SEARCH      FEATURES    NEWSLETTER    EMAIL     HOME
White Space
Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week
Review Header Bar
White Space

Review of Captain America, Thor - Avengers
Action Heroes Vignettes

Dragon
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 2.5 out of 4

Please share with your friends!

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Introduction

The Avengers: Age of Ultron continues to rock the box office (although I'm hoping Mad Max takes a big share this weekend), and it will be a long time before the collectible train stops rolling as well.  We all know Hot Toys is cranking out the sixth scale line up, but Dragon is doing their own unique take in a slightly smaller size.

You know Dragon (or Dragon Models Limited, the overall parent company), because they did sixth scale action figures for years. From RCMP's to Barbarians to more modern military, fans of warrior figures have been fans of Dragon. They've moved into a new area in the last couple years, and it's one you might be familiar with.

The line is called Action Hero Vignette's, and they are done in a 1/9th scale. That puts the figure itself between 8 and 9", depending on the character. Each comes with a cool base, and rather than simple statues, you have to actually do some basic assembly.  Think of the Kobukiya ArtFX kits, and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

They've been producing these for awhile now, based on a number of popular licenses, including Dark Knight and Guardians of the Galaxy. The latest releases are based on, you guessed it, Age of Ultron, and include Captain America, Thor, (both reviewed tonight), Hulk, Iron Man (reviewed soon), Ultron, and the Hulkbuster. They retail for around $135 - $190, depending on the character and the retailer.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Packaging - ****
These are some very cool boxes, split in half with a wrap around cover. They are made from very heavy material, with trays in either half to hold the various pieces and base. It's all quite collector friendly, with no need to damage anything in removing the parts.  There's also instructions, even though the assembly is pretty basic - not having any instructions is a pet peeve of mine.

Along with using very high quality materials, the boxes are very colorful and attractive, with some good shots of the character in question.

The tray on the left in each box (holding the base), IS taped into the box with two way tape, so don't merely tear it out. You can remove the top plastic cover and take the pieces out without removing the lower black plastic tray, thereby avoiding potentially tearing the inside of the box.

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Sculpting - ***
The best feature in this category for both statues is the costume. The portraits are lacking, although they aren't awful.

First, a note on assembly. Each comes in 8 or more pieces, and the posts/holes are designed to only align one way, making it hard for you to mess up. The statues are made from a very thick, very heavy PVC, which also means they are practically indestructible.

These are advertised as 1/9th scale, which would make an average 6 foot male 8" tall. Both of these characters are slightly larger than that, with Cap almost 8 1/4", and Thor almost 8 1/2". Add in the base, and you get another half inch or so on top of that.

From the neck down, both figures have highly detailed costumes based on their look in the new movie. There are sharp cuts, well defined small details, appropriate textures, and great proportions all around. I prefer the pose on Thor, but both have that 'museum' quality.

The head sculpts aren't as strong. The Hemsworth is the weaker of the two, with a rather large nose, and less definition to the long hair. The work on the facial hair is solid though, and the use of the slightly translucent material for the head gives the skin the depth we've seen with larger figures.

The Cap portraits are better, although the face still seems a bit stretched. The unmasked version is the strongest likeness of the three, and I think they've nailed the hair style.

If the Thor head had matched the quality of the Cap unmasked portrait and the overall pose of the Cap was as attractive as the Thor, you would have had a ***1/2 star score here for both.

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work on these is very, very good, with strong, clean colors and sharp cuts between. There's very little slop, and tiny details, like eyes, lips, buttons, and insignia are all crisp and sharp.

This category is actually the opposite though from the previous - here I like the Thor better than the Cap. While Cap is still fairly clean, there's something about the silver and black armor on Thor that really pops.

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Articulation - Bupkis
These are model kits/statues, not action figures. While you do have to assemble them, and you can always pop the various pieces apart, there's no articulation. This won't go against my Overall score, and is informational only.

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Accessories - Thor **; Cap ***
These aren't action figures, and for a statue to get any score here is a big plus.

Thor gets a couple stars because he doesn't require the base to stand, making it an extra. It's a very cool base too, but he can stand upright without it if you'd prefer.  His hammer, while it might seem critical, is also not necessary. It can slip in or out of his hand, giving you a basic display option.

The shield and base with Cap are the same way. You can use them or not, depending on your personal taste. However, he also comes with a very obvious extra - the second, unmasked portrait. This is a big boost for a statue like this, especially with a character like Cap.

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Fun Factor - **1/2
These fall into the category where you build them once - takes just a few minutes - and then set them on the shelf. For a collector, that might be all his heart can take, but for kids, it's probably not the best option. These are designed for fans of the movie and characters that are looking for something cool and eye catching for their display, cube or office.

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Value - *1/2
But now we get to the killer - these are very expensive.  Each of these are around $130 or so, depending on the retailer.

To be fair, statues in the 1/9th to 1/6th range are in the $100 - $120 range these days. But those tend to be limited editions, with an edition size that makes collectors feel as though they are getting something at least slightly rare.  They are also usually polystone or resin, instead of straight PVC. While PVC statues can have just as crisp of a sculpt and nicely done paint, the assumption is that it is not as 'valuable' or desirable as polystone.

I could see $100 for these - the quality is there. But that extra $30 is a killer these days, especially if you plan on picking up the whole set rather than cherry pick only one or two characters.

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Things to Watch Out For -
Not too much. I did find that getting the feet on the metal posts in the bases was a little tricky, but the solid materials makes it a fairly safe adventure. Pay particular caution when putting the hammer handle in Thor's grip, as it's a tight one and you could break the wrist wrap if you're not careful.

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Overall - **1/2
If you've bought the ArtFX or other similar PVC statues from other companies, then you'll have a good idea of what these are like. Technically, they are 'model kits', because you do have to assemble them. But they are not like the model kits that Dragon did a couple years ago for the earlier Avengers, which you actually had to glue and paint.

The paint work is great, and while the likenesses could be improved, the overall sculpting is solid, particularly on the bases and costumes.  But I have to say that the price is a killer, making these a much tougher sell. At around $100, these would pick up another half star. But you don't need me to tell you what the price is - you can see that for yourself. If you're cool with the cost, then you're overall assessment will be higher.

I'll be checking out two more of these very soon, so watch for my review of Iron Man and the Hulk!

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

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Dividing Bar

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has these two for $135 each.

- Entertainment Earth has Thor for $130, and Cap for $130 as well.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Check out Dragon's site to see the other statues available in this series!

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

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

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Please share with your friends!

Thor, Captain America Action Hero Vignette statue by Dragon

Back to Main Page
This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

White Space
Review Bottom Edge
This page copyright 2000 - 2015, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions!