MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Thrust back into the real world, Bucky is forced to figure out how to become James Barnes again, all while facing demons from his past”
In the comics, Bucky Barnes’s arc after his return as the Winter Soldier had him rather quickly recovering from the brainwashing and becoming one of Cap’s allies again. For the MCU, his path has been a slower, and ore turbulent one, with his initial return even ending with a bit of uncertainty about what was to happen to him. Obviously, it’s not been a huge surprise that he’s been generally following his comics-counterpart’s path, but just in a slightly more involved way. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier delves into the trauma that lies within Bucky’s mind as a result of his time as the Winter Soldier, as well as showing us the true struggles he faces on his path back to “normality.” It also gives a very convincing rationale in-universe about why the MCU version of Bucky has no desire to be Captain America, in contrast to his path in the comics. At the end of the series, his contentment in his own role shows how far he has come as a character, and really feels very earned within the context of the story that’s been building.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Winter Soldier is figure 4 in the Disney+-based assortment of Marvel Legends, and is the first of the figures from the set based on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which is the primary focus of this assortment. While Bucky spends a lot of the show’s run time in rather average civilian attire, the figure opts for his true combat look from the show, which plays prominently into some of the early in-show missions, as well as the finale. It’s a design that plays pretty heavily into his classic Bucky design, moreso than his Winter Soldier look, which fits well with the arc his character is going through, as well as fitting with the general evolution of his designs post Winter Soldier, which have slowly morphed him back to that more The First Avenger look for him. The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation. The ab-crunch on Bucky feels a little bit limiting, but otherwise, it’s a pretty good articulation set, and he benefits from having the pin-less construction for both his elbows and knees. The last Winter Soldier we got has some parts re-use going on, but this one is an all-new sculpt. It’s a pretty darn nice one, at that. The head is by far the best Sebastian Stan likeness we’ve gotten so far, and it’s also nice to finally get a proper new sculpt for his new robot arm (though it is a shame it’s not more easily removable). In terms of paint work, Bucky’s pretty decent overall, and actually tries a bit more than a lot of more recent offerings. The base work is all pretty clean and straight forward, and the gold on the arm looks pretty spiffy. By far the best work is on the face, which even manages to get his stubble on there rather believably. The jacket is an interesting set-up, because they’ve attempted to do a little bit of variance on the shades of blue, as if it’s maybe a little worn in. I’m not sure it quite works they way they were hoping for, but it’s also not as bad as it could be. Maybe the changes between the shades could be a bit more subtle, but I’m happy to see them at least trying something different. There’s also some slightly accenting on his hair, giving it a slight bit of brown, which looks quite nice. Bucky’s packed with two sets of hands, one set open, the other in fists, as well as part of Captain America’s wings. Just getting the hands does seem a little light, and it feels like he’s forever cursed to not actually get any proper firearms, but on the other hand, his arc in the show also has him angling himself a bit more away from those sorts of things, so I guess there’s that. Still, I would have liked to see maybe something else.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Winter Soldier figures tend to be a bit of a mixed bag for Legends, where there’s always something that really holds them back. This one doesn’t really have that going on. While the accessories are maybe a little light, there aren’t any glaring issues with the figure, and he just feels like a really solid representation of the character. I also just find myself liking this representation of the character in general, so I’m kind of glad that this is the one where Hasbro really put in the effort for the character.