Marvel Legends Captain America
Review (Arnim Zola Wave)

You know what the plan was for 2012? Spend less money at retail. Limit the impulse purchases. Try to budget in a Hot Toys figure or two. You know what blew that to hell? Marvel Legends. One, cause they’re awesome. Two, because they released two waves on top of one another!

We knew Marvel and Hasbro intended to restart Legends in a big way, they hinted at it over a year in advance, they plopped “The Return of Marvel Legends” right on the front of the package (when was the last time a toy line was awesome enough to do that?), but what really got everybody buzzing was when the second assortment started hitting hot on the heels of the first. Marvel collectors wallets screamed in unison. I was able to build Terrax completely before I saw my first Arnim Zola figure, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case with everybody. I bet there’s some of you out there right now with a mishmash of Terrax limbs and Arnim Zola parts waiting to be assembled. That’s crazy.

As a casual fan, the second wave is a little less impressive to me. With Wave One, it was mostly characters I wanted, building a BAF that I knew little about. With Wave 2 Hasbro got my attention with Arnim Zola, ensuring that I will snap up individual figures I don’t much want to build the android. There were some “Marvel Must Haves” in Wave 2 though, perhaps none more so than Captain America, though not the Captain America of years past, but rather the one from the past few years.

I’m still not sure how to refer to him exactly. Heroic Age Cap? Bucky Cap? DC doled out roman numerals for legacy heroes (and has since completely discarded them because, y’know, reading comics is hard), but Marvel doesn’t really seem to do much with legacies. I’m not even sure what roman numeral he’d even end up with considering John Walker or any of the retconned Captain Americas… so I’m just going to stick with Bucky Cap in this review to keep things simple.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I love change in comics. I like spicing up the status quo, exploring the idea of not having to go back to square one, a base line after each story. Now, granted, DC has totally flipped my willingness to accept change on its ear with their revamp, so I should clarify that I love change in comics when it comes as part of a natural progression in storytelling, not just $@#!ing everything up for sales/leaving your mark/whatever. There’s “killing Bruce Wayne” to delve deeply into Dick Grayson and Damian being Batman & Robin, to explore Batman as a larger figure calling the shots and then there’s the nU Justice League which features so little storytelling I’m left wondering why my favorite characters all had to bite the dust (it also leaves me wondering how I could enjoy other books from the same writer).

But, I’m undaunted. I still like change in comics. I’m enjoying what New 52 titles I can, I’m enjoying the new Ultimate Spider-Man, and I’m enjoying the current direction of the X-Men in Uncanny. And, in recent years, something that drew me back to Marvel was another change. I mentioned the recent events in the Bat-books above because it more or less mirrors what happened to Captain America. Marvel brought Bucky back from the grave (well, they it turned out he was never in it), made him an antagonist, then an anti-hero, and finally brought him into the fold as Captain America when they “killed” off Steve Rogers. He would continue in that role even when Steve returned and operated without his familiar moniker. That piqued me interest even though the status quo must be ultimately maintained (Steve is since back in the familiar red, white, & blue). The whole story sounded like something I’d like, and what’d ya know – it was well written. And in my world, that pretty much leads to one thing: needing the figure.

And that’s exactly what we have here. A plastic representation of Bucky’s Captain America duds. This is Hasbro’s fourth figure of Bucky Cap, but the first in this scale. The Marvel Universe line originally packaged the 4″ version in a Gigantic Battles 2pk (that I never saw… you still mock me Goliath!!) and then repainted it a couple times for various store exclusives. I missed the first version, and passed on the rest as my MU purchases have largely wound down once I knew Marvel Legends was on the way.*

* – And have completely stopped at the moment. I want Psylocke and the AoT Thor, but Marvel Legends is sucking my wallet pretty dry this month and I’ve still got three figures to go. I’m not sure how many more MUs are in my future.

