MARVEL SUPER HEROES (TOY BIZ)
“When Captain America throws his mighty shield! All Foes who chose to oppose his shield must yield!”
–Captain America Theme Song
My first introduction to Captain America was through VHS copies of the ‘60s cartoon. As cheesy as they are, I loved every minute of them. Sadly, in the mid-90s, when I was becoming so fond of Cap as a character, he was more or less absent from toy shelves. I eventually got the Spider-Man: The Animated Series version when it was finally released, but the figure I always wanted was Toy Biz’s first version of the character, which I’ll be looking at today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Captain America was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s Marvel Super Heroes line. This Cap stands just under 5 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation. This figure predates elbow articulation becoming a standard for Toy Biz’s Marvel stuff, as they were still very much aping the Kenner Super Powers style, and none of those had elbow movement. Really, this whole figure in general feels like a Captain America figure done to fit with Super Powers (well, aside from size, since he’s taller than any figure Kenner put out), which is far from a bad thing. Rather than the more ‘90s-esc proportions of which Toy Biz would later become so fond, Cap is pretty subdued, and looks more or less like a real person. His torso features some awesome detailing for the scale-mail, and I love the way they’ve sculpted the star logo so as to make it pop a bit more. Figures of Captain America have the unfortunate tendency to miss the mark on the good Captain’s face. I guess he’s just one of those characters where it has to be just right. I think this figure’s the closest anyone’s ever gotten to my ideal Captain America, at least from a comic-based perspective. It’s a little round by today’s standards, but I really like the overall style present here. There’s just a certain sincerity to it that lots of Caps lack. Cap’s paintwork is quite nicely handled, especially for the time. The colors are all nice and bold, and he really sells the whole patriotic super hero thing. His eyes are admittedly a little wonky, and it would have been nice for his belt buckle to be something other than the unpainted blue plastic, but those are relatively minor complaints. Cap was packed with his mighty shield, as well as a weird launching device for it. However, my figure sadly lacks these pieces.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As I noted in the intro, this was a figure I really wanted growing up. Unfortunately, he was released before I got into collecting, and wasn’t very easy to find after the fact. So, I had to settle for the US Agent repaint from a few series later. In fact, my dad, as awesome as he was, even bought me an extra US Agent and we painted him up in proper Cap colors, which held me over quite nicely. This particular figure ended up being one of the fifteen figures I picked up at the last Balticon. I’m glad to finally have the official version, and he’s aged a bit better than a lot of Toy Biz’s output from the same time period.