MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)
I gave today’s intro a fair bit of thought. Usually, I like to keep things fairly light and apolitical here on the site, what with it being about toys and all, but I would be lying if I said that wasn’t becoming a harder thing to do these days. My aim isn’t to offend, or hurt, or throw mud, or anything like that, but even from an apolitical stand-point, there wind up being some lines that get crossed, and it gets pretty hard not to say anything about it. So, I’m gonna keep being me, and I’m gonna say what I say, and continue to just try to be my best self. Today is July 4th, a day that’s typically dedicated to celebrating all the great things about America. For me, on the site at least, that means I get to review another Captain America figure, because that’s how I roll. This year, things are very much muddied by current events, leaving a lot of people not feeling quite so hot about America, and perhaps a little less proud to be part of this whole venture. I can definitely feel that, and I think we’ve all got some work we can do to get to a better place together. I think we can all work towards being our own best selves. And if you think my best self isn’t going to take the opportunity, in a time of uncertainty, fear, and worry, to review a figure of Steve Rogers, a symbol of hope for all the things that America should be to all the people that call it home, then you’re definitely not one of my regular readers. When you need some inspiration, a Captain America’s not a bad place to start, right?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Captain America was released as part of Toy Biz’s “Face Off” spin-off of Marvel Legends, which gave us new versions of the core heroes, facing off against their antagonists. For his part, Cap was packed alongside Red Skull. There was also a variant unmasked Cap, which was instead packed with Baron Strucker. Look, he’s fighting a Nazi either way, right? This was Toy Biz’s fourth and final version of Cap in their run with Legends, following the original Series 1, the Ultimate, and its more classically-inspired variant. The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 46 points of articulation. That hefty articulation count is aided by the addition of separately articulated fingers, something Toy Biz was giving a try later in their run. They wound up as one of the very first things cut by Hasbro, and, honestly, it’s not a huge shock. They’re really not much more than a novelty, and they mean he can’t really grip or anything. It’s the sort of thing that alternate hands are just a far more efficient way of doing finger poses. Other than that, the articulation is pretty decent from a range of motion standpoint, though perhaps not so much from the appearance angle. They definitely aren’t super worked into the sculpt’s aesthetics. Said sculpt was a mix of old and new. He used the Ultimate Cap as a starting point, with the addition of a more classically-based set of gloves and boots, as well as slightly tweaked versions of the upper torso and head. This whole sculpt wound up getting up-scaled for Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends Icons line, and it was honestly pretty good for the time. It’s perhaps not aged quite so well, what with its wonky proportions and the slightly odd shaping of the face. That said, the texture work, especially on the scaling, is really amazing work, and if nothing else, he’s certainly got a nice style to him. At the time of release, he was probably one of Toy Biz’s best. Cap’s paint work is decent enough. Toy Biz was still tending to go pretty muddy with the colors at this point, but this guy actually gets a fairly bold and clean color scheme. It works pretty well for the character, and, again, it’s really some of the line’s best work. Cap is packed with his shield, which is the same as his Series 1 counterpart’s, complete with the cloth straps for placing over his shoulders. This time, it’s better painted, and I particularly like the black interior; it definitely adds a lot more pop.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Back when this figure was released, I decided to stick with my Series 1 version, rather than trying to upgrade. Given how difficult it was to get these packs, or really Legends in general, it wasn’t hard to justify. I always kind of wanted one, but I never got the chance to grab him over the years. Fortunately for me, he came into to All Time a couple of months ago. He’s certainly a figure that shows his age, but I still really enjoy him for what he is.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.