#3279: Red Skull

RED SKULL

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The Red Skull sets his HYDRA forces against the Allies’ lone super-soldier, Captain Margaret “Peggy” Carter.”

What If…? provides us with alternate designs and looks for a good number of Marvel characters, but it also relies on pre-established designs for an even greater host of them, given that things are meant to only be diverging at one specific point and all.  For the most part, the characters who don’t change aren’t really in need of new figures, since, well, they don’t change.  Red Skull, for instance, serves as the main antagonist of the premiere episode, but is sporting a look that’s not changed from his The First Avenger appearance.  So, he doesn’t *need* another figure.  But, umm, he got one anyway?  Just go with it, guys.  It’s another Red Skull.  And it’s maybe not bad.  Let’s give it a try.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Red Skull is figure 6 in the Khonshu Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the last of the What If…? based figures, and the single figures in general (since I’m not reviewing the Zombie Iron Man, what with him not having a BaF piece and all).  He’s seen here in his long-jacketed look, which has gotten Legends treatment once before, albeit as a con-exclusive.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  From the neck down, this figure is the same sculpt as the SDCC figure from 2018 (which itself has arms and legs in common with the standard retail version).  It makes sense, since it’s supposed to be the same design in-universe, and the parts didn’t get much use.  It does mean that he’s still got visible pins on the elbows and knees, but it’s not the end of the world.  I myself never got to mess with the SDCC figure, so I dig getting another shot at the mold, and honestly find myself preferring this mold to the standard release.  This release gets a new head, which is a little more dialed into the animated design for Red Skull.  The more movie-based look wasn’t *bad*, but I think the nature of the design didn’t translate quite so well on the last two figures.  The more animated one, with its slightly more pronounced features, works a little better in toy form, I think.  The color work on this guy is a lot of black and red, which is what you expect.  The face gets a lot of accenting, somewhat simulating the shading from the show, and helping to sell the details of the sculpt.  Red Skull is packed with the Tesseract, as well as the right arm of the Khonshu Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had the standard Ten Years Red Skull, which isn’t a bad figure, but was never my preferred look from the film.  The SDCC figure was harder to find, so I just made due.  Over the years, I’ve gotten a little iffy on the head sculpt used for them, so I was actually pretty happy to see this one.  Sure, he’s not an essential release, and he only very loosely fits the What If…? theme, but he’s still a lot of fun, and certainly the best MCU Red Skull to date.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3278: Howard the Duck

HOWARD THE DUCK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When an alternate Thor turns earth into an intergalactic tourist destination, Howard the Duck arrives to join in the festivities.”

Oh man, is that a Howard the Duck figure?  Like, on his own?  Not packed with, like, a Silver Surfer, or something?  That’s crazy.  Is that allowed?  I guess so.  I mean, here’s the figure.  So, you know, it exists.

