all pretty clean, and rather detailed. The uniform has some great detailing and texturing, and it looks like the one from the movie. I can’t say that the face looks a whole lot like the actor, but it’s not like it doesn’t look like the actor. Also, it seems like the hair may be a)too low set, and b) too dark. Strucker is packed with a handgun and a clear display stand.
ULTRON MK 1
Hey, another Ultron Mk 1! Cool! It seems more than one toy company was influenced by that distinctive appearance. The fact that it played such a central role in the first trailer probably helped up the popularity of the design. Ultimately, it ended up with a little less screen time than I expected, but what screen time it did have was well-used. The figure is the same height as Strucker, but it only has 13 points of articulation, due to being down a hand. He’s built on the standard Minimate body with the damaged lower arm of the Battle-Damaged T-800 in place of his own lower left arm. The arm’s a good piece. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. The paint is this figure’s real shining point. The torso and waist are molded in clear plastic, with the actually body painted on. This allows for a more proper robotic appearance for the figure, and it works quite well. The detail lines are superbly handled, and this thing is just covered in texture. The only real drawback is that my figure has some paint rub on the back of the torso, presumable from being packed in with the stand. The stand, for the record, is this figure’s only accessory. That’s pretty much on par with the rest of the assortment, but I wouldn’t have minded getting an extra drone head or something to simulate the partial drone he crushes.
SUB-ULTRON – BLUE
If you feel like you’ve seen this figure before, it’s because you have…essentially. This figure is effectively the same as the Sub-Ultron included with Winter Ops Hawkeye. If you really want my feelings about the figure, I’d recommend reading the review here. There is one notable difference between this version and that one: the blues of the single release are much paler than the two pack version. Oddly, I actually find myself liking this look a little bit more, for whatever reason. My only real fault with this figure is that there aren’t more of him! Seriously, there are like hundreds of these guys in the final battle, and all we get is three? That’s a little weak.
SUB-ULTRON – RED
Remember all the stuff I just said about the Blue Sub-Ultron? Well, this is the exact same figure, aside from the blue accents being swapped out for red. Same head, same body, same basic detailing, same display stand. The red, of course, means that Ultron is directly controlling the drone. Thing is, we only see him control them one at a time, so having three seems excessive. Still, I like the red detailing, and this works as pretty decent classic Ultron.
IRON LEGION 02
Oh boy, the Iron Legion. These guys. Look, I don’t hate them, but I do sort of resent them. See, it’s really their fault that I don’t have more Sub-Ultrons. Because, instead of more Ultron figures, we were subjected to five each (ten total) of these guys. There are a few issues with that. First off, the Iron Legion play kind of a small role in the movie. Secondly, there are only actually 5 Iron Legion drones in the film. How might I know this, you ask? Because, thirdly, the Iron Legion are NUMBERED! As in there is one 01, one 02, one 03, one 04, and one 05. You’ll notice that the figures here are labeled as “02” and “04.” That’s because they represent those numbers of the Iron Legion. So, not only do I have TEN of these guys, but they’re also evenly split between 02 and 04, so they actually aren’t army builders. So, I just have a bunch of extras of two rather specific figures. All that aside, how are the actual figures? Well, 02 is built on the standard body, with no add-ons. Just a vanilla ‘mate. This isn’t bad, because the Iron Legion are depicted as being rather sleek, and since they aren’t actual armor, they aren’t sized to fit a person. Now, being a plain Minimate, 02 relies on paint to convey the design. The paintwork isn’t perfect, but it’s still pretty good. The colors are nicely chosen, and the detail lines are clean and plentiful. The real issue here is that the colors tend to stray outside of the lines. The 02 has a lighter blue as its accent color, which offers a little more brightness to the design. Iron Legion 02 includes a clear display stand as its only accessory.
IRON LEGION 04
Iron Legion 04 is essentially the same figure as Iron Legion 02. It too uses just the basic Minimate body, has the usual articulation, and includes a clear display stand as its sole accessory. The difference between the two is paint. Now, obviously, this one has a “04” in place of the “02” of the last one, but it also swaps out the light blue accents for black. It doesn’t look bad, but it does result in a slightly duller figure, color-wise.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I purchased these figures as a full case from my favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. Ultimately, I’m torn on these guys. Strucker is technically well handled, but isn’t the most exciting Minimate. I do like Ultron Mk 1 quite a bit, and he was certainly a well-chosen figure for this assortment. The additional Sub-Ultrons are certainly appreciated, but I really wish there were more of them, specifically the blue ones. The Iron Legion? Well, I like the figures well enough, but I really have a difficult time getting past how many of them were included in the case. They aren’t army builders, and even if they were, I really don’t see how anyone could see them being in greater demand than the Sub-Ultrons. It just feels like very poor planning.