Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Red Skull by Hasbro

I’ve suspended my regular rotation of Marvel Legends reviews so I can get through some of these First Ten Years releases in a timely manner. Besides, I’m so far behind on the other stuff, a few more weeks won’t matter. I’ve already looked at the Civil War set with Cap and Crossbones, and Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy and today I’m opening up Red Skull from Captain America: The First Avenger.

Here’s the packaging and as you can see, Hasbro has branded these differently than the regular Legends releases. You still get a window box, but here it’s all squared off at the edges and features a spiffy new deco. I gotta be honest, Red Skull was one of my least favorite MCU villains. He looked great, but I felt like the movie just didn’t know what to do with him. That didn’t stop me from buying the Hot Toys version way back when, nor from picking up this one. And since this figure doubles as various Hydra soldiers, I’ll probably be picking up a couple more if they turn up at a decent price. Let’s check him out…

Red Skull’s costume had two very distinct looks in The First Avenger, as sometimes he wore a black leather trench coat over his uniform. Hasbro went sans trench coat for the obvious reason of making this body more versatile and I’m cool with that, especially since they did such a great job with his uniform. Not only does it look pretty damn screen accurate, but just about every detail on this costume is part of the actual sculpt.

The dark green tunic features sculpted piping and stitch lines along with sharp black and red stripes. The individual buttons running down the front are also part of the sculpt and painted in gold. They even sculpted the tiny Hydra emblem on his belt buckle and the patch on his left shoulder. The trousers have a slight military flare to them and the boots are painted in glossy black. Hasbro could have easily squeaked by with simple paint for a lot of these details, especially on the tunic, but they seem to be going full guns on these First Ten Year figures and Schmidt here is a great example of that.

The head sculpt is pretty solid. It’s a very different look from the comic versions we’ve had in the past. This one is clearly MCU through and through. I like the wash they used to pick out some of the details, and while the eyes look a little sloppy up close, they actually look fine with the figure in hand. And yeah, I would have liked a Hugo Weaving likeness, but I’ve read that Weaving wasn’t a fan of his work in the MCU and he may not have been willing to allow for the licensing.

The articulation here is excellent. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and pegged hinges for the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles are both hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. All the joints on this guy feel great and he has the agility to go toe-to-toe with my First Avenger Captain America. And not to sound like an infomercial, but wait! There’s more!

Red Skull comes with a tactical harness and three additional heads to turn him into any one of three different MCU Hydra Soldier and I don’t have words to adequately express how cool an idea this is. The harness opens at one end where the shoulder strap meets the belt via a peg, which makes it pretty easy to put on and take off. It has a silver plate on the back and a beautiful Hydra emblem sculpted onto the belt buckle. Obviously, this doesn’t totally transform the uniform, but I think it adds just the right amount of combat gear to make it work as a rank-and-file soldier. Let’s check out the noggins! They’re all good, but let’s go from my favorite to least favorite.

My favorite is the fully enclosed mask. Yeah, it looks a little gimp masky, but I think it also looks as intimidating as all hell. The detail is a little soft, but it’s got all sorts of stitch marks and some nice silver paint on the goggles and the ribbed sections that reach up from the goggles and around the back of the head.

Next up is basically the same head gear, but with the lower mask removed to expose the soldier’s mouth and nose. Again, I dig the fully masked look more, but this would look really nice thrown into the mix with a couple of the masked ones.

And finally, there’s one that’s just more of a smooth helmet with cheek guards and goggles with red lenses and silver trim. The design on this one is fine, I just think it lacks the personality of the other ones. Also, the paint on this head isn’t terribly sharp between the exposed skin and the helmet, so your mileage may vary.

Of course, you can’t have a Hydra Soldier without a weapon, so Hasbro threw in a Tesseract-powered rifle along with an extra left hand to help him hold it. I like the design of the rifle a lot. It kind of looks like a German Heavy Machine Gun mixed with sci-fi tech, which is exactly what it’s supposed to be! Alas, the configuration of the grip and trigger doesn’t work very well with the right hand. He can grip it well enough, but his trigger finger won’t reach. But hey, at least that means he’s always practicing proper trigger-discipline. The extra left hand does a nice job of gripping the forward grip.

This is a great package and right now Red Skull is rivaling Crossbones as my favorite of the four First Ten Years figures that I’ve opened. The sculpt and paintwork are both excellent and I get warm and fuzzy feelings about adding another MCU villain to my Legends shelf. If I were to nitpick, I really would have loved to get a pistol and Cosmic Cube, but seeing as how Hasbro tossed in the ability to convert him to a Hydra Soldier, I’ll happily table those complaints. Indeed, I’m amazed that Hasbro didn’t release this as a two-pack. Either Red Skull and a Hydra Soldier or just an MCU Hydra two-pack like they did with the comic versions. Hell, they could still do that and I’ll happily lay down forty bucks for it, because I have a feeling it’s going to be a challenge to find a few more individual figures at a decent price.

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Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Captain America and Crossbones by Hasbro

Even if I wasn’t gobsmacked by almost every Marvel movie that’s come out, I’d still have to respect what Marvel Studios (and Disney) has managed to accomplish with their cinematic universe. Ten years worth of movies all set in motion to culminate in a massive team up. It seems like a sure thing now, but if you go back to the beginning, to the original Iron Man film, nothing was guaranteed and crazy risks were taken. And now, in a market where a Goliath-like Disney is even pulling back on the reigns of the Star Wars franchise, Marvels flicks continue to put asses in the seats to the tune of about $12 Billion total. Hell, even Ant-Man and The Wasp opened with respectable numbers and beat the previous release. And if you think that $12 Billion is a lot of cheddar, now imagine how much the merchandising has raked in, because silly middle aged nerds like me buy toys!