When Vault found Wave 2 (he lives at TRU), he called me up and I was more dismayed than excited. I hadn’t even finished reviewing Wave One yet! He asked which ones I was likely to buy, but I wasn’t sure. I knew I’d build Zola, but I didn’t really want to blow the extra $3 a piece at TRU, let alone $100+ that particular day. When I made my way to TRU a bit later, Piledriver was gone (who buys just Piledriver?), but I got to choose from the rest. Despite my wanting to be patient and save money, I ended up with Fantomex, Future Foundation Spider-Man, and Captain America here. I wavered a bit on the first two, but I was sold on Cap right away. Honestly, I don’t know why Vault hadn’t bought one himself. I mean, I did want the character as a figure already, but it just so happened that I’d be buying a great figure to boot.

I’m not as well-versed on Marvel Legends bucks, but I do believe Bucky Cap here is completely new. But even if it is reused from somewhere before and I’m just missing it, it doesn’t matter. It’s pretty much completely awesome, but that gushing should be held off until the articulation section. For the sculpt, we’ve got some Bucky Cap specific pieces in the form of the new large-cuffed boots, the short-cuffed gloves, the glued-on belt, and the new head. These pieces all work in concert for a great finished look, particularly the head with its determined expression (don’t piss this Cap off) and the belt which has sharp details and perfectly holds two of the figure’s three accessories. If I had to nitpick, I kinda wish the feet were a little bigger. That’s really the only flaw I see with this sculpt, but seriously, how often do you really look at a man’s shoes? Continue to Page 2…

79 thoughts on “Marvel Legends Captain America
Review (Arnim Zola Wave)

  1. Great Review, but I guess I’m at the other end of the spectrum. I’m burned out of Marvel Legends (Mostly because of the scale issues) and am more pleased with Marvel Universe. I think Hasbro is doing a good job looking at the last few reviews, but getting 2 MU figures for the price of 1 ML figure makes the army builder in me happy.

    1. The price is good, but I do like my 6″ collection…

      I’m not sure what I think about the scale. I know some of the figures are too large, but I can’t say for sure if it really bothers me.

      1. Steve Rogers bothers me. I’ve got a nice little collection of Brubaker-era Captain America theme figures standing on my shelf, and he just throws it off. There’s the awesome Winter Soldier, Bucky Cap, Maria Hill, Sharon Carter, Black Widow, all in a fairly realistic, gritty style, and then there’s 7-foot tall Steve with his giant cartoony melon in there, and he just doesn’t fit.

  2. Allow me to start the Piledriver discussion: Looks like Thunderball will be the running change instead of the other way around. Either that, or both guys be will be shipping randomly.

    I wouldn’t cut MU loose yet. There’s some truly awesome waves on tap for this year that I’m eager for you to review.

    1. I’m not totally out of MU yet… I do need to suck it up and get the Psylocke at least, maybe not the Thor. Coming up… Ultimate Spidey II, She-Hulk, Nova, FF Spidey, Professor X, Mandarin, Jubilee, Blastaar, and of course that Foom… yeah I’m not out…

  3. I got this guy last week, and absolutely love this figure. I can’t wait for US Agent, and I really hope that Hasbro will release their own Steve Rogers comic book Captain figure built on this same body. None of the toybiz Cap figures look that great to me, the best one is probably the face-off figure, but you can’t even get him for under $40 now. Even so, he still looks like he has too much detail with ugly articulation. This figure has all the articulation, but looks great.

      1. I should also say how much I appreciate Hasbro reintroducing hips that connect horizontally to the torso. I really love being able to pose the figures without having to oddly twist the ball hip in a couple of directions and work the thigh swivel, just to get the leg to go forward.

      1. The boots are only red when there’s a coloring error (which happens a not-insignificant amount of the time). They’re supposed to be black, though, and have been since Bucky adopted this suit.

  4. i’ll refrain from my usual (though you had to know that pose would get a reaction) and simply say i can’t wait to lay hands on the wrecking crew… man these guys EXACTLY how i’ve wanted them to look, like big angry bad guys to kick around your hero of choice.

    bucky cap just does nothing for me, but i will say, you’re right in how often figures fail to be able to grasp their own weapons (especially off their own bodies,) so it’s cool as hell to see that he can do.

