#1716: Captain America & Red Skull

CAPTAIN AMERICA & RED SKULL

MARVEL MINIMATES

By 2011, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was in the full swing of things.  Over in the Minimates corner, DST had pretty much gotten things down to the exact science that they’d use for the better part of a decade.  For Captain America: The First Avenger, we got a great set of ‘mates covering most of the film’s cast. Today, I look at the central most set, pairing our main hero Cap up against his main foe, the Red Skull!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cap and Skull were the flagship pack in Series 40 of Marvel Minimates, as well as one of the two shared packs present in the TRU accompanying assortment.  Both are presented in their main looks from The First Avenger, which seems rather sensible.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

After haphazardly throwing together his rescue mission outfit to lead the Hydra-held POWs back to base, Steve Rogers turns to Howard Stark to help him design something more official.  Cap’s main look has shifted quite a bit since the first film, but this design is certainly one that has influenced (most) of the others.  It’s also a fairly reasonable real-word equivalent of his Golden Age costume, albeit with some adjustments for practicality.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  To achieve his rather bulked-up appearance, Cap makes use of uniquely sculpted upper-arms and gloves, as well as add-ons for his helmet, belt/suspenders, and his holster.  Everything was new to this figure, and has thus-far remained unique.  It’s a pretty good combo of pieces, all sharply defined, and pretty close to the film’s design.  If I have one complaint, it’s that his lack of sculpted boots to match ends up making his legs look kind of scrawny and under-scaled.  Some bulked up boots would have definitely helped.  The paint on Cap is pretty top notch stuff for the most part.  The palette captures the film’s sephia-toned aesthetic pretty nicely, and the details on the stitching and such of the costume is really great looking.  The base paint application could stand to be a little cleaner, and there were some real troubles with finding a helmet with a properly centered A on the forehead, but those issues are more on the minor side.  The face under the helmet is clearly the same guy from the Frontline figure, just with a calmer expression.  There’s definitely some shades of an Evans likeness there, though I think later Caps would get that down a bit better.  Cap is packed with his mighty shield, an extra hairpiece for an unmasked look, and a handgun.   A little less than Frontline Cap got, but this guy did get more unique sculpted pieces, so it evens out.

RED SKULL

Spoilers: Red Skull is in this review!  And other things as well, but I won’t touch on that here.  For Cap’s first outing, the movies went with the obvious choice of villain, the Red Skull.  Perhaps Cap’s most memorable foe, in part thanks to that frightening visage, and in part due to him being the perfect antithesis of everything Cap stands for.  The Skull had a few looks in the movie, but this figure went for his leather long coat, which is perhaps his coolest of the bunch. The figure has one add-on piece, used for his long coat.  It’s a little bulky, and essentially renders his legs motionless. That said, it’s pretty well sculpted, with sharp details that capture the jacket’s design from the movie very well. The paintwork on the Skull is pretty solid.  His face captures the movie’s take on his distinctive look, going for an appropriately angry expression.  The arms and hands also get an easy to miss bit of red detailing on both shoulders and his gloves, which are certainly a nice touch. Red Skull includes two accessories.  The first is a rather simple German pistol, and the second is the face of Johan Schmidtt, which is a slip cover mask that pulls down over the mask.  While it would probably look better just as a separate head, there’s something way more fun about being able to dramatically remove it just like in the movie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed this set from Cosmic Comix, back when it was new.  They hit before the movie, so I didn’t know for sure what I was getting into, but with Cap and Red Skull, it’s pretty straightforward.  I remember being quite impressed with them at the time, especially in light of the lower quality of the Thor offerings.  The standard TFA Cap was a fun offering for the time, but perhaps one that’s been slightly outpaced by more recent offerings.   There was something of a learning curve on this guy.  Red Skull isn’t a real stand out or anything, but this one has the benefit of being one of only two ‘mates of the MCU incarnation available, and the Schmidtt face is actually pretty darn cool.  Overall, still a fun set, but you might be better off with newer versions of the characters.

