#2916: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

RETURN OF MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Justice and virtue have found their champion… a super-soldier named Captain America!”

In 2012, Hasbro changed the game for Marvel Legends.  And not in the way that you might think.  I mean, yeah that’s the year that they brought the line back from its hiatus, but it wasn’t just that.  See, in Series 2 of this newly launched line, released in the spring of that year, they introduced one of the most single-handedly influential things that their run on the line has experienced.  What am I talking about?  I’m talking about Bucky Cap, the body that a metric ton of the modern line uses as a starting point.  Just on this site alone, I’ve reviewed 70 of themAnd if you don’t believe me, just check out the absurd amount of hyper links that make up these two sentences where I’m referencing the number of uses, because, I assure you, it’s, like, a lot of uses, more uses perhaps than I have any right to have here on this site, and yet here they all are.  In the seven years I’ve been reviewing Legends, I’ve talked a lot about this base body, and yet, I’ve never actually looked at the original use.  So now, as the molds begin to enter into their twilight years, let’s jump back to where it all started.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America was released in the Arnim Zola Series of Return of Marvel Legends, which was the second line-up for the line.  It hit in the spring of 2012, about six months after Bucky had given the title of Captain America back to Steve and resumed operations as the Winter Soldier, which is about right for timing on these sorts of things, really.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The articulation on this mold has become rather standardized and just part of the background noise these days, but it was a really great effort for the time.  Legends were still working their way out of the “twisting meat” era at the time, so having something that was not only really posable, but also didn’t have to look terrible to get there was a pretty big deal.  At this point, some of the joints are a little restricted, but even now it does still hold up alright. For the first use of the mold, it’s actually maybe a little small for Bucky as Cap, at least in the context of the line that followed.  At the time, scale was still a little all over the place, though, so it didn’t seem quite so out of place.  It certainly wasn’t a bad match from a looks standpoint, generally doing a pretty solid job of recreating Bucky Cap’s design from the comic in a spot-on fashion.  In terms of unique parts, he has a head sculpt featuring his his slightly tweaked version of the mask (notably missing the ears, as it should be), an add-on for his belt, and forearms and shins depicting his rolled up gloves and buccaneer boots.  Later figures would retool the arms and legs to have more standardized parts, though the gloves and boots would remain in service for other figures as well.  The head and belt have remained unique to this particular figure, which is sensible, given that they have more limited applications.  The do work well with the rest of the body, though the whole body has presumably designed to work as Bucky Cap first, and then retrofitted for re-use later.  Bucky Cap’s paint work is generally pretty nice.  The metallic blue fits the design perfectly, and the application’s really not bad for the time, since Hasbro was still contending with some iffy QC.  The “A” on his head is slightly off center on mine, but all things considered, it’s not too bad.  Bucky Cap was packed with a handgun and knife, both of which could be stored in his belt, as well as his shield, and one of the legs to Arnim Zola.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I discussed yesterday, I was hesitant to get back into Legends when it relaunched, so I didn’t pick up any of the early ROML figures new.  I think I saw this guy maybe once, but didn’t think much of it.  In light of this being such an influential figure, though, as well as being a Captain America, I did feel compelled to track it down.  I wound up snagging it from Gidget’s Gadgets in Rehobeth Beach a few years back while vacationing with my family.  He’s been sitting in my office area unopened for a couple of years (for shame, I know), but I finally got to opening him up a few months ago, and felt compelled to finally get around to reviewing him.  I’ve looked at so much of him before, so many times, but it’s honestly a very good mold, and I totally get why Hasbro was so attached to re-using it as much as they did.  As we enter into a full decade of use for it, though, I do have to wonder what base body is going to take up the baton from it, after it did the same for the Bullseye body about 5 years ago.  Until then, you do have to admire its range.

#2824: Winter Soldier

WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Thrust back into the real world, Bucky is forced to figure out how to become James Barnes again, all while facing demons from his past”

