Friday, June 3, 2011

Captain America The First Avenger 3.75" Ultimate Captain America

 (**Just a short message for you loyal readers: if you missed it, I'm running the first ever contest on Chase Variant to commemorate my 200th post.  Mosey on over to join in the fun if you haven't already!  If you have, then on to the Ultimate Cap review!  ;])

Comic Series, of course!
The Captain America First Avenger Movie Line continues the tradition started with Iron Man 2 figures with sub-series categories: Movie Series, Comic Series, and Concept Series.

I personally love these because you can tell whether you're getting something from the movie (especially if the flick hasn't hit the cinemas yet), or you're getting something that's been in the comics and has now come to (plastic) life.  It's also especially cool when they label a figure a "concept" because that means the toy makers took it upon themselves to imagine something beyond both film and print and deliver it to us.

It's just like when we were kids and we would imagine something up, whether it's a new hidden laser on Iron Man's armor or Green Hulk with Banner's intellect, or Spiderman not needing web cartridges and growing four more arms (since the 80s the latter two have happened, of course! ;P)

Ultimate Captain America is far from being just a concept figure.  In fact, he probably single-handedly revived the original Cap's reputation by being as kickass as he is in the Ultimates Comic book series when Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch started the ball rolling.  How cool is he?  He's actually taken down the Hulk in one one one combat (more or less)!

He's also so cool that he's got his awesome theme song.

Needless to say, the Ultimates Cap character is my favourite Cap!  Will he be capable of becoming my fave figure as well?  Let's see! ;)

That's not the shield he comes with...
Feet closed! Awesome!
Like: Best leg articulation I've seen since the Iron Man 2 swivel/hinge balls.  It's a brand new joint for a brand new line!  The difference is in swivel/hinge post and thigh cut combo vs IM2's swivel/hinge Ball.  They both work similarly, though.  Check it out (from left to right):


Aesthetically, thigh cuts look better on human legs, balls work or power armor.  Just look at how awesome the sculpting on the leg above the thigh cut is!

This is the "shield" he comes with
That's black widow's gun!
Like: Brilliant chest pivot.  Great range of motion yet but fits like a glove over lower torso, almost seamless!  Speaking of seamless, his ankles are so well hidden that I had to double check with the Rangerlord if he had them.  The text conversation went like this:

Me: He looks like he's got no ankles.  You still keen (on getting him)?  I'm gonna pass.

RL: No way.  He's got them. Thx bro.

Me: Well, ok.  Dammit I'm buying him too.

So much for willpower.

 
Like: His face sculpt.  even beneath the mask, you can see his brow ridges and cheek bones. He's also got that Steve Rogers square jaw and a pursed lips worthy of any soldier.  With the eyes, it all comes together very nicely in a perfectly determined expression.

If there's an issue at all it's that his eyes are set a little bit wide apart.  Though that's not a real problem, it makes him less handsome and more thuggish.  I want Handsome Cap and not Brute Cap, dammit!  But Hulk say no puny human as handsome as Hulk though, so all good. (What the? - How did Hulk get a comment in here? - Ewan ;P)

Dislike: The Meat Pie Shield.  Yeah, don't be fooled.  It ain't made out of Vibranium, like they say.  Word on the street says it's minced pork.  ;P
 As far as I know, Cap doesn't use these in the Ultimates series.  And what good is a shield that is so thick and yet can split into two?  It's supposed to be a shield, dammit, not a pocket knife pretending to be a shield pretending to be a meat pie.

Like: That they tried to make the best out of the pie shield with retractable blades, a peg to put to on his back two clips for wrists, and a nice mini-posts/slots mechanism that keeps the shield together.  I have to admit, I actually like the concept of a bladed shield but this one's just too thick and should never have been able to split. The shield also does have another post which allows him to carry it on his back.  Now that is pretty neat. :)  The silver and blue paint on the red-molded shield is also excellent.

Dislike: Lack of other accessories.  Considering that he does use guns in the Ultimates series and will be using them in the movie from what we see in the trailers, where is the gun for this figure?  Any gun, even the smallest of pea shooters, would've offset some disappointment from the meat pie of a shield.

Dislike: No wrist joints!  Did they think they could get away with this??  Did they think the kids wouldn't notice?  Well, us big kids do!  Aaaaaaaaaaargh!!!  How is Cap ever gonna throw his shield now?  It's gonna fly of into the sunset and never come back now, never I tell you!!!


