#0445: Falcon

FALCON

MARVEL SELECT

Today, we make our way into the back half of the Christmas Reviews, with Day Eight. This review breaks from the Doctor Who and Aliens theme, instead turning to the Marvel Super Heroes branch of things, which is something of an “old faithful” for me.

One of my favorite movies last year was Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Like any good superhero movie, it had its fair share of toys, offering the movie’s characters in a variety of scales. My personal favorite of the bunch were Hasbro’s Marvel Legends offerings. However, there was one issue; as cool as Hasbro’s versions of Cap, Widow, and the Winter Soldier were, the line did not include a figure of Falcon, one of my favorite additions from the movie. I tried to make do with the smaller scale 3 ¾ inch figure, but he just wasn’t the same quality. Enter Marvel Select.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Falcon was released as part of Diamond Select’s Marvel Select line. Falcon is one of the two figures they released based on CA:TWS (The other was Stealth Suit Cap). The figure is based on the character’s appearance during the final battle sequence of the film, once he’s all decked out in his full uniform. Falcon is a little over 7 inches in height (making him a full inch taller than the Legends Cap) and he features 22 points of articulation. While he’s not as well articulated as the Legends figures, he’s certainly above the standard Select figure. The figure features a brand-new sculpt, just for Falcon. Overall, it’s pretty well done. The proportions are nice, the uniform has some great texturing and layering, and the head sculpt has a decent likeness of Anthony Mackie. It’s not without its faults, though. The head could stand to be a little more textured, and I’m not really sure what’s up with the positioning of his hands. It seems like he’s meant to have something to hold (maybe his guns from the movie?) but nothing is provided, so his hands are just doing this “Kung Fu Grip” sort of thing. The figure’s paint is pretty good, though still just shy of perfect. The work on the uniform is fantastic. It’s nice and clean, and there’s some very nice, small detail work. The paintwork on the head has similar issues to the sculpt; it’s just too smooth and clean. This is especially evident on his facial hair, which almost looks drawn on. That said, the paint really isn’t bad. Falcon included a pair of wings and a display stand made to look like a piece of the Helicarrier. The wings are well sculpted, but I really wish there were a way to pose them or attach them a bit differently. As it is, they each have a square peg on the end that plugs into his back harness, meaning they can only be attached sticking straight out. Something similar to the Minimate (which allowed the wings to either be attached to the harness or held in his hands) would have been much preferred here. The stand is pretty cool, I guess, though I don’t really see myself using it much.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Falcon was another gift from my super cool, super supportive parents. Of all the gifts I received this year, Falcon seems the most “slow burn” (in fact he was the very last of my gifts to actually be taken out of its package, almost a week after Christmas. I kinda felt bad about that,) but he’s a great figure of a great character. Sure, he’s a little too large to fit with my Legends figures, but at least he’s a cool figure in his own right. Scale I can fudge, bad figure less so.

#0237: Agent Jasper Sitwell & Batroc

AGENT JASPER SITWELL & BATROC

MARVEL MINIMATESJasper&Batroc

Today marks the final entry in my reviews of the Captain America: The Winter Soldier Minimates. It’s okay. We can get through this together. I started off a bit rocky with Classic Cap & Winter Soldier, regained some of my momentum with Black Widow & Falcon, and was more than pleased with Stealth Cap & Rumlow, but the excitement I have for this series has remained with me throughout all of my reviews. I’m a little sad that there aren’t a never ending supply of these figures to review, but I think I’ve saved the best for last here. Today, I’ll be looking at Agent Jasper Sitwell & Batroc. Due to the nature of this set, I’ll be getting into some SPOILERS for the movie, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you’ve been warned.

 

 

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Agent Sitwell and Batroc were released in Marvel Minimates Series 55, which was a tie-in to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This set was released one per case, so it’s a little harder to come by than the other three.