In the comics, Bucky Barnes’s arc after his return as the Winter Soldier had him rather quickly recovering from the brainwashing and becoming one of Cap’s allies again.  For the MCU, his path has been a slower, and ore turbulent one, with his initial return even ending with a bit of uncertainty about what was to happen to him.  Obviously, it’s not been a huge surprise that he’s been generally following his comics-counterpart’s path, but just in a slightly more involved way.  The Falcon and the Winter Soldier delves into the trauma that lies within Bucky’s mind as a result of his time as the Winter Soldier, as well as showing us the true struggles he faces on his path back to “normality.”  It also gives a very convincing rationale in-universe about why the MCU version of Bucky has no desire to be Captain America, in contrast to his path in the comics.  At the end of the series, his contentment in his own role shows how far he has come as a character, and really feels very earned within the context of the story that’s been building.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Winter Soldier is figure 4 in the Disney+-based assortment of Marvel Legends, and is the first of the figures from the set based on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which is the primary focus of this assortment.  While Bucky spends a lot of the show’s run time in rather average civilian attire, the figure opts for his true combat look from the show, which plays prominently into some of the early in-show missions, as well as the finale.  It’s a design that plays pretty heavily into his classic Bucky design, moreso than his Winter Soldier look, which fits well with the arc his character is going through, as well as fitting with the general evolution of his designs post Winter Soldier, which have slowly morphed him back to that more The First Avenger look for him.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  The ab-crunch on Bucky feels a little bit limiting, but otherwise, it’s a pretty good articulation set, and he benefits from having the pin-less construction for both his elbows and knees.  The last Winter Soldier we got has some parts re-use going on, but this one is an all-new sculpt.  It’s a pretty darn nice one, at that.  The head is by far the best Sebastian Stan likeness we’ve gotten so far, and it’s also nice to finally get a proper new sculpt for his new robot arm (though it is a shame it’s not more easily removable).  In terms of paint work, Bucky’s pretty decent overall, and actually tries a bit more than a lot of more recent offerings.  The base work is all pretty clean and straight forward, and the gold on the arm looks pretty spiffy.  By far the best work is on the face, which even manages to get his stubble on there rather believably.  The jacket is an interesting set-up, because they’ve attempted to do a little bit of variance on the shades of blue, as if it’s maybe a little worn in.  I’m not sure it quite works they way they were hoping for, but it’s also not as bad as it could be.  Maybe the changes between the shades could be a bit more subtle, but I’m happy to see them at least trying something different.  There’s also some slightly accenting on his hair, giving it a slight bit of brown, which looks quite nice.  Bucky’s packed with two sets of hands, one set open, the other in fists, as well as part of Captain America’s wings.  Just getting the hands does seem a little light, and it feels like he’s forever cursed to not actually get any proper firearms, but on the other hand, his arc in the show also has him angling himself a bit more away from those sorts of things, so I guess there’s that.  Still, I would have liked to see maybe something else.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Winter Soldier figures tend to be a bit of a mixed bag for Legends, where there’s always something that really holds them back.  This one doesn’t really have that going on.  While the accessories are maybe a little light, there aren’t any glaring issues with the figure, and he just feels like a really solid representation of the character.  I also just find myself liking this representation of the character in general, so I’m kind of glad that this is the one where Hasbro really put in the effort for the character.

Winter Soldier was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2820: Frontline Captain America & Bucky

FRONTLINE CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY

MARVEL MINIMATES

With the MCU really entering it’s post-Endgame slate, and building up some of the more minor characters, it’s sort of nice to take a step back and look at how far some of these characters have come.  Before they were respectively a hero who is the idol of millions and all-around very hard to replace icon and a sleeper-agent assassin-turned repentant hero, Steve Rogers and James “Bucky” Barnes were just two best friends, dragged into Hydra’s off-shoot of World War II.  Fortunately, DST gave us a pairing of the two before all those changes, just so we can reminisce!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Frontline Captain America and Bucky were released in Series 40 of Marvel Minimates, as well as the TRU-exclusive The First Avenger tie-in assortment, both of which hit in the early summer of 2011.

FRONTLINE CAPTAIN AMERICA

Frontline Captain America, or Rescue Cap as he’s been dubbed elsewhere, serves as Cap’s Mark I equivalent, a hastily thrown together get-up borne out of necessity.  It’s a call-back not only to the Jack Kirby days when Steve would be seen from time to time in his military fatigues with the Cap costume peaking out, but also to Cap’s WW2 era costume from The Ultimates.  It also brings to mind some memories of the hero of Joe Johnson’s other WW2 era super hero movie, The Rocketeer.  Though short-lived in the movie, its presence during Cap’s first real action scene makes it quite memorable.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Cap uses two add-on pieces: his helmet and his jacket.  The helmet is shared with his assortment-mate Gabe Jones, and works well as a pretty standard helmet.  It sits closer to the head than the previously used Sgt Rock helmet, making it so that hair is not visible, and he doesn’t look bald with it in place.  If you want to get picky, the helmet really should have some goggles on it, but he does lose them in the movie, so it’s not completely inaccurate.  The jacket is  unique to this figure, and features all of the gear Cap was carrying during his raid on the POW camp.  There’s a lot of really great detail work going on there.  I might have preferred the belt to have been a separate piece, but it still works quite well the way it is here.  He also gets a slightly tweaked left hand, designed for attaching his shield.  The paintwork on Frontline Cap is a little bit of a mixed bag.  The linework on his face and torso is really sharp, and the colors are all pretty well chosen.  That said, there’s a fair bit of bleed over on his jacket, and the lines on his legs are somewhat ill-defined.  The closeness of some of the colors on the palette helps to mask it a bit, though.  On the plus side, the face presents a reasonable likeness of Chris Evans as Cap, and I quite like the more intense expression.  Frontline Cap is packed with his original, non-circular shield, which can be placed either on his hand or on his back.  He also includes a handgun (re-used from Blackhawk) and an extra hairpiece for an unhelmeted look.

