#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.

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#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

antmanfalconmm1

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. 

#1102: Agent 13 & Mercenary

AGENT 13 & MERCENARY

MARVEL MINIMATES

agent13merc1

One of the nice things about the Marvel movies is that their various tie-in products give us a much better coverage of some of the heroes’ supporting casts.  This is especially true of Minimates, where the multipack nature of the line allows for more than a few extra characters, who might otherwise get overlooked.  I think Captain America has perhaps faired the best of all the heroes.  The first movie got us a Peggy Carter and a few of the Howling Commandoes, the second got us the likes of Jasper Sitwell and Batroc the Leaper.  Cap’s third film, Civil War, is a bit more jam-packed with named characters, so there isn’t quite as much room for Cap’s supporting cast.  That being said, we still managed to get Agent 13, aka Sharon Carter, who is a pretty important character in the Cap mythos!  Oh, and there’s like a mercenary or something too.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Agent 13 and the Mercenary were released as part of Series 67 of Marvel Minimates, which is the second of the two Civil War-themed sets of ‘mates.  These two are one of the specialty-exclusive packs, alongside the Thunderbolt Ross and Merc set.

AGENT 13

agent13merc3I’ve been eagerly awaiting this particular ‘mate ever since the character was announced to be in Winter Soldier, so it’s nice to see her finally turn up here.  This marks Sharon Carter’s first Minimate, though some of the non-comics geeks might miss that, since she’s only referred to as Agent 13 on the box, including in her bio (which also doesn’t mention her relation to Peggy).  I guess Marvel wanted to keep that “reveal” under wraps until everyone had seen the movie.  Ah well, Agent 13 sounds cooler anyway.  The figure is a little under 2 1/2 inches tall and she has the standard 14 points of articulation.  Agent 13 uses the basic ‘mate body, with add-ons for her hair, the bottom of her jacket, the knife sheath and her two holsters.  Everything here is a re-use, with the hair coming from Peggy Carter (clever re-use there), the bottom of the coat coming from Kill Bill’s Elle, and the holsters and sheath being standard use pieces.  They’re all decently chosen parts.  I don’t remember exactly when Sharon sported this look in the movie, but it’s the one featured on all the promotional stuff and concept art, so I can’t complain.  As far as paint goes, Agent 13 is pretty standard for a ‘mate.  The details are all nice and sharp, and the face bears a passing resemblance to Emily Van Camp.  The color palette isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s accurate.  Sharon includes two silver handguns, a knife, and a clear display stand.

MERCENARY

agent13merc2Ah, yes, the Mercenary.  Who could forget the Mercenary?  Most people, I’d assume, including me, at least until I re-watched the movie.  This is supposed to be one of the guys working with Crossbones at the beginning of the movie.  Why this figure was packed with Agent 13 and Ross is anyone’s guess.  The Merc is built using the standard body, with add-ons for the mask, tactical vest, belt, and holster.  The mask, belt and holster are just standard pieces, and the vest comes from Series 55’s Batroc.  The end result looks more or less like the Mercs from the movie, though the mask is more an approximation than anything.  One presumes this is due to keeping this guy within budget, which seems fine by me, especially when we’re talking about a generic army builder that’s on screen for maybe 15 minutes.  Paint-wise, this guy matches pretty well with what we saw on screen.  He’s a little dull in terms of color, but has some nice bits of “pop” like the goggles.  The level of detail is pretty impressive, especially for a no-name character.  Under the mask, there’s even a fully detailed face, with a buzzcut and everything, which both gives him some extra character, but also can work as more than one guy.  The Mercenary includes a sub-machine gun, a handgun (in a dark metal grey), and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I got this set at the same time as Widow and Crossbones (who I’m just now realizing I didn’t mention to origin of), courtesy of my parents for my birthday.  I was really looking forward to Agent 13, and she’s a pretty solid ‘mate, even if she’s not the most exciting figure ever.  I didn’t expect a whole lot from the Mercenary, but I actually quite like how he turned out.  He’s a nice accent piece for yesterday’s Crossbones.