And that brings me to my first two figures from Hasbro’s First Ten Years releases. These Marvel Legends figures are culled from the various films of the MCU and some of these figures are long overdue. Today I’m having a look at Cap and Crossbones from Captain America: Civil War. I’ve wanted a figure of the MCU’s Brock Rumlow as Crossbones ever since the movie was out. Hot Toys teased one and then decided against releasing him, but I’ll happily take Hasbro’s Legends version as a consolation prize. The figures come in a collector friendly window box with a Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years logo as well as Captain America: Civil War. The box here is also squared off at the edges, distinguishing it from the packaging used for the regular Legends two-packs and I like it a lot. It just looks spiffy and new. Let’s start with Captain America!

Do you enjoy buying a figure you already have to get one you don’t? Me neither. And that’s sort of the case here, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time with this figure. From the neck down, I can’t see any difference between this figure and the Civil War Cap that we got as part of the Giant-Man Wave. And I’m pretty sure that figure was just a repaint of the Cap from Age of Ultron. I said back then that I preferred the brighter blue on the AoU Cap over the darker costume here, but to be honest this one has grown on me quite a bit. I’ll spare you a run through of articulation as you can just link back to either of those reviews to get the lowdown.

That’s not to say this figure is entirely recycled. For starters, you get a pair of much improved heads. From straight on, I think the masked head is fantastic, but from the side, there’s some weird shit going on over the ears. There’s no hairline showing, so it kind of looks like he’s bald. The helmet is sculpted separately and it just doesn’t fit all that well, so you get some gaps around the back too.

There’s a similar thing going on with the unmasked head. When viewed from straight on I think it’s the best MCU Steve Rogers likeness we’ve seen in this scale. A profile view, however, shows that the hair is sculpted separately and it’s not a perfect fit. You get that same weird gap over the ears that doesn’t look natural and a gap around the sideburns where the hair doesn’t fit flush with the head. It’s kind of a shame because everything else here is done so damn well.

The shield is also different than the one that came with the previous Civil War Cap release. This one has a more vibrant and premium paint job and a segmented star in the center. It also features the realistic straps on the reverse side, which work much better than the hinge clip and peg affair we’ve seen so many times. The only disadvantage here is you can’t secure it to his back. All in all, this is a great figure and probably the best Legends MCU Cap Hasbro has released, so I’m not so bummed about having to buy this version again. OK, so enough about Cap, let’s get to the real reason I bought this set.

Crossbones’ screen time in Civil War was brief, but oh boy was it glorious. The rogue SHIELD agent’s scrap with Cap was a great way to kick things off and I loved his costume. I think the folks at Hasbro did too, because they sure poured the love into this figure. The detail on this guy is absolutely fantastic. The tactical vest is sculpted separately from soft plastic and worn over the buck with a white X scratched into it with what looks like pure rage. All of the straps and clasps are sculpted down to the finest details, as well as the various little pouches, and the texturing on his belt.

Other highlights include his Glock 17 pistol with molded holster on his right hip, which sadly is not removable…

The collection of magazines for various weapons slotted into molded open pouches on his right shoulder…

And on his left shoulder he has a brace of shotgun shells and what I believe are supposed to be tools for tuning up his hydraulic fists. One of them sure looks like a socket wrench. Whatever the case, the attention to detail is fantastic, and I’m especially impressed by the silver and brass paint hits here. Great work!

Rumlow comes with two heads, one masked and one without. The masked head is the one I’ll be using most of the time and it turned out quite nice. The white scratches on the mask that make up the skull motif are applied with the new half-tone printing techniques. What really impresses me here is the definition between the mask and what’s exposed through the eye-holes. It really looks like they sculpted a separate mask and attached it to the head. It’s not only the depth of sculpt that works so well here, but also the paint apps applied around the eyes showing the scar tissue.

The unmasked head is no slouch either. It’s not a perfect likeness to Frank Grillo, but he is supposed to be horribly scarred up. The hair is nicely sculpted and I really like the way the printing on his five o’clock shadow came out. I don’t know how much work it is to get likeness rights from someone like Grillo, but I think it’s really cool that Hasbro went the extra mile just to include the bonus head with this figure.

The articulation here is identical to Cap’s so I’m not going to run through all the details. I will, however, point out that the arm rigs are removable. These are sculpted in a fairly soft plastic, so the sculpted detail isn’t as sharp as it could have been, but there’s still plenty to appreciate in them. I especially like the DIY-stylings of the sculpted belts that are wrapped around them and holding them together.

Overall I’m very pleased with my first Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years set. Even though this tweaked version of Captain America turned out to be a welcome addition, I was in this set for Crossbones, and I am not disappointed. Quite the contrary, if this is the kind of effort Hasbro is putting into these First Ten Years figures, I’m pretty excited to pick up some more. I grabbed this one at Hasbrotoyshop for $40 and I think it was money well spent! Come back on Friday and I’ll wrap up this Marvel week with a look at Ant-Man and Stinger.

