#2140: Captain America & Peggy Carter

CAPTAIN AMERICA & PEGGY CARTER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

When it comes to the MCU, I’m a very big Captain America fan.  His solo outings are all highly ranked among my favorites, with The First Avenger and Winter Soldier being two of my very favorite amongst the line.  I have a particular soft spot for TFA, which helped to remind me just how much I liked the character, and is my go-to MCU film for re-watching.  The fact that the Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sub-line only gave us Red Skull left me really feeling the lack not just of one of Cap’s coolest looks, but also of one of the MCU’s most important characters.  Fortunately, the 80 Years of Marvel line is swooping in and offering up both of those very things, in one convenient package.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cap and Peggy are one of the two exclusive 80 Years of Marvel two-packs (the other being Iron Man and Iron Spider from Infinity War), and they are available via Amazon.  While I’m still iffy on how many of these things are being handed off as exclusives, at least this one is relatively easy to acquire.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Driven to help out his country during World War II, Steve Rogers enlists in the military as part of Project Rebirth. After he impresses the scientist in charge of the project, Steve is injected with Super Soldier Serum, increasing his strength and physique. He becomes the patriotic hero Captain America, fighting for freedom throughout the world.”

Before he became a full-fledged costumed hero, but after he’d given up being a patriotic monkey, Steve throws togething this distinctive number to go and rescue the POWs from the Hydra camp, in perhaps my favorite sequence of the movie.  Hasbro wasn’t doing dedicated Legends for the movies when The First Avenger hit, so obviously there was no chance for a Rescue Cap there, but even worse, they didn’t even include one in their smaller-scale line.  To get this look previously, you either had to settle for the Minimate or shell out the big bucks for the Hot Toys version.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Cap is sporting an all-new sculpt, though it’s one that’s already been earmarked for re-use for the upcoming Legendary Riders WWII Cap figure.  It’s clearly been designed for accuracy to this particular look first and foremost, however.  After a number of MCU Cap figures that were a little bit scrawny, this one does a respectable job of looking the part.  The neck is a touch longer than I’d like, and some of the details on the uniform are softer than other recent offerings, but by and large, it’s a solid sculpt, and does the design justice.  Cap includes two different heads, which are slightly difficult to differentiate at first glance.  The one he comes wearing is a more straight-forward un-helmeted head, which has Evans with his pre-Winter Soldier hair.  It’s a decent likeness, though again softer than some recent sculpts.  As an added bonus, it’s the first Evans head to be compatible with the Quantum Suit body, which I was certainly happy about.  The second head has a far more compact hairstyle, meant to fit under the included helmet.  While they could have probably gotten away with just including a separate head with the helmet permanently attached, this way he can carry the empty helmet when using the non-helmet haired head.  I can certainly appreciate that.  Cap’s paintwork is all pretty standard.  The basics are all covered, and he’s using the face printing technique, which works pretty well here.  He’s packed with his original shield, a pistol, and a knife.  Both the pistol and the knife can be stashed on the figure, while the shield pretty much always goes on the arm.  Also included is the unpainted version of his standard shield.  It’s just a repaint of the Studios shield mold, meaning it has the star at the center, which isn’t technically accurate, but it’s close enough for such a relatively minor extra, and I’m honestly just happy to see it turn up at all.

PEGGY CARTER

A British agent with the Strategic Scientific Reserve, Peggy Carter is a capable soldier and strategist. She is part of Project Rebirth, which developed the Super Soldier Serum that was injected into Steve Rogers. When Project Rebirth ends, Peggy continues to assist Steve as he becomes the world’s first superhero, Captain America.”

The lack of a proper Peggy Carter figure has been one of the most glaring problems for just about every MCU-based line (barring Minimates, which was previously the only way to get Peggy).  Heck, we got a figure of the MCU version of *Sharon* Carter before Peggy.  Do you know how crazy that is?  It’s mega crazy, let me tell you.  It’s about time she finally got her due, with a figure based on her primary appearance from The First Avenger.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation.  While she has the expected issues of restricted hip articulation thanks to the skirt, beyond that she’s actually surprisingly well articulated.  The waist joint in particular has some really solid range, effectively negating the lack of any mid-torso joint.  Definitely a good example of tailoring the articulation to the design.  Peggy’s sporting an all-new sculpt, and one I don’t imagine we’ll be seeing again soon (unless Hasbro feels like giving us a TV show Peggy, which I certainly wouldn’t mind).  It’s another strong offering, working the articulation in well, while still getting down a pretty realistic set of proportions and properly adapting the details of the uniform.  While the head’s not a spot-on Hayley Atwell likeness, it’s strong enough to sell who this is meant to be, and it’s about on par with the Evans likeness on Cap.  Peggy’s paintwork is decent for the most part.  The face paint is a bit messy on mine, and there was some excess glue from the hair, but boy do I love that the got the seams on the backs of her legs.  That’s a really cool touch!  Peggy includes a Thompson machine gun, or at least I’m saying that she does.  It’s packed next to Cap in the packaging, but Peggy clearly is meant to hold something, and does use a Thompson in the film, so I’m counting it as hers.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I love The First Avenger.  I love Rescue Cap.  I love Peggy.  There was no way I wasn’t buying this set as soon as I got the chance.  That made it slightly distressing when we went so long without any release information on this set.  It was one of the first 80 Years offerings shown off, but ended up as one of the last to be placed.  It kind of worked out in my favor, though, since the announcement that it would be at Amazon came alongside it being in-stock at Amazon, meaning I had it two days after it was officially solicited.  That was very nice.  This set isn’t without flaws.  Cap’s sculpt is a little softer than I’d like, and Peggy’s face paint is iffy, but honestly I’m just beyond thrilled to finally have both of them in my collection.