BUCKY

For the first film, Bucky wasn’t a super soldier like Cap, but he wasn’t quite the comics version of the kid sidekick either.  The movie instead aimed to more foreshadow his eventual return as the Winter Soldier, setting him up as the Howling Commandos’ sharp-shooter.  In terms of design, he actually got a pretty close adaptation of his original comics design, albeit with a more proper military flair to it and some more toned down colors.  Bucky has add-ons for his hair and jacket.  Both of these were new to this particular figure. Interestingly, the hair on the prototype was a different piece, the same one used on Dr. Reed from the Creature From the Black Lagoon boxed set.  No idea why they made the change, and personally I would have preferred the re-used piece.  As it stands, this one’s not terrible, though.  It just sits a little low for my liking.  The jacket piece seems a bit bulky, truth be told, and I think he might have looked better with it just painted on his chest block instead.  Bucky’s paint is reasonable, but not without its flaws.  The slop is a little less of an issue here than it was with Cap, but it’s still somewhat present.  The likeness on the face isn’t a nice as I’d like.  It appears that something happened in-between the control art and the final ‘mate, which has caused his eyes to be sort of oddly placed.  It looks rather strange.  Sgt. Barnes is decently accessorized, including his sniper rifle and the same style of handgun included with Steve.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this set up when it was new, courtesy of Cosmic Comix.  Though non-standard, this is really a winning version of Cap.  There are some slight flaws, but he’s an overall very cool figure, and he’s really my favorite design for the character.  I’m glad he was such an early inclusion.  This was only Bucky’s second ‘mate, and after the slightly flawed first one, I’d hoped this one would turn out better.  Though far from terrible, this figure has a lot of smaller issues that add up to a rather forgettable Minimate.

#2428: Winter Soldier

WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Winter Soldier is a fierce combatant and an asset in battle, no matter which team he fights for.”

Alright, let’s jump back into these Marvel Legends reviews, shall we?  Like most movie assortments, the Black Widow tie-in is split between film-based figures, and some appropriately-themed comic-based figures.  I’ve looked at all of the movie figures, so now I’ll be jumping into the comics guys.  The first of the bunch is the one that’s probably got the best ties to Widow, the Winter Soldier, Natasha’s love interest in the comics for the last few years.  We’ve gotten a few movie-styled takes on the character, but it’s been a good long while since a comics version came along.  Let’s have a look, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Winter Soldier is figure 4 in the Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s our second comic-based Winter Soldier Legends figure, following up on Hasbro’s two-pack release way back in 2010.  That’s a long wait, but that old release was honestly pretty strong, so any follow-up had a lot to live up to.  The figure stands just over 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The sizing is the one issue I really have with this figure.  At his current height, he’s a little taller than the 80th Cap figure, which doesn’t seem quite right, since Bucky’s typically depicted as a little smaller than Steve.  It’s not a terrible size difference, but it gets a bit nuts if you compare him to anyone built on the Bucky Cap body.  He just seems a touch too large overall.  It’s admittedly minor, however, and I’m used to seeing the flip side occurring more frequently.  Sizing aside, Winter Soldier is a pretty sensible mix of old and new pieces.  He uses the pelvis and legs from the Netflix Punisher, and the right arm from tactical Killmonger, along with a new head, torso, and left arm.  The overall design is based on Winter Soldier’s earliest comic appearances, which is really when he was at his most distinct.  He’s got the long-haired appearance, which is typically how he’s best remembered.  He does slightly amalgamate a few later design elements in, such as the pouches on the front of his harness, which showed up during Brubaker’s Winter Soldier solo series (who’s design inspired the very impressive Select figure).  I like them more than the initial holster design, though, so I’m not really bugged by it.  What I *am* a little bugged by is the permanently sculpted-in gun that resides in Bucky’s hip holster.  It’s something that every use of this mold has, but it’s no less frustrating here.  Bucky’s paint work is mostly pretty basic stuff.  I’d have liked to see him get more detailing on the various add-on bits; a lot of stuff just gets left an un-painted brown, which doesn’t look quite right.  Nothing super pivotal is missed, though, so I don’t hate it; I just think it could be a little better.  To match the updated harness design, he also gets the slightly more ornate red/white/blue star insignia on his metal arm, signifying this as a post reformation-Bucky, so he’s firmly on the hero side, I guess.  Winter Soldier is packed with an M4 with a grenade launcher and a Colt 1911 (rather American guns; he *is* a post-working for the Russians Bucky, so I guess it makes sense.  Shout out again to Tim for the gun ID here), plus the head to the Crimson Dynamo Build-A-Figure.  It would have been nice to get an alternate short-haired head to mix up the display a bit, but he doesn’t feel *too* light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Winter Soldier is definitely the single-release figure I wanted the most from this set.  I missed out on the two-pack version, mostly due to not really being up on the character at the time.  Since then, I’ve definitely picked up an appreciation, so I was down for this guy.  He’s not perfect, and I definitely wish he were just a touch smaller, but he’s still very high on my list for this assortment, and there’s no denying he looks very nice next to that 80th Cap.  He’s a very fun figure.