#1101: Black Widow & Crossbones

BLACK WIDOW & CROSSBONES

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Gosh, Civil War feels like two forevers ago, but it really was released just earlier this year.  I suppose part of why it feels so long ago is the overall lack of toys I’ve picked up from it.  I mean, the last thing I got was the Giant-Man series of Legends, and that was back in July.  Back in May, when the movie hit, there was a series of Minimates dedicated to the film, which I reviewed. However, given the sheer number of players in the film, one series wasn’t enough to cover everything, so we got a follow up, which hit at the end of July.  And I’m just now reviewing them.  Yes, I know, bad Ethan.  Today, let’s have a look at Black Widow and Crossbones.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Widow and Crossbones were released in Series 67 of DST’s Marvel Minimates.  The whole series is based on Civil War, and these two are no exception.

BLACK WIDOW

widowcrossbones2Widow’s really not a stranger to Minimates, especially not her movie incarnation.  This is the sixth time that we’ve gotten a Scarlet Johansen Black Widow as a Minimate.  But this time she’s got different hair, I guess.  The figure is a little under 2 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Widow is built on the standard ‘mate body, with add-ons for her hair and her two thigh holsters.  The holsters are the usual pieces we’ve seen several times before (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it), but the hair looks to be new.  It’s a decent piece, and captures the styling of her hair in the movie, but it seems a tad high-sitting for me.  She looks like she’s got a bit of a receding hair-line.  Just one of the limitations of the style, I suppose.  In terms of paint, Widow’s pretty solidly done.  The detailing on her bodysuit is the sort of thing that could easily be overlooked, but it’s really strong, and it conveys all of the little details of the suit very nicely.  The likeness on the face is a decent approximation of Johansen.  I think the Winter Soldier face is still the closest, but this one’s a strong contender.  I like that she’s got a fighting face, so she can fit in with Cap and Iron Man in that respect.  Widow includes a pair of batons (which aren’t clear like the AoU versions, but are still cool, I suppose), two handguns, and a clear display stand.  Pretty standard faire as far as Black Widow ‘mates are concerned.

CROSSBONES

widowcrossbones3This marks Crossbones’ fourth time overall as a Minimate, and his second as an MCU ‘mate (provided we’re counting Winter Soldier’s Rumlow).  His inclusion in this set is definitely a sensible one.  While he only gets ten minutes or so of screen time in Civil War, he’s a fairly important figure to the plot, and he gets some decent fight time with Widow to boot.  Plus, how can you not love his new design?  Crossbones has add-ons for his helmet, torso/shoulder armor, fighting fists, and thigh holster.  The helmet is just a standard slip cover piece, and while that means we can’t see the eyes on the actual head, it still works pretty well.  The holster is the same piece as Widow’s and it works for what it is.  The armor and fighting fists are new pieces, which turned out quite nicely.  The armor could perhaps stand to be a little less bulky, but the fists are really cool.  Once again, the paintwork is really sharp here.  Crossbones doesn’t have quite the high level of painted detail as Widow (since he’s a bit heavier on sculpted parts), but what’s there is very well rendered.  In particular, I really like the work on his boots, and especially like how the face under the helmet turned out.  For accessories, Crossbones has a spare hair piece (Lt Gator’s from the Platoon set, which is a piece I’m always happy to see), a pistol, a pair of standard black hands, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is definitely the set I was most anticipating from the second round of Civil War ‘mates.  While this particular Widow isn’t quite as good as the Winter Soldier version, she’s still a very solid addition, and another chance for people to get such an important character is always a good thing.  Crossbones is the real star here of course, and it’s unlikely we’ll be getting another movie version anytime soon, so the fact that this one turned out so well is pretty awesome.  Plus, fighting fists.  How can you go wrong with fighting fists?

#1070: Sam Wilson – Captain America, Vision, & Kate Bishop – Hawkeye

SAM WILSON – CAPTAIN AMERICA, VISION, & KATE BISHOP – HAWKEYE

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

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Wow, Hasbro sure is swamping us with Marvel Legends, aren’t they?  After a fair delay, the Giant-Man Series finally hit just about everywhere, very closely trailed by the Juggernaut Series.  The Abomination and Dr Strange series are also starting to hit in some areas as well. On top of that, there have been a number of exclusive items, with Walgreens getting two figures right on top of each other, and Walmart getting a pair of exclusives (that I still need to find).  There have also been two boxed sets: the Civil War Spider-Man set (which had a movie Spidey alongside re-decoed versions of Cap and Iron Man), and a set containing Sam Wilson as Cap, Kate Bishop as Hawkeye, and Vision…as Vision!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This trio is exclusive to Toys R Us and is loosely themed around looks from the post-Axis Marvel Now! stuff.  Sam and Kate both follow a firm legacy heroes theme, which kind of makes Vision stick out a bit.  Of course, flip-side, Sam and Vision are both part of the main Avengers line-up, and Kate isn’t.  So, exactly who’s left out is really up to you.

