Captain America: 6-inch Movie Captain America by Hasbro

Ok, so last time we looked at the 6-inch Movie Thor. He was a nice enough figure, but ultimately a little disappointing because of his limited articulation. Let’s see if we make out better with Captain America…

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Just like 6-inch Thor, this Cap figure’s packaging looks just like the carded 3 3/4-inch The First Avenger figures. There’s Hank Pym at work with his Pym Particles, again! I loved the movie packaging for the smaller Cap movie figures and it looks great here as well. Cap is packaged with his shield and pistol in hand and his machine gun off to the side. He really fills out the bubble nicely. Speaking of bubbles, there’s no “Walmart Exclusive” sticker on this bubble, but I’m pretty sure this was one too.
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Overall, I was pretty happy with Thor’s sculpt, but Captain America blows him away with the sheer amount of detail on his outfit. Every little crinkle, rumple and quilted texture is sculpted in wonderful detail here. I think the figure would have been better served with a less glossy look, but Cap’s outfit still looks amazing here. The sculpt also includes a working hoslter, which is always a nice touch in my book. I can’t say the head sculpt is terribly spot on, it seems rather soft, but its definitely serviceable.
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Unlike Movie Thor who could basically just stand there and look majestic, this 6-inch Cap has a buttload of articulation. You get a ball jointed neck, ball joints in the shoulders and hips, double hinges in the elbows and knees, hinges in the ankles, swivels in the biceps, wrists, and thighs, and that funky ball joint in the upper torso. I’m still not terribly pleased with the type of hip joints used here, but I’ll admit they work much better than Thor’s. Thankfully, Cap has no cape to interfere with his articulation, so this is one really poseable figure. He’s loads of fun to pick up and pose and that’s a big part of what I’m looking for in my action figures. I could barely come up with a few different snaps of Thor, but with Cap here, I couldn’t stop myself. I just kept shooting!
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Captain America comes with three accessories. His weapons include a Thompson Sub Machinegun and a .45 Automatic. The Thompson is a really nice sculpt and he looks great holding it. Plus, thanks to his excellent articulation, Cap can actually hold it in both hands for some great looking poses. The pistol is the weakest of the accessories. I don’t care for the sculpt too much as the trigger guard is overly circular and it’s bright silver. Still, it’s never a bad thing to have a spare gun and it can fit into his holster.
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And last but not least, you get Cap’s trusty shield. It’s cast in a rather soft plastic, but that doesn’t really hurt it much. Unlike the smaller Cap figures, this shield actually has the straps for his arm rather than just a peg and clip. Its a more authentic setup and the detailing on the reverse side looks mighty nice,  but sadly there’s no way to attach it to his back.
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So one gripe I have isn’t so much one with Cap himself, but when you put the two figures together (Cap and Thor) you find there’s quite a big difference in sizes. I realize that Thor is a big guy, and he should be bigger than Cap, but I don’t think he should be this much bigger. At the same time, when you take Cap and put him next to a DC Universe Classics figure he comes up pretty short too. That’s why I’m pointing to Cap’s size over Thors.
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I picked up Cap online for about $16 shipped, which is just about right for this class of figure. I don’t know how Cap is going to stack up to the upcoming Marvel Legends figures, but on his own, I think he’s an amazing figure. Great sculpt, great articulation, nice assortment of accessories, what more can you ask for, folks? If the 3 3/4-inch figures aren’t your thing, or you’re just looking for something bigger, this is a great figure for your collection.
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Thor: 6-inch Movie Thor by Hasbro

I have mixed feelings about the Marvel Legends line coming back this year, but one of the good things about it will be once again having Marvel figures in scale (more or less) with my DC Universe Classics figures. And therein lies the appeal of some of the movie-style 6-inch figures that Hasbro has been putting out as Walmart Exclusives, as well as the Toys R Us Exclusive 6-inch Iron Man figures. I actually had no idea the Thor and Captain America 6-inchers even existed until recently, but that’s to be expected since the Walmart here doesn’t sell their own exclusives! Seriously, Hasbro, is it asking too much that you award your Exclusives to retailers that will actually have your product on their planograms?

