#2842: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

AVENGERS: ENDGAME (HOT TOYS)

These days, I pretty much exclusively save my Hot Toys reviews for monumental numbers, but I’ve gotten to the point now where anything less than 500 doesn’t seem worth it, so it’s literally less than one a year.  Despite my last one being not even a whole year ago, when I crossed the 2500 mark, I’ve actually picked up a new one that warrants reviewing, and I don’t particularly want to wait seven months to review him, just to get the numbers to line up right.  If he’d actually come out when he was *supposed* to, I would have been golden, but nooooooooo….  So, anyway, I’m breaking the structure.  I know, you’re all so broken up about it, right?  Let’s jump back to 2019, when the world sucked a great deal less, and discuss the culmination of a decade’s worth of movies in Avengers: Endgame, and, more specifically, Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America was released as part of the Endgame component of Hot Toys’ core Movie Masterpiece Series, where he’s figure 536.  He winds up being the sixth release of the Endgame figures, though he was originally meant to be a little bit earlier.  His initial release date was projected for June of 2020, but he wound up being about a year later than expected, making him so far the most delayed of the Endgame figures.  Presumably, the need to add some more final battle-specific parts contributed to this at least a little bit, but there was also that whole pandemic thing going on, which I’m sure did not help.  He’s finally here, though, and that’s the thing that matters the most of all.  Cap is based on his all-new super suit from the movie, which places him as a specifically third-act version of the character, which is really where he gets his best look, so I’m all about it.  It’s definitely Chris Evans’ Cap at his Cap-iest.  The figure stands about 12 1/2 inches tall and he has over 30 points of articulation.

As is the norm for masked characters, Cap is packed with two different heads for this release.  The first is a helmeted look, which is a quite nicely layered sculpt that looks like he’s actually got a separate helmet and everything.  For this head, they’ve given him an extra joint at the base of the jaw, for some extra mobility.  It works pretty well, but does result in a slightly noticeable seam at the back.  It’s certainly an improvement from earlier versions of such designs, though, which is good.  The head has a solid likeness of Chris Evans under the helmet, showcasing an improvement even on the already really good likenesses of the older Caps.  Much like the DX12 Batman, the helmeted head has three different mouth plates that you can swap out for different expressions.  The standard is fairly neutral, and has the most versatility, but he’s also got one with the mouth slightly opened, and one with the teeth firmly gritted and bared, which is perfect for the more intense battle poses.  The plates are attached with magnets, and can take a little bit of doing to place, but stay nicely once set, and swap out without too much trouble.  It certainly works a bit better than the straight up pegs that were on Batman.  The paint work on the head is up to the usual HT standards, with a very lifelike appearance for the face, and some really nice wear and tear detailing on the helmet.  The second head gives us a proper un-helmeted look for Steve.  Originally, the photos showed the same unmasked head that was included with the Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron, and Civil War releases, but prior to release, Hot Toys replaced it with an all-new sculpt that more accurately depicts Evans as seen in Endgame.  It’s a very strong sculpt, with a really impressive likeness, perhaps even better than the one on the helmeted head.  Unlike the helmeted head, this one doesn’t have the extra joint.  It makes for slightly less posability, but looks better aesthetically, and given his more composed appearance, it’s not really meant for crazy poses anyway.  The only real downside to this sculpt is that there’s a rather noticeable seam on the sides of the head.  Fortunately, it’s not too bad when not directly lit, but at this price point, you would hope for it to be just a little bit better.

Cap’s new suit for Endgame‘s final battle was a fairly strong point for the movie.  It’s kind of indicative of the MCU movies as a whole,   taking various elements that worked previously, and rolling them all into one slightly more perfected, more direct comics-directly adapted final product.  It looks really cool, and it just really works.  It’s construction is also a bit more involved than earlier designs, as well, which is reflected in its translation here.  His underlying “body suit” is two distinct pieces, a shirt and pants.  The pants have some molded knee pads glued in place, and the shirt has plastic plating for his chest and shoulders, as well as a sculpted insignia at the center.  Beyond that, the detailing is down to tailoring, which looks pretty solid for this scale.  Some of the stitching is a little bit larger than it should be, but, of course, there’s only so much that can be done about that.  The base suit is topped off by his harness, belt, and boots.  The harness is largely cloth, as you would expect, and is again a well-tailored translation of the design seen in he film.  The belt sits a little bit low, but overall looks alright, and is attached permanently to the suit.  The boots are sculpted, but unlike earlier sculpted boots, which sacrificed articulation for the sake of aesthetics, these ones are jointed at the ankles, allowing for much better options when posing.  It’s definitely a much appreciated improvement for me.

