Before Ant-Man made his big-screen debut, if fans were asked whether they would ever imagine dropping a couple hundred dollars for an Ant-Man figurine, the question would have been met with a hearty balk look followed by a “How dare you, sir!” slap across the face, but here we are. Ant-Man got his solo movie and a favorable return appearance in Captain America: Civil War. Oh, how easily those early doubters were converted into fans. What was once a laughably lame hero (“You mean his power is he can make himself really small?”) turned out to be far more impressive than anyone would or could have expected – the character was received as a charming and winning edition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Suddenly, spending a little scratch on a high-end collectible Ant-Man figure doesn’t sound so absurd.
The previous farcical connotation of a miniature-sized superhero who dates back to the 60’s, didn’t prevent Marvel’s Ant-Man from becoming one of the most entertaining and successful combinations of action and comedy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Paul Rudd as the affable titular hero, Ant-Man was funny, effortlessly charming, and often genuinely weird in all the right ways. It stood on its own and purposely distanced itself from the largeness (no pun intended) of the rest of the MCU.
Then, with much delight and cheer, Ant-Man made a return appearance in Captain America: Civil War. Marvel’s biggest super hero movie to date (assembling the largest cast of heroes on screen, ever) pitted hero against hero, friend against friend, and by the end, left members of The Avengers fractured and their future in doubt. Among the in-fighting was Ant-Man. While he remained as genial as ever, he too had to choose a side in the quote unquote Civil War. Ant-Man showed a new side to his size-shifting abilities and what a BIG deal he can truly be. Despite all the burden of responsibility, consequences, and political strife CA:CW was built around, the inclusion of Ant-man added much needed levity to what was otherwise Marvel’s darkest movie.
So, Ant-Man, he’s pretty great. People seem to like him, lots of Smiley Face Emojis for that guy. Now, what about spending beaucoup bucks on a high-end figurine – is he worth it? Well, let’s find out…
The movie-accurate Ant-Man collectible figure is specially crafted based on the film featuring a newly developed head sculpt with an authentic likeness of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man in the movie, an interchangeable helmeted head with LED light-up function, meticulously tailored new Ant-Man suit, an Ant-Man miniature figure, and a Captain America: Civil War themed figure stand.
The box, the box, the box! While no Hot Toys figure will spend its time left in the box once it has been bought, first impressions matter. The outer slip cover of this package is eye catching.
There he is, Ant-Man, front and center mid shrink with Scarlett Johansson’s ninja turtle nose in the background. The action carries over to the back featuring members of #TeamCap mid-fight from that oh so epic show down at the airport. Beneath the still, a simple white canvas wrapping from front to back, with the Captain America: Civil War smack in the middle. The white seems like the graphic artist was lazy but it helps create the feeling that Ant-Man is shifting down in size.
Sliding off the slip cover reveals a blue colored window box with CA:CW theming abound.
And as always, with every Hot Toys collectible, the packaging is designed with the collector in mind. It’s basically a shoe-box w/ plastic trays holding in the figure and its accessories. Nothing complicated. No infernal twisties or plastic-to-cardboard to rip apart. Don’t gotta Ocean’s 11 your way in to obtain the goods. It’s all self-contained and makes for storing and re-selling the figure as perfect as a package could and should be.
Standing just shy of 12 inches (30 cm), Ant-Man is decked out in his newly updated and slicker costume (never in a super hero movie does a hero wear the same suit twice) and what an incredibly detailed costume it is. A tailored black, red, and grey leather jumpsuit with textured rubber in the torso, shoulder and leg areas. Tricked out with metallic bracers, belt, backpack, silver accent linings and helmet. It’s a lot to take in. No detail was sparred. From what can only be described as the “ribbed for her pleasure” ripples on red sections of the suit, down to a zipper seam in the crotch, (was Ant-man the only hero to design his costume w/ bathroom access in mind?) Hot Toys was pathologically meticulous in their screen-to-figure recreation. Flawless.
While the suit is a marvelous piece of tailoring, so is the engineering of the helmet. The helmet is incredibly film accurate with a vibrant silver paint, translucent red plastic over the eyes, and carbon fiber textured dome. It’s a lot more sleek looking than the generation 1 helmet from the first Ant-Man but Hot Toys managed to land every little detail, from the intricacies in the mouth piece, to the glowing eyes. This mask is, sadly, not removable but Paul Rudd’s eyes do lay beneath the red lenses which add to the realism. The lenses do light-up via a relatively accessible “On Switch” beneath a plate at the top of the helmet. The effect is cool.