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The packaging looks like Hank Pym took the regular 3 3/4-inch Thor movie line package and blew it up using his Pym Particles. The card art is pretty cool with Thor gazing out in the upper right hand corner and the “Avengers Assemble!” emblem across from it. The bubble takes up a big part of the cardback, and rightly so since Thor is a pretty big figure and between his cape and hammer, he fills it out pretty nicely. The bubble features the “Only at Walmart” sticker, which probably should say “Only at Some Other Walmart, but not here!” to be more accurate.
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Out of the package, Thor is one good sized hunk of figure. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the sculpt, particularly where his costume is concerned. I like the look of his movie armor and this figure captures it really well, right down to the little details in his chainmail arm armor and even some little slashes in his legs. The cape even has that cool hovering effect as it comes off his shoulders. The 3 3/4-inch movie Thor that I own has a serious issue with the cape falling off when you so much as look at the figure. Hasbro went to the extreme other direction here by making the cape a permanent fixture on the figure, which causes other problems down the road. The head sculpt isn’t bad, but it’s not quite the leap from 3 3/4 to 6-inch that it should have been. I do, however, like the fact that he’s wearing his helmet, as it gives him more of an iconic look.
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The articulation is pretty close to what we got on the smaller figures. You have a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders and hips, double hinges in the knees and elbows, hinged ankles, and swivels in the biceps, wrists, and thighs. Thor also has a ball joint in his torso. It all sounds good, but there’s a couple of problems here. First off, his hip joints are terrible because you really can’t position them in a way that gives you a lot of upper leg movement. Seriously, Hasbro, you need to stop it with this hip design, it sucks. Secondly, that permanent cape really hinders any leg articulation you do have. What you’re left with is a figure that has plenty of articulation on paper, but practically speaking, this guy is more like a statue with great arm articulation. I could barely get him into enough poses to warrant taking more than a couple pictures.

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Thor comes with his trusty hammer, Mjolnir, which is a nice piece, but is actually missing some of the sculpted runes on the smaller figure’s version. He also has a bit of difficulty holding it just right. You’ll notice that Thor’s left hand is in a circle grip, but that’s actually because this arm is shared between this Thor and Lord of Asgard Thor, which comes with a battle axe for his off-hand. His right hand grip is sculpted a lot looser and while he can cetainly hold Mjolnir, it usually wants to slide down or out of his hand.
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I think 6-inch Thor is a decent looking figure, but he certainly comes up disappointing in other areas. He does, however, fit in pretty well with the DCUC figures, which is pretty cool if I ever want to have him team up with Wonder Woman against Ares. I picked him up online for $16 shipped. He’s certainly worth that, but I’m hoping to have better luck with Hasbro’s 6-inch movie Captain America, which, coinicidentally, we’ll be checking out tomorrow!

Young Justice: 4-inch Series, Wave 3: Sportsmaster by Mattel

I think I’ve got all the frothing bile and anger toward Mattel out of my system, so let’s see if we can give the next figure in the 4-inch Young Justice line a fair shake. He is, afterall, the last only truly new figure in this wave, and the only one that I was excited about picking up.

We just saw the packaging for the 4-inch line a couple of days ago and I don’t have a lot more to add to that. I’m still really digging on it as it feels like the spiritual successor of the JLU line and something about those figures and packaging really scratch my nostalgic itch. Once again, I’ll also point out how much I love the way Mattel uses the printed card behind the figure to hide the C&C piece so that it looks like part of the cardback. It’s just neat.
Out of the package and in hand, Sportsmaster is instantly my favorite figure of all the 4-inch single carded figures in this wave and possibly the whole line. He’s a great recreation of his animated counterpart with what seems to be all new tooling. He’s really well proportioned, the plastic feels a lot more solid and less bendy in the limbs, and there’s a ton of little details on the sculpt and paintwork for this animated-style line. He’s still got that annoying upturned wrist on his left hand, but the fact that it shows off the nice detail of the straps on his armor, it doesn’t look so bad on him.
Sportsmaster came with the rightmost wall of the Hall of Justice C&C set. That means that I can finally connect that rightmost floor piece to something, but I still can’t connect that piece to the rest of it until I buy the two remaining repaints. Truth is, I would have had them already if it weren’t for the fact that noone online seems to have them instock yet.

Of course, you still only get the basic five points of articulation, so there isn’t a lot you can do with him in terms of posing or even play. The lack of articulation is a little more annoying here because there’s not much you can do with his staff.  Plus, this is such a great looking figure, I really want to put him in some cool action poses, and that’s just not going to happen.
So, in a wave of repaints Sportsmaster didn’t have to be anything special to stand out, and yet he turned out to be among the best executed figures in this line. Mattel went above and beyond with his detail and paintwork to the point where he almost looks out of place among some of the others. Its possible they saved so much money on the rest of the figures being repaints that they were able to cost out more attention to him, but whatever the reason, I’m glad to have him in my collection.

