Following up my reviews earlier this week of Psylocke, Modern Iron Fist, and Storm, tonight I’m reviewing Marvel’s Patriot, but you can find all my past reviews in the Toy Reviews Index. If there’s one part of the Marvel Universe that’s severely underrepresented in Hasbro’s 4″ toy line, it’s teenage superheroes. There are literally hundreds of beloved teenage superheroes collectors are dying for, but up until now, the only teenager in the line was the classic Bucky. With the first wave of Marvel Universe 2012, the count increases to two with the addition of the Young Avengers’ Patriot. It’s rather ironic, though, that the second teenage superhero is just a repaint of the first one…
It’s refreshing and exciting to finally get another teenage superhero in Patriot, and I’m even more elated about next year’s Jubilee! Patriot is a great start to bringing on more teenage superheroes! New Mutants, Runaways, Young Avengers, New X-Men, Loners, Generation X, Slingers,Young Allies, Avengers Academy–we want ’em all, Hasbro!
Recycling tooling is a fact of life in the action figure business, and I have no problem with it when the parts are as perfect as these were for Patriot. I think this Patriot figure is a complete kitbash of reused parts from Bucky with a shield from a Captain America figure, and I think his head is Union Jack’s. The sculpt looks authentic to Patriot, and is an excellent repurposing of existing parts. If a figure of a character design inspired by Bucky’s can’t legitimately reuse a Bucky figure’s parts, I don’t know what can.
I love the look of the golden age Captain America shield that Patriot comes with. The metallic paints used on both the front and back of the shield are a great choice that really make the shield pop on the shelf. The paint used on Patriot himself is also exceptional, as the colors are bright and bold, whereas the original Bucky figure’s paints looked washed-out, drab, and dull. The top-notch paint on this Patriot figure alone makes it superior to the Bucky figure that the tooling was initially created for.
Finally, I thought it was worth mentioning here that I love the new Deadpool slogans that are different on every cardback. They add an extra second of fun and elicit a big smile every time I read a new one, and I much prefer these to the old Steve Rogers/Osborne generic cardbacks that I immediately discarded without ever feeling the need to give even a first glance to. The Deadpool quip on Patriot’s cardback is my favorite of the first wave and reads: “Collect them all! … 4 out of 5 Deadpools recommend Deadpool for their patients who use Deadpool.” Awesome.
The one downfall of the Patriot action figure for me is a couple of problems with poor quality control. First of all, both of his gloved hands are incredibly loose on the arm, to the paint where when I turn them to pose, they just twirl around back to where they started. Oddly enough, the articulated hinge on the shield is SUPER-loose to the point where it’s frustratingly obnoxious just trying to get it onto Patriot’s hand without the clasp flying back to the closed position. Between the looseness of both hands and the handle on the shield, it’s annoying as hell trying to get him to hold the shield, and even when you get it on him it doesn’t stay positioned right because it droops and/or rattles around due to both the shield and the arms being loose. It’s kinda crazy, really.
Also, I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that it’s a little disappointing that after only getting one teenage superhero (Bucky) in the first four years of the Marvel Universe line, we finally get another in 2012 and it’s just a repaint of the first one. It’s true that Patriot is a great figure in his own right and looks great, but it’s pretty weird that if you want to put all the teenagers together in your display, you’ll have exactly two figures sharing the same body.
It appears to be the end of the road for the much-beloved Marvel Universe figure stands. This series is the first 2012 set of Marvel Universe figures, and to my astonishment Hasbro has found a cheaper and crappier pack-in than the Jedi Force Files from the old Power of the Jedi line. Instead of getting a practical, often-necessary figure stand with each figure this year, collectors will now get a “Collectible Comic Shot”, which refers to a small 2″ picture of the character taken from a cover and printed on a piece of low-quality cardstock. Worse, several of the “Comic Shots” in this series pictures their character in a totally different costume than the one the figure they’re packaged with it wearing! At least the Jedi Force files gave you information about a character–these “Collectible Comic Shots” are just useless throw-aways.
At the time of writing, Marvel Universe Wave 17 has only begun to hit select specialty online retailers and hasn’t been sighted in stores as far as I know. Online, I’ve seen Patriot available from a couple sources:
Amazon has Patriot available right now from several sellers at very reasonable prices and with free shipping, but their prices and availability from various sellers changes incredibly rapidly.
Entertainment Earth is tied for the best price online and has the Wave 17 Set of 6 for $54.99 in-stock and ready to ship at the time of writing this review.
BigBadToyStore is also tied for the best price on the Set of 6 for Wave 17 for just $54.99 (including Psylocke, Storm, Patriot, Thunder Age Iron Man, Modern Iron Fist, and Shadowland Daredevil) . That’s essentially the retail price, which is the best you can hope for from an online store. They also have Patriot available individually for $9.99 on pre-order.
Overall: Patriot is a great reuse of existing tooling and I’m ecstatic about having another teen superhero to add to my display, even if he’s not a character I’m entirely familiar with. The quality control on the hands and the shield are both excessively bad, which lowers his grade somewhat, but he’s otherwise another strong addition to the Marvel Universe line. I can see this figure pegwarming due to the glut of Captain America toys still packing store shelves and the relative obscurity of the figure, but he really is pretty good and having another smaller character for your Marvel Universe shelf will add some much-needed size and age diversity to the lineup. Patriot gets a solid recommendation.