Winter Soldier was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1845: Falcon & Winter Soldier

FALCON & WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Trained by different armies, but equally prepared to defend their allies from any threat, Winter Soldier and Falcon stand their ground to protect the Earth from other worldly adversaries.”

There were a *lot* of characters in Infinity War, so its not a huge shock that even several months later, there’s still a pretty healthy helping of action figures streaming out of the Hasbro toy machine.  While there were plenty of MCU characters granted their very first figures over the course of all of this, today’s set actually concerns two who we’ve seen before, The Cap’s bestest pals, Falcon and Winter Soldier.  Since their last figures were both exclusives that not everyone could find, Hasbro decided to re-issue them in…an exclusive set that not everyone can find.  You win some, you lose some.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Falcon and Winter Soldier ended up as a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends two-pack, alongside Black Panther’s Everett Ross and Killmonger.  The sets were shown off early in the year and initially theorized to be Toys R Us-exclusives, but we all know how that turned out.  Both figures are based on their Infinity War appearances…in theory, at least.

FALCON

Falcon’s look from Civil War to Infinity War didn’t change much, and, much like the Minimate, this figure reflects that, really being quite similar to the previous release.  He stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  His sculpt appears to be identical to that last figure.  The head may possibly be new, but the body is definitely the same.  While not perfect, the previous sculpt was certainly passable, and its re-use is certainly more acceptable than, say, that same Cap body that Hasbro keeps giving us.  The main difference between these two releases is the paint, but oh boy what a difference does it make.  The Civil War figure was somewhat lacking on a few of the smaller applications, which gave him this almost unfinished vibe.  This figure, on the other hand, adds back in a lot of the smaller details, and just overall gives the figure a better finish, making him look comparatively much more complete.  The figure includes the same wing pack as the last release, so the wings are still not posable.  He also lacks the deployed version of Redwing, but that’s acceptable, given Redwing doesn’t factor into the movie.  Also still missing are his guns, but at this point that’s no surprise, and it has to be some sort of a licensing issue.