[And that’s going to wrap up all I have of the Young Justice line right now. I’m still trying to hunt down those last two pieces of the Hall of Justice, I mean, last two figures from Wave 3, but no such luck yet. I’m going to take a couple of days to dig into some other stuff and then we’ll get back to the world of Mattel and DC by finishing up revisiting the remaining figures from Green Lantern Classics Wave 2. -FF] 

Young Justice: 4-inch Series: Batman and Robin 2-pack by Mattel

Ok, I’ve had some time to drink calm down since yesterday’s post about Mattel’s scheme to get an extra thirty bucks out of me in order to finish my C&C Hall of Justice. The single nugget of consolation I gleaned from the couple of emails I got asked why I expected any different from Mattel. Fair enough. Anyway, for the uninitiated, Mattel decided to stagger their 4-inch Young Justice releases between single carded versions and 2-packs. The 2-packs come with exclusive versions of the adult superheroes in the show, but they also include some repacks of the single-carded kids. On the other hand some of the adult superheroes came in the single carded series, but have not been in the 2-packs. The only rhyme or reason to any of this is that to own everything, you’re going to have to get doubles of some figuers and boring repaints of others.

There’s the packaging. The figures come in a window box with the standard “DC Universe” logo on the top and the “Young Justice” logo on the bottom. The angled sides feature character art of the kids. There’s a fair amount of room in that package, which is filled up by the two translucent blue stands in the middle. What you see is what you get here, so at least there are no surprises. Overall, it looks nice, but I can’t help but think Mattel should have just released these on a big card like Hasbro does with their comic packs.
Let’s get Robin out of the way first, since we looked at the “stealth” version of this figure yesterday. Yep, it’s the exact same figure with the only difference being the color of his tunic, which is the proper red here. Once again, he’s a good sculpt that really matches his animated counterpart rather nicely, but the limbs are still rather rubbery and he still just has the same crappy nostalgic 5-points of articulation. I’m still counting myself in with the nostalgic grouping, but I’ll admit my appreciation of the charm of this line is gradually being eroded away.
Batman is a very cool figure. When I first started collecting this line, I was hoping that the kids would be in scale with the Inifinte Heroes figures so I would already have compatible adult heroes, but Mattel was smarter than that, and made sure it was necessary to buy the new figures to go with the kids. That having been said, this figure is a damn fine 3 3/4″ Batman. There isn’t a whole lot of unique sculpting at work here. You get the head and cape, some fringe on his gauntlets, and his utility belt, and that’s pretty much it. But Batman gets by fine with paint apps to distinguish his costume. My only real complaint here is that he has that same awkward upturned fist on his left hand that a lot of the other figures have. I’m not sure what they were going for when they sculpted it, but its an unusual enough positioning of the arm that it really stands out on all the figures.
You also get the two figure stands in the pack. They’re molded in translucent blue plastic and designed to look like some kind of holograms from Robin’s computer. They’re a nice bonus, but since they don’t come with all the Young Justice 4-inch figures, I doubt I’ll ever use them, opting for my generic clear disc stands instead.
Right now, this Batman and Robin 2-pack is the only way to get a regular 4-inch version of Robin, although rumor has it there may be a regular version of Robin in a single-carded Walmart Exclusive release (minus any C&C pieces). This makes me extra happy since all the Walmarts here stopped carrying Mattel’s DC figures a long time ago. Awesome. All anger aside, though, this is a fairly decent set. The figures are fine, albeit pretty retro in their articulation. The price is also a sticking point. I could stomach the other figures at $9.99 each because the C&C Hall of Justice pieces were pretty big, but here you’re paying $9.99 for each figure and all you get are a couple of little stands. What’s worse, this set is inexplicably starting to go for a bit of a premium online, so if you want one, you better head to your local toy aisle and get it while the getting is good. On the upside, now I’m only one figure away (Miss Martian) from completing my 4-inch Young Justice team.

