2014
17.01

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Teaming up with a new Marvel DVD release, DST has a new promotion to acquire up to three exclusive minimate figures. It is great to see the minimate line get broader exposure. Let’s take a look at the movie itself along with the new figures.

 

Packaging

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The movie is in the standard blu-ray case with slipcover. The front features Hulk and Iron Man in an action pose. You’ll notice the sticker in the lower left corner advertising the “FREE Iron Man MiniMate Figurine And Digital Comic”. This is great exposure for the minimate line and it also helps that Disney (and other movie studios) have done these bonuses before so those little stickers can really catch your eye (and especially kid’s eyes) in the stores. The now familiar Avengers Initiative logo is also on the front. On the back is a short description of the movie along with some stills.
 
 
 
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Inside is a flier with more info about the promotional offers along with the code to redeem them.
 
 
 
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Once you have the code you go to the Marvel website listed, login and redeem your offer. Even though the Iron Man is “free” you still have to pay $2.59 for shipping/processing and if you want the extra two figures of Hulk and the Hulk Buster there is an additional cost of $9.99. Turnaround for shipping was really fast; I got mine in just over a week and most people on the forum have had about the same time frame. The figures arrived in a padded envelope; inside each figure was in its own small plastic shell in a bag.
 
 
 
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Overall I was very pleased with how easy and quickly it took to get these promotional figures. We’ve done quite a few of the Disney DVD promotional items over the years and by far this was the quickest.
 
 
 
Also check out the TV commercial here.
 

 

The Movie

Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United

 

 
I went with the blu-ray version mainly because I had a coupon making it the same price as the standard DVD version. Now since most of those coupon promotions have expired I would suggest if you’re interested in getting the movie to acquire the minimates then save some dough and grab the standard DVD version. If you’re buying it just to see the movie …. well, least I can suggest is to help out one of us lowly minimate fans and donate a code to help our plastic crack addicts.
 
 
The movie itself, in a word, is lacking. The animation is decent but nothing new or exciting. In all honesty it looks dated by a few years. The voice acting is decent. If you’re a fan of the Ultimate Spider-Man, Marvel Avenger’s Assemble or Hulk and the Agents of SMASH cartoons, you’ll recognize the familiar Iron Man, voiced by Adrian Pasdar (flying man from Heroes!) and Hulk, voiced by Fred Tatasciore. I wouldn’t blame the voice actors but more the script they were given was horrible with dialog on par to the intelligence of toddlers. The plot … uggh. So here’s the official spoiler free synopsis:
 

Marvel makes cinematic history again with the most unexpected team-up in the universe! Joining forces for the first time ever, Hulk’s pulverizing brute strength and Tony Stark’s high-tech brainpower come together to face off against the ultimate enemy.

When “Zzzax,” a seemingly invincible, energy devouring monster threatens to destroy the planet, Marvel’s unlikeliest pairing of Avengers is mankind’s only hope. Alone, neither can defeat the awesome power of Zzzax. As a duo, they just might have a chance – if they can find a way to work together without smashing heads before time runs out!

Packed with explosive action, loaded with exclusive bonus features and presented in groundbreaking Marvel CG Animation, Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United is a must-own movie event that will blow you away.

Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Well it isn’t. I took one for the team and actually watched it. My kids started watching with me but a few mins in they got disenchanted and found something better to do (same kids by-the-way that have watched entire series of Avengers: EMH at least 3 times through). So if you really want to watch this movie and don’t want me to spoil the plot then skip over this section:

SPOILERS

So we start out with Iron Man practicing his moves by training against Jarvis who is controlling the Hulk Buster suit, all while they are cruising around in a SHIELD Helicarrier. Hulk meanwhile is hungry and Abomination is trying to capture him for HYDRA. The two brutes end up fighting and tearing up the place but Hulk eventually gets knocked out by some sleeping gas. The HYDRA scientists are working on an Arc Reactor needing Gamma radiation to fuel it, hence why they need Hulk. And surprise surprise they double crossed Abomination and captured him for their little experiment too. Things go wrong, the reactor goes critical, explodes and creates a tiny electric spark of a life form. During all this the HYDRA scientists escape, Hulk gets free and frees Abomination (aww, wasn’t that nice of him!). Iron Man (technically Jarvis) notices the Gamma energy spike and goes to investigate. He and Hulk get into a pissing match totally ignoring the evil spark taking over all things electronic until Hulk decides to use Iron Man as a fly swatter to take care of some pesky robots.

Iron Man and Hulk end up back on the Hellicarrier. Hulk is still hungry and looking for a snack. Evil sparky shows back up and gets into the computer system and takes over some Mandroids. The two heroes smash up the place but sparky gets loose and on his way to Iron Man’s on-board armory, eventually taking control of the Mark II Iron Man armor and on his way to the ship’s Arc Reactor (apparently sparky is hungry too). The heroes try to stop him but he still makes it there and becomes an energy embodied creature known as Zzzax (perhaps the bad guy is as tired of the movie as I am at this point, zzzzzzzz). Zzzax zaps Hulk blinding him and Iron Man off the ship.

Now for a bit of randomness; they land in a cemetery, Hulk is blind but still cranky, a pack of Wendigos are attacking and Iron Man offers to be Hulk’s backpack eyes (we’re talking Chewy and C3PO right out of Empire Strikes Back). Yep, that just happened.

Ok, so they go back to the ship. Iron Man fixes Hulk’s blindness and gives him some Iron Man armor so he can protect himself against further energy attacks. They track down Zzzax, battle him and eventually ground sparky to snuff out his light. Finally Iron Man helps a brother out and takes Hulk to get some food.

