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Review: 71031 Marvel Studios Collectable Minifigures

Posted by CapnRex101, 18 Aug 2021 14:00

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Countless interesting characters have appeared throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Disney+ further expanding the pantheon! 71031 Marvel Studios Collectable Minifigures performs accordingly, containing popular characters from the disparate Disney+ series.

These minifigures appear remarkably appealing and have therefore attracted extraordinary excitement, perhaps surpassing other Collectable Minifigures. Certain prominent characters are missing though, which has proven contentious. Nevertheless, I anticipate the individual designs overshadowing the potential selection issues.

Box Distribution

Twelve minifigures have appeared in recent series of Collectable Minifigures, rather than sixteen. That continues here, unfortunately. However, three complete sets are available in each box which is welcome, especially because the bags remain intact and the minifigures can be distinguished by feeling. Their replacement with cardboard boxes seems inevitable though, given LEGO’s commitment concerning recyclable packaging.

Minifigures

Scarlet Witch has appeared in remarkably few LEGO sets, hence this minifigure based upon WandaVision has provoked particular excitement. The colour scheme of dark red and black definitely appears suitably muted and achieves impressive accuracy, featuring nice stripes across her chestplate alongside intricate straps around the shoulders. The colour matching between this flesh decoration and the neighbouring elements is superb too.

Furthermore, the hair component includes excellent texture. The printed headpiece appears awkwardly simple though and should have been extended above the hair. This double-sided head is disappointing as well, displaying two smiles which seem completely inappropriate for Scarlet Witch. I respect LEGO’s desire to depict cheerful characters, but an angry expression was necessary here.

Wanda carries two Power Blast components, appearing in trans-red for the first time. Scarlet Witch’s abilities have notoriously been portrayed using dark pink or trans-light blue previously, so this authentic colour feels long-overdue and these accessories are undoubtedly suitable for Wanda, after truly becoming the Scarlet Witch.

LEGO produces few colours approaching white, unlike others which are available in numerous shades. Vision therefore presents challenges because the onscreen character is almost wholly white, but features intricate texture. The designer has therefore employed light bluish grey which contrasts against this white decoration, differing noticeably from the source material but creating an attractive effect.

Despite that dubious colour choice, the printing looks spectacular! An appealing combination of metallic gold and metallic silver covers the entire minifigure, continuing across the arms and the sides of each leg. The neutral expression appears perfect too, although the orange highlight on Vision’s forehead presumably reflects adjustments between the sources supplied to LEGO and the eventual character design, where this was blue.

The minifigure wears a soft fabric cape which is only secured once around the neck, but hangs neatly. Vision also carries a S.W.O.R.D. laptop, making wise use of the modern book elements and displaying the Maximoff house inside the Hex. The keyboard also features excellent detail and I appreciate the white and trans-light blue colour scheme, complementing Vision.

By contrast, Monica Rambeau is perhaps the simplest of these twelve minifigures, lacking the dual-moulding or elaborate costumes of other characters. Nevertheless, this minifigure closely resembles the onscreen heroine, including an exclusive hair element with tremendous texture. This looks absolutely perfect when compared with the original character’s hairstyle.

Monica’s white and dark bluish grey S.W.O.R.D. uniform looks wonderful as well, displaying an accurate symbol with continued detail across both arms. The black legs are undecorated which is rare throughout this series, but matches the source material. The double-sided head includes cheerful and severe facial expressions, although neither features Monica’s glowing eyes.

Upon arriving at Westview, Monica dispatches a S.W.O.R.D. drone to investigate the anomaly. The vehicle resembles a miniature helicopter and accompanies this minifigure, replicating the most significant details from the onscreen design. They include a rotating rotor blade and the tail, but this red colour deviates from the original dark blue design.

Unsurprisingly, the recent The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series is represented by those titular characters. Winter Soldier appears relatively basic beside other minifigures, although Bucky’s onscreen attire is comparably simple. The dark blue and black colour scheme seems accordingly authentic, with dark bluish grey accents continuing between the torso and legs.

Of course, the most distinctive aspect of this minifigure is undoubtedly the printed arm, which includes splendid golden detail. This appears superb when compared with the Disney+ series and the double-sided head features accurate facial hair too, alongside smiling and determined expressions. Bucky’s shortened hairstyle also reflects his recent appearance.

