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Captain Action deluxe figure set
Round 2

Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2


In the 1960's, licensed products for kids were almost unheard of, and licensed action figures? Who da thunk it.

Action figure king was G.I. Joe of course, having birthed the concept of a boy playing with a 'doll'. Marx was quick to follow with their Best of the West series of 12" figures, a huge favorite of mine for their plethora of accessories, western theme, and almost indestructible construction.

And then there was Captain Action, from Ideal. Captain Action was actually created by the same toy designer, Stan Weston, who created the original concept of G.I. Joe for Hasbro. Stan was a pioneer in the concept of licensing for toys, and his company Leisure Concepts represented the likes of DC, Marvel, and King Features.

In 1966, he took the concept of a single hero that could take on many guises to Ideal, and they jumped on it. The basic figure of Captain Action was part hero, part spy, all cool, and Ideal licensed (through Weston's company, of course) the rights to produce costume sets for him. These included DC characters like Batman and Superman, Marvel characters like Spider-Man and Captain America, and King Features characters such as Green Hornet and the Phantom.

The line started out quite successful, and Cappie got a sidekick, Action Boy, as well as an arch nemesis, Dr. Evil. While the line only lasted 2 or 3 years, it's one of the best remember amongst us old timers, and extremely popular with vintage collectors. I still have my original Captain Action and Dr. Evil, and worn as they are, they are still amongst my favorites.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2
Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2
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Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2
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Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2
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Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2
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Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2
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Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2
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Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2
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Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2
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Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2

Round 2 is producing an updated version of Captain Action, along with several Marvel costume sets. I'm going to look at the deluxe set tonight, and later this week I'll also look at the first two suits they've released, Captain America and Spider-Man. There's also a basic version of Cap, which lacks the vintage box. There are plans for more costume sets to come out later this year, and if you buy the first six sets, you will get the necessary parts to create your own Hawkeye costume as well! There's also a Dr. Evil planned as part of wave 2.

The full deluxe set with body has a suggested retail of $45, and the deluxe costume sets $35, but you can find these for a few bucks less at a number of online retailers. The basic version of the figure costs $35, while the basic costume sets are $20. They should start shipping any day, although this is a bit of an early review.

Packaging - ****
This is one of those rare times when I'm giving you more than one shot of the package, but that's because there's not one but TWO boxes.

The outer box has modern graphics, and allows you to see the figure and accessories clearly. It's sturdy, and is actually collector friendly - cut a couple pieces of tape and you can pop out the contents without any additional damage to the packaging.

Flip the box over and you'll see vintage artwork - but that's actually the lid of a classic style box that's on the inside! These shoebox style packages are what we had back in the day, and they've gone with the original artwork. The bottom of this box is a little flimsy, but it's still a great addition for the fans of the original.

Sculpting - ***
This shouldn't be a realistic, extremely life-like sculpt - if it is, it won't bring that nostalgic feel.

Still, you want the sculpt to be sharp, well defined, and clean. A big plus is that they did not try to match the original face - thank goodness, since the original always looked slightly pained. Rather than go with the vintage Leonard Hofstedder eyebrows, they went with a more stern, serious, stoic expression.

If you're looking to compare, just check the artwork on the classic box.

The head is a little small for the very wide shoulders, but I think that's a plus. Pop on one of the masks, and the smaller head will allow him to still look good.

Paint - **1/2
The is the one area of this figure where I wish they'd upped the ante a bit more. I don't expect a ton of paint ops, and like the sculpt, I don't expect a super realistic look. This should look vintage - but that doesn't mean it should be sloppy.

It's not bad, but the work on the eyes and lips could be a little better. I don't like the lip color, and the shiny skin tone bugs me as well. Perhaps the biggest knock is the difference in skin tone on the hands and arms. Since the uniform isn't quite long enough to cover the forearms in most poses, you can easily see the difference.

Articulation - ***1/2
The old Cap body was very similar to the G.I. Joe - no wonder, since he same guy created both concepts. But that level of articulation would not be enough in today's market.

This body has a ton of modern articulation, with a great ball jointed neck, shoulders, wrists, ankles and hips, cut biceps, and both a waist and ab-crunch. There's double pin knees and elbows as well.

The joints are all tight, and this body can take lots of deep stances and hold them. The Lycra style outfit doesn't restrict him at all, although the rubber boots don't allow the ankles to do a whole lot.

