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Astonishing Ant-Man

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
by yo go re

So when will they finally release his arch-nemesis, Uncle-Woman?

Attempting to save his daughter's life, ex-criminal Scott Lang steals technology imbued with Pym Particles. Gaining the ability to shrink to the size of an insect, Scott becomes an unexpected superhero as Ant-Man.

Oh, so this is Scott? I guess they figured they'd already released a Hank Pym Ant-Man in the first Marvel Legends Retro Collection series a few years back, but come on guys: if nobody carried that line and nobody could buy it, it doesn't count. To be utterly fair, we haven't had a figure of Scott wearing this costume since 2006; we had an accessory of him in his late-90s costume and a figure of him in his late-10s costume, but as far as wearing Hank Pym's hand-me-downs? Not since ToyBiz had the license. So be it! Sorry about your luck if you just bought that old toy right before this one got announced.

It should not be surprising to anyone that an action figure released in 2023 is better than one released in 2006. If you're not better than you were 17 years ago, well, you're probably mad that stores sell Pride merchandise and think book bannings are about "pornography." You know: regressive and stupid. And worthless. Because if the new Target Ant-Man didn't show any improvement over the old Walmart one, there'd be no reason to buy it, would there? He uses an existing body, but not the same Retro Ant-Man used; that's a nice move on Hasbro's part, making the two characters distinct from one another even if they're wearing the same costume.

And yes, this is the classic costume: red body, black stripe down the center, blue trunks and extremeties. The color of the chest and the color of the limbs doesn't match, presumably because of the different formulas of dye needed to work with PVC and ABS plastic? It's not like the chest was molded in black and had the red painted over it, which is what the shade makes it look like happened, so we can only assume it has to do with something else. The rest of the colors are vibrant and look nice.

The head is new. Retro Collection Ant-Man reused Black Ant's... well, everything. Retro Collection Ant-Man was a total repaint of Black Ant. Belt, body, head, everything. This helmet is more classic (which is why we thought it might have been Hank, not Scott), with a perfectly round dome, smooth "mandibles" holding his microphone in place, and very thin antennae that come up of fthe forehead and arc forward, instead of being perfectly straight or having a harsh bend.

The helmet is not removable, which means there's at least one area where the old ToyBiz one has the advantage, but that's it. You do get your choice of fists or relaxed hands, but that's nothing terribly exciting. We have said before that every size-changing character should come with a smaller version of themselves, but Astonishing Ant-Man sadly doesn't.

This body is one of the ones with hinged pecs, but thankfully not that new one that's not so good. Ant-Man has swivel/hinge ankles, swivel boots, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, swivel waist (you may need to adjust his new belt up or down slightly to get it moving right), a hinged chest, hinged pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinged wrists, a hinged neck, and a balljointed head.

Scott Lang may be a master thief, but he just can't manage to steal his way into a mass market release. His first toy was a Walmart exclusive, his second was Toys "Я" Us, and now his third is Target. This is a definite improvement over the ancient ToyBiz figure, and over the more recent Retro Collection Ant-Man, but if you have either of those, you don't really need this one. More could have been done (removable helmet, mini Ant-Man pack-in) to make him special and make him stand out. Overall the toy is good, but not great.

-- 05/29/23

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