Marvel Legends (Ant-Man and The Wasp): X-Con Luis and Ghost by Hasbro

It’s another week of tight schedules and limited time, so much so that I wasn’t even sure I was going to make it here today. But here I am, and while I was supposed to be finishing off the Lizard Wave today, I had to bump that to next week so I will have time to look at both Spider-Woman and the Lizard BAF. Conveniently, another one of the MCU two-packs hit my porch this past week and so I’m going to just nudge it to the head of the line for this week’s Marvel Monday! Let’s check out some figures from Ant-Man and The Wasp!

These MCU multi-packs are like an extension of those First Ten Years releases where Hasbro realized that they left a whole lot of money on the table by not milking the movies for every figure they could make. Today’s set is a great example of the two extremes which these releases can take. On the one hand, Ghost was conspicuously absent from the wave that contained Ant-Man and Wasp from this flick and I think that needed to be addressed. On the other hand, we have Luis. Sure, he was a major character in the film, but did we need a figure of him? Only you can answer that question for yourself. Let’s start with Luis.

Yup, if there was ever a sign of just how deep Hasbro is digging on this line, here’s Luis in his X-Con jacket! And I have to wonder how I’ve seen this movie so many times without realizing the name of their security business was X-Con. Anyway, this figure is about as basic as you can get with our man Luis donning a pair of khaki pants and a jacket, which is sculpted as a vest in soft plastic, and worn over the torso with the arms sculpted as sleeves. Under the jacket there’s a collared white shirt and tie, which I presume has been recycled from previous business-attire figures. The metallic blue paint on the tie looks sharp, and I love that the tie itself is a separately sculpted piece. There’s really not a lot else for me to say here, other than they printed the X-Con badge on the jacket and he has a ring sculpted on his finger, both of which are great little touch. You just have to imagine that paroled security man is going to be on every kid’s Christmas list this year!

The head sculpt is a fantastic likeness for Michael Pena, complete with the smarmy grin he wore for most of the flick. As always, the halftone printing on the face looks fantastic, especially the facial hair, and his coif is sculpted separately from the head. This one is easily among my top favorite MCU portraits yet.

There aren’t any surprises in the articulation, except maybe that his legs use ball joints instead of rotating hinges. The rest of the legs feature swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. I actually bent my figure’s left leg a little too far and thought I snapped it at the thigh swivel, but it turns out it just plugs right back in, similar to a BAF connection. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows have double-hinges and there are swivels in the biceps. He can swivel at the waist, there’s an ab-crunch buried under the jacket, and the neck has both hinges and ball joints. I didn’t really need my Luis figure to be super articulated, so what’s here is more than I could have needed or wanted.

The accessories in the box can really go with either character, but let’s just look at them now before moving on. First off, you get an enlarged ant, which is just a static piece. It’s a decent sculpt with some brown and black coloring. There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about it, but I’m glad they included it.

The coolest thing in the box is easily the shrunken down Pym Lab. I remember seeing the trailer and thinking that the shrunk down building was just a fun gag, and it turned out to be a major plot point for the whole flick. Anyway, this tiny building has an extending grab bar so it can be easily toted along. OK, let’s move on to Ghost.

Honestly, Ghost was not a terribly compelling character to me, and I wouldn’t rank her up as one of the better villains in the MCU. Still, she wasn’t bad, and I do like the running trend of giving these villains a degree of empathy rather than make them all mustache twirling psychos. But laying that aside, I really did dig the design of the suit in the film, and I’m enjoying it even more here. It just makes for a great looking action figure. Ghost is cast in a matte gray plastic and sculpted with layered panels to give it some sensation of depth, as if there’s a sort of framework placed over a textured mesh undersuit. The detail is quite impressive for a figurei n this scale, and the bright blue paint hits really makes the figure pop nicely. I have to imagine that someone over at Hasbro is licking their chops over the possibility of charging me $20 for a translucent version of Ghost. Hell, make it $40 and bundle her with Kurt. Why the hell not?

The masked head is a separate piece from the hood, allowing for it to articulate fairly well. The face mask is mostly featureless, except for the red “eyes” which pays homage to the comic version of Ghost. And like those blue points on the body, the red paint here stands out beautifully against the otherwise colorless figure.

You also get the unmasked portrait of Ava Starr and a second hood piece, which is sculpted in the down position. This is a decent enough likeness to the actress, but the combination of her long sculpted hair and the hood piece limits her neck articulation. I think the paint on the ends of her hair is a little heavy handed too, but now I’m just nitpicking.