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#2133: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“As World War II unfolds, and super-powered beings emerge across the world, the patriotic hero Captain America is revealed, ushering in a new age of Marvels.”

It seems like not too long ago, in a review of another Captain America figure no less, I discussed the ramifications of making a good figure into a store exclusive.  Really, when your get down to it, it’s not really about being exclusive to any store at all, but more one store in particular, who seems to be getting a lot of exclusives at the moment, and doesn’t have the greatest history of backing toy exclusives.  The store, of course, it Walmart, who for some inexplicable reason have managed to net their second Captain America exclusive of the year in a year when Captain America hype is about as high as its ever been.  Seems like poor planning if you ask me, but no one did, so I guess I’ll stop rambling about it.  How about I ramble about something I’m a little more qualified to ramble on about: actual toy reviews!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is part of the Marvel: 80 Years sub-line of Marvel Legends.  The 80 Years line is effectively just taking the place of last years Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years line, but with comic figures thrown into the mix as well.  Alongside Iron Man and Thor, Cap is part of a trio of figures inspired by the work of famed comics painter Alex Ross.  While those two are standard releases showing up pretty much everywhere, he’s only at Walmart.  Since there’s no markings of him being an exclusive, there are rumors that he may be offered up to other retailers at a later time, but as of right now they’re just unfounded rumors.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  The last couple of comic-based Caps were based on the Reaper body, and this figure is at the very least Reaper adjacent.  He shares his forearms, legs beneath the hips, and his belt with the Red Onslaught Cap (and by extension Red Guardian and Secret War Cap).  Those are the good parts of the Reaper body, so that’s all well and good.  He then gets a new head, torso, upper arms, pelvis, and hips, which make him look sufficiently new.  After years of the thug face (which hit critical mass with the Red Onslaught Cap), we finally get a new set of features for the comic book Steve Rogers.  There’s some definite Ross-influence occurring here, and that’s certainly a plus, since it plays true to the classic version of the character.  It’s a nice sculpt, and more than just the face, I also really like the texturing and stitching on his mask.  The new torso and shoulders give us a detail we haven’t seen on Cap since the early Hasbro days: sculpted scale-mail.  The lack of the scales was one of the major prevailing complaints about the RO Cap (well, after that hideous head), and Hasbro had even addressed it somewhat with the paint change-up on the Vintage reissue of the figure, but this time around they’ve gone all out and actually sculpted them properly.  As someone who runs hot and cold on the scales, I have to say, they really add a lot to this figure, as goes that three dimensional star.  There’s just a lot of pop.  Cap’s paintwork continues the Ross inspiration, going for a slightly darker palette than we usually see for a comics Cap.  It’s not a bad look, but I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing a repaint in slightly brighter colors.  As it is, there’s plenty of very strong work on this figure, and I definitely dig the metallic accents on the scales.  Cap is packed with two sets of hands, his trusty shield, a throwing effect with hand attached, and a second head.  The usual gripping hands are included here, but in addition, we *finally* get some fists for a Reaper-based release, which was majorly overdue, and is low-key one of my favorite things about this guy.  The shield is the same one Hasbro’s been using for a few years for the comic figures.  It’s a little undersized, and the star is off-center on mine, but it’s a serviceable piece.  It can be mounted on the throwing effect, which is the same one first introduced on the Secret War Cap, and is definitely a fun extra.  The second head gives Cap a slightly more stern expression.  I’m not certain if it’s based on a specific take on the character, but I don’t like it quite as much as the standard.  I honestly would have preferred an unmasked head, but I can see this one getting some play if you’re really jonesing for a John Walker Cap.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since being disappointed by the Red Onslaught Cap, I’ve been waiting for Hasbro to do a more proper Classic Cap, and when this figure was shown off at Toy Fair, I was psyched.  I was less psyched when he was confirmed as a Walmart-exclusive.  While this one ended up being much easier for me to find than the Endgame version, it was still a little bit of a hassle tracking him down, and I can foresee him being one that a chunk of people miss.  Hopefully Hasbro will have another release of this mold in their back pocket for those who can’t track him down.  In the meantime, this is the best comic-styled Cap we’ve ever gotten, and I really dig him.

