Friday, April 4, 2014

Toy Review – Marvel Legends Infinite Captain America: The Winter Soldier Movie Captain America from Hasbro

As far as comics go I’m not an Avengers guy, but I’ve always loved Captain America. I love this country and was raised with a pretty strong sense of patriotism, so Cap was always the one non-mutant and non-bitten-by-a-radioactive-spider superhero that I had a soft spot for.
The first Captain America movie was, in my opinion, perfect and is still my favorite of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Chris Evans’ portrayal of Steve Rogers is immaculate. Of course, a lot of that credit goes to the writers as well. Evans’ purity, earnestness, and determination made Cap every bit the awe-inspiring superhero that Rob Downey made Tony Stark.
I’m not going to pretend to know the whole story behind this particular costume as it appeared in the comics. I think it was the one Rogers wore when he came back from the dead while Bucky was still wearing the regular Cap uniform. I believe he was heading a branch of SHIELD operations or something. Believe me – those Cap comics are on my “to read” list. We got a free tablet the other day when we renewed our contracts and got new phones, so as soon as it arrives later this month I will be getting the Marvel app. And the WWE Network, but that’s neither here nor there.

I do have the comic book version of this particular Captain America. I hadn’t intended to buy it, but once I saw it in person I thought it was really cool.

Side Note: I just saw a post on Facebook that referred to this as the “Stealth S.T.R.I.K.E. Suit”. Okay. So That Rogers Infiltrates (and) Kills Enemies? I dunno.

I did intend to buy this movie version because it features an unmasked head (a big draw for movie figures for me), what looks like a tremendously detailed sculpt, a karate hand, and a nose-picking hand.

Also – I will be taking the family to see the movie later today. We are all VERY excited.
Also also – I just saw the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Platinum (?) figures listed on BigBadToyStore. They are charging $134.99 for the set of 6. That works out to $22.50 per figure, which is a fucking lot. But maybe not. If I could have just paid an extra $2.50 per figure to not have to deal with the hassle of looking for Winter Soldier, Black Widow (who I still haven’t found), Black Cat, or Carnage I probably would have done it. The real problem is that Hasbro’s QC seems to be failing on this line and I am no longer entirely comfortable buying the figures sight unseen. I’ll get into that more in this and the upcoming Winter Soldier review.

I’m hoping to have the movie review up on Tuesday.

FINALLY – I, along with WrestlingWithPopCulture.com, will be hosting a WrestleMania viewing party at the Famous Pub on Sunday night. We’ll have trivia and a wrestler impersonation contest as well as valuable prizes! Come on out and see what we get up to. The action starts at 5 PM. Here’s the event page:


FIRST GLANCE
This Captain America does seem a like a step up from the other ones I have – the first movie Cap and the one that came out for Avengers. This one is leaner and has better proportions. The uniform is packed with detail; though the others weren’t bad in that department.
Mainly, though, I’m thrilled that Hasbro saw fit to pack in so many accessories.
Side Note: I lied. When I wrote this I was positive I had picked up one of those Avengers Caps despite thinking it looked too cartoony. Then I went home and checked - no toon Cap. Despite warming pegs for a while I guess it never went on clearance. Now I kind of wish I had one.
PACKAGING

It’s the ultra-fancy new Marvel Legends window box that makes you feel like you’re buying a little box of Swedish wine-filled chocolates. Or something.

