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Scarlet Witch & Vision

Avengers: Infinity War
by yo go re

Both empowered by the Mind Stone, Vision and Scarlet Witch are powerful forces in the throes of battle.

Hey, since the bio is going to bring it up, let's just get right into the question: can anyone explain how the Mind Stone works? We accurately predicted its appearance in the first Avengers, because there it was dominating people's minds. Okay, fair enough. But by the time of Avengers 2: Pandora Tomorrow, it had somehow been used to give the Maximoff kids superpowers? And then it brought Tony Stark's thermostat to life. Saying something's ability is "whatever the plot requires" isn't good writing.

The Scarlet Witch in this two-pack is the same figure we got in the Captain America 3 line, sporting a minorly different paintjob. How minorly? Her hair is more of an orange-red now than a auburn-red. Yes, some of the reds on her jacket are different, but it's still a red jacket and black pants - unless you stand the toys next to each other, the hair is the only thing you'll notice.

Actually, you probably should haul the old Wanda out to compare them, because it will really showcase what a difference the "face-printing" technology Hasbro has started using can make. The head sculpt is identical on this figure and the last one, but the printed paint here absolutely improves what was already a fairly impressive likeness.

She also gets new accessories: rather than the giant globs of dark, cloudy plastic that fit over her hands, she gets smaller swirls of brighter, cloudy plastic that can wrap up her forearms. It's a much nicer choice, and is closer to the way her powers are depicted in the films. A 100% reused mold means 100% reused articulation, so there are no surprises in the way she moves.

Now, with her out of the way, let's talk what really matters: Vision. It was strange that we didn't get him in the Crisis Core: Avengers 2 line, and ridiculous that we didn't get him in the Civil War line, but at last he becomes a reality thanks to Infinity War. Finally, everybody can stop importing that oversized Chinese figure!

Before Dirge of Cerberus: Avengers 2 opened, we made the guess that since JARVIS stood for "Just A Rather Very Intelligent System," the movie's plot would see Ultron taking over the world's computer networks, leading Tony Stark to have to create a new program that wasn't connected to any existing systems - a Very Intelligent System (Initialized Off-Network). Clearly we know that's wrong now, but we've been holding onto that tidbit for three years, waiting for a review to drop it into.

Vision has a new mold, because no existing characters could have reasonably suited him. He's covered head-to-toe (or at least throat-to-shin) with a hexagonal texture, continuing even over the shallow ridges that outline patterns on his his body. His boots and gloves are not just molded edges, but actual separate pieces glued onto the limbs to create a real sense of depth. The level of detail to be found in this sculpt really suggests that they're planning to reuse these molds again later - they seem too expensive to not break out again. So, maybe a white/grayscale version for Infinity War Part II?

But that's the future. Right now Vision is magenta, gold and green, which honestly shows why it may be a good thing that he's getting his first figure now, and not back in the Avengers 2: Rise of the Machines days: remember that the style guides given to all the licensees showed Vihz to be an inexplicably grey-and-purple color, just like they showed "Rampaging Hulk" being grey (but it was changed before the movie opened). If there'd been a Marvel Legend at the time, he'd have had the same incorrect color seen on the other merchandise, and might not have had as crisp a sculpt - or as accurate a Paul Bettany likeness - as we see here.

Vision's articulation is on par with other Marvel Legends, featuring joints at the neck, head, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, torso, waist, hips, thighs, knees and ankles. You get your choice of two kinds of hands: either fists or open fingers, which can switch easily by pulling out at the wrist. His cape, which is molded from translucent plastic and given yellow and pink apps, plugs into his back; unfortunately, the weight of it pulls the front away from his chest, leaving it hovering instead of looking like it's actually connected there. You could put a drop of glue there if it really bothers you; it's not like the cape is removable anyway.

It took three movies for us to finally get a Vision action figure, but it's good enough to fit into any collection. Infinity War, where they had to find a way to depower him so he wouldn't single-handedly wipe the floor with Thanos's fan club? Sure. Civil War, where the subtle characterization of a computerized mind making a mistake was used to show him becoming more human? Absolutely. Avengers 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet? He may be more colorful on this toy than in the movie, but he still fits. It's anoying that you have to double-dip on Scarlet Witch to get him, but she's at least an improvement over last time. This set was a Toys Я Us exclusive, one of the last to ever be released, and if you're not lucky enough to find one in a store before it closes, Entertainment Earth can hook you up.

-- 06/11/18

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