Marvel Universe Infinite: Omega Red by Hasbro

It’s that time of the week where I open another Marvel Infinite Series from my pile and today’s random grab into the stack turned up Omega Red! This figure was originally released in the final wave of the Marvel Universe line, and as is often the case when lines end, he was ridiculously tough to find. I remember hitting the Targets around here a bunch of times trying to find him on the pegs and never with any luck. I even came close to paying a scalper prices for him online. But my laziness and procrastination paid off because Hasbro got him back into the hands of collectors by repacking him in the Infinite Series. And I’m mighty grateful to them for it!

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Damn, this guy knows how to fill out that bubble, and considering how big the bubbles are on these Infinite Series cards, that’s really saying something. I guess there’s also something to be said for the minimalist crap design of the package here, because when I look at it all I see is the Marvel tag up top and an awesome looking figure below it. Everything else just seems to melt away into the background. I’d like to think that the strategy here is “Let the figure sell itself!” rather than, “Let’s be cheap and not pay for good artwork!” Yeah…

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And there’s Omega Red out of the package and looking like every bit the vicious piece of shit that he is. Seriously, going by some of the darker aspects of his backstory, I’m kind of surprised that someone like this got a mainstream action figure, let alone a re-issue. But don’t get me wrong, I’m mighty glad he did. Arkady is a great character and I’m not just saying that because I love just about everything that ever flowed from John Byrne’s prolific noggin. Villains are there to be hated and that’s never been a problem for Omega Red because I’ve always found him to be a bastard through and through. But, I digress…

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Everything about Omega Red makes him a stand out figure. Hasbro built him on a larger sized buck. He’s obviously not Juggernaut or Thanos big, but he’s big enough to hulk over most of the other characters. The base body is a nice combo of red and white with a tasteful wash over the red to bring out the detail in his muscles and a blue wash over the white in his upper arms and face, which I’d like to think is meant to depict his Carbonadium poisoning. The body is rounded out with some newly sculpted pearlescent white boots and a separately sculpted harness and shoulder pads. The overall coloring on this figure is magnificently striking, I particularly love the Omegas on his gauntlets, and even on a shelf of colorful characters Omega Red stands out.

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention what a great job Hasbro did on Arkady’s head sculpt. The portrait here is one of pure rage and his face is nicely framed by his cyborg parts. The hair sculpt is also particularly great and the Omega on his headband ties the whole thing together.

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The articulation here is quite good, and pretty much in line with most of the modern MU/MIS figures we’ve seen. His arms have rotating pins at the shoulders, hinges at the elbows, and both the wrists and biceps have swivels. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, with swivels in both the thighs and lower legs, and hinges in the ankles. He’s got a ball joint in the torso and another in the neck. He is definitely a fun figure to pose, although I wish he had swivels in his lower arms, because sometimes the tentacles won’t do what I’d like.

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Speaking of the tentacles, Omega Red’s carbonadium tendrils are sculpted in soft plastic, but they’re definitely pre-posed. You can bend them, but they tend to go right back to where they were. It seems like they’re socketed into his lower arms, but I haven’t had any luck removing them, so I’m guessing they aren’t made to come out. Seems like making them detachable would have been a nice substitute for them actually retracting, which of course wouldn’t work in this scale.

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And so, a figure that I was almost ready to pay $40 landed in my collection for a mere $10. Needless to say he was a very sweet deal and I can’t recommend him enough. He was definitely the showpiece of Marvel Universe’s last wave and while he’s got some heavier competition in Wave 3 of the Infinite Series, he definitely shines as one of the better figures in this assortment.

Marvel Universe Infinite: Wasp by Hasbro

Poor Janet Van Dyne, it’s not enough that she gets slapped around by her husband, but she hasn’t been getting a lot of love from Hasbro either. I remember how pissed off I was that neither she nor Hank Pym were going to be in The Avengers film. Outrageous! How can you omit the two founding members? Of course, after basking in how awesome the movie turned out, I quickly forgot my haughty principles and shut the hell up. Wasp sort of got her due in the Avengers Assemble cartoon (it was a great portrayal), but then that got shit-canned. And now Ant-Man is getting a movie (assuming the production stops imploding) and she’s still left in the dust. Well, at least now she’s finally been represented in the action figure aisle, possibly for the first time since that Legends MODOK wave from the Toy Biz days. Unless, of course, you count the tiny wasp that came in the Secret Wars comic pack.

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Here we see Wasp comes in the drab and joyless Marvel Infinite packaging. Blah. These cards are an opener’s dream come true because they’re so ugly I actually want to shred them to pieces to get the toy out.

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This figure features Wasp in her most recent comic look and at 3 ¾” scale if you want to imagine she’s shrunk down, you can even consider this a 1:1 scale figure. Neat! Just like we saw last time with Ant-Man, Wasp makes use of a pretty standard buck and uses paint apps to make up her costume. She’s cast in black plastic and there’s a little bit of gold paint used for the deco on her torso and the soles of her boots. The gold looks nice next to the matte black of the rest of the costume. There’s some uneven application of the paint on her chest, but the rest of the deco is sharp and overall it still looks pretty good.