Marvel Legends (Abomination Wave): “Secret War” Captain America and Iron Skull by Hasbro

Welcome to another Marvel Monday, folks, and as promised I’m tackling two figures from the Marvel Legends Abomination Wave today, and both are interesting choices on Hasbro’s part. We’ve got Cap in a one-off costume that is pulled from a Bendis comic that’s got to be about almost a decade old by now and Red Skull donning a stolen suit of Iron Man’s armor, which I believe appeared in the animated series, Avengers Assemble.

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Both figures come in packages branded “Captain America” and I’ve seen a lot of confusion and tepid reactions to these figures. While I’ll admit that I wasn’t jonesing to get a figure of Cap in this uniform and I don’t watch the Avengers Assemble cartoon, I’m actually really happy to be getting this pair. Cap is one of my favorite Marvel characters, so I welcome any and all variants of him, and as we’ll soon see Iron Skull is not only a cool idea, but he’s just plain bad ass. Let’s check out Cap first…

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Obviously, a super-special top secret mission for SHIELD deserves a super-special new outfit, and that was the case with most of the heroes appearing in this book. Cap’s outfit is pretty rad, in that it preserves his love for the red, white, and blue, while still presenting something different. The bulk of the costume is a very dark blue with a large white band around the middle of each arm, two white vertical stripes flanking both sides of his abs, and a white pin stripe running down the middle of his chest and the front of each of his legs. He’s got a large silver star emblazoned on his chest and an American flag tampo’ed on his left shoulder. The whole ensemble is tied together with some silver knee pads and a silver belt.

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In terms of fresh sculpting, we get some fabulous buccaneer boots and flared gauntlets, with red striping. I really dig these, as they add a significant touch of classic to what is otherwise a brand new look. I also like the silver stripes on the joints of his fingers.

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The head sculpt features a very distinctive hood with red and white pin stripes running from front to back and some damn cool wings painted on the side that almost look like sickles. And as long as we’re on the subject of paint, the quality of application here is pretty solid. There’s a little bleed through evident in some areas of the white, but overall it isn’t too bad. It’s also nice to see that they painted the pins in the elbows to match the white.

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The articulation here holds no surprises. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinged elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels at both the thighs and the tops of the boots, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel at the waist, an ab crunch in the torso, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. The joints all feel great and he’s tons of fun to pose.

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You get two accessories with Cap, although they are designed to go together. First, you get a pretty standard shield. It’s got both a peg and a clip, so he can wear it on his back or equip it on his wrist.

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The other accessory is an extra right hand and effect part that you can peg the shield into and give him a throwing effect. I didn’t have high hopes for this thing when I first saw pictures of it, but in hand, I’ve found it to be lots of fun. Moving on to Iron Skull…

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The idea of Red Skull getting a hold of one of Stark’s armors just tickles me in all the right ways, so I’m not going to jump on board with the haters screaming that this is just an excuse to re-use and re-sell an Iron Man body. This is the Mark 43 figure, to be specific, which was the same as the Mark 42. And damn, does it look great here. It’s been given a properly eeeevil black finish with some bitchin red panel lines. Seriously, I love this thing.

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The head sculpt here is absolutely fantastic. It retains that creepy, yet super-stylized look that I love so much. It also features some fantastic paint. It’s too bad I’ll probably almost never use it, because the figure also comes with…

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THIS! It’s the helmet with a Red Skull motif and oh my god, I love it so much! Seriously, while collectors everywhere scream, WTF, HASBRO? over this figure, I’m just loving it to pieces.

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I’m not going to go over the articulation, as I’ve already looked at this body not once, but twice. I will say that while it’s overall decent, there are some things that bug me about it, like the restricted range of motion in the ankles.

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I was pretty happy about getting these figures ever since they were first revealed and I’m just as happy to have them in hand. They’re both nice nods to very specific aspects of the Marvel extended universe and that’s exactly the kind of thing I like to get in my action figure collection. The remarkably prolific nature of Legends has made this line all about universe building for me these days, and that’s what these figures are all about.

Marvel Legends (Giant Man Wave): Giant Man Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

Welcome back, folks, to another Marvel Monday Double Feature as I take a quick look at the Scott Lang Ant Man/Giant Man Build-A-Figure from Marvel Legends. I was fortunate enough to avoid spoilers going in to Civil War, so when Lang went big during the Airport Battle, I was beside myself with delight. If Spider-Man was my favorite new addition to the MCU for this film, than seeing Lang assume the role of Giant Man, even if only briefly, was easily a close second. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to be getting a Legends scale release.

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In terms of assembly, this figure is as basic as these BAFs can get, with six parts to build him. That’s one torso, two legs, two arms, and a head. And unlike the X-Men Wave, this was one of those assortments where you did have to buy all the figures to make this work. Putting this guy together is pretty easy.

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And once completed, this figure looks great. A quick glance at the suit and it looks pretty similar to the one from the Ant Man film, but under closer scrutiny it’s clear that there are a lot of changes here. Overall, it’s a sleeker and simpler design and this figure represents the changes pretty well, especially if you stand him next to the Legends figure from the original film. While changes in the suit allow for more merchandising (ie Toys!) it also makes sense in the context of the film, as the first suit was a lot older and thus more primitive looking. I still dig this suit design a lot, but I definitely prefer the original over this one.