SAM WILSON – CAPTAIN AMERICA

falccapviskateguy5We’ve gotten him in both Minimate and 3 3/4-inch form, so it was about time we got a FalCap Marvel Legend.  Bonus points for being the first Sam Wilson Legend since the Toy Biz run!  The figure is about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Structurally, he shares several pieces with 2014’s Marvel Now! Cap figure.  He has the arms, legs, and pelvis from that figure, along with an all-new head, torso, belt, and shoulders.  The Now! Cap parts aren’t a perfect match for FalCap’s design, but they’re close enough to work without too much trouble.  The new pieces match up well with the older parts, and are pretty decent sculpts on their own terms as well.  I wasn’t 100% sold on the head sculpt at first glance (as with so many of Hasbro’s Cap sculpts, I think it looks a little too mean for the character), but after having it in hand, I actually don’t mind it.  His hair seems a little closer cropped than his usual comics appearance, but it’s not like it’s completely wrong or anything.  All in all, it’s one of those sculpts that has some minor flaws here and there, but looks a lot better as a whole, which is what really matters.  The paintwork on FalCap is pretty solid. The shades on the colors are a bit more subdued than those on Now! Cap, which is fair, since he was probably a little too bright.  These colors look about right for Sam’s comics design, and still have enough vibrance to give him some pop.  The application of said paint is decent enough, though there’s still a bit of slop, especially on the switches from blue to white.  He could be a little better, but he could also could be far worse.  FalCap includes his mighty shield, which is all well and good, but what he doesn’t include are his wings.  Sure, he doesn’t always have them, but he does most of the time, and their omission here is a bit glaring.

VISION

falccapviskateguy3Vision’s a popular guy!  This is his third Legend in the last year, and the second time he’s been in one of these exclusive three-packs.  This time around, he’s based on his Daniel Acura-designed look from the latter half of Remender’s Uncanny Avengers run, which also happens to be the costume he’s wearing currently.  If I’m honest, it feels a little over designed, though, and I miss the yellow.  Also, the red bits make it look like he’s running around half naked.   That said, I like it a bit better then his first Now! look.  The figure is about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, with a new head and an add-on for the cape.  I was a bit disappointed with the last Vision head sculpt, so I’m happy they didn’t re-use it a third time here. This may well be my favorite Legends Vision sculpt.  It just captures the character quite nicely, and is very sharply defined features.  The cape is kind of an awkward design, but it’s been translated into three dimensions well enough.  It’s definitely a better attempt at a cape than the one Hasbro was using before (which, judging by all the currently shown figures, has been justly retired from the line).  Paint is the one real downside to this guy.  Of the three figures included in this set, this guy definitely has the sloppiest paint in the bunch.  It’s just all over the place.  I mean, he looks okay from a normal viewing distance, but up close he’s got a lot of rough edges, and there’s a few spots where the paint doesn’t really follow the sculpt very well.  That being said, the colors are at least nice and vibrant, and he stands out quite nicely on the the shelf.  Vision doesn’t get any accessories, but I can’t really think of what you’d give him, so that’s okay.

KATE BISHOP –  HAWKEYE

falccapviskateguy2At long last, Kate Bishop makes her way into the action figure world!  It took them long enough, since the rest of her Young Avengers teammates were released way back in 2006.  Of course, this costume doesn’t technically match the rest of them, and we still don’t have Cassie Lang, but let’s not kick the gift horse in the mouth here.  Kate here is sporting her more recent, jumpsuit look from the pages of the last two Hawkeye series.  It’s not a bad look (and it makes me feel a little bad that I never got one of the Now! Hawkeye figures), and it’s the one she’s been wearing for the last several years.  The figure is about 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  She’s built on the Phoenix body, which is definitely a good one.  It works pretty well for Kate, especially since this is the slightly more grown-up version of Kate from the last few years.  She gets a new head and lower legs, which blend well with the rest of the body.  The head does a very good job of capturing Kate, and possesses a lot more personality than is usually seen on female figures.  Kate also got a new left hand for gripping her bow, which is cool.  She has to make due with the basic open gesture right hand to be her drawing hand, which isn’t perfect, but isn’t as bad as you might think.  She also gets an add-on piece for her belt and quiver, which sits very nicely, and does a great job of completing her look.  Kate ends up with the best paintwork of the three figures in this set (which is nice, since it’s her debut figure and all).  It’s still not 100% perfect, but it’s pretty close.  Kate is packed with her bow, which is the same one included with the last few Hawkeyes, but with proper paint this time around.  Some arrows might have been nice, but the lack of them isn’t new to this figure, so it’s not hugely surprising.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked these guys up from my local TRU last month.  I was actually searching (unsuccessfully) for the Juggernaut series at the time, so these guys were a little bit of a surprise.  This is a set I’ve been eagerly awaiting, ever since it’s announcement.  Kate is the main draw, of course, since she’s never had a figure before, and I’m a pretty big Young Avengers fan.  She’s the strongest figure in the set, too, making her the   real star here.  That being said, FalCap was somewhat overdue, the new Vision is much appreciated, and both figures are both really solid additions to the line.  Unlike prior sets, all three figures included here are real winners, and I don’t think any of the three feels like a forced heavy hitter.

