#1014: Red Guardian




“In Soviet Russia, Shield throws you!”

Oh great, six words into the review, and I’m already stereotyping. This can’t be a good sign. So, today is the first day of “Giant-Man Week”. A few weeks back, I looked at the first figure from this series, Captain America. Today, I’ll be looking at Red Guardian. If my opening quote hadn’t clued you in, Red Guardian is the Soviet equivalent to Captain America. This is the Red Guardian’s second time as an action figure, though it’s his first time as a Marvel Legend. Let’s see how he turned out!


RedGuardian2Red Guardian is figure 6 in the Giant-Man series of Marvel Legends. He’s based on Alexei Shostakov, the original Red Guardian and he’s one of the three comic-based figures from the series, though, as a Captain America villain who was once married to Black Widow, he’s the comic figure with the closest ties to the Captain America: Civil War theme. The figure is about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Red Guardian is built on the Grim Reaper body, which is one of Hasbro’s new favorites. The size and musculature are a good fit, so it’s good to see Hasbro’s taking advantage of the new piece. Specifically, he’s a new head on the variation of that body used for the Red Onslaught series’ Classic Cap figure. The re-use is sensible, since Red Guardian is purposefully similar to Cap in design.  Technically, the belt should be circular, but that’s really a minor nit, and with a character like Red Guardian, most people won’t even notice. The new head fits the body well and suitably transitions the look to Red Guardian. I could see an argument that the head’s too big, but I don’t mind. The paintwork on Red Guardian isn’t bad, but I wish they’d fully committed to some of the detailing choices.  He has a nice, subtle shading on his head and upper torso, reminiscent of the creative inking usually seen on Captain America in the ‘60s and ‘70s, which looks really cool. Unfortunately it stops rather abruptly at the shoulders and lower torso, which kind of kills the look. I like what we got, but I wish they’d at least eased in out bit more. The whited out eyes are an interesting choice, seeing as Alexei’s eyes were always visible in the comics. What’s more, the sculpt even has the openings around the eyes for the skin, but it’s just painted black. It’s certainly not a bad look or anything, but it’s a slightly odd choice. Red Guardian was packed with his shield (a repainted version of Cap’s, in keeping with the rest of the figure), and the right leg of Giant-Man.


I found Red Guardian at my local Toys R Us. Just walked in, and there he was. That like never happens anymore. Okay, it’s actually happening with increasing frequency, but still. I have only a passing familiarity with Red Guardian, but I’ve always liked the concept and I think he’s got a pretty sweet design. I’m definitely happy to have the figure, and doubly so since I didn’t have to work too hard to get him.


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