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Details include sculpted seam lines in the suit and all those red panels are textured. There’s also some silver piping and there are panel lines in most of the metal plates, like the belt, collar, and arm pieces. The paint on this figure is also very good. The bulk of the coloring comes from the matte black buck, but the red and silver are vibrant and really contrast with the black nicely.

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Again, the helmeted head here is a lot simpler in design than the original suit. The mandibles and the mouth piece are more streamlined and the silver finish on the helmet looks like brushed steel. I also really dig the bright blue paint apps on the helmet and shoulder pieces. The best thing about the head, however, are the sculpted and painted eyes behind the red lenses. Not only does this add a lot of depth and credibility to the head sculpt, but in a well lit area it almost looks like the eyes are illuminated from within. An illusion that is more effective than the LED lights in my beloved Hot Toys Ant Man figure.

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The articulation here is about on par with your average Legends figure. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist and an ab crunch hinge in the torso. Finally, the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The joints on this guy feel great.

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Ant Man is not quite twice the size of a regular Legends figure. So, perhaps there is an obvious complaint here over scale, but it’s also a pretty silly one.Yes, Lang is still small compared to how big he was in the fight, but that would have had to be a pretty big figure to make him actually to scale with the 6-inch Legends line. Maybe, Hasbro could have broken him up over two waves and had separate pieces for each leg and arm and two pieces for the torso. It’s not unprecedented and it would have made him a lot bigger, but spreading BAFs over multiple waves is rarely worth the bother. If the Masterworks line was still around, they could have released a bigger figure that way, but then those are designed to be in scale with the 3 3/4-inch figures. In the end, I’m plenty happy with what we got here.

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There were some great figures in this wave, and there were some not so great ones. Red Guardian was bungled due to poor QC, and I wasn’t impressed with the Captain America repaint. And yet, the good outweighed the bad, and I’m happy to say that even the less than stellar ones were worth picking up in order to assemble this guy. Yes, I would still have liked a 6-inch scale version of Lang wearing the new suit, but Hasbro seems content with not delivering on complete movie teams these days. It’s easy to complain, but I’d rather just shut up and enjoy what’s become the Golden Age of Marvel 6-inch figures.

Next Monday I’m going to detour to take a look at a statue and when I come back to Legends, I’ll be running through the long overdue Rhino Wave so that I can get into some Doctor Strange.

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Remember that scene in that really old movie?

The one where they’re on the snow planet?

Marvel Legends (Giant Man Wave): Black Panther by Hasbro

Thanks to a little doubling up along the way, I’m already at the final boxed figure in the Marvel Legends Giant Man Wave. And that’s a good thing, because I still have the entire Rhino Wave to look at from forever ago, and the Doctor Strange Wave is starting to trickle in. What’s that? Abomination Wave? Dammit! I’m still so far behind. Well, let’s wrap up this one with a look at a very highly anticipated figure… Black Panther!

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Here he is in package, a sight that I never got to see out in the wild. T’Challa was in hot demand and for a while the only way to get him seemed to be going the online route and pay out the ass for him. Lucky for me things calmed down after a short while and I was able to find him online at regular retail price. Black Panther comes with an alternate head and the last piece I needed to build my Giant Man figure.

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Freed of his cardboard and plastic prison, Black Panther looks absolutely amazing. I know some people who were put off by the hyper-detailed MCU costume, but I actually quite like what they did to his Vibranium suit. It’s a big budget movie, they couldn’t have the guy running around in cat pajamas. It also gave Hasbro a chance to shine by recreating the more complex design in action figure form, and they did a mighty fine job with it. There’s no simple painted buck here, rather every panel line and texture is present and part of the sculpt. Indeed, there’s scarcely any tiny portion of this figure that isn’t adorned with some piece of detail work.

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As for paint, the figure obviously gets by mostly with a whole lot of matte black plastic, but you do get some very fine silver paint apps for some of the suit’s accents, as well as the necklace. Yup, I love what they did with the necklace too. It keeps the tribal theme of the classic costume, but recreates it with a high-tech metal look. The hands are drawn up in claws, which works great for all the action poses, and the claws on his fingertips are painted too! And yes, Hasbro is still painting those numbers on the legs to make them as obvious as possible. Thanks, Hasbro!

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As already noted, you get two heads with the figure, one masked and one unmasked. The masked one looks great and features more of that intricate sculpted detailing along with some more silver paint. And once again, the silver paint apps here are sharp and on point. Beautiful! I should also note that T’Challa’s cat ears are pretty sharp and pointy. They very nearly got me when I was pressing down to pop this head back on.

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The unmasked head is also a very welcome treat, especially since T’Challa spent a good deal of Civil War unmasked. I think you could argue for or against whether this likeness is passable for Chadwick Boseman. I’ll concede that it’s a little soft, but I happen to think it’s pretty good for this scale. Either way, I will complement Hasbro on a solid sculpt and some very clean paint apps.

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Articulation is extra important for this figure since Black Panther is quite the agile kitty. Legends was never quite going to capture the level needed for this guy to really shine, we’ll leave that for Figma or Figuarts, but what’s here is still pretty good. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double hinged, and there are swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged in the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. What’s more the joints on this guy feel great.

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Black Panther could have been an easy figure for Hasbro to half-ass, had they chosen to leave out a lot of the finer details in the suit, but I’m happy to say they gave it their all with this release. He also comes pretty close to being my favorite of the wave. In fact, the jury is still out on whether I’d go with T’Challa, Nuke, or Fury as my top figure here, but it doesn’t matter, all three are excellent. I’m also happy to be adding another Civil War figure to my Legends shelf. With Scarlet Witch coming up, I’d really just like to see an MCU Vision to finish things off.