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#1648: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

From the streets of Brooklyn to the intergalactic stage, Steve Rogers defends justice as Captain America.”

Infinity War is here!  Yes, the movie 10 years in the making has arrived.  By the time you, dear readers, read this review, I will have already seen the film, but I’m writing this one in advance.  So, no spoilers or anything to worry about here!  Anyway, I’ve actually managed to track down the last few missing figures from the first assortment of Infinity War-themed Marvel Legends, so, over the course of the next week, I’ll be taking a look at all of those.  Up first, Steve Rogers, the former Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is the first figure in the Thanos Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the first of the four IW-based figures in the series (five if you count the Build-A-Figure), and, like his basic-line counterpart, he’s based on Cap’s “new” Nomad look.  Well, mostly, anyway.  I’ll get to that in a bit.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  This guy gets an all-new sculpt, which is definitely a positive.  That Winter Soldier mold was great for its time, but was starting to look a little dated.  This figure’s the same height as that one, but he’s been bulked up a little bit more, which prevents him from looking quite as shrimpy as the prior figure.  Overall, I like this new sculpt for this costume, and I’m hopeful that the 10th Anniversary two-pack Cap from later this year will be making liberal use of these pieces.  I do have some slight issues, mostly to do with the IW-specific pieces, and some questionable accuracy.  The first is the head.  By far, it’s the best Evans likeness we’ve gotten from Hasbro yet, and the face in particular is quite well detailed.  The issue lies with the hair, a separate, and going by what we’ve seen in the trailers, rather inaccurate piece. It looks to be the same styling he had in Civil War, when it really should be much longer.  Maybe he gets an important haircut in the film?  I don’t know, but I think it’s more likely Hasbro made a mistake.  Time will tell.  Another slight oddity to the sculpt?  The glove, or should I say lack of glove, on his right hand.  In all the trailers, he’s quite clearly got them on both hands, but this figure’s pulling a Luke Skywalker.  Again, maybe this is to do with something that happens in the film, but it certainly looks off.  His paintwork is overall pretty decently handled.  The uniform is appropriately dingy and dirty, but the application is still clean.  The face uses the face printing technique, and it’s okay, but on my figure it does seem to be a little slight bit off.  Not terrible, though.  Cap is packed with one of his new shields, a pair of fists to swap out for the hands he’s packaged wearing, and the head of Thanos.  Like the basic figure, just the one shield, despite him having two in the trailers, but it’s at least a well-detailed piece.  The hands run into another issue of accuracy.  They’re now *both* ungloved.  Not an issue for his right hand, but since the left forearm has the cuff from his glove sculpted on it, it looks a little odd with the spare hand in place.  Another rather odd choice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cap was the first of these figures I was able to track down.  He showed up at Super Awesome Girlfriend’s work, so she grabbed him for me.  He’s not a bad figure, but I will admit to being a little bit let down by him.  Maybe my opinion will change after I’ve seen the movie, and maybe some of Hasbro’s choices will make more sense.  As it stands, he’s certainly far from awful, but I think the basic figure is a bit more faithful to the film.