Cap’s underlying body captures Evans’ proportions pretty nicely and is one of the more basic ones, which prioritizes function over form.  After the first few Caps placed him on slightly less articulated muscle bodies, I do appreciate one that’s more cleanly designed for posing.  The nature of his costume design does impede some of the movement ever so slightly.  For the most part, the upper torso fares alright in terms of range, though the shoulders are a little tight for some poses.  The pants are rather restricting, especially at the hips, but with some slight shifting, it’s workable.  He just won’t be getting into any deep lunges or anything.

In addition to getting the previously mentioned extra head and mouth plates, Cap gets a rather extensive selection of other extras for a whole ton of options for display.  Included are:

  • 7 hands
  • 2 shields
  • Mjolnir
  • Compass
  • Empty helmet
  • Display stand

The hands include fists, gripping, pointing (right), open gesture (right), and loose grip (left).  They pretty much cover all of the needed options for posing, and look suitably realistic, including some solid detail work on his gloves.  They also swap out pretty easily, considering my prior experiences with Hot Toys.  The two shields give you both standard (if a bit scuffed), and damaged, which also includes the broken shards, which I certainly wasn’t expecting.  The shields also include a piece that can swap out for one of the straps, which allows you to hang one of them on his back.  Mjolnir is similar in styling to the one included with Thor, but this time around the top is plastic, rather than metal.  While it doesn’t have that same impressive heft, it also won’t leave his wrist joint all floppy and loose after a few months posed holding it aloft.  The compass is properly hinged, and even has the small photo of Peggy in it, as seen in the movie.  The helmet matches the helmeted head, minus the head, of course, and can be held when he’s using the unmasked head.  The stand swaps out the old basic oval design for a hexagonal design featuring a design based on the movie branding.  It does its job well, and has a rather clean design, which works pretty well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Completing the first Avengers line-up was really my last hurrah for Hot Toys collecting, and I’ve not really been keeping up with it since.  However, when I walked out of the theater after seeing Endgame, I pretty much wanted this Cap design in any form I could get.  I placed my order for this guy as soon as he was available.  It’s been quite a long wait for him, given he was supposed to be slated for last year, but I was certainly okay with being patient.  Ultimately, this figure wound up as part of my path to figuring out my new normal, since he finally shipped just a week after Jess’s passing.  It’s weird, I suppose, but maybe sort of fitting, since I had moved past Hot Toys collecting when she and I started dating.  It was definitely weird not getting to experience this one with a companion, but I’m starting to find my footing on what I like purely for me.  I do like this figure.  I took me a little bit of time to get back into enjoying a Hot Toys figure the same way I used to, but he’s a good re-entry into the style.  I’m not jumping back into these full force, but I am going to keep up with my Captain America chronology at the very least.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2798: Wonder Man

WONDER MAN

MARVEL UNIVERSE (TOY BIZ)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

I was just talking about Hulu’s M.O.D.O.K. earlier this week, so why not talk about it a little bit more?  The show brings in a lot of slightly more obscure characters, and does some fun stuff with them.  Amongst those characters is Simon Williams, aka Wonder Man, who is voiced by Nathan Fillion (who was previous supposed to cameo as Williams in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but had his role cut), and who serves as the rebound fling for M.O.D.O.K.’s wife Jodie.  As someone who’s been a Wonder Man fan since way before it was even approaching cool to be a Wonder Man fan (which, honestly, is any time before, like the last month), I was thrilled to see him show up, and loved the hell out of Fillion in the role.  I’d still love to see him pull it off in live action, though.  Wonder Man’s actually had a small handful of figures over the years, but today, I’m going back to the beginning and taking a look at his very first!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wonder Man was the exclusive mail-away offer in ToyFare #3, made available for order in November of 1997, and shipping out the following spring.  Interestingly, the character was actually still dead at the time of the figure’s release, although his return in the third volume of Avengers would wind up happening in the same year as this figure’s official release, by coincidence no doubt.  While Havok had ties to the X-Men line specifically, Wonder Man was a far more open-ended figure, since there was no dedicated Avengers line at the time.  Unlike the later figures, he got no fancy package and just shipped in a plain white mailer.  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  Wonder Man’s sculpt is a complete re-use, namely of Archangel II, minus the wings, of course.  As I’ve discussed before, it was a sculpt that Toy Biz rather liked.  It’s not a terrible choice for Wonder Man, especially for that late ’80s, John Byrne West Coast Avengers look they seemed to be aiming for.  The head sculpt’s still a little bit wonky, and he’s got the remnants of the wing-flapping mechanism on his back still.  But, for a straight repaint, he actually really works, so I’ve got to give them some serious props on that.  The paint work’s fairly straight forward on this guy, but it certainly gets the job done, and conveys his design properly.  Wonder Man included no accessories, but he certainly falls into that territory of “what would you give him?”