And just so that I can put this wave to bed, come on back later tonight and I’ll have a look at the Giant Man Build-A-Figure!

Marvel Legends (Giant Man Wave): Captain America and Iron Man (Mark 46) by Hasbro

Last week saw the Blu-Ray release of Captain America: Civil War, a film that I thoroughly enjoyed in the theater and have now enjoyed even more in the comfort of my own home. Over and over again! Coincidentally, I’m also doubling back to start my look at the Civil War inspired wave of Marvel Legends. Considering I’m so backlogged on these figures, I’m going to be doubling up on a few of these so that I can get through the wave a little quicker than usual. It seemed only natural to kick it off with Cap and Iron Man.

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And here they are in the packaging. Not much new and noteworthy to talk about, other than the movie branding and some nice blue panels on the sides with character art. If I’m being honest, I bought this pair solely for the BAF parts and I doubt I’m alone in that. Let’s look at Cap first to find out part of the reason why…

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Yes, this is Age of Ultron Cap from last year’s Thanos Wave with a fresh coat of paint, and the new deco doesn’t really thrill me. The blue is a lot darker and the white bands from the biceps have been replaced with more dark blue and a less notable red stripe. Most of the other minor differences are just areas where red accents have been either added or taken away.

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Speaking of other things that have been taken away, last year’s release included two extra hands and an unmasked head. Here? Nope, nada, bupkis! The only accessory Cap comes with is his shield.

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It’s the same shield we saw last time, which means it’s got the more realistic straps and detailed sculpt inside. Unfortunately, there’s no way to attach it to his back, unless you use a big wad of blue tack. The bottom line is that unless you’re after a darker, grittier look for Cap, or you want yet another of Cap’s shields rattling around in your accessory tote, the Giant Man head is the only reason to even consider this purchase. Not a bad figure, by any means, but it would have been an easy pass for me. Congratulations Build-A-Figure gimmick. You won this round!

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Iron Man’s Mark 46 armor fares a bit better, as I believe this is a brand new sculpt, but I have so many god damn Iron Man figures in my Legends collection, my eyes start to glaze over when I try to remember them all. It’s at least notably different from the Age of Ultron Mark 43, which was mostly a repaint of the Iron Man 3 Mark 42. Oh, god. I need to lie down. F.R.I.D.A.Y. get me an ice pack.

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I actually dig the look of this design a lot. The overall figure is a lot cleaner than the last two with a little less panel line clutter and the gold is toned down even more than the Mk 43. The more buff look of the chest is pretty cool and the partially shrouded Arc Reactor at least shakes things up a bit. The paint here is also pretty sharp and clean and the red plastic is shiny and vibrant. Alas, the Mk 46 takes a hit when it comes to articulation. All the points are there, but the shoulders inhibit the range of motion in the arms and the hips don’t have a lot of motion either. He’s a solid figure, but there are only so many poses you can get out of him and that’s frustrating.

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Cap may have been cheated out of accessories, but Tony wasn’t. The Mk 46 not only comes with an extra pair of hands (one pair of fists and one pair of repulsor blasting hands), but also a couple of effect parts designed to peg into his palm repulsors. Yeah, they’re blue and that’s odd, but they’re still pretty cool and that’s coming from someone who isn’t generally impressed by effect parts. But even here, there are issues with the articulation. The wrists are limited by the arm sculpt, so getting his hand straight up into the firing position while the arm is held straight out is impossible. You’ve got to bend those elbows!

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You can also put them in the peg holes in his feet. It doesn’t quite position the blasts where they’re supposed to go, but it still works just fine.

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One last thing worth mentioning is the scale here and how it feels off between them. Obviously kids are going to want these figures so they can make them fight each other. And by kids, I my 43-year old ass. But put them toe to toe with each other and Cap doesn’t just come up short, he looks downright puny. I get it, Tony is a guy wearing a suit of armor, so he should be bigger than you average guy. But this is Steve Rogers and he’s not your average guy. Then again, scale always has been an issue with this line and this Cap is definitely rather demure.

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It seems like a while since I came away from a Marvel Legends review and not been on a toy-loving high, but today’s installment of Marvel Monday turned out a little disappointing. Neither of these releases are bad figures, but neither excite me all that much either. Tony Stark obviously comes away as the fresh and new release, but even there I’m starting to feel the effects of iron fatigue. But hey… two BAF parts down!

Marvel Legends (Red Onslaught Wave): Demolition Man by Hasbro

Another Marvel Monday, another Legends figure. I’m in the home stretch with my look at the Red Skull/Onslaught Wave and down to the very last slot of shared figures. These are the “Mercenaries of Mayhem” and if you haven’t guessed yet, I’m saving my most anticipated figure of this wave for last… so until then let’s check out Demolition Man.