Young Justice: 4-inch Series, Wave 3: Robin (Stealth Tech) by Mattel

[I started writing this piece and it quickly degenerated into a drunken emotional rant against Mattel and then it kind of got away from me. If you’re only interested in hearing about the figure then go ahead and skip down a couple of paragraphs. If you’re interested in hearing me vent, then by all means read on. -FF]

Mattel hates us. Sure, if you’ve experienced the Matty-Digital River partnership first hand over the years, you’ve already suspected this to be true, but now we have definitive proof that Mattel does indeed hate us. You see, Mattel came up with this great idea to make a Collect & Connect Hall of Justice set and spread the pieces out over three waves of 4-inch Young Justice figures. Sure, at ten bucks a pop the figures were on the pricey side for what they were, but it was easy to swallow that pill knowing that with each one you buy, you were closer to a pretty cool Hall of Justice backdrop. The first two waves gave us a mix of the kids and adults, including Speedy, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Superboy, Captain Atom, and Black Canary as well as some baddies like Icicle Jr and Vandal Savage. All good so far?

So, it seemed only natural that the last wave would finish the team with Robin and Miss Martian, maybe some more adults like Red Tornado and Green Arrow, and some extra baddies like Sportsmaster, Cheshire, and Black Manta, right? Well, we got Sportsmaster… and THREE FUCKING REPAINTS. Yes, the last three figures you need to finish the Hall of Justice set consists of “Stealth” versions of Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash. Thanks for fucking us over, Mattel! If you want regular Robin or Miss Martian, you can go buy the two-packs, because Mattel would rather saddle you with $30 worth of repaints than give us single carded versions with C&C pieces. What pisses me off even more is that they don’t even bother to call Robin, “Stealth Tech” Robin like they did with Aqualad and Kid Flash, so if you’re ordering this figure online without scrutinizing the picture, you might be fooled into thinking he’s the regular red tunic version.

If this is your first experience with these 4-inch Young Justice figures, by all means go back and read my various looks at the last eight figures. They’re basically like a hybrid of the JLU and Infinite Heroes lines. They have the antiquated basic five points of articulation like the JLU line, but they’re more realistically proportioned like the Infinite Heroes, although make no mistake these figures are still highly stylized to match the animated counterparts. If you’re nostalgic for either of those two lines, these will probably give you a warm fuzzy feeling. Otherwise, you may want to stay away.

[Ok, enough with the long-winded preamble. Let’s get to the figure… -FF]

Its been a little bit since we looked at the second wave, but the packaging for these figures hasn’t changed. I still really love the presentation here. It’s a nice big bubble and a colorful card, not entirely unlike the DC Universe Classics packaging. There’s a printed card insert behind the bubble that matches up with the cardback to conceal the Hall of Justice C&C piece that’s tucked behind the figure. Mattel has always done a wonderful job packaging their DC figures and these guys are no different.
Out of the package, Robin is the same figure you may already own if you bought the Batman and Robin two pack. The only difference? His tunic is painted grey instead of red. It’s a nice enough sculpt and captures the look of the show’s animated Robin pretty well in the 4-inch scale. Unfortunately his arms and legs are really rubbery and soft and as already mentioned, the articulation is pretty much crap. Is there nothing new here? Well, Robin does come with his hologram wrist computer that’s cast in translucent blue plastic and clips on to his arm. This idea worked great for the 6-inch figure, but not so well here. It’s way too big and since Robin’s arm can only rotate at the shoulder, he can’t really hold it in any convincing manner. Blah!
And then there’s the real reason I bought this figure: The C&C piece for the Hall of Justice. I’ve got only three pieces left. This set comes with the middle part of the arch and finally allows me to connect one of the loose pieces I had from Wave 2. It’s looking sharp and really, really big. I’ve opted not to bother posting a picture of the Hall of Justice again until I finally have it complete. Its partly because I’m really bitter right now, and partly because I have it in a tote at the bottom of my closet and I don’t feel like digging it out again.
And there you have it. In case you haven’t picked up on my subtlety, I really resent having to buy this repaint solely for the C&C part, and I’ll likely get more angry with each successive repaint in this Wave that I need to buy. I was also none to pleased yesterday when I went out to buy the Batman and Robin 2-pack so that I could have the regular Robin in my Young Justice 4-inch display. I was going to look at Sportsmaster next, but instead I might as well knock out the Batman and Robin set tomorrow so that I can get the rest of this rage out of my system before taking a look at the only fresh figure in Wave 3: The Sportsmaster.