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Busiek and Perez’s relaunch of Avengers was happening right as I got into reading comics, and my dad was picking it up and letting me read it with him.  Wonder Man’s return is kind of a notable part of that, and I definitely gained an attachment to the character through that.  I remember that there was a comic store near my parents’ house that had this figure in their glass case, for the unthinkable price of, like $25, and I used to stare at it all the time, but never got it.  My dad wound up getting me this one as, I believe, and Easter gift, more than likely in 2000 or so.  His nature as a repaint makes him a little iffy, but ultimately, he does work pretty well.

#2776: Ultimate Mech Suit Captain America

ULTIMATE MECH SUIT CAPTAIN AMERICA

AVENGERS: MECH STRIKE (HASBRO)

“Captain America gears up in a massive, high-powered mech strike suit combat the evil Thanos!”

With a lack of actual Avengers movies to tie into at the moment, as well as a general lack of other Avengers things to really go for (since the game didn’t exactly do the business that they were hoping for), this year, the Avengers are getting a more specifically toy-geared push, with the Mech Strike branding.  It’s a pretty simple concept, really: the Avengers are all getting big robo-suits.  I know.  It’s a real high-art concept, to be sure.  I like the Avengers, and I also like big robo-suits, so I don’t hate the idea.  I’m looking at one of the resulting toys today, with Ultimate Mech Suit Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultimate Mech Suit Captain America is part of Hasbro’s wider-range Avengers: Mech Strike line, which starting showing up at retail in the last month or so.  There are a few different price points for the figures, with Cap and the corresponding Iron Man both being at the mid-range $20 price point.  These figures are a whole figure and mech-suit set-up, which really gives the whole intended experience, I feel.  The core Captain America figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  He’s a pretty basic Captain America, following the general look of the “house style Cap” we’ve been seeing since the MCU took off.  It’s pretty decently designed, and there are a lot of smaller details on the uniform that make him pretty fun.  He’s also pretty posable.  Obviously, he’s not quite Legends material or anything, but all of the basics are covered.  The only thing I could really drag him on is the lack of waist joint, but that’s fairly minor.  There are a few ports worked into the sculpt, as well, which are mainly used for giving him spots to attach the included shield.  They’re not too jarring, and generally fit well with the overall aesthetic of the core design.  His paint’s on the rather basic side, but it’s enough to get the job done.  The basic red, white, and blue is all there, and the application’s mostly pretty clean.  The reds are a little sloppier, but it’s admittedly a more difficult color to get consistent.  There are definitely some sculpted details that get left unpainted, especially on the blue sections, but this is kind of expected, what with the style and price point.  This core figure’s primary function, of course, isn’t really to be seen.  Instead, he’s supposed to be the pilot of the aforementioned “Ultimate Mech Suit.”  The fully suited up figure stands about 7 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation, all of which are contained in the arms.  It’s not exceedingly posable, largely due to it being more or less a shell that folds over the main Cap figure.  The arms are, at least, able to get some movement, but he’s otherwise a rather static, and also rather chunk boi.  The design’s honestly pretty appealing, at least to me.  It’s a big, bulky, and appropriately spangle-y mecha, with very clean line-work.  It feels a little bit Ultra Magnus-y to me, but that may be me filling in some things I want to see.  Wouldn’t mind him getting some killer shoulder pylons, though.  The only slight trouble to how the design of the thing works is that there’s nothing to be done with Cap’s arms once he’s in the mecha; they just kind of hang there, which looks a little silly.  Fortunately, they do blend in alright with the sides of the mecha’s torso, if you just wrap them around.  Still, it would have been nice to see them come up with something a little bit more clever.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had only a passing familiarity with this line when I got a text from Max a few weeks ago, informing me that he had been in a Captain America mood, which had led him to pick this figure up.  It certainly looked nifty, but I wasn’t in a major rush to get one of my own.  Upon talking to Max a little more about it, it turned out he wasn’t really feeling it as much as he’d hoped to, so he asked if I wanted it for a good deal.  I had just put together a whole shelf of my Captain America stuff, so I had a place to put it, which I guess was as good a reason as any to take it off Max’s hands.  Ultimately, it’s still not something I think I would have picked up for myself, largely due to not really being in the main target market for this line.  That being said, I do like it now that I have it, and I can’t really knock it’s cool factor.  And how many times are we going to get a cool Captain America Mecha?  Okay, probably a lot going forward, but this one’s still cool.

#2594: Thunderstrike

THUNDERSTRIKE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Kevin Masterson follows in the noble footsteps of his idol Thor—because the world still needs heroes.”

