Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Avengers 3.75" Super Shield (Ultimates) Captain America

Since the Avengers toys have been released, I've been going to toy stores and passing on the 3.75" movie figures.  But it's funny how each time I see the toys, I'll take closer look and suddenly find something I like about a figure that I didn't spot earlier.

Maybe I was put off by some of the worst articulation that Hasbro has put on its figures in a years.  So glaring were the lack of ankles here, the missing chest pivot there, that I couldn't see past the flaws to the good qualities that were staring me in the face.

Take Super Shield captain America here, for example.  It took me a long while to realize that this was Ultimates Captain America (my fave comics Cap) with a kickass vest and belt.  What I also missed was that this version of Ultimates Cap had wrist swivels where the movie line release didn't!  I had also failed to realize that this version of the figure was painted a nicer, deeper blue than the Cap movie Ultimates version.

So with my interest piqued, I couldn't resist picking this guy up.  To my surprise, there were quite a few more changes to the figure that make it a completely different Cap from its predecessor.

Movie version (left), and (Studly) Avengers version (right)
Like: The height!  Somehow movie Cap figures turned out shorter across the board and across the scales, which is super weird.  This guy is taller than Ultimates Cap.  Longer limbs, with the thigh beneath the cut and above the knee longer.  The length of everything else is the same. (Heh.)  At first I though the calf was longer too but it only looked that way because there's a single hinge at the knee instead of the double that we've come to know and love so well.

Super Shield Cap's upper arms are also longer and as a result his hands fall to about halfway down his thighs when at his side, which is the "normal" human length/proportion.

The differences are slight enough that you wouldn't be able to see them unless you had both figures side by side.  But they do make a huge difference when you have this Cap posed next to a Marvel Universe female figure, for example.  He's now tall enough that he won't look like Tyrion Lannister next to, well, anyone.  Heh.

Like: The utility vest and belt.  Makes him look truly hardcore.  Something the Ultimates Cap would wear for sure because he uses all sorts of weapons and equipment--it's part of his ability to form the perfect battle strategy.  It's function over aesthetics but actually serves to make him look a lot more battle ready.  The only bad thing about the vest and belt is that they aren't removable.

Dislike: The poor paint apps, especially for the mask and face.  Blurry lines make it look kinda messy up close.  I had to look through all twenty or so figures on the pegs to find this decent looking one.

Dislike: No chest, waist or ankle articulation!

Like: Still can pose, but not as convincingly.  Boy do miss the chest pivot on this guy!

Like: Idea for shield.  If they had a way of streamlining these, I would be a fan.  But it always turns out too bulky and thick, and looks like yet another poorly executed meat pie shield.  It's also always so heavy that Cap can barely hold onto it without falling over and/or have his arm sag under the weight. :(

Push in the tab...
And it does?...Yeah...Lol
Dislike: No real guns or shield, just a "rocket pack" that doubles as a clunky gun.  Sorta.

Dislike: Weird "Doomsday" knee caps.  It's bad enough that they've gone from double-hinge knees to single hinges.  Doing it so that the knee cap sticks out like a bone protrusion when he's got the knee bent also just looks strange.

Like: Overall proportions. He's more proportionate looking than Cap Movie Ultimate Cap, who lacks a certain lankiness and looks more like a body builder, with his arms and legs a little too stubby.

Like: That the parts of him I dislike may be easily customizable.  I'm thinking of switching out his knees with his predecessor, which will make him tons better.

In truth though, I'd need the torso (for the chest pivot), the double knees (as mentioned), and the swivel/hinges at the elbows off the older figure.

Off this guy, I'd keep the upper arms, the thighs, and the wrist swivels.

It all works out great until you get to the arms--he can't have both the longer upper arms and the swivel/hinge forearms because the joint at the elbow is different for both figures. :/

One thing's for sure--I'd keep the vest and belt no matter what.  Pity that they aren't removable like in most cases with GI Joes.  Then again, he's not a Joe.  But he should be better!  ;P


Aesthetics: 8/10 - This is the only area that's up to scratch in most cases where 3.75" Avengers are concerned.  Hasbro did a great job of producing good-to-look-at figures but I don't think we can be too overjoyed--when money became an issue in toy production, this is the one thing they knew they couldn't compromise on.  If the toys didn't at least look good, no kids would buy them.  Marketing 101: it's all about packaging, both literally and figuratively.

