AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)
“One of the original members of the Avengers, Steve Rogers – better known as Captain America – has always been the ultimate Wielding Soldier. Wearing the patriotic colors of the American flag, and wielding his trusty shield, he fights alongside his teammates in the name of truth and justice.”
Well, this isn’t a Spider-Man review. What gives? Fear not, dear readers, the Molten Man series reviews will return tomorrow, but I’m taking a slight detour in honor of Steve Rogers’ birthday, July 4th! Oh, also it’s some American holiday as well. Whatever the case, I’m taking a look at a Captain America figure, because that’s how I do. In the ’90s, Captain America figures were nowhere near as plentiful as they are now, and somewhat astoundingly, Toy Biz’s huge 5-inch line only spawned five figures of him over the course of the whole decade. Today, I’m looking at one that just barely squeaked in under the radar in 1999, as part of the tie-in line for Avengers: United They Stand.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Captain America was part of the first series of the Avengers: United They Stand line (though, like other Toy Biz tie-in lines from the same time, both Series 1 and 2 hit shelves simultaneously). Though not a series regular in the cartoon, Cap did have a prominent guest star appearance, and would have been joined by fellow guest star Iron Man had Series 3 ever been produced. The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. If the sculpt on this guy looks familiar, it’s because I’ve looked at most of it before. In a line otherwise made up of entirely new sculpts, Cap re-used the body of the Electro Spark Cap from the ’90s Spider-Man line. Sort of an interesting choice, since it didn’t really match Cap’s design from the show, and all of the packaging actually showed the Marvel Vs Capcom Cap instead. As I noted the first time I reviewed the sculpt, It’s quite large and exaggerated, which does make him look rather goofy. He gets a new head and an Avengers belt buckle to differentiate him. The head is a decent enough piece, and certainly feels more like your usual Captain America than the Electro Spark one, but it’s also really small, especially when compared to the body. This only furthers the body’s proportion issues. Cap’s paintwork is actually quite bright and eye-catching, and an improvement over the prior use of this mold. There are some minor issues with bleed-over, but they’re as prefaced: minor. Cap was packed with his usual shield, once again saddled with a gimmick, but this time not one that total destroys the aesthetics. It’s just got a little magnet imbedded on one side, which triggers an “explosion” on the included droid accessory, where part of it pops out. It never worked super well, but it also didn’t really ruin the figure, so I can’t complain.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The United They Stand figures were pretty hard to find when they were released, so I got them as I found them. Cap was nearer the end of my completion of the set, fourth to last. I found him on a trip with my parents to a Kmart, which was sort of out of the ordinary for us. It also marked an important change in my collecting, as my parents both tried to assure me that I pretty much already had this figure. They were right, but still bought the figure for me, starting me down a path of buying nearly identical variants of the characters I like.