Captain Action (Basic Edition)
12 Inch scale
By: Round 2
$29.99 Retail (Currently Exclusive to Toys R Us)
I’ve never been much of a 1:6 fan, for a variety of reasons, but often just because of space. But, like many, collectors, my tastes shift and I go through fads in my own collection. Case in point: Captain Action!
When I first saw photos of the figure, I was a bit intrigued. When I finally saw the guy on the shelf at TRU, I was immediately enamored with his over-the-top design and colors. I didn’t have the cash, so I let him go. For weeks I didn’t see him again, and in the interim I wondered why every other place I could buy online had him listed for 10 dollars more than TRU. Wait, Toys R Us is charging LESS than everyone else? Better buy a lottery ticket.
After I opened him, I got the bug and just HAD to know why he was cheaper. Turns out I bought the Basic version of Captain Action, the Deluxe version costs a bit more, but comes with more extras. And the collector sweats hit me. O Lawd, there’s a better version? The pared down Captain Action I bought was only $29.99, and so far is apparently limited to TRU.
So how does the Basic set stack up against the Deluxe? Do I regret buying the smaller set? Read on!
The packaging is very basic, but very effective. I love being able to see the action figure I’m buying, and the Basic Captain Action has not only most of his body, but all of his accessories in plain sight so you can check for paint and warpage. Silly, fun, colorful, exciting, this is exactly the kind of packaging I expect from an action toy. The illustrations by Joe Jusko are just pure pulpy awesomeness.
“I’m not saying I invented the turtleneck. But I was the first person to realize its potential as a tactical garment. The tactical turtleneck! The… tactleneck!” – Sterling Archer
Come on, like this guy is less ridiculous than Archer. How completely macho batshit insane do you have to be to call yourself a spy while wearing a bright blue unitard? Despite that, it works. The costume is awesome and the form-fitting design looks much better than I thought it would. As a side note, this guy kinda looks like Archer a bit, and I think a grey suit, PPK, and glass of Scotch would be an awesome little SDCC exclusive goody.
The face has a very nice sculpt, with a high hairline and just enough wrinkles to show Mr. Action is no spring chicken. The hat itself features a very detailed crest/ornament and clips into place very solidly on the sculpt. In fact, the interior of the hat has sculpted divots to match the hair that help lock it firmly in place. The paint is simple, with only the eyes, hair, and lips given any detail. The “fabric” of the hat is painted on, even in the interior. It makes for a nice smooth finish, but with the way the hat clicks into place, mine has already started to wear through the paint.
If the goofy, overconfident grin wasn’t enough to sell this as a pulp dynamo, the outfit will not leave you hanging. As I mentioned, I am not a big 1:6 collector so I’m not very familiar with the material, but the thread count on the costume makes it feel smooth and it stretches nicely during posing. The brightness of the chest logo complements the belt and accessories perfectly, helping to splash a nice bit of color onto what might otherwise be a not-so-unusual diving suit by today’s standards. The logo does seem a bit larger than in the comic, but panel to panel it seems to change not only in size but also height on the chest, so I call it a wash. Some have mentioned the sleeves riding a bit. Mine actually had cuffs tight enough to fit over the end of the wrist to prevent movement, but I worked them back so as not to tear the material.
Cosmetically, the boots are the only issue I really had with the figure. They’re a bit on the large side to compensate for easy switching. To be fair, it was a good idea, because if there was one thing I used to hate about 1:6 military figures back in the day, it was getting boots on and off their feet. Still, they’re a bit large and don’t hug the feet well at all. As I said, it’s a good solution for a character who changes costumes a lot, but the toy fan in me would have liked something that might have allowed easier posing in the ankles.
Because this is the Basic version of the character, he comes with three major accessories. The Lightning Pistol is classic 60’s sci-fi goodness, with a nice silver paint application and a nifty voltage meter on the side. The baby blue looks great on the silver, but would have been much better highlighted if they painted the arm of the meter red like on the cover of the comic. The pistol grip is a bit small for his hand, but he holds it very well.
The Lightning Sword really doesn’t do much for me, but is very well sculpted and painted. The metallic red lightning bolt is painted on perfectly and brings that extra bit of camp to the character. The only thing I really don’t like is the general aesthetic of the weapon, which seems to have a sort of Eastern flair you don’t really find anywhere else in the costume, but it is growing on me.
My favorite accessory, however, is the communicator device. Well, I assume that’s what it is. It features a flip up screen and tons of paint apps for such a small accessory. I love that you get something besides weapons, and the design fits beautifully with the rest of the costume. As a bonus, it features a clip so it can store on the belt. However, since it’s entirely painted in blue and the belt is white, you may experience (as I have) some blue paint rub on your belt.
You may notice in the packaged shots that he also features two smaller black accessories. The tiny black square with the lightning bolt is a sheath/frog for the Lightning Sword, and the larger item is a holster for the Lightning Pistol. Both of these loop onto the belt rather than clipping like the communicator. The sword is a bit of a tight fit, so you may have to wiggle it a bit to get it out of the sheath. Since they decided to include these extras, I’m happy to say he can store all of his accessories and keep his hands free for Judo chops or lady wooing.