#2085: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)

“One of the original members of the Avengers, Steve Rogers – better known as Captain America – has always been the ultimate Wielding Soldier. Wearing the patriotic colors of the American flag, and wielding his trusty shield, he fights alongside his teammates in the name of truth and justice.”

Well, this isn’t a Spider-Man review.  What gives?  Fear not, dear readers, the Molten Man series reviews will return tomorrow,  but I’m taking a slight detour in honor of Steve Rogers’ birthday, July 4th!  Oh, also it’s some American holiday as well.  Whatever the case, I’m taking a look at a Captain America figure, because that’s how I do.  In the ’90s, Captain America figures were nowhere near as plentiful as they are now, and somewhat astoundingly, Toy Biz’s huge 5-inch line only spawned five figures of him over the course of the whole decade.  Today, I’m looking at one that just barely squeaked in under the radar in 1999, as part of the tie-in line for Avengers: United They Stand.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America was part of the first series of the Avengers: United They Stand line (though, like other Toy Biz tie-in lines from the same time, both Series 1 and 2 hit shelves simultaneously).  Though not a series regular in the cartoon, Cap did have a prominent guest star appearance, and would have been joined by fellow guest star Iron Man had Series 3 ever been produced.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  If the sculpt on this guy looks familiar, it’s because I’ve looked at most of it before.  In a line otherwise made up of entirely new sculpts, Cap re-used the body of the Electro Spark Cap from the ’90s Spider-Man line.  Sort of an interesting choice, since it didn’t really match Cap’s design from the show, and all of the packaging actually showed the Marvel Vs Capcom Cap instead.  As I noted the first time I reviewed the sculpt, It’s quite large and exaggerated, which does make him look rather goofy.  He gets a new head and an Avengers belt buckle to differentiate him.  The head is a decent enough piece, and certainly feels more like your usual Captain America than the Electro Spark one, but it’s also really small, especially when compared to the body.  This only furthers the body’s proportion issues.  Cap’s paintwork is actually quite bright and eye-catching, and an improvement over the prior use of this mold.  There are some minor issues with bleed-over, but they’re as prefaced: minor.  Cap was packed with his usual shield, once again saddled with a gimmick, but this time not one that total destroys the aesthetics.  It’s just got a little magnet imbedded on one side, which triggers an “explosion” on the included droid accessory, where part of it pops out.  It never worked super well, but it also didn’t really ruin the figure, so I can’t complain.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The United They Stand figures were pretty hard to find when they were released, so I got them as I found them.  Cap was nearer the end of my completion of the set, fourth to last.  I found him on a trip with my parents to a Kmart, which was sort of out of the ordinary for us.  It also marked an important change in my collecting, as my parents both tried to assure me that I pretty much already had this figure.  They were right, but still bought the figure for me, starting me down a path of buying nearly identical variants of the characters I like.

#2061: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Steve Rogers prepares for the ultimate battle to save the universe and channels all of his strength as Captain America.”

