STEVE ROGERS & THE HYDRA STOMPER
MARVEL STUDIOS WHAT IF…? (HOT TOYS)
“Who does Peggy Carter call in for backup when she needs it? Steve Rogers, of course. In this universe, Peggy Carter jumps into action with a number of familiar faces, but even she might need some help defeating the enemy. Calling in air support, she certainly doesn’t expect Steve to come swooping in – in a Hydra Stomper suit.”
Prepare for more formula breaking, as I interlude with yet another Hot Toys review outside of a monumental number! I seem to be doing this far too frequently, don’t I? It’s gonna make the monumental reviews not so special. Ah, I don’t really care that much, honestly. I just want to review the toys. It’s kind of the whole purpose of the site, right?
In my last Hot Toys review, I was discussing my adherence to just Captain America stuff, and how that played into some alternate universe characters, specifically when What If…? is on the table. While What If…? is a show I had generally mixed feelings about, I absolutely loved its first episode, “What If…Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?” I’ve already got the HT Captain Carter, so there’s only one proper way to follow-up: The Hydra Stomper!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Steve Rogers and The Hydra Stomper is a deluxe set of figures from Hot Toys’ Television Masterpiece Series, where it’s numbered TMS060, placing it just after Peggy in the numbering. This marks the third What If…? offering from Hot Toys. Like Peggy, this set stuck pretty close to its original anticipated release date of the end of 2022/beginning of 2023, though it did stick to the earlier end of the window. There are two releases of the Hydra Stomper available; just the Stomper on its own is available as part of the Power Pose Series, and then there’s this set, which adds in the full pilot Steve Rogers figure to the mix. Clearly, there was no way I was just doing the Stomper when there’s also a Steve available, right? Right.
Steve is technically the actual “figure” here as classified by HT and Sideshow (to the point of being the one with an actual classic HT-style box), so I’ll kick things off with a look at him first. The figure stands just over 11 inches tall and has over 30 points of articulation. Steve’s head sculpt, much like the Captain Carter figure, is an animation-inspired piece, rather than shifting him to a realistic style like a lot of Hot Toys offerings. As with the Peggy sculpt, there’s still a degree of an Evans likeness present here (albeit, the shrunken down and skinny Evans likeness from early in The First Avenger), so you can tell who it’s supposed to be. It’s a good match for the design as seen in the show, and it’s nice, clean, and slick. The paint work emphasizes the animated look further, while still maintaining the usual high Hot Toys standards.
Steve’s outfit is generally pretty simple (which is true to the show), being a rather standard loose-fitting jumpsuit. There’s an underlying shirt, albeit without any sleeves. You won’t notice, of course, since the suit’s not designed to be removed. Further tailored items include some harness straps and a removable back pack. There’s also a sculpted buckle for his belt, as well as a pair of feet that look like boots. Under the outfit, he’s got a rather small and scrawny base body, matching well with his pre-serum build. It’s a rather nicely articulated base body, which makes for easy posing.
Steve gets a rather modest selection of extras, with three sets of hands (L and R relaxed, L and R pointing, L gripping, and R flat), and a display stand that matches with the one included with Peggy.
Moving past the Steve Rogers figure, let’s take a look at the thing that takes up the vast majority of the package space here: The Hydra Stomper! The figure stands a little over 22 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation. On its own, the suit is part of Hot Toys’ Power Pose Series, which is their way of releasing Iron Man armors at a cheaper price by cutting back on articulation in order to simplify the engineering. As such, this figure only gets movement where it absolutely *needs* it, rather than just sort of all the places it naturally would. All things said, the posability is still better than I’d expected. In particular, the fully articulated fingers are really impressive. The only area that’s truly restricted is the lower half, but on the plus side, it does keep him very stable on his feet. His sculpt is, as expected, quite impressive. It’s very clean and sharp, and a spitting image of the design as seen in the show. The figure is designed to allow Steve to actually sit inside; it’s a bit tricky to get him in there, and he’s a little cramped, but it’s cool to have the option. There are light up features worked into the eyes and the torso, both of which are battery operated independently from each other. The Hydra Stomper is packed with a flight stand, which affixes to the belt line of the figure. It holds him rather securely horizontally, allowing for a more stable point for Peggy to hold onto the back like in the episode. It’s a little tricky to get it all properly posed and secure, but it’s fun that the option is there.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As I mentioned in the Captain Carter review, this episode was by far my favorite of What If…?, and I was honestly already kinda sold on these even before seeing the show. The Hydra Stomper design is just one that really works for me, and as soon as I saw this figure, complete with the Steve Rogers, I was sold on getting this set and the Captain Carter. Since I got Peggy from Jason at All Time as a Christmas gift, this sort of became my Christmas gift to myself, I suppose. It’s huge, it’s impressive, and it’s just a whole lot of fun. And I’ve even made shelf space for it already, so I don’t even have that whole thing looming over me!
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this set to review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.