AGENT JASPER SITWELL

JasperSitwellIn the comics, Jasper Sitwell was the SHIELD agent assigned to Tony Stark, he drove a flying car, and he was meant to be that “normal” guy amongst the crazy. Sound familiar? Yeah, Jasper was the proto-Coulson. When Coulson took his place in the movie-verse, I just assumed he’d be replacing Jasper outright. But, Marvel decided to put Jasper in the mix anyway, and he served as a supporting character in Thor and the first three Marvel One-Shots, before showing up on Agents of SHIELD, and eventually in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which proved to be his end, after he was revealed to be a covert Hydra agent. But, hey maybe he’s actually working for SHIELD…. and he could have totally survived being thrown in front of an oncoming tractor trailer. Yeah, I’m sure he’s fine.  Jasper was built on the standard Minimate body, so he has 14 points of articulation, and he stands about 2 ½ inches tall. He’s a mostly vanilla figure, with just a sculpted coat piece and tie, which have been seen on numerous suited figures before him. They do their job well enough, and look appropriate for a standard issue SHIELD suit. Paint is also pretty basic, with some paint for his tie and belt buckle, which look pretty decent, though there is some slop on the shirt collar from the tie. The best part of the figure is the detailing on the face, which is a spot on likeness of Maximiliano Hernàndez. Truly amazing work. Jasper includes a hand gun, a briefcase, and a clear display stand.

BATROC

BatrocGeorges Batroc, or as he’s known in the comics “Batroc the Leaper” (Batroc ze Leper if you go heavy on the French accent), is a character I never thought I’d see on the big screen. Even when I heard he was in the movie, I assumed he’d just be some generic thug who dressed in black. There was no way he’d actually leap around, right? Or wear even a semblance of his comic book costume, right? Well, I was wrong, and I’ve never been happier to be so. Batroc’s fight with Cap near the beginning is one of my favorite parts of the movie, hands down. Batroc is presented here in his look from that portion of the movie. He’s built on the standard Minimate body, with sculpted vest, belt, and holster add-ons. The holster is a re-use from Series 45’s Maria Hill, but the vest and belt look to be all-new. They look great, and are very accurate to Batroc’s gear from the film. Batroc features some superb paint work, with nearly every surface covered in detail. Most impressive is his head, which features his five-o-clock shadow and his buzz cut, both depicted through some excellent use of pointillism (every once in a while, my former art major kicks in). I also love the fact that the yellow and purple detailing of the uniform continues under the vest, giving you a decent start to a comic styled Batroc if you want one. Batroc includes a hand gun, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Sadly, due to their one per case nature coupled with my being out of town, I was unable to get Jasper and Batroc with the rest of Series 55 from my local comicbook store (It’s okay, I’m fairly certain I know who got the set, and I know it went to a good home.) Fortunately, I was able to get ahold of one from Luke’s Toystore, my favorite Minimates retailer. I’m glad I was able to get this set because it’s the highlight of the series for me. Sure, the others are all solid sets, and I wouldn’t want to have missed any of them, but this set just makes me smile. Diamond could have easily phoned it in on these two, but they really brought their A-game, and this set is total win because of it.

I just wrote over 800 words about a Jasper Sitwell & Batroc the Leaper two-pack. Based on their appearance in a multi-million dollar film, no less! I cannot begin to tell you how much that thrills me.

BatrocVSCap

#0236: Captain America – Stealth Uniform & Brock Rumlow

CAPTAIN AMERICA – STEALTH UNIFORM & BROCK RUMLOW

MARVEL MINIMATES

Cap&Rumlow

You’ve read my reviews for the first two sets in the Captain America: The Winter Soldier Minimates line-up. Today’s part three. The excitement from the first two parts still remains, but I think I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping my composure. Hopefully. Anyway, I’m looking at yet another Captain America, plus SHIELD agent Brock Rumlow *SPOILER*

…one of the movie’s villains. Do they keep the excitement going? Let’s find out!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cap and Rumlow were released as part of Marvel Minimates Series 55, which was done as a tie-in to this summer’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

CAPTAIN AMERICA – STEALTH UNIFORM

CapStealthCap is built on the standard Minimate body, which means he stands about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. He’s based on Cap’s stealth look from the movie, which has also been referred to as his “STRIKE Team” look. It’s what he wears during the film’s opening mission and during most of his scenes at the SHIELD headquarters, and it’s also the look seen on most of the promotional stuff for the movie. To convey this look, the figure features sculpted helmet, shoulder harness, wrist straps and belt add-ons, in addition to the base Minimate body. The wrist straps appear to be a re-use from Series 34’s 90s Cyclops, but everything else looks to be brand-new to this figure. Everything seems to be accurate to Cap’s look in the film, and there is plenty of sculpted detail work on each piece. The paint work on Cap is pretty good, though there are a few spots of error. The silver detailing of the “A” on his helmet doesn’t quite line up with the sculpted boarders and there are a few instances of underlying colors not lining up with the detail lines. Also, the wings on the sides of his helmet have been left unpainted, but this seems to be consistent across all versions of this figure. Other than that, the paint work is very nice. All the detail lines are nice and crisp, the likeness on the face presents and uncanny resemblance to Chris Evans, and some of the small details on the uniform are nothing short of amazing. Cap is accessorized with a spare hairpiece, an extra hand for holding the shield, a display stand, and, of course, his mighty shield, this time in stealth colors.