After Walt Simonson’s run on Thor cemented the concept of someone other than the God of Thunder himself (or Don Blake, his usual alter ego) being able to wield the power of Mjolnir, passing the hammer onto other wielders became a recurring feature.  Not terribly long after Simonson’s run ended, Eric Masterson was introduced as a supporting player in Thor.  He was then promoted from supporting player to alter ego for Thor, then just to being Thor proper for a time, and then eventually was given his own, separate identity as Thunderstrike.  Eric’s story ultimately ended with his demise, and eventually his hammer was passed onto his son, Kevin, who took up the identity for himself.  Thunderstrike’s an intriguing alternate to Thor, and makes for a good figure to fill that “Thor” slot in an assortment, which is just what he’s doing here.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thunderstrike is the fourth figure in the Joe Fixit Series of Marvel Legends, and also the final of the comics-based figures in the assortment.  This marks Thunderstrike’s first time getting the Legends treatment, although Hasbro’s done him before in their 3.75″ line.  In stark contrast to the name attached to the bio, this Thunderstrike is very definitely Eric’s version of the character, not his son Kevin.  Clearly somebody didn’t double check the wiki there.  It’s perfectly alright, however, because Eric is certainly the more logical choice for inclusion, given he’s the one everyone thinks of when they hear the name.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Thunderstrike makes use of a surprising amount of new parts.  At first glance I’d expected him to be fairly heavy on the re-use, but on the final product the only re-used parts are the arms (which are from the 80th Thor), and the vest (which is from Rage, a parts share that existed in the smaller line as well).  Everything else is new.  It crafts a pretty spot-on recreation of the character’s design from the comics, for what that’s worth.  It’s…not the greatest design, but it’s certainly very indicative of the time it hails from, so I guess there’s that.  The ball joint for the mid torso certainly works out well, and looks better aesthetically as well.  The head’s got a rather dynamic flair to it, with a quite intense facial expression.  It’s different, and I do like the change up, but it’s also a touch limiting when it comes to posing him.  At least it’s pretty well suited to the character.  Thunderstrike’s paint work is pretty basic stuff.  The application’s clean, but the brown sections could certainly use some sort of accenting.  As it stands, some of the details get a little bit lost.  Thunderstrike is packed with his hammer of the same name, as well as two different left hands (the same two included with Thor), and the head to Joe Fixit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Thunderstrike is a character that’s kind always been just outside of my area of interest.  I’ve got nothing against him, but I’ve also got no real attachment to him (hence why I never grabbed his smaller figure, even after seeing it on clearance all over the place).  His inclusion in this set was kind of a middling moment for me, but I can’t say it’s a waste of a space or anything.  He’s at the very least a pretty solid figure, and another rather classic character for the line-up.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2593: Kang

KANG

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Born in the 31st-century, Kang employs time travel and hyper-sophisticated technology to conquer all of time.”

Perhaps the Avengers greatest foe (and certainly their most *numerous* foe, at least in terms of identities), Kang the Conqueror has been a thorn in the team’s side since their first year as a team, first appearing in issue #8 of the series, which was coincidentally, two months prior to the appearance of Immortus, his future incarnation, and 11 months after the appearance of Rama-Tut, his past incarnation.  Also 41 years prior to the appearance of Iron Lad, his even past-er incarnation…time travel’s messy.  Though a prominent fixture in the team’s history, he’s never been the most marketable of their enemies, so he’s also not had the most toy coverage.  He’s still done better than Jocasta, of course, with at least one notable release in every major style of Marvel figure.  He’s been in the Legends game once before, and now he’s gotten back into it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kang is the third figure in the Joe Fixit Series of Marvel Legends, and is also the third of the four comics-based figures included in the line-up.  As I touched on in the intro, Kang has been included in Legends once before, during Hasbro’s first run with the brand in 2008.  That figure was actually just a re-release of the super rare Fantastic Four Classics Kang Toy Biz put out right before handing over the reigns, but the 2008 version ended up being a really rare exclusive in his own right, making neither version very easy to track down for the average collector (or me, for that matter).  It’s also a mold that’s 14 years old at this point, so it was in need of a replacement.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Though the articulation count is a bit on the lower side, the range of motion on the joints follows the recent trends of being much improved compared to older figures.  The most impressive joint is definitely the ball-jointed waist, which gives him a lot of possible tweaking to his posing.  It’s a lot of fun to mess with.  Kang is sporting an all-new sculpt, and a quite nice one at that.  It’s undeniably a classic Kang design, and there’s a ton of detail work going on, from the way the tunic “hangs” on the body, to all of the piping and folds on his very, very tall boots.  The head manages to capture Kang’s rather goofy headgear in such a way that’s not totally ridiculous, which is certainly a plus, while also capturing Kang’s stern expression.  It definitely works well.  The paint work on Kang is pretty straight forward stuff.  It’s mostly just base application, and that application’s all pretty cleanly handled.  The color palette is appropriately vibrant, and works well for the character.  Lack of vibrance has actually been a recurring issue on prior Kang figured, so I’m glad it worked out here.  In addition to getting a whole brand new sculpt, Kang’s also got quite a nice selection of extras, including five different hands (R and L fists, R and L open gesture, and L grip), a large futuristic blaster rifle, and the left leg to the Joe Fixit Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kang’s definitely high on my list of favorite Avengers villains, and I’ve been wanting him in Legends form for a long time.  The last version was never easily found, and as such I never got one.  I’ve been waiting for this one for a while, and I was very pleased to see him crop up in this assortment.  On top of that, he’s really just a top-notch figure.  Everything about him just works very well.  Finally, this Avengers foe has really gotten his toy due!