WINTER SOLDIER

I haven’t actually reviewed a Winter Soldier Legends since, well, Winter Soldier.  He had a Civil War release, but that one just never spoke to me for whatever reason.  By extension, this guy ended up as the main draw of the set for me.  While Falcon’s design was fairly unchanged from Civil War to Infinity War, Bucky actually had a number of changes implemented, resulting in a design that’s actually a little closer to the comics incarnation of the character in design.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s a mix of old and new parts, with the same head and arm as the Civil War figure, and the boots from the WS/AoU/Civil War Cap, with everything else being new to this release.  The head actually has an amazing likeness of Sebastian Stan, far better than the prior release might have made clear.  The only real trouble is that it’s clearly Bucky circa Winter Soldier, not the scruffier, recuperating-in-Wakanda-for-a-year of Bucky Infinity War.  That said, it’s an issue that bugs me far less here than it did on Cap.  From the neck down, he’s actually quite accurate, and marks some improvements in movement from the WS variant of the character.  I particularly like all of the small detail work on the stitching on his torso; it adds to the realism.  Bucky’s paintwork is definitely one of the figure’s strongest suits.  The work on the body is reasonable in its own right, though not necessarily anything particularly stand-out.  The head, however, uses the face printing, and it’s one of the best instances of it I’ve seen, certainly rivaling the likes of Hot Toys in the realism department.  Bucky is packed with two different rifles.  The first is the same goofy dead-fish-looking thing that the WS release got, but this time in gold.  I hate it just as much this time as I did the first time around.  Fortunately, this figure also includes the assault rifle from the Netflix Punisher, which is a far more sensible piece, and will be the one my figure will be keeping.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw these figures once at an out of the way Target, and passed on them at the time, reasoning that Falcon wasn’t all that different from the one I had, and I’d be perfectly content to just keep my first Winter Soldier.  I also figured I might see them later, at a more local location.  Well, then I didn’t, so when I happened upon that same Target again, I was more easily swayed.  I knew Bucky would be the star of the set for me, and I was correct on that front.  While he may not be 100% accurate to the film, he’s still the best version of the character to date, and an all-around fun figure.  I didn’t expect much out of Falcon, having already picked up the CW release.  This one makes just a few subtle changes, and yet still ends up feeling almost like an entirely new figure, and he’s a lot better than I’d expected him to be.

#0979: Ant-Man & Winter Soldier

ANT-MAN & WINTER SOLDIER

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – MINIVERSE

AntMan&WS1

Wow, it’s been two whole months since Civil War hit theatres. Consequently, that also means it’s been about a month and a half since I saw Civil War. That doesn’t seem right. I might have to fix that. In the meantime, how about a nice Civil War-themed review? Yeah, that’ll be cool. Today, let’s stick firmly on the #TeamCap side, with Ant-Man and Winter Soldier!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ant-Man and Winter Soldier are one of the two-packs in the second series of Hasbro’s current Captain America: Civil War Miniverse line, which just started hitting stores not too long ago. They’re yet another somewhat odd pairing, since Scott and Bucky don’t really spend much time interacting, but oh well.

ANT-MAN

AntMan&WS2Both Guardians and Age of Ultron got their own 2 ½ inch lines, but poor Ant-Man was not so lucky. Which is kinda weird, since he’s the character who it makes the sense to have available in lots of different scales (especially smaller ones). But it’s okay, because he’s got a 2 ½ inch figure now! This figure stands just over 2 ½ inches tall and he has the same 5 points of articulation as any other figure in this line. Ant-Man is based on his slightly tweaked design from Civil War, which wasn’t a bad look. I can’t really say I like or dislike this look more than his last one, since they’re ultimately pretty similar. His sculpt does a pretty nice job of capturing the design from the movie, and he has quite a lot of very sharp detail work. He’s one of the more pre-posed figures from the line, with a rather wide stance and his arms slightly angled from his side. I’m not sure exactly what look they were going for, but it’s not as odd as some of the pre-posed figures I’ve gotten over the years. The Miniverse line is generally a bit light on the painted details, which can prove a problem for those with more intricate designs, such as Ant-Man’s. That being said, this is one of the few figures in the line not to lose too many painted details. Sure, there’s still a few silver accents here and there missing, but most of the important stuff is there. Of the two figures in this set, Ant-Man is the one that gets the weird armor thing. On the plus side, it seems the armor’s main purpose is to make Ant-Man a bit larger, to simulate his Giant-Man look, making it the first of these armor sets not to be totally useless.

WINTER SOLDIER

AntMan&WS3This is the second Winter Soldier we’ve gotten from this line of figures, but this is the first one to actually be based on his look from Civil War. Like Ant-Man, this guy stands a little over 2 ½ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. Surprisingly enough, this figure doesn’t share any parts with his Series 1 counterpart. His sculpt is quite well-handled, with lots of excellent detailing. The likeness isn’t a spot-on Sebastian Stan, but at this scale it’s good enough. Also, as with many of the figures in the line, the feet are a bit large, but the proportions are otherwise pretty good. Bucky has a much more subdued pose than most of the line, which is actually kind of nice to see. The paintwork here is pretty simple, being limited to the head, torso, and left arm, but the application is nice and clean, and he looks about right for the movie design. Winter Soldier has no accessories, but if all he was gonna get was more goofy armor, I’m not really going to complain.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up these two from Target. They were the only new set the store had in stock, which means I missed out on the Scarlet Witch set, but hey, this is a decent consolation. Unlike a lot of the other sets from this line, where there’s one good figure and one iffy figure, this set contains two pretty solid additions to the line. Definitely glad I got them!