Prior to his appearance in his self-titled, George Lucas-produced film in 1986, Howard the Duck began as a back-up feature in Adventure into Fear, headlined by Man-Thing of all characters.  He was a breakaway hit, getting spun-off into his own series, and then getting the aforementioned movie, which was both a critical and financial failure.  The character fell out of the spotlight after that, but resurfaced in the public eye for a cameo in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy film.  He’s gotten a few more spots in the MCU since then, and got a little bit of actual focus in What If…?, which was enough to net him another figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Howard the Duck is figure 5 in the Khonshu Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the third What If…? based figure in the set.  Interestingly, bio suggests the figure is based on “What If…Thor Were An Only Child?”, which is admittedly odd.  While Howard *is* in that episode, and does get a little bit of focus, he’s far from important to the overall plot.  On the flip side, “What If…T’Challa Became Star-Lord?” gives Howard an actual plot relevant focus, and is the episode of the two that’s gotten figure coverage already from Legends.  It’s also just a much better episode.  It’s all kind of irrelevant, I suppose, though, since his animation model’s the same across the board.  Who am I to complain about specifically which episode I get my Howard the Duck action figure from?  Also, the bios aren’t even on the box anymore, so the whole thing becomes increasingly irrelevant.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Howard’s articulation is on the lesser side of things.  I mean, sure, he’s more posable than the *last* Legends Howard, but that one was just a pack-in, not his own figure.  This one gets decent movement on the arms, okay movement on the neck and waist, and movement that barely counts as movement on the ankles.  There’s nothing actually on the legs proper, which, with a lot of things on this figure, seems to be a licensing thing, since we know Disney’s very particular about Howard merch.  The sculpt is all-new, and it’s fairly accurate to the source material, which is itself a pretty nice Howard the Duck design.  The one notable deviation from his main look is the inclusion of the hat, which is its own piece, but is glued in place on the head, so it’s not budging.  This again seems to be a licensing thing, since we know the Minimate was also required to have the non-removable hat.  It’s a minor issue, and I’m curious to see how hard it might be to remove it with some modding.  The color work on him is pretty basic; largely it’s molded in the proper colors, but there’s some paint work head and torso, which gets all the important stuff.  Howard has no accessories of his own, but the pack also includes the disembodied head version of Scott Lang from “What If…Zombies?”, which doesn’t really have anything to do with Howard, but it offsets the smaller size of the figure.  It also looks nothing like actual Paul Rudd (though I suppose it’s not a *terrible* take on the animated likeness), so it’s really only context that sells what it is.  To further offset the core figure’s smaller size, there’s also the torso of Khonshu, complete with his robe, which is the largest piece of the Build-A-Figure by far.  Like, to the point that, in the box, the torso is actually packed in the “figure” slot, and Howard is bagged up like one of the accessories.  It’s kinda goofy, but I sorta love it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was honestly pretty excited about Howard, because he’s just such a rarity in the toy world, and harkens back to the earliest days of Legends.  I tempered my expectations, of course, because the legal requirements always mess with the end product.  With that in mind, I acknowledge that this guy’s got some definite flaws, but he’s also just still a lot of fun.  Probably a bit pricey for what you get, but certainly more worthwhile if you’re after the Build-A-Figure.  Honestly, the only part of this package I’m not really thrilled about it Scott, and that’s probably more to do with my general lack of enthusiasm about the episode that spawned him.  But Howard’s definitely cool.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3277: Zombie Scarlet Witch

ZOMBIE SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Infected by the zombie virus sweeping the globe, Wanda Maximoff is kept in captivity by her former lover, the Vision.”

What If…? was, admittedly, a bit of a mixed bag, and its central episode, “What If…Zombies?” was a pretty good microcosm of the show as a whole.  There’s some good stuff in there, but it doesn’t really seem to stick the landing on its potential.  One of the things I did rather enjoy in the episode was its Vision and Scarlet Witch sub-plot, which was darkly touching in its own way.  We’ve thus far only gotten one Legends Zombie, Zombie Captain America, but Wanda’s joining the party with her own figure, which I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zombie Scarlet Witch is figure 3 in the Khonshu Series of Marvel Legends.  She’s one of four What If…? figures, and one of two Zombies in this line-up, specifically, the other being Iron Man.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall (thanks to all of the crazy hair) and she has 29 points of articulation.  Since the point of deviation in “What If…Zombies?” was right before Infinity War, the Avengers are all wearing whatever gear they had at that point in the movies.  That means Wanda was still sporting her Civil War era costume at the time of her zombification, and, by extension, this figure makes use of the Civil War sculpt.  She gets a new head, arms, and jacket add-on piece.  The original sculpt was pretty strong, so it’s a good starting point for a new figure.  The new parts mesh pretty nicely, and they’re actually pretty fun.  The head sculpt is particularly dynamic, and just really changes the whole look of the figure, bringing her more in line with the more energetic design scheme we saw with the Zombie Captain America.  The new arms not only give her double elbows and swivels at the shoulders, but they also do the pinless construction, which is a bit sleeker.  I also dig the damage to the jacket, both on the sleeves and on the actual jacket piece.  The figure’s paint work is pretty decently handled, with a bright and bold color layout, as well as some really impressive accenting, especially notable on the jacket piece.  The tear on the pants is only painted, which is pretty goofy looking up close, but it’s just the one spot, so it ends up working out alright.  Zombie Scarlet Witch is packed with a pair of magic effects for the wrists, as well as the left leg to the Khonshu Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Zombie Cap was a surprise success for me in the first What If…? assortment, so with that in mind, I was a little more excited by additional Zombies.  Iron Man didn’t prove different enough for me to justify grabbing him, but I really liked the look of Wanda as a prototype.  She’s a fair bit of re-use, but it’s good re-use, and it results in another rather fun Zombie variant.  As much as I wasn’t enamored by the episode, I do quite like the figures that came out of it.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3275: Spider-Man – Web-Racer

