Last week was a great week for MCU fans as Inifnity War hit home release, and I just got around to watching my copy this past weekend. It would have been fun to have some related content for today, but I’m still debating whether or not I need that First Ten Years 3-pack with Thanos. Anyway, my regular random Marvel Legends reviews are still on hiatus this week, as I’ve been tackling some of these new Marvel Studios: First Ten Years releases. I’ll get back to some normal Legends reviews next week… well, sort of. But for now, today’s selection is a two-pack from the original Ant-Man movie, giving us not only the titular hero, but also his nemesis Yellowjacket. This sub-line is geared toward putting out figures that Hasbro missed back when these films were originally out, and it seems to be particularly good at delivering on the MCU’s villains, most of which had been snubbed. Seriously, Hasbro… Red Skull, Ronan, Yellowjacket… how’d you miss so many?
If you’ve been with me for the last couple of Marvel Mondays than you know what to expect from this packaging. The design is distinctive enough to make it seem like something special, but I doubt I’ll be keeping these boxes because I just don’t have the room, goddammit. One of the figures in this two-pack is a double-dip, as this same version of Ant-Man was released way back in 2015 as part of the Ultron Wave, so let’s start with him!
I’m happy to say that Ant-Man is not a complete repack. Sure, a comparison shows that from the neck down an overwhelming majority of the figure is the same sculpt, but they did add texturing to some of the red parts and I think it makes for a nice improvement. On the flip-side, the weathered paint wash has been removed from the silver areas on the belt and wrist bracers, giving this suit a cleaner look. It looks good, but I think the wash on the previous release gave it more character. This was supposed to be an old suit that’s seen quite a bit of action by the time Scott Lang put it on. Maybe this one will work best as Hank Pym’s version from when it was fresh and new. At least that would justify me having two.
There are a few other variations in the paint, most notably this figure adds some silver piping on the upper legs and some red on the lower legs. They’ve also nixed the florescent orange bits, for which I am most grateful. The silver trim on the previous figure was laid on a bit thicker and here it’s less pronounced. It’s probably more accurate, but it also means it’s not quite as evenly applied. It’s not bad, but just not as sharp as it could have been in some areas. There’s also a little wear to the red paint on my figure down near the small of his back. Either way, I really love the design here and I’m on record as saying I like it better than the suit used for Civil War and Ant-Man and The Wasp, so I’m OK with getting a new version of it, even if I didn’t really need it.
The masked head is a completely new sculpt, this time with the mask closed up and covering the entire face. Like the body, I think there’s some give and take as to which I prefer. Again, I like the antiqued finish to the silver paint on the previous release, but I think the enclosed mask looks better here, mainly because the facial features on the original are rather soft. Also, I’m a big fan of the red paint used on the eyes here. I don’t recall the neon orange paint on the previous release bothering me much at the time, but comparing the two side-by-side I think it looks awful now. Overall, I think I have to give the nod to this new head.
We also get another Paul Rudd likeness, this time he’s not smirking like he is on the Ant-Man and The Wasp version. I wasn’t fully sold on that previous likeness and I’m not on this one either. I can see Rudd in there, but it still feels like there’s something off about it. Again, not terrible, I’d go so far as to say it’s pretty damn good for a 6-inch scale retail release at this price point, but not quite there for me. Still, it’s a nice bonus and I’d definitely give this one a nod over the smirking one. And in case you were wondering, head swaps between the Ant-Man figures seems to be universal, so you can put either unmasked head on this guy or even the helmeted head from the Ultron Wave release. I won’t bother covering articulation here, as it’s identical to the previous release, and I’ve got a whole other figure to check out, and it’s the real reason I bought this set!
Hell yeah! It’s Yellowjacket! I’ve been a bitter person ever since Hot Toys cancelled their release of this character, leaving a man-bug-shaped hole in my heart. It seemed like I was doomed to never own a little plastic version of this guy. It’s not that I loved the villain in the movie, he was totally forgettable, but I did fall in love with the suit design the first time I saw it. As complex as I remember the suit being, this figure is surprisingly simple. It’s a black buck with some bright and beautiful textured yellow panels. The black areas of the costume do feature some panel lines and texturing, but nothing too crazy or complex. Oh, don’t get me wrong, this sculpt gets the job done and looks fantastic doing it. It also reminds me a lot of some of the Tron Legacy figures, and that’s not a bad thing.
The stingers are part of a backpack that pegs into the back of the figure. The antenna on the top offer a little bit of motion, while the arms on the bottom feature several hinges and other joints to allow for a great degree of articulation. They can be positioned up over the shoulders, down under the arms, or any combination in between.
The composition of the helmet is fantastic. You get an inner head, black with yellow panels, which can be seen through the two large transparent lenses on the outer helmet. It’s definitely got a very bug-like visage and it’s one of the many things that makes this one of my favorite MCU suit designs in the entire first ten years of films. I know there have been some rumors flying that this suit may return in a future Ant-Man film worn by another villain, and I’d love to see that.
The box also contains tiny versions of Ant-Man and Yellowjacket, and I’m pretty sure these are just repacks of previously released accessories. I like that Hasbro includes these, but there’s not a lot to do with them. They won’t even stand up on their own.
I was prepared to come out of this review bitching about how I wish Hasbro had released Yellowjacket on his own, but it turns out that I’m not too upset about having to buy another Ant-Man figure to get him. While I would have preferred that they kept the weathered look of the original’s silver bits, I think the added texture and the new masked head make it a worthy, albeit redundant, addition to my collection. And to be honest, even if it was a straight repack, I would have still laid out the forty bones for this set just to get Yellowjacket. He’s a great looking figure and a design that I desperately wanted to display on my MCU Legends shelf.