#0953: Captain America & Winter Soldier

CAPTAIN AMERICA & WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL MINIMATES

Cap&WSCW1

As big a movie as it was, one of the best parts of Captain America: Civil War was that it didn’t abandon the plot threads of its predecessor, The Winter Soldier. Cap and Bucky’s friendship was front and center, and their desire to look out for each other forms the emotional core of the film. Neither character is a stranger to toys, but they’ve gotten a few movie specific figures, including some Minimates, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Captain America and Winter Soldier are part of Marvel Minimates Series 66, which is the first of two series based on Captain America: Civil War. Like Panther & Iron Man, these two are one of the sets shared between the specialty and TRU assortments.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Cap&WSCW2Cap’s STRIKE Suit in The Winter Soldier is generally viewed as one of the stronger MCU designs, so it’s not a shock that his subsequent looks have been tweaks on that design. His Civil War design isn’t much different than his AoU design, just with a few minor changes here and there. Because of the similarity in designs, this Cap and the Series 61 Cap are constructed from the same selection of pieces: add-ons for the helmet, harness, belt, and gloves.  These are all pretty great pieces, and they work very nicely capturing Cap’s onscreen design. Cap’s paintwork is also pretty strong. His costume is exquisitely detailed, and the linework is some of the sharpest that I’ve seen on a Minimate in some time. There’s some minor issue with the basic color work, such as the misplaced “A” on the forehead and the slight bleed over from the brown of the gloves onto the “fingers.” However, the overall paint looks pretty solid. Under the mask, there’s a very angry Steve Rogers, which matches up well with the Mark 46’s Tony expression. For accessories, Cap includes his shield, a shield-bearing hand, an extra hairpiece for an unmasked look, and a clear display stand.

WINTER SOLDIER

Cap&WSCW3Though he might seem a little lacking compared to his pack -mate’s eight different MCU-based Minimates, Bucky here has still gotten three MCU-mates of his own. This one is based on Bucky’s look from the back half of the film. It’s admittedly not quite as exciting a look as the one he was sporting in Winter Soldier, but it’s not terrible. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. Bucky has two add-on pieces, both re-used: one for his hair and on for the bottom bit of his jacket. The hair isn’t quite a perfect match (since his hair’s a bit shorter this time than it was last time), but it’s close enough to work. Bucky’s paint isn’t quite as solid as Cap’s. A lot of it’s the design, which just doesn’t allow for as many fun details, but there are also a few instances of slop or smears, most noticeably the red star on his shoulder. In addition, there’s one notable flaw: his left hand. The fingers should be silver, since that’s his robotic side, but the figure gives fleshy fingers to both hands. It’s a rather simple mistake, and not too difficult to correct. The likeness on the face is a bit generic, but there’s some definite resemblance to Sebastian Stan. In terms of accessories, this Winter Soldier is a little lacking compared to the last movie’s version. He includes a pistol, an SMG, two knives, and a clear display stand. That’s an okay assortment, but I feel like a rifle would have been a better fit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was picked up at the same time as Panther and Iron Man. I don’t find this set to be quite as strong as that one, but it’s not bad. Cap’s a pretty strong figure. He’s not super different from the AoU version, but he definitely has a superior paint job. I think that the Series 55 version of Winter Soldier is still my preferred version, but this one’s still a pretty solid ‘mate.

#0926: Vision & Winter Soldier

VISION & WINTER SOLDIER

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR MINIVERSE

VisWS4 (2)

You guys know what’s coming out tomorrow, right? Captain America: Civil War! I must admit, I’m quite looking forward to the movie, and I’ve already got my tickets to see it later this evening. Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint!

Hasbro’s been rather steadily rolling out their various tie-in products. My main interest, as always, is the action figures. There are a couple of different scales, but the only one so far to promise a more or less complete lineup of characters from the film is their smaller 2 ½-inch line, so that’s the one I’m investing in right now. I’ll kick things off by looking at two of my favorite characters from the movie (and the comics that spawned it): Vision and the Winter Soldier.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair is part of the first series of Hasbro’s Captain America: Civil War Miniverse line. It would seem that Hasbro has moved away from the weird Sub-Ultron idea from the Age of Ultron line, opting instead for more straightforward two-packs, which are much preferred. I will admit that this pairing seems a bit odd, since these two aren’t known for having much of a connection, but I won’t complain.

