In celebration of the Captain America movie opening up this Friday, we’re dedicating this week to the Captian America: The First Avenger toy line. Monday through Thursday we’ll have a new review on some of the more interesting figures in this series. The first figure I’ll be looking at this week is the U.S. Agent.
Something I like about Hasbro’s movie toy lines is that they don’t confine themselves to just movie-verse versions of the characters. Instead of filling out the waves with even more useless and nonsensical versions of the main character they tend to pick second, third, and even fourth tiered characters from the comics. This way characters that might not have been made under the Marvel Universe line have a chance to get their day in plastic though a movie budget. Although the Thor movie was sadly excluded from this practice, Hasbro seems to be back on track with the Cap movie. US Agent is one such figure.
Similar to Azreal or the Reign of the Supermen characters, John Walker was created for the sole purpose of replacing Steve Rogers as Captain America. He originally appeared as Super-Patriot, a corporate sponsored superhero to represent the United States. Then when Steve gave up being Cap so he wouldn’t have to follow government orders, the costume was passed along to Walker. Eventually Walker convinced Rogers to retake the mantle, while he faked his own death and began his new career as US Agent.
US Agent’s sculpt is great. His overall body design is beefier than Cap’s slim build. He also seems a tad bit shorter because of his wider leg stance. Then there’s his face which has a constant sneer. All these elements add up to make him a very tough and intimidating looking character.
There’s also some nice sculpting on his costume. Most US Agent fans will be glad to see that the star on his chest is actually sculpted and not just painted on. His chainmail shirt is also nicely detailed and has a sculpted opening around his neck which makes it look like he’s wearing it over his costume. Last but not least is his belt. I’m not sure if this belt has been used before, but it looks great. I love all the pouches and even the canteen on his back.
One thing I’ve always liked about US Agent is his costume. Black and red always look great together to me, and this costume is only helped by the addition of white to offset the dark colors. Sadly, the paint job on US Agent isn’t fantastic, but it’s not horrible either. Like most movie figures he suffers from the attention to detail that a normal line would receive. One issue is the stripes on his chest which are sloppy and sometimes a bit uneven. This is annoying, but not as bad as his forearms which were molded red and painted white. The white paint isn’t very durable and begins to flake off just by flexing his elbows. Also, there’s a very visible number stamped on the side of his boot. I really wish they’d keep these things on the back of the figure, or even better on the bottom of his foot.
Something that could have easily fixed the white paint issue is if the Agent had better articulation. In particular, giving him a swivel joint where the glove meets his arm. This would have allowed them to mold his elbow white instead of having to paint it.
Aside from the lack of swivel wrists, US Agent has good articulation. He’s got a ball jointed head and ab crunch. His shoulders, elbows, hips, and ankles are all swivel hinges. His thighs are swivel cuts, while his knees are double hinges. Continue to page 2…