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Package Shot. Nothing new to say about it, so let’s take a minute to qualify who this figure really is. Yes, it’s Dennis Dunphy who was Demolition Man, but this is the character under the control of Hydra in the guise of Scourge in the pages of Captain America. Why they didn’t just name him Scourge on the box is beyond me, because I’d be pretty surprised if Hasbro let the name Scourge fall out of trademark what with it being the name of a character in their line of change-o-bots. I’d argue that having the name Demolition Man on the package isn’t even correct, but hey at least it only appears on the back. Also, Hasbro… make us a proper Legends Demolition Man! But hey, don’t take any of that Jameson-fueled ramble to mean that I’m not happy to get this figure. My Vol. 3 TPB of Brubaker’s Captain America is well read…

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… and besides, just look at him! He’s pure 100% concentrated mercenary badass! After getting so many painted bucks, it’s always a treat to get a figure with some fresh sculpting and this guy has it plus layers of tactical gear. The buck looks all new to me, but then I’m terrible at spotting this sort of thing. He’s loaded with detail from the texturing on the torso to the segmented elbow pads, down to his distinctive looking boots. And while Scourge’s deco is derived mostly from black plastic, you do get some really sharp looking white and silver paint to spruce things up a bit.

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Over that brilliant buck, Scourge is toting a tactical harness with enough pouches to make Deadpool jealous. You also get some nice gold paint on the shotgun shells he has on the cross belt. The main harness has a sheath for his combat knife and he’s got a second thigh strap holding a great looking molded holster for his automatic pistol. This is great stuff!

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The head sculpt is an imposing mask, which would scare any villain straight. It features narrow red eyes and slits for a mouth flanked by two breather canisters. The only thing not armored on this guy are his ears. Again, the metallic silver paint on the mask and shoulders really pops against the black of the rest of the figure.

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Scourge is loaded with great articulation. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels both at the thighs and tops of the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the chest and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck.

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You get three weapons with Scourge and they’re all excellent. First up is the combat knife that fits into the sheath. This is a sweet little military style combat knife with a sculpted brown grip and a black tanto-style blade. He can hold it beautifully in his left hand.

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Next up, is the automatic pistol. The maroon and orange color scheme is certainly distinctive and the sculpt is spot on. Hasbro has gotten pretty funky with some of the pistols in this line now and then, but this sidearm is sized right and looks great in his hand. It also fits into the holster on his thigh.

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Finally, when things get serious, Scourge can bust out his combat shotgun. This weapon features a solid sculpt and a deco that matches the pistol. It has a hand grip for the pump and some painted shells along the side of the receiver.

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I started this feature with a little dig against Scourge saying I was saving my most anticipated figure for last, but I have to say, this guy is going to be a tough act to follow. He features an amazing sculpt, great paint, fun articulation, and some damn fine weapons. Scourge is an absolute home run in every category and he may indeed be the surprise breakout figure of this wave for me. He’s also a perfect example of why I think Hasbro needs to bring GI JOE to the 6-inch format. I think about the amount of fun I’ve had playing with this guy and I can only imagine a Real American Hero line getting the same style of treatment in this scale. I’d even be willing to full on subscription service for something like that, Hasbro, so long as the figures turned out as good as Scourge here. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if the last figure of the wave can beat this guy. I’ll find out next Monday when I finally open Taskmaster!

Marvel Legends (Red Onslaught Wave): Captain America by Hasbro

I’m finally past the halfway mark in my look at this wave of Marvel Legends figures… only three more to go before I can cobble together a Red Skull! With the wave branded in a Captain America theme, it’s understandable that Cap himself would make an appearance and that’s exactly who I’m checking out today!

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There’s really nothing new to say about the packaging, other than Cap and his accessories fill up that tray pretty well. It feels like we’ve been hit with a whole lot of Cap since the Legends line returned, but I’ve been more or less complete with these figures and I was surprised to find only a handful in my Legends drawers, and a couple of those were from the Cinematic Universe. With Rogers being one of my favorite Marvel characters, you won’t hear me complain about getting a fair share of different versions of the man. Oh yeah… see those shoulder straps?

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Well forget about them. They literally slid off the figure’s arms the moment I got him out of of the package. I see no way of making them stay on, so I just have to ask, WTF, Hasbro? Costume malfunction aside, I really dig this figure. He’s about as classic a version of comic Cap that we’ve seen in Legends since the line has come back. It’s a very clean look for the costume with no scaling or texturing on the top of the costume at all, just a large white star and pronounced red and white stripes in the mid-section. The classic comic goodness is further enhanced by the very wide belt and large belt buckle, the flared gauntlets and the traditional buccaneer boots. This here is good old-fashioned and unfiltered patriotism, soldier!

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The head sculpt is broad and beefy, which makes for a good comic look. The cowl features the extra large “A” as part of the sculpt as well as the protruding wings on the sides. Some of the paint lines could have been a little sharper, but there’s nothing too bad here.

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This version of Cap sports more or less the same articulation as most. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with double hinges in the knees and swivel cuts in the thighs and tops of the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. Finally, you get a rotating waist, ab crunch hinge, and ball joint in the neck. I will note that the hinge in the neck does very little and I’ve really only been able to get side to side movement out of the head.

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The shield appears to be the same one that came with the Marvel NOW! version of Cap that was part of the Mandroid Wave. It’s the type that clips onto the arm and also offers a peg so it can be worn on the back. The paint on the surface is pretty crisp and clean.

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You also get an extra pair of hands, which include a saluting right hand and a pointing left hand. It’s the sort of thing we’ve seen before in Legends scale Caps and while I’m not a big extra hand kind of guy, I do appreciate getting these with my Caps. Almost as much as getting a spare werewolf head.