The hands can be popped off the wrist joints for easy swap-ability, but that’s not all! His hands are made from an awesome rubbery material that stretches but doesn’t lose its shape, so he can not only hold all of his accessories in either hand, but also just about anything in 1:6 or a comparable scale. I’ll bet he’d look pretty awesome with some Sigma 6 weapons…
We’ve already mentioned how hard it can be to pose the ankles (which might have been remedied with basic ratcheting joints since the boots are soft rubber), but the rest of the figure moves beautifully. Now normally, this would be the time I’d annoyingly list every single joint on the figure, but since Round 2 apparently designed a new body for this guy, they have already listed a map on the Captain Action website:
You can see it’s not a Hot Toys or Enterbay figure, but it’s absolutely more than enough to have a great time posing the guy. If you couldn’t tell, I took him out to my parents’ place for some nice outdoor action. I was having so much fun my mom came out and started helping direct the action! While you can achieve subtler poses:
He’s most fun when you allow him to live up to his namesake: Action!
And what’s a Super Spy without ninja and robots?
The body is very fluid, yet the joints remain tight. For only having a joint at the base of the neck, the head has a lot of movement. The waist/torso seems to be a bit spring loaded, but once I collapsed him far enough, he sort of “clicked” into place and held poses nicely.
The costume held up nicely for all the abuse he suffered during this shoot, but I do wonder if the stretching will cause it to become loose over time. In many of these shots the sleeves appear loose, but remember I pulled his cuffs up a bit to avoid tearing.
Overall, I found the articulation to be splendid and not at all fragile. I could easily see this being some lucky kid’s favorite toy to roll around and get dirty with. Even once they lose all the awesome accessories, underneath is still an action-packed body that feels sturdy and looks great.
The hat, the outfit, the pistol, the sword, the sheaths and frogs and holsters and… a comic, too? Hell yeah!
So on top of all the other awesome stuff in this kit, you also get a full-sized comic book with two classic Captain Action stories. At least I think that’s what they are. There’s a letter to the fans in the opening page (Super classy touch, BTW) that says it’s “reprinting two exciting Captain Action thrillers” as well as “two vintage ads from Captain Action’s first tour of duty in toy stores from over 40 years ago.” The problem is both the art and the language are far too modern. I wouldn’t put it before the Jim Lee era, so I’m not sure where these reprinted stories are coming from.
The stories are both entertaining, but the first is the better written of the bunch. I’m surprised for this being such a classic property that they allow the character to be so gruff, even to the point of swearing. I kinda pictured him as more of a Captain America boy scout, but he’s more like Don Draper meets John McClane.
The last few pages of the book also contain bios for the Silver Age Captain Action (who this toy is based on), the current Captain Action (his son), and a new character called Lady Action. The designs are all thematically similar with some fun details that give them individuality and I’d love to see them all in this line. Curiously, they left out Action Boy, Captain Action’s sidekick, who would also make a cool toy and I’m sure there are a lot of teen superheroes he could masquerade as, especially if they acquire the DC rights like they did in the 60s.
Captain Action is described as 11.5” tall rather than a full 12”. Now, this doesn’t necessarily make him not 1:6, but I figure some fans of the scale might want to know. As you can see, he is noticeably shorter than the ninja, though it’s difficult to tell when they’re in action poses.
So for 29.99 you get the awesome Captain Action toy with all his fantastic accessories, plus a comic book with two unique stories (one featuring a Yeti!), and at Toys R Us stores, no less. For the standard 39.99 price the Deluxe goes for, you received an extra pair of close fists, blueprints, various in-scale paperwork to play up the 60s spy angle, as well as a vintage-style box for storage. The extras look pretty cool, and the vintage box was a stroke of genius, but for folks like me who are already limited on space, this Basic version is just a godsend.
He’s got everything I need for a cool spy toy, all the accessories can be stored on his person, and I don’t have to find a way to store his cool box. On top of all that, once they hit the ground running with their accessory packs, this cheaper version will allow you to army build a few Captain Actions to display as Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor, Hawkeye, and more!
The price of this guy is less than 2 standard 6” figures right about now and feels absolutely perfect for all you get in the box.
Simply put, this is a really fun toy with great accessories, dynamite articulation, and excellent value. I can see this being an awesomely colorful addition to your adult 1:6 collection as well as satisfying any particularly adventurous little boy or girl who wants a rugged toy to back them up when imaginary ninja attack them in their back yard. Bottom line, this figure is goofy as hell, but just the kind of fun action hero my collection’s been missing lately.
If you want a great value or are like me and just don’t want to have to deal with extra boxes and accessories, the Basic Edition of Captain Action could be right up your alley. In my area, he’s sparsely available at TRUs, but as of this writing is still in stock on their website. Be aware, however, that while the basic figure sets are stand-alone pieces, the basic costume sets also listed DO NOT INCLUDE the Hawkeye build-a-costume pieces. If you want ol’ Clint, you’ll have to pony up the dough for the deluxe costumes.
Thanks for reading and as always, it’s just a toy. Open the darned thing.