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2592: Jocasta

JOCASTA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Jocasta’s superhuman force fields and electromagnetic beams make her a valuable ally of the Avengers.”

After creating his “son”, The Vision, Avengers foe Ultron set his sights on creating himself a bride.  Being the melodramatic and rather twisted so and so he is, he opted to use the mind of his “mother” Janet Van Dyne, aka The Wasp, for his robot mate.  He dubbed his creation “Jocasta” in reference to Oedipus, and the obvious Oedipal complex that Ultron possessed in reference to his creator Hank Pym.  Jan was able to keep her brain in her own body of course, leaving Jocasta a lifeless husk…at first.  Eight issues after her first appearance, however, she reactivated, with her own personality, one which, like Vision before her, led her to rebel against her creator.  She went on to play a supporting role in the Avengers books for the next couple of decades, tending to hover in the background of most stories.  Recently, she’s actually been getting a bit more focus, with a pretty central role in Dan Slott’s run on Iron Man in particular.  She’s been without a single action figure for the first 43 years of her existence, but, lucky her, that’s just changed!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jocasta is the second figure in the Joe Fixit Series of Marvel Legends.  She’s another comics-based figure, of course, and is, as noted above, the very first Jocasta figure we’ve ever gotten (something Hasbro very proudly announced when they showed her off).  Jocasta’s look has been fairly consistent over the years, but this figure goes for the most classic aspects of the character.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Jocasta is built on the Moonstone body, which is one of the oldest bases still in Hasbro’s parts library (only Bucky Cap and Hyperion are older).  Compared to more recent additions to the line, it’s a bit limited in terms of posability and range of motion, as well as having slightly wonkier proportions compared to newer stuff.  In terms of build, it’s not exactly a pitch perfect match for Jocasta, so why exactly it was chosen for this figure is kind of up in the air.  It’s not bad, but I’d personally have preferred to see the use something more recent.  I guess they don’t want too many figures in a short span of time being built on the Phoenix body, though.  To help liven things up, she gets a new head, torso, pelvis, and an add-on for the thigh “garter.”  The new parts are pretty decently handled, with the head in particular being a solid recreation of her classic comics design.  The torso’s an improvement on the standard Moonstone parts, but is somewhat hampered bu having to deal with the older arms and legs.  In terms of paint, Jocasta’s a lot of silver, which is accurate, of course.  They’ve at least actually given her a two-toned set up, which keeps things somewhat interesting.  The darker color’s molded, while the lighter is painted.  It works pretty well.  Jocasta is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, and one in open gesture, as well as the torso of the Joe Fixit Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Jocasta and Machine Man are one of my favorite little obscure odd-ball pairings, and have been for some time.  Back in the Toy Biz Legends days, I assembled my own custom Machine Man (which I mentioned when I reviewed Hasbro’s take on him), and I had the parts picked out for a Jocasta, though I never did get around to finishing her.  Ever since getting Aaron in an official capacity, I’ve been hoping for a Jocasta to go along with him, and that’s only increased as her role in the comics has grown.  While the base body choice is still questionable, she’s certainly a serviceable figure, and at this point I’m just happy to have her in any sort of figure form at all!

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

#2591: Falcon

FALCON

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Sam Wilson soars through the skies dispensing justice and restoring faith in humanity.”

