CAPTAIN AMERICA & RED SKULL
By 2011, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was in the full swing of things. Over in the Minimates corner, DST had pretty much gotten things down to the exact science that they’d use for the better part of a decade. For Captain America: The First Avenger, we got a great set of ‘mates covering most of the film’s cast. Today, I look at the central most set, pairing our main hero Cap up against his main foe, the Red Skull!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Cap and Skull were the flagship pack in Series 40 of Marvel Minimates, as well as one of the two shared packs present in the TRU accompanying assortment. Both are presented in their main looks from The First Avenger, which seems rather sensible.
After haphazardly throwing together his rescue mission outfit to lead the Hydra-held POWs back to base, Steve Rogers turns to Howard Stark to help him design something more official. Cap’s main look has shifted quite a bit since the first film, but this design is certainly one that has influenced (most) of the others. It’s also a fairly reasonable real-word equivalent of his Golden Age costume, albeit with some adjustments for practicality. The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. To achieve his rather bulked-up appearance, Cap makes use of uniquely sculpted upper-arms and gloves, as well as add-ons for his helmet, belt/suspenders, and his holster. Everything was new to this figure, and has thus-far remained unique. It’s a pretty good combo of pieces, all sharply defined, and pretty close to the film’s design. If I have one complaint, it’s that his lack of sculpted boots to match ends up making his legs look kind of scrawny and under-scaled. Some bulked up boots would have definitely helped. The paint on Cap is pretty top notch stuff for the most part. The palette captures the film’s sephia-toned aesthetic pretty nicely, and the details on the stitching and such of the costume is really great looking. The base paint application could stand to be a little cleaner, and there were some real troubles with finding a helmet with a properly centered A on the forehead, but those issues are more on the minor side. The face under the helmet is clearly the same guy from the Frontline figure, just with a calmer expression. There’s definitely some shades of an Evans likeness there, though I think later Caps would get that down a bit better. Cap is packed with his mighty shield, an extra hairpiece for an unmasked look, and a handgun. A little less than Frontline Cap got, but this guy did get more unique sculpted pieces, so it evens out.
Spoilers: Red Skull is in this review! And other things as well, but I won’t touch on that here. For Cap’s first outing, the movies went with the obvious choice of villain, the Red Skull. Perhaps Cap’s most memorable foe, in part thanks to that frightening visage, and in part due to him being the perfect antithesis of everything Cap stands for. The Skull had a few looks in the movie, but this figure went for his leather long coat, which is perhaps his coolest of the bunch. The figure has one add-on piece, used for his long coat. It’s a little bulky, and essentially renders his legs motionless. That said, it’s pretty well sculpted, with sharp details that capture the jacket’s design from the movie very well. The paintwork on the Skull is pretty solid. His face captures the movie’s take on his distinctive look, going for an appropriately angry expression. The arms and hands also get an easy to miss bit of red detailing on both shoulders and his gloves, which are certainly a nice touch. Red Skull includes two accessories. The first is a rather simple German pistol, and the second is the face of Johan Schmidtt, which is a slip cover mask that pulls down over the mask. While it would probably look better just as a separate head, there’s something way more fun about being able to dramatically remove it just like in the movie.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I grabbed this set from Cosmic Comix, back when it was new. They hit before the movie, so I didn’t know for sure what I was getting into, but with Cap and Red Skull, it’s pretty straightforward. I remember being quite impressed with them at the time, especially in light of the lower quality of the Thor offerings. The standard TFA Cap was a fun offering for the time, but perhaps one that’s been slightly outpaced by more recent offerings. There was something of a learning curve on this guy. Red Skull isn’t a real stand out or anything, but this one has the benefit of being one of only two ‘mates of the MCU incarnation available, and the Schmidtt face is actually pretty darn cool. Overall, still a fun set, but you might be better off with newer versions of the characters.