Marvel Studios “First Ten Years:” Iron Man Mk XXIII, Pepper Potts, and The Mandarin by Hasbro

Yup, the random Marvel Legends reviews are getting put on hold once again so that I can push one of these First Ten Years releases to the head of the line. This Amazon Exclusive boxed set of three figures from Iron Man 3 hit my porch this past weekend, and I was just too excited not to open it up right away. Let’s take a look!

Iron Man 3 feels like it was one of the most polarizing of all the MCU films. I still encounter people who have raging hatred toward it, and I really can’t see why. I can still remember when it hit home release on Blu-Ray and I must have watched it three times over the course of a couple of days, and my love for it didn’t even tarnish one bit. Hell, I’m long overdue for a re-watch now! Anyway, this is the first three-figure set I’ve picked up in this First Ten Years line, but the packaging is still the same. It looks good, it’s collector friendly, but I’m still not going to be keeping the box. With three figures to cover, let’s just dig right in and start with Pepper.

Never did I think I’d be so happy to own a Gwenyth Paltrow figure, but Pepper has been in a hell of a lot of MCU films and it’s long past time she got the Legends treatment. And It seems only logical to go with the movie where she actually got involved in the action. I mean, black sports bra or business suit? That’s not even up for debate. Unfortunately, this figure turned out decidedly average. In terms of sculpting and paint, this isn’t exactly a complex figure, nor did it need to be. The new sculpting for the top of the torso, as well as the bare feet, are new and appreciated, but the paint could have been a lot better, and that’s pretty sad considering it’s just a black top and black pants and virtually no intricate detailed paint hits to be had. The paint lines around her waist are downright sloppy and the bra straps could have been cleaner too. Hasbro has been doing some pretty nice paintwork in this line on even the little things like pouch buttons and belt buckles, so to see this kind of carelessness on a figure that required so little really hurts.

I do think the head sculpt is pretty solid for a 6-inch scale figure. It’s not a dead on likeness, but I can see some resemblance in there. I’d believe that Paltrow has one of those faces that could be tough to get right (I’d argue that even Hot Toys didn’t quite nail her perfectly), so I’m willing to be a little forgiving here. She also doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would approve an action figure likeness, so I’m pretty surprised we got this release at all. Either way, the printing on the face is pretty clean and the hair sculpt looks good. Maybe since now Hasbro has done the head sculpt we can look forward to getting another version of Pepper.

Articulation is everything I expect to find in an MCU Legends lady. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint just under the chest, no waist swivel, and the neck is ball jointed and hinged. I will say that the ankle joints look really chunky and I think they blew up her feet a bit to make them work a bit better with those larger joints.

 

Pepper’s right arm can detach at the shoulder and be swapped out for the one wearing the Iron Man armor sleeve and gauntlet. There’s also a repulsor blast effect part that plugs into the palm. This extra arm is a great addition and I’ll likely display the figure with this look most of the time. On the downside, there’s no articulation in the wrist, which means getting the repulsor effect to fire in a convincing manner isn’t easy. She can’t hold her the arm straight out without the effect shooting at a downward angle. Moving on to The Mandarin…

Now here’s a figure I never thought we would ever get. I’m sure there are still people salty over how Iron Man 3 treated one of Iron Man’s iconic arch enemies. Me? I thought it was great fun and a pretty cool twist, but then I was never a big fan of The Mandarin in the comics or the cartoons. Either way, here he is Trevor Slattery all decked out in his theatrical garb and looking pretty damn great. He’s sporting a pair of camoflague pants, military style boots, and a tunic and waist wrap that has a little bit of a Middle Eastern flavor to it. The real draw here, however, is the coat, which features some really nice attention to detail in the sculpt and some beautiful gold leaf paint on the fixtures and sleeves. Even the coat itself has an embossed floral motif running through it. Oh yeah, they even sculpted all ten of his rings on his fingers.

This head sculpt is absolutely spot on as well. From his long beard to his man bun, I think they did a nice job recreating Sir Ben Kingsley in the makeup.