Introduced in 1969’s Captain America #117, Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, has the notoriety of being the first African American super hero in mainstream comics.  Since his introduction, he’s been an on and off fixture of the Marvel Universe, and he’s become especially prominent in the last few years, thanks in no small part to Anthony Mackie’s portrayal of the character in the MCU.  It’s been a little bit of time since we got a proper comics Falcon in figure form from Hasbro, but they’re coming back in for the save on the latest round of Marvel Legends, with a figure I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Falcon is the first figure from the Joe Fixit Series of Marvel Legends, which is the second of this year’s Avengers-themed assortments.  He’s one of the four comics-based figures in the assortment, and marks our first comic Falcon since back in the Toy Biz days in 2006.  That release had classic and modern (at the time) variants available, where as this one goes for Sam’s design from around the Brubaker era of the comics.  It’s become a go-to for his costume in various merchandising outlets, and is certainly far less dated than a lot of his costume designs, so it’s certainly a solid choice.  The figure is 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Falcon is built on the 2099 body, a strong starting point for the character given his usual build in the comics, and a good core body in general.  He also re-uses the recent comic-style Vulture wings from earlier this year.  There’s also a new set of arms to allow for proper connection of said wings, as well as a new head and feet.  The Vulture wings are still that wonky “fully detailed on one side, not at all on the other” set-up, but that’s at least less of an issue with Falcon’s adjusted color scheme.  The newly sculpted parts meld really well with the old, and are just generally impressive pieces.  The head feels right for Sam in terms of expression and features, and the new arms and feet certainly go beyond the bare minimum detailing for the design.  They certainly didn’t have to do the fully sculpted ridges on his gauntlets or the tread on the boots, but they did and it adds that extra flair to the design to help differentiate him from other uses of the body.  Additionally, these new arms use the pinless construction, further the figure’s sleekness.  Falcon’s paint work is rather straight forward.  It’s all just basic application, but it’s cleanly done, and the translucent plastic for the wings is certainly pretty cool, and, as noted in the sculpt segment, helps to hide the one-sided-ness of the wing sculpts a bit more.  Falcon is packed with two sets of hands (fists and flat) and the left leg to the build-a-figure Joe Fixit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Toy Biz Falcon was a figure I really liked back in the day, but he’s also one of their figures that hasn’t aged quite so well, so I’ve been eager for a proper comics update for a little while.  This guy was high on my list for this assortment to be sure.  I’m very happy with the final product, and I’m happy to have a decent Falcon for my comics shelf again.  Of course, I certainly wouldn’t say no to using some of these parts for a classic Falcon down the road, if Hasbro feels so inclined.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2500: Hawkeye

HAWKEYE

AVENGERS (HOT TOYS)

Wow, can you believe I’ve written 2500 of these reviews?  I mean, you probably can.  The numbers are right there, at the top of the reviews and all.  I’ve given total accountability here.  So, you know, you shouldn’t be surprised.  I mean, I am, but it’s my site; I’m allowed.  Well, 2500 feels like a monumental enough review for me to dig out another of my higher-end figures, so why not chip away a little more at my rather impressive Hot Toys Avengers collection.  I’ve looked at a good chunk of the first film’s line-up, but today I’m taking another step towards completion with Hawkeye!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hawkeye was released as part of Hot Toys’ core Movie Masterpiece Series, numbered at 172.  He’s the third of the Avengers-branded figures, following Nick Fury and the quick re-hash Iron Man Mk VI.  Given that he’s really the most basic of the core team, it’s not a huge shock.  He wound up as one of the first to actually make it to release as well, getting to collectors in the fall of 2012.  The figure stands 11 3/4 inches tall and he has over 30 points of articulation.

Hot Toys usually puts their star work into the actor’s portraits on the head sculpts, and they’ve turned in some really impressive likenesses.  Hawkeye’s not a bad effort, but he’s not one of their best either.  There’s definitely a lot of Jeremy Renner in there, but it’s not quite as spot on as their work tends to be.  I think it’s the eyes that really throw things off, because putting the sunglasses on helps the likeness a bit.  I think they might be a touch too close together.  Later Hawkeyes from HT would get the Renner likeness down just a bit better, but this one wasn’t a terrible attempt by any means.  The paint work is still up to the usual HT standards, meaning he’s really damn lifelike.

As is the usual set-up, Hawkeye’s costume is a mixed-media affair.  The actual suit is a tailored piece, made from a number of layered pieces.  It works out pretty well, but ultimately isn’t quite as slick as some of the other suits they’ve done.  There’s a lot more in the way of faux zippers and straps, and it just looks slightly more cosplay than usual for HT.  For me, the biggest hang up, though, is the front of the tunic.  The two sides of it are meant to hook onto the brim of his pants, in order to hold things a bit tighter, but can be removed to allow for slightly better posability.  The trouble is that the hooks just don’t really hold very well, so it just tends to pop loose a lot.  The boots are solid sculpted pieces, which is fairly normal for the line, but not the most posable choice.  Still, they do look pretty nice.  Hawkeye’s got his quiver, which is a plastic piece, and even has the rotating arrangement of arrow heads at the base like in the film.  Connecting the quiver to the rest of the costume proved a bit of a challenge for HT, so they ended up including two options.  The first is a small plastic clip, which connects to the back of the quiver and slots into the center of his back, leaving a more seamless join.  This is technically more film accurate, but ultimately isn’t as secure, and tends to droop over time.  The second option’s a cloth strap.  It’s pretty basic, but it works, even if it’s not quite as film accurate.

