If you have been reading my reviews for long, it should be clear that I am a fan of the Marvel Legends line and have been almost since its
start. But I haven't gotten into the smaller Marvel Universe line. But then Hasbro did something interesting this year and produced an
Ant-Man themed box set for the San Diego Comic Convention. While I normally would not have cared about a box set of figures that were in the
wrong scale for what I collect, Hasbro took advantage of Ant-Man's size changing nature to create a box set that works for both the Marvel
Legends and Marvel Universe line. The set includes versions of Henry Pym in his Giant-Man costume, his Goliath costume, his lab coat worn
over his Ant-Man costume, a mini version of him in his Ant-Man costume and a tiny version of his successor, Scott Lang. I'm kind of surprized that his
Yellow Jacket costume didn't get included as well. But the set seems to have something for everyone.
Packaging - 8/10Hasbro has done some really cool packages for their Marvel SDCC exclusives. They continued that with the Ant-Man set. The box is shaped like Ant-Man's head with a slightly wider base. Ant-Man's face forms a flap on the front that can be flipped open to reveal the actual figures inside. There is a brief description of Ant-Man's motivation on the inside of the flap. The back has a large photo of the group of figures with each version labeled. They also included a pair of cardboard antennae on the back that can be rotated up for display or left down to avoid damage in shipping or storage. The idea is pretty cool and it is well executed. The antennea can be problematic. Even with them flipped down, one of mine was severly bent before it ever got to me. The one big drawback to it is that it is so large. It was bound to be fairly large to accomodate the Giant-Man figure. But Giant-Man is twelve inches tall and the box is eighteen inches tall. So it is a full third larger than it had to be. And it isn't like they really make good use of all of that space. Most of the back of the box is left blank or filled with safety warnings that could have been made much smaller.
Sculpting - 7/10Both Giant-Man and Goliath reuse existing bodies. But with new head sculpts and accurate belts added, they still end up looking pretty good. There is some piping on Giant-Man's costume that shows that the body was originally used for something else. But there's also a few areas where those sculpted details match Giant-Man's costume design. The Marvel Universe sized Hank Pym has a sculpted lab coat that he wears over the Ant-Man costume. It fits well and looks good as long as the arms are down. But if you raise the arms, you see that they had to leave large holes under each arm so that the coat would not interfer with the range of motion of the arms. The two small Ant-Man figures both seem to be new figures. They are not that detailed in terms of the sculpting. That isn't too surprising given the size, but I do have other very small figures that have sharper details than this. There is one issue that I do have with the smallest Ant-Man figure, he isn't sculpted to stand on his own. He appears to be sculpted to sit on an ant, but no ants were included. But if you buy the Movie Ant-Man figure from the Marvel Legends Infinite Ultron Series, he fits quite well on the flying ant included there.
Paint - Giant-Man 6/10, Goliath & Hank Pym 4/10, Ant-Man(s) 5/10The paint work for these figures is surprisingly weak considering how well all of the recent Marvel Legends figures I've bought have turned out and given that this is an exclusive box set targeted towards collectors. The best figure of the set is Giant-Man. But that's not because his paint works is all that impressive or well done. There's just nothing really wrong with it. The two Ant-Man figures are similar. The paint work is not very detailed, but that is to be expected on such small figures. And both figures have the advantage of being sculpted with helmets over their faces, so they did not even have to try to paint a tiny little face. Things really start to slip when you get to Goliath and Hank Pym. The yellow portions of Goliath's outfit were not applied thickly enough on the torso and arms, so the blue of the plastic starts to bleed through. There's also one spot on my figure's shoulder where there seems to be a bristle stuck in the dried paint. They also left a small gap in the stripes going from his torso onto his arms in the front and back. It's not very large, but they could have easily painted it before the figure was assembled and it would have looked much better. Finally there is Hank Pym. His white lab coat is completely unpainted which is a bit dull. And his Ant-Man uniform underneath is covered with a dark wash. That works well under the coat since it makes the uniform appear to be in shadow. But the wash suddenly stops at the right thigh joint on my figure which looks really odd. The wash is also inconsistent over the knees, but not nearly as jaringly so as the thigh joint. Overall I'm quite disappointed. It's been quite a while since I have come across so many paint issues on a Marvel figure. I just hope for the sake of Marvel Universe fans that this is not the norm for that line.
Articulation - Ant 2/10, Hank Pym & Giant-Man 8/10, others 9/10Goliath is based on a Marvel Legends body and has all the usual articulation that you would expect from a ML figure. That's thirty four points of articulation by my count. Hank Pym has about twenty six points of articulation. But he has a similar range of motion, the lack of articulation mostly just limits the small adjustments that you might want to make poses more natural looking. Giant-Man is also missing the shin swivels, but that isn't a major loss. Overall, all of the articulation is fairly tight and holds poses well. And none of the joints are made of overly soft or gummy plastic.
Accessories - 3/10There is only one accessory for this set, an alternate head for the Hank Pym figure. The second head features a sculpted Ant-Man helmet. The extra head is nice and fully painted. But if they wanted to be able to change Hank Pym into Ant-Man, they should have also included extra arms so you could remove the arms and lab coat and have a regular Ant-Man figure in that scale. I also find it rather unacceptable that they didn't include at least one ant given that the small Ant-Man is obviously designed to be riding one.
Value - 3/10The Ant-Man box set sold for $65 from Hasbro either at the San Diego Comic Con or through their web site. If this was truely 5 figures, that would be a reasonable price. But realistically, you are getting three figures and a couple of accessories. And as a Marvel Legends collector, the Hank Pym figure is of little use to me due to his size. If you are primarily a Marvel Universe collector, you will likely get a little more value out of this set. But it is still pretty pricey. And that was if you were lucky enough to get it for the original price. With people asking as much as double that on the secondary market, you need to be either a rabid Ant-Man fan or dedicated completionist to make this set worth the cost.
Happy Hunting:The Ant-Man set was an exclusive from Hasbro. They sold it first at the San Diego Comic Con and then through their web site. Their site is currently down for maintenance as I'm writing this, so I don't know if it has sold out yet or not. If it hasn't, it likely will before long. At that point, your only option will be to find it on the secondary market.