Tron Legacy: Clu’s Deluxe Lightcycle by Spin Master

Stopping by for a quickie today. What’s this? More Tron? Yeah, I’m still not done with this line. You see, way back when I picked up Sam Flynn’s Lightcycle, I was lamenting the fact that I couldn’t find Clu’s version to go with it. I kept hoping that I would come across it sooner or later, but when the line finally went on clearance and started disappearing from shelves, it seemed less and less likely that I would ever own a rival Lightcycle to go with the one in my collection. As it so happened, I turned one up in Ross’ Toy Graveyard this week for the very sweet price of just under ten bucks.

The packaging here is identical to Sam’s Lightcycle, but it’s been a long time since I looked at that toy, so let’s check out the packaging again. The box gets the least efficient design award as it’s about twice the size it needs to be, but then it gets the fairly cool and innovative packaging award for having a viewmaster like gimmick built right into it. Look inside the eyeholes and you’ll see a 3D image of a couple of Lightcycles battling it out on The Grid. Cool! You’ll also note that somehow this package escaped the ridiculously permanent Ross pricetag sticker that shows up on just about everything I buy there. Not that it mattered in this case, as I shredded the packaging to get at my toy. There’s nothing to see on the back, apart from a hideous wall of tri-lingual warnings and copyright information. I’m getting a little misty thinking this may be the last time I get to see the Tron logo on a toy package, but maybe we’ll get some toys based on the upcoming TV series or next film.
Now, I bought this toy expecting it to be a direct repaint of Sam’s Lightcycle only with orange painted light piping, orange lights, and a slightly retooled driver figure. As it turns out, this is a completely retooled Lightcycle. It still has all the same features, including the spinning engine core when you roll it along, and the articulated air brakes, but there are plenty of differences between the two bikes, which was certainly a welcome surprise. I’ve seen the movie plenty of times, but I never really noticed that they were different.
As with Sam’s Lightcycle, this one comes wtih a mock up 3 3/4″ figure of Clu. It’s a nice little placeholder for collectors who want the Lightcycle but don’t want to spend extra money on the figure. The Clu figure is not articulated, but you can take him off and substitute him for the 3 3/4″ Core Figure if you want to get the full effect. You can also pop the head off this figure and pop it onto the regular Core Clu for the most accurate looking setup. Getting the Clu figure off the Cycle, though, is a chore and a half.
Unfortunately, this thing must have been hanging around the Ross Graveyard for quite a while because the batteries in mine are dead and I haven’t had a chance to replace them. The lighting gimmicks are identical to the other Lightcycle, only with orange tint, so I’ve already got a pretty good idea of what the light effects should look like and if you go back and read my look at the previous toy, you’ll know what to expect.
Any normal and sane fan could probably make do with just the one version, but I could never pass by the Tron displays in the toy aisle without rifling through the stack of Lightcycles hoping to find Clu’s, only to get skunked every time. This thing was just impossible to find.  I’ve got to admit I’m thrilled to finally be able to display the pair of rival Lightcycles together on my shelf. The ten dollar price tag was just the icing on the cake, as I’m not proud to admit, I would have happily paid the original $20 retail price if I had to in order to get this one in my collection.

[I’ve got a few days off, and while I am planning on coming back tomorrow with a new feature, it’s possible I may crawl into a bottle take a roadtrip or something. I also just picked up a Kindle Fire and I’ve been loading it up with the shitload of comic books that I’m so woefully behind on, so that may end up derailing my day as well. The next feature I have planned is going to be fueled by a lot of rage and alcohol and I just might need a day to gather my strength and lead into it. So, until then. -FigureFan]

The First Avenger: Captain America Movie Masterpiece 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys, Part 2

Alrighty then, let’s check out the Hot Toys treatment of Captain America: The First Avengers. We’ve already covered the packaging, and now the figure’s out let’s go ahead and start with the head.

