following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|With the new Avengers movie
right around the corner, Jeff checks out Hot Toys first version of
Captain America - tell
us all about him, Jeff!
2011 was a good year for superhero fans at the cinema, especially
if you were a Marvel devotee. First we got Thor which turned out pretty
damn well, then it was followed by a look at the formative years of
everyone’s favourite mutant school in X-Men: First Class and the lastly
we got this guy, Captain America: The First Avenger. I think it’s fair
to say that all three were solid additions to the Marvel stable of live
action movies and the truly AMAZING fact was that none of them actually
This year (2012) promises to be just as rewarding… maybe!
possible let down, and the only joker in the pack is Ghost Rider:
Spirit of Vengeance, we all know how truly appalling the first movie
was, but early reports and the trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebCawfEnSWU look like it might actually
be OK, it’s certainly darker in tone and the design of the bike and
effects all look to be far grittier. Then of course we get Spidey in
what might or might not prove to be a rather premature reboot in The
Amazing Spiderman. I still need to be convinced about that suit, and
early reports from those in the know say that like Ghost Rider the feel
is also markedly darker, and Peter is a deeper moodier character… is
that the Peter Parker we’ve been following for years? I guess we’ll
know soon enough, but having seen the recently released trailer it
certainly doesn’t look that dark.
Then of course we get the
big ensemble cast that is The Avengers, so as far as new 1/6th figures
are concerned we can all expect a new version of Cap A here in his
sleeker more spandexy modern age outfit, (probably designed by Stark
Industries). You can see a comp shot here and I have to say, at the moment I’m liking the 1942 version quite a bit more.
|But back to the job at hand. I really enjoyed the ‘set up’ movie, it
was a couple of hours of pure escapism, and the retro setting and high
production standards made me realise we need a few more old RKO style
adventure stories. Perhaps it’s time to reboot the Rocketeer or give us
a Superman movie set in the 1930/40’s… I know I’d like it! It gave us
the classic ‘origins story’ as all superhero franchises feel compelled
to do, and set up the back-story for a very important member of the
line-up when we finally get to see the Avengers assemble.
So, if you are a Marvel fan, and you are attempting to build the
complete Avengers line up in 1/6th scale what are you to do? Are you
inclined to wait and see how the new outfit turns out, or is it worth
investing in this early ‘militaristic’ look? After all ‘origins’
figures do have their own charm, and as I already stated above I know
which outfit I prefer.
However let’s face it, it’s no ‘big’
secret that The Avenger we are all waiting to see with baited breath,
brought to life in full 1/6th glory, happens to be a certain 7'6" chap
who weighs in at 1,400 lbs, and is a striking shade of green...! But on
with the show.
who collects Hot Toys, and more specifically if they collect the Marvel
figures will be aware that all the packaging relating to characters
from their movies follows the same construction. So once again it’s a
simple shoebox design in construction, emblazoned with a large image of
the iconic shield on the front and an image of the figure with a full
production credit list on the back. Lift off the lid and you’ll find a
tray on the inside holding his shield and guns whilst the main box has
a full colour card overlay with another pic of the figure and a brief
character biography. Under this is the usual vac formed tray with the
fully constructed figure next to his impressive array of seven extra
So, not as innovative or exciting as some of Hot Toys recent fare, but still well designed and solidly constructed.
Sculpting - ***1/2
that iconic cowl this is obviously meant to be Chris Evans as the 7
stone weakling made 16 stone superhero Steve Rogers. Now I can see him
in there, but it’s not screaming at me. Check this pic out here or this one here
and I think you can see that the chin is a fraction too long and the
eyelids are also just a hint too heavy. In fact those heavy eyelids and
the full lips do actually look more than a little like Brad Pitt.
be fair there is not a whole lot of face on show here, just the eyes
and lower face. And although not a perfect depiction of Chris Evans,
when it is combined with impressive sculpting of the armoured cowl
helmet and chin strap (which is actually constructed separately and
placed over the inner head sculpt) it comes together well and makes for
a very impressive looking figure. And it’s definitely Captain America
from ANY angle.
There is as I
noted already not a whole lot of face on show, but what we can see is
painted impeccably well. The helmet part is a good dense blue with a
solid matte finish while the leather is more textured with small
detailed stitching and tiny silver rivets around the ear protectors.
The overall effect is highly evocative of vintage American football
helmets from the 40’s and 50’s like this and this.
This all buts up to another note perfect paint app on the exposed flesh
areas, showing the usual finely observed graduations in tone on the
skin and the spookily life like glossy eyes. Until someone steps up to
the plate and can consistently offer some credible competition, Hot
Toys will remain firmly ensconced as the gods of 1/6th paint
application. Now we just wait on tenterhooks to see what they can
deliver at the larger ¼ scale later in the year!
Cap A is dressed head to foot in his specially designed
“military” outfit. Apart from a few inches of skin on his face, no
flesh is flashed at all… but for some reason they have decided to
base this around a muscle body… WHY FOR CRISSAKE!
looks buff ‘n’ all, but when you can’t see the base body at all, why
not give us the supreme articulation of a standard ‘heroic’ True-Type.
I guess Hot Toys must have their own particular rationale, and to be
fair the complex tailoring of the tunic with its multiple seams and
thick padded epaulettes meant it was always going be restrictive
whatever body they used.