And Ghost’s articulation is right in line with what we usually see on the Legends gals. That means ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. She has a ball joint under her chest and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged.

I came very close to taking a pass on this set, but a couple of price drops and my desire to add Ghost to my collection nudged me to pull the trigger. Her costume design makes for quite a stunning figure and I really think that the villains from all the movies should get the Legends treatment anyway. As for Luis? I really don’t mind getting him into my collection either. He may not be the most exciting figure around, but Luis was certainly a major character, and it always gives me a little chuckle to see just how far Hasbro will go when it comes to character selection. I think this set originally retailed for $40, but I picked up mine on sale for about $30. Will it reach the depths of that Ego and Star-Lord set? Only time will tell!

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Marvel Legends (Cull Obsidian Wave): The Wasp by Hasbro

I make it no secret that back when the MCU was still forming The Avengers, I was pretty pissed that Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne were not getting their due. But as things progressed, I realized that the MCU was doing its own thing and it was hard to argue with the results. And while we never really did get to see Hank and Janet in action beyond a quick missile-stopping scene, the duo of Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne make for a pretty damn good substitute in the latest Marvel cinematic outing. Last week I checked out Ant-Man, now let’s take a look at The Wasp!

Yeah, Ant-Man and The Wasp was a damn good movie and just the right follow-up to the angst-ridden downer that was Infinity War. It was fun and an all around perfect mix of action and laughs. Unless you stay for that post-credit scene in which it kind of becomes a quite a downer as well, but I guess they had to tie it into Infinity War somehow. In any event, I doubt we’ll see any more figures from this movie, but that’s probably why they slid the incredible shrinking duo into the second Infinity War wave. But hey, I’m just glad we got these two.

Hope comes packaged with her helmet on and that’s where I’ll start. I really dig this costume a lot. It pays respects to the The Wasp’s modern comic appearances with the black and gold outfit, which has always been a pretty good look for her. A majority of the suit is textured to give it the same finish as the Ant-Man suit, and in addition to the gold pattern on the front of the torso, you also get some gold on the arms, bottoms of the knee guards, and some striping on the legs, along with some hits of red. The arms feature the cuffs, which presumably house her blasters and she comes with a pair of fists attached. From the back, Wasp features a removable backpack, which I’ll come back to when we add her wings. All in all, this looks to me like a more refined suit than Scott’s, and that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be.

The helmet sculpt is solid, although it’s cast in that same questionable gray plastic as Ant-Man’s helmet. I think this one turned out a little better, but I’m still not a fan of the swirly patterns in the plastic. If I can get another Wasp figure at a decent price I may actually wind up trying to paint it proper silver. The biggest win here are the eyes being visible through the yellow lenses in the mask. I love that they were able to make that work and it looks fantastic.

And you also get an alternate unmasked head, which is a pretty good likeness to Evangeline Lilly. As always, the new printing technique tends to break down when you get in real close, but in hand the lips and eyes look fantastic, as does the sculpted ponytail. Nice job!

The articulation is mostly good. My usual issue holds true for the Legends ladies and Hasbro’s choice of articulation for the arms. The rotating ball joints in the shoulders and elbows sounds fine, but the range of movement in the elbows is disappointing. I can barely get a full 90-degrees out of those elbows. The wrists are on hinged pegs, to allow the hands to be swapped from fists to flying hands with the fingers held tightly together. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles. It doesn’t feel like she’s got lateral rockers in the ankles, but if she does, mine just don’t want to move that way. Lastly, there’s a ball joint under the chest, and she has both a hinge and ball joint in the neck.

Deploying Wasp’s wings is as easy as pulling off the backpack and pegging in the wing assembly. I think the backpack is sculpted to make it look like the wings are retracted but still showing a bit. If that’s the case it’s not that convincing, mainly because of the color difference, but swapping out the backpacks works well enough. The wings are cast in a frosted translucent plastic, which makes for a nice effect, but can be a little tough to see against a white backdrop. I think it would have been cool if they could have worked some kind of shimmery effect in there.

There also isn’t as much range of motion in the wings as we saw in the comic-based Janet Van Dyne from a bunch of waves back. Still, the wings are a whole lot of fun. They sure look nice and they hold onto the figure quite securely.

With there now being no less than four MCU versions of Scott Lang in the Marvel Legends lineup, it’s great to finally see The Wasp in action on the big screen and have a figure as well. Hasbro did a solid job on this release and I’m interested to see what the future holds for Hope Van Dyne as the MCU continues to unfold. As a footnote… I got in a couple Marvel Legends boxed two-packs last week, so I’ve decided to go All Marvel, All Week! So I can have a look at those without interrupting my usual Marvel Mondays. So on Wednesday I’ll be checking out the Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Captain America and Crossbones set, and then we’ll bring it on back home on Friday with a look at the Ant-Man and Stinger set.

