Marvel Legends (Crimson Dynamo Wave): Winter Soldier by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday and I’m pressing on with my look at the Crimson Dynamo Wave! After checking out a couple of figures from the Black Widow movie, I thought I’d turn back to another one of the comic book figures in this assortment. Strangely, Bucky hasn’t had much comic book love in the modern Legends line, despite his heavy influences on the MCU. And while I’ll confess I would much rather have had a Bucky Barnes figure by now to hang out with one of my many MANY Caps, I won’t turn my nose up at this new Winter Soldier figure.

And here he is in the package along with a noggin for the Crimson Dynamo BAF! This is probably a pretty modern look for Winter Soldier, as the lines between comic and MCU designs are pretty blurred here. As many of you know I’ve given up on current Marvel comics, but I think I last encountered Bucky in the pages of The Thunderbolts. Indeed, when I found this figure on the pegs, it  actually took me a second to realize this wasn’t MCU Bucky with a bad Sebastian Stan likeness. Nope, he’s straight from the pages of the funny books!

Oh YEAH! Hasbro went off the charts with some of the sculpted detail on this guy, especially where his equipment is concerned. The costume itself is pretty standard stuff, particularly his familiar tunic with the horizontal strips running across his chest. The combat pants have nice texturing and some sculpted pockets, and are tucked into his high-laced military boots. Overall, the colors are pretty dark, but there’s a lighter blue wash to bring out some of the details in his tunic.

The cybernetic arm is sculpted with a ribbed texture and lots of musculature. It’s also got a nice silver-gray sheen to it and a star printed on the shoulder. The hands have sculpted, finger-less gloves, and I dig that they actually sculpted the cybernetic jointing into the fingers on his left hand. You gotta really look to see it, which makes it all the more welcome. Holy crap, he’s even even wearing a watch on his left wrist.

And then we come to tall the extra gear they strapped to him! For starters he’s got a harness with ammo pouches running across his chest. Below that he has a tactical belt with grenades, magazines, and a combat knife and pistol, alas neither of which are removable. Finally, he has two more magazines strapped to his left thigh. Hasbro even popped for some paint operations on the grenades, gun, and magazines. Nice!

The head sculpt is quite good, giving us something of a generic Sebastian Stan, which is pretty much how I remembered him the last time I saw him in a comic panel. He has a domino mask, which is part of the sculpt and neatly painted, and a coif of long hair with strands hanging down on either side of his face.

 

By now y’all should know what to expect from modern Legends articulation, but what the hell, let’s run through it. It pads out my word count. 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, have double-hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. The thick knee joints can look a little strange when flexed all the way, the elbow joints are a tad spongy, but otherwise, he’s a fun figure to play with.

Bucky comes with two weapons, and these are great examples of how to do Marvel Legends weapons the proper way. They’re wonderfully detailed and look like the equivalent of real world weapons and not weird sci-fi shooters, like the red abomination we got with the MCU version of Winter Soldier. The pistol looks like a M1911 with a textured grip and detailed slide. The rifle looks like an AR-15 carbine with (non) telescoping stock, scope, and a grenade launcher slung under the barrel. These are exactly the kinds of weapons I wish Hasbro would have included with their GI JOE Classified figures!

A lot of the comic-based Legends I’ve looked at lately have been of the quick-and-easy painted costume variety. And yeah, that honestly does work fine for a lot of characters, but it also makes me appreciate a figure like this Winter Soldier all the more. Hasbro just poured on the love in every possible way, from the detailed sculpt to the excellent weapons, and the result is a comic-based figure that stands out even among the MCU releases. He’s quite simply fantastic.

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.

Captain America The Winter Soldier: Falcon 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

While my favorite Marvel Movie to date is still a running tie between Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, my second pick is easily the superb political action thriller that was The Winter Soldier so it’s only natural that I’m going to be close to All-In with Hot Toys’ figures from this flick and that brings us to today’s feature: Falcon! Portrayed by Anthony Mackie, Sam Wilson’s treatment in the film was just one of the many things that clicked perfectly for me in this movie. Every time I doubt they’ll be able to bring a certain character to the “realistic” Marvel MovieVerse they still manage to pull it off beautifully. It’s a shame that Hasbro didn’t get us a Marvel Legends version of Falcon. With those huge wings, he would have made an interesting BAF. Nonetheless, Hot Toys has never been one to walk away from a challenge (or a chance to charge fanatics like me $250 for an action figure) and so they honored Falcon with the ultimate action figure treatment. And they certainly did him justice!

