#2942: Captain Carter

CAPTAIN CARTER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With the Super Soldier program in peril, Peggy Carter bravely participates by becoming Captain Carter.”

Kicking off the What If…? show was a concept that goes back to the earliest days of what we’ve seen of the MCU (so far, at least; Eternals is definitely gonna change that), with a story that slightly deviates during the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, presenting a version of events where it’s Peggy Carter, not Steve Rogers, who becomes the Super Soldier.  By far, it’s the season’s strongest entry, wonderfully capturing the look and feel of the original film, while also doing a fantastic job of exploring in depth the changes that Peggy as a Super Soldier would cause.  And, hey, there’s obviously a figure, because why wouldn’t there be?  Let’s see how she turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain Carter is figure 2 in the Watcher Series of Marvel Legends.  She’s specifically based on her design from the first episode of the season, while she’s fighting Hydra in the ’40s.  It’s the look that got the most play in the lead up, and it’s also the one that matches up with Hydra Stomper, who’s also in the first drop of figures, so it’s a solid choice.  The figure stands just shy of 6 1/2 inches tall and she has 31 points of articulation.  Compared to the two other figures I’ve looked at so far, Peggy’s articulation scheme is closer to Zombie Cap.  It’s not quite as optimized as Zombie Cap’s was; there are a few more restricted joints, especially at the neck (due to the hair), and the elbows and knees aren’t quite as smoothly worked into the body, but it’s generally very workable, and she’s pretty stable on her feet, which are definite pluses.  Peggy’s sculpt is a completely new affair, though it’s already been slated for a repaint for the Target-exclusive Stealth Captain Carter that’s coming next spring.  The sculpt is quite a nice piece.  She’s definitely inspired by the animation style, more so than being a strictly realistically styled figure, but she doesn’t go as far with it as the T’Challa figure did, which means she has an easier time slotting in with other figures from the main line.  It’s a very nice middle ground, and I think it makes for the best possible toy adaptation.  Though technically a slightly cartoonized take, the likeness on the head is an even better match for Haylee Atwell than the movie-style Peggy, and is just genuinely one of the nicest head sculpts that Hasbro’s done for a Legends figure.  The detailing on the rest of the sculpt is quite nice; in order to keep with the animated look, much of the texturing and such is a lot smoother, but there’s still a lot of detailing on the actual line-work of the uniform.  Peggy’s construction uses a lot of smaller parts for the assembly, so there doesn’t have to be quite as much actual paint.  It means that the base color work is all very clean, since it’s not actually paint.  What paint is there is generally pretty decent.  The work on the face is definitely the best work.  There’s some slop on the red parts on the torso, but otherwise it’s generally pretty clean.  Peggy is packed with her version of the vibranium shield, as well as both arms to the Watcher Build-A-Figure.  The shield is smaller than Steve’s, and it’s hard to tell if that’s accurate, since it does seem to fluctuate in size based on what it’s doing in the show.  Generally, it seems to scale well to her, though, and they actually gave her a gripping hand for actually holding the straps for a change.  I’ll call that a win for sure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Captain Carter was very definitely the concept I was looking forward to the most when What If…? was announced, and it was by far my favorite episode of the season.  I pretty much just loved every minute of it, really.  I was absolutely down for this figure as soon as she was announced, and she was the figure I was most looking forward to in the main assortment.  There was a pretty high bar for this figure to clear, and to Hasbro’s credit, I really feel they cleared it.  This is one of my favorite Legends of the last year, and she’s just a good all-around toy.  I can’t wait to get Hydra Stomper in hand to go with her!

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2454: Captain America & Peggy Carter

CAPTAIN AMERICA & PEGGY CARTER

MARVEL MINIMATES

Even in these times of uncertainty for the line, Marvel Minimates has a fairly steady stream of new product always coming from at least one retailer…provided you can actually find any of that new product.  Walgreens has been great for getting lots of new ‘mates on the books, but in 2018, they started kind of having a bit of a back-up in their distribution process, and two years later we’re still kind of feeling it.  Officially hitting at the end of last year, Series 11 has a decent mix of things going for it, including today’s set, Captain America and Peggy Carter!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were part of the 11 Walgreens-exclusive set of Marvel Minimates, and are animation-based, specifically hailing from the Avengers Assemble show, though in the case of both ‘mates featured here, the movie-inspiration is also pretty strong.