    1. It’s odd ’cause Thor is huge and I guess they have to be big to fight him, but I don’t know if I can really advocate for a toy line just doing it’s own things in regards to scale.

      1. see, i like it in this case cuz the WC are big bruiser types… but yes, seeing bucky cap and the previous wave’s IM, they are kind of all over the place scale wise… and hasbro had done generally well w/ that previously (disregarding the micro hulks of the hulk wave)

        1. Exactly. I like it here, but do we “let ’em off the hook” so to speak and regret it later? That’s what I’ve been wondering.

    2. Maybe you and I should start splitting ML cases, dayraven. I think the Wrecking Crew is one of the lamest groups ever created, but Bucky Cap was my #1 must have from this line.

      1. 🙂 sorry man, old school thor fan here, so yeah, i loves the crew. and the nice thing is, i’m a figure player/mixed cast displayer, so their overall large size and snarky face sculpts means they look good bullying everything from marvel legends to dcu to motuc… just wait till they find out that those puny gi joes have much beefier sigma six older brothers… that is one bus stop where no lunch money will be trading hands.

        out of curiosity james, when did you start reading comics?

        1. When did I start? Probably as soon as I could read. One of the first “books” I can remember was a Superman read-along story that came with a vinyl record.

          I really started collecting and reading seriously about 20 or so years ago, around the time of the launch of adjectiveless X-Men (full disclosure: I was way more into the Archie TMNT comics at the time than I was Marvel or DC, though I still read plenty of those).

    1. Not a fan of the costume design, either. I have a feeling that if anybody else but Alex Ross had submitted a character sheet of it to Marvel, it would have been thrown out, possibly with all sorts of condescending and mean comments from the editors written on it. No joke, the first time I saw previews of it (not knowing anything about what was happening in the comics at the time), the first thing I thought was that Marvel was introducing a new “Captain Puerto Rico” character because the torso elements really do remind me of the Puerto Rican flag.

        1. Re-reading my previous comment, I think I might have overstated my case. I’m not a fan of how it looks in print (particularly when it was first revealed… the upper torso, shoulder, and head/mask area was rendered by Ross to look like burnished metal), but at the same time, I don’t think it’s egregiously bad as far as re-designs go and I suppose it is unfair to harp on it in a toy whose designers were only trying to re-create it in plastic.

          It’s funny how the “inverted coloured triangle on a black bodysuit” motif dominates a number of his designs, though (such as in this unused Spider-Man movie costume design).

          1. The first thing I thought when I saw the Bucky Cap suit was that Alex Ross must have only one way to redesign characters, and that if you ask him to do it for any character, you’ll get “black, with a wedge of classic costume across the head and chest and some color on the hands.” Then I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to ask him to redesign Batman Beyond or Nightwing?

            That said, I really do like this costume. Is it great for Captain America? Maybe not, but it was sure right for Bucky attempting to be Captain America.

          2. Ross I love his work but this costume jsut doesnt appeal to me in the slightest, Hasbro did a great job making it in 3D but I’m more of a fan of a classic cap outfit..I know htis is bucky cap..and dont even get me started on that, there is only one cap…..I just dont like the Black and blue/white/red combo

            1. and to be real, i don’t like the smaller build of this cap. i know some folks are put off by the steve rogers from wave 1 being too large, but i think that has more to do w/ his skull/torso ratio that the figure’s actual proportion. steve is a large, fit dude, he should be big, and while mr buchanan is not as large, he’s not a small dude either… and the bucky cap design has a slimming effect as it is, plus the smaller buck makes him look, to me, diminutive. and i hate the flare boots.