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I absolutely adored the style used for Winter Soldier’s packaging and Falcon’s is no slouch either. It’s tasteful and exciting and features a great picture of Falcon soaring on the front of the box. Lift off the top and you get an illustrated overlay, which in turn lifts off to reveal the tray containing the figure, the huge flight stand, and all the other bits and bobs we’re used to seeing with Hot Toys’ releases. The back of the box has a cast of all the talented people that worked to bring this figure to our greedy mitts. While the presentation of the packaging will never make or break a figure for me, I prefer this high class route over the somewhat cheesy route they took with the Guardians figures. This feels a lot more like the kind of box a $250 collectible should come in.

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I love the designs of all the tactical shit that appears in the Marvel films and this figure makes a great showcase for all that great stuff. Falcon comes donning the tactical gear that he wore for the final battles of the film. He has a pair of gray camo pants with all sorts of stitching and pockets, an American Flag and a set of hard plastic knee guards. The pants look great and are just roomy enough to get a wide range of movement out of the figure’s legs without having to worry about tearing the stitching. Up top, Sam is wearing a padded zip down vest with short sleeves, hard plastic shoulder armor, and the somewhat elaborate series of belts and straps that hold on the Falcon jetpack. The fixturing on all the buckles and straps look great and the combination of that and the gold zipper really makes the figure’s otherwise drab military deco pop. As with the loose pants, the lack of sleeves frees up Sam’s arms for a great deal of movement. Indeed, this is one of the most easily poseable Hot Toys figures I’ve had in a while. Yeah, the elbow joints are exposed, which is something Hot Toys likes to avoid to keep from dispelling the realism of these figures, but that doesn’t bother me at all.

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The portrait provides a great likeness to Mackie. This is an absolutely fantastic head sculpt on every level. And while there’s only one portrait, the addition of the goggles gives you the options of displaying him with the goggles down or worn up on his forehead. They’re loose enough so that getting them on and off in either position is easy. I prefer them on his forehead just because the paintwork on the eyes look so good that it’s a shame to cover them up. In addition to the great head sculpt, Falcon comes with four pairs of hands. You get the regular relaxed hands, fists, a pair for holding his guns, and a pair for holding the grab-bars of his wings. You also get an extra pair of wrist posts in case you break or lose the main set.

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Falcon comes with a pair of Steyr SPP submachine guns. In the movie he bypassed the use of traditional holsters in favor of a pretty nifty spring-loaded wrist delivery system that puts the guns right into his hands when he needs them and Hot Toys did a nice job recreating that here. The guns themselves are everything I’ve come to expect from Hot Toys’ amazing arsenal of Sixth-Scale firearms. They’re beautifully painted and feature removable magazines. They also work perfectly with his gun-holding hands.

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The Hot Toys version of the wrist holsters doesn’t feature a working mechanism, which is understandable considering that even the film crew had problems getting the real ones to work. Instead, the figure includes two sets of swappable wrist holsters, one with pegs to hold the guns and one without. The guns peg in securely and the plates that they fit on to will slide forward and back so you can still simulate the action.

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Of course, Falcon’s trademark feature is his winged jetpack and Hot Toys spared no expense bringing this thing to the life as a Sixth-Scale accessory. Hell, it’s hard to even refer to something this big and cool as an accessory. The backpack clips firmly onto a plate on the figure’s back, which makes it look like it’s held on by the harness. It also includes a light up feature that causes the thrusters to glow yellow. There’s a removable cover on the top of the backpack that reveals the on/off switch. The retracted wings are side pieces that simply pull out to be replaced with the fully extended wing pieces. Swapping the parts out is quite easy.

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The wings are absolutely majestic and so beautifully detailed with every segment splendidly defined. Each wing is about the length of the figure itself, so it probably goes without saying that you need a lot of room in that display case if you’re going to display Falcon with the wings fully extended. The wings are, however, hinged in two places so angling them down  gives you some nice options if you’re pressed for space. The wings also include two grab bars that work with one of the sets of hands. You unpeg them from the wings, slip his hands into them and peg them back in.

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Finally, Falcon comes with a huge flight stand. It features a hexagonal base that’s dressed up to look like the deck of a SHIELD carrier and has a plate on the front with Falcon’s name and the title of the film. The base includes a heavy duty flexible bar with a spring loaded grab arm that clutches the figure around the waist and supports it in various flight modes. I have to admit that I was skeptical about using this thing at first, but it’s remarkably sturdy and stable and as long as the arm is secured around the figure I don’t foresee any problems with using it indefinitely. It’s remarkably versatile and can be used for all sorts of great poses. As wonderful and value added as this base is, I still would have liked to the standard one that comes with the other Winter Soldier figures. Right now I can afford the space to keep Falcon fully deployed, but I could see a time where I may need to ground him and having a matching stand like the others would have been cool.