SPIDER-MAN — WEB-RACER

SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (TOY BIZ)

“Fighting super-villains in a big city like New York can take a lot out of a super hero – but not Spider-Man! With a quick double-tap on the shooters, Spider-Man is able to swing across town in mere minutes, giving his foes barely enough time to even THINK about crime!”

When Toy Biz’s tie-in line for Spider-Man: The Animated Series launched, it came with it two variants of the titular character.  They weren’t quite delving into the more prominent Spidey variants just yet, so the two that were present were both decidedly mild, doubling as fairly standard looking Spider-Men as well.  Both figures were dedicated to some variation on Spidey’s web-shooting, with today’s focus specifically honing in on his distinctive web slinging.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Web-Racer Spider-Man was released in the first series of the Spider-Man: The Animated Series tie-in line.  He sports a standard Spider-Man design, specifically adapting the look from the show, but functionally working as a fairly classic Spidey.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  The movement on this release was greatly reduced, with the arms permanently held outstretched to facilitate the action feature.  The figure’s sculpt was largely unique to this release.  The only real shared piece was the head, a common part to almost all of the Spideys from this line’s early run.  Lack of mobility aside, the sculpt actually looks pretty solid.  The proportions are quite realistically balanced, and without any shoulder joints, the figure has a nice flow about it.  There’s a channel sculpted into the arms and torso of the figure, which has a string running though the whole way.  He can be picked up by either side of the the string, and he’ll slide to the other end, appearing to swing or climb.  It’s simple, but it’s not a terrible idea.  Spidey’s paint work is nicely handled.  It’s bright, colorful, and all of the line-work is pretty cleanly handled.  I suppose the webs on the red sections could be a little sharper, but they were consistently placed, and generally looked pretty good.  Spidey included no accessories of his own, but he did get a small plastic Venom pin…for those that need small plastic Venom pins.  Not sure why Spider-Man has a Venom pin, but, hey, there it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With Series 1 largely out of stores by the time I started collecting, I didn’t end up with any of them when they were new.  I got to tracking some of them down, but I didn’t exactly have a shortage of standard Spider-Men, so this one was never really high on the list.  This one happened to be a stray figure traded into All Time along with a couple of other Toy Biz figures.  Since I didn’t have him and he was easy to snag, I did just that.  He’s not anything flashy, but he’s a pretty fun little variant.

#3274: He-Who-Remains

HE-WHO-REMAINS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A ruler. A conqueror. Creator of all. Controller of all. At the end, it is only HE Who Remains.”

Loki was full of a lot of things that would influence the greater MCU moving forward, and at the top of that list was the introduction of Jonathan Majors as He-Who-Remains, our first official Variant of Kang the Conqueror, the antagonist who’s set to serve as the MCU’s next big threat.  Appearing in Loki‘s season finale, He-Who-Remains is definitely a different sort of take on the character, who’s clearly got some Immortus leanings to him, as well as being merged with He-Who-Remains from the comics, who is, notably, not Kang at all.  Obviously, this guy’s not going to be our main Kang going forward, but he’s an interesting look at the frazzled, somewhat crazed man at the end of time.  And, hey, he’s got an action figure.  Let’s take a look at that, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