Steve Rogers chooses Sam Wilson to succeed him as Captain America. This figure therefore portrays his eventual acceptance of that role, combining Captain America’s traditional colours with Falcon’s distinctive wings and goggles. The resultant minifigure incorporates remarkable detail, perhaps surpassing any previous Collectable Minifigure in that regard!

The unique hair component looks great, complementing Sam’s detailed head. The torso and legs exhibit continued decoration, corresponding precisely with the onscreen hero and even adorning the arms and the sides of both legs! Additionally, new wings are connected around Captain America’s neck, featuring beautiful metallic silver highlights. These designs continue onto the reverse and the wingtips are adjustable.

Given the intrigue surrounding Captain America’s successor, Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson both include identical shields. This design, which integrates metallic silver accents beside the conventional red, white and dark blue shades, looks fantastic. Bucky also wields a knife, while Sam is accompanied by Redwing which is cleverly represented by a printed 2×2 triangular tile.

Loki demonstrates his capacity for cunning and something approaching heroism during the eponymous Disney+ series. Contrasting with previous grandiose minifigures, this example instead sports the Time Variance Authority’s bland uniform and displays the unmistakable ‘variant’ identification on the reverse! The orange patch and golden TVA belt look splendid.

Furthermore, I love the outrageous grin on Loki’s face, encapsulating his somewhat superficial evil. The other side displays a more serious expression and the flowing hair component seems effective, despite being longer than the character’s onscreen hairstyle. Nevertheless, I think the black version of an element originally created for Luke Skywalker looks reasonable.

Loki’s accessories also deviate from the television series, to some degree. The printed Time Variance Authority mug seems suitable, but Throg is undoubtedly an unusual addition! Thor’s famed frog equivalent only appears briefly during the series and his inclusion here is therefore remarkable, originating from an earlier script that involved the character more prominently.

Regardless, Throg appears delightfully comical and captures recognisable details from Thor’s classic costume, including his red cape and circular armour panels. Moreover, this component has been cleverly designed for minifigures to hold, matching Baby Groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 range, produced during 2017.

Among the numerous versions of Loki which appear during the series, Sylvie has achieved particular popularity. This dangerous character looks good in minifigure form, integrating her distinctive horned helmet with its broken horn. Sylvie’s hair texture seems impressive as well, although dark tan would probably have been more appropriate than pale blonde.

Unfortunately, this minifigure exhibits the same problem as Scarlet Witch because both faces display smiles. Once again, a single smiling expression would be fine, but the second should appear prepared for combat. Sylvie’s armoured torso certainly appears prepared and closely resembles the onscreen character, albeit lacking her elegant cloak which sometimes appears.

Sylvie commonly wields a sword and therefore includes a bright green blade here, alongside another spare. However, her more interesting accessory is Alligator Loki. This curious variant features appealing moulded detail, although the absence of his horned headgear indicates an alternative reason for this component being designed. Alligator Loki is therefore distinguished only by bright blue eyes.

The five remaining minifigures originate from What If…? and therefore reimagine prominent characters from the Marvel universe. Zombie Hunter Spidey represents Spider-Man as the Sorcerer Supreme, replacing Stephen Strange and sporting the renowned Cloak of Levitation. This is formed using two fabric pieces, unlike the new plastic cape from 76185 Spider-Man at the Sanctum Workshop.

Spider-Man’s costume otherwise appears reasonably generic, albeit featuring fantastic detail which surpasses previous designs. The colour combination of red and blue looks outstanding, benefiting from the dual-moulded legs and printed arms. The metallic silver accents are lovely too, taking inspiration from Spider-Man’s appearance at Avengers Campus and including web fluid cannisters around the waist.

Alternative heads are supplied, completing Spider-Man’s costume or revealing Peter Parker’s face beneath the mask. Both designs are unique and Peter’s double-sided head looks perfect, featuring happy and worried expressions. The minifigure also carries a web thread and should prove appealing as a generic depiction of Spider-Man, even without the cloak.

