Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Marvel Comics Captain America from Mezco Toys


By Phantom Troublemaker

I suppose I am fully addicted to these One:12 Collective figures now. It’s one of those scenarios where once you’ve had a taste of the best it’s hard to go back to the rest.

That’s not to say I’m going to buy every release or even every character, but when Mezco releases any figure that is a character I like even a little, I’m going to have a tough time resisting the purchase. Of course, today’s figure wasn’t a case of liking a character just a little – Steve Rogers is one of my favorite Marvel superheroes.

He’s not as invincible as Superman and not as broody as Batman. He’s the Sentinel of Liberty and he always does What’s Right. Spider-Man – my favorite Marvel guy, I think – looks up to Captain America. All of the Marvel heroes look up to Captain America, even when they disagree with him. He’s not respected because he was around first or because he was in the military or led the Avengers. He’s respected because everyone knows that at his core he is always working in service of freedom and liberty.

I can’t say all of that without addressing what’s going on in the comics right now.

I don’t like it. I’m not actually reading it because my luck with comic books about Cap has not been great and this does not seem like the time to try again. I seem to pick the worst runs to try out. But what I’ve read online does not sound appealing at all. It could be the best story in the history of comics and maybe it is and maybe you even think it is, but I have read enough about it to know that I don’t want to spend my money on it.

However, I am also not mad about it. It’s just comics, people. Lousy stories have happened before and they will happen again. And there are plenty of good and great Captain America stories (or so I’m told) to be read. It’s always a bummer when something you love is going through a rough patch (please don’t ask me about Doctor Who), but when a character is truly iconic and enduring things will always eventually turn around. There will be good Steve Rogers comics again someday.

For now, we have Steve Rogers toys. And some of them are pretty amazing.

FIRST GLANCE

I still get the “Oh, that’s right – this is a small figure” feeling when I open these.

Cap is every bit as awe-inspiring as the other One:12 figures in my slowly growing collection. Perhaps more so, as the scaling on his shirt and the detail on his boots and gloves is striking right out of the box. This is an impressive action figure and almost certainly the best looking Captain America I own.

PACKAGING

This is the same gorgeous style of box as the other One:12 Collective releases, and I’m good with that. It’s beautiful.

There is one odd difference, though. Rather than a plastic slipcover, Captain America’s is paper with various elements printed on it. Like Dredd and the DC releases there are graphics printed on this piece, though they are repeated on the interior box. It’s not quite as snazzy, though it is still a great-looking package.

The back of the box features several full color images of the figure in action, along with some detail shots.


The front panel opens to reveal the figure and accessories and a massive American flag motif on the inside, which I would have used as a background if the box weren’t too awkward to fit in my photo area that way. There are two magnets in the front panel to keep it closed.


The box opens easily. Inside there are two plastic trays, each with their own cover. These separate easily and are not taped together, which I liked. The bottom tray holds the arm and armature for the display stand, as well as a harness for Cap’s shield. Everything else in is in the top tray. The figure itself had a couple of plastic pieces around it to protect against scratching. Rather than tape, the accessories have a piece of film over them that clings to the plastic.


This is a fantastic box. It’s a perfect combination of everything that collector packaging should be – it has a beautiful design, it’s easy to open and remove the figure, and it’s also completely resealable with no sign of damage; not even tape marks. Mezco put together a box that is utilitarian and attractive and it might well be the best I’ve ever owned. I didn’t have even a second of difficulty removing any piece of the toy from the box, and that’s significant.

LOOKS

Mezco went with a helmeted head rather than a simple mask. This makes sense because the style of the One:12 figures tends to be an amalgam of the coolest and most practical looks each character has had (unless it’s a straight-up movie version like Dawn of Justice Batman). I hate to use the word “realistic”, but Mezco incorporates things like pieces of armor and zippers and pouches in the designs so that the characters seem a little more prepared to deal with the real world. Mock pouches all you want, but without them where does Captain America keep his wallet? #propouch

I love the layering of this design. There’s Cap’s face, then a grey balaclava, then the helmet. The depth and detail of each makes it clear what the look is meant to be. The expression is appropriately stern and the face looks like Steve Rogers, even under the mask. The lips and eyes have perfect paint jobs, with a nice gloss on the eyes.


Captain America’s shirt is incredible. Rather than using scale mail, Mezco has created a pattern of diamond shapes that closely resembles what we’re used to seeing in a classic Cap design. These are made using whatever fabric fusion technique Mezco has perfected with these releases. The material stretches and moves well, but the diamond shapes – made out of a soft plastic or rubber material – show no signs of popping or rubbing off. It’s fascinating just to look at these materials.

The star is hard plastic that is fused to the shirt in the same way. The white fabric portions of the shirt – the sleeves and alternating abdominal panels - are gleaming and brilliant. The red is bright and eye-catching. All of the seams on this piece are tiny and strong and look correct for the scale. All too often soft goods at this or even larger scales end up looking like they were stitched by giants. Not so here.


