MARVEL UNIVERSE (HASBRO)
The early 2000s were a bit of a dim time for Marvel, at least for me. For almost a decade, they decided to do their very best to make fans looking for more “classic” interpretations of the heroes unwelcome, by giving just about every major series a dark, brooding, paranoid tone. There were a few series that managed to not suck, though, and one of my personal favorites was Alann Heinberg and Jim Cheung’s Young Avengers. The team has, unfortunately, been pretty scarce in the toy world: there was one boxed set at the end of Toy Biz’s run with Marvel Legends, a Vision 2.0 (released as a variant of the original Vision) in Marvel Minimates, and then today’s figure, Eli Bradley, aka Patriot!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Patriot was released in Series 17 of Hasbro’s Marvel Universe line. It’s actually Patriot’s second figure, which gives him twice as many figures as half the team, and infinitely more figures than the other half of the team. Yay for him, I guess. The figure stands roughly 3 ¾ inches tall and has 23 points of articulation. Eli had two distinct looks in the comics; this figure (like his Marvel Legend) is based on his first costume. He spent far less time in this costume than the other, but it’s a slightly stronger design and it’s got a lot in common with Bucky’s costume, which allows for some part re-use. Part re-use is probably the real reason this figure even exists, since he’s 100% re-used from other figures. His body is (unsurprisingly) from Series 7’s Bucky figure, and his head is from Series 5’s Union Jack (oh no, conflicting patriotism! What will he do?). The tricky thing with these re-used parts is that, while Bucky and Patriot’s designs are similar, they aren’t identical. So, Patriot ends up with a very different collar than his comics counterpart, the front of his jacket has buttons on both sides (as opposed to just the right side), and his boots are cuffed. It’s a bit frustrating that none of these were fixed for this figure, but it is what it is I suppose. At the very least, the overall look of the figure is a close approximation. The paint does do its fair share to try and mask some of these issues as best as possible; the front of the jacket, for instance, only has painted piping on the right side, allowing the other side to sort of “fade in” to the torso. The paint also adds the small stars on his forehead and torso, as well as the striping on the sides of his legs. Unfortunately, the figure lacks the proper white piping on the edges of the gloves. Also, some of the paint, especially the red, is quite sloppily applied, though this is only really noticeable up close. Patriot was packed with Captain America’s original shield, which, like the rest of this figure, is a reuse, though it’s completely excusable here, since it’s supposed to be the exact same shield.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Being an avid Young Avengers fan, I bought Patriot as soon as I found him (which was at my local comic book store). Of the six Young Avengers figures in existence, this is probably the weakest. That being said, he’s not terrible. The parts he re-uses, while perhaps not 100% accurate, are at least good pieces. That makes this figure a good figure, if not an accurate one. Plus, viewed through the lens of “inaccurate or not at all” I’ll happily take inaccurate.