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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Nick Fury - Captain America Winter Soldier
Marvel Sixth Scale Action Figure

Hot Toys
Date Published: 2016-06-08
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 4 out of 4

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Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

It's pretty obvious to everyone that Marvel and Disney have a massive juggernaut of movie making history on their hands with their Cinematic Universe. That does not mean, however, that every flick in the larger franchise is a home run. They've whiffed on a pitch or two - can you say Iron Man 2? - but the Captain America trio of films have been an outstanding example of superhero storytelling at its best.

Hot Toys might be working on the new films, but they are also releasing figures from the previous movies as well.  They already did Nick Fury, based on his look from the first Avengers film.  They are following that up with a Winter Soldier version, complete with arm sling.  He's just started shipping in the U.S., and you can pick him up for around $220 depending on the retailer.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***
This is a pretty basic shoe box design, with a photo of the actor on the cover and one of the toy on the interior cardboard slip cover.  There's a single plastic tray that holds the accessories and figure safely, and it's all collector friendly as well.

Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ****
As I mentioned earlier, Hot Toys already took a crack at Nick Fury, and you should do a comparison of this shot I took of that portrait with this new release. They didn't go crazy with the updates, but they did tweak it just enough to bring it even closer to the real actor.

Obviously, realism isn't a problem.  A soft skin texture, interesting veins, and the proper wrinkle here and there give him a tremendously realistic appearance.

Accuracy is even better this time around, with minor tweaks to the nose, forehead, and even eyes that give him a slightly closer match to Samuel Jackson. The softly sculpted facial hair transitions from almost nothing to heavy growth, and adds to the realism.

Then there's life-like, in which they give the character that spark ("the mirror behind the eyes") that adds life.  This sculpt is an improvement over some of the more mannequin style releases we've seen lately from Hot Toys, but I have to say that I prefer the slightly more aggressive expression on the original. This one is just a little too slack in the facial muscles, a little too relaxed.

It's a minor nit though, and most fans and collectors will be thrilled by the final result.  The biggest improvement, at least to my eye, is the shape of the head. The original had more of a light bulb look to me, while this one is much closer to the proper shape of Jackson's head. It's really the slight changes to the jawline where this change was accomplished, and it's a fantastic example of how minor alterations can make a huge difference.

One other area that may create some discussion is the eye patch. On the original, this was sculpted in place, which allowed them to create the slight indent that a strap like this causes on the skin. It also allowed them to fit the patch tightly to the eye socket. With an actual patch and strap, the fit isn't going to ever be as tight or clean. However, it does look quite realistic, and a big plus is the lack of any paint issues along the edge of the thin strap.

Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ****
The paint work is the usual gorgeous realism that we've come to expect.  The skin tone appears slightly mottled in macro photos, which gives the figure an extremely life-life appearance in hand. The lack of hair goes a long way to increasing the realism too, since painted hair tends to always look fake, no matter how good the work is.

The facial hair is exceptional, with a subtle fade between the skin and the sculpted hairs. It gets darker as it gets 'thicker', just as it does on the real Mr. Jackson.

The stand out feature in this category is the damaged eye.  The glassy, injured appearance matches up with the veined, scarred flesh around the socket. It's an excellent job, and will tempt you to skip the eye patch in the display.

My only complaint is with the thin, black line inside the lips.  It's only apparent in the right lighting, and most people won't even notice it - but I did, and now I can't see it. I pass the curse on to you.

Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ****
The underlying TrueType body is pretty much unencumbered by the outfit. The coat is a little restrictive around the shoulders, but not any more than it would be on a real human.  Of course, when you put the sling on him, that ties up the left arm, but that's pretty much the entire point of wearing a sling, no?

The neck and ankles, the top most and bottom most joints, are really the stars here.  While the entire body can take natural, flowing poses, it's the tilt of the head and the range of movement in the ankles that really sells it.

Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ***
While he's not quite as well outfitted as the earlier release, he still has a healthy number of extras.

Of course, he has a few extra hands, but not quite as many as you might expect. He comes wearing relaxed hands, and there is an extra set of fists.  He also has a gun grip right, and a general grip left, although none of these hands work particularly well with the smaller accessories.

The gun grip hand works great with the included Smith & Wesson however, which sports a movable slide/ejector, and a removable magazine.