              of course, that said, all of this misses one huge point… buying a captain america figure with a gun feels a lot like buying a batman figure with a gun… i don’t care what kind of schtick or retcon they’ve worked, steve rogers doesn’t use firearms. for me, ML wave 1 steve stands and remains the unchallenged master of all cap figures. even over the later ultimate caps and FA caps and FO caps and all the others…

              it also burns me a little that we’re getting USAgent on a puny body. he should have been built on the FO cap buck, not the FO punisher. makes me wonder if hasbro lost some of the older molds, because in theory, they have a MUCH more diverse library of parts than what they’re currently tapping. like for instance, rather than building new leg parts for the wrecking crew to make them bigger than the hulkling buck, why didn’t they reach for the omega red body? why are they defaulting all the bodies to the bullseye buck or the FA punisher buck? what, they lost the black panther buck? they’ve, in theory, got a ton of different spider man bodies they can pull parts from or could tap the FA cap or FO cap to add further size/shape diversity, and all the initial costs, the molds, are done… it’s like printing money, right? would klaw really look so different if they’d chosen to base him on the gambit body, rather than that puny surfer body? why oh why haven’t we tapped the she-hulk body yet for another figure? titania, maybe? (the first she-hulk fig, not the “savage she hulk” fig w/ the big boobs… though she’d make a fine base for a black cat fig!) i don’t get why they aren’t tapping bucks that are older than 10… what are they, jerry sandusky?

              1. Captain America has always used firearms. The retcon is the attitude that he doesn’t or shouldn’t.

                The problem with the Steve Rogers figure is that he’s too tall. If anything, he should be much more muscular to accurately depict how the character appears in the comics. Shrink him down a half an inch and use the plastic you save to bulk him up a little more.

                Complaining about flair boots on Captain America is like complaining around a cape on Superman. It’s an iconic part of the character’s silhouette, and he’d look wrong without them.

                1. allow me to clarify… i hate the flare boots on bucky. steve’s a throwback kind of guy, they kind of work (and at this point, they’re kind of iconic). bucky owes 0 loyalty to that outfit, so at best, it’s lip service on him… making all the elements kind of sarcastic. it just doesn’t work for me.

                  as for steve, dude, i think you’re really off here. the body is fine, if a little compact for steve, and if you broadened his chest and shoulders to get the right overall mass, the head would seem far less “huge.” mostly because, the head is only marginally too big. you mention an alteration of a half an inch in height, that’s more than the difference between steve and klaw, who’s clearly undersized. steve is just about right, heightwise. and while in comics we’re used to seeing small heads to make the overall mass appear larger, this head is a tiny fraction of an inch large for the body he’s put on to maintain the same proportions you see in the comics.

                  and for me, i read cap in the early 80’s, and he was incredibly anti-gun. that he was a soldier at one point makes no never mind to me, he was anti-gun when i came up. he made a rather noted choice of opting off firearms once gifted w/ his shield. it is indeed a retcon that he uses them now with any regularity. the guys not stupid, a tool is a tool, but he was cap, he comes to the table with skills beyond accurate aim. while he may know how to use them, he didn’t prefer them enough to make them a part of his packout.

                  1. Not using guns is too much of an oversimplification to me, so I don’t really mind it. I totally understand that where you start reading comics makes a HUGE impact though.

                    I don’t care so much about Batman not using guns because it fits in with the gun violence involved in his origin, but I do get annoyed when folks start clamoring about Alfred using a rifle and how Batman wouldn’t approve – Batman doens’t want Alfred dead either (I know you’re not saying that, that just comes up when I talk about this now).

                    Captain America not using guns is something I largely didn’t think about it until the conversation here went in that direction.

  5. I really like this figure, though the gun and knife holsters do hurt the hip articulation, and the fact that the costume looks more like body paint. I mean, what’s up with those veins by his shoulders?

    1. I wasn’t sure if they’re getting in the way or if the hips don’t have enough range for them to get in the way.

      I do agree on the veins though, I just overlooked it since the buck system is a necessary even at this point.

      1. While I can’t place the body, the veins are what lead me to believe this was a previously used buck. And while I know that the buck system is necessary these days, it’s little things like that that kind of hurt it. Much like with Constrictor’s crotch piece and its molded in belt, I have to believe they could have gotten an equally suitable torso to this one that wouldn’t have had veins bulging through what is supposed to be metal plating.