When is an amazing figure not an amazing release?  When the circumstances surrounding that release mean that not everyone who wants it is going to be able to get it.  Exclusives became the nature of the collecting beast years ago, as big box stores began to throw their buying power into guaranteeing they’d have something you couldn’t get anywhere else.  Walmart in particular has a reputation of refusing to carry certain toylines at all until they are granted an exclusive.  They didn’t carry initial assortments of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends for this very reason, and it was because of this that Best of Marvel Legends came to exist.  Later in the line, they would get an entire series (the Giant-Man Series) to themselves, and boy was that just a pleasant experience for everyone involved.  And if you believed me there, I have a one-handed Giant-Man I’d like to sell you.  I assure you, he’s much better than one with both hands.  In recent years, Walmart exclusives have become less of an issue, but less because they actually got better at making them available and more because toymakers have started giving them less-essential stuff when possible.  I’ve not had too much trouble with the last few Legends releases, but then again, I’ve not felt like they were essential either (I also didn’t have the nightmarish experience getting Corvous Glaive that some collectors did).  Then today’s figure was announced, and I was again less than enthused by this whole exclusives game.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is the third Walmart-exclusive Legends release this year, but he’s actually the second to hit stores because, as of this writing, their Captain Marvel exclusive still hasn’t been seen anywhere domestically.  Cap actually has had a pretty fast turnaround, as we only found out about his existence two weeks ago, and he seems to be be arriving in full force, at least in physical stores.  He’s based on his newly-designed costume from the final battle of Endgame, and is what I’d classify as the “definitive” Cap look for this movie.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Since Winter Soldier, all of the standard MCU Caps have been built on the same body.  While I loved it when it was new, that body has grown more and more out of place as the line has moved forward.  We got a taste of something new with the Infinity War Cap last year, which was part of why I was so disappointed when the Marvel Studios release went right back to the WS body, rather than retooling the new one.  I was crossing my fingers that Hasbro wouldn’t make the same mistake when it came time for this costume.  I’m happy to report they didn’t, and, in fact, they’ve given him an almost entirely new sculpt.  From the thigh down, he shares his legs with the IW release, and he has the helmeted head from the Studios offering (which is one of my few nits with this figure, because it means he’s got the smaller ball-joint of the WS body, meaning we once again have a Cap whose heads aren’t compatible with the Quantum Suit body).  Beyond that, everything else is new to this figure.  There’s a second head included, with another go at an unmasked Steve Rogers.  I liked the Studios unmasked head a lot, but I think this one beats it.  They really got Evans’ look from the movie down.  The build of the body takes note from the IW release, and bulks Cap up a fair bit, so he no longer looks quite as shrimpy when compared to the other MCU releases.  The detailing on the uniform is some of the best we’ve seen on a  Hasbro Cap, with the “scales” on his torso and shoulders being a real highlight of the figure.  I also quite like how they’ve made the shoulder pads floating pieces, so that they can slip over the torso when you’re posing him.  It helps to preserve the look and avoid restricting his motion on his shoulders.  The paintwork on this Cap is pretty good, thought I will say parts of it are a step down from other recent releases.  Both heads make use of the face printing, which looks very nice as always.  The paint on the helmet is also improved from the Studios release, which I was quit happy about.  The rest of the body is far more basic in its application, and also quite sloppy in several spots, especially on the abdomen.  It’s not as bad as some of the stuff we used to get from Hasbro, but it could definitely be much better.  In addition to his unmasked head, Cap also gets two more extras.  The first is his shield, which uses the sculpt from the Studios release, but this time has a fancy battle-damaged paint scheme.  Unfortunately, his left hand is still in a fist, so he can’t quite hold it right.  Fortunately, the hands can be swapped between this and the IW release, should you want a gripping hand.  His final accessory is rather cleverly hidden behind his shield in the package.  It’s Mjolnir, which he wields in epic fashion during Endgame‘s final battle.  It’s just a re-use of the previous MCU mold, but it’s still a fun inclusion, and it was nice of them to hide it in the package.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted in my review of the basic release of this costume, I walked out of the theatre ready to buy a figure of this design.  It was my assumption that he’d be showing up in one of the regular assortments later down the line, but I did have a little concern in the back of my mind that he might wind up as an exclusive of some sort.  I was non-plussed to find out it was Walmart.  Fortunately, I found him with only a few stops, but it did require me buying a figure with a sincerely jacked up package.  This figure is a really, really good figure, and the MCU Cap I’ve been wanting ever since Hasbro stepped up their MCU game.  He’s the definitive MCU Cap, and making him an exclusive to a chain who is notoriously bad about actually getting their exclusives out there seems like a serious misstep on Hasbro’s part.  My only hope is that they have some sort of an ace up their sleeve on this one.  He’s got a lot of new parts for a one-off release, and I can’t stress enough that he really feels like too big a figure just to be a Walmart exclusive.  Time will tell.  Until then, hopefully this figure won’t be too hard to find.

#2057: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

AVENGERS: ENDGAME (HASBRO)

So, now that all of the hype for the Quantum Suits has died down a bit, we can finally set our focus on the suits that the characters actually wear for most of the film’s run-time.  Of all the characters in the movie, Cap is the one with the most suits on-hand, donning his STRIKE suit for the first act, a replica of his first Avengers costume for the second, and then finally getting an all-new costume for the rest of the film’s run-time, which most notably is featured during the film’s huge climactic battle.  That’s the suit that pretty much everyone wants, but, apart from the Titan Heroes release, it wasn’t really available at the time of the film’s release.  Fortunately, it’s at the forefront of a lot of the post-film stuff, including Hasbro’s basic figure line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is part of the second series of basic Avengers: Endgame figures, which appear to have started showing up in force right at the end of May.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation.  Like prior figures in this style, the scaling is just a touch smaller than a Legends figure, so Cap’s not quite going to fit it, but he wouldn’t be terrible in a pinch.  I still don’t know why Hasbro can’t give these guys knee joints, since it’s really the only joint holding them back, but they seem dead-set on sticking to their guns on this one.  This Cap is, of course, sporting his newest costume, which continues the evolution of the design first launched in Winter Soldier.  This time around it maneuvers even closer to his classic comics appearance by mimicking the scale-mail of his classic costume in the patterning on the torso and shoulder segments.  It adds an extra bit of flair to the costume, which this release takes advantage of.  The sculpt, which is all new, is a little bit stiff, what with the lack of certain articulation, but is otherwise a very well-detailed, overall very movie-accurate recreation of the uniform. The detail work, especially on the torso, is very sharp, and the likeness on the head is about as good a match for Evans as any of the Legends. Also, for the first time since the first Avengers movie, we get a Captain America with a grip on the left hand, so he can actually hold his shield properly!  One fun little side thing I did notice was that the head was a little loose on its ball-joint, which has the unintended benefit of making this particular head compatible with the Legends Quantum Suit body, should you prefer this helmet to the one we got.  Yes, it’s still inaccurate, but now you can choose your preferred inaccuracy!  The paintwork on this figure is a bit of a step down from a Legends offering, since he’s half the price and all.  He gets the basics, and they’re pretty good at that.  No fancy printed face or anything, but on a helmeted head, it’s less of an issue. There are some smaller details that are missing, but it kind of comes with the territory.  Cap is packed with his shield, which is a re-use of the most recent Legends iteration, albeit with slightly downgraded paint.  It’s nice that they’re using this same mold, especially if you’re looking for an easy spare for customizing purposes.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I walked out of Endgame desperately wanting a figure of Cap in this costume.  I’m a self-admitted Cap fan, and this is definitely my favorite of his MCU designs.  With the Legends release uncertain (at least at the time I got him), this figure was an easy purchase.  I’m not gunning for him to be my go-to Cap or anything, but this guy’s definitely not a bad figure for the price.

