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Red Skull - Captain America
Hot Toys

Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


I'll be honest - Captain America was not my favorite Marvel flick of 2011. It was fun, it was enjoyable, but there was something about it that left me un-engaged.

I did like the villain though, due in no small part to the excellent work by Hugo Weaving. Although he'd already been acting for 20 years before his role in The Matrix as Agent Smith, it wasn't until that trilogy that he became a recognizable star. With follow up roles in other geek hits like Lord of the Rings, V for Vendetta, and Captain America, he's cemented his place in the nerdiverse as an iconic actor.

His portrayal of the evil Red Skull was a highlight of the film for me, so I've been looking forward to the release of the Hot Toys version of his character. While I'm sure we'll get our fair share of Cap variants, we might not see Johann Schmidt in sixth scale again any time soon. Then again, with his long history against both S.H.E.I.L.D. and the Avengers, and the way the new Amazing Spider-Man movie hinted at someone powerful being responsible for Parker's parent's deaths, who knows? Yea, he sort of vaporized at the end of the flick, but Reds has never been easy to kill.

These are shipping right now, and are available at many online retailers for around $180 - $200.


 
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Packaging - ***
It's probably just me, but the shoe box style of packaging is starting to get a little stale. There's nothing this time around to make it stand out, although it is just as collector friendly as usual. Maybe the lack of extras made the box seem a bit empty...

I do like the Hydra symbol on the top, and the lack of any mention of Red Skull himself.

Sculpting - ****
There are two portraits here - one of the Weaving character, and one in full Red Skull style.

For most of his comic history, Red Skull had a normal face, but wore a grotesque mask. In the film they flip flopped that around, giving him the actual damaged face of the Red Skull, and making his normal visage a mask. While this is not unprecedented - he did swing this way for awhile in the comics - it was a pretty significant shift. I personally liked it, but I know some comic fans were disappointed.

Here you get both heads, and if you want to believe the Red Skull version is really just a mask and not his actual face, I can't see any reason that won't work.

They've done a terrific job capturing the movie appearance, and the skin detail on the shrunken face is scary good. The deeply set eyes exhibit pain and suffering, and the expression is subtle yet filled with hate. It's the perfect look for this character.

The Hugo face is outstanding, exhibiting the kind of realism that we've come to expect from every Hot Toys portrait. The skin and hair detail is amazing, and the eyes are so realistic it's spooky. With some hair mods, this head would work great for an Agent Smith or a Elrond custom, and I can see this sculpt going for good money on ebay all by itself.

The hands are fewer than usual, but the sculpts are designed to work with a variety of poses and both key accessories.

He's not super tall, coming in just shy of 12", but that makes the scale between he and Cap work out pretty well.

Paint - ****
It's Hot Toys, the best when it comes to production paint work. The eyes are glassy and life-like, the skin tone is perfect, and even the hair lines are as realistic as you'll see.

On the Red Skull head sculpt, the reds and blacks blend smoothly, and again the eyes are spooky real.

The gun has a cool paint job as well, due to it's high tech futuristic design. It's a nice change of pace, and adds a little color to the accessories.

Articulation - ***1/2
The underlying TrueType body has all the articulation you expect, and it all works fairly well. You'll be able to get very natural poses out of the base body, and should have no trouble finding one you like that will last without using the display stand.

I did find that the jacket and coat restricts the arms a bit, and my biggest complaint is with the restricted ankles. Although the boots are fairly soft, they still keep the ankles from moving forward and backward as much as I'd like.

Accessories - ***
Unfortunately, Red isn't particularly well outfitted with extras.

There's that extra head sculpt of course along with an extra neck post. I've already sung the sculpts praises, and it's a critical inclusion for this figure.

There's also the Cosmic Cube, called the Tesserract in the film, which looks a lot like a blue translucent die. It fits nicely in his sculpted right hand.

There are actually four different right hands, but only two lefts. There's a pair of fists, and a pair of relaxed pose hands. There are two more rights - one in the classic villain hand grip, and one in a pistol grip. They all swap easily, with little fear of post breakage.

He also has a Luger-like gun, something he developed in the lab with a very interesting design. It fits well in his hand and looks terrific, but there's no holster for it.

Finally, there's the standard black display stand for consistency. You won't have to use it, but it's a nice add if you've used them for the other figures in your display.

Outfit - ***
The main outfit consists of his soft boots, gray pants, and gray jacket. All are tailored extremely well, and key areas, like the collar, buttons and pockets, are properly scaled. It's a great fit, and I have to say that I think I like him best in the basic clothes.

'He also comes with an outer leather coat, that includes a soft leather belt with a Velcro closure in back and a harder rubber belt with a standard buckle (Hydra insignia included) on the front.

When I first put the outer coat on, I wasn't too impressed. It's a tight fit, but that's not a bad thing. It's just that the fit seemed awkward, especially in the arms and shoulders.

I futzed with it for quite awhile, and finally got a look that was acceptable to me. I'm still not as happy with it as I am with the gray outfit, but it's not bad. Expert futzers should be able to adjust the shoulders a bit with some padding that will probably make it look even better.

Fun Factor - ***
This figure poses well, is quite sturdy, and is actually an excellent toy. No kid will ever get to play with one at this price, but it's nice to see the DNA of a real toy reflected in a high end collectible nonetheless.

Value - **
At $180, this figure is pushing it. His only saving grace is the extra portrait, but there's no light up features and very few additional accessories.

If you end up paying closer to $200, you can drop another half star here. While the sculpting is great, this figure is really more in line with Hot Toys $150 - $170 figures, and not worthy of the higher price point.

Things to Watch Out For -
I found it easier to pop the entire head and neck joint off, and use the extra included neck joint with the Red Skull head. Your mileage may vary, however.

Working with the long coat is also a bit tricky, so I'd pay attention to the instructions, at least for the first time putting it on.

Overall - ***
This is a very good figure, and a very, very nice counter piece to the Captain America released by Hot Toys last year. Sculpts are great, paint is great, and the outfit and accessories are solid.

But at almost $200, there's no doubt this figure is a tad light when it comes to extras. I can't see how this is a figure that should be any more than $150 - $160, and I know that a lot of collectors are expressing real concern over the steady rise of Hot Toys basic figures. Not that long ago a deluxe figure was the only one that cost more than $200 - now, even 'regular' figures are reaching that price point. 

There's no doubt that Hot Toys is still the master of sixth scale, but let's hope that the rising cost of the figures doesn't stall their growth or their quality.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Fanboy Collectibles is at $180.

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $180.

- Big Bad Toy Store comes in at $190.

- Things From Another World is at $200.

- Hollywood Heroes is also at $200.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other reviews include:

- if you're looking for a good movie Red Skull but aren't into the size or price of this one, check out the DST version.

- if you want even smaller and cheaper, there's the 4" Hasbro toy.

- if you pick up this one, you'll need the Hot Toys Captain America to go with him.

- other Red Skull figures include this Marvel Legends version, and this old Famous Covers design. That's a blast from the past!

Discussion:
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Red Skull Captain America sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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