Here’s a question – ever wear a jumpsuit? If you have, then you’ll understand what constraints in puts in your groin, hip, and shoulder areas. Same here. The tight suit restricts quite a bit of the mobility. While the underlying TrueType body is just as articulated and poseable as ever, the suit keeps the arms, legs, and torso from doing a whole lot. One particular irksome design flaw, are the shoulder pads. Trying to raise the arms laterally and those pads completely hinders any movement past the shoulder joint.
The figure does come with an alternative head sculpted to the “likeness” of Paul Rudd. Now, look, traditionally this is where Hot Toys really stands out. The level of detail their talented sculptures and painters are able to capture on an 1.5 canvass is insane, and alone validates the higher price points associated with high end figures like these. From eerily lifelike eyes, pores on the skin, freckling, razor stubble…Hot Toys guarantees a “Whoa!” reaction every time. Now all of that is true. This sculpt is convincingly lifelike …. If Ben Affleck played Ant-Man. No joke, when first pulling the head-sculpt from the package an earnest double take will be had. It’s either, the similarities between Paul Rudd and Ben Affleck were never noticed until now and Hot Toys is so good that they captured that, or they just got this one wrong. To their credit, they captured Paul Rudd’s eyes/brow perfectly. It’s the hair style, buttchin and the 5 o’clock shadow that goes from Wet Hot American Summer to f’n Gigi. The similar facial traits to that Asshole from Fashionable Male (yes, that was a Mallrats reference) not withstanding, it is a wonder at just how real looking this facial sculpt is. Breathtaking, really. “Whoa” indeed.
Ant-Man comes paired with the standard prerequisite amount of interchangeable hands. The 6 gloved hands include: (1) pair of relaxed hands, (1) pair of fists, and (1) pair of gesturing hands.
Also in the box is a miniature Ant-Man (Approximately 2.8cm tall) which has no articulation and has the same amount of paint and detailing as let’s say a Marvel Heroclix figure. This might as well be considered Ant-Man, the other larger figure in the box, well, that’s obviously Giant-Man – the super-sized, 30-ft tall Scott Lang as featured in the airport tarmac battle.
Lastly, the figures comes with a Captain America: Civil War themed Team Captain America figure stand with character’s nameplate and the movie logo. Stands, eh, you can take or leave them. Displaying figurines like these with a metal hook cupping their crotch, well, it takes a way from the realism. The only time stands are really necessary, are if figures don’t stand well on their own. This figure has good balance and the tracks in the boots make for a strong grip, so there’s no worry of it falling over.
CRITICISM (The Not So Good Stuff)
*Mini Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man not included (But should have!)
The lack of accessories can be backed up by the fact that Ant-Man in Civil War came with nothing but himself. Still, for the price point (and considering first gen Ant-Man from Hot Toys came with so much more for the roughly the same price) it should have come with more. Something perhaps to show off the Giant-Man side of his size-shifting abilities – like a cardboard diorama depicting the showdown at the airport could have easily been an affordable afterthought, or maybe the inclusion of another miniature figure like Spider-Man, who spent a fair amount of time tussling with the Giant-sized Ant-Man.
The helmet does not open. Robbed are owners from recreating the “Does anyone have any orange slices” moment. Tsk, tsk. Hot Toys made the effort to put a sculpted set of Rudd’s eyes under the visor, why not go the extra step?
*This is literally the max movement achieved out of any limb.
Lack of mobility. Having the movement of King Hippo from Mike Tyson’s Punchout, a good figure, of this caliber and expense, does not make. Well, correction. This IS a very good figure, phenomenal in its detail. Limited posing options, however, make for a disappointment.
Goddamn Ben Affleck.
This figure marks the second and latest Ant-Man figure produced by Hot Toys. The first generation, based on the solo Ant-Man movies does come paired with more accessories, has a moveable faceplate and two facial sculpts that look more like Paul Rudd. Add to that, the first suit has a little more character – it’s more colorful and has some battle worn dings and scratches. Considering first and second generation aren’t priced that much differently, there is, in absolute honesty, more value in the former. Comparing and deciding to buy this new version to the old, well, it comes down to personal taste – which suit is better and whether or not a collector is a set completest. In sole respect to the craftsmanship and unfathomable tailoring and engineering, Hot Toys is on point. An Ant-Man figure based on his likeness in Civil War – that is what Hot Toys set-out to recreate and that is what they delivered. It is (no pun intended) a Marvel to look at. No collectible on the market comes remotely close to this level of detail or is more accurate.
Ant-Man retails for $239.99 and is available for pre-order via Sideshow Toys website. It is set to ship Jan – Feb 2017.