MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Steve Rogers prepares for the ultimate battle to save the universe and channels all of his strength as Captain America.”
When is an amazing figure not an amazing release? When the circumstances surrounding that release mean that not everyone who wants it is going to be able to get it. Exclusives became the nature of the collecting beast years ago, as big box stores began to throw their buying power into guaranteeing they’d have something you couldn’t get anywhere else. Walmart in particular has a reputation of refusing to carry certain toylines at all until they are granted an exclusive. They didn’t carry initial assortments of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends for this very reason, and it was because of this that Best of Marvel Legends came to exist. Later in the line, they would get an entire series (the Giant-Man Series) to themselves, and boy was that just a pleasant experience for everyone involved. And if you believed me there, I have a one-handed Giant-Man I’d like to sell you. I assure you, he’s much better than one with both hands. In recent years, Walmart exclusives have become less of an issue, but less because they actually got better at making them available and more because toymakers have started giving them less-essential stuff when possible. I’ve not had too much trouble with the last few Legends releases, but then again, I’ve not felt like they were essential either (I also didn’t have the nightmarish experience getting Corvous Glaive that some collectors did). Then today’s figure was announced, and I was again less than enthused by this whole exclusives game.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Captain America is the third Walmart-exclusive Legends release this year, but he’s actually the second to hit stores because, as of this writing, their Captain Marvel exclusive still hasn’t been seen anywhere domestically. Cap actually has had a pretty fast turnaround, as we only found out about his existence two weeks ago, and he seems to be be arriving in full force, at least in physical stores. He’s based on his newly-designed costume from the final battle of Endgame, and is what I’d classify as the “definitive” Cap look for this movie. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation. Since Winter Soldier, all of the standard MCU Caps have been built on the same body. While I loved it when it was new, that body has grown more and more out of place as the line has moved forward. We got a taste of something new with the Infinity War Cap last year, which was part of why I was so disappointed when the Marvel Studios release went right back to the WS body, rather than retooling the new one. I was crossing my fingers that Hasbro wouldn’t make the same mistake when it came time for this costume. I’m happy to report they didn’t, and, in fact, they’ve given him an almost entirely new sculpt. From the thigh down, he shares his legs with the IW release, and he has the helmeted head from the Studios offering (which is one of my few nits with this figure, because it means he’s got the smaller ball-joint of the WS body, meaning we once again have a Cap whose heads aren’t compatible with the Quantum Suit body). Beyond that, everything else is new to this figure. There’s a second head included, with another go at an unmasked Steve Rogers. I liked the Studios unmasked head a lot, but I think this one beats it. They really got Evans’ look from the movie down. The build of the body takes note from the IW release, and bulks Cap up a fair bit, so he no longer looks quite as shrimpy when compared to the other MCU releases. The detailing on the uniform is some of the best we’ve seen on a Hasbro Cap, with the “scales” on his torso and shoulders being a real highlight of the figure. I also quite like how they’ve made the shoulder pads floating pieces, so that they can slip over the torso when you’re posing him. It helps to preserve the look and avoid restricting his motion on his shoulders. The paintwork on this Cap is pretty good, thought I will say parts of it are a step down from other recent releases. Both heads make use of the face printing, which looks very nice as always. The paint on the helmet is also improved from the Studios release, which I was quit happy about. The rest of the body is far more basic in its application, and also quite sloppy in several spots, especially on the abdomen. It’s not as bad as some of the stuff we used to get from Hasbro, but it could definitely be much better. In addition to his unmasked head, Cap also gets two more extras. The first is his shield, which uses the sculpt from the Studios release, but this time has a fancy battle-damaged paint scheme. Unfortunately, his left hand is still in a fist, so he can’t quite hold it right. Fortunately, the hands can be swapped between this and the IW release, should you want a gripping hand. His final accessory is rather cleverly hidden behind his shield in the package. It’s Mjolnir, which he wields in epic fashion during Endgame‘s final battle. It’s just a re-use of the previous MCU mold, but it’s still a fun inclusion, and it was nice of them to hide it in the package.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As I noted in my review of the basic release of this costume, I walked out of the theatre ready to buy a figure of this design. It was my assumption that he’d be showing up in one of the regular assortments later down the line, but I did have a little concern in the back of my mind that he might wind up as an exclusive of some sort. I was non-plussed to find out it was Walmart. Fortunately, I found him with only a few stops, but it did require me buying a figure with a sincerely jacked up package. This figure is a really, really good figure, and the MCU Cap I’ve been wanting ever since Hasbro stepped up their MCU game. He’s the definitive MCU Cap, and making him an exclusive to a chain who is notoriously bad about actually getting their exclusives out there seems like a serious misstep on Hasbro’s part. My only hope is that they have some sort of an ace up their sleeve on this one. He’s got a lot of new parts for a one-off release, and I can’t stress enough that he really feels like too big a figure just to be a Walmart exclusive. Time will tell. Until then, hopefully this figure won’t be too hard to find.