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Ant-Man & Yellowjacket

by yo go re

Small mood!

When the government attempts to seize Hnk Pym's Pym particle shrinking technology for use in warfare, Pym trusts in the help of petty criminal Scott Lang to don the Ant-Man suit and strike back against corruption. Geared up as the half-inch hero, Lang must stop Pym Industries representative Darren Cross before he sells the shrinking technology to Hydra and enables them to create a new army of unstoppable, shrinking secret weapons.

Scott Lang is enlisted by Hank Pym to suit up as Ant-Man and fight against competing forces intending to use the incredible, shrinking Pym particles for evil.

Hey, an Ant-Man! Haven't seen that before! Eh, we're just kidding around: while Hasbro could have used this two-pack to release a Michael Douglas Hank Pym figure (based on the suit body, naturally), instead they opted to get some more mileage out of the existing Ant-Man molds. That's the first Ant-Man mold, not the second one, and we're not going to begrudge them that - it allows them to correct some paint issues that were present on the 2015 toy, and to give it a helmet that's actually designed like it's supposed to be. And surprisingly, that is a new mold, not just a retool of either of the existing ones. We're off to a good start.

Also a new mold? The unmasked Paul Rudd face. It's kind of amazing that in a single year, we've now gotten two different toys with Paul Rudd face. This uses Hasbro's new "Photo Real" painting tech, in which a photo of the actor is overlayed on the digital sculpt, and the paint masters are programmed based on the result. This likeness isn't as strong as the one on the Ant-Man and the Wasp figure, but that may be because the expression is neutral instead of smirking.

The new lead of Pym Industries, Darren Cross, threatens to sell his highly weaponized Yellowjacket suit to the criminal organisation Hydra.

Reusing the Scott Lang molds means that there was plenty of room in the budget to go all-out with Yellowjacket. It may not have a Corey Stoll likeness (it's possible his rights weren't included in the contract - something that seems to be the case with a lot of villains), but it is an entirely new sculpt. The prototype for an entire army of miniaturized soldiers, Yellowjacket may fall into the same old "hero fights his exact equal" trope, but that doesn't preclude the design from looking really good.

Comicbook Yellowjacket is known for a few things: favoring the yellow half of the colorscheme over the black, having giant weird "wings" on top of the shoulders, and antennae on the ears. MCU Yellowjacket doesn't even come close to passing the squint test - it's got a lot more black than yellow, and ditches the wings and antennae entirely. Still, the honeycomb pattern on the yellow portions really sells the "insect" theme... or, well, I guess it's not technically a "honey" comb, since wasps don't make honey, but if we just called it a "comb," your mind would go to haircare, not tessellated hexagons.

Yellowjacket doesn't come with an unmasked Corey Stoll head, just the normal helmet. It has translucent yellow panels over the eyes, which makes for a pretty cool look. Unfortunately, the paint isn't consistent across the entire figure. There are two different shades of yellow: a warm, rich yellow on the legs, abdomen, hands, forearms, and shoulders, and a paler yellow on the chest, ribs, and biceps. Either one could have been fine, if it had been the same everywhere, but it's not. Maybe they were trying to suggest the way the panels light up, but the final product just looks like a mistake.

While YJ doesn't have the same kind of wings as his comicbook counterpart, he does get something: a backpack with articulated arms. The two thin protuberances on the top have swivels and hinges, while the larger pair at the bottom have swivel/hinges where they join the backpack, a hinge next to that, and another swivel/hinge about halfway out the length. So while they're down behind his legs when you take him out of the tray, you can twist them so they point out over his shoulders to shoot his enemies. (The smaller two are the pieces that provide flight capabilities.) The pack is removable, but it doesn't really need to be.

The set also includes the mini (aka "twice life-size") versions of Ant-Man and Yellowjacket that came with the first movie figure. The paint is slightly different here, but while Yellowjacket still stands surprisingly well, Ant-Man was designed to ride an ant that is no longer included, so he can't stand at all. It probably wasn't worth remolding the piece, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing.

This is a nice set - escpecially with the improvements made to Ant-Man himself - but you have to wonder if Yellowjacket was, like Trevor Slattery, a figure designed at the time of the movie, but never released. If you compare the details on the toy to a shot from the film, there are just a lot of small differences that don't make sense on a figure from a movie that came out three years ago.

-- 12/24/18

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