What fucking teenage girl wrote this drivel? I mean, it’s technically true, but I think there are a lot less lame ways it could have been said. And an explanation of the new uniform might have been nice. Hasbro needs to just bite the bullet and have somebody from Marvel write copy for these.
LOOKS
The figure is 100% new parts.
The helmeted head is just a sleeker update of the previous helmets. The visible portion of the face seems like a pretty good likeness of Chris Evans. The exposed ears seem a little odd to me. The different textures and seams on the helmet make it interesting to look at and is a look that carries through the rest of the figure’s uniform.
The paint on the head is a little iffy in spots, but here’s the thing – I’m not sure if the paint on these figures is actually getting worse or if I’m just getting more critical and observant. I need to pull a sampling of figures from the past few years off of my shelves and see how they measure up. But judging from other factors I don’t think it’s just me.
The sculpt on the rest of the figure is absolutely fantastic and I love how much more realistic the proportions and joints are. Similar to Mattel’s Movie Masters, this Captain America’s physique is much more human than past releases. And the joints’ interruption of the profile is almost non-existent. It seems that Hasbro’s pre-production process is doing nothing but improving.
The torso has that look of modern armor with lots of panels and seams. The abdominal pivot is almost invisible in the middle of all that. The armored portions have a fabric texture to them while the logos and under armor(?) are smooth. Cap’s harness is a sculpted part of the upper torso, which presents a problem that no other Captain America figure has had – he can’t carry his shield on his back. There’s no peg and hole and the straps on the shield don’t stretch. It’s an utterly bizarre thing to have overlooked. Especially since there are scenes in the trailer where Cap has his shield on his back. Also, SPOILER ALERT – I haven’t reviewed the Winter Soldier figure yet, but he has a harness similar to Cap’s that is a separate piece and that unsnaps in the back. If this figure’s had been designed that way you could just slide the shield onto that.
Here’s another spoiler – Bucky’s arm broke right the fuck off, a problem I have never experienced with any Hasbro figure. I take this as a very bad sign. More on that on Wednesday.
The paint on the torso is not great. There are scrapes in the silver, black, and brown. Also, there are two spots on the lower abdomen that should be black:
Actually, they should be a darker blue, as should the black portions.
The arms look great. The lines are good and the texture and color matches the rest of the figure. The double-jointed elbows are about as subtle as you could expect. The hands look great. I’m very impressed with the detail of the open portions of the gloves. The silver stripes on the shoulders are just okay, but I do think the logos painted on – “Rogers” and the SHIELD emblem – look surprisingly great.
Cap’s trousers look great sculpt-wise. Once again the textures carry across from the rest of the figure. Knee pads always make knee joints more palatable and the detail of the armor, seams, and pockets is great. The paint on the trousers is pretty awful. The red stripes seemed to have presented a big challenge to Hasbro’s deco people. I don’t even know what that big, white spot is on top of Cap’s right thigh:
But it’s awful. And what is red isn’t thick enough. You can still see blue through it. There's another error on the front of the trousers:
Those should probably match.
The boots look good. The sculpt is great and they don’t look silly like the comic book version of this uniform. The straps are a slightly lighter brown than the boots, which is a nice touch. They are also painted well, which is even better.
ACCESSORIES
This Captain America comes with a new shield, two extra hands, an unmasked head, and Mandroid’s right leg.
This isn’t an amazing Chris Evans likeness, but it is very good. It’s also the best paint job of any part of the figure. The hair has two shades and the eyes are perfect. The heads pop on and off easily and stay put.
The extra hands are just as detailed as the fists. They pop in and out of the wrists easily, but the pegs do feel a little fragile. The paint is solid and the sculpts are very good. I don’t know if the flat hand is for chopping or salting, but I like it. The pointy finger hand is apparently crucial to the plot because I have seen several pics with Cap pointing and the Hot Toys figure also includes one. Of course, the Hot Toys figure probably comes with eighty-four different hands, including one designed to hold proctologic instruments. Because Boonga-Boonga.
On its own this shield is my favorite of the Captain America figure shields. It’s a bit thicker and sturdier feeling and the back is much more finished than the rest:
The paint is very tightly done and the whole thing has an exotic metallic look. My only issue is that there’s no way to store it on the figure’s back. Like I said above – that’s a major failing for a Captain America action figure. The strap placement is also a little odd. They’re far enough apart that the shield can’t fit on Cap’s forearm – the back strap goes up above the elbow. And the front strap is too small to fit a fist through. You have to take the hand off, slip the shield on, then put the hand back on. I like the shield, but pretty much everything about its functionality seems poorly thought-out.
I’ll review Mandroid if I ever manage to buy a Black Widow. Otherwise I might just glue all of the parts to a cantaloupe or something.
FUN
I’m not happy about the paint or the interactivity of the shield, but man – this is a fun figure.
The articulation is fantastic and it is all very functional. Except for the hips. Because of the shape of the legs and the openings on the lower abdomen the hips do not have a great range of motion. There were several poses I wanted to get that the figure just couldn’t do. Otherwise the joints are all great. The elbows and shoulders work well enough to produce a very good salute. The abdomen has a nice, deep pivot. The ankles have the best pivot of any I’ve seen on a Hasbro figure at this scale.
I had lots of fun playing with this one while taking pictures and stuff. The articulation is great and the extra parts added a lot as well. This Captain America may not have the finest detail, but it’s one of my favorites as far as just messing around with a figure goes.
OVERALL
I want to point something out about my reviews – when I am reviewing a figure that is based on a character from a movie or TV show I am judging it based on how well the design works and whether or not it captures the spirit and overall look of the character. I am not sitting here with a reference picture, though sometimes I will go and look at one later if something seems off to me (like with the missing paint on Cap’s lower abdomen).
As long as the figure feels right, I’m not so worried about every little detail.
But this Captain America has some ugly post-design issues. The paint looks cheap and sloppy in places and that just isn’t okay. I don’t care that they used black instead of dark blue, but I do care that they didn’t put the black on thick enough or in all the right places.
Having said that, this is a very fun figure that does look good standing on the shelf. It has flaws up close, but overall it is solid. Maybe not $20 solid, but solid enough.
4 out of 5
I bought this one on Amazon. I have yet to see any of the figures from this wave – Winter Soldier, Black Widow, or this Cap – at retail. Keeping an eye on Amazon is probably your best bet, but I would expect them to show up at retail soon. Even if they do, though, I expect that Black Widow is going to be extremely difficult to find. She should’ve been in the Iron Man 2 Legends, she should’ve been in the Walmart Exclusive Avengers Legends. Now we finally have one coming out and even people that aren’t collecting these Winter Solider figures are going to want her. That’s why she’s currently $60 on Amazon. Yikes.


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