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Falcon is an absolutely amazing figure, perhaps made all the more impressive by the fact that Hot Toys would pour this much attention into a secondary character. Then again, if they’re prepared to go all out for some of Stark’s armors that were seen for a few seconds in Iron Man 3, there’s no reason that a great character like Sam Wilson shouldn’t get this kind of love. Falcon is also one of the first times in a while that I can honestly say that the price tag on a Hot Toys figure feels like a solid value, at least when grading on the Hot Toys curve. I can almost always justify the money I spend on these things, but here’s one where I don’t even need to try. Considering that most HT figures are starting at the $220 range these days, the added majesty of Falcon’s backpack, plus the robust flight stand makes it easy to see where the money went in this release. That’s two Winter Soldier figures under my belt. Next time I circle back to Hot Toys will be to check out Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy and after that we’ll look at the ridiculously delayed Captain America in his STRIKE Suit.

Captain America The Winter Soldier: Winter Soldier 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys, Part 2

Today I’m wrapping up my look at Hot Toys’ Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier. Yesterday I checked out the figure itself and today we’re checking out his accessories. Bucky was a walking arsenal in the film and that fact is wonderfully reflected in the satisfying number of weapons that Hot Toys bundled with this figure. About the only thing more impressive than all this guy’s killing implements is that he can either hold or carry just about everything he comes with all at once! Actually scratch that, if you put one of his big guns in each hand he can carry it all! I freaking love that! As much as I dig combat knives, even in Sixth-Scale figures they tend to be rather small and difficult for me to photograph with any effect, so let’s get the cutlery out of the way first!

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Winter Soldier comes with no fewer than three combat knives. He stores two of them in horizontal sheathes on the back of his belt and the third has a scabbard positioned just in front of the gun holsters on his right thigh. The ones on his back are an identical pair and he can hold them quite well in his special knife hands. They’re fine little sculpts, but I don’t think they’re meant to resemble the one he used prominantly in the film in his battle with Cap. The third one is a really tiny all-black stiletto with a ringed pommel. I’m glad they included it, but I don’t think it’ll spend much time out of the sheath. It’s just so small, and while he can hold it fine, it’s pretty hard to make out that he’s holding anything at all.

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Moving on to the firearms, we’ll start small and work our way up. If you have three combat knives, you might as well carry three pistols right? RIGHT? Of course! Two of Bucky’s pistols are stowed on his right thigh holster and the third on his left. The holsters are the open type where the guns just clip into place and I’m a big fan of these. Not only do they let you admire the guns on the figure when they’re not being held, but they’re a lot less delicate than the full holsters. Plus, they look bloody damn convenient for a quick draw scenerio. On the downside the left holster does not do a great job of securing the weapon. When I’m handling the figure, I find it best to just remove it and prevent having it fall off.

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First you have the COP 357. This little guy is a 4-shot .357 Magnum, which I imagine would be a nice friend to have when you’re all out of options. Derringers are famous for being last resort hold-out weapons or easy to conceal for personal protection, but this isn’t even the smallest pistol in Bucky’s arsenal…

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Nope, that would be the TEC-38. There are Derringers and then there are Derringers! This one is a cute little two-barrel .38 from the 80’s, possibly picked up when HYDRA thawed him for an earlier mission? I don’t know, but I love it. Both of the Derringers are pretty much just static pieces, but that’s fine. They’re nicely painted and too small for me to expect any articulation or features.

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Last up for the pistols is a SIG-Sauer P226, which is probably what comes out before falling back on the Derringers. This gun is the one that likes to fall out of the holster when I’m posing the figure, while the two smaller pistols stay put. The slide action works and the clip is removable, although it does have a habit of dropping out of the gun when handling it.

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Next, we have the Skorpion sub-machine pistol, which clips onto the back of his shoulder rig. I know absolutely nothing about this weapon. It has a hinged breaking action and the slide action works. The clip may be designed to come out, but mine is in there pretty good so I don’t want to force it. When you break apart the receiver you can see a teeny painted cartridge in the clip. I’m actually not a big fan of this one. In real life it may be an excellent firearm, but it seems really undersized and unimpressive as a display piece. I think I’ll likely leave this one on his back most of the time. It looks good back there.

