I come to the end of my reviews of Hasbro’s 6″ Avengers Marvel Legends styled movie figures today with a review of the character whose design I started belittling the moment I saw it in the trailer: Captain America. In short, the Avengers Captain America costume looked more like a cheap Halloween costume to me than the live-action Captain America that had existed in my mind for many years. After seeing The Avengers movie… sorry, but Captain America’s costume still looks ridiculous. But whereas the Avengers Captain America design looked terrible in real life, its plastic representation is a whole other issue…
There are certain designs that work a hell of a lot better on a comic book page or a toy than they do in real life, and the Avengers movie Captain America design is definitely one of them. As ludicrous as I thought the costume looked in the Avengers movie, I think it looks pretty awesome captured in the 6″ plastic form.
The figure looks a little plain from far away because of the lack of a paint wash (more on that later), but the closer you get to Captain America the more apparent the stellar work by the Hasbro sculpting team is. Every millimeter of the Avengers 6″ Captain America’s costume is totally covered in a detailed cloth texture, and up-close the figure looks sensational. The stars on the front and back of the figure are sculpted and look excellent in their raised, three-dimensional form. All of the sculpted details on the belt, boots, gloves and even the kneepads look great–Hasbro’s sculptors clearly went all-out.
With Captain America, my 6″ Avengers team is now complete (or at least until Hasbro gets off their asses and puts out a 6″Black Widow). I think the scale on Captain America is pretty accurate, as he’s a smidgen taller than Hawkeye, ever-so-slightly shorter than Iron Man, and a midget next to Thor and especially Hulk. Scale is so important with a movie-accurate line like the Avengers Studio Series, and I’m very pleased with Hasbro’s results.
Captain America is another example of the exquisite articulation that Hasbro has integrated into their 2012 Marvel Legends styled action figures. Captain America has a double-jointed ball-joint neck, ball-jointed upper torso, double-jointed ball-joint shoulders, swivel biceps, double-jointed elbows, swivel forearms, double-jointed ball-joint hips, swivel thighs, double-jointed knees, and double-jointed ankles with ankle rockers.
All of that lower-body articulation means that the Avengers Captain America 6″ figure can stably run, crouch, kneel, poise for battle, pivot on one leg, use a martial arts kick, and so forth. What else can you ask for in a 6″ action figure’s lower-body articulation? Nothing that I can think of.
The upper half of Cap’s articulation is also very strong, though not as much as the lower half. I don’t agree with Hasbro’s trend toward omitting any kind of swivel waists, but I do really love the ball-jointed upper torsos. I think it would work even better in concert with a swivel waist, but it’s still a worthwhile joint as it is. I’m never a fan of having forearm articulation in place of wrist articulation, but I haven’t had any real problems getting Cap’s arms positioned into a natural pose for holding his shield either.
Captain America includes two accessories: his legendary shield and a collector’s base display stand. Rather than the hinged clasp that the Marvel Legends Series 2 Bucky Captain America’s shield utilized, the shield Avengers movie Captain America comes with has two bendable brown straps that can be extended and retracted. At first I hate the straps, but the most I play with them and use them the more ingenious I think they are. Using the straps you can attach the shield as tightly as you want to Captain America’s arm, and Cap can also comfortably wear the shield on his back. Avengers Captain America stands up pretty perfect without the display stand, but I don’t mind having another interlocking figure stand. They’re sort of fun to have and collect.
I had my choice of six Captain America Avengers 6″ figures, but all of them had flaws in the paint. I picked the best one, but even this Captain America figure has flecks of red and blue paint that have infiltrated the white stripes of his lower torso (and paint splotches on white are very apparent and distracting), silver paint oozing off the stars on his chest and back, and silver paint bleed on the balls of Cap’s shoulders. I can cope with this kind of thing on a Marvel Universe figure, but for a ~$17 Avengers Marvel Legends figure, I’m a lot less forgiving.
I’ve mentioned in several of my Avengers Movie 6″ figure reviews that the plastic feels a little cheap, but Captain America brings the problem to its highest level. The blue plastic used on many parts of Captain America is extremely rubbery and cheap-feeling, while the red plastic feels very hard and solid. The combination of the two makes Captain America have wobbly joints and a bizarre feeling when you move him around. His interior hip joints actually really worry me, as it seems like they literally may rip. I don’t think he’s actually going to break, but he feels a lot more loose and less stable than any of the other Avengers Studio Series figures.
Overall: The Avengers Captain America 6″ action figure is a real mixed bag. Hasbro did a killer job with the design of the figure itself–love it or hate it, the film’s depiction of Captain America has been captured here in toy form beautifully. The sculpt and articulation on this figure are everything you could have hoped for–but the quality control on the figure is not. The 6″ Avengers Captain America figure had the sloppiest paint apps of any of the Studio Series figures I bought, is lacking any kind of paint wash, and is largely made of a horrible, rubbery blue plastic that makes the whole figure feel cheap. I still think that this is a nice figure, but the quality control on it leaves me cold. If you want a 6″ Avengers movie-style Captain America right now, this is your only choice and he’s recommended. If you’re patient, I think we may see this mold show up again in the next year or so, and hopefully with a fresh paint wash and much better quality-control.
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