#2051: Red Skull

RED SKULL

ONE:12 COLLECTIVE (MEZCO)

As prominent a fixture as he may be in the Captain America mythos, Red Skull isn’t a character that’s been particularly blessed when it comes to the world of action figures.  He hasn’t been particularly scarce, or anything.  In fact, he’s gotten a pretty decent amount of coverage.  What he *hasn’t* gotten is particularly good coverage.  This has been especially true of his 6-inch scale figures.  Of his six Legends-branded releases, two were movie figures, one was just a re-skinned Iron Man, another placed him on one of the modern line’s weakest bodies, one wore something decidedly un-Red-Skull like, and the first may well be the worst Legends figure Toy Biz ever released.  Not the greatest selection pool.  There are, however, some other offerings on the market, one of which I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Red Skull was a late 2017 release from Mezco’s One:12 Collective, obviously meant as an accent piece to the previous year’s Captain America.  There were two variants of the Skull produced; the one I’m looking at today is the standard release, which has him in an all-black leather-jacketed number.  There was also an SDCC-exclusive that had him in his green jumpsuit from the Kirby days.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has over 30 points of articulation.

Red Skull includes two different headsculpts.  Both of them are modeled pretty heavily on Jack Kirby’s original Red Skull design, which never seems to really get its due in action figure form.  It’s refreshing to see a more faithful rendition appear here, especially given Mezco’s tendency to modernize a lot of the time.  The figure comes wearing the more expressive of the two heads, which has Skull arching his brow and bearing his teeth in a lop-sided grimace.  It’s a very classic expression for him, and is especially well-suited to this styling of the Skull.  There are a number a small little cracks running throughout, keeping things from being too devoid of detail.  The second head isn’t too different, but gives him a closed mouth, more leveled brow appearance.  He’s still not a happy looking guy, but this is a more pensive, perhaps later in his career version of the Skull.  The details of this head line up with the first, really selling it as just a change of expression.  The paintwork on both is fairly similar.  The red is molded, with a black wash to bring out the details.  They’ve also correctly captured his bright blue eyes, a definitive feature of the character.

Red Skull is built on the mid-sized male body, a suitable choice for the character.  His uniform is a mixed media offering, as is usually the case for this line (though it wasn’t for the last figure I reviewed from it), made up of an underlying jumpsuit, with a leather duster on top of it, plus a shoulder-strap and belt to hold it in place, and a pair of sculpted boots.  The jumpsuit is fairly loose fitting, and has some printed on elements to keep it from being just a straight black affair.  The boots hold it in place at the base of the legs, and are actually two pieces so as to allow for movement at the ankles.  The leather duster is fake leather (not a shock at this scale) but is reasonably detailed, and nicely tailored to the body.  It also is stiff enough to hold some decent dynamic poses, which I quite like.  The strap and belt is a plastic element, and snaps in place to keep the jacket secure.  It features a working holster for his gun, as well as a very impressive Hydra logo on the buckle.  It can also be adjusted for use without the jacket, if you so desire.

In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, Red Skull is packed with three pairs of hands (in fists (L&R), trigger finger (R), open grasp (R), closed grip (L), and loose grip (L)), a Luger, the Cosmic Cube, and a display stand with the Hydra logo printed on it.  The Cube is my favorite of the included extras, and is a little different than the ML renditions we’ve gotten, being a more opaque piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t get this guy when he came out mostly because I hadn’t yet gotten any of the other Marvel releases, and, more specifically, hadn’t been able to get the classic version of Cap.  I also didn’t work at a toy store where I had easy access to such things.  This guy got traded in to All Time Toys a few weeks back, and I’d been commenting to the store owner Jason that I didn’t have a good Red Skull in my collection, so he kindly set it aside for me, and gave me a solid deal for it too.  I like this guy a lot, and he’s definitely the best Skull at this scale.  Heck, he’s probably the best Skull at any scale.