Cap’s gloves are a more detailed take on his traditional gauntlets. The base is his trademark red, but there are mesh and armor details on the hands that look great. There are also straps around the forearms that hold… MORE POUCHES! All of this is sculpted amazingly well and with plenty of fine detail. The stitiching on the pouches is tremendous.


Cap’s belt has a unique clasp design on the front, flanked by a blue “belt loop” on either side. At least, I assume that’s what they were going for as opposed to actually sewing loops onto the trousers and making the belt stationary. I think this was a solid alternative. The belt itself and the attached pouches have great stitiching and paint.


There is a peg on the back of the belt where you can store either a pouch or a canteen accessory. More on that later. Both items plug in snugly and are secure.


Cap’s trousers are flat-out boring. I almost feel like the Classic Captain America variant might have been a better choice because he had tights. This version just has some plain, baggy blue pants that remind me a little of sweatpants. I’m not saying they’re bad – though I suppose it reads that way – it’s just that I don’t want the Sentinel of Liberty sharing wardrobe choices with Hardcore Legend Mick Foley. Some cargo pockets on the side would have made all the difference in the world. And would have annoyed my good friend and semi-nemesis Rad Ranger. He definitely prefers tights over cargo pants.


The boots are awesome. They’re sort of a ramped-up modern military style with straps on to hold another pouch and a sheath. There’s even more tremendous detailing here than on the gloves, as the laces and eyelets look incredible. You guys know I love good toy footwear and this Cap nails that category nicely.

ACCESSORIES

Captain America comes with a stand, a posing armature, an extra head, nine extra hands, two grenades, a canteen, a knife, a shield, a harness, and a storage bag.


The hands swap out easily with the default hands, but stay put well. There’s a set of shield throwing hands (right and left), a set of relaxed hands, a set of open fists, a pointing right hand, a saluting right hand, and a thumbs-up left hand. They all look excellent and I particularly like the latter three. Mezco could have easily left out the salute hand and just considered the shield-throwers good enough.


The harness essentially looks just like what MCU Cap wears. It slides onto the figure easily and looks good in place. There is a magnet embedded in the clasp on the back.



Cap’s shield has a magnet in the center that attaches securely to the harness and somewhat less securely to his forearm pouches. 


There is also a handle on one side for the open fists to grip. The colors are bright and bold with a metallic finish that looks so good the shield could pass for die-cast at first glance.


I find the canteen to be sort of an odd choice. It’s not that it doesn’t make sense, but being able to switch between a canteen and a pouch on Cap’s belt isn’t the most exciting toy engineering development. But the canteen looks great and fits right in to the deco. The grenades have nice little paint jobs and can slide onto the back of Cap’s belt. They can fit into the hands, too, but not super well.



Cap’s knife is a thick, serious-looking survival knife. The blade is a nice metallic hue and the hilt has a worn look to it. He might have had this since the 40s.


The alternate head is simply Steve Rogers without a mask. I think I would have preferred another masked head with a fightin’ expression. This one looks good and matches the profile of the masked head, but nothing about either head says “ACTION”. I wish there was one that did. This one is so boring that I initially forgot to even take a picture of it.


The base is super shiny and will scratch easily, so be careful. There’s a removable peg so that you can simply stand the figure on it, but there is also two an armature if you want more extravagant poses. It holds the figure in various jumping or kicking positions; aerial stuff.

The bag is plastic and has a zipper seal on it. There is a spot to presumably write the figure’s name. I won’t be doing that. I do store the extra parts in there in a drawer, though. If I put everything back in the box I’d never pull the parts out and use them.

FUN

Like the other One:12 figures, Captain America is a fun action figure. The poseability goes above and beyond anything you’ve seen from a twelfth scale action figure. The head and neck are jointed, the knees and elbows have double joints with DEEP pivots, there’s a waist and abdominal joint, the shoulders have an incredible range.


This is still an amazing figure to play with and pose. I would say the biggest limitation comes from his feet, which have an even more limited pivot than the DoJ Batman. They do swivel, but they just aren’t as functional as I was expecting. It’s not any kind of big deal at all, but it is noticeable compared to the DKR Batman figure.


Obviously the huge number of accessories add a lot to the play value. Being able to change up the look of the figure is great and the multitude of weaponry make for near-endless posing options. All of my One:12 figures are still near my desk. Partly because I don’t have an area to display them yet and partly because I like futzing around with them.


I also want to emphasize that these figures are much sturdier than you probably think they are. I’m not saying that you should buy one for your kids, but I would be much more comfortable handing a One:12 figure to my nine year old son than I would any DC Collectibles release.

OVERALL

I can’t give Cap the perfect score that I want to because I am disappointed with his bland head and trousers. I really do wish they’d spiced the pants up a bit and given us a head with some kind of emotion on it. I know I said that the stoic look made sense and for the past ten years I’ve been saying that I prefer neutral expressions, but if I’m getting an extra profile I’d like for it to be a little more exciting.


Otherwise this is another flawlessly executed figure from Mezco.

4 out of 5

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