VISION

VisWS2So, it’s hard to say how big a role Vision will play in the movie. If I had to guess, I’d say it won’t be super huge. Still, he’s the Vision, so he’ll be super awesome even if he’s only on the screen for 30 seconds. Vision’s been released in this scale before as part of the Age of Ultron line, but he was based on earlier designs, making him slightly inaccurate. Since his look hasn’t changed in Civil War, this gives Hasbro another chance at perfecting him. The figure stands 2 ¾ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. He’s a bit taller than the last Vision, which is nice, because my main complaint on that one was how undersized he was. The figure’s sculpt is totally new, and as a whole it’s a marked improvement over the AoU version: the proportions are more balanced, the detail is sharper, the cape sits better, and he’s much closer to his onscreen counterpart’s appearance. Really, my only complaint about the sculpt are the feet, which are a bit clown-shoe-y for my taste. But hey, at least he doesn’t fall over as much. Vision’s paint is different from that of his predecessor. It’s hard to say if it’s better or worse; just different. The colors feel like a better match for the movie, but he’s missing some of the red detailing on his body, and he still doesn’t have any green on his head. Vision has no accessories, but I can’t really think of anything to include.

WINTER SOLDIER

VisWS5Winter Soldier is no doubt one of the more important characters in the movie, given that the film’s continuing the story started in the last film. Interestingly enough, Winter Soldier is presented here with his mask/goggles look from the second Cap film, which I don’t believe he’ll be sporting in the upcoming film. An unmasked Bucky is planned for Series 2, though, so I guess Hasbro just wanted to get us both looks. The figure’s the same height as Vision, which seems a little large, but whatever. His sculpt is pretty decent overall. He’s a bit more pre-posed than Vision, with his legs in sort of a mid-stride sort of pose. It’s not too out there, so I don’t mind all that much. He has the same issue of slightly large feet that Vision had, but that’s also pretty minor. On the plus side, the level of detail is pretty great, and he looks quite accurate to the source material. The paint is a little drab and simple, if I’m honest. While the sculpt has lots of really great details, the paint overlooks most of them. For the most part, he’s just molded in a dark grey, with a tiny bit of paint for things like his harness and belt. Things like his boots, kneepads, and even both of his hands are left totally unpainted. It looks okay overall, but it’s a tiny bit disappointing. Each of the sets in the Miniverse line has one set of clip-on armor, and Winter Soldier is the lucky one in this set. He has…umm…well, they look like jack hammers or something, to attach to his arms. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he probably won’t use this contraption in the film…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, my parents were out running errands a few weeks ago and my dad called me to ask if I wanted any of the Civil War stuff that was out. I opted for this set, since, as I mentioned in the intro, I’m pretty fond of both characters. Is this set going to re-shape the toy world? No. But they’ll certainly hold me over until these guys get more proper figures, and they’re quite a bit of fun.

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#0262: Winter Soldier

WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL SELECT

WintersoldierSelect

On the Fourth of July, I took a look at Diamond Select Toys’ Marvel Select line’s version of Captain America. I wouldn’t want Cap to be lonely, so how about giving him a buddy. And who better than Cap’s bestest friend ever, Bucky Barnes! Okay, actually it’s Winter Soldier, but they’re actually the same person (umm….spoilers?). Anyway, Marvel Select just got a comic version of Winter Soldier, released to tie-in with this summer’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Let’s see how the figure turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Winter Soldier is a Disney Store exclusive from the Marvel Select line, released in early 2014. The figure stands about 7 inches tall and features 29 points of articulation. I believe he’s meant to be based on the Soldier’s most recent look, which is an amalgam of his original comic look and his look in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The figure features an all-new sculpt, and a pretty good one at that. Right off the bat, it’s a more consistent sculpt than a lot of previous Select figures, like Captain America for example. It’s not a perfect sculpt; the chin is perhaps a bit too large, and the arms are a little gangly. Other than that, it’s a great piece of work. The Soldier’s costume allows for lots of textures in the different types of material used in the uniform, and the sculpt handles them all very nicely. The move to a new style of hip joint is probably the greatest thing about the figure, especially looking at the direction of the line as a whole. The new joint is similar to those seen on a DC Universe Classics figure, and it allows for a better range of movement without interrupting the sculpt. I do wish the range of motion was a little bit better on the ankles, but they aren’t terrible. The paint work is pretty decent. There’s no real occurrence of slop or bleed over, and there’s a lot of nice texture work that really accents the sculpt well. Winter Soldier features a nice assortment of accessories, which include a sniper rifle, a handgun, a submachine gun with a strap, a crate with Russian markings, and a stand made to look like a section of wall and floor. The crate in particular is quite impressive, just due to the impressive amount of details present on almost every side.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Winter Soldier from the Disney Store at the local mall. I was there to take care of a few other things and my friend Tim wanted to stop in the Disney Store to look at the new Guardians of the Galaxy Nerf stuff, which he had spied through the window. While he was looking at those, I happened across the store’s Marvel Select display. I had seen pictures of this guy online, but hadn’t thought much about it. I’m at best a moderate fan of Winter Soldier. Before this year I didn’t even own a single figure of him. But, seeing the figure in person was enough to sway me. I’m definitely glad I decided to get him; he’s probably one of the best figures the Marvel Select line has to offer, and he’s just a pretty great toy in general!