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Moving on to the BIG GUNS… I believe Bucky’s assault rifle is an M4A1 with a grenade launcher mounted under the barrel. He also comes with a pair of grenade rounds, which fit into the loops provided onto his belt. You can pump the grenade launcher and the rifle has a collapsing stock, which is a very cool feature. As far as Sixth-Scale weaponry goes, this one is a really beautiful piece.

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And finally we come to Winter Soldier’s specialty disc-grenade launcher. It’s a showpiece from the film as the scene where he used it to blow up Fury’s SUV was prominent in the trailer. I think I remember reading that this weapon is a custom job from a real mine launcher, but either way it’s one nasty looking piece of hardware. Hot Toys did an exceptionally nice job on this one. The detail is downright amazing and he looks great holding it.

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With all these fantastic weapons, I feel bad about complaining about something being missing, but I will anyway. The 140mm grenade launcher was pretty prominent in the street fighting between Bucky and Cap. It’s a great weapon and I sure would have liked to get it, athough I’ll concede that it probably wouldn’t have fit in the box with all the other stuff crammed in there. I’m really not holding the fact that it’s missing against this release. There’s just too much great stuff in the box for that. I’m sure these have been made for some other Sixth-Scale figure out there and I do believe I’m going to have to try to hunt one down.

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Winter Soldier retailed at just under $240 and he’s still available through Sideshow and most other Hot Toys resellers. It’s no secret that Hot Toys prices have been jumping up quite a bit, hell I mention it in just about every Hot Toys feature I write, but if you allow for inflation and all that jazz, I don’t think the price on this guy is all that bad. The quality of the figure and tailoring of the costume is certainly respectable and the second head with two alternate display options is something we certainly haven’t been seeing in too many of the Marvel figures. Of course, factor in that I had to bust into another day just to feature all the weapons this guy comes with and it becomes easy to see where a lot of the money went. Despite a little room for improvement in the arm and the ridiculously stubborn head swap (which I’ll concede is really inexcusable), I’m totally satisfied with this purchase and I think I was actually more excited about him once I got him in hand than I was when I pre-ordered him. He’s certainly going to look damn fine next to my Hot Toys STRIKE Suit Cap when he arrives, hopefully in a couple of months.

Captain America The Winter Soldier: Winter Soldier 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys, Part 1

So here’s a feature that’s long overdue. It was almost two months ago that my long awaited RoboCop figure arrived from Hot Toys with this fellow in tow. It was a tough break for poor Bucky Barnes, because he got pushed aside by the perfect storm of anticipation and excitement that surrounded that other figure’s arrival. But if there’s one thing I want to emphasize in this feature it is that my delay in getting to him is in no way a reflection on the quality of, or my excitement over, this figure. Quite the contrary. I’ve been waiting for just the right time when I could take a breather from the holiday madness and really do this guy justice because he is a truly fantastic figure and he shouldn’t be made to share the spotlight, just because he happened to ship with another figure that I’d been waiting on for over a year. And yeah, this will be a two-part feature. Today I’ll cover the packaging and the figure itself and tomorrow I’ll be back to look at all of his gear.

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There’s the package and it’s about on par with what we’ve been seeing out of the stand-alone Marvel movie figures. I really dig the the background art as it suits the art stylings of the film quite well. The character art, on the other hand, looks way off from Sebastian Stan. Where are his chubby cheeks that are reflected so well in the actual figure’s portrait. I’m glad they didn’t use this artwork as the basis for the sculpt. The back of the box features a list of all the talented people who worked on this release. When you lift the lid, you’re treated to a cardboard insert with more great artwork and under that is the actual tray containing the goods. It’s not a flashy or elaborate package, but it does fit in quite well with the boxes used for my two Hot Toys figures from the first Captain America film, Cap and Red Skull, and I like that a lot.

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It may be a fairly pedestrian box, but after opening this guy up I was immediately struck with accessory overload. With the plethora of weapons and extra hands, not to mention a second head, there is barely an inch of free space on Bucky’s tray. They even had to toss a baggied hand into the box in between his legs. I think I’d have to look back to my Movie Masterpiece Alice from Resident Evil to come close to the last time I had this many accessories come with one of my Hot Toys’ purchases. I’m trying to get away from doing two-part features, but it took only one look at all this stuff to tell me that I was going to need more time. So, let’s get Winter Soldier out of his box and check him out…

