Had Ant-Man come out before Guardians of the Galaxy, I would have been tempted to agree with the Internet that Marvel had finally made its first misstep. However, since Marvel could make the Guardians of the Galaxy a popular team, there’s no reason they couldn’t make the Scott Lang version of Ant-Man a popular guy. Going with Scott Lang was the right call since Hank Pym has a lot of baggage attached to him (multiple nervous breakdowns, beating his wife, creating Ultron so he could defeat him and make the Avengers like him again after the aforementioned wife-beating, being replaced by a Skrull). Scott Lang, on the other hand, is a guy who’s just trying to do right by his kid and in the process stole some high tech equipment and became a good guy. In both the comics and Marvel’s successful film, Scott Lang is motivated by his desire to be a good dad. He doesn’t always succeed and he doesn’t always do it the right way, but that’s Scott Lang in a nutshell, and those motivations move him into scoundrel territory as well.
As part of the merchandise onslaught that came with Ant-Man, Hasbro released a wave of Marvel Legends: Infinite Series figures based around Ant-Man. Most of the figures come from the comic book, but a movie-style Ant-Man was a part of the wave and the Build-A-Figure for this particular series was an Avengers 2-style Ultron. Because he’s a movie-based figure, Hasbro invested a lot of tooling dollars in him. The Marvel Legends: Infinite Series line relies pretty heavily on reuse of generic parts, but nothing in their parts library could recreate the movie Ant-Man costume. Everything’s new here and there really isn’t a lot of reuse potential for it so far, so I have to admit that I’m impressed Hasbro thought Ant-Man would be a popular character to warrant an entirely new figure. Marvel Legends kind of walks the line between mass-market oriented product and the higher-end collectors’ market figures. The price point is lower than your Marvel Select figures from Diamond Select Toys, but that also means the detailing isn’t quite as strong. Don’t get me wrong, the Ant-Man figure is still very accurate but if you’re looking for an Ant-Man figure that looks like he stepped right off the screen, this isn’t quite going to do it for you because there are a few off-model spots that the Marvel Select version handles better. Toy line comparisons aside, the Marvel Legends: Infinite Series Ant-Man is a great figure. The legs are nicely detailed, with lines for all the panels molded in. It gives a little visual weight to the look and it does looks surprisingly like the high-grade leather that the movie used for the costume. Around his waist, Ant-Man has a very detailed belt molded into the figure. The buckle, which is part of the shrinking control system, looks solid and the belt itself has a wide array of pouches and technical details on it. While the legs are rather simple, the upper body is incredibly well-detailed, but not to the point that the figure looks too busy. Ant-Man has a large panel on his chest and panels over his shoulders and lower arms. Outlining his chest and shoulder panels, he’s got a series of tubes and there’s harness up over his shoulders and the tubing continues down his spine and hooks into the back of his belt. Marvel Studios’ costume designers really did a great job with Ant-Man’s look since I presume the tubing is all part of the Pym particle delivery system. Hasbro’s sculptors did an excellent job recreating all these details. The larger Marvel Select version does have a few more details, but honestly, I’m not sure he’s worth the higher price point. Around his wrists, Ant-Man has a pair of gauntlets, again, part of the Pym particle delivery system. The gauntlets look appropriately high-tech and it helps flesh out the look of Ant-Man’s costume. Part of Giant-Man and Ant-Man’s problem in the comics was that, generally speaking, it was never really explained how their suits changed their size. The movie Ant-Man now has a clear Pym particle delivery system and I like that element of realism in Ant-Man’s look. Ant-Man’s hands are a bit of a problem for me. They’re both molded like they’re supposed to grip something, but Ant-Man has no accessories he can grip. I kind of wonder whether Ant-Man was supposed to originally have removable hand controls like he used in the movie to control the suit but Hasbro either had troubles engineering them so they’d stay securely in his hands or they just didn’t cost out properly. Either way, it leaves Ant-Man looking a little awkward when he’s standing with his hands at his side. That’s why in my photos I have his right hand on his belt buckle, like he’s messing with the tech on the belt buckle before going into battle. It at least gives his right hand a reason to look like it’s gripping something. Topping off the figure, Ant-Man has an excellent head sculpt, even if it is a little off model. The Ant-Man helmet takes the ideas in the comics, like antennae and a facemask and makes it work a little better in the slightly-realistic Marvel Cinematic Universe. My only real issue with the figure’s helmet is that his mouthpiece is down. Ant-Man spent very little time in costume with his mouthpiece down. In fact, I honestly can’t remember if there was ever a scene in the movie where he was wearing his helmet like that. I wish they would have used the fully enclosed look for the figure because that’s how he spent most of the time in the movie. Honestly, I think Ant-Man would have been another figure ripe for the helmeted and unhelmeted head options like they did for Marvel Legends: Infinite Series Star-Lord since both characters spent a lot of time in the movie in costume but not wearing their helmets. Despite a couple little design missteps, though, Marvel Legends: Infinite Series Ant-Man is a solid figure. The articulation is great, with compound ankle joints, double hinged knees, thigh swivels, balljointed hips, a waist swivel, an ab crunch, balljointed shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, compound wrist joints and a balljointed head. The figure’s knees are unfortunately a bit gummy, for lack of a better term. The plastic feels a bit softer than the rest of the plastic the figure is constructed out of and those gummy knees mean Ant-Man is a little unstable. Ant-Man is a very mobile figure and poses very well while still being exceptionally well-detailed.