BROCK RUMLOW

RumlowRumlow is built on the same base body as Cap, which means he has the same articulation and relative height. For those of you less in the know with Cap stuff, Rumlow is a SHIELD agent destined to become the villain Crossbones, who worked as the Red Skull’s right-hand man and has been a recurring Captain America villain for many years. His figure here is based on his look in the movie, in his “pre-Crossbones” form, and specifically takes Rumlow’s look from the movie’s final act. A lot of the figures in this series take their looks from that portion of the movie, so it’s nice to see Rumlow stick with the theme. Rumlow features sculpted hair, vest, belt, and holster add-ons to aid with the look. The hair is a re-use from Series 17’s Eddie Brock, and the holsters are from Series 45’s Maria Hill. The belt might be a re-use, but it’s a bit too generic for me to tell. The vest appears to be an all-new piece. All of these parts go together well, and result in a pretty much spot on figure of the character. The paint work on Rumlow is good, but not spotless. The paint on his gloves is splotchy and the edges of his boots have very fuzzy lines, but the detail work is superb, just like the rest of the series. The vest can be removed to show the straps that he had under his vest in the movie, which is a nice touch. Rumlow is accessorized with two hand guns, a sub machine gun, his electro-shock thingy, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, I was out of town for the release of this series. Thankfully, my dad was nice enough to get a set of them for me, which was very cool of him. I really liked Cap’s stealth suit in the movie, so I’m happy to see that it turned out well, and that it wasn’t plagued by the same paint issues as the Classic Cap. I was also happy to get Rumlow, who has been over looked by other lines based on the movie. He was a fairly important character in the movie, and the Minimate is a great representation of him. All in all, this set is more in line with Widow and Falcon, which is a good thing. I’m happy to see Diamond putting such amazing work into this line.

#0235: Black Widow & Falcon

BLACK WIDOW & FALCON

MARVEL MINIMATES

Widow&Falcon

Okay, so I already went through my immense excitement at the existence of Captain America: The Winter Soldier Minimates yesterday. I shan’t subject you to that again. I’m still really excited, but I’m keeping my composure. Promise. Today, I’ll be looking at Cap’s two most trusted allies in the film, and the biggest push for me to get the Minimates: Black Widow and Falcon!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Widow and Falcon were released as part of Marvel Minimates Series 55, which was released as a tie-in series for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

BLACK WIDOW

Widow

Black Widow is built on the standard Minimate body. This means she features 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall. She’s presented here in her SHIELD jumpsuit look that she sports early in the film and in the final act. I was actually a bit surprised by how little she has this look, but it’s definitely the one to go for if you’re doing an action figure. She features six sculpted add-ons: hair, belt, two holsters, and two widow’s stingers. The holsters where originally used on the Avengers movie version of Widow, but I believe everything else is new to this figure. I was actually a bit surprised to see a new sculpt for the stingers, but I guess they thought they could use an update. The new pieces all look pretty great, with nice detail work and a decent amount of accuracy to the movie. The paint on Widow is pretty great. The detail lines are all really sharp, and the base paint is better here than it was on Cap. I did notice some slight bleed over from the whites of her eyes, but it’s actually not too bad, and it’s hardly noticeable. I also love the fact that they’ve given her a more “battle-ready” facial expression, as opposed to the more vacant expression a lot of female figures get. It really adds some character. Widow includes two hand guns and a clear display stand.