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Hot damn, this is a great looking figure! Of course, it helps a lot that was really happy with the design of the movie-verse Winter Soldier. They created a wonderful compromise between the comic character with a dose of so-called realism and this figure captures that aesthetic almost perfectly. I’ll get to the “almost” part in a bit, but don’t dwell too closely on it, because it isn’t a big deal. I didn’t really appreciate how complex Bucky’s outfit was until scrutinizing it on this figure. The tunic consists of horizontal flaps across his chest and each of these are individually tailored and secure with velcro. The faux buttons on these are rather delicate, if you look closely you’ll see one of the darn things already popped off of my figure, but Hot Toys included a pouch of extras to glue back on if you happen to lose one. It should be a quick and easy fix. Bucky is sporting a pair of brown pants with plastic knee pads and beautifully detailed boots. Thanks to both his shoulder rig and his belt, Winter Soldier’s outfit is designed to accommodate almost his entire arsenal, but I’ll take a closer look at that when I cover the weapons tomorrow. I really wasn’t expecting to be wowed by this figure’s costume, but everything about the suit looks so intricate and amazingly detailed. It also fits the figure splendidly, although it is worth noting that the right sleeve is a bit restricting on the shoulder and keeps the arm from hanging straight down and close to the waist.

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OK, so let’s swing back to that “almost perfect” comment. There’s something about Bucky’s mechanical arm that doesn’t quite hit the mark and I think it comes down to the paint. It has a decent glossy sheen to it and I like the sculpted panel lines, but I think maybe a more brilliant luster would have helped it along. It looks great on its own, but when I compare it to movie stills, it’s like there’s something about it that is just a few tweaks off from a perfect match. The one specific thing that I can point to is the fact that the exposed hinge isn’t painted. It’s a little jarring to see something like that in a figure from Hot Toys, but I’m guessing that painting it just wasn’t practical as it probably would have rubbed when the elbow was articulated. I do like the fact that the arm is mounted on a floating joint in the shoulder allowing for a good range of motion. This arm is by no means a sticking point for me and my enjoyment of the figure, but it’s the one thing about this guy that makes me stop and think, “there’s room for improvement there.”

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Moving on to the portraits, Bucky comes out of the box with his unmasked head and I think it’s a pretty spot on likeness to Sebastian Stan in heavy mascara grease paint. I realize some people weren’t into the “raccoon look”, but I thought it was a decent compromise to the domino mask from the comics, which probably wouldn’t have looked so good in the film. The skin tone is a tad dark, but I think that’s supposed to be tactical camouflage. As for his coif, Bucky sported some long hair in the film and sculpted long hair doesn’t always translate as well as it could on these figures. I’ve probably mentioned it when looking at my Thor and Loki figures. I think Bucky’s hair showcases one of their better efforts, mainly because it isn’t quite long enough to rest on the shoulders. It looks good, but if you search around the Net you can find some rooted hair customs that look absolutely spectacular.

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Hey, you know what’s fun? Taking your finely crafted $240 figure and applying excessive force to get the alternate head on it! Yes, the second head that comes with Bucky is an absolute bitch to get on because the socket is just too small for the ball on the post. I’m pretty sure that it was during the attempt that I lost that button off the front of the tunic. The consensus seems to be that the best way to go is to heat up both the post and the socket with a hair dryer… also something I’m not keen to do to my expensive collectible. A more permanent solution might be to use an auger and carve out inside the head. I’m not prepared to do any of that stuff right now so the shots I’m taking with the head don’t have it fully secured.

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The alternate head gives you two extra display options. You can go full on mask and goggles or just the mask. The goggles are attached by removing the hair piece and just snapping them on. The goggles have a nice glassy sheen to them and stay on securely. All three portraits have their merits but I think my favorite is the “mask no goggles” look. It gives Winter Soldier a really intimidating look while still allowing me to appreciate some of the workmanship that went into the likeness. I also think the eyes are a little bit better crafted on that head than the unmasked one.

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HANDS!!! It wouldn’t be a Hot Toys figure without a bucket full of extra hands. By now y’all know about me and extra hands. I don’t usually bother swapping them out unless I need to for an accessory. Bucky comes with a total of four pairs, plus an extra right hand. You get the token pair of fists, a pair of relaxed hands, a couple of pairs designed to work with the weapons, and an extra open right hand. Swapping these out is pretty simple and the detail on the mechanical hand is quite nicely done.

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Lastly, you get the standard issue Hot Toys figure stand with the wire crotch support. The base has the Marvel logo with the title of the movie and the name plate reads “Winter Soldier.”

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I’ve already run a little long, so that’s where I’m going to break today. Come on back tomorrow and we will check out Winter Soldier’s arsenal!