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Let's Discuss: Diamond/Marvel Select Classic Captain America Action Figure

Welcome to another Dan's ToyBox review! We just returned from a trip to Garden City on Long Island and while the toy hunting wasn't spectacular, I did net a couple of choice prizes. We'll lead off those reviews with a look at the Diamond/Marvel Select Classic Captain America Action Figure. I could have waited until we returned home to take the pix, but I needed something to pass the time while Mrs. ToyBox worked.

Steve Rogers was the epitome of the 90-pound weakling. Considered too small and frail for military service Rogers, nonetheless, felt he had to do something. Volunteering for the top-secret "Operation Rebirth" program, Rogers is injected with a super soldier serum, developed by Dr. Abraham Erskine. The serum was designed to increase Roger's physical attributes to peak human levels. After the treatment, an embedded Nazi Spy kills Dr. Erskine. This results in the formula being lost forever, making Rogers the only recipient of the project. Rogers is then put through an intense training program which covers gymnastics, hand to hand combat, and military strategy. Upon successfully completing this training, Rogers is given the Red, White, and Blue uniform he would wear proudly and his first assignment: to stop the Nazi agent named The Red Skull. Captain America would initially carry a triangular shaped shield made of steel and a firearm. Rogers would later be presented with his famous vibranium based round shield. Intense practice showed him that the shield could also be used as an offensive weapon, allowing Cap to stop carrying a sidearm. Throughout World War II, Captain America and his young partner, Bucky, would fight countless battles against the Nazis and the Red Skull. That is, until the one fateful mission when Cap and Bucky were attempting to stop a drone aircraft, filled with bombs. launched by Baron Zemo. The plane exploded, presumably killing Bucky, and casting Captain America into the icy arctic water. The super soldier serum prevented his bodily fluids from freezing, and eventually Captain America would exist in a sort of suspended animation, frozen in a block of ice. Years later, the ice block would be discovered by the Avengers, who thawed the Captain and revived him. Captain America was invited to join the super-team and would eventually be given retroactive "founding member" status. Captain America has appeared in more than 10,000 stories and over 5.000 different media forms. He is recognized as an icon of American culture and one of the most popular Marvel characters. Captain America was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 in December 1940.

I've seen several reviews of this figure and was back and forth about getting one. Then, I happened upon it in a comic shop on my trip and decided it was a figure I wanted to grab. Let's discuss the Diamond/Marvel Select: Classic Captain America Action Figure.

Accessories: 10/10

I am fairly impressed with what's packed in this figure. I do have some gripes with the appearance of a couple of the accessories, but I'll discuss those later. In the meantime, let's look at what comes with Captain America. There are two shields, his original angular shield and the famous round version. He has a detachable, pouched belt for a more modern look, a shoulder harness for holding the shields on his back, an alternate origin style masked head sculpt, with bare neck, an unmasked head sculpt, and a folded down mask to go with the unmasked sculpt. Cap also comes with three pairs of hands: fists, saluting, and grasping as well as a single finger pointing right hand. The shields have an awesome feature, which I'd love to see other companies start using. The arm straps are mounted on pieces which can detach from the shield itself. The shields have pegs, which can then be plugged into the harness, for carrying on his back. Additionally, it's easier to attach the hand to the smaller strap before plugging it into his wrist. The larger strap easily slides over his forearm and fits snugly. You can then plug the proper shield in, and Cap is armed. Please note that the strap pieces aren't really interchangeable as the piece for the angular shield is smaller. You can switch them, but it doesn't look good. This format is so much better than the Hasbro peg/clip. Less worry about breaking the clip and losing functionality... and yes, I've had a couple of shield clips break on my Legends Cap figures... and yes, it sucks. Overall, the assortment of accessories helps provide multiple looks for the figure and gives a lot of versatility.