The articulation here is good, but a lot of it is really hindered by the soft plastic coat. It’s also lacking some of the points we’re used to seeing on the male characters in this line. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and no bicep swivels. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinged knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s … The neck has both a hinge and a ball joint. So, what’s here is good on paper, but apart from some gesticulations with his arms, I didn’t find him to be all that much fun to pose. And that brings us to the final figure in the set…

And also the quick and easy repaint: The Mark XXIII Hot Rod armor. I’m pretty sure this is a repaint of one of the War Machine figures (Hulkbuster Wave?), if not I’ll happily stand corrected. It’s also a figure that I have a bit of a disconnect with. I want to applaud the paintwork here because it really is excellent. The gun metal finish on the torso, upper arms, and head all looks great and the flame motif on the legs and metallic red paint on the lower arms also looks superb. So what’s the problem? I just don’t really like this deco all that much. It wasn’t a stand out armor for me in the film, and in as a figure I think it just looks unfinished and strange.

Because he’s a repaint of an earlier figure, he doesn’t come with any extra goodies. No extra hands, no repulsor effect parts, and that’s all pretty disappointing considering the price of this set, which I’ll get into presently. I don’t dislike this figure, but it feels like one of those lone Walmart Exclusives that I would pass up because it doesn’t feel essential to my collection and it doesn’t have a BAF part. Yup, just like all those Back in Black Deadpools that are clogging up the pegs at my local Target.

Wow, what a mixed bag this set turned out to be! I was excited for both Pepper and The Mandarin, but Pepper turned out to be a pretty mediocre figure and while The Mandarin is pretty solid, it doesn’t justify the $70 I paid for this set. Especially since I could have easily passed on the Hot Rod armor. Hell, $70 for a three-pack of normal sized figures without much in the way of accessories is pretty high even if they all turned out to be excellent must-have releases. Even more surprising to me is that the set appears to have sold out on Amazon, as currently only available from Marketplace scalpers at twice the price. If this were just Pepper and Mandarin at $40 I would have been a lot more satisfied with this purchase, as it is

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Marvel Studios “First Ten Years:” Ant-Man and Yellowjacket by Hasbro

Last week was a great week for MCU fans as Inifnity War hit home release, and I just got around to watching my copy this past weekend. It would have been fun to have some related content for today, but I’m still debating whether or not I need that First Ten Years 3-pack with Thanos. Anyway, my regular random Marvel Legends reviews are still on hiatus this week, as I’ve been tackling some of these new Marvel Studios: First Ten Years releases. I’ll get back to some normal Legends reviews next week… well, sort of. But for now, today’s selection is a two-pack from the original Ant-Man movie, giving us not only the titular hero, but also his nemesis Yellowjacket. This sub-line is geared toward putting out figures that Hasbro missed back when these films were originally out, and it seems to be particularly good at delivering on the MCU’s villains, most of which had been snubbed. Seriously, Hasbro… Red Skull, Ronan, Yellowjacket… how’d you miss so many?

If you’ve been with me for the last couple of Marvel Mondays than you know what to expect from this packaging. The design is distinctive enough to make it seem like something special, but I doubt I’ll be keeping these boxes because I just don’t have the room, goddammit. One of the figures in this two-pack is a double-dip, as this same version of Ant-Man was released way back in 2015 as part of the Ultron Wave, so let’s start with him!

I’m happy to say that Ant-Man is not a complete repack. Sure, a comparison shows that from the neck down an overwhelming majority of the figure is the same sculpt, but they did add texturing to some of the red parts and I think it makes for a nice improvement. On the flip-side, the weathered paint wash has been removed from the silver areas on the belt and wrist bracers, giving this suit a cleaner look. It looks good, but I think the wash on the previous release gave it more character. This was supposed to be an old suit that’s seen quite a bit of action by the time Scott Lang put it on. Maybe this one will work best as Hank Pym’s version from when it was fresh and new. At least that would justify me having two.

