#0939: Captain America




For about a decade now, Hasbro has held the Marvel license. At the same time, Mattel has held the DC license. However, for a short period of time, the licenses were actually reversed. Well, sort of. In the ‘80s, Kenner Toys (who were later purchased by Hasbro) held the DC license and produced the popular DC Super Powers line. At about the same time, Mattel was given the Marvel license, and produced the Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars line. It was nowhere near as successful as Super Powers, but it did manage to produce a few Marvel mainstays, including Captain America, who I’ll be looking at today!


CapSW2Captain America was part of Series 1 of the Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars line. As noted in my Wolverine review, the line was designed to tie-in with the Secret Wars maxi-series being published by Marvel Comics (a series that was itself being published because Mattel had requested a comic they could more easily produce a tie-in for). Cap was one of three Avengers produced by the line, with the other two slots being filled by Iron Man and Falcon. The figure is about 4 ½ inches tall and he’s got 5 points of articulation. The Secret Wars line was built pretty heavily on parts re-use, but Cap only used the standard torso. His head, arms, and legs were all unique pieces (though the legs would later be used for the Europe-exclusive Iceman figure). They do a decent enough job of capturing Cap’s look, though, like just about every figure in the line, he’s rather devoid of detail. The Secret Wars figures had a physique that, to quote my friend Jill, “looks like dough.” On the plus side, the gloves and boots do showcase a bit more detail than was often seen in this line. Cap’s face is also appropriately heroic. I do have to wonder where his ears have gotten to, though. Cap’s paintwork is certainly bold, with all the proper colors. It’s not particularly exciting, if I’m honest. There’s not much beyond the most basic work, and even then, some areas still feel a bit phoned in: the belt is only present at the very front, and he only gets two red stripes on each side. There are also sloppy edges all over the place, and all of the painted details are notoriously prone to paint wear. Cap’s lone accessory was a shield. That might seem appropriate, but it’s not; rather than give him his actual shield, Mattel instead gave him a wonky lenticular shield, with the same secret identity revealing gimmick as seen with the rest of the line. Yes, Mattel actually made a figure of Captain America and didn’t give him his mighty shield. They went there.


Despite being an older figure, Cap is a relatively new acquisition. I found him at a rather cool antique store that I went to with my parents, just two weeks ago. Secret Wars has never been my thing, but there are a few figures I have an appreciation for, and Cap was one of them. Is he a fantastic figure? No, he’s really not. He’s kinda dopey, and he’s several steps behind what Kenner was doing at the same time with Super Powers. However, I must admit having an affinity for sort of dopey figures, so I find myself quite liking this guy.


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