Hasbro keeps throwing haymakers in the Action Figure market with the Marvel Legends What If…? Wave Uatu Build a Figure Series. Dan’s ToyBox is pumped to look at not one, but TWO figures from the premier episode of the What If…? Animated Series.
One little change is all it takes to forever alter a universe. In the first episode of Marvel’s What If…? We get to see a Marvel Universe without Captain America. As the Super Soldier experiment gets underway, Hydra strikes! When Steve Rogers is injured and unable to continue, Peggy Carter leaps into action and enters the machine for the Super Soldier injections. Emerging with peak superhuman strength and endurance, and armed with her own shield, proudly bearing the Union Jack, Captain Carter rushes headlong into battle against the Nazis and the evil Red Skull. Now, in possession of the Tesseract, the Red Skull intends to use its powers to bring forth an extra dimensional monster to destroy his enemies. Aided by the now recovered Steve Rogers, piloting the new Hydra Stomper armor created by Howard Stark, Captain Carter and the allied forces battle to thwart Skull’s plans and save our dimension!
Dan’s ToyBox didn’t get these figures at the same time, but that’s not stopping me from giving you a two for one review today. I have some positives and some negatives for both figures which, hopefully, will give you enough information to decide if you’d like them in your own collections. We will be looking, as usual, at the Triple A factors; Accessories, Appearance, and Articulation to determine our figure ratings. That being said, let’s jump into their accessories.
Captain Carter, as part of the Uatu build a figure comes with: Her shield and both of Uatu’s arms. Wait? That’s it? No alternate fists? No other weapons? Nope. Nada. She has one fisted hand and one grasping hand, which does fit nicely with the handle on the Hydra Stomper’s back. The shield is very nicely done though, I will admit. It is molded in white with very solid paint deco applied for the Union Jack logo and the red and blue rings. The straps are a uniform brown which fit nicely over her hands, on both arms. The Hydra Stomper is a deluxe figure release, which was not part of the BAF wave and thus has no parts for Uatu. This does, however, come with the rocket pack, two sets of hands (fisted and open) and two thruster effects which plug nicely into the rocket pack. We’ve seen the thrusters before, but in a smaller scale, notably with Iron Man releases. I like them though and the yellow paint application makes them stand out nicely against the Olive Drab of the Hydra Stomper armoring. The hands port in easily to the arms and look good on the figure and the rocket pack plugs in on his back easily and holds well to the figure. I think that having some gunfire effects for the Hydra Stomper’s arm cannons would have been a nice touch, but the sheer size of the figure alone is worth the price of it being deluxe. I’m disappointed with the minimal packaging with Captain Carter, but I’m happy with what the Hydra Stomper brings to the table and will split the difference, giving the pair an “A-“for Accessories. Extra hands with Capt. Carter could have pushed the rating higher.
Both figures look spectacular. I’ll get that out of the way right now. Captain Carter is beautifully rendered, and the animated Hayley Atwell facial sculpt is stunning. The hair is somewhat disappointing as you can see the seams and mine has some excess plastic in the front, which I may try to trim with an exacto knife. Her hair also could have used a wash of some sort to maybe give it more depth, but the paint applications on her face are beyond words. I am very impressed with the details on her eyes… they added eyelashes/mascara to her and I’m gobsmacked at how well it works. Her lips are painted red and the application is very finely done. What impresses me the most, I think, is the pinkish hue applied to her cheekbones. As if she were wearing makeup with blush. Her face definitely makes up for the disappointment with the sloppy details in her hair. Moving down the figure, the paint applications for the red and white stripes and details are very evenly applied. Even the offset red striping on the Union Jack is painted correctly, although there is a bit of red smudging, it’s not noticeable unless you are very closely examining the figure. I did notice a couple of scuffed areas as well, in the shoulders and legs, but they aren’t bad enough to bother me too much. Accessories, such as her belt, gloves, boots, and shoulder straps are a uniform deep brown, with a silver belt buckle and silver clasp on the straps. I would have liked to see a bit more detail on her boots, such as painting the buckles on the straps silver, but that’s about the worst gripe I have with her paint job.
The Hydra Stomper is… Olive Drab. His eyes and chest beam are a light blue, but aside from a white star and white C-13 designation painted on his chest, there is very little extra detailing. There are some darker olive-green panels on the figure and the thrust nozzles on his rocket pack have a black wash over them to indicate the soot and searing from the exhaust. The sculpting is fantastic though and gives us the appearance of a walking, human shaped, TANK. I would have really liked to see the guns painted or at least given a wash to help differentiate them from his body and just add that extra bit of detail to break up the boring uniformity of the figure. Where Captain Carter is loaded with detail, the Hydra Stomper is the exact opposite. However, I like what I’m seeing from enough to give an overall “A” for appearance.
How well do our super soldier and her armored partner move? Let’s check it out. Captain Carter has some good things, but far more bad things when it comes to her articulation. First and foremost, the hair sculpt limits her head movement terribly bad. She can turn to the right and left, but the hair really limits that movement. Looking up and down is almost impossible, which is disappointing, especially when mounting her on the Hydra Stomper’s back. Her shoulders rotate a full 360 degrees and will raise out to form a very nice “T” pose. Carter has upper bicep swivel and DOUBLE-JOINTED ELBOWS!!! She also has the wonderful pinless technology which gives such a seamless look to her arms and legs. The elbows bend in very deep (unless carrying her shield) and her wrists hinge and pivot nicely. Carter also has an upper torso ball joint! She can crunch forward decently enough, back to a degree, but has great side to side tilt and rotation. Her legs will do exceptional splits, kick forward very far, and her upper thigh cut works as it should. Carter’s double-jointed knees bend deeply but are limited due to the sculpt of her boots. Even though the design would seem to indicate it, there is no boot rotation and sadly, because of the flared boot sculpt, her ankle hinge and pivot is severely limited which makes certain stances difficult to attain.
The Hydra Stomper, amazingly, moves very well for such a chunky, clunky figure. His head rotates easily and even looks up and down to a degree. The arms can come to a very nice “T” pose and can rotate 360 degrees, given that the shoulder pads are actually affixed to the arms! The bicep swivel is hidden nicely and works very well. The elbows will only bend about 90 degrees, due to the forearm armor sculpt but his hands will rotate and hinge nicely! There is no crunch with this figure, but the floating waist piece hides the torso rotation without hindering it at all. Most impressively, this figure can do splits to about 45 degrees and can kick forward a small amount, hindered by the armor. The knees can bend 90 degrees and the ankles even offer limited up and down hinging. I will admit that I was surprised by how well this armored figure can pose. I didn’t expect it to have the “flexibility” it does and that makes me very happy. I feel like there’s just enough good to outweigh the negatives from both figures to give them an “A” for articulation. Although, on her own, Captain Carter is very disappointing.
So, there you have it folks… the Captain Carter and Hydra Stomper two for one review. How do we sum this up? Well, overall there’s just enough more for me to like about these figures than there is for me to dislike. Granted, the dislikes are significant to me but you may feel differently. Captain Carter retails for the approximate price point of $22 and the Hydra Stomper is available for roughly $50-$55. Coupled with our criteria and at those prices, I’d give Captain Carter 3 toyboxes out of 5 and the Hydra Stomper a pretty solid 4 out of 5 toyboxes. You can find these and other Marvel Legends at your local retailer and online at shops like www.bigbadtoystore.com. Thanks for checking in with Dan’s ToyBox and until next time… GEEK OUT!!!