It’s been a long time since I last purchased a Marvel Legends figure — 2011’s Walmart-exclusive Captain America: The First Avenger Movie Series Captain America. It had a great sculpt, a terrific paint job, and cool accessories (it came with a World War II pistol and machine gun, and Cap’s iconic shield). And Hasbro hasn’t produced a Captain America figure, perhaps not even a Marvel Legends figure, as good until now. Well, technically, until December of last year. That’s when the company began introducing their Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America figures, including their crown jewel, The Winter Soldier Captain America. But I’m reviewing the series now because it’s only recently been completed with the arrival of its final figures in stores across the country. And because it’s absolutely necessary to complete one’s collection of these figures in order to construct the series’ Build-A-Figure — the formidable SHIELD Mandroid — one part of which is packaged with each of its figures.
Speaking of which, let’s start by taking a look at the series packaging… Marvel Legends Infinite Series has by far my favorite packaging of any Marvel Legends series. In fact, the overall jump in quality demonstrated by the packaging, figures, and — in the case of the Mandroid — accompanying BAFs (evident not only from the Cap series but the recent Amazing Spider-Man series as well), leads me to wonder what prompted it. Was it Marvel’s overseers at Disney? The success of their films? Or just improvements in toy-making technology? The packaging alone is terrific not only for the sleek black design, embossed logo printing, and pencil illustrations adorning the signs, but for the simple fact that a figure can now be removed without destroying its packaging. Thus, folks who can’t decide between displaying their figures in or out of packaging are no longer forced to make a permanent decision. They can just open the side of the package, slide out the clear plastic tray holding the figure, remove the figure, and reinsert the tray.
Now onto the figure itself… Of all the Avengers’ costumes, Captain America’s has been the most difficult to translate on screen. It was, after all, created in the 1940s, so its traditional swashbuckling pirate aesthetic might seem a wee bit dated by modern military standards. The Avengers film didn’t pull it off as successfully as The First Avenger. Which is part of the reason why Cap’s first solo film’s uniform is reintroduced in The Winter Soldier (the other part is that the plot calls for it). But there’s another uniform that’s introduced in the new film — the stealth suit — seen in the opening rescue sequence on board a hijacked cruise ship. Based on several similar designs seen in recent Marvel comics, it looks great, and it’s been faithfully rendered by the good people at Hasbro.
The Winter Soldier Captain America figure has a ton of solid articulation too. With a ball-jointed neck, shoulders, and hips, as well as inverted ankles and wrists. It also has swivel joints at the triceps, waist, thighs, and shins; and double-jointed elbows and knees. And there’s an ab crunch which offers more posability than the diaphragm joint used by older Marvel Legends figures. Overall, the figures’s a little bit taller than my beloved 2011 figure (which has been reintroduced in this series in a package sans BAF part). It’s also got a slightly bigger shield, as can be seen below.
The one advantage the older Cap figure has here is that his hand is designed for him to grip the front strap of his shield. Whereas Winter Solder Cap slides his arm through the shield straps, and relies on that arm to hold his shield. It’s not a big problem though. The shield fits firmly, and his hand can be removed to easily slide it off. Which brings us to the next thing I love about this little hunk of plastic…
Yes, his head can be removed as well, and replaced with the Steve Rogers head that comes with the figure. Some may prefer the Rogers head since it’s made of molded flesh-colored plastic, while the flesh visible on the Cap head is painted on. (Make that well painted on, as are all of the figures’ other paint applications.) But both heads work for me. I’m also fine with the fact that the sculpt doesn’t look exactly like Chris Evans. It looks close enough, and yet distant enough to be considered an idealized version of Evans’ face. As other reviewers have pointed out, whether or not it looks like Evans, the important thing is that it looks like Steve Rogers.
One minor disappointment is that, as with the 2011 figure, Cap’s shield can’t be mounted on his back (pictured above). Again, this is by no means a deal breaker for me. Just worth pointing out as an area that can be improved should Hasbro some day revisit the design of this figure. Now, in addition to the extra head, Winter Soldier Cap also comes with an extra pair of hands, for pointing, saluting, judo chopping, etc. It effectively doubles the range of possible poses.
Last but by no means least, Cap comes with the right leg of the aforementioned BAF Mandroid. And judging by the look of it, this bonus figure will be stunning when fully assembled.
Next time, I’ll review Winter Soldier Cap’s SHIELD counterpart — the long awaited Marvel Legends Scarlett Johansson Black Widow figure!