1940s CAPTAIN AMERICA

“Given enhanced strength, speed and durability in a top-secret experiment, Steve Rogers became a symbol of hope for Americans in World War II.”

We’ve had a couple of these MCU-esque ’40s Caps in the line, and this one’s just another.  This marks the first time he’s been animated, though!  Structurally, Cap’s just got the one add-on piece for his helmet.  It’s a re-use from the ’40s Cap in the Series 55 assortment, which is fair enough.  That piece has always looked a bit better than the one we got from TFA‘s line, and its slightly streamlined appearance works a bit better with the more vanilla nature of this figure.  Everything else here is paint.  This is the animated recreation of the film design, so it dispenses with a number of the details for something a bit cleaner.  I rather like it, honestly.  There’s a definite simplicity to it, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad in the slightest.  Cap is packed with his shield, a spare hand with a connection for it, an alternate hair piece for an unmasked look, and a clear display stand.

AGENT PEGGY CARTER

“Peggy Carter, a British agent who knew Captain America during World War II, was briefly brought from 1949 to the present day by Kang the Conqueror.”

Since Minimates had claim to the only Peggy Carter action figure on the market for a good eight years,  I guess it’s only fitting that when Legends got in on the game, they would double their efforts…literally.  This is our second Peggy ‘mate, and our third Peggy figure, ever, so that’s all pretty cool.  What’s more, it takes my complaints about wanting the Hydra base-storming gear from the end of TFA into account!  More looks for Peggy!  Yay! Peggy is a pretty basic ‘mate in terms of construction.  She’s got the hair piece, and that’s really it.  It’s a new piece, and definitely goes with that animated style, but it certainly fits the character.  In fact, I like this piece a bit more than the one used on the movie Peggy.  It just really feels like it gets the character down.  Again, the heavy emphasis here is on the paint.  As with Cap, she’s definitely got a very simplified look about her, but that said, the face still looks remarkably close to Haley Atwell in terms of likeness.  It also seems a little less void of expression than the last ‘mate.  The detailing on the jacket is all pretty sharp looking as well, and this has got to be one of the few times that the somewhat washed out nature of the animated ‘mates didn’t feel totally out of place. What really makes Peggy shine are her accessories.  She gets a hat-wearing hairpiece, a spare torso and arms, and a skirt piece, which effectively allow you to build a second figure, of Peggy in her trench-coated appearance.  It’s another quite distinctive look, and another really strong design for the character.  It also really adds some serious value to a figure that was already really cool, and distracts from the always present issue of the Walgreens sets not getting guns by giving Peggy a much preferred replacement.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve kind of been falling out of Minimates (which is only fair, since so has DST, if I’m honest), but Max has been keeping me at least a little bit invested, and he was nice enough to hook me up with this set earlier in the year.  Cap is kind of a nifty figure, presenting something of a what-if scenario where the line hadn’t evolved so much by the time the MCU films rolled around.  He’s kind of a movie Cap via Minimates Year One, and I think that really works for him.  I’m getting real Series 5 Cap vibes off of this guy.  The prior Peggy was good for the time, and had the novelty of being the only one for a while, but this Peggy is pretty much the ultimate version of the character, with two really great looks and a pretty spot-on likeness.  This set is pretty much all win.

#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.