He-Who-Remains is figure 4 in the Khonshu Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the second Loki-themed figure, following up on Classic Loki, as well as our fifth overall Loki figure in the line.  He’s also our second figure of an incarnation of Kang in the modern Legends, as well as the first figure of Jonathan Majors in the role.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  He-Who-Remains’ articulation scheme is a little restricted by his design, but generally makes the most of it.  As with a lot of slightly more restricted figures, the character isn’t incredibly agile during his appearance on the show, so he’s certainly capable of doing pretty much whatever he needs to.  The only real downside to it all is that he can’t really lounge about the way he did in the show.  He-Who-Remains gets an all-new sculpt, based on his attire in the show.  His look definitely brings him closer to the Immortus side of things than the Kang side (and the initial concept even took it further by adding Immortus’s usual head gear), so he’s without anything particularly tactical.  He’s definitely far more for lounging about, which offsets pretty well with the TVA’s more bureaucratic design theming.  The sculpt does a pretty respectable job of capturing his look in plastic form.  His likeness is a good match for Jonathan Majors, and his expression is a bit lighter, which fits He-Who-Remains’ temperament in the show, and means that he’ll be different from the inevitable Kang figure.  The body sculpt captures his attire well, with decent hang and weight to all the drape-y stuff.  Some of the smaller details are a touch on the softer side, but I do really dig the embroidery on the shoulders.  The one area where the figure slightly falls is the paint.  It’s definitely not bad, just a bit lacking on the outfit.  He’s very bright, and there’s a lot of molded plastic without accenting, which looks a little too plasticky for his show look.  It really hits the robe hardest, since all that purple just ends up losing a lot of the sculpted detailing.  The other areas aren’t quite as bad, and the face in particular looks quite lifelike.  I also really dig the obsidian plate on his left hand, with its brightly colored veins.  He-Who-Remains is packed with his apple, which is a pretty distinctive item from his episode, and adds to our ever growing array of Legends foods.  He’s also got the head to the Khonshu Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ll be totally honest, I didn’t have the highest opinion of the Loki finale.  After building up a ton of momentum, we spent an hour in a room with three people talking.  It wasn’t *bad*…but it did feel a little anti-climactic.  That said, I liked getting a preview of Kang, as well as the little nods to Immortus and Kang’s other incarnations.  It’s also a pretty unique design, and I’ve got all the other Loki figures, so it’s hard to pass that up.  This guy’s decent.  Not breaking the mold, and not my favorite, but he does what he needs to, and he looks pretty cool on the shelf.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3273: Classic Loki

CLASSIC LOKI

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The epitome of Loki potential! Powerful, carefree, and mischievous, this Loki’s decisions led to a long life, but that didn’t come without its own baggage.”

One of the coolest parts of Loki, which was admittedly a show with a lot of cool parts, was the introduction of “Variants”, or alternate timeline versions of characters we’ve seen before.  After introducing us to Sylvie, the main Loki’s distaff counterpart, the show took things even further as the season progressed, with a whole host of different Lokis.  Amongst them was “Classic Loki”, portrayed by Richard E. Grant, who is, for all intents and purposes, just a straight adaptation of Loki as he appeared in the comics in the ’60s.  He’s a rather glorious adaptation of the character, with a rather glorious focus and send-off, and now he’s also got an action figure.  Is it glorious?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Classic Loki is figure 2 in the Khonshu Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s one of two Loki figures in this line-up, joining up with the other three we’d gotten up to this point in the main line.  Classic Loki is the first of the secondary variants of Loki to get figure treatment, but hopefully some of the others aren’t too far behind.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  This figure’s articulation scheme is surprisingly rudimentary, especially given where the line’s been headed recently.  It’s not terrible, or anything, and he does get that nifty pinless construction on the elbows and knees, which is always fun.  That said, the other movement is a little awkward, and the joint construction is a little out of date.  The waist is really where it gets hit the worst, with the flat swivel waist looking rather odd, and the hips not being even remotely worked in.  All that being said, the articulation is still generally workable, once you get used to it.  Classic Loki’s sculpt is all-new for this figure, and apart from the awkward articulation layout I mentioned above, it’s honestly pretty strong.  It matches well with the design seen on the show, and I quite like the way they weave the comics elements in with their real world equivalents.  He gets two different head sculpts, one sullen, and the other grinning.  Both of them sport a spot-on likeness of Grant in the role, and grant the figure quite a bit of versatility for posing.  Classic Loki’s color work is quite nicely handled; while his costume in the show stuck to his comics counterpart’s stark green and yellow coloring, it was also rather grimy and worn-in.  The figure has some decent accenting on the yellow sections, which makes him look appropriately disheveled.  Classic Loki is packed with a spare set of hands with magic effects, as well as extra magic effects for the wrists.  He’s also packed with the right leg to the Khonshu Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Loki variants were such a fun concept, and really showcase the high point of the show for me.  Classic Loki in particular was just a treat to watch, especially given how satisfying an arc he was given, even just in his single episode of focus.  I wasn’t sure we’d be seeing a figure any time soon, since he’s so similar the classic comic Loki from the Retro line.  I was definitely happy about his inclusion here.  His articulation’s a little wonky, but beyond that, I actually do really like the figure a lot.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3272: Agent Jimmy Woo