        1. I agree. Even if they didn’t have a suitable torso piece, they would have done well to mold one. Then they could use it on other heroes. As much as people harped on Mattel for their DC classics reuse, if they needed a specific piece, they’d make it.

          1. The veins definitely gave me pause on calling this a new sculpt for that very reason. I hate it, but I’m simply not versed enough to be as sure/thorough as I am on the DC front.

            I can see the veins driving some nuts, but, logic aside, they don’t bother me near as much as that belt buckle.

  6. “but seriously, how often do you really look at a man’s shoes?”
    Don’t ask Rob Liefeld! LOL

    I found most of these while running around StL and St Chuck counties Friday (“Local” Comic Shop was having their anniversary sale, then I find out 501st was there Saturday. ugh.). I snagged Piledriver and unmasked Daken because I thought they were variants. of course, then I realized I haven’t seen a “regular” blue GR or solid shield Steve, yet. (In fact, I also found all of w1 in seeming abundance except for one red GR and IM.)

    I passed on Bucky Cap the other day because I only found him at TRU, and didn’t want to pay the extra $3 I would at Target (or $2.50 at WM). I didn’t realize he was carrying some nice sculpting. Definitely when I see him at Target (or when a certain e-tailer across the River gets them in).

    Sunset TRU was the w2 motherlode, with about a dozen Bucky Caps, 3 scrawny/tribal ink Drax, and 4-5 Daken, all unmasked. I can’t remember where, but I did see one FF Spidey. I’m thinking it had to be TRU (Chesterfield?), as I didn’t want to pay extra for him. No sign of Thunderball, Fantomex, or either Madame.

    Speaking of, I did notice that Piledriver is only credited as “Wrecking Crew” and both guys are shown on front and back of package, with no additional delineation. Is this the case for “Marvel’s Madames”? I saw you have a Madame Hydra, while Madame Masque is pictured on the wave line-up.

    1. oh yeah, if we’re getting USAgent in w3, then I expect (classic) Thunderstrike this year, as well! Even if he’s only announced!

      If they’re going Cap and Thor heavy, then Eric/Thor II and Thunderstrike are sure to be shortlisted, and I’d prefer Thunderstrike first!
      (also, Warriors Three, Sif, Balder, and BAF ODIN.)

      1. the box is listed that way “marvel’s wrecking crew” so that they can use that one box for all four wrecking crew members, thus reducing the expense of printing unique boxes for all 4 guys.

        1. BUT this one only features Piledriver and T-ball, not the other two, so they’ll have to adjust the art for them. only the “Marvel’s Wrecking Crew” chip is the same, but odds are, it’s on the same press sheet as the bottom insert.

          I wonder if they held off naming them because of the 007 “Thunderball” movie? I know they could get around that by adding “Marvel’s ___________” like everything else, but now I’m wondering.

          Heck, at the moment, I can only picture the orange/silver dude and forget the names for him and the fourth. :/

          1. Also, why DOES Piledriver come with Thunderball’s wrecking ball? talk about a waste of plastic for a character that doesn’t need an accessory. :/

            1. I kid you not, but I’d bet it would’ve cost Hasbro more money to remove it than it was to include it. That’s logistics for ya.

            1. hrm. could’ve sworn there was a fourth lackey under Wrecker at some point?

              don’t mind me, I’m unsane.

              and could Bulldozer be used for an updated AoA Sabretooth? one without biceps that make Scott Steiner jealous, small forearms, and arthritic hands? (don’t even start on the head sculpt!)

                1. There was a character called Excavator, who’s the son of Piledriver, who was temporarily a member a couple of years ago. I don’t recall him lasting more than an issue or two, though.

    2. Expect Rob Liefied jokes when we get to Fantomex….

      I’d love to get a Thunderstrike.

      I’ve been trying NOT to buy these at TRU, but have been failing miserably.

  7. I like that Hasbro’s supplying the new ankles and extensive articulation to the most wanted figures. It’s a pity they didn’t start with the last wave of two-packs, they would’ve helped immensely with Deadpool’s posing abilities. As for the inclusion of a stand, I see your point; though as a fellow pose aficionado, I like to see if I can pull the desired poses stand-free.

