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Ant-Man five-pack

Marvel Universe
by yo go re

He would prove them wrong. He would show them that imagination means something, that science can make the impossible... possible. His discovery will change commerce... combat... travel! These particles - Pym Particles - will change the world.

The fun packaging continues on this set. The box is shaped like Ant-Man's head (or maybe, since it's larger than a human head, "like Giant-Man's"). Mounted on the back of the box are two movable antennae that can swivel up into position, completing the look. The interior backdrop shows Hank's lab, but the art must have been blown up, because it's fuzzy. Now that Hasbro has their "Hasbro Pulse" thing, it'd be nice if they put up a large, high-quality version of this art that fans could print out for their own displays.

Since the Book of Vishanti was this year's Marvel Legends exclusive, this one is technically the Marvel Universe one (or Marvel Infinite Series, as they call it now), but there's a little bit of wiggle room, given the subject matter. But we'll start with the nominal centerpiece, Ant-Man.

There was already an Infinite Series Ant-Man, but since he wasn't Captain America or Iron Man, he was impossible to find in stores. This figure uses the same body, but covers it with a white lab coat, since Hank had a tendency to get back from a mission and go right to work without changing. That means he also gets new arms to match the coat - and thus, there'll be no stripping it off to make a "plain" Ant-Man. It would have been interesting if, instead, they had used GI Joe's "maintenance uniform" body to re-create Hank's "red jumpsuit" phase. No one's ever made a figure of that before.

Although he's unmasked in the package, the set does include the same masked head as the normal Ant-Man release. It's a tight fit on the balljoint, and appears to be missing its antennae: there are two holes on the forehead, but nothing sticking out of them. The mass release was the same way. His new Hank-head looks surprisingly angry!

Every Batman should come with a batarang, every Green Lantern should come with a power battery, and every shrinking character should come with mini versions of themselves. The single-carded Ant-Man came with an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weenie Ant-Man, and that same accessory/figure is included here. It just breaks the ¾" mark, making him the same basic size as the mini live-action Ant-Man, though the pose here is less squat. It can't stand on its own, but the detailing is good for the size. And hey, he may count as a 1:1 lifesize action figure!

Surprisingly, we then get a new, non-Pym figure! This is clearly Scott Lang, because he's the only one who ever wore this costume. This is an unarticulated 1½" tall figure, given a confident, heroic pose. Surprisingly, the details on the black and red costume are sculpted on, not just painted. That's crazy! They did miss the four tiny eye-spots on the helmet - even if those weren't sculpted, they could have been simple drops of paint. Still, this is a new mold of a character who hasn't had a figure before, so it's cool to see it here.

But enough of that, back to Hanks! Our next figure is his third superhero identity (adopted upon returning after a brief leave of absence from the Avengers), Goliath. He wore two different costumes as Goliath, but this is the first - it's blue and yellow, rather than red and blue. This costume was made as a chase figure in Marvel Legends Series 4, and both versions were available in the Marvel Universe "Giant Battles" sets (though I was never able to get either), and now here he is again.

Like we said at the top of the review, there's some wiggle room in what collection you want to put this set with. Goliath towers over the 4¼" Science Pym figure, because he's built using the small ML body - so is he a big 4" figure, or is he a normal-sized 6" figure? It's up to you. And that's why I bought this set. The paint could use a little work - the stripes on his shoulders don't connect to his body, and the spikes on his boots don't line up properly with the stripes on his legs, which is not the first time there's been such a problem lately. His belt is a new piece that just sits tightly around his waist.

And of course the head is a new sculpt. It's mostly a smooth cowl, but his ears poke out the sides and he has golden goggles over his eyes. The visible details of the mouth and nose do seem to match the sculpt of the 4" Pym, which is cool. Goliath first appeared in Avengers #28, which means the suit was probably designed by Don Heck.

Getting a Marvel Legends Goliath was only part of the reason I wanted this set; the big draw (no pun intended) was Giant-Man.

Hank Pym is like a machine that creates superhero identities for other people; every identity he's used has later been adopted by someone else. There have been three Ant-Men, four or five Goliaths, a female Yellowjacket, and then one of the Goliaths also went by Giant-Man for a while. This Giant-Man is wearing the same costume as the one in the Ant-Man Legends series, allowing you to have some size-changing fun if you have them both. When Hank first became Giant-Man, his height topped out at 12' - he's gotten slightly bigger since then, but that still makes this figure just as nicely in scale with Marvel Legends as it is with Marvel Universe.

Following the trend of the Giant Battles sets, Giant-Man's mold is reused from the long-defunct Marvel Legends Icons series. As you may be able to tell from the piping on his costume, this body was originally a 12" Cyclops. There's even an X belt buckle hiding behind his new belt! It's a good choice for re-use, in that there are a lot of "costumey" details in the sculpt, and it's the same mold used by the two Goliaths, so it's not without precedent. There are some superfluous details (ridges at the top of the "boots," cuffs around the wrists, etc.), but the costume looks better in this scale than in 6".

The head is another new piece, and yet again, it looks like the others in this set. Seriously, that would be such an easy thing to overlook, but this set at least put a modicum of effort into treating multiple versions of a character like they are all the same person. The figure is missing some paint - the stripes wrapping around his shoulders, and the small vertical ones on his temples - but his antennae are a separate piece, and they sculpted the two extra bumps on his forehead.

This set is, in theory, meant to go along with your 4" figures - that's what scale Hank is, and Goliath and Giant-Man are both meant to be growing. But if you prefer Marvel Legends, then just imagine that Goliath is the normal-sized one, and Hank is in the process of shrinking down to work on some extra-small equipment. Whichever scale you prefer, this is a fun set and offers a lot of unique figures, and that makes it a winner.

-- 08/24/15

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