There are a few other variations in the paint, most notably this figure adds some silver piping on the upper legs and some red on the lower legs. They’ve also nixed the florescent orange bits, for which I am most grateful. The silver trim on the previous figure was laid on a bit thicker and here it’s less pronounced. It’s probably more accurate, but it also means it’s not quite as evenly applied. It’s not bad, but just not as sharp as it could have been in some areas. There’s also a little wear to the red paint on my figure down near the small of his back. Either way, I really love the design here and I’m on record as saying I like it better than the suit used for Civil War and Ant-Man and The Wasp, so I’m OK with getting a new version of it, even if I didn’t really need it.

The masked head is a completely new sculpt, this time with the mask closed up and covering the entire face. Like the body, I think there’s some give and take as to which I prefer. Again, I like the antiqued finish to the silver paint on the previous release, but I think the enclosed mask looks better here, mainly because the facial features on the original are rather soft. Also, I’m a big fan of the red paint used on the eyes here. I don’t recall the neon orange paint on the previous release bothering me much at the time, but comparing the two side-by-side I think it looks awful now. Overall, I think I have to give the nod to this new head.

We also get another Paul Rudd likeness, this time he’s not smirking like he is on the Ant-Man and The Wasp version. I wasn’t fully sold on that previous likeness and I’m not on this one either. I can see Rudd in there, but it still feels like there’s something off about it. Again, not terrible, I’d go so far as to say it’s pretty damn good for a 6-inch scale retail release at this price point, but not quite there for me. Still, it’s a nice bonus and I’d definitely give this one a nod over the smirking one. And in case you were wondering, head swaps between the Ant-Man figures seems to be universal, so you can put either unmasked head on this guy or even the helmeted head from the Ultron Wave release. I won’t bother covering articulation here, as it’s identical to the previous release, and I’ve got a whole other figure to check out, and it’s the real reason I bought this set!

Hell yeah! It’s Yellowjacket! I’ve been a bitter person ever since Hot Toys cancelled their release of this character, leaving a man-bug-shaped hole in my heart. It seemed like I was doomed to never own a little plastic version of this guy. It’s not that I loved the villain in the movie, he was totally forgettable, but I did fall in love with the suit design the first time I saw it. As complex as I remember the suit being, this figure is surprisingly simple. It’s a black buck with some bright and beautiful textured yellow panels. The black areas of the costume do feature some panel lines and texturing, but nothing too crazy or complex. Oh, don’t get me wrong, this sculpt gets the job done and looks fantastic doing it. It also reminds me a lot of some of the Tron Legacy figures, and that’s not a bad thing.

The stingers are part of a backpack that pegs into the back of the figure. The antenna on the top offer a little bit of motion, while the arms on the bottom feature several hinges and other joints to allow for a great degree of articulation. They can be positioned up over the shoulders, down under the arms, or any combination in between.

The composition of the helmet is fantastic. You get an inner head, black with yellow panels, which can be seen through the two large transparent lenses on the outer helmet. It’s definitely got a very bug-like visage and it’s one of the many things that makes this one of my favorite MCU suit designs in the entire first ten years of films. I know there have been some rumors flying that this suit may return in a future Ant-Man film worn by another villain, and I’d love to see that.

The box also contains tiny versions of Ant-Man and Yellowjacket, and I’m pretty sure these are just repacks of previously released accessories. I like that Hasbro includes these, but there’s not a lot to do with them. They won’t even stand up on their own.

I was prepared to come out of this review bitching about how I wish Hasbro had released Yellowjacket on his own, but it turns out that I’m not too upset about having to buy another Ant-Man figure to get him. While I would have preferred that they kept the weathered look of the original’s silver bits, I think the added texture and the new masked head make it a worthy, albeit redundant, addition to my collection. And to be honest, even if it was a straight repack, I would have still laid out the forty bones for this set just to get Yellowjacket. He’s a great looking figure and a design that I desperately wanted to display on my MCU Legends shelf.

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.

Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Ronan by Hasbro

In case you missed it, Hasbro is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by going back and releasing some figures of characters they missed the first time around. A few weeks back I checked out the Captain America and Crossbones set from Civil War and today I’m turning my attention to Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy. [Insert polarizing opinion about James Gunn controversy here].