FALCON

FalconLike Widow, Falcon is built on the standard Minimate body, so he has the usual height and articulation. Falcon is based on the character’s look during the final act of the film. It’s the character’s true “Falcon” look, so it’s a good choice. He features eight sculpted add-ons: goggles, gloves, a jetpack/harness, two shoulder pad/upper wing pieces, and two lower wing pieces. With the exception of the gloves, which were previously seen on the Age of Ultron Nick Fury, all the pieces are brand new to Falcon. They all look pretty great, and are very accurate to the source material. I’ve seen a few complaints that the harness is too bulky, but the harness from the movie looks pretty bulky to me, so that seems about right. The paint work on Falcon is overall great, with one exception. While he head has a great likeness to actor Anthony Mackie, my figure has a clump of dried paint right on his forehead. Once the goggles are in place, it’s mostly unnoticeable, but it’s still kind of annoying. The rest of the paint work is really great, especially the camo work on his pants. Falcon includes two handguns (different from Widow’s), a flight stand, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Just like with Cap and Winter Soldier, I was out of town for the release of this series. My dad was nice enough to pick them up for me, which was super awesome of him. I was a little let down by the Cap in the Cap & Winter Soldier set, so I wasn’t sure how the rest of the wave would turn out. I’m happy to say that neither of the figures in this set suffer from the same issues as Cap. That’s very important to me, because having these two particular characters in the same scale is what had me so excited for the Minimates to begin with. These two certainly did not disappoint!

#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.

#0226: Mandroid

MANDROID

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

Mandroid

I think I’ve probably said all I can about the awesomeness that is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If you still haven’t seen it or don’t agree, there’s probably no helping you at this point. You’re just doing it wrong. If you’ve been following the site, you know I just picked up Hasbro’s most recent set of Marvel Legends, meant to coincide with the film. I’ve been pretty happy with them so far, and I was definitely for the line’s Build-A-Figure, based on the Mandroid. Quick sum up on the Mandroid: it’s battle armor worn by certain SHIELD Agents in big battles with super-humans. It’s super cool. Let’s see how the figure fairs, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Mandroid was released as the Build-A-Figure for the Captain America: The Winter Soldier Marvel Legends Infinite Series line, with pieces packed with six (technically eight, with the swap figures) figures over the course of two series of the line. The figure stands about 7 inches tall and features 28 points of articulation (29 if you count the mounted gun). The Mandroid seems to be loosely based on the classic Mandroid design, with a movie-style flair added to it. It’s a strong enough design, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it in the more proper gold color scheme somewhere down the line. The figure makes use of the Iron Man 3 Marvel Legends Iron Monger Build-A-Figure’s legs and lower torso, as well as slightly tweaked versions of that figure’s arms, all coupled with a brand new head and upper torso. The re-use all works well for the design, and seems to fit pretty seamlessly with the new parts. The newer pieces look pretty spot on to the classic Mandroid design. As seems to be a running theme with this series, the figure’s sculpt is let down a bit by the paint application. The figure is mostly molded in the appropriate silver, so there are no issues with those parts, but the black paint shows a few areas of bleed over, and the yellow paint is just plain messy. The visor on the head has serious amounts of bleed over on the outlying areas. The left arm gets it the worst, with the yellow bits barely even lining up with the sculpted lines they’re meant to follow, plus a general inconsistent coating, and random blotches of yellow in incorrect places all over the arm to boot! Fortunately, the yellow is a rather minor part of the figure, and most of the offending areas aren’t oft seen, but the visor is utterly inexcusable. The sculpt of the figure is impressive enough that I’m willing to overlook the paint, but the figure could have been so much more impressive if they had been a bit more careful.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you’ve been following my previous reviews of the CA:TWSMLIS line, then you pretty much know how I acquired this figure. It’s not terribly exciting, but it did lead to me picking up some figures I wouldn’t have otherwise in order to get Mandroid pieces. So, was it worth it? Well, there are some serious issues with the figure’s paint, which really let me down, but overall, I’d have to say yes, the figure was worth the extra purchases. The Mandroid is a cool design, regardless of the issues the figure faces, and the excess figures were overall acceptable. Honestly, this is probably the happiest I’ve been with a full set of figures in a fair bit of time!