There's also his cell phone, with a critical message displayed on the screen. He also has the larger than normal thumb drive, but even at the larger size, he can't really hold it in any of the provided hands.

You could count it as part of the outfit, but I'm throwing the arm sling in here as an Accessory instead.  It opens at the chest, thanks to a buckle at the center and a Velcro strap at the bottom.  It works pretty well, although I did find that I had to adjust the length of the straps on the sides right out of the package to get the best fit.

I consider the removable eye patch another extra, and they included a second eye patch, just in case something happens with the one he comes wearing.  That's a nice touch, and goes along with the extra wrist pegs they've thrown in as additional insurance against problems.

Last but not least, he comes with the usual display stand.  While it isn't necessary (this guy stands great on his own), it is nice for consistency if you've used the stands with the previous releases.

Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ***1/2
This is a very basic outfit, but they've done a terrific job with the tailoring and fit, elevating it to something more akin to a complex uniform.

There's the shoes, pants, turtleneck shirt, and long coat.  Underneath the shirt is a padded t-shirt, giving him just the right thickness through the chest and stomach.

The black material on every piece looks great, and the fit is particularly impressive on the pants and turtleneck.  Both hang and lay on him very naturally, with little futzing necessary. One nice plus with a turtleneck - no ugly neck joint!

The shoes don't restrict the ankles at all, as I mentioned earlier, and all the hands are sculpted wearing gloves to match the overall look. My only nit is with the tailoring on the coat, which seems slightly off this time.  The quality of the material and stitching is fantastic, and it includes a wire along the bottom edges for additional posing. But the fit is slightly off, particularly when I compare it to the coat with the first release.  It's a minor nit though, and the coat does have a very cool feature you might not expect - there's a magnet in the side that holds the left sleeve tight!  This makes poses with the left arm in the sling look much, much better overall.

Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
Great articulation that allows for plenty of posing and re-posing, along with some sturdy accessories, great sculpting, and excellent paint work? Yep, this is a fun figure for collectors, and he fits in nicely with just about any Avengers display.

Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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Value - **1/2
The first Hot Toys Nick Fury came out in 2012...and cost around $170 - $180.  Four years later, we get a Mr. Fury without a light up feature, with fewer accessories, and of course, a higher price tag. He comes in at $220, pretty much in line with other 'average' releases right now.

He's certainly a better value than figures like Maria Hill or Quicksilver, but he's still not carrying enough extras to get an above average value rating.

Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.  Even the leather strap on the eye patch is sturdy, and I don't expect to have any problems long term.  The instructions mention not leaving the eye patch in place for extended periods to avoid staining...but the eye patch comes on his head in the package. What's the collector afraid to open his goodies going to do?

Overall - ****
I waffled around a bit on this figure, because as much as I loved it, somehow four stars seemed too much.  Reviewing my thoughts multiple times, I came to the conclusion that I was subconsciously deducting simply because we already had a very good Nick Fury, and this one wasn't a vast difference. But there was room to upgrade to the sculpt and they did, the paint is exceptional of course, and the rest of the figure is very much in line with what you'd expect.

Seems like there's no dilemma, right? But the first figure pulled a four star overall score by being exceptional in the Outfit and the Accessories, along with including a Light Up Feature that isn't present here. Losing all those extras and paying $40 more seems like a bit too much of a trade off for the improved head sculpt.

In the end, I decided that the portrait does sell this figure.  Sadly, you need both versions to create the ultimate Fury, and I suspect a lot of people will pop this head on the earlier costume, or pull parts from both costumes to make their perfect version.

If you didn't pick up the original Fury, you've been rewarded with a better portrait, but fewer extras this time around. You'll be happy with the figure, however, and it's nice to see the character still getting some love from Hot Toys.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ***
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****

Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- comes in at just $209.

- has him for $220.

- Sideshow comes in at $220 as well.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Hot Toys has produced a ton of figures under the Marvel license, including the Iron Legion, Ant-Man, Vision, Quicksilver and his sister Scarlet Witch. And don't forget Pepper Potts and the MK IV set. Other related characters include Maria Hill, AoU Captain America, the Winter Soldier, Red Skull, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, Hulk, and Bruce Banner. I've also covered a ton of Iron Man releases, and one of my favorites is the die cast MK43.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Captain America Winter Soldier Nick Fury action figure by Hot Toys

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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