Hasbro pretty much dropped the ball with Avengers toys. After disastrous sales for the Wolverine: Origins, Captain America, and Thor toy lines when their respective movies launched, Hasbro decided to take a more cautious approach with movie Avengers toys. So instead of a full-blow action figure line of three dozen figures like Iron Man 2 had, Avengers has a handful of figures–consisting primarily of variants of Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America. Unfortunately, the movie has been a juggernaut (no, not that one) at the box office and is wildly successful far beyond the Marvel movies preceding it. Kids and collectors want Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury, and Chitauri aliens figures. But whereas Hasbro has failed us, Diamond Select Toys has delivered the complete Avengers figures team roster and villains in the Minimates form! Today I’ll be covering the Toys R Us Exclusive two-pack of Hawkeye and Black Widow, which completes the core team of Avengers figures!
Going into the Avengers movie I was concerned that Hawkeye and Black Widow were going to look like non-entities next to larger-than-life superheroes like Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk. I know their value personally from decades of reading Avengers comic books, but I wasn’t sure how well they’d be handled in the Avengers movie. I shouldn’t have doubted–both Hawkeye and Black Widow were portrayed as complete badasses in the movie, and I’m hoping both characters have a well-deserved surge in popularity as a result.
While he was killer in his action sequences, character-wise Hawkeye pretty much got a bum deal in the Avengers movie. He gets used by Loki and is pissed about it, and… that’s pretty much it for his character development. That’s pretty disappointing. Luckily, Diamond Select Toys makes the lack of screen time up to Hawkeye by giving him a truly awesome Minimates figure!
Hawkeye contains the most accessories of any Minimates Avengers toy, as he includes six accessories. Hawkeye includes a bow, a removable quiver, three removable arrows that can be stored in the quiver, and an alternate head. The bow is really cool, as there’s a clip on it that allows you to hook on an arrow so the Hawkeye figure can be holding the bow with or without an arrow attached. I appreciate that Diamond Select Toys included three arrows with this set so that you can have extras to store in the quiver or scatter on the battlefield. The extra arrows weren’t a necessary addition, but I am very glad to have them.
Despite all the Avengers merchandise with glasses-wearing Hawkeye on it, Clint Barton doesn’t even wear the glasses in the movie (or if he does, I missed it utterly). Thankfully, Diamond Select gives us a choice between the glasses-free Clint Barton head that the Hawkeye figure comes packaged with, or an alternate glasses-wearing head that’s off to the side. I kind of like the glasses even if they’re not really worn in the movie, as in my mind they give Hawkeye a sort of costume and without them Hawkeye’s face just looks like a dude. I love having the option to appease everyone, as I suspect fandom will be divided on whether or not they want their Hawkeye figure wearing non-canonical glasses (“Which side are YOU on?!”).
Though she’s not as loaded with accessories as Hawkeye, I like the Black Widow figure just as much (if not more) than the archer. I love–love–the hair on the Avengers Black Widow figure. Black Widow’s hair isn’t exactly as-seen in the movie (obviously), but the voluminous, wavy nature of the hair makes it look fantastic and I can easily identify the figure as Natasha Romanoff. While the face isn’t as elegant as Scarlett Johansson (seeing as how it’s a painted-on caricature), I think Diamond Select Toys actually did manage to capture the Black Widow’s demeanor quite well for this Avengers toy.
Black Widow includes just two accessories, but they’re the only ones appropriate for her character: a pair of twin pistols. Both guns fit tightly into the Black Widow figure’s hands, and she looks beautifully dangerous when dual-wielding. As a bonus, Black Widow has dual holsters on each side of her hips that can store the guns. These aren’t just any old holsters, though–they’re ones that work marvelously (no pun intended). Seriously, the guns fit extremely tightly into the holsters and look great in them. These holsters work better than the ones on a lot of the G.I. Joe and Star Wars figures I have by Hasbro, so huge props to Diamond Select Toys for their execution on these.
These are Minimates like (almost) every other Minimate, so you pretty much know what you’re getting into so far as articulation goes. Ball-jointed heads and shoulders, ball-jointed hips, swivel waist, swivel feet, hinge elbows, hinge knees, and swivel wrists. It’s next to impossible to beat the standard Minimates 14 points of articulation in a 2″ action figure, so Hawkeye and Black Widow have about as much articulation as anyone could ask for in this scale.
The paintwork on these Avengers figures is likewise well-done. I didn’t find any missing paint spots, splotches, or imperfections of any kind on the Black Widow or Hawkeye figures. As far as deco is concerned, these Avengers Minimates are a big success.
The packaging for the Hawkeye and Black Widow two-pack is the standard Minimates box, decorated up in an Avengers Movie theme. There’s a silver Toys R Us logo on it, indicating that Hawkeye and Black Widow are a Toys R Us exclusive. It’s pretty bizarre that Diamond Select Toys picked two of the six members of the Avengers as a store exclusive, but I’d much rather have a complete roster than not, so I guess I can’t complain. The back of the box gives bios for both Hawkeye and Black Widow, which is particularly useful for Hawkeye, since he didn’t get much attention in the Avengers movie.
This set is virtually perfect. The only real issue I had with the Hawkeye or Black Widow figures is one that’s inherent across the whole Minimates line–varying quality and looseness of joints. Both of the Black Widow figure’s hinge knees are shaky and loose, and one of Hawkeye figure’s legs has some stability issues. It’s not a big deal, but if you’re OCD about quality-control like I am, this might grate on you a bit.
Overall: I am truly stunned that Diamond Select Toys picked two of the six core members of the Avengers to be a store-exclusive, but luckily the Minimates Avengers Hawkeye and Black Widow figures haven’t been that tough to track down thus far. This is a superb set of Minimates and I feel that it’s totally complete with every accessory the set can and should come with. From the excellently-working holsters on Black Widow to the choice of heads for Hawkeye and the quiver with its multiple removable arrows, this set is just too much fun. The figures look like their (caricatured) Avengers movie selves, the paint is nicely-done, and the accessories are plentiful. The Avengers Black Widow and Hawkeye two-pack is an outstanding addition to the Minimates Marvel movie universe, and earns my highest-possible recommendation for anyone into movie Minimates.