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Captain America and Red Skull
Marvel Select - Diamond Select Toys

Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys


There has been a lion's share of great movies this summer (Rise of the Planet of the Apes is my favorite so far), but one of the better superhero releases is Captain America. A well done old school re-telling of the origin of a classic character, the movie also works to set him up as part of the upcoming Avengers. Nothing about the movie was ground breaking or earth shattering, but it was good, summer fun.

Hasbro has been handling the mass market toys, but they aren't the only ones working the angle. Diamond Select Toys is giving the main characters their own 'select' treatment as well, and I'm checking out Captain America and Red Skull tonight.

These are larger figures than many other lines, coming in at closer to 7" (or slightly bigger) scale. If you've picked up past Marvel Select figures, particularly Hulk or Iron Man, than this Cap should fit in perfectly. They're also releasing a movie based Thor in this series, making it easy to start your movie Avengers set!

Expect to pay around $17 - $20 each for these, depending on the retailer. They should be hitting stores any day.


Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys
Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys
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Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys
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Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys
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Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys
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Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys
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Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys
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Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys
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Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys
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Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys

Packaging - **1/2
I don't hate these packages, but I do find them frustrating. Their seems to be quite a bit of waste with the large, book shelf style package, and it doesn't hold up well to storage or peg time. Add in a million twisties...okay, maybe five...and you'll waste more of your life getting the figure out than you care to.

For the MOCer's though, at least the package is consistent in design, making for a more interesting MOC display.

Sculpting - Cap ***1/2; Red Skull ***
If you're looking for a super movie accurate version, then the Marvel Select Red Skull won't quite fit the bill. His look on screen is slightly different, including a more pronounced nasal cavity, and a more classically defined skull shape around the cheeks and temples.

Still, it's a great looking Red Skull on it's own, very evil, very menacing. I like the somewhat neutral expression of dissatisfaction, because this kind of guy is all kinds of bad even when he's mildly pissed.

His uniform is much more movie accurate, including buckles, belts and long sleeves. The work here is excellent as well, with lots of nice detailing.

Cap has an even more detailed sculpt, especially in the various textures of the uniform. The mask also helps hide some of the possible issues with the likeness, although I can still make out some of Chris Evans in there. The nose is a little big, and I'm not sure where the chin strap went, but the accuracy quibbles are less of an issue here for me.

Both have sculpted right hands designed to work with the accessories, and both stand great on their own as well.

Paint - Cap ****; Red Skull ***1/2
The paint work on Cap is almost universally excellent, with small details clean and neat, and just the right amount of wash used on the costume to bring out the details.

The red, white and blue shield is done in a higher gloss finish to give it that metallic appearance, and while there's a couple minor blips in the surface, overall it looks terrific.

Red Skull sports the same excellent work on his costume, including the tricky silver buttons and buckles. The tampo insignia on his arm is straight and clean, and there's a nice mix of gloss and matte blacks on the uniform.

In the film there were areas of his face that were blacker than others, especially around the eyes, and they did what they could to replicate that here. The black wash is a bit messy looking though, and doesn't quite work as well as I'd hoped.

Articulation - ***
These are well articulated for the scale, certainly much better than a similarly sized figure from NECA or Mezco.

The necks are a traditional ball joint, with disc/post ball jointed shoulders and hips. There's single pin elbows and ankles, double pin knees, a cut waist, ab-crunch, and cut wrists. The pins and discs are all quite sturdy as well, and the figures can maintain the poses over time.

The long coat on Red Skull does tend to restrict much of the lower body articulation, but it's soft enough that you can still get some reasonably deep stances.

There are a couple joints that would have been nice, such as a boot top cut joint, or pin wrists. The arms aren't quite as easy to work with as you'd expect, since the design of the sculpt and the design of the articulation doesn't quite mingle as well as I'd like, but the nits are all fairly minor.

The figures do stand well on their own, even in some pretty extreme poses, and the joints are tight enough and solid enough to hold up to actual play.

Accessories - ***1/2
Both figures come with several accessories, which not only boosts the score here but in the Value section as well.

Both figures come with their trademark sidearms, and they can hold them properly in their sculpted right hands. Cap can also pop his into the holster on his left hip. Scale, sculpt and paint are all good on both guns.

Cap also has his shield, which pretty much goes without saying. There are two straps on the back that slip over the forearm of the figure, but I found that it worked better with the right arm (where the hand can grasp the one strap) than the left. The fist on the left hand can pose some problems, but if you warm up the strap a bit with some hot water first, you might find it works easier.

The figures also come with parts to build a diorama, but you have to buy both to complete it. This diorama is the energy machine that Red Skull controls. Cap comes with the top of the machine and one half of the floor, while Red comes with the other half of the floor and the intermediate section of machinery. These four pieces snap together tightly to form the completed environment. The overall scale is a little small, but the detail sculpt work is extremely good.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
If you have a child that loved the movie, then these are figures you should check out. While the smaller Hasbro versions are decent enough, there's not much that's actually movie related. For the cost of two itty-bitty Hasbro figures, you can get one of these larger, well articulated figures, something a lot of kids would appreciate. Also having the other movie figures in this same scale - Thor and Iron Man most notably, although the Marvel Select Hulk will pass for most kids - gives them a chance to create a great Avengers set long before the film arrives.

Value - ***
When most mass market figures in the 6" scale are running close to $18, you have to admit that getting a larger scale, collector themed, better articulated and licensed character for that price is a decent value, and certainly one I can't complain about in the current economy.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***1/2
If I have one major quibble, it's that I wish the Red Skull sculpt had been a bit more movie accurate. Often, toy companies have to begin making the figures months in advance of a films release, and work off initial plans for makeup and effects. These can end up tweaked quite a bit as the movie is created, leaving the final product looking very different than what we see on screen. I'm betting that's what happened here, but that doesn't mean I don't wish the head sculpt had been more like the film version.

Other than that, I'm extremely happy with the pair. The paint work is collectible quality, but the articulation and accessories make them exceptional toys as well for any pint sized fan of the film. With a price point that competes with lesser lines at the local store, I think these two are excellent additions to the Marvel Select movie line up, and are going to look terrific with the earlier released Iron Man, Thor, Loki and Hulk.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - Cap ***1/2; Red Skull ***
Paint - Cap ****; Red Skull ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Urban Collector has them for $17 - $18, depending on the character.

- Things From Another World has them for about $17.50.

- Big Bad Toy Store has them for $19 each.

- Entertainment Earth has them for $19 each.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Cap merchandise and reviews include the figures by Hasbro, this look at him and the giant sized Skrull, this Marvel Universe version, a guest review of the Sideshow PF, a guest review of the old school 9" Hasbro version, and a guest review of the Marvel Legends version.

Discussion:
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Captain America and Red Skull Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select Toys


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

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