    I think the only time I’ve ever seen a figure have enough range of motion to draw it’s own holstered weapon was with Fansprojects’ Warbot “Springer”. You can actually guide his fist to pull his pistol out of his hip storage. A buddy of mine remarked that he hoped that Hasbro’s improvement of ML in the articulation and quality control departments would push Mattel to improve similarly, I’m starting to hope this too with ML figures that sport capabilities like this. I’m sure many are speculating as well that if the rumored DC All Star re-arrangement is true, it’s a response to the explosion of ML by getting more interesting product out there to compete rather than a bunch of repaints and reissues.

    1. I do like stand-free poses, but this guy could really get into some cool fighting poses with a little assistance.

      I’d love to see Hasbro prove a point to Mattel. I think the DC sub is looking up, but the folks at Mattel still go for the “something is better than nothing” approach.

  8. I built up Zola first (prepare to be disappointed by his rubbery as hell legs), still need the crotch and arms for Terrax.

    With DCAS, they at least seem to have realized how crap the first wave was going to be and they switched things around. Doesn’t make up for the increase in price and the loss of the CNC part.

  9. I wasn’t a fan of this costume design, but the figure looks great! I’m definitely keeping an eye out for him along with most of wave 2 (Fantomex? Yes, please!).

    Here’s to Hasbro lighting a fire under Mattel’s ass!

  10. MU “Giant Battles” Bucky Cap
    CA Movie Comic Series “Heroic Age” Bucky Cap
    ML2012 Bucky Cap

    So who’s the fourth Hasbro Bucky Cap? Was it a Superhero Squad figure?

    1. There was a SHS Bucky Cap, yes. I don’t know if Noisy was counting that, but it does exist.

      1. I’m assuming that Noisy is counting both Cap movie Bucky Cap’s. Theres the single Card and the Comic 2 pack one.

        1. I didn’t know about the SHS – that’s cool though – and I had forgotten the Movie 2pk Cap – so there are six total, not four!

          The one I was counting was the TRU Exclusive Avengers 4″ figure line (the one with the bases)!

  11. Looks like a great figure. I wish they would do die-cast weapons sometimes or at least give weapons a more metallic look.

    I am also wondering if the recent layoffs of nearly 200 people will affect ML in the future. I was shocked when I heard about it and it sucks that so many great folks were let go just as this line is starting up again and looking so good. It sounded like the board game division was losing money, so I am not sure why the Marvel Team was affected.

    1. Die cast would be pretty cool, but would the modern shoulder joint be able to hold those puppies up?

      I haven’t followed up on the layoff news yet, what have we heard?

  12. Well I’m super late with this comment but I found some interesting things tonight.

    1. TRU, who had been the first to get Legends by almost a month in this area, no longer has pegs for the line anywhere. Not a single Legends tag to be found in the whole store.

    2. I went to Walmart and saw 4 regular Iron Man figures sitting there haha.

    And I’m about to paypal you for the Iron Man you found me. Thanks again buddy.

  13. Finally got mine yesterday. The hip joint to me looks similar to his MU figure. Smooth forward and backward movement but the side movements are limited but that’s ok 🙂 Great sculpt and articulation all in all a great figure!

    Now I hope Hasbro releases a classic comic-book accurate Captain America!!

    1. I’m ready for Hasbro to give us a classic Cap. I don’t think we’ll be waiting too long – there’s a Cap themed figure in all three waves so far.

      1. Yup. Next up it’s “Nomad,” then Rikki Barnes, then 90s Armored Cap, then American Dream, then 1602 Steve Rogers 🙂

  14. Was playing with my ROML1 Rogers and ROML2 Bucky Cap and was annoyed that their belts was not glued or pegged like that of ML8 Cap or FO Cap. Playing with them is annoying with their belts getting in the way. Even my ROML2 Drax is getting annoying… Whats up with their belts?!?!?

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