The Red Skull is Captain America’s arch enemy and his most enduring foe, cheating death numerous times in order to wreak havoc on the world and plot sinister plans to destroy the free world from within. The orphan son of a drunk man from an unknown German village, Johann Schmidt was trained as an apprentice of Hitler to become the best henchman of the Further. Soon, Red Skull would rival the evil of his patron himself and has had a longer lasting effect on the world. Thankfully, his plots have always been thwarted by Captain America.
There have been numerous Red Skull action figures in the past but none in recent times modelled after the villain’s classic comic book look. This newer Red Skull action figure comes in a wave of Marvel Comics villains that form the build a figure Xemnu character. The Red Skull first appeared in Captain America Comics #7 in 1941 in a story by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
The likeness of Red Skull is based on the classic comic book look he had in the 1940s up to the 1980s. He wore a green jumpsuit and often sported lighter green gloves. Since the 2000s, Red Skull has usually been drawn wearing garbs inspired by World War II German and SS officers. Having the Red Skull in his old jumpsuit returns him to his comic book roots which is a welcome change from the pseudo-German military uniforms. Jack Kirby’s design was dynamic and allowed the character to easily been drawn brawling and fighting Captain America.
His two red skull heads are bright red instead of the crimson-coloured cast that have been used for other Red Skull action figures. This is an action figure that is not ashamed of being based off a comic book. The only major change to the action figure is that instead of the usual Nazi red band on the character’s left arm, he now wears a yellow Hydra arm band.
This is a new sculpt that Hasbro has used with Red Skull and Dormammu. They wear puffy jumpsuits and large belts. The flaw in this design are the breaks at the elbows and knees. I’m not sure how Hasbro who’s had over a decade of experience designing double joints elbows and knees has not figured out how to make the transition smoother at the articulations. The uniform has folds but not the detailed type that we see on G.I. Joe Classified action figures and some of the more recent Marvel Legends. The folds still look comic bookish.
The two heads are good. One looks like Dark Horse’s The Mask with its big grin and countless tooth. Yes, this head has a bit more teeth than a normal human.
There are little paint applications over the plastic base. The yellow armband is painted thick enough to cover the green plastic underneath. The figure has no shading, not even on its skull. The Red Skull’s face is where there is colouring but it is limited to the eyes and the teeth. The paint on the neck is too thin and does not look great.
Red Skull is as tall as the First Avengers Captain America minus the hair. He is tall. Still, Red Skull looks great next to other Marvel Legends action figures. He will look too tall next to most Star Wars and on the taller side of G.I. Joe Classfified action figures. The fit matters as the Red Skull’s body is a great base for customizers looking to army build some of the original green shirts G.I. Joe like Zap and Short-Fuze. Red Skull is taller than other Captain America action figures like the Gamerverse Captain America.
Red Skull is stable with large feet that support the top-heavy torso. You must play with the ankles a bit to obtain the best balance.
Red Skull has great articulations. He comes with the new neck that is a separate piece from the body and the head. It can rock a bit. The head is on a ball joint too. By the way, watch out with the ball joint. I put a Captain America head on the ball joint and when removing it, the ball joint came off the neck too. Thus, the ball joint is a separate piece from the neck and the head. I had to dump the head and the ball joint in hot water to get it off.
Red Skull does not have butterfly joints, but he still has great shoulder articulations that are flexible. The double elbow joints are very good too even though the sculpt is bad. His wrists curl and can bend left and right for the gun holding hands and up and down for the other hands. Red Skull has a great abdominal crunch and can twist at the waist. His hips are very flexible and can split at about 60 degrees. That’s great.
The knees have double joints while the thighs have curls. The shins can twist too. The ankles bend up and down and pivot too.
Red Skull’s plastic is good however, his knees are a different shade of green than the rest of his legs. The hands and face probably in PVC.
Red Skull comes with four pairs of hands, some which can hold his weapons, others that hold the Cosmic Cube. The Cosmic Cube is blue translucent plastic. Red Skull’s gun is a remould of the Starlord’s gun. Finally, the package comes with the head of the build a figure Xemnu.
Red Skull comes in the usual Marvel Legends box. The back has an original artwork featuring a comic book version of the Red Skull and images of the other villains in the line.
Red Skull is still priced at the old $19.99 USD price suggested by Hasbro.
The toy was released recently and has not even appeared in many stores. Retail stores still do not have it in stock. Surprisingly, the Red Skull should be the most popular action figure in this wave. Because of the optimal build for customizers and the existing demand for this original Red Skull, this toy could sell out very quickly but Hasbro does produce a lot of them, and may re-release it in the future if it can.