I really dig the final head sculpt. Yes, I’ve seen plenty of complaints about how it doesn’t quite look like Chris Evans. Honestly, I think it looks pretty close. Hot Toys tends to either nail it perfectly or get that, “hmmm… close, but there’s something not quite right about it” vibe. Granted, he’s wearing a mask and that may go a long way to conceal the resemblance, but there’s something about the mouth that just ties the likeness together for me. I seem to be in the minority here, but so long as it looks good to me, that’s all that matters, right? Apart from that, the helmet and mask is excellent and while its all part of the headsculpt, it definitely has a 3D look to it as if you could unbuckle the chin strap and take it off. The paint apps for the “A” and his wings are all crisp and clean. I’ll go with a baseball metaphor here, since we’re on an American theme, and say that the head may not be a Homerun, but its definitely a Triple.
The costume itself, on the other hand, now that’s a homerun. Granted, it helps if you love the movie costume as much as I do, and the way its executed here is just plain awesome. Cap’s duds have an uncanny vintage WWII look to them, particularly in the quilting on the shoulders and the use of grey cloth instead of pure white for the arms and mid section. The stitching is all beautifully done and the outfit fits the figure extremely well. The metal rank pip on his collar is a really nice touch too. His gloves and boots are all sculpted plastic, and simulate the look of leather very nicely.
Besides his belt, Cap has straps on his biceps, holding the quilted shoulder flaps down and a low slung pistol holster for his automatic, that includes a thigh strap. He also has the aforementioned shoulder strap that is packaged off the figure, and a “Y” harness on his back that is actually part of the costume itself and culminates in a metal catch, which is where the clip is used to hang his shield. The faux leather strapping on the figure is all extremely delicate, particularly the super thin shoulder strap. You have to be really careful slipping it onto him and I really felt like I was going to pull it apart. The pistol holster is the same way, which is why you won’t see the pistol pictured anywhere else in this feature. It took me forever to get it in there and fasten the flap, and I probably won’t be removing it ever again.
Captain comes with no less than seven extra hands, most of which I will never ever use. Popping the hands off is easy, but getting the new ones on is a little frustrating. I’m not going to criticize Hot Toys’ decision to include a lot of variety here. Variety is always good. But I’m happy with just using the hands designed to hold his goodies. I may swap out his gun with something else from time to time, but he’s always going to be standing on my shelf holding his shield.
And speaking of guns and the shield, let’s talk accessories. Here’s where Cap comes up a little light. Don’t get me wrong, comes with everything you would expect, but it still feels rather light compared to the inventories of some of the other Hot Toys figures. The shield is absolutely fantastic, and fairly complex. Its made of plastic, but thanks to the shiny lacquer finish you wouldn’t know that unless you touched it. The paintwork is absolutely gorgeous. The reverse has two straps, one that fits around his forearm and the other that threads through one of his gripping hands. It’s rather tricky getting it in place, especially because the straps are so thin and delicate, and the catch is so tiny, but once he’s got it on his arm, it stays on great and looks amazing. There’s also a simple hook that allows you to hang it on his back. It’s a lot of work to swap out the shield from back to arm, though, so I probably won’t be doing it a lot, although you can actually hang it on his back without going through all the trouble of removng the hand from the strap.
Besides the shield, Cap comes with two weapons. I already touched on the automatic pistol, which is a very nice sculpt, but feels a little undersized to me, which is another reason I’m happy to keep it in the holster. I have a fair share of WWII era weapons in the 1:6 scale, so I will likely use a different .45 automatic pistol if I ever want to display him with one. It’s not a big issue, but when you’re paying this much for a figure, you shouldn’t have to swap in a better weapon. The Thompson machine gun, on the other hand is excellent and even includes a removable clip and just looks outstanding, whether in his hand or slung over his shoulder. That said, I may wind up displaying him with an M1 Garand or a Grease Gun.
You also get the personalized display stand. It’s pretty simple and serviceable, so don’t expect any kind of environment or diorama base. The post has a little wire cradle that the figure rests on between its legs and it does a fine job of holding him up.
Cap’s articulation is perfectly fine from the chest down, but the arms are somewhat restricted at the shoulders. The arms are only designed to rise up to 90-degrees and the instructions specifically point out that trying to get more motion out of them may damage the figure. My Cap’s arms actually don’t quite make it to 90-degrees, and I’m not about to force it to try to get that extra one or two degrees out of them. I suspect the joint was limited so as not to tear the snug stitching on his shoulders. I can still get Cap into most of the poses I want to, so I’m not overly concerned about this issue, but let’s face it, when people buy a 1:6 scale figure at this price point (or even less), they are usually expecting optimal articulation and you just aren’t getting it with Cap here.
In the end, Cap’s certainly got a few issues, but I knew about all of them coming in to the purchase. I loved this figure from the moment I got him out of the box and after spending a week fiddling about with him and putting him into different displays I still love it to death. He looks amazing on display and really the only thing I would have liked to see would have been a better sidearm. I picked up this figure through the fine folks at Big Bad Toy Store for about $170 shipped. That puts it at the lower end of Hot Toys product price range. You get a great figure for that price, and while I can’t think of much I would have added, accessory whores used to a gaggle of goodies with their figures may feel a little disappointed.

