I know, when I looked at Hot Toys’ Vision I promised I’d get to Scarlet Witch next, but then Ant-Man hit my stoop and no offense, Wanda, but I was just more excited to get to this figure and check him out, especially after seeing him in action again in Civil War. Of course, this is the outfit from the original movie, the one I prefer, and while no one knows what the future holds, for now it’ll be the definitive version of the MCU Scott Lang on my shelf. Let’s check him out…
The package consists of the same window box with illustrated sleeve around it that we’ve been seeing out of the Hot Toys Marvel line for a little while now. It feels rather simple for a $200+ collectible, but it gets the job done. And in this case the artwork really blows me away. It’s very stylish and to me it just beautifully reflects the quirky nature of what we saw in the closing credits. I also really dig the wrap-around title. You can lift off the sleeve to peek at the figure through the window, or you can open up the top flap with the sleeve still on and slide out the tray. Ant-Man comes mostly ready to go right out of the box. You just have to insert the tubes of Pym Particles into the slots on his belt and pop in the batteries (or not, as we’ll see it doesn’t make much of a difference).
Man, do I love this costume design! It’s so cool that it almost makes up for the fact that Hank Pym was excluded from the MCU Avengers, something I was very sore about in the beginning. But this movie was great, MCU Scott Lang is a lot of fun, and this suit is absolutely killer, so all has been forgiven. When he first encountered it, Scott referred to the suit as “some old motorcycle outfit” and it does indeed look just like that. It’s got a deliciously retro-charm to it that looks high tech, while still conveying that it’s an antique. And we all know that if you give Hot Toys a great design like this one, they’re going to do it proud. The entire suit is crafted out of a leather-like material, which mimics the on screen appearance perfectly. The silver piping is gorgeous as is the red textured material on the chest, back, and shoulders. This is such a perfect blend of great design and near perfect execution, that it’s instantly become one of my favorite Marvel Hot Toys figures in my collection.
One little feature that I like a lot about the costume is the way they recreated the ribbing in the elbows and knees. While this was certainly part of the suit design, it serves a double purpose on the figure, where I’m not afraid to keep an elbow bent for fear of distorting the suit material. It can be a problem on figures like Avengers Black Widow or even the Age of Ultron Vision, but I don’t think it will be a problem here. On the downside, the suit is fairly restrictive of articulation. Now, if you’ve been reading my Hot Toys Features over the years, you may have noted that articulation is never a huge concern of mine with these figures. Sure, better range of motion is always better, but for the most part I like to tweak the poses now and then and leave it at that. Besides, just about every HT figure I’ve ever owned has come with a page in the instructions warning not to move certain appendages beyond a certain number of degrees. In the case of Ant-Man, the biggest let down in the restriction for me is in the hips and that’s because I’m afraid of pulling the stitching in that groin area. Bottom line, don’t expect any extreme action poses out of Scott.
The helmet is a work of art in and of itself. Not only is the detail just superb, but the paint and weathering is right on target. The side arms that hold the mouth piece in place look particularly good and I really dig the bars that encircle the neck. The red plastic screens for the eyes even offer a pretty clear view of Scott’s eyes inside, which adds an extraordinary level of depth and realism to the portrait even when masked.
From behind you can see the two thin wires that connect from the helmet to the small backpack. These pieces are designed to pull out of the helmet rather than allow themselves to be overly stressed. I think this was a good idea, because it wouldn’t take much to tear these pieces, however, it does mean having to reconnect them from time to time when manipulating the figure. That having been said, I found that I only had to do that a few times while shooting him.
Of course, the coolest thing about the helmet is that Hot Toys went with an articulated helmet that allows for you to display the Scott Lang portrait without having to do a head swap. In fact, making the switch is incredibly easy. The face plate is held on by a magnet, so you just pluck it off and place it raised on the forehead. The arms that hold the mouthpiece rotate at the sides of the head and have ball joints where they connect to the mouth piece, so you just angle those downward. I’m not a big fan of swapping heads on these figures, so the ability to do it on the fly adds a lot of value to me. Plus, I think the likeness to Paul Rudd is one of their absolute best, so it would be a shame to hide it all the time.
This figure has taken a lot of heat over its electronics feature, which is basically a light up mask. Some of that may be warranted, but I can’t get too worked up over it. The top plate of the helmet lifts up to reveal the battery compartment and on/off switch. Switching it on lights a panel in the forehead, which in turn shines through the eyes of the mask and out the sides. If you switch it on in anything close to a well lit room, it barely shows at all. Forget about getting it to show up on my studio staging area. The above picture was snapped with him on the display shelf, with the shelf lighting turned off and the room fairly dark and it looks fine to me. If the effect certainly isn’t blinding. I think it’s because they made it work with such a versatile head. Had they gone with an alternate masked portrait, like they did with Star-Lord, it would have certainly worked better. Me? I’ll take less effective lighting over the articulated mask any day. Let’s move on to the accessories…
HANDS!!! Oh, you know it! If it’s a Hot Toys figure, you’re going to get a ton of hands. Scott comes with fists, relaxed hands, and hands that look like he’s about to do the patented Captain Kirk palm strike. The most important hand to me is the right hand with thumb poised over the shrinking button and this is the one he’ll likely always be displayed with. You also get a right hand designed to hold some of the teeny-tiny accessories he comes with…
…in this little tray of goodies. It’s also a little tray of goodies that resists opening enough so that it explodes and throws the tiny goodies all over the room when it finally does open. I’ll start off with those little bombs, because they’re pretty much staying right there in the tray. Nice little pieces, but I’ve got no use for them.
The vials of Pym Particles, all fit into the slots on his belt. You get two red and two blue. If I remember correctly it’s the red ones on the right to shrink and the blue ones on the left to enlarge.
You also get the two discs that enlarge or shrink whatever they stick to. They’re super tiny, but Scott can hold them fairly convincingly in that one accessory-specific hand. I wish there was somewhere to attach these to the figure.
Next up, you get tiny Ant-Man. And, yes, tiny Ant-Man is indeed tiny. He comes with his own little disc stand with indented spots for his feet, which hold him surprisingly well. Considering that I have no room on my Avengers shelf for the full size Ant-Man, this little guy will come in handy to stand in for him. For now, full size Scott will be hanging out with Falcon, Winter Soldier, and Captain America on the shelf below it.
And of course, you get the figure stand. This is the same type that came with the Age of Ultron figures, so it’s bigger than the old standard and overall feels more impressive. I actually like that they called out Scott Lang’s name on the tag.
I’ve never been truly disappointed by a Hot Toys figure, so when I say I really love HT’s Ant-Man, I have to qualify it by saying this is without a doubt one of my favorite Marvel figures on my shelf. In terms of overall execution, I’d say he’s tied right now with Star-Lord as my overall favorite. The suit is recreated flawlessly and they went all out with the intricacies of the helmet. I can understand some collectors wanting a better light show out of the electronics, especially when you’re paying extra for them, but the ability to unmask the figure so quickly and easily without a head swap makes that trade off totally worth it to me. Ant-Man retailed at $240, which about the middle ground for Hot Toys’ releases these days and I think he was worth every penny. He sold out rather quickly at Sideshow, but he’s still available at a number of secondary online retailers, some of which have already begun to crank up their prices. On the next Marvel Monday, we’ll check out Hot Toys Scarlet Witch… for reals this time!