AGENT JIMMY WOO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Agent Jimmy Woo arrives in Westview to investigate the strange energy field surrounding the town.”

Jimmy Woo is a character with quite a backstory in the comics.  He predates Marvel’s boom in the Silver Age, first appearing as the hero of the antagonist-titled espionage series Yellow Claw, which saw him facing off against a yellow peril villain who was, surprisingly, neither the Fu Manchu, nor the Mandarin.  Yellow Claw ran only four issues in 1956-1957, but was remembered for being a surprisingly positive portrayal of an Asian-American hero.  Jimmy would resurface in the ’60s when he was made an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., a spot he’d stay in for most of his comics career.  He got a starring role again in Agents of Atlas, which reunited the ’50s Avengers, a team of heroes from Marvel’s pre-Silver Age days, with Jimmy as the team’s leader.  Jimmy’s introduction to the MCU came not as a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, or leading the Agents of Atlas, but instead as the FBI Agent assigned to Scott Lang in Ant-Man and the Wasp, before he was given a rather sizable (and quite redeemable) role in WandaVision.  He’s poised to do even more in the MCU, which is definitely fun, but the most important thing is that he’s got an action figure, which I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Agent Jimmy Woo is figure 1 in the Khonshu Series of Marvel Legends, which is the fourth Disney+ centric assortment of Legends.  It’s sort of an oddball mix of everything.  Jimmy is the only WandaVision figure in the mix, and the first one since the Wanda and Vision we got back in the first D+ series.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  He uses the Coulson body as his starting point, with a new head, arms, and an add-on for the jacket piece.  The old and new mesh pretty well, making for a figure that’s pretty cohesive, and a good match for Jimmy’s WandaVision appearance.  The head sculpt sports a rather spot-on likeness of actor Randall Park, complete with his slightly goofy smile that he’s always sporting as Jimmy.  The new jacket and arms give him a slightly more informal field jacket, which is a nice change of pace for the suited bodies.  The arms get the updated construction without the pins on the elbows, which is certainly a plus, and they lack the weird, oddly balanced split with the elbow movement that the other arms for this body had.  Jimmy’s color scheme is rather on the subdued side, as is accurate to the source material.  It’s largely molded plastic, but there’s some nice accent detailing on the jacket, as well as a quite nicely executed printing for the face.  Jimmy includes his FBI badge on a sculpted chain, as well as an alternate left hand holding his business card, which he has presumably just close-up-magicked out of his sleeve, like in the show.  It’s a small, but incredibly cool touch.  He also includes the left arm and staff to the Khonshu Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Jimmy’s one of those characters that, even going back to his comic appearances, I never expected to get an action figure of.  Given his MCU incarnation is even less classically toyetic, I really wasn’t expecting to see him.  I was pleasantly surprised by his announcement for this assortment.  He’s an unexpectedly well-done figure, thanks to the commitment to detail.  The likeness is really strong, and the extra hand with the business card really sells it.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3267: Steve Rogers & The Hydra Stomper

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 Ifis 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.