One complaint that some folks may have is that this body is much more muscled with broader shoulders than the original. I don't mind, however, because I think it's going to be a plus when putting on the other masks and costumes for characters like Captain America.

I included a nekkid shot so you can check out the actual body. He comes in at just about 12" fully clothed, but is shorter than that out of his boots.

Accessories - ***1/2
One of the things about re-productions of vintage figures that I really, really don't like is when they create exact duplicates. It hurts the value of the originals, and makes it all the harder for vintage collectors to be sure that what they are getting is original.

Round 2 did NOT do that here, and I appreciate that. While there's no doubt who this is supposed to be, nothing is exactly they same.

He comes with his hat, which has the sailing insignia on the front. It fits well, and looks good in this scale.

There's his lightning bolt sword and futuristic blaster as well, and he can hold these in his gripping hands. The sculpts and paint are solid on both.

Speaking of hands, there are actually an extra set, something the old school version never had. He comes wearing the two gripping hands (left for the sword, right for the gun), but there's also two fists. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in the Sculpting section, these fists are way undersized, but at least we got a second set. They also swap easily, with no fear of breaking a wrist.

These hands are also much softer than the original, making it easier to insert and remove the weapons and accessories.

Other accessories include a Holocom communication device with a lid that flips open, as well as a large 'blue print' of the device. Smaller papers are also included as part of a set of instructions and maps, and these fit nicely inside his version of a Trapper Keeper.

Outfit - ***
I mentioned the hat as part of the accessories, but there's quite a few other items that fit in this category.

There's the Lycra outfit of course, all one piece with a Velcro strip up the back. The original used buttons (although in my brain I remember Velcro) - and that uniform and this one have the same problem. If the Velcro touches the uniform itself, it's going to snag - take care! The Velcro strip is nice and thin though, so that it remains pretty unobtrusive. My original uniform ended up with plenty of snags as well, always a risk with this sort of material.

The sleeves aren't quite long enough though, since they don't cover the forearms in most poses.

Being able to easily remove the costume is key of course, since you're going to be swapping this guy into plenty of other outfits.

The rubber boots slide off easily, but they are thick enough that they can't bend with the ankles. The inclusion of the lightning bolt on the front is nice, and further differentiates them from the originals. I'm hoping some of the other costume boots are less thick and bulky, allowing the ankle articulation to do its job.

The belt is also very different, although it still follows the bolt theme. The buckle works well, and there's an extra black 'sheath' that slides on to hold the sword. The holocom has a clip on the back that also fits nicely on the belt. I think there's supposed to be a black holster for the blaster as well, but mine was missing...be sure to check your box carefully.

Fun Factor - ***
I had a blast with this figure when I was a kid, but I'm not betting kids today would find this guy all that amusing. Times have changed, and unless he's a licensed character, they're unlikely to be interested. But for the old geezers that remember this nostalgically, it's still a 'fun' toy.

Value - ***1/2
It's pretty rare to find any sixth scale figure for under $70 these days. Even cheaply built figures, with a couple accessories and a base body that's several years out of date are coming in at $70 or more. Here, you're getting a nice assortment of extras and a very good base body for $40 - $45, that's a damn good deal.

Things to Watch Out For -
Remember that the Velcro strip on the back can snag the nylon suit easily when you're putting it on or taking it off.

Overall - ***
I waffled around for awhile on this score. As you can see from my various category scores, you could go either *** or ***1/2 without much debate.

The big pros here are the high quality accessories and outfit, the much better body, and the reasonable price.

Cons are the slightly sloppy paint, the small fist hands, the short sleeves on the outfit, and the slightly thick, bulky boots.

I'm going to be covering the first two costume sets later this week: Captain America and Spider-Man. I suspect that these may squeak out that extra half star from what I've seen so far.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store has the figure set for $40, and the individual costume sets for $30.

- Urban Collector has the Captain America and Spider-Man outfits for $30 each.

- Entertainment Earth has the regular figure set for $43, and the individual costumes for $33.

- Sideshow has the figure set for $45, and each costume set for $35.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Cast-A-Way Toys has also done a smaller scale (9") version of the good captain and his nemesis, Dr. Evil.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Captain Action action figure re-issue by Round 2


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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