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Of course, the other aspect of Wasp’s costume is her wings and I absolutely love the way Hasbro handled these. They actually come detached from the figure and make use of hinged pegs that fit snugly right into her back. Between rotating the pegs and working the hinges, you can get a pretty good range of poses out of them. The wings themselves are cast in a clear yellowish green plastic, which look great.

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The portrait on this figure is among one of my favorite Marvel Universe headsculpts that Hasbro has turned out so far. It’s clearly defined and attractive with some very sharp paintwork on the eyes and lips. What really makes it work is the wonderful pixie-style hair sculpt. One look and there’s no mistaking it… that’s Janet! As Wasp uses one of the more modern female bucks, the figure delivers a good degree of articulation. The shoulders and elbows are pegged and hinges and the wrists have swivels. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double-hinged at the knees and feature swivels in the thighs and lower legs. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint just under her chest and the neck features both a hinge and a ball joint.

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As with Ant-Man, Wasp comes with a tiny static version of herself. It’s pre-posed in flight with some basic paint apps and translucent wing parts. This piece is a tad bigger than the tiny Ant-Man and I’ve actually managed to not lose it. I dig that Hasbro includes these bonus items, but I really have no use for it and I can’t even think of a decent way to display it.

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I’ve been waiting for Wasp to get her due in action figure form for a while now and I’m so happy to finally get her. This is a great little figure and it’d be really cool if we could see a repaint in her classic red and blue costume, which happens to be my favorite. I wish there were some way Hasbro could have worked a simple flight stand into the deal, but I can see where that would have been cost prohibitive. Still, I have to say, crappy package design aside, Marvel Infinites has been impressing me a lot so far, and I’ve only just started opening these!

Marvel Universe Infinite: Ant-Man by Hasbro

I love Hank Pym. He’s one of those wonderfully flawed and ultimately very “human” characters that are oftentimes scarce in mainstream comic books. Of course, sometimes it’s hard to love him, but I think that’s what makes him such an interesting character. Anyway, the sad truth is that up until now I had absolutely no representation of his Ant-Man persona in my collection. But now, thanks to the new Marvel Infinite Series, I finally have me an Ant-Man figure. And thanks to the wonders of Pym Particles, he’s a figure that can fit in with my Universe, Legends, and hell even my Hot Toys Marvel figures.

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There’s the packaging and I’m still not a fan. There’s no craft of presentation here. All this does is protect the figure and allow you to get a good look at what you’re buying. As far as I’m concerned Hasbro might as well dropped it into a Ziploc bag and wrote Ant-Man on it. Blah!

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Ant-Man makes use of the same slender buck that Hasbro used for their previous Hank Pym figure, Yellowjacket. This is also one of those figures that rely almost entirely on paint apps for the costume details. In this case, you get his red costume with blue and black deco and there’s an effective use shading to give the outfit a little more depth. Yes, from the neck down Ant-Man is an extremely simple figure, but in the case of this character it certainly works. Articulation consists of ball joints in the neck, chest, shoulders, hips, and ankles. The arms feature hinged elbows and swivels in the biceps. The legs have double hinged knees and swivels in the thighs.

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The head sculpt is where it’s all at. I’ve always the design of Ant-Man’s helmet and Hasbro did a nice job reproducing it here for the 3 ¾” scale. The front part of the mask is actually sculpted separately and permanently attached to the helmet. Having it separate from the face gives the portrait a lot of depth and credibility and I’m surprised to see something like that done in this scale. Even the deep set eyes are clearly defined and look great. Critics may take note of the lack of antennae. I don’t think that was an oversight, but rather just a concession that it would have been impractical to do them, make them look right and have them not break off.

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Ant-Man comes with one accessory… himself! Yes, it’s a tiny little PCV version of himself, which features some remarkably good sculpting and paintwork for such a teeny little piece. I thought this was going to be the same pack-in that was included with the Marvel Universe Yellowjacket figure, but it’s actually brand new. It’s also something that I lost almost immediately after opening him up. It must have dropped onto the floor during the photo shoot and in my house anything that small that drops onto the floor instantly becomes the posession of the cat. Poor tiny Ant-Man no doubt currently resides in the kitty’s personal cave of trophies that is also sometimes known as “under the sofa.” Perhaps the little guy will find some ants under there to help him escape.

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Ant-Man is one of those characters that was mighty high on my list for the Marvel Universe line and it’s good to see him finally getting the spotlight in the Infinite Series, especially when his film seems to be languishing in developmental purgatory. Speaking of which, it’s kind of odd to me that Hasbro went with Pym over Scott Lang, since it is the latter that will be taking on the mantle of Ant-Man in the movie, but I’m glad they did because finding out that Hank Pym wasn’t going to be the focus of the Ant-Man film really knocked it down a couple notches for me. Either way, as simple as this figure is, Hasbro did a fine job on him and it’s great to have him in my collection. Next time I revisit the Infinite Series we’ll check out Wasp!