As noted above, I got this guy from All Time Toys.  He was a trade-in, so they don’t have him in stock anymore, but they do have a variety of other One:12 collective figures still available. If you’re looking for those, or other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2026: Captain America & Dum Dum Dugan

GOLDEN AGE CAPTAIN AMERICA & DUM DUM DUGAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

Even the Cap gets by with a little help from his friends… though he does occasionally have to borrow those friends from some outside sources.  Such was the case with the Howling Commandos, Nick Fury’s WW2-era unit from the comics, who found themselves merged with Captain America’s WW2-era super team The Invaders for the purposes of The First Avenger, and in turn, found themselves treated to some action figures in the process.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Golden Age Captain America and Dum Dum were one of the two TRU-exclusive sets for the Captain America: The First Avenger assortment of Marvel Minimates.

GOLDEN AGE CAPTAIN AMERICA

On the path to getting his proper Captain America uniform, Cap goes through a few trial stages.  The first of these is Cap’s USO show costume, which is the spitting image of Cap’s classic costume from the comics.  Golden Age Cap is made up of six add-on pieces, all of them re-used.  The gloves and boots are the standard Cap pieces, and the belt was taken from the DC Minimates Series 4 Golden Age Flash (fitting, I suppose).  The mask comes from the First Appearance X-Men set, and while it’s not a terrible piece, it’s not strictly speaking accurate to the source material, where he actually had 3D head wings.  Of course, there was no ready-made piece that would quite match, and it would have certainly been a one-off, so the slight deviation is excusable.  Cap’s paint matches the somewhat sephia-toned coloring of the other Caps in this assortment.  It’s pretty cleanly applied overall, and I like the goony facial expression under the mask.  It’s a different look for Cap, and it helps him stand out a bit more from the other variants.  The blue’s perhaps a touch too light (as it stands, it matches with his standard costume, when it really should be a bit deeper), but that’s a minor change, and he’s at least consistent with the Frontline Captain America in that regard.  Golden Age Cap is packed with his shield (the same one included with Frontline Cap), and a spare hairpiece for a proper unmasked look.  A pointing hand might have been cool, or even some of his accessories from his movie serials he was filming, but he makes out alright.

DUM DUM DUGAN

Dum Dum is possibly the most distinctive of the Howling Commandos, in both the movie and the comics.  His presence here was definitely a sensible one, allowing collectors not only one of Cap’s supporting players, but also a very memorable agent of SHIELD who has had far too few action figures over the years.  Dum Dum is built using two unique add-on pieces; one for his hat/hair, and one for his vest.  The hat is a very distinctive and very important piece for Dugan, and this piece is mostly pretty good, but there’s one slightly annoying flaw to it: it’s lopsided!  It should be symmetrical, but it’s very clearly leaning to the right.  The other details are well-rendered and match the movie, but it’s hard to miss that one issue.  The vest is a decent piece in its own right.  I like that it bulks him up a bit, and the options for storing his shotgun and sidearm are much appreciated.  The paintwork on Dum Dum is respectable.  He’s got a lot of brown going on, but that’s accurate to the movie, so no complaints there.  The face doesn’t have much of a Neal McDonoug likeness, but it’s a pitch-perfect Dugan, so it works well enough for me, especially since it can double as the comics version of the character.  Dum Dum is packed with his shotgun and revolver.  Basic pieces we’ve seen many times before, but still solid pieces nonetheless, and perfect choices for the character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the previously reviewed Gabe Jones and Hydra Flame Trooper, I grabbed these two from a TRU on a road trip with my my family back in 2011.  Golden Age Cap is perhaps the least essential of the three versions of Cap we got for the movie, but he’s a decent enough variant, and certainly more entertaining than all the variants of Wolverine we’ve gotten from his movies.  Dum Dum is a minor but still very important character, who was definitely in need of a figure.  This one, despite one notable flaw, definitely does the character justice, and helps to fill out the SHIELD ranks.

#2014: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The First Avenger, Steve Rogers continues to protect the world from evil as the star-spangled hero, Captain America.”