The sculptors did an excellent job designing the figure, and the paint team really helped bring the figure to life. The majority of the figure is molded out of black plastic. That makes sense considering how much of the costume is black in the movie. The legs have a bit of red on the thigh stripes and there’s red on the panels on the back of his calf. The red on his thighs can be a little sloppy, so keep an eye out for it, but it’s generally pretty well done across the board. The belt is painted silver with a little bit of a black wash over it to bring out the details. The belt buckle is painted orange to help make it look like it’s glowing. I think Hasbro would have been better served using red or blue since those are the two colors it glowed in the movie, but maybe I’m just being a little too anal retentive. Up top, the panels on his chest, shoulders and forearms are red and the piping is done up in silver. The piping can be a little hit or miss when it comes to paint. The front of my figure looks decent, but the back piping tends to consistently overrun the molded details. It’s an awfully small detail so I get why the paint team had a little trouble getting it to look perfect and it doesn’t bother me all that much since it’s on the back of the figure. The gauntlets are painted in a darker silver with some orange details and the paint work is quite crisp. The helmet is also painted this same darker silver with a bit of a wash to make it look like the helmet isn’t perfectly clean. The red detailing on the forehead and by the antennae is excellent. The eye pieces are painted a reddish orange and I get that the effect they were going for was to make it look like the translucent lenses Ant-Man had in the film, but it’s just not quite the right color for it. Ant-Man’s exposed mouth is painted with a good Caucasian flesh tone, though it does seem to be applied awfully thickly, likely to cover the dark plastic the figure’s head is molded out of. The paint work on Ant-Man isn’t 100% perfect, but it’s still very good and the areas where he has problems are on the back of the figure, so it’s pretty easy to hide his few flaws.
While the Marvel Legends: Infinite Series is not generally known for having a lot of accessories, Ant-Man has quite a few great pieces. In my opinion, the cardinal rule of making an action figure of a character that changes sizes is that you must include some smaller version of the figure to reference his size changing abilities. This version of Ant-Man comes with a very tiny, yet incredibly well-detailed version. The figure is kind of in a permanent squatting position so he comes in at around ½” tall. The paint work is impressive for such a tiny figure, though it is understandably simplified. The reason he’s squatting is so he can interact with another accessory from the set, a large flying ant. Considering how much time Ant-Man spent riding a flying ant in the movie, this was a brilliant choice on Hasbro’s part. Finally, Ant-Man also comes with one other small figure. This one isn’t of himself, though, but rather the film’s villain, Yellowjacket. As much as I like the tiny Ant-Man, the tiny Yellowjacket is even more amazing. This figure is designed in a way that makes him perfectly balanced so he can actually stand. It’s very difficult to get tiny, unarticulated figures to stand because if the design is just a degree or two off, they’ll fall over. Yellowjacket is molded in a dynamic pose with one arm out in front of him and the other behind him and robotic arms stretched out in the same fashion. Like tiny Ant-Man, Yellowjacket’s paint is nicely done, if necessarily simplified. My only regret is that it doesn’t look like a movie version of Yellowjacket is slated anywhere in the near future for the Marvel Legends: Infinite Series line. Seriously, Hasbro, the last few Marvel movies have had some pretty cool villains, yet none of the adult-oriented figure lines you’ve done with them have had them, save the Amazing Spider-Man 2 series. I mean, seriously, Avengers had the Chiutari soldiers, Iron Man 3 had the Mandarin, Thor: Dark World had not just Malekith and the Dark Elves but also Kurse (who would be a perfect Build-A-Figure candidate), and yet none of these villains got figures? When you’re doing a series of figures ostensibly based on a movie, shouldn’t you try and bring in at least one villain from said movie? Rounding out his gear, Ant-Man also has a Build-A-Figure part. Ant-Man comes with Ultron’s head, and I’ll admit, it’s a decent piece but I was a bit disappointed in it. The initial photos I’d seen of the set weren’t terribly detailed, so I couldn’t tell what the silver piece was with him and I’d thought it was a closed Ant-Man helmet. The Ultron head isn’t a bad piece and the sculptors really captures the Avengers 2 Ultron look very well, but it’s a part of a Build-A-Figure I’m never going to build, so I don’t really care too much about it. Add in the fact that I thought it was going to be a useful alternate head for Ant-Man and it’s kind of easy to understand why I’m a bit down on it.
Once again, Marvel Studios proved they knew what they were doing with a comic book movie. Everyone thought Ant-Man was going to be awful, especially after all the drama surrounding Edgar Wright’s involvement and eventual departure. However, they delivered a solid, smaller scale Marvel film and started branching superhero movies into other genres. So far, superhero films have just been action films, but Ant-Man took things in a different direction and made the first superhero heist movie. The experiment was successful, and I hope that means Marvel Studios might take a few more chances and use some lesser known characters to give us other genres that aren’t traditionally superhero focused. Ant-Man was a solid movie and Marvel Legends: Infinite Series Ant-Man is a great representation of his look from this movie and a great figure in its own right. The only thing that’s a minor drawback/headscratcher is that the rest of his series mates were comic inspired, yet unlike Star-Lord, Marvel hasn’t co-opted this design into the comics yet.