We’re in the Endgame now! Or, more accurately, I’ve come full circle. My very first Hot Toys figure was Captain America from The First Avenger, which I reviewed ten years ago, give or take a couple of weeks. Woof! Those were some terrible photos! And here I am, reviewing what I planned to be my last Marvel Hot Toys purchase… and it would have been if I hadn’t since pre-ordered a new Black Widow. Well, maybe the second to the last. Unless we get a bunch from the new Spider-Man movie, and then all bets are off. Anyway… It’s fitting to start and (almost) end with Cap. One of my favorite Marvel characters, and one that I feel was translated almost perfectly to the MCU.
The First Avenger Cap was actually a consolation purchase, as I missed out on the Cap figure that I really wanted. Some may scoff, but Cap’s costume from the original Avengers flick is my favorite of them all, and I was hugely disappointed to miss out. But now, it seems like it was for the best, because thanks to the Time Travel elements of Endgame, Hot Toys got us a new version of 2012 Cap, without having to do a blatant do-over, and it looks to be a vast improvement. Let’s take a look!
Hot Toys rebuilt this figure from the ground up, which means new body, new tailored costume, the works! As I understand it, the only reuse here is the collection of hands. The costume recreates everything I loved about this look. It’s clean, relatively simple, and most of all it’s bright and colorful. I like that it uses actual fabric, rather than the thin vinyl material that so many of these characters wore. It looks and feels more durable, and offers a nice, rugged texture. The suit consists of various reinforced panels of cloth, all secured with immaculate stitching. The bright blue really pops, especially next to the red and white striping around his middle, and the red and maroon plastic used for the boots and gauntlets.
The boots consist of two pieces: A ball jointed foot, and a sleeve that makes up the rest. This allows for plenty of articulation in the ankles and a flat-footed stance. There’s still a seam where they meet, but it’s worked into the sculpt pretty well, so as not to be terribly obvious. It is, however, necessary to sometimes make sure the two pieces are lined up correctly. The chest star and epaulets are cast in plastic and attached to the cloth, making them stand out, quite literally. The belt features a brace of bulky pouches, and it rests fairly snug above his hips.
Cap comes with two heads, one masked and one not. The masked is likely the one I will display the figure with most of the time, and it is a beautiful piece of work. The helmet and mask are intricately detailed with some great texturing, sculpted stitch lines, and some immaculate silver paint for the “A” and the wings on the sides. There’s a very nice depth to the sculpt as well, making it look like the helmet and mask were actually sculpted on top of an unmasked head, even if that wasn’t the case. The neck piece is extremely long and sockets deep into the figure’s chest, and when combined with the high collar of the suit, leaves no neck seam at all.
The unmasked head sculpt is also excellent. Considering Hot Toys has been sculpting Chris Evans’ noggin for ten years now, it goes without saying that they’ve gotten pretty damn good at it. Besides the likeness being spot on, the paint is as amazing as usual. The eyes are lifelike, the skin tone is so real it’s eerie, and even the sculpted plastic hair looks totally on point. I also love the appropriately self-righteous expression, with the stern look and slightly furled brow. Despite this being the third MCU Hot Toys Cap in my collection, this is the first time I’ve had an unmasked head sculpt. It’s about time!
Obviously, Cap comes with his iconic shield, and it sure is different than the one that came with my First Avenger Cap! That figure’s shield had a high gloss, metallic finish that looked beautiful… for about a year and then the paint started flaking off of it. I eventually had to buy a third-party replacement. This time around, we get a more sensible, somewhat satin finish to the red, blue, and silver frisbee, and I think it looks great! The flipside is sculpted with reinforced plates and rivets, and has an arm strap and a grabber strap, which work very well with the figure, making it easy to put on and take off. Unfortunately, the straps still have working plastic clasps, which are so fragile I can all but guarantee will eventually break. Cap comes with the appropriate hands that will allow him to hold the shield on the left or right side. Unfortunately, there’s no way to attach it to his back, which seems like a huge oversight.
As I’ve said many times, I don’t expect a lot of range of motion in my MCU Hot Toys, usually because of restrictive costumes, but I was hoping for a little bit more on this one. In this case, I’m not worried about pulling stitching or over-stretching material, it’s just that the muscle padding gets in the way. As a result, he gets about average movement for these figures, but nothing crazy. On the plus side, it doesn’t seem like keeping him in an action pose is likely to damage the costume.
In addition to the shield and extra hands, Cap comes with Loki’s Staff, which is recycled from the Bruce Banner figure, which I believe was recycled from Avengers Loki. If you don’t have it, it’s a great addition and a beautiful piece. On the other hand, if you’ve been collecting for a while, you probably do have it, and in that case, it’s not all that exciting.
What is pretty damn cool is the big aluminum case to put it in! This spiffy piece of luggage has a foam interior with a cutout for the staff and handles on two sides. It’s an impressive accessory, and it kind of needs to be, considering that Cap doesn’t come with a whole lot of anything else. Still, the only other thing that I could have asked for would be a mask for him to hold when using the unmasked head. That would have been cool.
As always, the final thing in the box is the stand. I don’t have a lot to say about this one, other than it looks good and gets the job done. The artwork is quite nice, and the hexagonal base is functional without taking up too much real estate on the shelf.
It’s hard to really express how thrilled I was to see this figure get made. Not getting Hot Toys’ Avengers Cap was probably one of my biggest collecting regrets over the last ten years. I just think this is his most iconic appearance in the franchise. It really straddles that line between realism and cheese. The colors scream comic book to me, and while I will admit this look wouldn’t have worked for the tone of the later movies, I liked Cap’s uniforms less and less with each redesign. The original shot up in price on the second hand market pretty quickly, so my chances of ever getting it were slim to none. And now I have an improved version on my shelf and I just can’t stop smiling!