Premium Format Captain America
"The 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 guest author."
Rob Phillips checks in with a great look at the new Captain America Premium
Format figure from Sideshow - take it away, Rob!
Steve Rogers had one ambition - to join the army and support the America he loved so loyally. Steve was intensely disappointed when he was rejected, thanks to his frail frame and physical limitations. Noticing Steve's determination, General Chester Phillips offered Steve a spot in a top secret government experiment named "Operation: Rebirth." Steve was injected with chemicals, a mixture called the_ 'Super-Soldier Serum,' which increased his strength, senses, and agility. With his newly gained abilities, Steve trained in all forms of military combat and tactics, and was outfitted in the colors of the American flag. A new, better man, Steve serves his country on the battlefield as Captain America, the living embodiment of Freedom!
The only drawback about ordering products from Sideshow Collectibles, is that you usually place orders for items that won’t be shipped for 6 months to a year. The good news is that you’re not charged until your order ships, but at the same time, you have to wait so long for a piece you’re looking so forward to adding to your collection. I ordered this particular Captain America Premium Format figure back in October of 2006 and it just arrived on my doorstep this week. After viewing the final product, I can honestly say that this piece proves the old adage, “good things come to those who wait”.
Wow… just… wow…
Seeing that he’s always been my favorite of the Super Heroes, I’ve reviewed many different Captain America collectibles. The Sideshow Captain America Premium Format Exclusive Statue has instantly risen to the top and snagged the title as the be all-end all of Captain America collectibles. It’s simply an awe-inspiring piece that no Cap fan will want to be without. Having him as part of your collection though, will require some dough. When it comes to high-end (read: expensive) collectibles such as those produced by Sideshow, you should have a fair amount of expectation that you’re going to get what you pay for. Sometimes companies charge outrageous amounts of money for products that simply don’t warrant the expense. There’s always a fair amount of nervousness a buyer has when spending several hundred dollars on something he’s never even seen in person. Because of this, companies have to establish trust with consumers and to date, I’ve never heard a negative word said about any Sideshow Product and everything that I’ve gotten from them so far has been top notch. That being said, my expectations were high for the good Captain here, but Sideshow blew my expectations out of the water with this one.
Captain America came packaged in the usual Sideshow manner… an outer nondescript brown corrugated cardboard box that houses the inner full color display box. The display box itself is gorgeous with various pictures of the statue on all sides taken from different angles and distances. The very back of the box has a picture of the statue along with the character’s background story printed next to it. Inside of this box is the formed protective Styrofoam that keeps the statue safe during shipping. Because this was the “Exclusive” version (I’ll explain in a bit.), it meant that there would be some extra parts. Sideshow did a nice job of securing these parts within the top piece of the Styrofoam. The top section of the Styrofoam had something of a secret compartment in it that held the two shields, the statue’s base, and the girder piece that attaches to the base. In between the two larger pieces of Styrofoam, the statues body, two alternating heads, and the two alternating base pieces were held. Every piece of the statue was wrapped in tissue paper and then placed into plastic bags for added protection.
Premium Format Explained
Captain America is part of Sideshow’s “Premium Format” line. What this means is that the statue is comprised of mixed medium. Simply put, certain parts of the cast polystone are covered in real cloth or leather to give an added dimension of realism to the statue. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. Often times, the fabric pieces don’t seem to fit or match up with the scale of the figure. The figure will be too small for the fabric to take its proper shape and it ends up looking hokey and out of place. This was actually my biggest fear with the final version of this piece. Cap’s bottom half was going to be comprised of blue spandex and I was afraid that this would take away from the rest of the piece, but that simply was not the case. The underlying sculpt of Cap’s leg muscles show through the spandex better than I had expected and the folds along the lines of his trunks turned out very well. Kudos to Sideshow for not letting this part of the statue look cheap or unnecessary. The leather belt also turned out very well. In some of the pre-production photos, the belt appeared to sag around Cap’s waist, but the final product has a taut belt that looks very cool.
Exclusive Vs. Regular Edition
Another thing that Sideshow is famous for is releasing an “exclusive” version of their statues as well as a “regular” edition. The exclusive editions are more limited and usually contain an extra piece or feature that’s not including in the regular edition. In Cap’s case, the exclusive version boasts three extra pieces that allow you to change the statue from Cap’s Modern look back to his World War II era look. (The regular edition is modern only.) It’s like having two statues in one. Exclusive Cap comes with two different shields (his WWII shield was more triangular in shape compared to his round modern shield), two different heads (his WWII mask was more like a helmet and did not connect to the rest of his costume), and two different pieces that attach to the base on which Cap rests his left foot. For the WWII era Cap, there’s a German soldier’s helmet and for the modern look, Cap stands atop the severed robotic head of Ultron, one of the Avengers’ enemies. Both the heads and the shields are held in place with magnets. The magnets work very well, but you have to be careful with the shields because the cloth that encircles the forearm where the shields attach needs to be pulled away a little bit to ensure a proper fit and keep the shield baring arm from falling off by not securing the magnetic connection. The base pieces fit in place with a pin that protrudes from the bottom of either piece. Both also have a hole in the top of their respective pieces to allow the pin on the bottom of Cap’s foot to fit in place and hold the statue upright. It’s really an
ingenious set up that works very well no matter what combination of Cap you’re displaying.
Overall Look & Specs - ****
Holy cow is this one beautiful piece of comic book memorabilia. I’m a little biased due to the subject matter, but I have yet to see anything that is its rival in the collectible market. The sculpt is amazing. The use of mixed medium is stellar. The paint applications are perfect. The various pieces fit snugly and securely. You couldn’t ask for anything better. Sideshow has simply outdone themselves with the Captain America Premium Format figure. Standing an overwhelming 19 inches tall and weighing in at just under 30 pounds, you’ll have to make sure you’ve got the proper display environment for him, but he’s well worth the trouble. After taking mine out to inspect for damage and try out the various options, I carefully packed him back in his box until I can come up with a safe and sturdy place to display him. I was going to place him on my statue shelf that’s attached to a wall in my study and well out of the reach of my 3 year old, but with his weight, I’m afraid that Cap might bring the shelf crashing down (yes, it’s in the studs, but still) and that would absolutely crush me if that happened. I’m not taking any chances. In collector circles, I’m referring to Cap as a “Lifer” in my collection meaning that I would sell everything else that I own before I let him go. I hope to have him with me so that I may one day be able to hand him over to my son if he shares my appreciation for all things Captain America of course.
Sideshow Collectibles and Marvel Comics are proud to present the Premium Format
Captain America Figure! Cap has been reproduced in full 1:4 scale, standing
over 19 inches tall atop a rubble-strewn base. Captain America's costume has
been expertly recreated with a combination of real fabric and high-quality
polystone, a perfect blend of mediums. Each piece is hand-cast and hand-painted
to exacting standards. Captain America will be packed inside a durable foam
interior, safe for shipment, and a beautiful full color box. Don't miss this
chance to add the ultimate Captain America collectible to your collection!
Where to buy-
You can get on the waiting list for the exclusive () or regular ()
Figure from the collection of