Cap&Mandroid

#0224: Winter Soldier

WINTER SOLDIER

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITY SERIES

WinterSoldier1

Let’s see, so far in the Captain America: The Winter Soldier Marvel Legends Infinite Series reviews, I’ve discussed the quality of the film, the quality of the toys, the stupid decisions regarding the pack outs, oh yes, and Nazis, of course. This review ends up getting the short end of the stick, I’m afraid. Well, it’s a review of the film’s title bad guy. If you didn’t know by this point, he’s… SPOILERS

 

…actually Captain America’s best friend, Bucky Barnes, saved from near death and brain washed to become the ultimate assassin. Fun times.  So, let’s take a look at his figure, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Winter Soldier is part of the second series of Captain America: The Winter Soldier Marvel Legends Infinite Series. The figure is a little over 6 inches tall and he features 30 points of articulation. He is, of course, based on the character’s appearance in TWS, but is specifically from the middle-ish area of the movie, after he loses the coat he sports in early scenes and before he loses the mask and eye-liner. The figure gets a brand new sculpt, and it’s an impressive one at that. I thought the 3 ¾ inch version’s sculpt was pretty good, and this one just adds even more detail, and a fair bit of extra articulation. The wrist, ankle and abdominal articulation really gives the figure a whole new dimension. If I had one complaint, it would be that the robot arm doesn’t look quite as good with the smaller one, due to the double jointed elbow. However, the added movement is important, so I’m willing to let it slide. The paint work on WS is probably the cleanest I’ve seen on the line so far, which is a comforting thing to see. However, once again, I don’t like the robo-arm quite as much. They’ve given it a dark wash that makes it look rather scummy. It does bring out the details, but the Soldier’s arm was consistently clean and shiny in the movie, so it looks off. Not terrible, mind you, just slightly off. The downfall of this figure, is the accessories. They’re all fine in theory, just not really in execution. First off, there’s the Mandroid leg. That’s pretty straight forward, with no issues. I’ll be looking at that in two days, along with the rest of the Mandroid. Then, there’s the alternate head. Here’s where the trouble begins. Sculpturally, it’s not a bad depiction of Bucky, sans mask. The paint is what messes it up. First, the eye shadow goes waaay to far down his face. It pretty much covers the entirety of his face, for Pete’s sake! Then, they gave him these really thin, drawn on eyebrows, which are set way to high up. He looks very surprised, I must say. With a proper paint job, this head would actually be pretty good. I’ve included a quick photoshop job to demonstrate this. As it is, it’s just…eughhh. Lastly, and leastly, there’s the gun. Well, I say gun. It’s more of a strange red fish thing that happens to have a handle. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be, but it’s certainly not anything he carried in the movie. Is there a reason he can’t have a real gun? Zemo and Red Skull have real guns. Why must Bucky be stuck with this monstrosity? He can’t even hold it like a real gun! I suppose it’s not as bad as Widow’s total lack of guns, but I don’t think it’s much better.

WinterSoldier2(unmasked) WinterSoldier5 WinterSoldier4(accessory) WinterSoldier2(unmaskedCompare)

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Bucky is the last piece of my series two set I received from Big Bad Toystore. I knew even before I saw the movie I was going to want this guy, so I’m happy to finally have him. The wonky gun thing is a bit of a bummer, but I swapped in the larger rifle from one of my Star Wars: The Black Series Stormtroopers, and that seems to work a bit better. Sure, it’s still not right, but at least it’s based on a real gun, and it’s not a bright color. The alt head is also a bit of a disappointment, but I always intended to display the masked one anyway, so I’m not really bugged by that. Truth be told, Winter Soldier is probably my favorite figure from this line up. He’s a heck of a lot of fun!

WinterSoldier3(Comparison)wbubble

#0222: Black Widow

BLACK WIDOW

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

BlackWidow2(Long)

Toy companies have long insisted that female action figures don’t sell as well as male action figures. So, their response to fan demand is usually one of two things: they shortpack the figure, making it impossible to find, or they put no effort into the figure, making it a monstrosity nobody wants. Or they do both (case in point: Marvel Legends Scarlet Witch. Eughhh…). These actions lead to female figures not selling as well, which leads to companies saying they don’t sell well, which leads to shortpacking and poor figures. Which leads to, you guessed it, bad sales. It’s one of those self-fulfilling prophecy things.