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Because of course, no Captain America figure is complete without an werewolf head. Wait, what? Yeah, this extra head in the package no doubt has had the more casual collectors scratching their heads. Wolf Cap was one of the more bizarre twists Captain America took a while (in the 90’s, I think?) back. I’ve never actually read that run, but it’s very possible I may be displaying this figure with the wolf head because, why the hell not?

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I can certainly understand some collectors getting Cap fatigue from Legends. Those people are obviously filthy communists. Me? I’m a patriot, and so I’m happy to get another stand out version of Captain America for my shelf. Indeed, this one fits right in between the version that came in the Target Exclusive 3-Pack (with Radioactive Man and Ms Marvel) and the aforementioned modern look from the Mandroid Wave. The bonus werewolf head is just a gravy. Very silly gravy.

Captain America The Winter Soldier: Stealth STRIKE Suit Captain America 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

I’m way behind on my Hot Toys Features, mainly because I need to work myself up to tackling these figures on account of me still being in awe of them. Yeah even with about 20 of these beauties on my shelf they still tend to intimidate me. Anyway, today’s figure has been kicking around FigureFan Central for a while, patiently waiting his turn, so it’s long past time I gave Cap his due.

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This is my third Hot Toys figure from the Winter Soldier film and I really love what they did with these package designs. Sure, it’s the same old shoebox style box with an illustrated cardboard insert over the tray, but it’s the deco that sells me on these. It’s very in line with the cool art direction seen in the credits. The front of the box features Cap in a typically heroic pose. But who am I kidding? Cap is one of my life long heroes and he would probably still look heroic to me eating a hot dog and dribbling mustard down his shirt. The back of the box features the names of some of the people who worked on the figure and all the boxes from the Winter Soldier figures look uniform when lined up on the shelf. As always, everything is collector friendly.

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I’ve made it no secret that I adore this movie and that I love this particular costume design. It’s a wonderful nod to the outfit worn in the comics when Cap simply went by Steve Rogers, or just Captain, and I loved that he wore this specific costume when he was basically working as SHIELD’s lapdog, but questioning whether what he was doing was right. Up until now I’ve successfully avoided double-dipping on any one character when it comes to Hot Toys, but this was one I couldn’t resist. And oh man, did Hot Toys do a beautiful job with this costume!

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As we’ll see in a little bit, this release is not heavy in extras or accessories, but that’s alright by me because they went all out on the costume. The material is a lush dark blue with a sight sheen to it in the right light and features some amazingly intricate stitching all over the place, but particularly in the abdomin and upper legs. The metallic silver star and striping across the chest contrasts beautifully with the darker material and he has some red stripes running down his sides from his underarms all the way down into his boots. You get a tiny SHIELD emblem on his right sleeve, his name badge on his left sleeve and a stylized American flag on his left shoulder. The costume fits the figure beautifully and the tailoring is top notch.

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Extra bits on the costume include a shoulder rig for his shield and a leather belt with pouches and a silver belt buckle. He also has sculpted plastic guards for his knees. His hands feature sculpted finger-less gloves and his boots have sculpted belts and buckles running up to the tops. The only downside of the costume is that it is rather restrictive in the upper body, even more so than most Hot Toys figures. I’m sure if I carefully worked on it, I could get more articulation out of it, but I’m not willing to risk pulling any stitching in the top. From the waist down things are a lot more forgiving due to the slightly baggier military style cut of the trousers.

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The figure includes only the masked portrait, with an unmasked available if you bought the two pack with civilian Steve Rogers. This is my second Cap from Hot Toys, with the other being from his first movie, and I’d say this one shows some marked improvement over what was already a pretty fantastic sculpt. There’s a little more definition in the facial features on this one, particularly around the mouth, but otherwise I think HT took the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” route and that’s fine by me. Of course, this version of the helmet and mask is more detailed than the “First Avenger” version and that allowed HT to strut their stuff a little more with the sculpt. There’s some great texturing under the eye-holes and there’s just the right amount of weathering on the helmet itself and the chinstrap.

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Obviously, Captain America comes with his shield and in this case it’s the more muted blue and silver one designed to be a little less apparent on his “stealth missions.” The paint looks great and since it isn’t plated, it shouldn’t have the flaking problem that eventually struck a lot of our “First Avenger” Cap shields. It’s made from diecast metal and the reverse of the shield is almost identical to the previous releases, which means it looks totally authentic, but this time the straps are a little more forgiving. In fact, I find that I don’t even have to pop the hand off to get it onto his arm, which makes things a lot easier. You also get a hook, which allows you to easily hang the shield on his back. Since I have my other Cap holding his shield, I’ll likely display this one wearing it on his back.

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It wouldn’t be a Hot Toys figure without a ton of hands and that’s certainly the case here. You get a total of five pairs, all with the same sculpted, fingerless gloves. Theese include: Fists, relaxed hands, grabby hands, and splayed finger hands. You also get a pointing right hand. A pair of extra wrist posts are also included just in case you snap one… or two.

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The accessories are rounded out by a rather useless magnetic cuff, the one used in the elevator scene, and a little stick that lets you make adjustments to the costume. I can’t really think of anything else he needed to come with, other than maybe the thumb drive with Zola’s algorithm. The extra unmasked head would have been a nice bonus, but I can understand them withholding that to sell the two-pack.

