With Captain America: Civil War coming to theaters nationwide this week, Newsarama has an advance look at Hasbro's upcoming second wave of tie-in action figures - and there's some surprises.
Hasbro sent Newsarama the complete set and while there’s an eclectic set of characters, they upped the level of detail from the previous Cap wave, as well as the level of obscurity. With Nextwave's Dirk Anger in the mix, Cottonmouth seems exponentially more mainstream by comparison. There’s also several variant looks to many of the characters including two heads for the Fury, one extra for the Nuke, and a Chadwick Boseman T’Challa head for the Black Panther, allowing for a variety of looks to go around.
Okay, let’s get a better look at these bad boys. First up, the Sentinel of Liberty himself, Captain America per his Civil War attire.
At this point, Cap has had about as many costumes as Iron Man in figure form under the Marvel Legends banner. In the last wave, the classic Cap figure was more attuned with his comic book looks and included a Wolf Cap variant head that might have been the height of obscurity at the time. This time around, it’s more movie-based with the more militaristic and practical aesthetics. This new figure even possesses a slimmer build compared to the beefier version, giving him a more natural look while still remaining that superhero silhouette.
The figure comes with four points of articulation on each arm, and continues down with the waist and around chest and legs, allowing for extreme poseability, but in the area of human limits. The sculpt is pure dynamite, showing off the plated armor, while keeping the texture of his mesh and boots intact and it all just feels so realistic. Maybe not to the level of a Hot Toys scale, but man, this is sharp-looking.
One of the problems with the classic Cap figure were his body straps, which needed some sort of bridging piece so he could actually wear them. They were too loose and fell off easily, but this time around they’re sculpted just right and ties the whole look together.
The shield accessory is pretty basic, but instead of a clip to the wrist as in previous figures, they have the more movie-accurate straps; it takes a second to maneuver just right, but once you get it, you have one of the best figures of the wave.
This is a fairly standard Iron Man figure, neither the best nor the worst. It uses the “Mark 46” design from Captain America: Civil War, which some sources compare to the “Bleeding Edge” nanotech armor that first appeared in comic books back in 2010.
In short: It’s red and gold.
Paint applications are adequate. They’re more metallic than the flat color schemes that sometimes come with Iron Man figures, but they don’t particularly pop. The elbow joints have some red that comes through on the gold parts, though the look is overall fairly seamless. There are some nice mechanical details in the sculpting of the armor, though for customizers, an extra wash might give this a more striking look overall.
Articulation is generally good with tight joints, though the hip movement is limited by the chest piece, just as the arms have a slightly limited range due to the shoulder pieces. There’s an extra ball-joint in the ankles that doesn’t quite work for more dynamic poses; it just looks like Tony’s twisted his ankle.
The figure comes with two sets of hands: fists and spread-out versions where repulsor-jet blasts can be attached. It looks fairly good in a flying pose, so if you have a flight stand, they’re recommended. Or you can just pretend they’re energy spikes he’s using to gouge out an enemy’s eyes, if you’re feeling dark.
Honestly, it’s an Iron Man figure. There’s a bunch of ‘em. There’s not a lot to say.
The Toy Biz Marvel Legends take on Nick Fury was one of the more fun figures from that line. The face was slightly crazed and the gun holster on the chest was massive, but it captured the over-the-top style of the old Jim Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. adventures. Plus, there was a fun retro-style jetpack that could attach to the character stand or be used separately.
This new version, with the smaller, skinnier body and slightly bland face just can’t hope to…hold the phone.
This includes an alternate head for Dirk Anger, y’all.
Dirk, for those not in the no, was a crazed analogue for Fury used by Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen in their cult classic satirical superhero epic Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. The book was great fun, and even had its own theme song. Go, check it out. We’ll wait.
As a Nick Fury figure, this is…okay. As a Dirk Anger figure, it’s great fun. There’s a nicely devious look on ol’ Dirk’s face, and the smaller body works better with the skinny head sculpt. Even the teeny-tiny gun he comes with seems…appropriate for the ever-frustrated Dirk (though the thigh holster it fits into is a bit loose.
There is also-also a helmeted generic S.H.I.E.L.D. head, but for fans of less-known Marvel characters, Dirk Anger elevates this package considerably. More Nextwave figures in the future, let’s hope?
For every Captain America, you’re going to have a D-Lister like Red Guardian. Again, Hasbro upped their reach in the Marvel library and picked out the most random characters tied to the Captain America corner of the Marvel U and picked out this goon.
