Captain Action (Basic Edition Variant)
12 Inch scale
By: Round 2
$29.99 Retail (Currently Exclusive to Toys R Us)
Earlier this year Wesitron did a bang up review of the TRU Basic version of Captain Action. In theory at least, there would be no reason for me to re-review that figure. However, when I purchased my basic Captain Action, I noticed that he was significantly different. For reasons that are not entirely clear, something changed at the Round 2 factories and the newer Captain Actions are different than the older ones.
Is it worth a full new review? Perhaps not, but we’re going to break down the differences and give this guy another look since we’re celebrating 25 days of Captain Action in our Holiday Advent Calendar! Is this Captain worth rushing out and picking up again or should you seek out the first runs figures instead?
One of the things that hasn’t changed, is the packaging. It’s a clear plastic box with a great Joe Jusko illustration of Captain Action on the front. He’s easy to get out because of the lack of wire twist ties and the package can be reassembled, if you’re interested in taking him out and putting him back for display. It’s not SUPER collector friendly, but it’s certainly more collector friendly than most mass market figures.
The regular version of this figure scored pretty high across the board when it came out this past summer. The new version isn’t much different (it’s not being advertised as a variant for example) but there are a few things that make it stand out. In general, yes, this is very much like the first figure.
Cap has a great head sculpt with lots of character. This is really important because the vintage Captain Action was such a sour puss. The new head sculpt is very heroic and I even see a bit of Larry Hagman in it. I have no idea if that was intentional or not.
The real differences in the figure is not so much in the sculpting or paint, but in the outfit. It’s no longer a turtleneck. It’s now more of a crew cut. It sits much lower on the neck and chest. Likewise, the CA logo is now no longer in the center of the chest but a bit lower, almost into the abs.
The back still fastens up about the same. I thought maybe this version would make a tighter seal, but they’re about equal in all honesty. The cut of the shorts is a bit different too. They aren’t as well aligned and are a bit baggier. This may vary from figure to figure, however. I’ve seen differences between the same model.
The other major change comes in the form of the belt. It’s now a silver and red belt as opposed to the white and red with silver accent. I think the silver belt looks better, myself. It also reflects a lot of the artwork of the Captain through the years, as he’s shown at times with a silver belt.
Like the first version, this outfit is still prone to the occasional snag, so be careful. Particularly when messing with the velcro closure. I do wish the costume had more of the barrel chested cut that the vintage figures had. I wish I had a vintage CA outfit around here, or a Playing Mantis repro, to see how it would look on this body.
There seems to be some debate on whether this newer figure also has shorter sleeves. Mine definitely does. However, I noticed a lot of figures seemed to have shorter sleeves on the first run of figures too. So I think that very well may just be luck of the draw in general.
The hands are removable (this helps with costume changes and the Deluxe version has bonus hands) but they have very small pegs to swap with. This is common with a lot of modern 1/6 scale figures, but it can be a bit of a hassle at times. It’s easy enough to pop them off, but getting them on takes a bit more work. If you’re having too much trouble, try boiling the hands to make them softer for when you try to slip them on the nubs.
Scale wise, he’s a nice fit with other “retro” type 12 inch figures. They all ran a bit under 12 inches and that’s true of the Captain as well. His head is a tiny bit small in comparison to GI Joe, but Joes heads tend to run a bit big. Especially with flocking.
The smaller head allows for the masks to fit on nice and tight. I was surprised how tight these masks fit, because many of the pictures online made them look big. I can tell you that’s not the case at all.
My Captain’s hair also isn’t painted fully. It’s not noticeable really, but it’s there. This isn’t from mask rub, either. It came out of the box that way. Clearly there’s some QC issues with these newer batches of the basic figures.
Captain Action has the same great articulation that we covered in the Dr. Evil Basic TRU figure review. The bodies are the same.
Unfortunately, with the same body comes the same issues. I don’t know if it’s just something with these later ones or what, but the knees are really loose. It’s less of an issue when he has his boots on, but it can be a bit of a burden. My other Captain Action isn’t this way (at least not yet) so I don’t know how random this problem is, but it seems to be a recurring theme.
The good Captain comes with a fair amount of goodies to sink your teeth into. I’m a huge fan of Captain Action as a character. A Batmanish superhero, with lots of gadgets and gizmos. Thankfully I’m marginally appeased here.
He also comes with his patented lightning sword. It looks great as ever and is made of a sturdy, thick plastic. So it’s not all gummy or rubbery. I do wish the hilt was a tad longer so he could hold it with both hands, but I know he’s never really been depicted that way.
He also has a holster which fits the sword. The articulation allows you to grab it out. It’s a tight fit on both the belt and for the sword to go through. I had to futz with it for a good 5 minutes or so before I could get it to work. It seems to be working better now.
The laser gun also has some nice paintwork and sculpting on it. The hat, gun and sword are the same items that Captain Action has come with for years, but they’ve never looked better. Proof that Round 2 isn’t just rehashing the old stuff here but making it better than ever.
Finally there is a comic. Although the comic shares it’s cover with Captain Action #0, all of the stories inside are the brief mini-stories that serve as backups throughout the Moonstone run. These are the “Silver Age” Captain Action adventures, not the modern Captain Action stories that the Moonstone comics were basically focused on.
For $30, you get quite a bit. The value question here can be broken down into two parts. Is this a variant worth tracking down and is the figure itself worth having? As far as variants go, this isn’t something to track down if you already have a regular version. Personally, I think the first run figures were a tad bit better because of the cut of the shorts, the turtleneck and the longer sleeves… That said, I prefer the silver belt.
If you want both, split the difference and get the Deluxe first run figure and the newer Basic TRU figure. Then you have the best of both worlds and some extra bodies for costumes. If you can’t afford the Deluxe and can’t find a first run figure, this one is still okay.
The deluxe only costs around $10 more but unlike Dr. Evil, it doesn’t have that much more stuff. So you may look into the Basic version if you’re trying to save a few bucks. The only thing you’ll really be missing out on is an extra box, some paper goodies and some fists… But we’ll talk more about that in our upcoming Deluxe Captain Action review.
If the knees on this figure weren’t so loose, I’d be inclined to give him a higher score. I’ve put this guy through the paces with multiple poses, costume changes and the like. He’s still very playable, but there are some minor QC things that bog him down from being perfect.
The tailoring of the costume and minor alterations do classify this as a variant, but it’s not necessarily an improvement for the better. I hope that Round 2 can get their Captain Action figures to have a much more uniform uh, uniform, in the future. Little things like this can ultimately be the downfall of an otherwise great line.