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Review of Captain America - Avengers Age of Ultron
Sixth Scale Action Figre

Hot Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

Hot Toys has plenty of figures lined up based on the designs in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but they've been a little slow with the releases so far.  With this being the 4th of July weekend, it seemed fitting that I cover the new Captain America, a figure that started shipping a few weeks ago.

The ultra patriotic Steve Rogers will run you around $225, depending on the retailer.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***
This is about the most basic Hot Toys packaging you can get.  There's a simple - yet attractive - slip cover over a window box. Inside the window box is a single plastic tray that holds the figure and accessories.  There's no interior card art, and nothing particularly special about the overall presentation.  It is all collector friendly however, a feature that's become an expectation with the sixth scale market. If you're not opening your figures, why the Hell not?

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ***1/2
Does this guy look familiar? He should. He comes with two portraits - masked and unmasked - and both portraits were also provided with the Captain America/Steve Rogers two pack, released earlier this year.

That can certainly be a positive, since these two head sculpts are perhaps the finest versions of Cap we've gotten. The jawline on the unmasked head is too Leno-esque, but the realism and life-like attributes are over the top. Take the head off the body, hand it to your wife, and she'll tell you who it is without any need for the costume to provide context. Check out this shot of the masked version on screen, as well as the unmasked appearance.

Other than the jaw, the unmasked version is outstanding. While the skin texture and expression are just right, the hair detailing and fine stranding really sets it apart. This is the sort of fine detail hair work that companies like Star Ace and ThreeZero will need to attain to reach the high bar set by Hot Toys in this category.

The heads swap easily enough, although it's tough to do so without catching the shirt collar in the joint.  They've provided a little plastic tool to help un-wedge the shirt, knowing it will be a problem.

Yes, it's a plus getting these two exceptional head sculpts...unless you already have them. People who own the older two pack will have to look for other reasons than sculpting to pick up this figure.

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ****
The paint work is outstanding, capturing the realism and actually improving on these base sculpts, rather than hurting them. Skin colors have just the right variation in tone, with that touch of translucence that gives the skin depth. The lips are a realistic color, setting them apart from the skin without looking like lipstick has been applied. And of course the glassy eyes have depth and life, thanks in large part to the sculpted squint.

The painted areas of the costume look terrific too, and one plus here over the earlier two pack - they didn't add that one weird spot of damage on the front of the mask. It wasn't that it wasn't accurate or accidental, but rather that because it was all by itself, making it looked out of place. There is no wear or damage any where on the figure, and that matches with the clean, perfect look of the included shield.

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ***1/2
Here's an area that just might convince you to pick this guy up, even if you have the two pack. The big issue with the Cap in that set - the Stealth Suit version - was the almost complete lack of mobility above the waist. The legs weren't awful, and you could get them into some decent stances. But the arms and torso were almost frozen in place by the thick suit, and this lack of mobility was the number one complaint from collectors.

It seems that Hot Toys heard, because in designing this new version (remember, this is the Age of Ultron suit, which has some very cool similarities to the classic comic book look), they've corrected the earlier issue.  The legs are even less restricted, and the two piece boots allow for tons of ankle movement.  The torso can turn and hold a position, and the arms can raise high enough to hold the shield in front of his face or head.

Because it has the single ball neck for aesthetics, the head can't tilt and lean quite as far as I'd like.  I can live with that - one of the issues for Marty McFly was the obviousness of the second neck joint - and the greater mobility in the upper body is a huge plus this time around. It's still not like a nekked TrueType, but it's much better than most of the previous Cap releases, and far, far better than the Stealth Suit version.

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ***
Here's an area where he's a little light, but he does have the critical bits.

There are 4 sets of hands in total, including the pair of fists he comes wearing. In the box there are also a set with magnets for the shield (more on that in a minute), a set of gripping hands, a splayed right, and a shield gripping left. They all swapped easily, but they included two extra wrist pegs just in case.

Two of the hands (a left and right) have magnets in the back, right where the hand rests against the handle of the shield.  There is also a magnet in the costume at the elbow, perfectly lined up for the other handle rest on the back of the shield.  These two magnets are designed to hold the shield in place on the arm, thanks to the metal components used in the manufacture of the shield itself.