#3261: Captain Carter

CAPTAIN CARTER

MARVEL STUDIOS WHAT IF…? (HOT TOYS)

Greetings and welcome to a brand-new year, faithful readers!  Today’s important thing is the official kick off the post-Christmas reviews.  Very fancy stuff.  Notably, I’m also breaking formula, and totally writing a review of a Hot Toy, but not on a big review number.  Look, I’ve got a new Hot Toy, and I don’t really feel like waiting over 200 reviews to get to it, okay?  When last I was discussing Hot Toys, I had two different Captain America reviews, and indicated that was kind of the path I’d be sticking to for Hot Toys going forward.  Today’s focus sticks with that, more or less, albeit in a sort of an alternate universe capacity.  Yes, straight from 2021’s What If…?, I’m taking a look at a very fancy version of Captain Carter, Margaret “Peggy” Carter’s super soldier alter-ego!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain Carter is the second figure in the What If…? component of Hot Toys’ Television Masterpiece Series, which is their “small screen” equivalent to their longer running Movie Masterpiece Series.  She’s figure TMS059, placing her right between Zombie Hunter Spidey and the Hydra Stomper.  It’s a nice little stretch of What If…? figures there.  Peggy stuck pretty much spot-on to her original release date of fourth quarter 2022, hitting back in early November.  Captain Carter is based on her WW2-era outfit from her debut episode, which is definitely the more distinctive of her two looks (it also pairs well with the upcoming Hydra Stomper).  The figure stands about 11 3/4 inches tall and she has over 30 points of articulation.

Captain Carter’s head sculpt marks a change for the usual Hot Toys stylings.  They most often got for hyper realism, even when adapting non-realistic designs (as highlighted by the Clone Wars characters in their larger Star Wars line), but the What If…? figures are instead sticking closer to their actual animation models.  This appears to possibly be a licensing thing, since the Legends figures were the same way.  Whatever the case, the spot where this is most evident is the head sculpt.  The sculpt is much smoother and streamlined than your typical Hot Toys head, but it’s nevertheless a really strong likeness of the character as she appears in the show.  It’s still got a respectable likeness of Hayley Atwell, making her fairly easily recognizable.  She includes two different pieces for the back of her hair, allowing for either a relaxed hang, or something a bit more dynamic.  They’re both attached via magnets, so they swap out and hold in place pretty nicely.  They also both work really well for their respective looks, and add a nice bit of variety to what you can do with the figure. As with the sculpting, Captain Carter’s paint work is a bit different from the usual, with something a little cleaner and bolder.  The application’s still really strong, and she’s got enough realism to her that she doesn’t stand out too much from other figures Hot Toys has done.

The bulk of Captain Carter’s costume is a single piece jumpsuit, in contrast to the usual two-piece set-up we’ve seen on the Captain Americas.  That said, she’s still got that layered look like the Caps have, so as to properly recreate all the cool little details of the costume.  On mine, the mid-torso stripes do seem *just* a tad off-center, just careful posing makes them look just fine.  The suit is topped off with a shoulder harness, a belt, and boots, which are all plastic add-on parts.  Like the more recent Captain Americas, the boots use a two-piece construction, so that the ankles can still properly move.  The belt and harness just being plastic is a slight step-down from the cloth construction on the other Caps, but it also tracks a bit better with her more animated appearance.

Peggy’s underlying base body is a rather basic one, which seems to go more for function over form.  It’s a fairly standard female base body, albeit one that’s a little taller than the usual.  It’s generally a pretty good match for Peggy as seen in the episode, although, if I’m honest, I do feel like she’s still perhaps a bit too short for her appearance in the show.  Likewise, her shoulders seem a little narrower.  Beyond that, though, it does work okay.  The posability is pretty decent, especially in the arms.  The hips are a bit restricted, but that’s more about the costume design than the actual body.

Captain Carter gets a pretty decent selection of extras, covering all of the basics for what she’s got in her episode.  Included are:

  • 7 hands
  • Shield
  • Hanger for shield
  • Sword
  • Handgun
  • Display stand