Anyway, this mentality lead to Black Widow being the only team member absent from Hasbro’s 6-inch scale Avengers line, meant to tie-in with the 2012 movie. It was really annoying, but Hasbro said they’d make it up to us. When the Captain America: The Winter Soldier figures were announced, they informed us that Widow would be including two heads, so she could be displayed from either movie. How could it go wrong? Well, Hasbro decided to pack Widow one per-case. For a ratio, there are eight figures in a case, and three of them are Captain America. To make matters worse, Widow included the most essential piece to the line’s Mandroid Build-A-Figure. Fortunately, Hasbro seems to be learning, and has announced that they will be sending out revision cases with Cap, Widow, and Winter Soldier all evenly packed. Maybe their starting to get it…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Widow was released in the second series of Captain America: The Winter Soldier Marvel Legends Infinite Series. The figure stands a little under 6 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. She’s actually a bit too tall, which is the reverse of the problem that most female figures suffer from. It doesn’t ruin the figure, but she’s almost as tall as Cap, and there’s a difference of almost a foot between Scarlet Johansen and Chris Evans in real life. The figure appears to have a brand new sculpt, and it’s a very nice sculpt at that. I’m not sure if I like the body sculpt quite as much as Hasbro’s Spider-Girl sculpt, but it’s a very close second. Like that figure, she has very nice, mostly realistic proportions. Her stance is perhaps a bit too wide, but other than that, everything looks pretty good. The basic TWS head is a great sculpt, and it looks pretty much spot on to what Ms. Johansen looked like in the movie. The long hair is a little bit restricting to the neck articulation, but that’s understandable given the style. It certainly isn’t as bad as it could have been. In the paint department, Black Widow lucks out compared to the previous two figures I’ve looked at. There’s still a bit of bleed over in a few spots, but she seems to have less of the fuzzy lines and slop of the other two. She includes an extra Avengers-styled head, an extra set of trigger finger hands, and the Mandroid torso. The head is a nice touch, given Widow’s absence from the 6-inch Avengers line and the closeness of the costumes. It looks like the same face with new hair, and it looks pretty good, though the hair might be sitting a smidge too high on her forehead.Widow also includes two pistols…sculpted into their holsters. Remember how I said she had trigger fingers? Yeah, she has nothing to hold in them. It’s seriously disappointing and mars an otherwise great figure.

BlackWidow3(Long)  BlackWidow1(Short) BlackWidow(Short)

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Widow was part of my set of Series Two figures from Big Bad Toystore. She is the primary reason I bought the set, as I wasn’t going to fork over almost $60 for just her. She definitely lives up to the hype she’s gotten. It’s a great representation of Widow. She’s a great action figure in general. This is the second Hasbro female I’ve given that assessment is the last week. They’re definitely on to something here! However, the figure is hurt by the lack of firearms. I ended up finding a suitable handgun in my spare parts bin, but not everyone has a spare parts bin.

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#0221: Baron Zemo – Soldier of A.I.M.

BARON ZEMO – SOLDIERS OF A.I.M.

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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If you’d told me a few years ago that two of my favorite lines of toys (Star Wars: The Black Series and Marvel Legends Infinite Series) would be coming from Hasbro, I’d have laughed in your face. I’ve never hated Hasbro or anything, and I’ve been pretty happy with their work on Marvel Universe, but they’ve never been known for anything downright outstanding. In the past year, they’ve really stepped it up in terms of sculpts, articulation, accessories, and general quality of figures. Sure, they’ve had a few missteps (re-packing Han in the third series of SWB instead of an extra Stormtrooper; making Black Widow, the Hydra Agent, and the A.I.M. Soldier one per case), but they do seem to be learning, and they actually are trying to make up for some of their failures. That’s down right admirable, especially after years of dealing with Mattel…

