The deluge of Avengers: Age of Ultron merchandise is almost upon us, and in some places, it's already begun. We got our hands on some of Hasbro's Age of Ultron All-Star Series figures ahead of their scheduled release, and while they lack the articulation of the Marvel Infinite series, they get the job done well enough.

Since taking on the Marvel license, Hasbro has continually put out an assortment of action figures in various scales and styles. The Legends line has long covered the adult collector market, and the Infinite series just miniaturizes the highly detailed and articulated line, while also giving it a slightly reduced price point. The 3.75 inch All-Star line matches more closely to the Infinite series, though with only five points of articulation. Thus far there have been some Avengers and Spider-Man figures released in this style, and now ahead of Age of Ultron's release, newly sculpted versions of the Avengers are on the way.

The Captain America and Thor in particular have a lot of minutia in their respective outfits, though it's tough to tell at first. All of the figures use as much of a solid base as possible, with very few flourishes of other colors. Cap's is the most elaborate, but that's not saying much, especially considering the paint app flaw. The white strips on his bicep are supposed to go all the way around, but on his right arm, the process was only completed halfway. Still, when you look at him up close, you can take in a lot of the costume's specifics, which is impressive for such a small toy.

Both Thor and the Hulk fare better in their respective paint apps (it's really hard to mess up the Hulk), and the Avenger big guns feature some nice sculpting as well. Thor's armor has a great deal of patterning that's tough to observe from afar given his reliance on black plastic, but it's great to see the piping and straps rendered so well up close. Sadly, the mini-Mjolnir included barely fits in his awkwardly shaped right hand.

The Hulk could have easily just been given some plain purple pants, but now as an official member of the Avengers, he's been given some nice active battle wear. The texturing gives the impression the Hulk likes to shop at the Under Armor outlet, but it does a great job breaking up the smooth sculpt on the Hulk's body.

While the Iron Man figure is decent, it's also the most disappointing of the bunch. By this point we've had so many Iron Man figures from the films it's hard to keep count. As such, flaws in the design really stand out when looking for a reason whether or not to add yet another Tony Stark armor to the collection. The armor plating details are strong enough, but the lackluster paint job leaves much to be desired. Without the gold embellishments on the chest, Iron Man's MK XLIII armor doesn't look quite right. Given how Cap got most of the correct paint details on his chest, it makes the decision to not add these highlights to Iron Man a little questionable. Then again, younger kids aren't likely to express as much frustration with the lack of 100 percent movie accurate representation.

The All-Star figures run about $6 a piece, which makes them some of the cheapest Marvel figures at retail. As such, you would expect a diminished attention to detail, but you'd be wrong. Just because the All-Stars line is geared towards a younger audience doesn't mean Hasbro is skimping on the sculpts. While I won't be rushing to replace all my existing Avengers toys with the All-Stars, there's value in these figures for the right fan.



The 'Avengers: Age of Ultron All-Star Series' figures will be available in February. You can pre-order them now as a set at Big Bad Toy Store for ~$24.99. These figures were purchased for review.

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