I might have a confession. I might, this is hard to admit, but I might prefer 3 3/4″ scale to 6″ scale. Don’t get me wrong. I love my DCUCs, MOTUCs, GBCs, MLs, DCDs, FanExs, etc, etc. Most of my collection is 6″ because that scale is usually executed better than its smaller counterpart. I appreciate that. I also prefer loads of articulation. But there are exceptions when a smaller line does well with sculpt and articulation. Mezco’s Hellboy 3 3/4″ line. 25th Joes. Marvel Universe. (Maybe some upcoming DCIH?). And when I get a well-done figure in this smaller scale? I’m ecstatic. It makes me wish I had other stuff in this size (my Hellboy really needs some 3 3/4″ Ghostbusters, for example).
I got suckered into 25th Joes pretty easily. I have the main Indy figures. I have the 3 3/4″ Hellboy stuff. But I was for sure, I was adamant in fact, that I wouldn’t be suckered into DCIH or MU. I’ve bought a couple DCIH to try them out, but the articulation isn’t there for me (…yet, it seems to improve each time we see new stuff). Marvel Universe has been another story. Even preferring DC characters, I counted today and found out that I have sixteen Marvel Universe figures (finding the MUs at Wal-Mart for $5 didn’t help).
Sixteen may not be that many to some of you, but keep in mind that I was shooting for zero. When the Hasbro SDCC exclusives went live on HTS two weeks ago, I ordered the Destro 2pk I wanted and tossed the Black & White Cap in there as a novelty. Then upon reflection, I decided that it’d be cool to have the Invaders circa ’44 to go right along with my Hellboy and join the fight against my Indiana Jones Nazis. Boom. I added the Invaders 4pk to my existing B/W Cap order and that’s five more MU figures right there. I know, I’m a Toyaholic. But my excess? Well, at least you get reviews out of it…
First, I want to talk about the box. I don’t really care about the boxes generally. Why review something that ends up the cardboard recycle bin with minutes of arrival? I feel a little less inclined to toss SDCC packaging though. I’m not sure why. The Invaders 4pk box is similarly interesting to me. No, it doesn’t talk and feature lights and sound, but it is impressive in it’s own way. The box is held shut by a 70th Anniversary magnet, but opens easily. The four figures are packaged inside, on trays that hold them in place and features lineart on the backdrop. You can slide each tray out and remove the carded figure.
If you’re the type of MOC collector who wants to hang them on their wall, you can. Once removed from the trays, they’ll blend in with your other figures (even if you do have to open the outer packaging).
The black & white Captain America is packaged in a protective sleeve that can be removed to find normal packaging underneath. The cool thing about his card is that the boxart is partially covered in ice (even the MU logo is freezing over) In all, the Invaders set is a nifty little box and my second favorite SDCC packaging so far. The ice was a nice touch on the b/w Cap’s card.
In terms of sculpt, the two Caps are identical and they appear to be using the same mold as the mass releases I’ve seen. Namor and Torch both feature a generic body, but each sports a new head and Namor has his winged feet. You might notice in the pictures, that Red Skull is a little shorter the others. This is because from the neck down, he’s an Indiana Jones figure. Colonel Vogel to be exact. That makes him a little shorter and a lot less articulated than the others. I’m willing to overlook it this time, because I don’t know if we’d have gotten a uniformed Red Skull otherwise. The figure’s sculpt is still superb and his head is dead-on for the Red Skull.
Since they’re smaller figures, I wanted to take some close-up headshots. Both of the Cap’s heads are painted better than any Captain America I’ve seen at retail. I wanted Human Torch before he got here, but once he arrived, I was happy to see that he had no face (I’d forgotten that little tidbit of Marvel history). Namor… well, Namor annoys me and we’ll talk more about that in the paint section. Take a good look at him the pictures above. I put him to the side and forgot about him, so he’s literally out of the pictures for the rest of the review.
So, the paint. Four of the five figures have awesome paintwork. Red Skull’s details are nicely captured; right down to the Hydra tampo on his sleeve. The Torch’s flames and lines are sharp. Both Caps are among the best painted MU Caps I’ve seen. But Namor? With Namor, I tried to decide what Hasbro was going for. I guess they wanted to provide some depth to the muscles, some texturing maybe. But what really happened is the dark brown paint took up permanent residence in recesses of the sculpted muscles and “blended” is the last thing you think when you look at the figure. Now, in this review, my lighting has disguised much of what annoys me about the paint, but you can see he still looks like he’s wearing a muscle suit instead of being cut. The brown paint really settled into the knee joints and he gets darker as we get closer to his feet too. I wish Hasbro had just left his skin well enough alone, or maybe done some airbrushing that could have better sold their intentions.
Despite the bad paintwash, Namor’s eyes, hair, eyebrows, and superhero costume are all sharp and painted great.
I was really happy with the level of accessories in the 4pk. Red Skull gets a crop and pistol. Namor has a horn (?) and his trident. Torch has a flameball, and Cap has his shield. The b&w Cap also has his shield and one accessory is fine here, because he doesn’t need to come with much else. The two shields are easily my favorite accessory. They both have a c-clip to attach to the wrist, but they also feature two elastic straps so you can sling the shield around his shoulders and he can wear it like a backpack. The only problem with the shields is that, based on when these Caps are from, they shouldn’t be the modern, round one. I don’t mind so much. I like the round one better, but I do know it’s not accurate when I look at it.
Just to make sure I’m not being confusing by combining the reviews, the Black & White Captain America is a separate figure from the Invaders 70th Anniversary 4pk.
I really love the black and white version. I don’t know why. It’s not particularly suited to fit in with the others, but it does look cool. I love the greytone shield. At least for the first few weeks, I’ll keep the black and white version in the front of the shelf and move the full color version to the back. I’m glad to have both though. Black and White Captain America may be more of a novelty item, but he’s a cool novelty item.
Overall, the four pack gets it right with three of the four figures, so I have to be happy with it. The sculpts are good on all four figures (even the reused Indy one). Paint isn’t an issue for three of them, but it is Namor that makes the set miss out on being great. My plan, when I have time, we’ll be to sand him down to get rid of the some the excess paint and see if I can make myself as happy with the paint as I am with the sculpt. As it stands, Namor ends up being our first back-of-the-shelf figure. The dark paintwash is just too distracting for me.