Marvel Zombies was introduced in comics during 2005 and What If…? features an episode about this alternative universe, where famous heroes have become zombies. Zombie Captain America retains recognisable features of the original character, but his uniform has become tattered and therefore reveals inhuman zombie flesh underneath.

While previous zombie Collectable Minifigures have featured light bluish grey skin, this figure instead includes aqua flesh. That contrasts neatly beside the dark blue costume and I like the mismatched dual-moulded legs in particular. Both arms are decorated as well, maintaining the asymmetry that continues throughout this zombified minifigure.

Removing the helmet reveals a grotesque head underneath, reflecting the animated character. Despite becoming a zombie, Captain America carries his shield, which has sustained damage and omits any silver accents found on the aforementioned accessory. Instead, both this shield and minifigure resemble the examples from 76192 Avengers: Endgame Final Battle, achieving satisfying continuity.

Captain Carter portrays another possible version of Captain America, had Peggy Carter been infused with Doctor Erskine’s serum and replaced Steve Rogers. This brilliant minifigure varies significantly from the equivalent in 76201 Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper, incorporating a new hair component with magnificent texture.

The minifigure features smiling and determined expressions, while her attire incorporates the Union Jack and therefore corresponds with the animated series. Both dual-moulded legs and printed arms are again employed to impressive effect, with decoration continuing across each side of the legs. Such detail is unusually common throughout this series of minifigures.

Captain Carter is equipped with another version of the Vibranium shield, displaying the Union Jack. However, while the alternative designs adorn dark bluish grey shields, this accessory is instead dark blue beneath the printing. The vaunted Tesseract is also included and comprises two opalescent trans-light blue 1×1 plates, which looks absolutely fantastic.

Following the abduction of Peter Quill, the character becomes Star-Lord. T’Challa Star-Lord envisages how T’Challa might have occupied that role, sporting a striking purple jacket which varies from Peter’s traditional Ravager uniform. The dual-moulded legs are similarly attractive and include printed jets on each ankle, ensuring absolute accuracy.

However, this minifigure lacks the Wakandan necklace which is present onscreen. In addition, T’Challa only features one expression, even though his exclusive hair component would have concealed another design on the reverse. That textured element looks superb though and the confident facial expression suits Star-Lord nicely.

Star-Lord minifigures have frequently included a helmet, featuring Peter Quill’s exposed hair. That component returns here, albeit now featuring T’Challa’s hairstyle which shows excellent attention to detail. The golden faceplate and lenses look appealing too. T’Challa also includes twin Quad Blasters, again returning from earlier minifigures. These pearl silver elements have appeared twice before.

Much like Scarlet Witch, different versions of Gamora have appeared rarely. The latest design, known as Gamora with the Blade of Thanos, is therefore appreciated and portrays Thanos’ favourite adopted daughter as his presumed successor, wearing familiar golden armour that traditionally adorns the Mad Titan. The decoration appears remarkably elaborate, continuing across both arms.

That printing is combined with dual-moulding, producing a beautiful combination of bright and muted colours. Gamora’s head seems fittingly severe as one side exhibits a neutral face while the other appears angry. Accurate metallic silver details are present as well, alongside pink and magenta highlights in Gamora’s hair, improving upon past versions that have featured magenta alone.

Gamora wields the spectacular double-bladed sword originally belonging to Thanos, although scaled down for her physique. This accessory looks reasonable, but the blades could perhaps have been more rectangular like those from 76237 Sanctuary II: Endgame Battle. Trans-clear minifigure display stands accompany each minifigure too, following their introduction with the equivalent 71026 DC Super Heroes Collectable Minifigures.

Overall

Collectable Minifigures have consistently exhibited increasing complexity and detail, including more dual-moulded pieces with growing intricacy. However, 71031 Marvel Studios Collectable Minifigures establishes a new exceptional standard! Almost every minifigure benefits from dual-moulding, arm printing or printing on the sides of both legs, which was historically reserved for fewer chosen characters.

The individual quality of these minifigures is therefore beyond doubt, although minor flaws are apparent. The more significant issue is definitely this character selection, which could perhaps have been improved by including Agatha Harkness or John Walker, among others. Despite those potential replacements, these minifigures remain extremely appealing and I would love another such series!

These minifigures were provided for review by The LEGO Group, but the review represents an expression of my own opinions.

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