Having teased Ant-Man's arrival earlier this year, and finally showing off the prototype at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, Hot Toys has released the first official images and details for it's upcoming miniature Paul Rudd replica. Ant-Man joins an incredible roster of Marvel Cinematic Universe characters that have been recreated in figure form from the Chinese manufacturer, which makes sense given how popular Hot Toys' Movie Masterpiece line has become in regards to Marvel's characters. However, if you had told me back when this whole MCU thing started that Ant-Man would be getting a ~$200 figure in the future, I'd probably have laughed you out of the room.
Like many of the more recent figures in the this series, Ant-Man will come with some accessories, but the only one that really matters is the 2.8cm (1.1") non-articulated Ant-Man miniature. Judging by the number of similar product releases this year, it must be part of Marvel's contract for toy makers to include these microscopic iterations of the character. We get it guys; he shrinks. On top of being so effing small, there's so little detail in the mini-figures, it hardly seems worth the added inclusion.
When it comes to next-level collectibles from beloved comics and movies, few companies bring it as hard as Sideshow Collectibles. The company has long been crafting statues and figures for the refined collector from a wide range of licenses like Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics and many, many more. As the official U.S. distributor for Hong Kong toy makers Hot Toys, Sideshow's portfolio of products is tough to top.
When we hit the floor at San Diego Comic-Con this year, we darted to the Sideshow booth. Partially to get there before it became to crowded to photograph the insane amount of products on display, but mostly because we had to see all the figures and statues that would break our wallets in the coming year. From Wolverine and Red Sonja to Star Wars and Transformers, Sideshow Collectibles SDCC '15 reveals will have fans of just about everything on Earth excited.
You know who is the most serious hero in the Avengers? It's Thor. You know how I know this? It's because his Hot Toys figure has a face sculpt that's so "srs bsns" it looks like he's trying really, really hard to not crap his Asgaridan britches. Typically, I really like Hot Toys' sculpts. There are a few here and there that don't really match up 100% (Chris Pratt Star-Lord and pre-Winter Soldier Scarlett Johansson Black Widows), but the sculptors there haven't missed on a Chris Hemsworth Thor yet. Technically, this does look like Chris, it's just that I'm not so sure anyone wants a version of Thor that looks like he just got done watching Zoolander.
It's a shame,too, since the Thor: The Dark World version was really sharp. This Avengers: Age of Ultron figure takes plenty of inspiration from the previous iteration, though the head sculpt is all new. The armor and cape are fairly close to the last figure, with some minor variation to differentiate it just enough. This Thor will also come with multiple Mjolnirs, including the standard metal version and a new LED light-up version. There's also a little lightning effect add-on to include for that added bit of Mjolnir realism.
Though we've known Hot Toys was planning on making Ant-Man figures to tie into the upcoming feature film, nobody was expecting the first full reveal to be part of the Artist's Mix line. Based on designs by Japanese artist Touma, the Artist's Mix got its start with Avengers: Age of Ultron. While that series has seen multiple waves already announced, we're probably only going to get this one set of three figures from Ant-Man.
The Artist Mix line is unlike Hot Toys' bread and butter sixth-scale collection, and offers highly stylized interpretations of characters is static poses. While Hot Toys has hinted that other artists might be taking part in the line in the future, so far both Avengers and Ant-Man have been handled by Touma. Where I wasn't particularly crazy about the Avengers designs, I actually dig the Ant-Man figures a little bit more. That's mostly due to the fact that all the faces are hidden by helmets.
After a few months of hype, Hot Toys has finally revealed its Avengers: Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch figure, and it sure does look like a keeper. Beyond robots, this is the first new character figure we've seen in full from Hot Toys based on the never-ending series Age of Ultron collectibles. Her inclusion here also makes this the first Marvel movie figure line from Hot Toys to include multiple female figures. Yes, I'm still salty we never got an armored Pepper Potts from Iron Man 3, but we could get 99 other Iron Man armors. But I digress.
Scarlet Witch joins the increasing roster of Avengers figures produced by the Hong Kong-based company, though we're still waiting for her brother, Quicksilver, and Thor to join the party. The figure is based on her appearance in 95% of the film, where she donned mostly street clothes, and not the uniform we saw her get during the very last moments of Age of Ultron. Normally, plainclothes figures don't really do it for me; I like the spectacle of the superhero costume. However, the rest of this figure is so nice, I'm ready to make an exception.
For years, Hot Toys has been releasing licensed figures as part of its Movie Masterpieces line. Anticipation for what the 300th figure in the long-running collection would be started peaking earlier this year as the number of new announcements drew us ever-closer to the magical tricentennial collectible.
If you've been following the company's release slate for the past seven years, you'd know Hot Toys has a certain affinity for Iron Man. As such, it came as little surprise to learn that Hot Toys MMS 300 would be yet again another Iron Man figure. Hey, at least it's an all-new design this time.
The second wave of Hot Toys' Avengers: Age of Ultron Cosbaby figures was announced this week, this time giving some love to the under-appreciated true stars of the film, Vision and Black Widow. Seven more figures will join the line, which already includes the likes of Thor, Captain America and Ultron, all of which are rendered in adorable chibi fashion.
While we've been seeing the core team's new Hot Toys incarnations over the course of the past few months, Vision is the first new Avenger we've been deemed worthy enough to get a look at. He's also the perfect example of how ideas are sometimes better as a concept than in execution.
Beware, faithful readers, there be some light spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron in the images.
Little, potted Groot dancing his branches off was arguably the most memorable moment from the 2014 surprise superhero hit Guardians of the Galaxy. Many companies sought to capture the moment with a figure or collectible, but none of them were as movie-accurate as Hot Toys' 1/4 scale Little Groot.
If there's one Batman film that hasn't gotten the same amount of love and attention as the rest of the franchise, it's Batman Forever. If there's a second, it's Batman Returns. Fortunately for all of us, Hot Toys is revisiting the 1992 classic with an all-new Batman figure, and it's first Michael Keaton Bruce Wayne to boot.
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