#1699: Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, & Hydra Agent

HOWARD STARK, PEGGY CARTER, & HYDRA AGENTS

MARVEL MINIMATES

The civilians in superhero stories are very important to the mythos, but sadly, as rather average looking people, they don’t exactly lend themselves to lots of toys, no matter their prominence in the stories they hail from.  Fortunately, there are lines like Minimates, which are able to take advantage of their slightly different distribution methods to get us characters we might not otherwise see.  Take, for instance, today’s focuses, Howard Stark and Peggy Carter!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Howard, Peggy, and the Hydra Agent made up the specialty-exclusive component of the First Avenger-themed ‘mates, released in Series 40 of the main Marvel Minimates line.  Howard was the heavier packed of the two, with Peggy being his one-per-case “variant.”  In light of the movie and Peggy’s later importance moving forward, this was, and still is, an odd sort of case pack-out, but I guess they really wanted to make sure everyone had a chance at a young Howard.

HOWARD STARK

The young Howard Stark presented in The First Avenger is clearly influenced by another famous Howard, aeronautics pioneer Howard Hughes.  Director Joe Johnson had experience with Hughes, having used him in the film adaptation of The Rocketeer, so I guess he was just going with what he was comfortable with.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Howard has two add-on pieces, for his hair and his suit jacket.  Both are re-used, from the Universal Monsters line, in fact.  The hair is from Creature From the Black Lagoon’s Dr. Reed, and the jacket is from The Wolfman’s Laurence Talbot.  Given the similar time-period of all of the films in question, the re-use is pretty sensible.  Additionally, it’s nice to see the pieces made from slightly higher grade plastic, as it allows the details to show through a lot better.  His paintwork is somewhat on the drab side, being mostly greasy and the like.  The face has a reasonable likeness of Dominic Cooper, though he’s more of a generic Howard sort of look.  I might have liked a more expressive face, but this works well enough.  Howard is packed with a hat (re-used from The Spirit line), which can be swapped out for the hair.

PEGGY CARTER

It seems crazy to me that this is the only Peggy Carter action figure out there.  It’s also true of Howard, of course, but he’s more of a supporting player.  You’d expect Peggy to get a little more respect, wouldn’t you?  Though, I suppose it’s fitting that a character like Peggy wouldn’t be getting the respect she deserved.  At least she got this.  She’s got two add-on pieces, one for her hair, and one for her skirt.  Both are re-used, though the hair was originally meant for Peggy, but ended up going on the First Class Emma Frost first.  It works well enough for the look they’re going for.  The skirt piece is the same one used on Gwen Stacy, and it’s a standard piece that is still in use now.  It all replicates her uniformed look from the movie nicely (though, if we’re being picky, I personally would have preferred her Hydra base-storming gear from the end of the movie; oh well).  Her paintwork is a little more detailed than Howard’s, since she’s not relying on sculpting for the torso detailing.  The detail work is nice and sharp, and her face even has a decent likeness of Haley Atwell, though it’s once again a little void of expression.  Peggy is packed with a Thompson machine gun, first seen with another WW2 hero, Sgt Rock.  It’s a little tricky to hold, but it’s a nice piece.

HYDRA AGENT

Also offered in the army builder singles case, the basic Hydra Agent was easily one of the most sensible MCU army builders to grace the ‘mate line.  There’s a whole ton of these guys running around getting plowed through by Cap and the Howling Commandos, so getting a minimum of two to start with here was great.  The figures are add-on heavy, with pieces for their masks, straps/skirts, and glove cuffs.  Apart from the glove cuffs (which are, appropriately, re-used from Captain America), the other pieces were new to these guys.  Or, at least, they were new to this general assortment, since the parts are shared with the other variations of Hydra agent.  The pieces match up well with the film design, and the detail work is pretty clean.  The paintwork is pretty decent, and features more detailing than you might notice at first glance.  Perhaps the coolest part is what’s under the mask piece; since there were a few different Hydra masks seen in the movie, this one has the bulked up look, as well as a more streamlined design beneath it.  It adds an extra element of customization to them, which makes the army building all the more fun.  The Hydra Agents were both packed with a rifle, which has remained exclusive to the First Avengers offerings.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked both of these sets up new from Cosmic Comix.  These were actually the sets I was most excited for at the time, and while they are perhaps not the most thrilling designs, I still really like them all.  The execution is definitely there.  And where else are you going to get Howard Stark and Peggy Carter action figures?  No where!