Today, I’ll be reviewing Baron Zemo from their recent Captain America: The Winter Soldier Marvel Legends Infinite Series. Unlike yesterday’s Cap, he’s based on a comic design, and if you’d like to know more about him, head over to the Backstories section!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Baron Zemo, or “Soldiers of A.I.M.” as he’s officially named, is part of the first series of Captain America: The Winter Soldier Marvel Legends Infinite Series and is also in the first revision case featuring series two. He is a swap figure with the A.I.M. Soldier, hence the name. The figure is a little over 6 inches tall and sports 32 points of articulation. He’s based on Zemo’s more recent appearances. It’s honestly not far off from his classic design, sans the fur-lined boots and shoulders. The figure is built on Hasbro’s medium male buck, with flared boots and gloves. He also gets a new head and add-ons for his shoulder holsters and his belt/loincloth. The head is a perfect representation of Zemo’s look in the comics, and the body and add-ons look great too. I quite like the “Z”s embroidered on his holsters. They’re a nice touch. Like STRIKE Suit Captain America, the figure’s sculpt is let down a bit by some rocky paint apps. The forearms have been molded in yellow and painted purple, and not only did they miss some of the spots closer to the gloves, the paint also seems to be a bit too thin, allowing the yellow plastic to bleed through. The edge of the mask also has some pretty fuzzy lines, the whites of the eyes aren’t quite in line with the sculpt, and his crown piece isn’t totally painted. None of these are major issues, but they are annoying, and they detract from an otherwise great figure. Zemo includes a pistol, a sword, and the right arm of the Mandroid. I’ll be taking a look at the Mandroid after everyone else is reviewed, which leaves the gun and sword. The sword sadly suffers from similar bleed through issues to the forearms, but it fits well in his hand, and can also be slipped through the loop on his belt. The pistol is a nice piece, which has some great painted details. Sadly, he’ll be forced to always hold it, because both of his holsters have permanently sculpted guns. Drat it!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Zemo was part of the set of Series two figures I received from Big Bad Toystore. I wasn’t sure I was going to get him at first, as I wanted the A.I.M. Soldier a bit more. However, he was in the set, and I figured why not? I’m glad that was my attitude on the figure. Paint issues aside, he’s a great figure, and a very welcome addition to anyone’s Captain America shelf.

#0220: Captain America – S.T.R.I.K.E. Suit

CAPTAIN AMERICA – STRIKE SUIT

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITY SERIES

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It’s still early into the summer movie season, but I think it’s going to be hard to topple Captain America: The Winter Soldier from its spot at the top of my list. The movie really resonated with me, and unsurprisingly, I wanted all my favorite characters from it in action figure form. I already picked up and reviewed three of the smaller scale figures, and the Minimates are still a little ways out, but the ones I was really interested in getting were Hasbro’s 6-inch scale versions, released as part of their latest incarnation of Marvel Legends. I finally managed to get a set, and today I’ll be starting my reviews off with the main man himself, Captain America! Foes who oppose the shield, you’d best prepare to yield!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cap was released as part of the second series of the Captain America: The Winter Soldier Marvel Legends Infinity Series. Man, is that a long name! He’s presented here in his S.T.R.I.K.E Team suit from The Winter Soldier. That suit is in turn based on Cap’s Commander Rodgers from the time he was Director of SHIELD for a while in the comics. The figure stands a bit over 6 inches tall and sports 32 points of articulation. The figure features an all new sculpt, and it’s a really good one at that. The body has excellent proportions, and the uniform has a great variety of textures, just the real thing. The main head sculpt (the helmeted one) is a very nice piece of work. The face isn’t spot on to Chris Evans, but it’s a decent attempt, and the helmet looks pretty much spot-on to the one featured in the movie. The figure also sports an add-on belt piece, which aids in giving the figure a bit more dimension. The paint work doesn’t quite live up to the sculpt. There are a few noticeable spots of bleed over, though there doesn’t seem to be any outright slop. There are still some nice touches, such as the American flag and “ROGERS” name tag on his left shoulder, and the SHIELD logo on his right shoulder. These could have easily been overlooked, but their inclusion really adds to the figure. Cap is quite well accessorized, with an extra unmasked head, saluting and pointing hands, his mighty shield, and the right leg to this line’s Build-A-Figure, the Mandroid. The extra head is nice, though it looks even less like Evans than the main sculpt. The extra hands add a bit of extra character, and I especially love the pointing finger. It’s got a lot of possible uses. I’ll be covering the Mandroid after the rest of the reviews are done, which just leaves the shield. It’s a well sculpted piece, but it does seem a bit large for Cap. Not too much, but still noticeable. Also, they’ve gone with the all blue look, which I suppose goes with the costume, but given that it’s only in one scene of the movie, it would have been nice to get a regularly colored version.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I received Cap and the rest of Series 2 from Big Bad Toystore just the other day. I’ve had the set pre-ordered for a while in order to insure I got all three of the movie related figures. Cap is a really good figure, and one of the best Captain America figures that Hasbro has produced. I’d love to see this level of detail applied to a more classic Cap design. Still, I loved this design in the movie, and I’m glad to have a top-notch figure of it in my collection.