Friday, May 25, 2012

The Avengers: Stark Tech Assault Armour Captain America

This review should be named "Captain America and His Toys Part II"!  Why?

Simply because the good captain is learning that having less super strength and less speed is just not good enough!  Gone are the good ol' days where he was the strongest, the fastest and the most famous (and only) super hero.  Sure, he's still a master of battlefield tactics and the bestest (eva!) leader there can be, but who can see that sorta thing?  Being reanimated in this day and age where the most flashy (Iron Man), the most misunderstood (Hulk), and the most buff-n-blond (Thor) get all the attention hasn't been great for Cap.  So what to do?  Take a leaf from Tony Stark's book and get some toys of his own!

But why "Part II" you ask?  Because this should've been part I.  And the pics in this review will also give you a glimpse or two of Part III. ;)

To get back on topic, the Stark Tech Assault Armor Captain America has been on my radar ever since I saw it on the shelves in stores.  But the retail price of S$49.90 (US$39) is a huge put-off.  So I was willing to wait till clearance.

As luck would have it, the eagle-eyed Rangerlord, whose skill with a bow can only be outmatched by Hawkeye himself (or so he says), spotted this sweet, sweet piece of action in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for 60% of the price!  Needless to say, it was a score for sure!  So was he worth it?  Let's see!

Like: Just how massive this armour is!  It's bulky, got guns sprouting everywhere, and it looks really sturdy and stable!

Dislike: That despite appearances, it's not quite that hefty and really top heavy.  Unless you've got your Captain America in inside it, the armour is likely to fall over if you try to have it standing in any other way that straight up.  But this problem is also due in large part to the super loose leg joints.  More on that later...

Like: Highly detailed sculpt.  There's plates, panels, pistons, nuts and bolts everywhere.  Not all of it is painted, but if you decided to customize this, all it would need to look awesome is a nice paint job to pick out the detail.

Like: Its interchangeability.  All the guns have posts that fit into any of the holes in its body, so they're all interchangeable except for the forearm cannon, which has kibble that gets in the way of it fitting in the other holes.  Also, there's a larger hole in the back of the figure that can't accommodate any of the other guns.  It can, however, fit the cannon from the Captain America Shield Assault 4x4 or the missile array from Off-Road Avenger.

Like: The number ball-jointed PoAs this guy has.  However...

Dislike: Most of the PoAs are hindered in some way or another, and some of them quite badly too.  The shoulders are hindered by kibble/sculpt detail of the chest and back, while the leg balls can barely swivel backwards because the armour's "butt" gets in the way. (You get maybe 30 degrees?)  They move out about just over 45 degrees to the side before being blocked by the area around the joint itself, though the forward swivel movement is fine.  That is until...

Dislike: The ball-joints of the ankles are blocked!  And when I say the ankles are hindered, boy, are they hindered!  Despite having ball joints, the ankles can't rotate more than 45 degrees in the front because of the lower leg armour that comes down both sides of the feet.  And while the pivot action is severely limited by the front of the same leg armour, the pointing action is completely blocked by a bar at the achilles at the base of the calf.

The bar serves as a swivel for a rear foot armour flap, which apparently serves no purpose other than to cover up some of the back of the calf itself when flipped up.  When flipped down, I have no idea what it's supposed to do.  I thought I could remove the flap via the screws on the legs but there's an inner bar that the flap slips onto, and the only way to remove it would be to saw/cut though the plastic bar.  I'm sorely tempted to do this, but getting in the y of that is...

Dislike: Loose joints.  It's so bad on my figure that the left ankle dangles, in which case freeing up the joint would be pointless because it wouldn't support the weight of the figure anyway.   But that's not the only joint that's loose.  In this case for my suit of armour, it's both the leg joints as well.  And since legs support the weight of the figure in almost every pose, the armour falls over way too easily.  Also, those loose ball-joints just pop out way too easily.  Sigh.

Dislike: The weapons fall off easily, especially those missiles at the side of the legs.  The forearm cannon is most secure, since it seems like the only one moulded to fit its slot.  The problem is also that the weapons aren't flush with the slots their in, requiring somewhat long posts to hold them above the uneven but detailed surface of the armour.