Hawkeye’s underlying body is one of the muscle bodies.  Given the exposed arms, this makes sense from an aesthetic standpoint, but is sadly a little limiting from a posing stand point, given the lessened range on the elbows and shoulders.  It makes getting decent archery poses out of this figure a little tricky.  You can definitely still manage some good ones, but there’s a lot more careful posing involved.  Otherwise, it’s a well proportioned body for the character, so I can at least get behind that.

Hawkeye’s accessory complement is definitely an impressive one, especially given his lower price-point at the time of his release.  He gets:

  • 6 hands
  • 2 bows
  • 16 arrows
  • 11 specialized arrow heads
  • Sunglasses
  • Display stand

The hands come in relaxed and gripping on the right side, and relaxed, pointing, and two different arrow-drawing hands for the left.  The only downside to the hands is that the standard arrow-draw hand has the fingers all molded as one solid piece, requiring some slight modifying if you want him properly holding the arrow.  The two bows are effectively the same, with one difference: one has a string and the other doesn’t.  This allows for the unstrung one to make use of the joints on the mold, allowing it to be collapsed like in the movie.  The arrows are all without heads, allowing the specialized ones to be swapped out in the movie.  The one real downside to them, though, is that you have to manually feed them into the quiver, which is a real pain, and hard to get just right.  The sunglasses are, of course, an artifact of promotional images, since he doesn’t actually wear them in the film, but it’s still cool to get them, and they look pretty snazzy.  The stand is another basic oval stand, but it’s at least consistent with the rest of the Avengers figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It was Hawkeye that swayed me into actually getting on board with the HT Avengers line-up, but it wasn’t when he was solicited.  No, it was instead when he sold out on Sideshow’s site, and I realized that if I really wanted these figures, I would need to jump on them early.  Fortunately, I was able to jump on the waitlist for this guy and get him without too much trouble.  Ultimately, he’s not as impressive as other HT figures.  I do still like him a lot, though, and he does go well with the rest of the set, so he’s certainly got that going for him.

#2498: Captain America – Final Battle Edition

CAPTAIN AMERICA — FINAL BATTLE EDITION

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

Bandai Japan’s S.H. Figuarts is a toyline that I’ve looked at a handful of times previously on the site, but the very vast majority of the items I’ve looked at from the line have been, rather predictably, I suppose, based on Japanese properties (well, excepting of course Freddie and K-2, but they were sort of stand outs).  They’ve been dabbling in plenty of American properties over the years, but up until now, I’ve been totally content to stick with the domestic options on those.  As of late, they’ve been really getting into the MCU side of things, with Infinity War and Endgame both getting a noticeable focus.  Today, I’m taking a look at their latest take on Captain America, specifically in his Endgame attire.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Final Battle Edition Captain America started showing most places in the last month or so, right alongside the similarly Final Battle-themed Iron Man from the movie.  This marks our second Endgame Cap in the Figuarts line; the first one hit closer to the film’s theatrical release, and featured a much more paired down accessory selection, largely to avoid spoilers and the like.  Even as a basic release, it sold out pretty quickly, so Bandai was fairly quick to get another version out there.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He’s on the taller side of the Figuarts spectrum (due to Chris Evans being generally a pretty tall guy), but he’s still going to be a little small to scale with Legends.  Obviously, that’s kind of expected.  This release of Endgame Cap appears to be using the same core sculpt as the prior release.  The articulation is a little bit on the obvious side, falling back in line with what I’m used to from Figurarts.  There’s a pretty amazing range of motion, though some of the joints on mine, particularly his left elbow, are a little looser than I’d like.  I do wish the tolerance were just a touch better there.  As with any Figuarts sculpt, it’s definitely got a little bit of a stylization to it, to bring him in line with the rest of the figures.  It works pretty well for Cap, though, and gives him even more heroic proportions than usual. It also looks astoundingly svelte when compared to the Hasbro version, which was itself a bit beefy, I suppose.  It’s not a bad match for Evans’ build in the film, though, albeit in a slightly caricaturized way.  It does manage to get the costume details down a bit more accurately, I think, than the Legends release.  There are three separate heads included with this figure: masked with calm expression, masked with battle expression, and fully unmasked (which also gets its own separate neck post, since there’s a little bit of the helmet visible on the standard neck).  Of the three, I the neutral masked is probably the weakest.  The likeness just isn’t quite there, and he looks a little void of personality.  I really like the other two heads, though.  The intense expression is great for battle poses, and the unmasked head has a pretty fantastic Evans likeness on it.  The paint work on this figure marks a difference from the original release, which gave us a slightly more pristine Cap.  This one takes the “Final Battle” title and runs with it a bit, so he’s got a bit of grime and dirt.  It’s not enough to make him look “damaged”, but it gives him a little extra flavor.  All three heads have printed faces, which look a little wonky from up close, but great at a distance.  The gold color used on the hair of the unmasked head looks a little weird, but after having him in hand for a bit, I don’t actually hate it.  The major selling point of this guy is his accessory complement.  In addition to the three heads mentioned above, Cap also includes five pairs of hands (fists, relaxed, hammer gripping, flat, and with the shield strap in hand), his shield in both regular and broken forms, with interchangeable straps to go along, and Mjolnir with interchangeable energy effects.  The hands offer up some fun posing variety, and the flat palmed ones even have a tab to allow the corresponding strap with hanger on it to be attached, letting Cap actually hold his shield by its edge.  The shield’s straps also allow for use on either arm, one-handed hold, or mounting on his back, again really giving posing options.  Both shields are great pieces, and it’s awesome to finally have the destroyed one in toy form.  Mjolnir practically steals the show here, though, as the swap out panels with the energy effects are pretty amazingly dynamic for posing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t typically jump into the Figuarts realm for stuff that has other 6-inch lines, but I’ve been kicking myself for passing up the chance to grab the AoU Cap at a good price, and I was a little bummed when I missed the first release on Endgame Cap.  Fortunately, the updated version came along, and he’s even better, so it works out well.  When All Time got these figures in stock, I came very close to grabbing this guy right away, but ultimately held off.  However, Super Awesome Wife was nice enough to work with Jason to get me one for my birthday, and I really couldn’t be happier.  He’s a really fun figure, and goes great with the rest of my ever-growing Captain America collection.