The First Avenger: Captain America Movie Masterpiece 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys, Part 1

You need only look back at the barren wasteland of content in November to see how busy I was at work toward the end of last year. Well, by the end of the year all that hard work started paying off, and I mean quite literally. In that higher tax bracket sense of the words. Besides some heavily padded paychecks, I was promoted and bumped up a significant paygrade. As a result, I wanted to take some of that fun money and splurge this year on something a little pricier than I usually buy and at the same time start getting in on a new line of figures that I’ve previously avoided for budgetary purposes. Hot Toys is going to be one of those outlets. And while I’m not prepared to start digging into the older figures because they have a habit of getting so prohibitively expensive, there are a number on the market right now that I plan on picking up.

For my first figure, I thought it appropriate to go with Captain America, despite some issues I knew ahead of time that existed with the figure. I did a lot of research on this guy before buying and ultimately decided that he looked so good, I was willing to live with the issues. I’ve just always loved Cap to pieces and while there were certainly some things about the movie I would have done differently, one thing that I wouldn’t have changed at all was Cap’s final appearance. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to pick up Thor and Iron Man from Hot Toys when The Avengers movie comes out, but Cap’s outfit is going to change quite a bit, and I really wanted him in his WWII-era costume. So let’s take a look and see what Hot Toys did with it. I’m going to start out today by just checking out the packaging and then I’ll try to be back tomorrow with a look at the figure itself.
Cap comes in a nice sized box emblazoned with his shield deco on the front and a whole lot of production information on the back. It looks like you’re about to start reading the credits from the movie, but its actually all the damn people who worked on this figure and its pretty impressive. You get a shot of the figure’s prototype on the back of the box and some assorted stills on the sides. The box is about as tall as you would expect from a 1:6 scale figure, but it’s a hell of a lot deeper. The design is like a shoebox, where you just lift the top off to get at the goods inside. Overall the outer packaging is attractive and sturdy, but possibly not as flashy as one might expect from a figure in this price range.
While in concept, the packaging is pretty simple, there’s a whole bunch of layers and stuff at work here. There is a tray tucked under the top cover that contains Cap’s gear. You get his iconic shield, an automatic pistol, a Thompson machine gun, a clip to hold his shield on his back, and his shoulder strap with pouches.
Next you have to lift out a cardstock poster of the figure to reveal the tray holding the figure, the stand, and his array of no less than seven replacement hands. You also get a baggie of replacement pegs for the hands and feet and a folded instruction sheet. There’s a cover over that, and another cover over that, and plastic over the hands and head. It takes some time to get through all this, but its nice to know he comes well protected and its cool how my anticipation was building the whole time.
I’m usually not a big packaging whore, as a fair number of my toys just get taken out and the package gets thrown away, but as a rule I keep my 1:6 scale figures in their packages. This is usually the case because they have a lot of extra accessories to keep track of and to help keep their soft goods clean when they aren’t out on display. Granted, Cap here will likely spend more time on my shelf than in his box, but there’s plenty of extras to keep track of, so this box is obviously a keeper for me.

 

Tomorrow, I’ll be back for Part 2 and we’ll actually dig in and start looking at the figure itself!

DC Universe Wave 19: Collect & Connect STRIPE by Mattel

There’s something so satisfying about snapping those last pieces together onto a DC Universe Collect & Connect figure. That’s especially true this time around since apart from Hawkman, I really didn’t have to buy any figures in Wave 19 that I didn’t actually want. But also because I really, really wanted STRIPE in my collection and this was really the only way Mattel could do him justice.