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#0234: Captain America – Classic & Winter Soldier

CAPTAIN AMERICA – CLASSIC & WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL MINIMATES

Cap&WinterSoldier

I love Minimates. That’s no secret. I also loved Captain America: The Winter Soldier (I’ve seen it six times). These are things that have been said many times on this site. So why bring them up? BECAUSE I JUST GOT THE MINIMATES FROM CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDER! Whoa, sorry about that. I’m very excited. You see, short of spending an insane amount of money on the Hot Toys figures, the Minimates are the only way to get all of the main characters in a single scale. Plus they’re Minimates! Today, I’ll be kicking off my reviews of the series with the film’s two title characters: Captain America and The Winter Soldier!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set was released as part of Marvel Minimates Series 55, which was a series based on the Captain America: The Winter Soldier film released this summer.

CAPTAIN AMERICA – CLASSIC

CapClassic

Cap, like just about every other Minimate, is built on the standard Minimate body. As such, he stands about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. This figure depicts Cap in his “classic” costume from the movie, which is the one he wears during the last act of the film. It’s essentially his uniform from The First Avenger, but it tweaks the stripes on the abdomen, brightens the brown areas, and ditches the holster and side-arm from that film. The figure features sculpted helmet and belt add-ons to help facilitate the look. Both of these pieces appear to be new to this figure, sharply sculpted and look spot on to the movie. The paint work on this figure is a bit mixed. To Diamond’s credit, the detail line work is nothing short of amazing. All the lines are nice and sharp, and the level of detailing is just great! They’ve even succeeded in giving us a pretty great Chris Evans likeness. Unfortunately, the base paint work is not so great. The ends of his gloves are very uneven, the colors routinely go out of detail lines, and you can see that the A on the helmet is pretty far off center. Also, my Cap’s helmet has a smear of silver across the nose, which is incredibly distracting. Cap includes a spare hair piece, his mighty shield, a hand to attach the shield to, and a clear display stand.

WINTER SOLDIER

WinterSoldierUnmaskedWinter Soldier is built on the same basic body as Cap, so he has all the same stats there. He depicts the main Winter Soldier look in the film, the same one shown on all the other WS merchandise. Given its presence in most of the Soldier’s important scenes, I’ve got no complaints there. Bucky features five sculpted add-ons: Mask/Hair, shoulder gear, belt, and a holster for both legs. These pieces all look to be new to this figure, and they all seem to do an admirable job replicating Bucky’s look in the movie. The mask perhaps sits a bit too low, but it’s not so low that it ruins the figure. Bucky seems to have come out a bit better than Cap in the paint department. Like Cap, all of the detail lines are really sharp, and the work on the legs in particular is quite impressive. The Sebastian Stan likeness is much better this time than it was on Diamond’s version of Bucky from the first film. On a side note: Am I the only one that didn’t really notice the eye shadow in the movie? I saw it in one or two scenes, but it was mostly absent. Yet, every single figure has it caked on there. Fortunately, it’s handled pretty well here, nowhere near the monstrosity that was the Hasbro version. The best part of this figure is his accessory selection. He’s armed to the teeth, with a sniper rifle, two sub machine guns, a hand gun, and two knives, plus an alternate hairpiece without the mask and a clear display stand thrown in for good measure! One additional thing I might have liked to have seen is a hair piece without the goggles, to replicate his look from his first fight with Cap, but I wouldn’t want to be too greedy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This series was originally supposed to be released closer to the film’s opening weekend, but was met with a few delays. They were finally released the first week in June, while I happened to be out of town. Fortunately, my awesome dad picked them up for me the day they came out. He even brought them with him when he came to bring me home!

While I’m not quite as happy with the paint on Cap as I’d have liked, the overall work on these figures is pretty great, and Winter Soldier is at the very least the most accurate version of the character available, if not the best! I’m hopeful that the issues with Cap are more or less limited to my set, as I’d hate to see this be a widespread issue.