There is a little bonus scene with the HYDRA agents returning to headquarters and Red Skull setting up the next movie teaming up Iron Man and Captain America.

END SPOILERS

There are a few extras on the disc. First you get your standard trailers for new Disney shows, movies, dvds, etc. Decent trailers but nothing all that new. Then there is an interview with Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada and Ryan Penagos (Agent M); again decent but not spectacular.  The best part of the entire DVD is the Marvel-Mash-Ups! On the blu-ray if you pause during the movie you’ll see a few extra Mash-Ups. Now these are wonderful; basically you have classic Marvel cartoon clips with hilarious voice overs. If you haven’t seen them before, or aren’t one that catches them during Marvel Universe on Disney XD, then check them out here.
 
 

All in all this movie is a mess. Save for the minimates I would not recommend buying or even watching it. The Marvel Mash-Ups are great but best to check them out online or on TV. The designs for Abomination, the Mandriods and Wendigos in the movie were actually pretty interesting and I would have loved to see an extra-bonus figures set of these characters (hopefully something to look forward to in the regular Marvel minimate line). But movie-wise we’ll take our collective *sigh*, be thankful that the live-action Marvel films aren’t the hot-mess that the animated movies are and just move on to the minimates.

MMC Score – 3 out of 10


 

 

The Figures

Iron Man

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Out there front and center on the DVD is this Iron Man figure. This is the “free” figure with purchase. His design is taken right from the movie. I know that stated which version this is in the film but honestly I can’t remember exactly what they said (I”m still trying to block out that I ever watched it).
 
 
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Iron Man has his usual helmet but there’s something about this new mold that looks off. Starting with the Marvel Now Iron Man (which I’m working on catching up on reviews and will have one of that soon) on the face-plate, the lower jaw appears to be jutting out too much or is thicker than it should be; it has a bullfrog look. Over the years the helmet has improved drastically with the best one so far being the Avengers Iron Man but I’m not really digging the new look. Underneath is Tony’s smiling face. He does come with an extra hairpiece.
 
 
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He doesn’t come with a torso cover but rather the details are right on the main torso block. Due to the animation style the black highlight lines really stand out in the movie and that is carried over to the figures. You see more black detail lines than normal on this figure and it works fairly well.  The arc reactor and where his armor connects in back on his spine look really good. However some of the extra lines can appear a bit odd like on his legs (no, he’s not wearing fishnets).
 
 
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His waist-piece looks a little clunky, perhaps would have been better off with just leaving the details on the base figure but the gauntlets and boots are good pieces. Overall good job with the colors and paint apps. He comes with a clear base plate but no other major extras.
 

As Iron Man figures go he is a good one, not outstanding but still a solid piece, faithful to the movie and worth adding to your collection.

 

MMC Score – 7 out of 10


 

Hulk Buster Iron Man

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For an additional $9.99 you can pick up two extra figures and for a majority of minimate fans this Hulk Buster figure is the clincher (need I remind you of the awesomeness of the original one released)! In the movie you see this armor early on. It’s not quite the same design but DST did well adapting and finding a way to reissue a much desired figure.
 
 
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Piece by piece it is the same as the first version but with the addition of shoulder covers. These covers do limit arm movement however it adds to the characters bulk in a good way. It actually makes the old version look like it has skinny arms.
 
 
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The big difference is the paint job. Instead of the the metallic red and gold this version has a bright red and yellow color scheme. The paint applications are not as clean this go around and while there are a few different places that get the yellow highlights overall they don’t stand out as well. Main places I can point to on the original version are on the back the gold highlights there and on the boots and gloves compared to the new version.
 
 
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Underneath the hood you have Iron Man’s normal look done with same design seen in the previous original Iron Man figure. And like the other figure he also comes with an extra clear base stand.
 
 
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Even though not as perfect as the original this is still an outstanding figure; it’s the design and pieces used that make it so wonderful. Honestly you could slap a different coat of paint and different gauntlets and you wouldn’t be far from some of the recent Mandroid designs (and the ones seen in the movie).
 

MMC Score – 9 out of 10


 

Hulk (in Iron Man armor)

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Sooo, yeah, we have this thing. For the movie they had to armor up Hulk to fight the bad guy but seriously it just looks strange.
 
 
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To start with, he’s getting his hair styled nowadays?? You’re telling me, he Hulks out and first thing he does is grab a brush and combs out that mop-of-a-hair? Maybe he does, perhaps pulling the tangles and knots out really makes him angry; I know it turns my daughter into a feisty demon when we try to brush the knots out of her hair. But I digress. He comes with a very neat cut green hairpiece and has a rather annoyed look on his face.
 
 
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Hulk comes with a torso cover that is part Iron Man and part Hulk; call it an armor midriff. It looks ok but would have helped if the details would have started higher up on his chest; that arc reactor looks mid belly instead of top of his sternum. Underneath is a blank green base torso. He also comes with his green skin colored shoulder pads and the same red gauntlets from the Hulk Buster armor. His waistpiece has the built in torso riser for added height and his legs are done in the familiar torn pants style just with blue jeans.
 
 
 
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As with the rest he also has a clear base stand included. But sadly no extra normal hands and torso pieces included. Still who doesn’t love a spare set of Hulk Buster hands? That along with decent Hulk pieces; just kinda hard to match up all the variations of green skin.
 

In conclusion he is still an odd figure but fair to midland overall.

MMC Score – 6 out of 10

 

Review and pictures by Lurch77

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User Rating for Minimate #1:
Rating: 6.0/10 (6 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #2:
Rating: 5.6/10 (5 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #3:
Rating: 7.8/10 (4 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #4:
Rating: 5.5/10 (4 votes cast)
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