Marvel Legends Ant-Man Assortment
By Troy Brownfield
As promised, we return with a look at the most recent wave of Marvel Legends to hit shelves . . . Ant-Man (aka Ultron Prime BAF Assortment). This wave’s box art comes dressed with the Ant-Man logo, but it also sports the familiar Marvel Legends Infinite Series branding as well. The BAF for this go-round is Ultron Prime; Ultron’s an appropriate choice, given his relationship to Hank Pym in the comics. Similarly, it’s appropriate to make him in film style in order to go with all those cinematic Avengers popping up in Marvel Legends this year. Before we dig into the assortment, I want to look at a related item in the 3.75” Marvel Universe Scale.
MU Ant-Man and Ant Box Set: At a surprisingly low $20, given the price spikes that the MU figures have seen in some retailers, the “Ant-Man & Ant” box comes across as a great deal. The actual MU figure is a film-style Ant-Man, and his companion is a very large Antony. This was a great idea for a set and the ant figure features some fine sculpting. The legs are removable, as are the wings (prompting Kyle, my eight-year-old, to note the play possibilities of re-enacting one particularly sad scene from the film). The Ant-Man figure sits atop the ant pretty well, and it’s overall a nice looking set.
As for the Legends . . . let’s go villains first . . .
Bulldozer: This particular assortment is notable for a couple of reasons. One is the fact that three villains that have never been produced in the Legends scale before made it in. Bulldozer, for his part, completes the Wrecking Crew that’s been slowly rolling out since the re-intro of Legends a few years ago. He might actually be my favorite of the Crew; this figure has some great detail, particularly in the helmet. Bulldozer is also weighty and similar in size to the prior three Crew members. For posing purposes, the articulation is good enough to allow the stooped posture that the character frequently displays in the comics. This is a solid, long-awaited addition to the line.
Tiger Shark: I will always come down on the side of adding more villains and more female characters, but I was particularly glad to see Tiger Shark turn up in this assortment for one reason: Avengers #229 from 1983. Tiger Shark is part of Egghead’s Masters of Evil team that gets their asses handed back to them by Hank Pym. It’s a great issue and I highly recommend it. Similarly, this is a great figure. I always liked the classic look of this character, and they’ve nailed it here. The razor teeth were more of a later addition, but they look great. Plus, the back fin. That’s just swell.
Grim Reaper: Absolutely yes. Classic Avengers villain, classic outfit, classic craziness. Just look at that demented face sculpt! THIS is a villain figure, kids. Love the scythe. The cape element is well-done, too. 2015 has been a great year for Marvel Legends villains with unique heads (Hela, Dormmamu, Bulldozer) and the Reaper continues that proud tradition. I don’t have a lot to say about this figure because I simply like all of it. Excellent job.
The Wasp: Essentially, Wasp is a re-do of an earlier Marvel Legends figure with an updated head sculpt and some modifications to the paint op on the body. The wing design is basically the same. However, it’s been almost TEN YEARS since that figure and its variants was released in the MODOK wave. Given the film, the characters, and the time, a new version is totally reasonable. As such, the modifications are actually improvements on the original figure. And given the Wasp’s importance to the Marvel Universe as a whole and the Avengers more specifically, I’m glad they went with this.
Giant-Man: This is also a smart figure to release. Here we have Pym’s more recent Giant-Man costume, as seen in Avengers Academy. I even set up a shot with Pym’s fellow Academy instructors, Tigra and Quicksilver to demonstrate my approval for this one. Frankly, I like this design, which blends elements of prior Pym costumes into a then-new emphasis on the Giant-Man persona. It was necessary as a break from the past, from the Skrullojacket diversion in Secret Invasion, and his spin as his version of The Wasp in Mighty Avengers. The overall result is another good figure that pegs a moment in Marvel time.
Ant-Man: We had Jan, we had Hank . . . now Scott Lang! Well, movie Scott Lang anyway. The cool film design is nailed in this figure. However, no matter how cool the bigger figure is, he’s overshadowed a bit by some excellent accessories: a tiny version of Scott, an Antony for the tiny Scott to ride, and a tiny Damian Cross Yellowjacket. That’s just brilliant, and gives a collector the whole conflict of the film in one box. On top of THAT, he even gets packed with the Ultron BAF head piece, which just makes for fun presentation in the package. This one’s a big winner.
Ultron Prime: The BAF for the assortment, Ultron Prime is tall, well-painted, incredibly well-sculpted, and menacing. The inclination of the hand sculpts allow for some diversity of posing. And the way that he towers over other figures is terrific. As I noted, getting Ultron in here is a great nod to fans and once again indicates that Hasbro’s Marvel team cares about the kind of product that they’re giving collectors.
I may sound like a broken record this year, but Hasbro is killing it. Marvel Legends is in a renaissance, and the propulsive power of Marvel films is driving the line to greater heights. The only, ONLY thing that I really want to see that isn’t currently a thing is perhaps a Hasbro.com opportunity to re-release older figures that collectors may have missed, such as Thunderball or the modern Hawkeye. Outside of that notion, Hasbro has spent this year batting pretty close to 1.000. What’s your take?