#1630: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

Apparently, there’s some sort of an Avengers movie coming out at the end of this month.  I know, it’s easy to miss it.  It’s not like there’s been *any* coverage or anything.  I’d imagine most people are planning to stay home that weekend, right?  Or perhaps go and see…<checking movies for April 27th>…the re-release of When Harry Met Sally perhaps.  Yep, that’s totally what the people want.  Or, I suppose, they could just see Infinity War.  I mean, I’m planning to see it.  I have to justify all this stuff I bought!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is from the first series of Hasbro’s basic Avengers: Infinity War line.  He depicts Cap with his bearded “Nomad” look, which is looking to be his main (possibly only) look from the movie.  It’s the same suit he was wearing in Civil War, but it’s looking a bit more worn.  As the name suggests, it’s calling back to his Nomad identity from the (first) time he quit being Captain America in the comics, though it doesn’t really look much like that particular design.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  The lack of knee joints is still kind of bugging me, but he’s actually pretty posable for the price point.  His sculpt is unique to this particular figure, and does a pretty respectable job of recreating what we’ve seen from the trailers.  The level of detail isn’t quite on par with a Legends release, but it matches up well with the Homecoming and Black Panther offerings.  The paintwork is likewise a slight step-down from other offerings in the scale, but it’s not like it’s awful or anything.  Honestly, I think my only real complaint is how dark the hair and beard are.  At least some highlights or something would make it look a little better.  As it is, it’s decent, but kind of looks like an animated version of the character.  Cap is packed with one of his new Wakandan-designed shields, which he can’t quite hold like an actual shield, but it’s fairly cool.  Each figure in this series also comes with an Infinity Stone; Cap gets the Mind Stone, which can be clipped onto his shield.  It’s kind of nifty, and apparently ties into the “Hero Vision” gimmick that Hasbro’s currently pushing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was initially just planning to stick with the Marvel Legends offerings for Infinity War, but I ended up seeing these figures in the store, and they sort of oddly called to me.  I passed on them the first time I saw them, but ended up picking up Cap alongside most of the rest of Series 1 on one of my very many trips to Toys R Us recently.  He’s actually quite a good figure, especially for the price.  Sure, he’s not high-end, but I was hardly expecting that, now was I?

#1503: WW2 Captain America & S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent

WW2 CAPTAIN AMERICA & S.H.I.E.L.D. AGENT

MARVEL MINIMATES

Despite the heavy Ultimate Universe bend of some of the early Marvel Minimates offerings, the slightly lowered profile of the Avengers characters meant they were largely pushed back until later assortments, by which point there was more of a move to classic stylings.  So, it would take quite a bit of time before we’d see any ‘mates based on the Ultimate-verse’s Avengers-equivalent, the Ultimates.  When we did get them, it was all at once, and in a themed Series no less.  Today, I’m looking at one of those sets, featuring Captain America and a SHIELD Agent!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

WW2 Captain America and the SHIELD Agent were released in Series 27 of Marvel Minimates, which was a whole Ultimates-themed set.  This was actually the variant set, swapping out the WW2-styled Cap for the normal Ultimate Cap.

WW2 CAPTAIN AMERICA

“The only known success in the government’s super-soldier program, Captain America and his sidekick Bucky fought against the Axis and Chitauri forces for years before Captain America sacrificed himself to save Washington DC from annihilation.”

Ultimate Cap is actually one of my biggest sticking points with the whole Ultimates vs Avengers thing.  I pretty actively despise the Ultimate Universe’s take on Steve Rogers, since it kind of takes away all the good things about the character, and effectively just turns him into US Agent.  If I want US Agent, I’ll read a story with US Agent.  Sorry, I’m getting distracted.  Anyway, I don’t hate the Ultimate Universe’s updated take on his WW2-era costume, which is what led to me picking this guy up.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He uses the standard ‘mate body, with add-ons for his helmet and jacket.  Both pieces were new to this figure.  The helmet’s seen some subsequent re-use, but the jacket was a one-off.  Both pieces do a nice job of translating Bryan Hitch’s design to the ‘mate form, and I quite like the sharp detailing on the mask and helmet.  His paintwork is pretty straightforward, mostly basic color work.  I do like the slightly lower-key colors on this one, and the detail work, especially on the face is pretty great.  The face is a little bit misaligned with the mask, but it’s minor, and you can get it seated a bit better with minor repositioning.  Cap’s packed with his original shield, which he can wear either on his wrist or on the back of his jacket, as well as a Thompson machine gun, and an extra hairpiece for an unmasked look.

S.H.I.E.L.D. AGENT

“Run by General Ross and later General Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D. is a clandestine military organization dedicated to creating or controlling the most powerful super-humans in the world, including the X-Men, Spider-Man and the Ultimates.”