So what we end up with is a figure
based around a well-designed body (albeit not up there with the classic
TT), in a supremely well-observed outfit. But the combination of the
muscle bod and the multi panelled suit means it all adds up to figure
that has a much more limited range than I actually expected. Don’t
worry unduly, you can still get some good poses… but I’d have liked to
have gotten a whole lot more.
does Cap A need apart from a shield… exactly! So the fact he comes
equipped with a Thompson machine gun is pure bonus territory, and then
throw in to the mix his pistol and the great selection of hands and you
have a win-win situation
The full haul consists of-
- Two gloved fists
- Two Fingers splayed gloved hands (shield throwing)
- Two tight grip gloved hands (shield holding)
- Two relaxed gloved hands
- One right gun grip hand
- One leather bandolier with 2 pouches
- One M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun
- One Colt M1911A1 automatic pistol
- One Stark Industries engineered ‘Vibranium’ bulletproof chromed shield
- One clip to attach the shield to the back
- One classic black figure stand
- Extra wrist pegs
shield has a super shiny red, steel and blue metallic finish with nice
crisp edges where the colours meet. The reverse side is made to look
like polished steel and shows the sculpted rivets and working
adjustable straps, complete with tiny buckles and clips. You need to
attach the gripping hand to the appropriate smaller strap, then slide
the arm through the larger strap and reattach the hand to the wrist
peg. But once all is aligned and pushed into place it looks great. The
shield can also be carried on the back by securing it to the braces
strap on his harness. A small separate clip is included to do this,
(printed instructions supplied) helping it slot into place with ease.
Thompson machine gun has an adjustable carry strap, a removable
magazine, a flip up rear targeting sight and a pullback recoil spring.
The Colt automatic also has a removable magazine but sadly has no
sliding cocking mechanism or moving hammer. The bandolier is made of a
synthetic leather and consists of a simple belt with two ‘sliding’
The hand selection is pretty comprehensive,
consisting of the various poses listed above. But rest assured you have
all you need to hold the various accessories and also a few others for
some extra key iconic poses, and of course the spare wrist pegs are
included in case you have a mishap! I do however have to admit I did
find the hands have a tendency to come loose a little too easily when
reposing of placing the accessories in the hands. They pop straight
back on easy enough, but it can become a little frustrating during a
long photo shoot.
Lastly there is the old faithful oval black
figure stand… well, I say ‘faithful’ but I actually NEVER use mine
EVER. I do however know they prove popular amongst a certain
demographic of collectors, so if that includes you, hey, it’s all-good.
what goes on with all the various categories it is rare that Hot Toys
doesn’t score at least one or two home runs. And for me this is one of
the areas that they deserve the full shebang.
YES… I know I
already said there is an element of restriction incurred upon the
figure because of the complex layering of the outfit. But I find it
hard, nay impossible to count this too harshly against the final score,
as the attention to detail here is so finely observed that the final
look is richly deserving of a full four star rating! I mean, seriously,
look this thing over from head to toe and tell me you disagree.
boots are sculpted, but the detailing is finely executed enough to make
them totally convincing for the scale with tons of deep crisp tooling
on the laces and stitching. The trousers are cropped to sit just above
the top of the boot and have padded panels on the knees and over the
upper legs. They also have flapped pockets on the rear and working belt
loops. Although layered the shirt is all joined together as one
garment. The under-part of the shirt has a zipper up the back and
padded areas over the abdomen, then the top part goes over the
shoulders and is joined to the suspenders/braces. The front red straps
(with working sliding buckles) are sewn to the base of the shirt whilst
the rear strap clips to his gun belt. The shoulder protectors have
straps running around the arm with small working buckles on the
underside. The iconic star is centred on the chest, along with the
smaller ones at the tops of the arms and numerous other small rivets,
buttons and buckles are positioned in all the relevant places over the
rest of the costume.
The pleather gun belt has a drop holster
on the right leg that straps to the thigh. It’s embossed with a US army
stamp and closes by means of a small push through stud. There are two
sets of sliding pouches on either side, small metal eyelets along the
back and what appears to be a small die-cast metal buckle at the front.
All the garments are well tailored and well finished and I had
no loose threads or problems with any part of the outfit. It all fits
the body well and the finishing touches on the dirtying up and
weathering really help bring the final look together.
guy was unleashed a little over three months ago. And being the
patriotic figurehead that he is, I thought it would be a pretty rapid
seller, so I was mildly surprised to see there are still quite a few
out there to be had, and many for nearly $20 less than the RRP.
guess it’s a mark of our uncertain economic times, and highlights the
sheer volume of cool stuff that is coming out, which is making people
have to be far more selective in choosing what they actually buy. So if
you can get him for $153 I see this a pretty good buy. But if you end
up paying full retail I’d knock off at least another ½ star. I do
however have a feeling his sales might pick up once again after the
release of Red Skull.
Factor - ***
guy could have struck a few more deep dynamic stances he would have got
a home run for fun! However, because he struggles go get into some of
the key poses, and also because his hands have a tendency to come off
too easily, he doesn’t do quite as well in this category as I would
have liked. Of course these are issues that will only bother the folks
who like to re-position their figures regularly or pose them for
photography. If you are more the kind of collector who gets your figure
into one pose, then sticks him in a Detolf never to be repositioned for
all eternity (baring an act of God) it’s all good!
is a solid piece of work, and if you are a fan who’s collecting as many
of the Hot Toys Marvel characters as you can, I seriously don’t think
you will be too disappointed. There are a couple of areas where there
is undoubtedly room for improvement, but the overall feeling this
figure leaves me with is of quiet satisfaction, and it also makes me
realise how much I need Red Skull to stand with him!
Where to Buy -
can still be ordered over at Sideshow the official US importer for all
things Hot Toys for the full RRP of $169.99. Or you can shop around
using the sites sponsors where you could stand to make a big saving.
Alter Ego, in stock- $152.99
Capstone Comics, pre order- $153.00
Fan Boy, in stock- $159.99
BBTS, pre order- $159.99
Or you can hit eBay where prices are between $155 to $175.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.