MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO (HASBRO)
NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.
“The shield for Freedom and Liberty, Captain America is the star-spangled avenger with super solider abilities!”
When Super 7 and Funko revived the vintage Kenner style back in 2013, they leaned pretty hard into it, and a handful of other companies joined in, giving the style as a whole something of a revival. While it’s died down somewhat in the eight years since, in the last couple of years, Hasbro, who actually own the rights to the Kenner name and other assets, got in on it too. They started with some reissues of the original Star Wars figures, along with one new figure for each assortment. At the end of last year, they expanded the set-up to include Marvel…despite the fact that Kenner never actually made any Marvel figures. Ah, let’s not get stuck on that. The line began as an exclusive to Hasbro Pulse, but is finally getting a wider release. I’m taking a look at the Captain America today, just to try the line out.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Captain America is part of the first mass release assortment of Marvel Legends Retro (a name that is shared with the 6″ figures in retro packaging as well, once again showcasing Hasbro’s perverse love of giving the same name to a bunch of very different products, seemingly to only cause confusion for the retailers and consumers), and is also re-packed in the second assortment as well. Before that, he was one of the figures in the Pulse-exclusive launch, although the package on that one was slightly different to denote the earlier release. While I don’t usually talk about packaging here, I do think this one warrants it, because it’s actually a very attractive package. Each character gets their own completely unique set of graphics, and they’re just very eye-catching. I have two notable complaints, though. Firstly, the lack of cross-sell on the back makes it difficult to track who’s in the line, and secondly, they aren’t really designed for any sort of resealability. I know that would violate the Kenner homage slightly, but it did really give me a dilemma about opening Cap. But, of course, what good am I as a reviewer if I don’t open my toys? The sacrifices I make, right? (Ultimately, I ended up cutting it open at the bottom, so I can slide the inner tray in and out without it being too obvious it’s open) Once you’ve destroyed the beautiful work of art that houses the figure, you’ll find that he stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation. He’s got the usual Kenner 5POA, plus swivels at the wrists, which is kind of nifty, I suppose. The extra wrist joints are more there because the gloves need to be separate pieces (as do the boots, though they aren’t articulated) due to the construction of the figures in the line. A number of them are built from a base body, which Cap makes use of. It’s a rather basic hero build, and it works perfectly fine for the figures we’ve gotten so far. The boots are shared with Cyclops, but the head and gloves are unique to Cap at this time. They’re decent enough pieces, though not exactly heavy on detailing. Despite the lack of said detailing, it’s worth noting that they don’t really fall into the classic Kenner stylings either. He occupies something of a middle ground, placing him more on par with Hasbro’s more recent 5POA Star Wars figures than Kenner’s. It’s not a bad look, mind you, but it just further pushes the question of what the heck the audience for these figures is supposed to be. Cap’s paint work is fairly basic, but that’s to be expected. There’s a little bit of slop on some of the transitions, but for the most part, it works pretty well. Cap gets one accessory: his shield. It’s a bit on the smaller side, but that’s kind of expected, I suppose, given the scale and style. What I found kind of weird is that, even though there’s a peg hole on his back, there’s no peg on the shield, so it can’t be attached that way.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When these figures showed up on Pulse, I was intrigued, but not enough to actually go to the trouble of ordering them, especially with the two-pack set-up they had going on. Once they went to mass retail, and All Time was able to get them in, I happily snagged Cap here just to try things out. Ultimately, I’m a bit baffled by this figure. He’s not bad. Like, I honestly quite like him. But, at the same time, there’s a lot of questions as to why? If you’re going to go for a retro Marvel line, why not go with Secret Wars or even Toy Biz stylings? Or, if you want to stick to Kenner, why not do a Super Powers-inspired set of Marvel figures? That’d be pretty cool, wouldn’t it? But putting them at 3 3/4 and then not even fully committing to the vintage Kenner stylings for that is a weird choice. I really want to like this line, but I don’t really see it having major legs going forward. But, I guess we’ll just see how it goes.