Hey, it's Ant-Man! This figure was manufactured in 2021 and I ordered a case with him in it during later 2022 - which sort of speaks volumes as to either Hasbro making too many of these figures, or the market not wanting them. And I have no idea which is true, much like I don't know if it's Scott Lang or Hank Pym because their outfits were pretty gosh darn similar. Given the general Bronze Age-ness of this line, I have to assume it's meant to be Scott Lang. But what I care about is retro-goofiness, and I get it here.
The figure embraces the limitations of the format, which is good and bad. Now that we know the series is dead, I can say that this body was used for several figures and somehow it worked. Not unlike LEGO, Kubruck, and other similar figures, you have to accept a loss of accuracy to your source material - in this case, the gloves. The comics and packaging art have these great jagged ands to them, but the figure goes with straight ones. They could probably have painted blue pointy bits on the arms, but in the interest of keeping costs down, this did not happen. But you did get the black chest blobs, blue shorts, black belt, and boots that I assume should have been black. But they're blue. That happens in old comics a bunch. The red body looks great, and the colors seem spot-on. The one place I think they missed the boat were the belt - they left off the gas canisters. Those are how he grows and shrinks, so their absence is a bit of an oversight. I'd complain more, but off-model weirdness is on-brand for Kenner in the late 1970s, so I'm going to say "sure, why not."
What makes this figure stand out is the head. Usually, Ant-Man is depicted without the lenses, which this figure has. Previous Hasbro comic Ant-Man figures left them off, but hey, they look kind of cool and a little weird. The head and helmet seem to be at least two pieces, so you get the antenna - that's good - and the segment that hangs from the ears and covers the mouth looks like a separate element. If this were a real 1980s figure, it'd just be one piece, and you probably wouldn't be able to tug down the soft plastic piece to see his sculpted mouth. And you can here! That's pretty cool.
At 3 3/4-inches tall, he's too big to ride real ants and he functions just as well as his plastic peers. The wrists, shoulders, hips, and neck all swivel and he has no problems standing or sitting. The body buck is refined enough - and not varied enough - to be a reliable form factor on which to build a surprisingly large amount of the Marvel universe. If these figures were in greater circulation, I'd recommend them to customizers - just being able to paint weird dudes in bug helmets would probably be a lot of fun to build on and expand your weird retro toy army.
I would have liked a little more attention paid to some details, but again, it's what Kenner might have done. And it's what Toy Biz very much did do in the 1990s, frequently taking a body from one figure, painting the head, leaving off a lot of key details, and saying "Here's your very goofy expensive exclusive Moon Knight, buy it or live without it." After a middling reception for the last film and a toy line that I think one might best refer to as phoned-in or obligatory, I wouldn't anticipate any new 4-inch Ant-Men in your future, even in the new kiddie lines.
While the lacking gas canisters may displease some, and the lenses may displease others, and the gloves others still, it's still a charming figure. I don't think Ant-Man really captures the old Kenner vibe particularly well - the head is too good - it is a colorful charmer, and that does match some of Kenner's more interesting and weird figures. After collecting a lot of Star Wars, it's pretty easy to embrace this dead action figure line as a refreshing, colorful bunch of reasonably cheap action figures. Granted, I don't know how expensive he'll be when you read this, but he's starting to inch up a few dollars above retail as of my writing this and I could see this entire line either being dumped on closeout shelves, or gradually become a cult thing that Hasbro brings back in a few years due to popular demand/a very low price of admission to repurpose the old tooling again to spit out Deadpools/Spider-Variants and if we're really lucky, maybe even Videoman.
If you can find him for a decent price, Ant-Man delivers what it says on the very striking packaging. I'd suggest buying a second one to keep carded if you're into that sort of thing - it's really nice artwork. For those of you who are aging into whatever rut you'll prefer as you march toward the end of your collecting hobby, the 3 3/4-inch Marvel "Kenner" offering has been a lot of fun and it's actually kind of nice to be able to pick a line up without worry of it slowly overpowering your home with never-ending expansions.
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