Thanks for checking out Dan's ToyBox as this review looks at the Hasbro Marvel Legends Ultimate Captain America (Puff Adder BAF Wave). There are some great figures in this wave, but I'm thinking that I may not get too many of them. I would like to grab a Wonder-Man and Baron Von Strucker. I may pick up the Extremis Armor Iron Man, but it's not a necessity for me at this point.
Like his Earth-616 counterpart, the Ultimates universe Captain America underwent the super soldier procedure which turned him into America's first super soldier. Ultimate Captain America's physical attributes have been augmented to superhuman, rather than peak human levels which is a characteristic of the familiar Earth-616 Steve Rogers. Different characters on several occasions have described him as having enhanced strength and physical attributes. The Ultimate Captain America is capable of bending steel with his bare hands and has been depicted catching a tree heavy enough to crush a Jeep. The Ultimate Captain America is also described as having very rapid healing and recuperative abilities. Admittedly nowhere near as powerful as Wolverine and Sabretooth's, we are shown a flashback/memory sequence in "Blade vs the Ultimates" wherein scientists said he is able to heal from gunshots and knife wounds in hours. Cap himself in Ultimates volume 1 says it should only take him a day or two to heal broken bones. He first appears in The Ultimates #1, published March 2002. Based on the original character created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, this version is brought to life by Mark Millar and Brian Hitch.
Let's get ready to jump into our four categories: Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability. After discussing each, the figure will receive an overall grade of zero to 10 ToyBoxes, with 10 being the "must add" rating. As always, these reviews are based on my opinion alone and are meant to be as objective as possible, in order to help you make the best-informed choice as to whether or not to purchase a specific figure or toy.
The Ultimate Captain America comes with two head sculpts, one with a serious expression, the other with gritted teeth.
He comes with a pair of fists, one weapon/item holding hand and one open, outstretched hand. He has his trusty shield, which we've seen a number of times and lastly, he comes with the Puff Adder BAF head. I'm impressed with the sculpted detail on both of his faces, but I'm a bit perplexed as to why he has a weapon/item holding hand when he comes with nothing to actually hold. The open fingered hand does look good when he's posed to throw his shield. The shield itself has the same peg/clamp pivot piece that we've seen (and fretted over breaking) so many times before. However, this shield seems to be roughly the same size as the 20th Anniversary Cap figure's shield, which appears to be slightly larger than the previous versions we've seen before. One thing I do appreciate with Hasbro is that invariably, the blue on the shield matches the blue on Cap's costume. Consistency is always nice, and this is a great example. It would have been better to see a smiling Cap face, but though I've never read much of the Ultimates comics, my understanding is that the Ultimate universe Captain America is more intense than the Earth-616 original version. With that in mind, I guess my only real question is... why the weapon holding hand? I'm feeling kind of generous though, so I'll give him a 6 out of 10 for accessories. The alternate hand choices are a bit dubious in my opinion and perpetually angry Cap is kind of disillusioning.
This is, in my opinion, one of the better-looking Marvel Legends I've seen, so far in 2023. The colors are crisp and bright, befitting the Sentinel of Liberty. The fact that it's based on the Ultimates design doesn't minimize it at all. Even the gray patches under his arms on the sides of his torso are super clean and look fantastic. I have seen other reviews in which the gray didn't line up properly on his arms, unless the bicep joint was turned. Fortunately, mine doesn't have that issue. I like the silver buckle on his belt, but I do think that the belt could have used a bit more paint to break up the monotonous brown. The biggest problem on mine is the inordinately high amount of paint slop. I noticed multiple white dots on his shoulders and torso where the blue paint was missing. The star on his chest is messy and uneven along the top and the star on his back does have some "fuzz" along its edges as well. Both of my face sculpts had nice paint around the mouth, but the edges of the mask were kind of sloppy in spots and there is a small brown (?) dot on the nose of the gritted teeth sculpt. Also... and this may be due in part to my ignorance with the Ultimates... but it looks like this Captain America has brown eyes, while traditionally, Steve Rogers has had blue eyes. If his eyes are brown in the Ultimates comics, please let me know. I am happy with the star patches on his shoulders. The red and white are very clean as are the stripes around his mid-section. I was a bit concerned that with the issues with the blue paint that those same problems would recur throughout the figure. Thankfully it only seems limited to what I've described above. Now, while I have some issues with the cleanliness of the paint applications, the sculpting is fantastic. From his musculature to the chainmail overlay, there are a fantastic number of sculpted details on the figure. I am very pleased with the high level of detail contained in this figure and that does help somewhat in improving the overall appeal of the design. I do also have to admit that I am a big fan of the darker shade of blue on this costume. It's really going to stand out on my display, which is just fine because from a distance, the figure does look solid. Sadly, the paint issues do detract from the score, so Ultimate Cap walks away with a decent 7 out of 10 for appearance.
I have to admit that I'm really struggling with this part of the review. I've seen other reviews that love the articulation on this figure, and I've seen some that don't. I'm somewhere in the middle, to be honest. His head turns easily and can look both up and down good enough. There is no tilt/wobble though as the ball hinge is a very snug fit. The shoulders will raise out to just above a T pose. However, mine are kind of stiff and I managed to pop the arm off at the bicep peg. Make sure when using the shoulder joints you are actually grabbing the (undersized) shoulder joint itself. I know I generally don't discuss proportions in my reviews, but man, the shoulders on this figure seem small for the rest of his body. I mean, even the biceps look much larger than the shoulders. That's a shame too, because the rest of the figure is much better proportioned than Legends usually are. The bicep cut works fine (and the arm popped right back onto the peg.) His elbows and knees are pinless and the elbows bend in very deeply. All wrists hinge and swivel, with the item holding hand having a vertical hinge, and the others horizontal. I really have a lot of issues with the upper torso joint. There is virtually no forward crunch, in spite of the side tilt and rotation working very well. The waist only has a swivel which initially may be hindered by the belt, but once you work the joint enough, it will turn just fine. His legs can split to just beyond 90 degrees, which makes for decent sidekicks. They will also kick forward to almost 90 degrees. The upper thigh cut works just fine, allowing for rotation and the knees bend in fully, bringing heel to backside. My knee joints were a bit stiff and benefitted from a hot water bath. There is a boot cut for shin rotation and the ankles have that terrific hinge and pivot action that we've come to know and love. I feel like there were some missed opportunities, especially with this new mold. I really wish the diaphragm joint had a lot more range and I'd like to maybe have drop down hips to increase the range of his leg movement. It's good... but is it good enough? Maybe for a smidge over average 6 out of 10.
I was able to find this figure at a GameStop for the retail price of $24.99. I've said before that I feel like Hasbro is finally starting to settle into a consistent price point. While I do hope we see prices drop a bit at some point, steady pricing without erratic raises is a good thing. I think regular readers know my stance on the current pricing structures out there so this should come as no surprise that he earns 7 out of 10 for affordability.
I've heard several reviewers, whom I think very highly of and respect, say they feel this is one of the better Marvel Legends to come out this year. Those reviews got me excited to actually purchase this piece and maybe the one I got is the exception to the rule. I would have to say that while this is a decent figure and has some very good qualities, I wouldn't say it's a top figure for 2023 just yet. The Hasbro Marvel Legends Ultimate Captain America figure earns:
7 out of 10 ToyBoxes.
This is a decent figure, overall, and will look good on your shelf. Unless you are a die-hard Captain America or Ultimates universe fan, though, I don't think you need to worry about running out and missing out on this figure. I've seen him on quite a few shelves. Have a great day or night, depending on your location and until next time... GEEK OUT!!!