Okay, we had a little bit of a prelude to Endgame with yesterday’s Infinity War pairing, but today I’m moving onto the Engame product proper.  A central piece of the promotional work for the film has been the swanky new “quantum suits” that the surviving Avengers will be sporting, so it’s not a huge shock that the suits are showing up pretty prevalently in the toys.  For the main assortment of Legends, we’ve only got one sample of the suit so far, being sported by most Avenger-ly Avenger, Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is part of the first series of Endgame-themed Marvel Legends, which is currently arriving at most retail establishments.  He’s an unnumbered figure, due to being the one figure in the set not necessary to complete the Armored Thanos Build-A-Figure, much like last year’s Mark L Iron Man.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The whole sculpt of this figure is new, though it should be noted that the body has already been re-used for Hawkeye in the Target-exclusive Hawkeye & Black Widow two-pack.  As noted in the intro, this figure is based on Cap’s quantum suit-sporting look.  It’s an interesting choice for our first Cap in the line.  While I’m not opposed to a uniformed look in principle, it does take some getting used to for a character like Cap, who has a more established solo look (and even has a brand-new solo look for the movie that we’ve yet to see any toy coverage for at all).  Still, these are the looks getting the clear push for merch, so I can’t really blame them for going with him.  The body is built to pull double-duty, so it’s maybe not a spot-on build for Chris Evans as Cap, but it works reasonably well, and I can understand their desire for a single body, especially with the two-pack’s included extra heads.  The suit itself is a pretty solid design, and I think it’ll look good in action.  Cap gets a unique head sculpt, and if I’m honest, it’s one of the more perplexing pieces of the figure.  He’s wearing a helmet that appears to be the same design as the one he had in the first Avengers.  While not a bad design, it’s been supplanted by the Winter Soldier-style helmet for a while now, and that’s even the helmet that is shown on the images on the back and sides of the packaging, making this older helmet seem out of place.  However, the helmet’s on this figure, the basic figure, and even the Minimate, so perhaps there was a change during production of the film.  What’s even more surprising, is that he’s wearing a helmet at all, since the concept art and trailers have all depicted Cap without any headgear while sporting the quantum suit.  Again, this is the sort of thing that might make more sense once I’ve seen the movie.  Whatever the case, it’s actually a rather nice sculpt, and I can definitely foresee a lot of people modding this to replace the Walmart exclusive figure from the first movie.  The figure’s paintwork is reasonably well-handled.  There’s a bit more slop than I’ve seen on other recent Legends, and some scuffing on the legs on my personal copy, which I was a little annoyed by.  Also, the printed face doesn’t seem to have worked quite as well for this particular figure, and results in him looking a little bit messy. The darker silver of the armor also seems to be in contrast to the more straight white we’ve been seeing in the trailers, but that could be a lighting thing.  It doesn’t look too terribly off here.  The real Achilles’ heel of this particular figure is the accessory compliment.  He’s got his shield…and that’s it.  The shield’s nice and all, and at least it’s the new and improved sculpt from the 10th Anniversary set, but he feels really, really light, especially with no Build-A-Figure part.  The lack of an unmasked sculpt is definitely the biggest killer, especially since the really nice unmasked head from the 10th Anniversary isn’t compatible with this release.  A slightly retooled release of that would have added a lot to this figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Chris Evans as Cap is one of my favorite parts of the MCU, so I’ve really been looking for a solid figure of him for a while.  Sadly, it seems like every Legends release so far has had *something* off about it.  In this figure’s case, I can forgive the slightly un-Evans-like build on the body, but the lack of unmasked head is really hard to get past.  Admittedly, I like this figure more than I’d expected to, but not as much as I’d hoped to…if that makes any sense.  Perhaps my opinion will change after the movie.  At the very least, I think he’s a better figure than last year’s Cap.

Cap was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and he’s currently in-stock at their store, here. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1994: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL SELECT (DST)

The retail product for the fourth Avengers film, Avengers: Endgame has officially started hitting shelves in preparation for the film’s April 26th release date.  However, with Endgame coming out just one year after its predecessor Infinity War, there’s just a touch of overlap, as the last of the IW product is still making its way to shelves.  I’m doing my best to keep up with it all (I ended up having to do a lot of picking and choosing during the onslaught of IW stuff) and to that end, I’m looking at Diamond Select Toys’ take on Captain America’s Infinity War appearance.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain America is one of the four Infinity War-based figures from the 2018 lineup of Marvel Select.  He ended up taking a little while to make it to shelves, and just started showing up in full force a few weeks ago.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  As far as scaling goes, he’s definitely nearer the taller end of Selects.  I had ever so slightly been hoping he might follow Daredevil’s lead, and potentially be closer to Legends scaling.  Of course one can’t really blame them for sizing him this way; he’s in proper scale with most of their other offerings, which wasn’t really true if DD.  This figure has a sculpt, handled by Gentle Giant Studios (who handle most of the MCU Legends as well), which appears to have at least some parts in common with the Civil War figure. It’s really for the best that this figure arrived so long after the movie; Cap’s “Nomad” design went through quite a few changes right up to production of the film, resulting in a lot of inaccuracies on his other figures.  This one is far more accurate to the final product.  He’s got his proper hair length (which neither Hasbro figure had), as well as both gloves, properly styled, and all of the appropriate wear and tear to his uniform.  The details of the uniform are also nice and sharp, and I really dig that texture work.  The head sculpt is probably the weakest aspect of the figure.  Its detailing is on the softer side, and it doesn’t quite have a spot-on Evans likeness.  That said, the likeness is still closer than all of the Hasbro attempts barring the unmasked Civil War head and certainly an immense improvement over prior unmasked Cap heads from DST, and the softer detailing may be more linked to the paint.  Speaking of the paint, slight thickness on the head application aside, it’s not a terrible offering.  The general appearance is accurate to the film, and there’s quite a bit of accent work going on.  In addition to the accuracy of the man figure, something else that really sets this guy apart is his accessory compliment.  In addition to a selection of eight different hands, as well as a display stand, he includes his Wakandan replacement shields in both collapsed and deployed configurations.  Prior Cap figures have been lucky to get a single shield, but this one can appropriately dual weild, and the deployed versions even have a sliding segment in the front like we saw in the movie.  By far, these are the most accurate versions of the shields we got on a small scale figure, and I would count them as a major selling point.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Legends version of this Cap was definitely the biggest disappointment of that set for me. I really liked the Nomad look, and such an inaccurate figure wasn’t cutting it.  I considered the Figuarts release, but he just traded in some inaccuracies for another set of them, and lacked the shields entirely, so I passed.  Once I saw the prototype for this guy, I was definitely on-board, making him an easy buy when he showed up at Cosmic Comix when he showed up a few weeks ago.  While I’m a little bummed that the best version of this guy out there doesn’t quite fit with the rest of my IW figures, there’s no denying this is a solid figure, and he’s nice enough that I’m probably just going to fudge the scale a bit on my shelf.