Okay, so here’s the obvious phoning it in situation with this guy because aside from the head sculpt, it’s a direct repaint of the classic Cap figure from the last wave. What’s weird is that the only difference aside from the head is the fact that they they inverted the belt buckle. That’s it. New paint job, but same pirate cuffs and body build. Even the shield with the clip and peg so you can choose either on his back or on his wrist. Kinda boring, but for those fans that want to get every single character in the Marvel Universe guides might be thrilled to have this guy on their shelves and still waiting for D-Man.
He is what he is.
The stone winner of this wave.
It’s kind of astonishing they’d make a figure who’s a psychotic, hallucinating government assassin with an American flag tattooed on his face a mass-marketed figure one can purchase at Toys R Us, but it’s an interesting age we live in. Can you imagine a figure like this coming out in 2003?
Nuke towers above the other figures in this wave with his wide, muscular body. It’s a really perfect representation of that kind of ‘roided-up, twisted ‘80s-era action hero satire. He looks like he stepped off a video game cover or a bad paperback pulp novel, with his face twisted into a perfect sneer of manpain.
He comes with an extra head that features his cyborg head from his more recent appearances. Excellent sculpting work on this – there’s a good, textured look to the mechanics and ripped-away flesh that’s very unsettling.
Interestingly, his head-peg fits regular-sized heads, so with a regular Captain America head and some painting, you can customize a “Heroes Reborn” Cap, if that’s your thing.
In addition, Nuke comes with an enormous rifle that kinda-okay fits in his hands, and an almost-as-large knife that can be used for killing terrorists or, if you will, demons. The knife fits snugly in a sheath on Nuke’s vest, which is also removable for that extra-crazed topless muscle-bound look.
Articulation is tops with tight joints and even a nicely-concealed ab crunch. Honestly, a lot of fun for not only this line, but for other lines as well. Let’s pit him against some Aliens, Predators, Cobra and possibly on the steps of Castle Grayskull as well!
It’s truly the return of the king.
There hasn’t been a lot of Black Panther merch to go around, but with the King of Wakanda gracing the stage for the first time in Civil War, siding with Team Iron Man. This figure has it all. Incredible points of articulation, incredible attention to detail and sculpt. It’s hard to not be wowed by the sheer level of coolness going on here.
The paint job, while monochromatic, is hardly basic. The silver bits hit just right and bring the Panther to life, so to speak, and really makes this piece roar. Just take a look at the panther head piece! You can see the weaves of the vibranium fibers and tribal bands. Even the texture of his armored mesh come through, so to add that extra level of oomph is noticed. This guy looks like he could be on the prowl and take you down. The slim, athletic build is noticeably different from the bulkier guys in the line, especially from the likes of Red Guardian and Nuke. It’s more realistic, which is a good thing considering that’s what they’re going for here.
The T’Challa head based on Chadwick Boseman was a nice touch and actually easy to remove and put back on, which was something that was slightly difficult to do with the Cap Wolf figure. His likeness is pretty spot on given the size and material available for such a figure
[Editor's Note: The last action figure reviewed is somewhat spoiler-y for this week's Captain America: Civil War, although directors Joe and Anthony Russo have revealed this spoiler themselves in interviews.]
There were some issues with the build-a-figure with the last wave, Red Onslaught. The sculpt was adequate at best and the paint job seemed so lazy. Well, they made it up to us with this one for sure.
Standing at 10” high, we get the MCU Giant-Man, who will also be seen in Civil War, though we’re still not sure if Marvel had intended on keeping him a secret or not at this point with a handful of Giant-Man reveals already out there.
Okay, so while it’s not as big or articulate as the Giant-Man from last year’s SDCC exclusive (which was based more on the comic book style) it makes up for it in spades with the insane level of detail going on here. First off, let’s talk about the head sculpt. Now, there were issues with the Red Onslaught figure that made it difficult for the head to be secured, but with Giant-Man here it was easy to assemble and it looks great. The fact that you can see Scott Lang’s face through the visors is just plain cool. The paint job and sculpting throughout is fantastic, getting all the nooks and crannies of his costume down the to where the Pym Particles come into play (that’s the blue indications).
Yeah, it would have been great if he had more articulation, but he’s not really mobile at that size and stands perfectly well without the assistance of a base.
The wave is scheduled to hit stores over the next couple of weeks, but some have been spotted on eBay and back alley markets and start becoming more commonplace over the summer while the movie looks to break all sorts of box office records.
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10.