Let's put it this way: Super Shield Cap turned out good-looking enough for me to buy, so why not to all those kids out there who saw the movie?  What can I say?  I'm just a big kid. ;)

Poseability: 7/10 - Good, but the missing chest pivot really limits him.  It's not the ankles, it's not even the lack of a swivel at the elbow or the bicep (though either would've been great!).  A chest joint would've allowed Cap to look up better (the head ball is more of a swivel), turn at the torso to punch, swing, crunch, and do all the cool looking hand supported leaps and jumps and flips.  So that where he loses most of his points.

Still, SS Cap can still pose quite a bit and can even do high kicks, wield guns, and swing his shield, though most of it ends up looking less explosive than if he'd at least had a waist swivel.

Fun: 7.5 - Strangely, this guy turned out to be more fun than I'd thought he'd be.  With limited movement, a(nother) dud shield and little else, his play value is limited too.  But once you throw in a regular Cap shield, give him a sidearm or assault rifle, and have him in one of his vehicles (4x4, Goliath Assault Tank or StarkTech Assault Armour), he's a ton more fun.  Then again, that could be said of all Caps.  Heck, it could be said of all figures, so yeah...

Value: 6.5/10 - Super Shield Cap only comes with a hunk of plastic that's neither a shield or a gun or a rocket pack.  Takes a little bit of each and ends up being none of them.  His vest and belt are brilliantly sculpted with detail and fit really well on him--but they shouldn't be counted as accessories though I'm sure they've been factored into the production cost of the figure.  With prices higher and quantity (of accessories) lacking, I can't but feel we're getting less and less as toy-lovers.

Overall: 7.25/10 - A Good toy with some flaws - I wish all the good qualities of this figure had been combined with the good qualities of the older one into one figure by Hasbro.  Then he'd be perfect.  But alas...As it is, it's rare that any one figure is "perfect" but finding great qualities on similar two figures may not be a bad thing because you may be able to easily combine them both into something way better.  Cap here, along with his Cap movie line counterpart is the perfect example. And if there's anything good that has come out of an "inferior" line of figures for the Avengers movie, it's that I now really am more tempted to kit-bash and customize than ever!


  1. I like this figure.Its what I think a Captain America in the GI Joe universe would look like.

    1. Agreed! I should've lined him up with a bunch of Joes for a shot. Somewhere down the line for sure! :)

  2. An Okay Figure IMO, though not an Ultimate Fan, this figure look decent enough to be in a collection ;)

  3. Not a bad looking figure but not one i would actively hunt down and buy either but still if the price was right it could end up in my collection at some point.

    1. Yeah, for sure. And I sure hope you don't have to hunt him down should you want him next time--he's everywhere here in Singapore! It's probably because he was so inmy face that I started to take notice. Lol. ;)

  4. Wes Dennis said over on FB(He can't post here because he's been flagged as a toy fiend):

    Man, you weren't kidding when you said you had tons of Caps -- you must if even this guy appealed to you on the shelf! ;) Kinda weird that they apparently gave it a new sculpt; I'd just assumed it used the same body from the deluxe First Avenger sets.

    I look forward to seeing how your custom/kitbash project turns out, btw. I was following along with you as you discussed the process, but then I was like "Wait, the arms won't work out..." and then you noted that the arms wouldn't work out. :D But you *could* cut the hinge "ring" off of the longer upper arm, drill a peghole in it, plug the necessary part from another Cap figure (or a Joe, or a Corps figure) into it, and then cut the forearm with the swivel wrist free and place it on the new swivel-hinged elbow piece.

    Orrrr you could just steal arms from a Marvel Universe Cap and repaint them a darker blue. I think those are a bit longer too, right?