Believe it or not, this was only the second ever army-builder in the Marvel Minimates line, and it was the only SHIELD Agent until Series 42 gave us a more classic design.  This one’s more a generic soldier type thing, as was the case in the Ultimate-verse. Like Cap, he’s built on the standard body, and he’s also got a helmet and a coat.  Both pieces are quite well sculpted, and I rather like the helmet.  His paintwork is a bit more involved than Cap’s, with the camo and the fully detailed buzzcut under the helmet.  It’s quite a nice attention to detail there.  He’s even got a cool SHIELD insignia on his shoulder, and detailing for the pockets on his pants.  I appreciate the level of work that went into this guy.  It makes what could be a boring ‘mate a good deal more interesting.  This figure’s packed with an assault rifle, which is a little large for his hands, but a cool piece nonetheless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up this set new from Cosmic Comix back when they were first released.  I remember pretty excited for the SHIELD Agent and the army builder concept in general.  Cap was sort of just along for the ride, but in the end, I was pretty happy to have gotten him.  This is definitely a case of ‘mates helping me to appreciate a property I wouldn’t have otherwise.  Not a bad set at all!

#1351: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL UNIVERSE 10-INCH (TOY BIZ)

“Transporting himself back to the present day, the Spider-Man of the year 2099 materializes right in Avengers Mansion. Facing Captain America and She-Hulk, Spider-Man uses his amazing powers to escape. Scouring his now unfamiliar surroundings, this futuristic Spider-Man searches for the one who possesses the information he needs before he can return home – Wolverine!”

Okay, I know I’m not supposed to critique the bios, but this one’s really odd for Cap.  Like, all of the 10-inch figures from this era did this whole odd scenario used to tie together a bunch of random characters thing, but the fact that the bio goes out of its way to single out Wolverine and Spider-Man 2099, but just gives a passing mention to Cap seems a little bit odd.  *sigh*  I’m getting distracted….

Hey everybody, and to my American readers, Happy Fourth of July!  To my non-American readers, happy Tuesday, I guess.  I’m honoring this Fourth of July the same way I honor it every year: by reviewing a Captain America figure.  Let’s get onto the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America was released as part of Toy Biz’s Marvel Universe 10-Inch line in 1997, alongside the also mentioned She-Hulk, Spider-Man 2099, and a Wolverine of some sort.  Cap is seen here in his classic costume, more or less.  The figure stands about 10 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  He’s built using the same body used for the un-flamed-on Johnny Storm figure from the Fantastic Four line, which is quite amusing nowadays, but was completely un-connected to anything back when this figure was new.  The body’s okay for him, I suppose, though it’s a little small for Cap.  It also lacks the buccaneer boots, though those weren’t going to happen without all-new tooling anyway.  There are some artifacts of the old sculpt’s costume, which look slightly out of place, but are generally not too obvious or distracting.  The head is an upscaling of the Electro Spark Captain America from the 5-inch Spider-Man line.  As I noted in my review of the smaller figure, it’s a bit angry for my taste, but it’s not terrible.  Honestly, I think it looks a bit better at a larger size, so that’s actually pretty cool.  The paint is generally pretty decent.  The colors are all pretty bright, and the application is rather clean.  I’m not sure why he’s missing his pupils, but worse things have happened.  Cap was packed with his mighty shield.  It was a cool piece, but sadly mine was lost somewhere along the way.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy came from one of my family’s summer trips to the beach back in the ‘90s.  My parents always took me to get something from the KB Toys in the nearby outlets, and this was the figure I decided to get that year, no doubt purchased alongside a VHS with some episodes  of the Ruby-Spears Captain America cartoon.  He was one of the earlier Cap figures I owned, probably my second after the Electro Spark figure.  He was definitely one of my  favorites of the 10-inch figures, and I still like him quite a bit, even if he’s a bit goofy.

#1305: Captain America – Addendum

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

-ADDENDUM-

Since Hasbro relaunched Marvel Legends, I’ve been consistently displeased with the heads on their Steve Rogers figures.  When the line was relaunched, all of the unmasked males suffered from what I call “Hasbro-Face”: they would have a deep scowl and incredibly squared-off features, and just generally look more like the titular character from The Goon than the superhero characters they were supposed to be replicating.  As the line has progressed, the Hasbro-Face has slowly died out, with the exception of Steve Rogers.  I guess Hasbro wants to keep all of the versions of him consistent, but it means I haven’t truly been happy with a Legends Captain America since Toy Biz.