STRIPE’s parts came spread out over all six figures in Wave 19. This time there was no extra figure with a stand or any of that jazz. So when all was said and done, you needed the two arms, the two legs, the head and crotch piece, and the torso. He snaps together pretty easily, but his joints were a real bitch to get unstuck and loosened up. I was literally afraid I was going to snap the arms apart, while trying to get the shoulder joints to move for the first time. Luckily they eventually gave way, and now all the joints can be manipulated just fine. Once together, STRIPE is one seriously satisfying hunk of a figure.
The sculpt here is absolutely fantastic, although you may recognize a couple of the parts. The legs are both repainted from Stel, the C&C figure from Green Lantern Classics Wave 2. (We haven’t looked at him here yet on FigureFan, because I’m still two figures (ie two arms) away from completing that wave and figure) Some may cry foul at the reuse, but honestly I think it works just fine and they match the rest of the sculpt quite appropriately. There’s some really good tooling all around on this figure, particularly in the panel lining and the detail work in the arms and fists.
When I first saw pics of STRIPE, I was kind of leary about the coloring. It looked sort of cheap. The actual figure in hand is much better, largely thanks to the mother-of-pearl style finish used on the bulk of the figure. It has a nice subtle sheen to it that really contrasts beautifully with the red and blue. Granted, it is a little strange seeing a figure this big with so few paint apps, but it definitely jives with the character design and I’m really glad Mattel resisted the urge to put some kind of wash on him.
STRIPE’s articulation consists of ball joints in the shoulders, hips, and neck; Hinges in the elbows, knees, and ankles; And swivels in the biceps, wrists, and waist. His shoulder army is constructed to offer some pliability when articulating the shoulders, and while it does offer some restriction, you can still easily get STRIPE’s arms up to about 90-degrees at the shoulders. He’s certainly a very poseable figure.

I’m a huge fan of teams when it comes to my superhero funny books, so its no surprise that I like Stars and STRIPE. I mean, apart from the fact that its generally a damn good book. So, having a Stargirl and STRIPE on my DCUC shelf is pretty exciting, especially since the figures turned out so well. If I could come up with just one other duo that I would have liked to see hit the DCUC before it ends it would be Hawk and Dove and they’re actually in Wave 20, so I’m a pretty happy camper.
And that closes the book on Wave 19 of DC Universe Classics. I’m going to give this line a rest for a couple of days, look at some other things, and then I’ll come back to finish up looking at Wave 17, take another intermission, and then check out the rest of Green Lantern Classics 2, which I started a long time ago.

DC Universe Classics Wave 19: Magog by Mattel

There have been plenty of times where DCUC has put out a figure that I loved despite not giving a crap about the character. Magog is one of those instances. Of course, the reason I don’t care about the character is because this is one of those rare instances where I have absolutely no idea who he is. I’ve certainly picked up an occasional figure in this line where I wasn’t entirely familiar with a character, but this is one of the first times that I swear I’ve never seen him before. According to his confusing little bio on the back, he’s relatively new, first appearing in JSA just a few years ago. Let’s see what he’s all about…

And there we go. Say goodbye to the Wave 19 packaging, for this is the last packaged figure in the assortment to look at. Of course, the Wave 20 will be the same, as will that of Wave 17, which we’ll start looking at next week, so there’s no reason to start tearing up and sobbing. Magog looks pretty cool in the package with a bit of a neutral stance, one fist clenched against his chest and his staff in hand. What’s with all the staffs lately, Mattel? Seems like we’re getting a disproportionate number of DCUC figures with staffs lately. Oh well.
Out of the package, Magog is an interesting composite character indeed. He’s got a golden ram horned helmet that looks straight out of antiquity, but he’s also got what looks like cybernetics in his neck, a golden armored or mechanical arm, and an automatic pistol slung across his belt. I gotta say, I’m digging the look here. Seeing this amount of new tooling on a character I don’t even know is pretty surprising. But whatever the case, Mattel went all out on him. I think the only downside of the figure is that the pistol is sculpted as part of the holster and isn’t removable. Given the amount of new tooling here, a removable pistol probably just didn’t cost out, but he would have looked pretty damn sweet holding it. Magog’s paintwork is every bit as good as the sculpt. From his blue trousers to brown belts, bare chest and golden parts, he’s a strikingly beautiful figure.
How’s the articulation? Standard DCUC goodness. Magog has a ball jointed neck; His arms feature ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows, and swivel cuts in the biceps and wrists; His legs have universal movement in the hips, swivel cuts in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles and knees. Magog can swivel at the waist and features the ubiquitous DCUC ab crunch hinge.
With only one wave of figures left, I’m guessing a lot of folks are sore about Magog here taking up a slot. That having been said, I think he’s a great looking figure and pretty distinctive looking, which says quite a lot in a line of figures based on a bunch of kooks in crazy costumes. The colors and sculpt should  impress, so long as you don’t mind the crazy character design. I’ll probably be tracking down some of those issues of JSA to find out more about him.

And that wraps it up for the regular figures in Wave 19. We do still have the C&C figure, STRIPE, to look at, and I’ll be back to check him out tomorrow.