    And I have a hard time believing that vest isn't removable! It's gotta be removable! But if there's no hidden peg anywhere, maybe you could find a good place in the back to cut the belt? Then it'd be removable for sure...

    1. To which I replied:

      Lol, no I wasn't! And I still have 6" Movie Cap coming from you and the 3.75" version I just snagged! Then there's MU Ice Cap, MU Old School Cap, MU Secret Wars Cap...

      Yeah, I'm afraid of cutting off the ring on his upper arm because it might shorten it all over again. But I'll have a look again when I get home. I was thinking that a simpler solution might be to cut off the arms at the biceps somewhere and switch 'em. Then there's the problem of the missing chest pivot...Lol. Gd problem to have tho. Gd fun thinking abt it at least. Heh.

      I was as surprised as you are that there's no hidden peg for his vest and belt! But yes, I'll have to cut it somehow...

      Oh and MU Cap's arms are too long for this guy. They'd hang down to about his knees. Haha.

    2. Bryant Garcia said over on FB:

      They both have pegs. The problem is they are both glued. For the vest the peg is where the chest strap connects to the left side of the vest. The peg for his belt plugs into the canteen. The vest is NOT easy to remove. I actually ruined the first figure I bought because I wanted to see him without the vest. ):

    3. Jason Stephens (aka Lemonjuice McGee): Just look at you animals!-- planning ways to tear Cap's clothes off at the first opportunity! For shame, perverts! For shame! :)

    4. (And I replied)

      Lol, Jason Stephens. Great minds think alike? ;P

      And thanks for the tip, Bryant Garcia! Yeah, It looked like it was about to tear so I didn't probe further. But now I know there are tabs, I'll try prodding a little more. Maybe some solvent to loosen 'er up and soap for lubrication?

    5. Bryant Garcia (aka 3B):

      Yeah, I'm a dumbass, I just tore it free. You may want to try a hair dryer for a couple of minutes. That might loosen it before having to resort to chemical warfare.

    6. Ok sounds good. Nah, everyone gets over-excited the first time. And I'm just opening myself to more hobotastic observations from Lemonjuice. Lol.

  5. You forgot to mention that the boots are now red, which is way more "Ultimates" accurate. Great review, anyway, as always.

    1. Yeah, more current Ultimates acccurate. I actually prefer the brown for the comics though. More gritty. But I think red pops better on the figure for sure! :)

  6. It's a shame that Hasbro wasted the excellent sculpts of the Avengers toy line with lacking articulation. :((

    1. That's true. Though I have to say it really got me going on the path down customization. I wanna make these great sculpts work! :)

  7. And here I thought those were machine guns on that shield. But it still looks better than Meat Pie Shield #1.

    1. Yeah, I guess they could double up as machine guns. Either way, it's stupid. And nothing beats Meat Pie Shield #1. Haha.

  8. Meat Pie Shield #1 looks more like a pair of apple turnovers when it's split in two. Meat Pie Shield #2 looks like a steamed bun or a bao that got overstuffed with...uh...a jet pack...or a pair of machine guns, as the case may be.

    That's a very nice combat vest and belt Cap's got, though. Those wouldn't look out of place on a G.I. Joe like, say, Beach Head.

    1. Lol, what an image. Machine gun buns. Haha.

      On the belt, yeah for sure. The inking/wash job they did on it really brings out the detail. I guess it's one of the small victories we can take for the overall defeat that's the the Avengers 3.75" toy line. ;/

  9. I initially thought that was Crossbones' vest but now I'm not so sure. Part of me is wondering if they might not have snagged the belt and vest from one of the new Joes or Cobras and then had it tailored to fit Cap.

    1. Yeah, it's definitely not Crossbones'--I took him out for a look-see to confirm. One a side note, Crossbones does have an awesome looking vest...

      Hmm, if they snagged this Cap's belt from one of the Joes, I haven't seen the original yet. But knowing Hasbro, you can bet it'll appear on one of them or even a future Cap down the road, in a different colour of course! ;)


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