By Hervé St-Louis
October 2, 2006 - 22:05
Giant Man’s alter ego, Dr Pym, first appeared in Tales to Astonish # 27 in 1961/62.As cover dates in comics do not correspond to the actual time a book is released. A founding Avengers, he has had as many identities as his former wife, Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp, has had costumes. Feeling inadequate as a shrinking super hero, Hank Pym found a way to make his Pym particle turn him into a giant to could grow to several feet high. In Tales to Astonish #49, Dr Pym, after having adopted the Ant-man persona for months, became Giant Man.
The costume is based on the Silver Age costume found in Tales to Astonish #50. This costume, inspired from the original Ant-Man costume, had minor adjustments from the costume Giant Man sported in Tales to Astonish #49. Here, he wore suspenders without a blue circle on his chest. Having dumped the Ant-Man helmet, he wore a set of antennas on his forehead and had rectangles audio receivers in the back of his mask. The tone of blue and red used in for the action figure are not exactly the same used on the Ant-Man action figure. Similar colours would have been bonuses. This costume is popular because it is the one Giant Man wore when he and the Avengers discovered the frozen Captain America in Avengers #4.
Giant Man is built exactly like a regular Marvel Legends action figure, except for his larger size. In fact, the figure is compatible with Toy Biz’s new Icon series of 13 inches action figures of its most popular character. Giant Man looks like a linebacker as opposed to someone who will be at the forefront of a fight. Veins are visible throughout his body, suggesting Toy Biz will reuse some of his parts for other action figures.
Giant Man looks like he’s ready to catch a villain, but his size makes him look a bit slow. Still this figure makes the classic Giant Man look the best it ever has. In terms of posing, Giant Man looks more dynamic that other larger size action figures, like Galactus and Apocalypse. Assuming a super hero pose seems more natural for him. Giant Man’s calves are long. His arms too. Perhaps his thighs are too short. His hands don’t form natural fists. At least one of them should.
The paint job is excellent. He has several tones of colours on his suit, with dirt like paint in his gloves and boots. The red and blue parts of his costume, don’t match with the colours used on the Ant-Man action figure. They should have the same hues, as it’s the almost the same costume. The belt lacks any toning is nothing but a huge white stripe.
At 13 inches, Giant Man is shorter than all the other large Marvel Legends action figures that collectors can assemble from several packages. He is still more than twice as tall as the average male Marvel Legends action figure. Next to characters such as Hulk, he looks great and really fits in when put in the back of several other six inches action figures. Because of his size, he’ll look great even next to smaller three inches, action figures.
At first, it was difficult to pose Giant Man. His upper body weight is heavy is hard to balance with his weak knees. But once one finds the right position for his legs, he will remain stable. His feet are flat, so there is no problem to balance him. There are no peg holes in Giant Man’s feet, so he can’t be force to stay up.
Giant Man has 34 articulations. He has the shoulder blade / breast articulations that allow the action figure’s arms to move forward. Many of Giant Man’s articulations are stuck and hard to move the first time. Although a larger figure should be more resistant to pressure, I think the opposite is the reality. It’s easier to break him. Putting him in the fridge overnight to loosen his articulations is a must. The sculpt hides the articulations well, although those at the shoulder blades are not necessary. Surprisingly, Giant Man has double articulations at the shoulders and knees.
Giant Man’s materials are strong PVC that can still be damaged. Toy Biz has reinforced all articulations of its figures so they don’t become loose quickly. Once you move an articulation, you’ll hear a distinct click noise. I’ve noticed a lot of plastic dust from the armpit area, the knees and thighs. Every time we them, they are damaged lightly. This shedding of excess plastic will eventually allow the articulations to work well, but it suggests that the PVC is not the stronger stuff there is.
Giant Man has no props as he is the prop that came with all of the Giant Man Marvel Legend Series action figures. Still, I would have loved a little Wasp or Ant-Man figure with him.
Each part necessary to assemble Giant Man comes with the ten action figures contained in Toy Biz’s Giant Man series. His torso comes with Kitty Pryde’s torso. His lower torso comes with Warbird’s package. His right leg comes with Captain Britain. His right foot comes with The Age of Apocalypse Weapon X. His left leg comes with Havok. His left foot comes with the Age of Apocalypse Sabertooth. Giant Man’s left arm comes with either Sentry variants. His left hand comes with the Age of Apocalypse Weapon X variant. His right arm comes with Ant Man. His right hand comes with Thor.
In order to assemble Giant Man one must buy a total of ten action figures. If each action figure retails for roughly $10, Giant Man becomes an expensive action figure to assemble. Some of the figures are rarer than others and in the case of the Weapon X Wolverine, two of the same figures are required. It’s not a good thing at all for collectors. Only diehard fans can be expected to go through the trouble of buying all the action required to assemble Giant Man.
In the United States, all of the Giant Man Series action figures are exclusive to Walmart stores. Walmart stores crawl with action figure poachers who know genuine collectors are interested in the figure. Usually, they will buy them all and resell them with a huge margin at auction sites. Fortunately, Giant Man is available in neighbouring Canada in all retail stores who usually sell Marvel Legends action figures, except for most comic book stores ordering through Diamond Comics.
Some online stores have even begun buying stock directly from the Canadian distributor. The only difference with the Canadian action figures, is that the packaging has French instructions, as required by local labelling laws. Besides that, the figures are the same.
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