In today’s review of Captain America, I noted that a major contributing factor to my finally acquiring him was seeing an image online of a mod for the figure.  This mod replaced the stock figure’s atrocious head with that of the very first ML Cap figure, which, in my opinion, is still the best Cap head ever.  The biggest hoop in performing this mod is getting the first TB Cap.  I have my old one, but I really didn’t want to put that one under the knife (or drill, as the case may be).  Fortunately, I was able to find a loose one sans accessories for $5, which is really the main thing that sparked this whole project (ironically, I actually paid a dollar more for my “junk” Cap than I did my original).

Perhaps the most difficult part of this whole project was just getting the TB Cap’s head off the body.  Toy Biz heads weren’t really designed for easy removal like their Hasbro brethren, so you’re pretty much going to have to use the boil-and-pop method, and even then, it took me a few rounds to finally get it popped off the joint.

As you can clearly see from the photo, the socket on the TB Cap’s head is maybe an eighth the size of the åHasbro figure’s ball-joint.  In order to get it to fit, it needed some significant plastic removal.  The best tool for such a project is really a dremel; I didn’t have one handy, so I just made do with a basic power drill, starting with a drill bit just a little larger than the socket and slowly working my way to larger bits, until it was a good fit.  I actually went the slightest bit too large on the socket, but that’s an easy fix.  All you need is to put little bit of super glue in the socket, do a few turns while on the joint, and then take the head off and let it dry for a few minutes.  This gives the socket a little more texture, which helps the head stay put on the joint.

Throw in the shoulder harness from the Target 3-pack Cap to replace the wonky straps from the original figure, and I’m pretty happy with this figure.  The head/body paint matches up surprisingly well (any differences are virtually invisible to the naked eye).  The smaller head is scaled much better with the body, and it even makes the body look a little less chunky (I think the chunkiness I was seeing was actually an optical illusion).  And, best of all, he cost me less than the retail of your average Legends release to put together.  Now I have a Legends Captain America I can be proud of! Added bonus: with the left over parts I can put together a pretty sweet Cap Wolf!

#1305: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Steve Rogers is a soldier with superhuman strength and an indestructible shield!”