Like: His shoulder stars. Hell yeah!  No self-respecting Ultimate Cap fan would accept Cap without them!  Well he's got one on each shoulder and they're both sculpted as part of his suit and then painted white with the red star transferred on.  Too cool. :)

Like: His textured suit with all it's sculpted scales and the sculpted chest star, which are all done to perfection.  The white of the star is a transfer like the two on his shoulder.  There's lots of detail to be happy with, like his sculpted abs, his belt and pouches, his glove pouches and straps, and his boots done right down to his smartly tied laces.

Dislike: That his left arm has been attached too high onto his shoulder hinge plate, resulting in the arm being unable to come fully down by his side because the hinge at the armpit gets in the way of itself!  Let's just hope this is one off on my Cap.  Perhaps you can probably ensure yours doesn't have the same problem by trying to spot a slight gap on top of the left arm between shoulder.  Those would be the ones to avoid if it's just a defect in mine.

Like: That I'll have no shortage of weaponry from my GI Joe figures to deck him out with!  Of course, he'll have to borrow a "real" shield from one of my other Caps, but that's no problem at all!

RATINGS

Aesthetics: 8/10 - Very comic book accurate.  His jaw may be a little too square, his nose a little broad and his eyes a little far apart, but the look is unmistakably Captain America!

Cap's also got some excellent detail work put into him from the suit scales to his gloves, boots, and even the folds of his pants.  The costume is also comic book accurate so it's all good in this department. :) 

Poseability: 7.5/10 - The best legs in the business excepting the exceptional SDCC 2010 WWII Ultimate Captain America, which was a one-off exclusive which had the works! But the loss of wrist swivels means a loss of poseability.  Also, he's missing the latest swivel/hinge neck articulation that most of the Thor figures have.  And it seems the line won't have many figures with it, if at all.  That's a bummer.  But as long at they make proper working ball joints for the heads, all will be well. :)

Fun: 9/10 - First came Ultimate Iron Man, then came Nick Fury (thanks to the movies).  Now there's a modern Ultimate Cap.  It's already fun knowing the 1st 3 of the original Ultimates exist.  But can anyone say Ultimate Thor?  Can anyone feel the earth shudder as you think of Ultimate Hulk?  I can!  And here's one for all Ultimates fans: "You think this 'A' on my forehead stands for France?"

Now give us an Ultimate Hulk why don't you, Hasbro! ;P
Value: 7/10 - Prices of Hasbro 3.75-inch figures have gone up by quite a bit. From the reduced 16.90 of Iron Man 2 last year to the new retail price of S$19.90 (US$15.30) of Thor and now Captain America.  That's quite a bit of an increase.  I'm glad I got mine from a specialty store and thank goodness Hasbro delivers the quality, otherwise it'd be much tougher to justify wanting these figures.



Overall: 7.9/10 - It's a keeper with some flaws

Ultimately the loss of wrists hurts Ultimate Cap as does the lack of "proper" accessories.  He's ultimate in name but not truly ultimate in nature.  That honor still belongs to his WWII counterpart.  But if you're an Ultimates fan, this figure is a no-brainer.  If not, Ultimate Cap is still fun and a good buy, except that you could easily snag a better Cap from this line, say like the movie costume Super Combat Captain America or even the re-release (with some re-tool) WWII Cap (Battlefield Cap)!

31 comments:

  1. I am so upset that the two Cap figures that interest me don't come with a normal shield [this one, and "heroic" age (Bucky) Cap]. Which of course means that I'm going to have to buy one of the other figures just to have a normal shield. I don't think I'm going to collect this line, but I at least want one of these figures, and since I can't seem to find a good paint job on Bucky, I guess this one will be it.
    I'm glad you like him, because I keep hearing bad things about these figures. Now I know I should take a chance, especially since they're $7.99 here, so if you like him then I should love him for that price.

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  2. OMG!! FLIMSY CARDBOARD CRATE OVERLOAD!!!!

    (Fantastic review. LOVING the Cap America line!)

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  3. I love the Captain America line. I don't care if this guy is used again in the line. Or the bad paint apps. I love it!

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  4. @Clark - I haven't really seen any reviews from this line yet. Who's been saying bad things? We'll take a vibranium shield to their knees. ;P

    Oh and since you're looking for a regular shield, you might wanna look at some of the deluxe figures. They come with a ton of extra stuff that could be pillaged for your Buckies, as well as your shield! For example, say, Parachute Dive Cap. :)

    @Wes GR - It's awesome (both the line and the crates. How do you like that new giant one I acuired? ;P)

    @Jason - Thanks!