Like: That the armour seems easily modifiable.  There's lots of screws and I guess I can cut off certain parts/pieces that really bother me and sand down some that might need less of a mod.

Like: That any Captain America figure fits in it.  Commander Rogers seems like the best, with the inside midsection clips going round his waist more securely than even better than Cap figure that comes with it.

(Packed-in figure - left; Below: Ultimate Cap, left; Marvel U Cap, centre; Commander Rogers, right.)

Like: The tampographed details.  There's the star on the abdomen, the "Stark" on the right shin, the "warning" strips on the forearms and the "cockpit" & arrow above the star.  The best tampo though is the "Capt. Rogers AV02 on the left ribcage area.  Also the paint on the figure is solid, with no spills, splashes or bleeds. :)


6" Cap shield! (Does not come with armour)
Aesthetics: 9/10 - Undoubtedly the best thing about the armour.  It looks so teched up and kickass that it's hard to resist at first sight.  Come to think of it, the armour looks very much like a cross between a Hulkbuster Armour, War Machine and of course, Captain America!  It's got all the winning ingredients--big guns, lots of detail in the armour, and great paint with excellent tampographed details.

Poseability: 6/10Unfortunately, the articulation of this figure fails very badly.  Everything that leg joints should not do are in this suit of armour--and that's not be bocked nor loose.  You'd think that since it already has no knees that the legs and ankles would be freed up for some dynamic stances, but that's very much not the case.  This is truly sad because it affects the overall playability of the figure.  Between blocked PoAs and loose joints, I have to admit I had quite a frustrating time taking pictures.

A second forearm cannon from STAA Iron Man!
Fun: 6/10 - I really wanted to have fun with this guy, but I have never had to pick up a bulky figure so many times in my life.  The frustrating this is that all the right ingredients are there!  if only someone at Hasbro would've said, "Ok, this is good but we can do better.  And here's how without having to remould the entire suit of armour.  you cut this piece here and remove the kibble there..."

Since this wasn't done, I guess it's left to us to mod our figures.  But this never should have to be the case, since we pay good money for it!
The aforementioned 4x4 cannon
Value: 6/10 - Ugh.  I can't imagine paying the full S$49.90 price for this, especially now.  Even though I got it for S$32, I still feel it's a little much for a toy I'll probably be taking the knife/screwdriver to.

If the quality control weren't so poor, this would be very worth your money because let's face it, the armour does come with a good 5 whole weapons, has a good number of PoAs, and has great paint and detailing.  Oh and it also does come with an action figure, limited as his joints are.  (No chest or ankles.)

                                                                                                                                      Overall: 6.75/10 - An above average toy with obvious flaws -- To tell you the truth, I was expecting way better.

From the poor range of movement to the looseness of joints, I can't help but feel this could've been one helluva toy.  But I guess companies are cutting back and the 'Bro is no different.  So what could've been a fantastic suit of armour turned out to just be good-looking toy with functional play value.  I would have chucked this aside or sold it off but for the fact it looks so damn cool.  As it is, it'll be part of my Cap display...for now.


  1. Finally, I have been for the review since Yesterday, This is absolutely Awesome, but somehow this mech feels like an unfinished piece of work by Hasbro. BTW, Pictures of wave 21 is on the Internet, Bastaar and Prof x seems to have to most value ;)

    1. Oh wow, Prof X in his chair! Blaastar looks great, as does Jubilee! :)

  2. Hi there!
    I have been a fan of your blog for a while but I haven't written you until now that I have made my own blog. I invite you to visit it,it's in spanish, because I'm from Chile, but I will post "action figures comics" in english.

    And CONGRATS FOR YOUR SON!! (I'm waiting for my own son to arrive this weekend)



    1. Hi Betoxico,

      Thanks for reading all this while! And I look forward to seeing more of your site too. :) Of course, a huge congratulations on the arrival of your son ahead of time. May you enjoy all the blessings of having little one as well!

      Cheers! :D

  3. I shall hold off buying one of these until they hit markdown. Looks good but the price needs to be right for me.

  4. I heard Avengers Black Widow is out. :))


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