Generally speaking, I’m a pretty big supporter of Hasbro these days.  They run two of my favorite lines and generally do things that I support.  They get a lot of hate, and I think a lot of it’s undeserved.  With all that said, about a decade ago, I was NOT much of a Hasbro fan, due to a lot of very silly decisions on their part, both with the end of their DC license and the early days of their Marvel license.  While they’ve improved leaps and bounds, they do still have the occasional slip-up.  Today, I’m looking at one such slip-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is the first figure in the Red Onslaught Series of Marvel Legends, which was the first of the three vaguely Captain America: Civil War-themed series released last year.  I looked at a handful of figures from the series back when they were still new, but never got around to this guy, mostly for the aforementioned “slip-up” reasons.  This figure is, or is at least intended to be, an updated classic Captain America, which was a nice thought, given that the last actual classic Cap before this one was the Face Off version from Toy Biz.  He stands a little over 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Cap is built on the Reaper body, which most of us had figured would be the case as soon as the Reaper body showed up.  I’m not sure it’s the best base for the character; it seems a little chunky for him.  That being said, it’s certainly an improvement on the body that was previously being used for Cap, so that’s a plus.  Cap got unique pieces for his head, forearms, shoulder straps, belt, and boots (the forearms, belt, and boots would later be re-used for Red Guardian).  The majority of the pieces are decent work, and they fit well on the body.  He really, really could have used at least one fist, but that’s minor. The first major nit I have with the figure is the straps on the shoulders; previous pieces have always been done as a single harness piece, but for some reason this time Hasbro opted to go with two separate pieces.  The issue is that they don’t have anything to connect to, nor do they have the tension that would be brought by connecting to each other, so the end result is that they’re pretty much impossible to keep in place.  They just fall right off the arms.  Just getting the one photo with them was a nightmare.  The second major nit, and the primary reason I held off on getting this figure for so long is the head sculpt.  I’ve never been happy with the Hasbro Legends take on Steve Rogers, and this figure really exhibits the worst of that, even more so than prior figures.  His head looks thuggish and angry, and just all-around ugly, which is hardly how I think of Cap.  He takes the squared off, scowlly “Hasbro Face” that I so despise and dials it up to 11.  On top of that, the head is super, super wide, like it’s been stepped on or something, and is in general just way too large for this body.  It’s almost like they scaled it to the Hyperion.  I wish I had something nice to say about this head, but I really, really hate it.  The paint on this guy is okay, but hardly Hasbro’s best.  It’s a bit weird stepping back a year to just before they started really making the strides in paint quality.  He’s okay, but there’s some noticeable slop, especially on the white sections.  Ironically, the head gets probably the best work, but it’s not enough to save it.  Cap is packed with his mighty shield (which is the same mold used for Taskmaster, Red Guardian, and Vance), a pair of gripping hands, a left hand that’s pointing, a right hands that flat, an extra Cap Wolf head (which is probably the coolest included piece, and at least gives the figure *some* value), and the back-thingy of Red Onslaught.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw this figure a ton of times over the course of the last year, but, despite being rather excited when he was initially announced, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay full retail for this guy.  A few things happened that finally got me to buy him.  First of all, Hasbro’s eBay shop marked the figure down to $8.99, which for those of you playing at home is less than half of the original retail price.  On top of that, I came across an image of a mod for the figure (which I’ll be posting about later today), which finally convinced me he was worth owning.  The basic figure is certainly disappointing.  That head is just terrible, and the shoulder straps are beyond annoying.  However, the base body is pretty decent, and at lest he’s got the extra Cap Wolf to make him more worthwhile.

#1171: Falcon

MARVEL’S FALCON

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES (HASBRO)

falconcw1

It’s day 5 of the post-Christmas reviews, and today I’m jumping back to my biggest collecting passion, super heroes, specifically of the Marvel variety.

Back when Captain America: The Winter Soldier was released, I was quite put out by Falcon’s absence from Hasbro’s small selection of Marvel Legends based on the film.  I picked up the smaller 3 3/4-inch figure and DST’s larger Marvel Select figure, but neither of them quite filled that Marvel Legends void.  Fortunately, Falcon reappeared in last summer’s Civil War, which finally netted him a Legends figure, albeit one that was…slightly difficult to acquire.  But I have it now, and that’s what matters! Onto the review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

