You Can’t Stop Pym, You Can Only Hope to Contain Pym in Hasbro’s SDCC Ant-Man Box Set [Review]
Did you know there's a superhero called Ant-Man, and that he's going to be starring in a major motion picture later this month? Have you also been living with three other people in a bunker run by a mysterious man who thinks he has what it takes to be on The Apprentice (RIP) for the last twenty years? There's a lot of hype surrounding the pint-sized Marvel hero these days, and in an effort to serve the fervor surrounding Ant-Man, Hasbro is releasing a limited box set featuring the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, in some of his most famous incarnations.
Throughout the years, Hank Pym has been many heroes. Though he's most synonymous with the Ant-Man persona, Pym has also been Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, and the Wasp. He also accidentally created the genocidal artificial intelligence Ultron, but since that's not what happened in the movies, it doesn't count in real life any more. And as luck (and keen marketing) would have it, almost all of those alternate identities are captured here in the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive set.
Smack in the center of the box set you'll find the enormous Giant-Man. He's got all the articulation of a standard Marvel Legends figure, but extrapolated to be double the height. It's a solid sculpt, as his body type doesn't really require much tooling other than making sure he looks muscular enough. The only flourish of out-of-the-ordinary detail comes in his head gear, which features antennae for reasons only Hank Pym will ever know.
Like many classic heroes, Giant-Man comes from a time when costumes were not outlandish works that would take incredible amounts of time to don. As such, his uniform has a simple style that Hasbro's team nails perfectly. It's always incredibly easy to spot imperfections in something so minimalist, and this figure's paint app escapes any and all issues. Still as well as this figure is rendered, it's missing that bit of oomph that could take it to the next level. Perhaps a more expressive face sculpt would have helped. As it stands, Giant-Man is a really nice figure; he just looks indifferent to his existence.
Goliath is another of Pym's identities focused around growing really big. Like the Giant-Man get-up, Goliath has a streamlined approach to his superhero kit. The biggest changes, aside from copycatting the X-Men color scheme, is the addition of ear holes and a pair of golden shades. Oh, and he ditched the insect headgear, too.
Sadly for Goliath, he isn't quite as lucky when it comes to simplistic paint apps being properly executed. The yellow highlights over top the blue core don't work in every spot, and there's a lot of blue bleeding through all over the body. It's a bit distracting, particularly since the yellow draws your eye immediately, and you're constantly seeing the imperfections of the coloring. This figure also suffers from a bit of the mundane, as Goliath isn't really all that exciting on his own, and at "normal" size. This set is being made for super-fans of the character though, so they'll be happy to have Goliath join the ranks of the Legends collection.
The final articulated figure included is a Marvel Universe version of Hank Pym. Decked out in a lab coat, with his hero costume peeking out from beneath the hem, this figure might actually be the best part of the set. It's a very specific and unique figure that captures a moment in Pym's life that we don't often see, and thus he's given a bit of purpose and personality. Now I'm not 100% crazy about the way the coat was executed (the chest area is the only part that's actually a coat), I'm not sure how else it could have been done without a cloth material. That might have looked awkward, but we'll never know.
This Pym also comes with two heads, one unhelmeted and one with the iconic Ant-Man helm. They swap out easily enough, and having the option to customize him to your particular taste is always nice. The articulation is good, and the paint app is fairly on point. There's a little bit of black bleeding into the red on his uniform underneath, but it's nothing so egregious as happened with the Goliath.
The final pieces of the puzzle come in the form of two micro-sized figures. You'll get a modern Scott Lang and a classic Hank Pym Ant-Man that have been shrunk down so far, it's hard to see them if they fall on the floor. They're nice treats, and they look good when posed with the rest of the figures, but we're approaching the point now where there is such a thing as too small. I appreciate that Hasbro is going all out for this Ant-Man vibe, and it's fun and cute, but there are only so many mini-figures I can handle. Between these and the versions being released at retail that follow in the same vein, the market is fairly saturated with microscopic figures.
The Ant-Man box set is a product perfectly positioned to capture the zeitgeist surrounding the character at the moment. Unlike Hasbro's other big box set exclusive (the Book of Vishanti), there's little here for casual collectors to appreciate. This set is laser focused on Hank Pym and his career, and there's no doubt this thing is still going to sell out (it is San Diego Comic-Con after all). If you're not a gigantic Ant-Man fan however, you may want to divert your time and attention to getting an exclusive that's a bit more all-encompassing.
This set was provided for review. You can pick up the Ant-Man box set during SDCC at Hasbro's booth (#3329) for $64.99. A limited number will also be available through HasbroToyShop after the convention.
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