Once again, I’m setting aside random chance and bumping some new Marvel Legends figures to the head of the line. Why? Because I just couldn’t wait to open this set, and it’s nice to be current and topical every now and then before going back to opening figures from four waves ago that no one is interested in anymore. Not to mention, I’ve been carrying a little grudge against the AIM Trooper ever since he was first released and absolutely impossible for me to find and now I can finally set all that ill-will to rest.
Behold… the AIM two-pack! If you remember the Hydra two-pack from not that long ago, then the idea and format behind this set should be familiar. Like the Hydra set, this one re-packs a popular troop builder and sort of kitbashes another one, while tossing in a whole bunch of recycled stuff to buff out your forces. The packaging features a large window that shows all the goodies laid out over an illustrated backdrop, and boy does it show off a lot of stuff! Is it a shameless cash-grab, or an opportunity to build up your AIM forces? Well, why can’t it be both? Let’s start with the AIM scientist.
Keep in mind, the AIM Scientist isn’t a straight repack of the 2014 figure. The sculpt appears to be the same, but there are some paint differences. And since I don’t have the previous release for comparisons, this figure is basically all new to me and I am absolutely in love with this figure. I don’t know if it’s because of how much I dig the crazy concept of AIM, their goofy beekeeper costumes, or that I’ve built up so much anticipation over this figure in my mind. Maybe it’s a combination of all three. Whatever the case, the AIM Scientist features a yellow jumpsuit with a sculpted button down front flap on the chest, a stylish black and yellow belt, high black collar, tall black boots with buckles and pointed toes, and black gauntlets that reach up to his elbows. It’s a sharp looking suit, and I’m not ashamed to say I dig the yellow and black deco. After all, why do all evil organizations need to dress in dark and sinister colors?
In addition to the stock costume, the Scientist features a brown shoulder strap with some sculpted pouches on the front and back and some silver canister grenades. The stock head features the iconic flat-topped bee-keeper’s hood with a textured screen pattern over the visor. There are other head options, but I’ll come back to that a little later. Also, the articulation here is standard stuff, and since I have so much to cover today, I’ll just be lazy and refer you back to any of my other 200+ Marvel Legends reviews where you’ll get a good idea about what to expect. Suffice it to say, the poseability is great. Now, let’s check out some weapons!
I’m pretty sure we’ve seen this rifle before, and I think I remember throwing some shade at it in the past, but I think it fits in pretty well with the AIM crowd. It looks futuristic and like something AIM would have cooked up. I also absolutely love it in the yellow and black deco. It brings out the details in the sculpt beautifully and the blue paint applications show that little bit of extra care that Hasbro doesn’t always show toward the Legends weapons. It’s also branded “AIM” on the side. I love that!
Next up, you get this crazy pistol and I’m not as big a fan of this one. I guess I can give it a pass because, again it’s unconventional design works well for an AIM weapon. Here the blue paint on the end of the barrel makes it look a little toyish, similar to the orange plugs they put into toy guns these days. Not bad, but not my favorite.
And that brings me to my least favorite weapon in the box, and that’s this little shotgun with the drum magazine. Once again, I do appreciate that Hasbro actually branded it, “AIM,” on the drum, but mine came right out of the package all warped and with a droopy barrel. I also don’t think the yellow works as well on this weapon. Maybe if they had added some black, but as it is, this little gun is getting tossed into The Tote of Forgotten Accessories™. Before moving on to the next figure, let’s take a look at just two more accessories…
The set includes this backpack and brown shoulder straps. The straps are a separate piece and fit onto the figure pretty easily, while the backpack simply pegs into the back through a hole in the shoulder rig. You can, of course, use the backpack without the shoulder rig, but I think it compliments it very well. Also, while the rig will work with the shoulder strap, I found it’s better to take the shoulder strap off. In case you don’t recognize it, this backpack is recycled from the fairly recent Deathlok figure, and I have to say the deco does a decent job of obscuring that fact. It’s cast in yellow plastic, and in keeping with the AIM equipment theme, it has some blue paint apps, as well as silver paint on the central piece. Pretty cool! Now lets move on to the AIM Trooper…
Or AIM Shock Trooper, as he’s referred to on the back of the package. From the neck down, this fellow is a straight repaint of Paladin from the Sasquatch Wave and, while some may scoff, I wholeheartedly approve. Paladin’s tactical suit works brilliantly here in it’s new black and yellow deco, complete with the molded holster on his left thigh and the integral sheath on his right leg armor. Nope, Hasbro didn’t tweak a thing here when it comes to the sculpt, but there’s some great stuff here and I still really dig the texturing on the armor plates. The color scheme favors black a lot more than the traditional AIM Scientist uniform but I think it’s faithful enough to still conform to AIM dress codes. Some extra paint hits include the sculpted straps and buckles that hold on the chest and back armor, as well as some silver paint on the holster’s thigh straps. And hey, at least they didn’t repack the figure with the Paladin head, right?
Oooh. Oh no. That’s a bold move, Hasbro! The Paladin head is indeed included with a AIM-ified black and yellow paint job and some light blue for the goggles. It works OK, but I think it works better as an unmasked head for the Scientist.
Yeah, that looks good and it’s not quite as “on the nose” as using it with the Paladin body. Until I get at least one more of these sets, I won’t be displaying this head at all, but I’m not going to totally dismiss the idea of using it once I have some more AIM Troopers. Besides, the AIM Trooper comes packaged with a much better choice, if you ask me.
The stock head is from the 2016 release of Scourge/Demolition Man and I think it looks pretty damn cool with the AIM deco and it looks especially appropriate for the Paladin body. This is very likely the head I’ll go with for this figure, but you do get one more option.
And that’s the second Beekeeper head. To be honest, I didn’t think this head was going to work at all on this figure, but I’m not hating it. Not at all! OK, so enough with the head talk, let’s check out this guy’s weapons…
I’ve already mentioned that he has Paladin’s holster and sheath, so obviously he comes with Paladin’s pistol and combat knife. No complaints here, as these are both great little weapons. The knife’s hilt is painted yellow while the pistol’s receiver is painted yellow. It’s all part of pushing that AIM brand!
The AIM Trooper also comes with a rifle and this is one we’ve seen before and which I’ve never liked, but I’m not really hating it here. Once again, it’s the odd design that works pretty well as some kind of strange AIM invention. And like the AIM Soldier’s rifle, this one is also branded with AIM on the side. With a few of these rifles consigned to the Tote of Forgotten Accessories™, it’s nice to have one version that I actually like. And obviously, while I refer to some weapons belonging to the Trooper and some to the Scientist, that’s just based on their proximity on the tray. Sure, Paladin’s knife and pistol are meant to go with the Trooper, but the rest are free to be mixed and matched as you like.
And before wrapping up, the AIM Trooper also comes with his own shoulder rig to work with the backpack. I’ve got to say, I think it looks much better on this guy and it was probably intended for him from the start. Still, it’s nice to have the option to put it on either figure.
I remember an odd amount of collector backlash over the Hydra set and I’m not sure if the same will be the case here. Personally, I couldn’t be happier with this release. Not only did it finally get the AIM Scientist into my collection, and not only does it give me an opportunity to get a few more, but Hasbro created a pretty cool original design for the AIM Trooper. I try not to do a lot of troop building these days, because I’m so tight on space, but I’m definitely going to be on the hunt for more of these. Besides, the $43 I paid for this set ain’t too far off what the original AIM Scientist was going for when I was hunting him.