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#1030: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

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In 2006, Toy Biz was in their last year of making Marvel toys. In that year, they were committed to offering Marvel figures in just about every style imaginable. Marvel Legends was their flagship line, so they used its name on a few different things, including the double-sized Marvel Legends Icons. When Hasbro picked up the Marvel license, they continued Icons for a few more series, but the line ultimately fizzled. With Marvel Legends back on the upswing, Hasbro has decided to give the scale/style another try. Of course, like the recently renamed 3 ¾ inch line, this new line has *also* just been named Marvel Legends Series, which makes differentiating between all the lines a bit difficult. It’s Star Wars: The Black Series all over again! Oh well, might as well just look at this here Captain America.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cap12inchML2Captain America is one of the first three figures in the 12-inch Marvel Legends Series. He uses a variation of Cap’s “Marvel Now” look, which is a pretty solid meshing of the comic and movie styles. The figure actually comes in at 11 ¾ inches, so he’s just under 1/6 scale. He has 32 points of articulation, which includes moving shoulder pads, but doesn’t include any actual waist movement. He does still have some movement further up on the torso, but it doesn’t offer quite the same movement. When Toy Biz did the Icons figures, most of them had sculpts that were more or less up-scaled versions of some of their 6-inch Legends. At first glance, I thought Hasbro may have just up-scaled the 6-inch Marvel Now! Cap, but this figure appears to have an entirely new sculpt. The overall quality of the sculpt is quite good. The uniform exhibits a number of fun textures, which make it look like it’s been assembled from a number of different materials. I particularly like the knit appearance of the white areas of the costume. I also quite like that you can actually see the zippers and stuff that show how the costume would be put on in real life. It’s nice that Hasbro is taking advantage of the larger scale to add in details that you might not expect to see. One of my main issues with the smaller-scale Now! Cap (and most of Hasbro’s comic Caps) was the head, which I felt didn’t have the classically heroic look I’d expect from a Captain America. This figure does a bit better, mostly due to the larger scale, but I can’t help but feel that his eyes are just the slightest bit too wideset. It’s not enough to ruin the figure, but it’s enough to bug me a bit. The helmet is a separate (non-removable) piece from the actual head, which is a nice touch, which helps sell that it’s a helmet. Cap’s paintwork is pretty decent. Perhaps not as impressive as it could be, given the scale, but it’s still pretty nice considering Hasbro’s track record with such things. There are even a few bits, such as the kneepads, where they even go above and beyond what we’ve come to expect, and give us some actual detail texture work. Cap includes an extra, unmasked head, as well as a spare empty helmet for him to hold, two sets of hands in fist and gripping positions, and, of course, his mighty shield. The shield is tied into the figure’s “action feature.” When you press the star on Cap’s chest, the star on his back pushes out, and can be flipped over and plugged into the center of the shield. The shield’s straps can then be removed and it can be mounted on Cap’s back. It seems like a rather complicated way of handling something that’s usually done with a simple peg system, but I guess that might not have worked as well at this scale.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this guy was announced at Toy Fair, I was actually pretty excited. I mean, yeah, it’s another Captain America, but it’s a pretty cool one. My parents bought me this figure on my birthday this year, at my request. I can’t say that I would spend $50 on every figure this line decides to offer, but I feel like Cap was worth it, and I’m happy to have him. Here’s hoping Hasbro can make this line a success!

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