This works well in general, but I did have one major issue.  There is also an handle that folds down on the back of the shield, and the magnetic hand is designed to grip this handle. However, no matter how I tried, I couldn't get the hand to hold the handle AND position both magnets against the shield correctly. While this isn't a huge deal visually, since most of the time you can't see that hand anyway (there is one photo below where you can see the hand, and it's not immediately obvious that he's not holding the handle), but it is an issue from a safety perspective. While the magnets are fairly strong, it's still possible to bump the shield and knock it off the arm.  Having it also held by the hand would reduce the risk of damage.

Speaking of the shield, it's a thing of beauty. The blue and red paint work is fantastic - consistent and clean - and the real metal (yes, it's all aluminum) shine of the silver sections gives it the realism you are expecting. The paint holds up to normal handling too, with no fear of rub marks or wear.

To go with the unmasked portrait is his loose mask, which can be held in one of the gripping hands. This is another re-use from the two pack.

Finally, there's his display stand, with the AoU logo. It's nice for consistency, but you won't need it for most poses.

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ****
One of the most important features of this suit is the thinner, more pliable materials they've used, allowing for a better Articulation score.  This is a big win, and makes this figure jump to the front of the Cap versions they've done so far.

The fact that this costume also has the cool red, white and blue motif around the mid-section and arms adds quite a bit as well. Some of the suits have lacked this sort of visual flair, and it's nice to see a version that reminds us of the classic look, while retaining a modern appeal.

They've also gone with the two piece boots, which look great AND allow for a full range of movement in the ankles. This is a big plus in getting those more extreme stances.

The belt is removable, although they recommend against it in the instructions. It is easily adjustable on his hips, however, and you can get it in the right spot with any pose.

I already mentioned the magnets in the elbows, designed to hold the shield in place.  There is also a set of magnets in the back, on the harness, that hold the shield at both the top and bottom. This looks much, much better than any sort of clip or holder, but it can be a little touchy depending on the pose.

If I had one nit, it would be with the knee pads. These are attached tightly to the suit, and don't turn particularly well with the legs themselves.  That means they can look out of alignment in almost any pose other than a straight up stance.  It's a minor nit, but it's the only one I have.

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
As I've said before, the fun for collectors with a figure like this is finding that perfect pose for the display...and then finding a new one.  Because they've improved the mobility in the upper body with this new suit, they've also improved your chances for having just that sort of fun.

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Value - **
Normally, I'd go with a **1/2 at $225 for a regular Hot Toys release these days. That tends to be the going rate, and it also seems to be the price point that allows for the best sell through for them.

However, this guy has a ton of re-use, making him less costly for them to produce. Sadly, reducing the cost to the consumer when the figure is less costly to produce is not part of Hot Toys business model. It's not unheard of - just recently Star Ace did their first Harry Potter in his standard outfit, and it sold for $185. They recently announced a second version using the same head sculpt, but wearing his 'casual' outfit, and it is selling for $100. He has a couple missing accessories as well, but $85 is one heck of a price drop. I'd like to see Hot Toys doing something similar, at least when they straight up re-use key pieces like the head sculpt.

However, there are some retailers selling this guy for closer to $200, and at that price you can add another half star here.

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.  Obviously you don't want to drop the shield, but I found that the paint work on it was quite sturdy.

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Overall - ***1/2
I'm betting we see this guy end up on the Poppies ballot for best male figure in 2015.  He really is that good, and Cap fans are going to be thrilled with the costume and the inclusion of the two head sculpts.

If you already own these head sculpts, spending another $200 will seem a bit crazy. But the better mobility and posability of the new suit makes him a huge step up from the earlier Stealth Suit version that included these heads. 

The lucky ones are those that skipped the two pack...which is probably not what Hot Toys wants you to think, but is the case.  By getting the two heads here, and the better suit, you can easily kit bash your own Steve Rogers. It might not be ideal, but it also isn't $550.

If you did pick up the two pack, you can still make great use of this figure.  I'm going to put one Steve head on the Steve body of course, with the other Steve head going on the Stealth Suit, doing pretty much the only thing he does well - standing at attention and looking all patriotic.  Then I'll put the new masked head on this costume, doing battle with Ultron (eventually).  You end up with an extra masked head, but I'm sure someone on ebay will take that off your hands.

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

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America action figure by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has him for $225.

- is at just $200.

- is at $214.

- also has him for $225.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered a number of Hot Toys Captain America releases, including the recent Cap/Steve Rogers two pack, as well as the first release. Other Avengers include the Winter Soldier, Red Skull, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, Hulk, or Bruce Banner.

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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Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America 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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