falconcw2Falcon was released as a Walmart-exclusive entry in Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Series.  He started hitting over the summer, but as with just about any Walmart exclusive item, there’s a great level of variance in terms of when they start showing up most places.  When he was initially announced, Falcon was paired with Winter Soldier, presumably in a two-pack, but it when they actually showed up in stores, they were single-packed, just like a normal Legends release.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  He’s based on Falcon’s slightly refined Civil War design.  More or less. The actual costume details are a pretty decent match for the film design, with one or two slightly off details.  The biggest issue is the shoulder pads, which should stand out a bit more, but that’s rather minor.  Really, the inaccuracies come into play with the body underneath of the costume.  Anthony Mackie is a pretty bulked up guy, but this figure is rather on the scrawny side, especially when it comes to the arms.  Those things are tiny!  The legs are also rather shapeless, which looks a little odd.  All-in-all, he really could do with more classically “heroic” proportions.  As it stands, he seems less than intimidating.  On the plus side, the head sculpt sports a very nice Anthony Mackie likeness.  It’s easily the best Mackie likeness of the figures I’ve looked at so far.  Falcon’s paintwork is okay, though definitely on the more basic side of things.  The basic colors are all good matches for the source material and what’s there is pretty clean.  That being said, he’s missing some of the smaller details (such as the gold trim on his goggles), and lacks any sort of accent work, which makes him look a little unfinished.  The grey section in particular just feels rather doughy without any work to bring out the sculpted textures.  I’m also a little let down by the opaque goggles, but after getting them three times prior, they aren’t that much of a surprise.  At least they look good.  Falcon includes his flight pack and removable wings, as well as his sidekick Redwing in both collapsed and expanded forms.  The wings aren’t posable, but they have a slight curve, which makes them a bit more appealing than the Select version.  Redwing is cool, but a flight stand would have been invaluable for him.  What’s most notable about the accessories is what’s not there.  Once again, he’s missing his two guns, despite his hands clearly being sculpted to hold them.  I have to wonder if it’s a weird licensing thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I heard this guy was hitting, I searched every Walmart I could, with no luck.  Store after store had just Winter Soldier, with no Falcon in sight.  I eventually gave up looking, but not before lamenting to Super Awesome Girlfriend how bummed I was to be missing out on Falcon.  On Christmas morning, she eagerly handed me a gift, which I quickly IDed as being a Legends figure based on the packaging shape (it’s hard to pull one over on me; I have these things memorized), but I just assumed it was any of the numerous other, easier to find Legends I didn’t yet have.  But nope, it was this guy.  As it turns out, when I mentioned being bummed, she immediately started looking for him online, and found one for a reasonable price.  Yay!  Now I have him!  Could he be better?  Most assuredly.  Compared to the likes of Scarlet Witch and Black Panther, he feels a bit rudimentary.  Am I still happy to have him?  Without a doubt.  There may be better Falcon figures in the future, but until then, you could do a lot worse than this guy.

falconcw3

#1140: Scarlet Witch

SCARLET WITCH

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

scarletwitchcw2

As superhero movies have begun to feature larger and larger casts of colorful heroes and villains, sadly the toys that tie-in with those films have become smaller and smaller.  When it comes to the MCU, ever since the first Iron Man (which really only has like, what, four figures you really need to make?  And two of them are essentially the same sculpt), no movie has really gotten a full-lineup, especially not in the 6-inch scale most collectors prefer (Avengers did eventually get there, but only after a few years and additional movies).  Age of Ultron came pretty close, giving us the six basic Avengers and Ultron Prime, but the three newest additions to the team were sadly left out.  Hasbro’s put quite a lot of effort into getting as many figures as possible out of  Civil War, including Scarlet Witch, one of the characters who got left out of the larger Age of Ultron product.  I’ll be taking a look at her today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

scarletwitchcw4Scarlet Witch is the first figure in the Abomination series, which is the latest series of the Captain America-themed Marvel Legends.  She’s this series’ resident movie tie-in, and appears to be the last of the Civil War-based Legends, unless Hasbro pulls a surprise out of their sleeves, but that seems unlikely at this point.  The figure stands just under 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Scarlet Witch features an all-new sculpt, based on her Civil War design.  It’s my favorite of the three looks we’ve seen her in so far, so I’m pretty happy about the costume choice.  This figure may actually have one of my favorite MCU sculpts (really, only Panther is better, and his was reeeeeaaaaaally good).  There are a few small details that are a little off (the shoulders on the coat should really be a little more squared off, but that change probably has more to do with better range of motion than anything), but the overall figure is very accurate.  The head’s easily got one of the best likenesses of any of the MCU Legends; there are a few angles where it’s ever so slightly off, scarletwitchcw1but there’s really no denying that this is Elizabeth Olsen.  Also, I rarely talk about hands, but the hands on Wanda are pretty phenomenal; they’re perfectly posed to replicate her “spellcasting” look from the movies, and look awesome in a ton of different poses.  Hasbro’s been trending upwards in terms of paint application, and Scarlet Witch definitely benefits from this.   Slop and bleed over is minimal, and the colors match pretty well with the onscreen design. The face in particular is not only very clean, but also has degree of life to it, which a lot of the MCU figures haven’t quite gotten.  If there’s one downside to this figure, it’s the accessories.  She includes two effects pieces for her hands, which aren’t awful, but don’t really look much like how her powers manifest onscreen, and are just sort of a general step down compared to the effects pieces included with more recent figures.  She also includes the head of this series’ BAF, Abomination.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is a figure I’ve been waiting for since Hasbro first showed it off earlier this year.  I’ve yet to see this particular series turn up anywhere nearby, and on top of that, Wanda’s by far the most sought after in the set.  Her price online was pretty high for a while, but she finally came down to pretty much retail on Amazon, so I ordered her there.  I really like this figure a lot, and I’m very happy to be able to add her to my MCU collection.  Between her and Panther, I have high hopes for future MCU Legends.