Marvel Legends (Cull Obsidian Wave): Ant-Man by Hasbro

Who’s ready for another Marvel movie, eh? Getting tired of them yet. I’m honestly not, although lately I’ve been a little more excited for the more peripheral films rather than the Avengers-centric stuff. Well, Ant-Man and The Wasp hits theaters this week and I’ve already got my tickets lined up for Thursday night and this is one that I’m really looking forward to. To celebrate, I’m putting the Wheel of Marvel Legends aside and casting randomness to the wind. Instead, I’m pulling out the eponymous stars of this flick for the next today and the next Marvel Monday. So today let’s have a look at Scott Lang in his new Ant-Man suit, and next Monday we’ll check out Hope Van Dyne in her Wasp costume.

Egads, how I love the font they used for the title of this flick. It’s so bold and exciting and goofy and comic booky. Putting it on the box is almost enough to make me save the package, but I need room for more toys, so that’s not going to happen. I’ll also toss out how much I dig the idea of combining figures of different MCU movies into one wave. In this case, the Cull Obsidian Wave is mixed with Infinity War and this pair from Ant-Man and The Wasp. I think it allows them to spread the love, and let’s face it… there’s usually enough MCU films making their rounds at around the same time so that wave sharing can still feel fresh. Scott Lang comes packaged unmasked, but I’m going to kick things off by looking at him with the helmet on, because I really need to get a running start to tackle that Paul Rudd head.

So, straight away I’ll say that I do prefer the Ant-Man costume from the original film over this one and the one that debuted in Civil War. This one feels even more streamlined than the last one and it’s not that I don’t like this one, I really do, but there was something extra cool about the more complex and less polished look of the original. The belt is a separate piece now, but there isn’t a whole lot of detail going on there. Most of the lines separating the red and black parts of the suit are part of the sculpt, which is always a big plus for me. You get the same mix of black, red, and silver as on the original, as well as that lovely texturing all over the suit. Overall, the coloring is nice and the paint application is pretty clean. There are a few lines where the silver could have been a wee bit sharper, but nothing terrible. And yes, there are some unpainted pegs in the knee and elbow hinges, so if that pisses you off… well, prepare to be pissed off, I guess.

Once again, I dig the old style helmet a lot more than this one, which is a lot more streamlined. The helmet sculpt looks solid enough, but maybe a little rough around the edges as I get in close. As many of you know I’m not a big fan of this swirly gray plastic Hasbro likes to use. It’s a shame that they couldn’t have painted the helmet with the same silver they use for the rest of the suit. Hell, even the stuff they used for Deathlok’s arms looked a lot better than this. Another shame is that they couldn’t have gone with sculpted eyes and tinted clear lenses for the mask. They did it for the Ant-Man BAF from Civil War and as we’ll see next week they did it for Wasp too. Moving on to the alternate head…

I swear to God I saw pictures of this head in pre-production that looked absolutely amazing, but this isn’t it. I’m not sure what happened between then and now, but I think the final head came out too elongated. Maybe it got pinched in the molding process. I mean, it’s definitely Paul Rudd, but it comes off looking more like a caricature of him and not so much a realistic portrait. Besides the fact that it looks elongated, I’m going to chalk a lot of it up to the expression they went with. The shit-eating smirk kind of fits the character, and it’s a nice attempt at endowing the figure with a lot of personality, but it just comes off as creepy and weird to me. I’m going to go with points for trying here, but I don’t think they quite hit the mark.

The articulation is everything I’ve come to expect from my Marvel Legends figures. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. It’s worth noting that the shoulder articulation is a tad more limited from the sculpt and even the elbows don’t bend as far as I would have liked. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. You get a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest and the head is both ball jointed and hinged. A bit better range of motion in the arms would have been appreciated, but not bad.

Scott Lang has been one of the most pleasant surprises for me in the MCU and I’m happy to see him getting a figure from each one of his appearances. The unmasked head is a bit of a hiccup, but I give them high marks for trying and I’ll still likely display the figure with it from time to time. And yes, I’m going to happily pick up the Marvel Studios: First 10 Years two-pack because it not only nets me a Civil War version of Lang in normal size, but it also comes with what looks like a better unmasked head. And also a figure of Yellowjacket, which is something I’ve wanted for a long, long time, especially since Hot Toys’ version never made it past prototype. Join me again next week, when I’ll have seen the flick and have a look at The Wasp!