If you’d like a Cap of your own (or the Iron Man that goes with him, perhaps), he’s still in-stock at AllTimeToys.com. And, if you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2443: Iron Man

IRON MAN — GAMERVERSE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Tony Stark developed his cutting-edge Iron Man armor and helped found the Avengers to protect the world against catastrophic threats.”

As the MCU moves away from the two of them, the Marvel Legends line has to find new ways to keep new variants of heavy hitters like Iron Man and Captain America coming out.  Fortunately, the two of them are still pretty pivotal to the upcoming Avengers game from Square Enix, thereby guaranteeing the two of them another couple of easy-sell variants.  I took a look at the Captain America yesterday, and I’ll be following that up with the Iron Man figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man is the second of the three game-inspired single-packed figures in the Abomination Series of Marvel Legends.  He was actually the first of these figures we saw, before we knew there’d be a full assortment of figures to go with him, back in the fall of last year. He’s again based on the character’s standard design from the game.  While Cap’s design took quite a few more artistic liberties with its implementation, the Iron Man design by and large sticks pretty close to the MCU Iron Man playbook.  It’s a little more streamlined most places, except for some reason the helmet, which is where the majority of the changes happen.  The figure stands just over 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  The movement on this guy is a little stiff, even for an Iron Man figure, with the shoulders in particular being rather difficult to work with.  Also, the decision to give him a torso crunch, instead of the ball-jointed style we’ve gotten with the last several movie Iron Men is rather baffling, especially given that the design has a clear spot for such a joint to be included, but Hasbro still opted for a far more limiting method.  He does at least get to keep the full wrist joints on his arms this time, so it’s not all bad decisions.  This Iron Man is sporting an all-new sculpt, which looks to be fairly faithful to the game.  It’s not bad, and is about on par with the various MCU sculpts in terms of quality and feel.  While I thought Cap’s design translated pretty nicely to toy form, I don’t think that’s quite true with Iron Man, or at the very least his helmet.  It looks fine in the game animation I’ve seen, but I really don’t care for it in toy form.  I think it’s how closely it contours to his face; that visible nose really seems odd for Iron Man, and it ends up making him look fairly alien, which I don’t think was the intended feel.  Other than that, though, the body on this figure does look pretty cool, and the detailing is all pretty sharp.  The paint work is pretty standard Iron Man fare.  The red is molded in that sort of swirly metallic plastic, and everything else is painted.  The application’s pretty clean overall, but there are a few spots of bleed over here and there.  The arc reactor uses the printing technique we’ve been seeing on the faces to give it some more variation, which looks pretty decent overall.  Iron Man is packed with two sets of hands (one in fists, the other in repulser blast pose), two effects pieces, and the left leg to the Abomination Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this figure was first shown off, I really didn’t have much interest.  We’d just gotten the Mark 85, with is really everything I want in a real-world Iron Man figure, and it looked like this guy might be another one-off release like Spider-Man was, so I was content to pass.  Once he was part of a full assortment, the story changed a bit.  Ultimately, I wasn’t expecting much out of this figure, and that’s for the best.  He’s not bad, but I think the 85 or even the Tenth Anniversary Mk VII are stronger modern Iron Men than this one.  He’s kind of a middling figure for me.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy to review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.