    @John Carlo - Some of the paint apps are actually good. You just have to look for the right one is all. Heh. And this guy IS used again in the deluxe Fortress Assault Cap. The difference is that FA Cap has wrist but no ankles, otherwise their sculpts are pretty much identical. Go figure!

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  5. I always love it when a firue comes with accessories that are completely and totally wrong.

    Like the Dragon Ball Z toys that came with guns. That was hilarious.

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  6. I think I regocnize He-Man's sheild, Green Lanterns Sheild, Guardian (is that his name?)'s Sheild, and USAgent's sheild. How exactly did Nico Furio (great name) managed to get those away from their owners? :) BTW, can we expect a USAgent review soon?

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  7. S.H.I.E.L.D has its methods, my friend, Nick Fury is just that badass. ;P

    Yes, I can safely say you can. ;D

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  8. This was an awesome review! Great photos and valid observations all around. The best part was the tutorial on the hip joints. Too many collectors doing reviews on modern figures don't understand how these joints work. Just watch YouTube for examples. Maybe your review will enlighten some of them and get them to quit bashing some darned good articulation. Keep up the great work.

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  9. Thanks Eliott! Glad you liked the review and found the tutorial helpful. I agree that there's somerhing to be said abt bashing a figure before actually having played w it properly. I also find that I can't unlock the full potential of the figure, let alone review it. I never actually watch youtube reviews of action figures so it's nice to knpw I'm doing a decent job here! :)

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  10. I loved the sculpt but the articulation is wayy behind the awesome Pursuit of Cobra Snake Eyes and that just pisses me off that they (Hasbro) wont use that kind of quality for all of their figures! Also, Cap can barely hold unto his shield during play and that is just WRONG!!

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  11. @Henry - I agree with the shield problem on this guy and I put it down to the lack of wrists--that's a huge turn off for me in terms of playability.

    But I feel that there's a good reason they don't make all the figures as well articulated as the best figures of any of their lines, and that's probably down to profit margins. Yup, unfortunately they're a company and have to somehow make that money off us (or kids) so they cut a few corners hoping that we won't really mind. sadly, Ultimate Cap is not an ultimate priority in this line. :'(

    Anyhow, if you're going for a superbly articulated Cap for this line, go for the Super Combat (Movie Cap) or the Battle Field Cap, who's a retool of the best ever SDCC 2010 Cap. :)

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  12. Based on the looks of his lower body, legs, and head, I believe that Ultimate Captain America was retooled to make Fortress Assault Captain America. Fortress Assault Cap has a somewhat better shield, body armor (non-removable, I guess) and armored boots, a helmet, and swivel wrists (but no swivel elbows from what I can tell).

    Battlefield Cap, on the other hand, is a slightly repainted version of World War II Cap so that means he has all the articulation and designs of WWII Cap (and a Tommy gun or whatever they call that weapon).

    If this is the case, would you recommend that I buy Fortress Assault Cap or Battlefield Cap?

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  13. @Wayward Knave - I'd recommend Battlefield Cap if you can stomach that weirdish green they used for his battle webbing and boots. His shiny shield is awesome, though, as is his articulation as you mentioned.

    As for Fortress Cap, his problem is that's he's got the swivel wrists like you say but has no ankle articulation. I got to see him up close when the Rangerlord bought him purely for the accessories, which he felt would go well with US Agent. (They do, accept US Agent is slightly bulkier, so the vest doesn't fit.)

    Hope this helps! :)

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  14. Thank you for the information, Sir Dragonbane. I think I can live with the green boots (and if I can't, that's what acrylic black paint is for, haw!) I'm curious, though: did the Rangerlord happen to mention what Fortress Assault Cap's only other points of articulation were?

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  15. @Wayward Knave - You're welcome! Yeah, I'll be picking up Battlefield Cap somewhere down the line as well. The question is when and for how much. Hah.

    As for Fortress Assault Cap, his articulation is eactly the ame a Ultimate Cap except you switch they ankls for wrist. So yeah, you lose the swivel/hinges at the feet and gain swivels for the hands. So I guess if you're handy with customization, you could switch Ultimate Cap's legs for Fortress Cap's! :)

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  16. If Rangerlord is somewhere in the Philippines, Sir Dragonbane, he can pick up a Battlefield Cap that costs SGD 12.74 (that's 450 Philippines pesos).