The hands included are two fists, two gripping, two relaxed, and a right hand with trigger finger.  The shield is smaller than Steve’s (which is either accurate or not, since it’s scale fluctuated depending on the shot), but it’s still similar to his in construction and detailing.  The straps can unhook just like Steve’s, and there’s a hook for hanging it on her back.  The sword is based on the one she grabs during the first episode’s climactic battle, and it’s nice and sharply detailed.  The handgun is a little simpler than other HT weapons, which I’ll admit I was just a tad bummed by, but it’s not going to get much use by me anyway.  Her display stand goes with the hexagonal shape, with a printed design based on the What If…? branding, as well as her name on the front.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Captain Carter episode of What If…? is far and away my favorite of the show’s first season.  I’ve been very excited for all of the tie-in stuff for it.  While I’m keeping it lighter on the HT side still, I’ve got that soft spot for the Captain America-related stuff, and I’ve honestly been wanting an HT Peggy of some form since The First Avenger.  Now, you’ll notice that I said this figure was kicking off the post-Christmas stuff.  I got this one courtesy of All Time’s owner Jason, who gave her to me as a very generous Christmas gift.  She’s pretty awesome, and I’ve very excited to pair her off with the Hydra Stomper figure!

#3258: Silk

SILK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Bitten by the same radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his powers, Cindy Moon develops spider powers of her own and soon takes on the role of Silk!”

Marvel’s Original Sin cross-over from 2014 was one with a few lasting changes, none of them particularly huge status quo shifts, or anything, but notable none the less.  It officially added Neil Gaiman’s Angela to the Marvel universe by revealing her to be Thor and Loki’s long-lost sister, came up with a convincing way to write out the original Nick Fury so that his son, Nick Jr, who happens to more closely resemble the Samuel L Jackson version of the character, could replace him, and, most relevantly for today’s review, revealed that the spider that bit Peter Parker had also bitten his classmate Cindy Moon, giving Cindy her own set of abilities.  Cindy was worked back into the mainstream universe during the battle with Morlun and his family the Inheritors, having been hidden away for years to keep her protected.  She was given the codename Silk, and spun (heh) off on her own, though she does find her way back to the main Spidey book from time to time for cross overs.  Silk’s actually been pretty fortunate in terms of raw numbers when it comes to toy coverage, though perhaps a little bit less so when it comes to actual distribution.  It’s okay, though, because I finally got one.  So, let’s look at Silk!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Silk is an part of an Amazon-exclusive Marvel Legends two-pack, which was released under the “60 Amazing Years” banner that’s celebrating Spider-Man’s anniversary. The other half of the set was a Doc Ock, which is just a slight adjustment on his figure from back in 2018. This Silk marks her third time in Legends form, following two solo releases.  This one is based on Cindy’s most recent look, which sports shorter hair, and a slightly more vibrant color palette.  It’s honestly my favorite of her looks thus far, so that works for me.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and it has 29 points of articulation.  Silk’s largely built using the same patchwork body as Spinneret, which, apart from the ever evolving ports on the back of the torso, is honestly a pretty solid base body, and certainly a good match foe Silk’s usual depictions in the comics.  It’s also a good deal more posable than her last two figures, which feels more appropriate for a web-slinger.  Silk gets a brand-new head sculpt, and it’s honestly the nicest sculpt she’s gotten to date.  It’s certainly the first one to really capture her Korean heritage, which is definitely a plus, and I really like the more naturalistic approach to the detailing, as well as the ever so slight windswept look to her hair.  It’s enough to look somewhat dynamic, without looking too crazy.  Silk’s color work is based on the bolder palette of her newer design, so she’s definitely got some visual pop.  The application is generally pretty cleanly handled; there’s a little bit of slop on the edges of the white sections, but it’s pretty minor.  The head does quite well, with the printing for the eyes looking quite lifelike, and the subtle blue accenting on the hair really bringing out the sculpted details.  The figure is packed with an alternate unmasked head for Cindy, with a corresponding pulled down mask piece, as well as three pairs of hands (fists, gripping, and open gesture) and an extra right hand with a web effect.  It’s quite a nice selection of extras, and covers pretty much all of the bases.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Silk’s introduction was, admittedly, a little clumsy (something even her creator Dan Slott has admitted in recent years), but she got better pretty quickly, and she’s been a pivotal character to a couple of Spider-cross-overs since.  I missed out on her first figure because that wave showed up effectively nowhere, and her second because I just underestimated how quickly it would sell.  I was poised to miss this one, too, since I didn’t really need another Doc Ock, but I was fortunate to get just Silk on her own when one got traded into All Time.  She’s actually quite a lot of fun, and getting this version makes me kind of glad I missed the other two.