The First Ten Years releases run the gamut from single packs to two-packs, and even some three packs. Whatever the case, they all come in window boxes, which have been re-branded to help them stand out from the regular Marvel Legends releases. The corners are all squared off and you get a new deco and Marvel Studios logo. Back when Hasbro was doing figures for the first Guardians film, I thought omitting Ronan figure was a huge oversight, and I’m extremely happy that Hasbro is rectifying that now. So let’s get this Kree accuser out of the box and check him out.

And wow, what an amazing sculpt this is! Ronan’s Kree battle armor gave the sculptors at Hasbro a rich canvas to work on and they did not disappoint. Every tiny facet of the armor is realized in full detail. His coat is sculpted as part of the torso and extends down past the waist as a separate soft plastic piece, which hangs around the legs, and it’s all pretty convincing as one garment, save for the cut for the waist swivel. The coat features a grid of segmented armor pieces, almost like scales, which forms a strip running straight down to between his legs. In other areas, some of the armor plates have cool vein-like wrinkles sculpted into them, suggestive of some kind of weird alien forging process.

I really dig the super-fine texturing showing in the lower part of the coat, also seen on some of the leg panels. It looks like some kind of micro-chain armor. There’s also some very fine ribbing in the joints around his underarms. Two strips hang down his back with, like two thin capes, each with an intricate pattern, like a techno-snakeskin. While the coloring here is fairly drab, you do get a nice mix of dark gray metal with some silver, as well as swipes of red forming a pattern on his chest that looks like war paint. Obviously, the MCU figures give Hasbro a lot more to work with when it comes to detail, and I think Ronan here may be one of their most intricate sculpts yet. Pair that with the excellent coloring and this is quite simply an amazing looking figure.

The portrait is no slouch either. Not only is this a solid likeness, but the glossy paint they used for his eyes give him a slight spark of life that I don’t recall ever seeing in a figure in this scale before. He does have some blue veins painted in on his face, which I don’t remember seeing on him in the film, and also the black warpaint around his eyes and mouth. And just in case you thought this review was going to be nothing but me gushing, here’s where we get into some problems…

The soft plastic hood is permanently attached to the head and so is the shoulder armor. Yup, when you turn Ronan’s head, his shoulders turn with it, and this is a terrible design. It’s not too bad if you just tweak his neck articulation, but if you want any significant amount of head turn, it just looks so awkward. I get it, the design features the hood running under the shoulder plates, but here’s where I would have been OK with some creative license on Hasbro’s part. They should have attached the shoulders to the torso via soft plastic connectors and just shaved a little bit off the hood. As things stand, his neck articulation is useless unless you want his shoulder armor levitating in mid air. What a shame.

As long as we’re on the subject of articulation, let’s run down the points. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The torso features an ab-crunch hinge and a swivel in the waist, and lastly the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. It all sounds fine on paper, but in reality there are a few issues. . First off, the ab-crunch hinge on my figure is extremely loose. It will hold most positions, but it feels all floppy. Second, the lower half of his armor coat does inhibit the leg movement quite a bit. And finally, those shoulders don’t work well with his arms raised over his head. As great as this figure looks, I can’t say he’s all that much fun to play with. I was struggling just to come up with different poses for pictures.

Of course, Ronan comes with his hammer and it’s a decent enough accessory. It’s cast in gray plastic and there’s some nice swirly effects in the head. The shaft even has some sculpted detail. It even has the glowing purple Infinity Stone centered in its head. Ronan’s hands are sculpted so that he can hold it in either hand, or both.

I was terribly excited to get this figure in hand and even as I was checking him out in the box, I thought he couldn’t be anything else but a slam-dunk. And if I just planned on posing him on my shelf standing with his hammer by his side, then I suppose he turned out pretty great. But the moment I got him in hand and started fiddling about with him, the pangs of disappointment began to build. The design choices here definitely favor display over play, and I suppose that’s fine for a lot of collectors out there, but I like to get a little more out of these little plastic people, and so this release left me a little cold. Hopefully I’ll have better luck next week, as I keep the First Ten Years train rolling along with a review of another of these new Marvel Studios releases.

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.