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#1103: Ant-Man & Falcon

ANT-MAN & FALCON

MARVEL MINIMATES

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There are a lot of different standout characters in Civil War.  For a great number of people, it was Spider-Man, and for an almost equal number it was Black Panther.  Me personally?  Vision and Scarlet Witch all the way.  There was also a pretty sizable contingent of people whose favorite bits centered around Paul Rudd’s (Gi)Ant-Man, who made the most of his screen-time.  As such, it’s not a huge surprise to see the character turn up amongst DST’s offerings for the film.  Alongside him, my favorite character from the last Captain America film (as well as one of my favorite parts of the Ant-Man film), Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ant-Man and Falcon are the second TRU-exclusive set for Civil War, and were released alongside Series 67 of the main line (meaning the hit in late July/early August).  It’s easily one of the better pairings we’ve gotten so far.

ANT-MAN

antmanfalconmm11Like so many characters before him, Ant-Man was one of those MCU characters who’s costume changed just enough from one movie to the next to warrant a new figure (hey, at least he’s more different than Vision).  I myself never got the basic Ant-Man from his solo movie (bad me), so this guy was actually pretty cool to get, and I can’t deny that the new design is pretty sharp.  The figure is built on the basic ‘mate body, and as such stands a little under 2 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He has one add-on piece for his helmet.  It’s new to this particular figure and is a pretty faithful recreation of the helmet he was sporting in the movie.  The paintwork on Ant-Man is nice and sharp, detailing all of the various bits of his costume, and overall looking pretty accurate to the source material.  That’s especially refreshing with regards to the helmet, since none of the Ant-Man movie merch got his helmet down right.  Ant-Man includes a spare hairpiece for displaying Scott sans helmet, as well as a clear display stand.

FALCON

antmanfalconmm10As cool as I think Falcon’s comic book costume is, it’s understandably a little hard to adapt to real life.  So, it wasn’t much of a surprise that he was sporting more or less real-world fatigues in The Winter Soldier.  That being said, it wasn’t the most exciting design.  Over the course of his cinematic appearances, his uniform has slowly evolved into something a bit more akin to his comics appearance.  His Civil War design is his most exciting yet, keeping the real world nature of the Winter Soldier design, but also adding the the color scheme from his comics incarnation.  Structurally, Falcon uses add-ons for his goggles and backpack, as well as a unique set of upper arms (with removable posable wings), and two different gloved hands.  The end result does a very nice job of converting his onscreen appearance, and improves in a number of ways on the last MCU Falcon (which was already a pretty awesome figure).  The paintwork on Falcon is decent, though not quite as clean as the work on Ant-Man.  The detail lines are all pretty sharp, and the colors are nice and bright.  The only real downside is the sloppiness on some of the basic color work, mostly on the shoulders.  The overall look is pretty cool, though.  Falcon includes a handgun (why just the one is a little baffling, since he always has two in the film), Redwing, two different styles of flight stands (one for him, one for Redwing), and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed this set while out and about looking for those pesky X-Men Legends at various TRU’s.  I was actually quite happy to find it, since these are two of my favorite characters from the movies (and the comics, truth be told).  Ant-Man is a pretty solid addition to the roster of Ant-Men, though he may not be the most exciting ‘mate to people who have the last two ‘mates.  Falcon is a really nice improvement over the last MCU Falcon, and even more welcome since that one’s a bit hard to find now.   Probably one of best sets to come out of the Civil War Minimates.