Appearance: 5.5/10

Scaling will be difficult when posing with other non-Select figures, as this Captain America is very tall, coming in at just under 7.5 inches tall! It was difficult to give this score because, on one hand, the figure looks incredible from a distance. For the most part the paint apps are clean, with some notable exceptions and the sculpted detail is remarkable. I really like the subtle chain mail sculpt. It's not overwhelming but just enough to catch the eye. I really like the black paint on his mask, which is right out of the comic book and gives great depth to the design. Even the pulled down mask features the black paint, as well as actual cut-out eye holes. The "A" on each of the masks is very cleanly applied and stands out beautifully against both the black background (modern mask) and blue background (40's era.) The gloves and boots look to have a black wash, which looks very good, however, the glove pieces on his forearms are a molded brighter red which makes the actual hands stand out more against those lighter sections. Both stars on his chest and back are clean but could have used another coat as the blue does tend to show through a bit. The biggest issues, however, are on the unmasked and retro neck sculpts. The flesh tone is applied very weakly, allowing blue to show through on both necks. This disappoints me immensely because once you notice it, you see it all the time.

You can also see the paint chip on his jawline and the blue spill over on his ear. Unfortunately, the paint apps for his facial features on this and the modern masked figure are applied very sloppily. There is overspray, paint chipping, and bleed, which is very disappointing.

I will admit that I do like the smirk on this face, but the rest of it is just frustrating to look at up close.

You can see just how sloppy the paint work looks. As I said, from a distance it looks great, but up close... it's just a disaster. To be frank, of the three, the unmasked head is probably the best. The paint is the cleanest of all, though the neck does suffer from blue bleed. The hair sculpting is very nice, and the skin tone has some red/pink shading in areas to give it a more realistic look.

My only other complaint was initially what I thought was paint chipping... but as I examined the hands more closely, I think it's excessive black paint wash caught up in some areas. I was able to scrape off some of the black from this saluting hand but gave up after I noticed some scratching appearing on the palm.

I really wanted to give the figure a better overall appearance score, but the paint issues were just too much to overcome.

Articulation: 7/10

Diamond Select has come a long way in their engineering. I have four or five Select figures and this is, by far, the best articulated. There are still some issues, but overall, you can get some decent poses with this Captain America. The heads can all look up and turn side to side with ease. The neck pieces also sit on a ball peg, which allows for increased range, to help the heads look up and down, as well as tilting side to side. The shoulders rotate a full 360 degrees and can be raised out to a T pose. The bicep swivel works fine and the elbows feature double-joints which can bend in fairly tightly. The wrists are all on hinges and can swivel on their pegs easily. The diaphragm joint is somewhat disappointing though. It can tilt back somewhat and rotate, but there is almost no forward crunch nor side tilt. The waist swivel works fine and isn't hindered even when you have the pouched belt attached. His legs can split farther than most Marvel Legend Spider-Man figures and can kick forward to 90 degrees. There is no real thigh pivot, but you can get a small turn at the joint. The double-jointed knees bend easily but will stop when the boot cuff meets the back of his thigh. There is a boot cut for rotation and the ankles hinge and pivot with excellent range. I wish the upper diaphragm had more range of motion and would love to see Select incorporate butterfly joints for the shoulders at some point. Even with the limits though, this figure does pose much better than any of my other Select figures.

Affordability: 9/10

Anytime you can get a figure with this many accessories, at this size, in the type of packaging that Select uses for under $30, you are doing good. I was able to find this figure at a little shop called Best Comics International while on Long Island for $29.95. Only $5 more than typical retail for a Marvel Legends figure, but with considerably more value than what Hasbro offers.

Overall, from an objective point of view, I am disappointed with the sloppy and lackadaisical job that went into the paint applications on this figure. Of course, these features are noticed because of the close study that goes into preparing a review. Subjectively, on the other hand, I don't intend to look that closely at the figure when posing it for photos, or when he's standing on my desk so I can live with the imperfections. I do like this figure and am pleased that I decided to add him to my personal collection. That said, the Diamond/Marvel Select Classic Captain America earns:

7.5 out of 10 ToyBoxes

The Diamond/Marvel Select Classic Captain America is a solid offering and if you are a fan of the Star-Spangled Avenger, this figure is for you! Thanks for visiting Dan's ToyBox, leave a like and subscribe! Until next time... GEEK OUT!!!


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