Captain America First Avenger
By Hervé St-Louis
July 4, 2021 - 16:35
When Steve Rogers was touring battle camps in World War Two to motivate the troops, he decided to veer away from his assigned job and to attempt a rescue of his friend Bucky and other soldiers caught by the German military and the Red Skull. He kept his touring uniform, dropped a leather jacket on and went into action as Captain America, the first Avenger.
There are many WWII Captain America action figure that depict many moments from the film and the comics. I guess that this is the one moment that had not been captured into plastic and thus we have this action figure set with Peggy Carter. It may have been that Hasbro was too skittish to attempt to sell a Peggy Carter action figure on her own, and thus gave us one more Captain America that looked like Chris Evans. There is even an extra Chris Evans head for all of you customizers.
Captain America’s likeness is based off the sequence in the First Avenger movie where he rescued Bucky and other captive soldiers. He still wore his performance suit underneath and his had stolen (or borrowed) one of the helmets of the female performers that was in the show with him. So, above the undershirt, he wore a leather jacket, and regular World War Two pants and boots. The shield he had was the performance one, which was replaced after the rescue with the vibranium prototype.
Captain America’s two heads are based off the look of actor Chris Evans who portrayed the character in many Marvel cinematic universe (MCU) movies. The likeness works for me, although the Chris Evans portrayed here is the early one from the MCU and not the older beard one.
The sculpt reuses parts from the WW2 Ultimate Captain America with motorcycle. He has the same arms, legs, waist as well as the same weapons. While much of the MCU was inspired by the Ultimates comics line from the early 2000s, the designs and parts are not exactly the same. Here Hasbro is attempting to save some money by reusing parts of a sculpt that did not appear exactly as this in the movie. It is not noticeable but if you pay attention, you will notice parts like the knee pads that are painted over arbitrarily over a sculpt based on the comic book character.
One carryon problem from the old sculpt are the crooked legs on Captain America. The thighs feel a bit too short for the arms, giving Steve Rogers and ape-like look. The main problem with the figure are the two head sculpts whose jaw line does not connect directly to the ears, leaving an ugly skin gap behind the ears.
The paint application is a hit or miss. The star tucked under the leather jacket hideously painted. The leathery highlight over the arms is not carried through on the figure’s back and abdominals. In the original Ultimates figure, the buckles on the straps were painted silver. Not here. Like I mentioned above, the shins’ colours were cut off to create faux knee pads. It’s a mess. If there is a saving grace, it’s Chris Evans’s heads who fully use digital face paint.
The First Avenger Captain America is tall. He is the tallest Captain America in the six-inch range from Hasbro. He could have been shortened a bit without loosing on the design. he is almost a seven-inch scale action figure, and this is not where I would want the Marvel Legends’ line to go. There are very successful pure six-inch lines like Star Wars where the characters look great without the inflated size.
If you want to turn Steve Rogers into, say a General Hawk for your G.I. Joe Classified collection, you’ll notice that he will be taller than Duke and Flint. He should not be so tall. He will look good next to other Marvel Legends toys who also have the inflated scale but less with G.I. Joe Classified.
Captain America is problematic. When he arrived, he would stand up well without any issues. However, he has begun falling over a lot recently. His ankle joints are strong, and nothing is loose. However, he is top heavy and prone to fall just because. I’m not sure what’s wrong with him. Since Peggy Carter has also begun falling over a lot, it may be due to the heated weather making the plastic more pliable.
While the neck is as separate piece from the body it does not appear to rotate much. The heads are on a ball joint but cannot rock side to side very much. The shoulders can turn and elevate the arms but are constrained because of the sculpts. Captain America has double elbow articulations and rotating wrists. The wrists can also bend up and down, but their motion is constrained by the longer sleeves that extrude into the wrists. It looks good for the sculpt but limits articulations. The elbow articulations are stiff, and I may need to boil the figure a bit to loosen them.
The abdomen is on a ball joint so Captain America can spin and curl at the waist. It doesn’t look like his waist has a ball joint. I could be wrong. The hip articulations are good allow a 60-degree split. This is a lot for a Hasbro Marvel Legends action figure. He has thigh curls and double knee articulations. The ankle articulations can bend up and down. They can also rock. They are a bit stiff but appear to not support the weight of the figure even though the feet are huge. There are also shin curls.
Hasbro likes to use base plastic and to limit paint applications as much as possible. However, the base plastic that they use can be problematic when it mixes two types of plastics whose composition is different. For example, the upper part of the thighs and the waist are in ABS plastic, while the lower parts of the thighs are in softer PVC. It is not easy to see the colour mismatch, but it is there.
The plastic used for Steve Rogers’ head and neck has a base skin tone that looks grey. If you want to swipe the head with another figure, you will see the mismatch. I wonder why Hasbro did not tone down the grey in his skin tone. Parts of the sculpt is shiny plastic. Others are matte. The mix and match is not good looking.
Captain America comes with many props. He has two shields, on handgun, one Thompson submachine gun, a knife that attaches to a sheath on his left leg, straps, and a helmet. One of the shields is the original performance shield he used just before rescuing Bucky in the film. It has the patriotic colours but looks different than the depiction in comics. On the back of that shield, there two straps for figures to carry them on their arms. But you can see that the sculpt was design to handle a retracting pegging feature in case it was attached to the figure’s back. This is not possible as it was with the Ultimates Captain America where the shield was first used. The shield has battle damage painting.
The second shield is a grey metallic prototype as featured in the film. The problem with this shield is that the gondola, and plastic cast baking is easy to spot. Thus, the shield looks uneven and very plasticky instead of metallic. Perhaps Hasbro should have painted it with a metallic silver paint. But as mentioned above, Hasbro seems to dislike painting plastics. The knife, however, has some paint on it. The Thompson submachine gun also has the wooden sculpt makes it look more realistic than a one colour matte.
The straps feature a gun holster for the handgun. That holster is glued on the straps and detaches easily. On my set, it fell of within minutes. Many other collectors report this. Hasbro could have used better glue or use a better pegging system for the holster. The gun that goes with it is silverish and nice. The straps peg together on the waist, but the peg is too loose and will detach constantly. Sure, we can remove the straps but without them on the figure’s torso, the Captain looks plain.
Captain America comes in a set with Peggy Carter. On the back, there are images from the film as well as a multilingual description of each character. The box mixes a comic book look with a movie detailing. That looks odd. The designers should have kept to the film look as nothing in this package is directly representing the comic book Captain America and Peggy Carter.
The set is about $50 but deals are to be had at Amazon. The price keeps changing. One things is certain, you do not have to pay full price for this set.
It appears that Amazon is saddled with many sets and is trying to liquidate them by reducing the price. I would have expected this set to be more popular and that many collectors would have bought it. It appears that this is an Amazon peg warmer. Amazon is of course, the exclusive retailer of this toy.
I had great hopes for this set but unfortunately, the Captain America figure, while great-looking at times is poor and not a great collectible. It can, however, serve as a good base for a General Hawk action figure, but we know Hasbro will make one so why bother with the customization? I would not suggest that you pick up this toy as there are too many problems with quality control from falling gun holster, to crooked legs, to bad paint, to lack of balance and out of proportion parts. Perhaps Hasbro should have built this toy from scratch and not try to Frankenstein so many parts. The best part of this set is Peggy Carter, but she is nearly immobile… I am disappointed.
Last Updated: July 4, 2021 - 16:40
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