A little over 20 years ago I was visiting my local Wal-Mart to pick up a few auto supplies. As was (is) my custom I walked through the toy section to check out the latest releases.
As I passed through the toy aisles I immediately noticed a new set of figures unlike anything currently on the shelves.
While most toys featured superheroes or various other TV or movie ties ins (all of which were of varying degrees of detail) I was drawn to a set of figures that were beautifully sculpted, finely detailed, painted to perfection and slightly larger than the other figures on the shelves.
The series featured several of the classic Universal Pictures movie monsters: Frankenstein, The Mummy and several others.
I was intrigued. I spotted the manufacturer’s name: Sideshow Toys. I went home (either wrote a letter to or pulled up Sideshow’s email-I can’t recall which) and wrote Sideshow explaining that I hosted and wrote a review newsletter and that I would be interested in reviewing Sideshow’s new figures.
Within a week I was pleasantly surprised when a package arrived containing all the aforementioned figures.
Since that time I’ve received many figures from Sideshow and watched as the company grew from Sideshow Toys to Sideshow Collectibles and dominated the 1- inch figure market. The years passed and Sideshow became a distributor for various foreign toy manufacturers, primarily Hot Toys.
Sideshow and Hot Toys have collaborated on a huge selection of figures and now are considered the very best in the business.
If you’ve seen any of Hot Toys figures you know what I mean. Having said all that I want to talk about a recent Sideshow/Hot Toys release.
It’s no secret that Marvel Comics movies dominate the Silver Screen. Hot Toys has produced an incredible collection of figures based on Marvel Comics movie characters ranging from Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor and right up to the recent Avengers Age of Ultron figures.
While Hot toys is mainly known for its realistic figures it also produces series of Cosbaby figures that are miniatures (approximately 3 ½ inches large head figures that are every bit as detailed as their larger namesakes in their own right.)
Recently Sideshow/Hot Toys were kind and generous and sent me a Series 1 Collectible Set featuring several of the Age of Ultron figures.
Before I go into each figure individually I want to talk about set in general. First let’s talk about the package.
All six figures are snuggly fit in the clear front panel, narrow long box. The figures are secured between two form-fitting clear plastic panels that keep the figures stationary and free from damage.
The box is made of fairly sturdy cardboard festooned with full color illustrations of the figures within the set. On the back are individual illustrations of each figure. In this case they are Ultron Sentry Prime (available only in this set), Ultron Sentry, Iron Legion 01, Iron Man Mark XLIII, Captain America and Thor.
Let’s start with the Ultron Sentry Prime. As with all the figures the Sentry has a large head that shakes and moves when the figure is moved or touched. The details are amazing. The figure is painted a dull metal silver with red accents on its eyes, skull and torso. While slightly cartoonish in appearance it still is easily identifiable as the figure it represents
Construction is solid, with tight joints, no color splash over or bleeding and the fine sculpting and paint application are crisp with clean edges and multi-layered giving the figure a solid 3D appearance even when seen in the display box.
The Ultron Sentry figure is identical to the Ultron Sentry Prime figure except it is accented in blue.
The Iron Legion 01 figures looks very much like Iron Man armor (which makes sense since it was created by Tony Stark (Iron Man). It features a gold, blue and white head and humanoid body painted in blue and white emulating various layers and accessories seen in the large unit.
The Iron Man Mark XLIII recreates the latest Iron Man armor with its characteristic gold and red paint scheme, chest unit power supply, various techno and mechanical devices sculpted or painted and like the other figures in the set it has short arms and even shorter legs with large feet.
The Captain America figure duplicates the Avengers Age of Ultron uniform seen in the movies duplicating the red, white and blue para-military attire, brown belt and boots and a highly reflective shield. The face is flesh color with large blue eyes and a slight smirk on its lips. A giant silver ‘A’ adorns Cap’s helmet.
The Thor figure also has a flesh tone face and blue eyes. It also features a scowling mouth and slightly disheveled, long golden locks of hair,
Thor is dressed in his Asgardian uniform in blue, silver and black and also comes with a red cape and his trademark hammer.
All of the figures combine for a spectacular set commemorating the runaway hit movie: Avengers Age of Ultron.