 

#1975: Arnim Zola & Hydra Supreme

ARNIM ZOLA & HYDRA SUPREME

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

A clandestine ally of Hydra, Supreme Leader Captain America reveals his true allegiances and joins forces with Arnim Zola to bring Hydra to a position of dominant world power.”

Hey, you know what I just haven’t reviewed enough of recently?  Marvel Legends.  They’re just so scarce around these parts.  Oh, no, wait, they’re the other thing.  Abundant.  Very abundant.  Well, they’re about to get moreso, because, hey, more Marvel Legends.  Today, I’m swinging on over to the Hydra side of things, with a look at head scientist Arnim Zola, alongside the Cosmic-Cube-altered Hydra Supreme version of Captain America.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Arnim and Hydra Supreme were released back in January as the “Hail Hydra” set, the latest Marvel Legends two-pack.  It’s technically an EE-exclusive, but can also be gotten through a number of other retailers, since EE does wholesale and all.  The two figures are both inspired by 2017’s Secret Empire event.

ARNIM ZOLA

A fairly classic Cap villain, Arnim is a fairly prominent fixture, both in the comics and the movies.  He’s also not a stranger to Legends, having been a Build-A-Figure shortly after the Return of Marvel Legends line began.  This release is largely a re-release of that one, with a few minor tweaks.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  The sculpt is largely a re-use of the Build-A-Figure, but he gets a new head (resembling his slightly more streamlined appearance from recent years), as well as swapping out his puffy-sleeved arms for Colossus’ more conventionally armored ones, all resulting in an ever so slightly more modernized take on Zola.  While some of the articulation is a little stiffer than more modern releases, he’s still pretty suitably posable, certainly posable enough for a character like Arnim.  The paintwork is another change between the two Arnims.  Where the first one went for a bolder, brighter, more comics-inspired palette, this one again angles more for a modern take, with a darker, metallic appearance.  Even the face is more modern, with a more intense, cackling expression.  Admittedly, I think I prefer the color scheme and face of the prior figure, but this one’s certainly not bad.  Arnim is packed with a small device of some sort, as well as the more boxy head from the original release.

HYDRA SUPREME

The Hydra Supreme is like the standard Hydra, but with tomatoes and sour cream.  At least, it is when you play by Taco Bell rules.  Specific Hydra rules may be *slightly* different.  But I like to hope that the indoctrination of Steve Rogers included adding extra toppings to him.  And maybe giving him a nice Baja Blast, as well.  This figure depicts the Cosmic-Cube-ified Steve Rogers from the very end of Secret Empire, when he’s given up the heroic patriot charade entirely.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  At first glance, he appears to be be an all-new sculpt, but he actually has a sizeable amount of re-use.  His arms and lower legs are from Taskmaster, and his hands are from the Bleeding Edge armor Iron Man.  That leaves the head, torso, and upper legs as new pieces.  The end result is quite a cohesive looking figure, who is also quite accurate to the source material.  Since he’s drawn from Bucky Cap-based pieces, he’s perhaps a little smaller than Steve should be, but, admittedly, it doesn’t seem too far removed from how he was depicted in the comics.  Maybe being evil is a good weight loss program. His colors are decidedly on the Hydra end of the spectrum, as they were in the book.  It’s certainly a different look for the character.  Hydra Supreme is packed with a unique shield, based on his design from the comics.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I hadn’t gotten back into Legends yet when Zola was a BaF, so I never did get him built.  I was happy to see him offered up again here, since he’s a pretty important piece of the mythos.  Arnim’s a decent figure in his own right, but the surprise hit for me is definitely the Hydra Supreme, who’s just a really fun figure.  I’m hoping we might get to see him recolored as a Civil Warrior down the line.