    I have to admit, though, that when I looked at the Battlefield Cap available at the neighborhood mall, the way the figure's knees look made me think about getting either Captain Britain or Crossbones instead. Battlefield Cap's knees looked...disjointed (for lack of a better word).

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  17. Lol, Yeah Captain Britain is really nice. Lots of paint apps that can scratch off easily though. I'll have a review of him up soon...Crossbones I'm really keen on but he's shortpacked. I hope you picked him up?

    Thanks for the tip on Battlefield Cap! Unfortunately, Rangerlord is based in Singapore but goes to the Philippines once in a while for work. But I'll bug him on his next trip. Haha. :)

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  18. You're welcome, Sir Dragonbane. There are plenty of Battlefield Caps available in Metro Manila's major toy stores. I expect that there will be more in stock once Cap's movie is released so the Rangerlord will should be able to find one for you.

    Captain Britain has problems with his paint, does he? In that case, I'd better keep the black and silver acrylic paint handy just in case. Heh-heh.

    Unfortunately, I haven't laid eyes or hands on Crossbones just yet but I believe I will eventually. I would hate to think that the only way I'd be able to get him is to pay a scalper's price. If I'm going to pay double for Crossbones, then he'd better be the larger figure that looked like he ripped Ares' leg off and kept it as a trophy. Haw!

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  19. Yes, keep that paint handy. ;)

    Did Crossbones actually do that in the comics? Like rip Ares' leg off? Wow. IF he did I gotta get him now. Ha.

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  20. I wish. Then I'd get a large and a small Crossbones. Heh-heh. Actually, the bigger version had Ares' leg because it was part of a Build-A-Figure series. I forgot who else was sold in that set aside from Ultimate War Machine (he had Ares' head).

    Speaking of Ultimate War Machine, are you expecting a repainted version of the Ultimate Iron Man figure you reviewed to eventually show up as Ultimate War Machine?

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  21. Oh right, I remember that figure, except they sold him as a variant Punisher instead of Crossbones, correct?

    As far as Ultimate War Machine goes, I hope they do repaint Ultimate IM in War Mack colors. No point letting a such good sculpt go to waste. Problem is that Ultimate Warchine is more simlar to Iron Monger than Iron Man. He's huge and more mech-like. But if they did retool a large figure as Ultimate War Machine I'd buy that. :)

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  22. Didn't they make a five- or six-inch Ultimate Iron Man action figure and repaint it as Ultimate War Machine? He and the larger Crossbones (I don't think it was sold as a Punisher variant but I can't be certain) were in the same Build-A-Figure line. Ultimate War Machine had Ares' head (which is creepy, come to think of it).

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  23. Yes, they did. And yes, they did repaint it as Ultimate War Machine but somehow that design changed really quickly as the writing for the Ultimates series passed from Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch (pencils) to others.

    As for that Crossbones, you're absolutely right! I actually saw these two a week back and yes, that Ares head is creepy! :)

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  24. Crossbones was probably thinking, "Darn it, I should've taken the head as a trophy. Maybe I can beat War Machine with this leg and take the head..." :D

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  25. Give Ultimate Cap General Hawk's leather jacket and Super Combat Cap or WWII Cap's helmet and you've got a near-perfect replica of his first outfit in the movie.

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  26. Yes, once again you're spot on! Has there been a figure of Hawk made with a soft goods jacket?

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  27. Is there any possibility that someone can customize a figure composed of Super Combat Cap's head (and helmet); Ultimate Cap's lower torso and legs; and the upper body and arms from this figure of General Hawk?

    http://www.yojoe.com/action/09/gijoehawk4.shtml

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  28. Here's one of the Avengers Movie versions for Cap.

    http://www.hasbro.com/marvel/avengers/en_US/shop/details.cfm?R=10155CA5-5056-900B-1055-2AB1902CB154:en_US

    I got a look at this figure at one of the malls recently and I have to say that he appears to be Fortress Assault Cap with Crossbones' jacket, a utility belt with a fanny pack, and a shield with machine guns...which I suppose is better than a meat pie shield.

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  29. Nice! And yes, anything is better than a meat pie shield. Lol.

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  30. This was an awesome review! Great photos Give Ultimate Cap General Hawk's leather jacket and Super Combat Cap...

    Captain America Leather Jacket

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