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STRIKE Cap is an excellent figure and easily lives up to my high expectations. And speaking of high… he retails at about $220, which is really starting to push the limit for me. The craftsmanship is certainly there, but he’s mighty light on the accessories when compared to figures like Falcon and Winter Soldier, which retailed for only about $10 more. I get that there’s a thing called inflation, but I find that my comfort zone for these figures is around $200, give or take ten bucks, and we seem to be getting further away from that. Price aside, if I had one other gripe about this figure it would actually be the crazy delays that it took to get to me. Despite pre-ordering him from Sideshow the day he went up for sale I was a little pissed to see online retailers getting him in stock weeks before mine even shipped from the source. Considering that there was no Sideshow exclusive for this figure, that Sideshow pre-order actually worked to my detriment, apart from getting some reward points. But not to end this Feature on a down note, I absolutely love the way this figure turned out and he looks damn great on what is now my Winter Soldier shelf, alongside Falcon and Bucky. I passed on the vintage suited Cap in this series, mainly because I’m content to let my “First Avenger” version fill that role. Now I just have to get off my ass and write up the Feature for Rocket and Groot.

Marvel Legends (Thanos Wave): Captain America by Hasbro

It’s Friday, May 1st and that means Age of Ultron is out in the theaters now and like myself, many of you are still reeling from the excitement of having seen it at least a couple of times. Fear not for spoilers, because all I’m going to say is that it lived up to all my expectations and yet a lot of it is still settling in. Better than the first? Hmm… probably not, but still an amazing ride and further proof (as if we need it at this point) that the team of Marvel and Disney know how to bring comic action to the big screen. To commemorate the movie’s launch, I am taking the opportunity to check out the last two of the the three Age of Ultron figures that were released as part of the Thanos Wave of Marvel Legends. If you missed out on Monday, it was The Hulk. Today I’m looking at Cap and when I come back for Marvel Monday, I’ll take a look at the Iron Man, Mark 43 armor. Let’s go. soldiers!

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There’s the packaging and I’ve got nothing new to say about it, other than all the movie figures have the Age of Ultron branding up at the top. I will, however, take this opportunity to talk a little about Cap’s new uniform. The evolution of Cap’s costume has been interesting. We got the original WW2 style look in The First Avenger. A very big departure to a modern look in The Avengers. Then in The Winter Soldier he donned the Captain Rogers homage that was the STRIKE Suit before he literally went back to his WW2 costume (albeit ret-conned with some tweaks). And that brings us to Age of Ultron where he’s wearing what I can best describe as a mix of the STRIKE Suit and ret-conned WW2 outfit. I like it a lot, but I’m still deciding whether I like it enough to justify another Hot Toys Cap purchase. Luckily picking up the Legends version is not such a weighty decision.

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When I first held this figure in hand, I thought it was a straight repaint of the STRIKE Suit Cap, but comparing the two reveals there are significant tweaks to the mold, mostly in the torso. That’s fine, because I’m a big fan of the former figure and seeing it dressed up in the red, white, and blue is making me love it even more. The belt still seems a bit on the thick side, giving him what looks like a shelf surrounding his waist, but otherwise the contours and proportions are excellent. The new paintwork is overall fairly clean. I like the silver detailing on the buckles of his shoulder rigs and the fingerless gloves are a nice touch. All in all, this is a great looking figure that serves up the best of both worlds, but if you’re looking for a completely new body, you’ll be disappointed.

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If you have STRIKE Suit Cap then you obviously know what to expect from the articulation here, but if this is your first time with this mold, I’ll run through it anyway. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs and tops of the boots, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. Cap can swivel at the waist, he has an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and his head is both hinged and ball jointed. STRIKE Suit Cap spent quite a while on my desk before getting put on the shelf and I had a lot of fun playing around with him. The same will likely be true of this guy.

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This Age of Ultron release also includes everything that came with the STRIKE Suit figure. For starters, that means you get two portraits, one masked and one unmasked. The masked head looks to me like a straight repaint of the STRIKE Suit Cap, while the unmasked is the exact same head, untouched. Both heads are pretty good. The paint on the masked head could be a tad sharper, but I have no serious complaints. The unmasked head is a good looking sculpt, although I’ve got to squint a little to see the likeness. It probably works better as a comic book head than one matching Chris Evans.

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In addition to the two heads, you also get two sets of hands: One pair of fists, one pointing left hand, and one saluting right hand. Again, these are the same pieces that came with STRIKE Suit Cap. I was happy to get them there and they’re welcome here as well.

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Lastly, you get Cap’s trusty shield, which is the same STRIKE Suit Cap shield, which has obviously been repainted to the more traditional colors. By now I’ve practically got a drawer full of Legends scale Captain America shields, but I think this is one of my favorites because it actually has straps like the real thing, as opposed to the hinged peg and clip system. The paint job on the front is beautiful and the sculpted straps on the inside can slide onto his arm without even removing the hand. On the downside, there’s no way to attach this thing to his back.

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With the crazy number of Legends Captain America figures that are populating my shelves these days, I have to admit that this release didn’t have me all that excited. That having been said, he turned out to be an excellent figure and possibly one of my favorite versions of him in this scale. The sculpt was already a winner and I think these colors work beautifully on it. Plus, getting the extra portrait and hands just sweetens the pot. I’m hoping that when the time comes I’ll be content to own this version of Cap in the Legends scale and save a little money on the Hot Toys, but I won’t know for sure until the time comes and I can see what my bank account looks like.