So I’m a few days behind on the Captain Action Advent, but given that feedback has been pretty low for this promotional month I guess nobody really cares. This review kind of bummed me out and slowed down my progress, but I’m hoping that over the next few days I’ll be able to catch up. Expect a lot of Captain Action in the next couple of days, along with a lot of other content as well.
The whole idea behind Captain Action in the 1960’s was that he could change costumes into other superheroes. I’m not entirely sure why they chose that particular format for licensing as it would seem to make more sense to just sell figures of the characters, but I’m guess the old razors and blades mentality was still too engrained back then. The idea being that Captain Action was the “razor” and you’d go buy a bunch of “blades” in the costumes. Round 2 has brought this back and they offer two price points.
The basic sets, which are exclusive to Toys R Us, contain one mask, one shield, one set of gloves and the rest of the supplies to create a decent Captain America. The Deluxe edition, which is what we’re reviewing here, comes with an extra mask, extra gloves and an extra shield so you can create two versions of Captain America. So let’s break it down, shall we? And by break it down, I do mean break…
The packaging is in the same style that all the other Captain Action stuff has been in. It has all the same positives and I should note that I do appreciate that the packages are all similar. This is great for people who care about that sort of stuff.
The back has a little bio about Captain Action and a bio on Captain America. I suppose they could have elaborated a bit more on either, given all the space, but it is what it is. The back also shows off some of the other figures in the series.
Inside there’s some nice artwork on the backer card.
Also if you’re just tossing the packages, make sure to check the INSIDE of the inner card as that’s where the Hawkeye boots are. Each deluxe figure comes with a “BUILD A FIGURE” part of Hawkeye. Here we just get his boots, but I suspect some folks might accidentally throw these away.
It’s kind of hard to review this under the normal criteria, since it’s not actually an action figure and more of an accessory set… But I’m going to try to keep it to the same sort of standard. The outfit itself is a nice design and it definitely has that vintage Captain America feel.
I recommend removing Captain Action’s hands, so you can slip the costume on easier and avoid getting any snags.
One thing that’s been a common thread with all of these costumes is that the feet are sewn up. So you have the pajama effect. I have considered snipping the feet on at least one of these costumes to just see if it fits better. Because of the feet, it forces things to be a bit snug.
Immediately you’ll notice that much like the Basic Captain Action outfit, the sleeves run a little short. On the plus side, the gloves are designed so that they cover up this shortness for the most part.
The shields have to be constructed. Everything is separate in the package and it’s a bit tedious to put the whole thing together, to be honest.
As soon as I started to put the basic round shield together, one of the pegs snapped. Incredible. While the shield itself is made of fairly sturdy hard plastic, the little tabs that hold the straps are made of an incredibly fragile and brittle plastic that feels like cheap resin.
I just so happened to have a spare shield because Toys R Us are inept idiots and sent me the wrong Captain America outfit a while back. So I popped the straps onto the spare shield. The straps are awkward and two really different sizes. At least the shield is ready for action. Problem solved, right?
At least until I started to actually try and move this thing. Immediately the pegs on the vintage style Captain America shield broke too. Un-FREAKING-believable. Let’s be clear here, I wasn’t throwing these down the steps or something. I literally just touched them and they fell apart like 1,000 year old mummy.
I guess it’s time to find out how good Round 2’s customer service is. Because I now need not one, but two replacement shields. Will they replace them? I’ll let you know.
The straps really don’t work well at all. They’re too loose for good poses and flop all around on the arm. It took me 15 minutes to get even a halfway decent pose with Captain America holding his shield. The weight of the shield combined with my ever loosening Captain Action joints just turned into a nightmare.
Then when you add in the fact that I was terrified to even move the straps much for fear that the pegs would break again, you’ve got a recipe for something that’s not fun. I can’t even imagine a kid trying to play with these. Here I am gingerly moving these things around for a couple of simple photos and they break, I shudder to think what a 10 year old would do.
The shield designs do look nice and if they were better put together in terms of the straps, I would really enjoy them. It’s a shame that they fall apart if you look at them funny.
One of the things that a lot of modern collectors don’t like about Captain Action is the masks. The vast majority of people would prefer swappable heads. However, those who strongly support the “Captain Action” concept itself, seem to prefer the masks. While I like the charm of the masks, I would prefer heads.
The masks themselves are actually quite nice and they look MUCH better in person than many of the online photos would have you believe. My only real issue is that from the side, you can see that they are masks. This is one area that swappable heads would definitely improve on. The bonus mask here is the Steve Rogers mask. I don’t know why anyone would display Captain America this way, but there you go.
There’s been a lot of discussion about how the heads look big, but actually they’re pretty proportionate. The masks are a TIGHT fit. Actually, they might be too tight of a fit. It’s a real pain in the butt to get the mask on right and I think that’s where a lot of people are getting their issues from.
See, if you don’t get that mask on JUST right, it looks derpy. A lot of the time I would be putting the mask on right and then somehow just as it slipped on, it would slide just ever so slightly and I’d have a monster face. It can’t be unseen! I didn’t have this problem with Dr. Evil but perhaps that’s because I removed his brain.
Another real issue with the Captain America mask is that it’s painted on the inside. This overspray has a tendency to rub off onto Captain Action’s face. I found myself having to scrape little blue flecks of paint off of him. Then he had unsightly nail marks on his face. It’s kind of a can’t win scenario.
The belt has removable pouches, for a more authentic 1940’s Captain America. They’re nice, but the problem is that you have to put them onto each belt loop at the right spot. They can’t be fit over the belt, but rather have to be threaded THROUGH the belt. That might not be much of a problem if you could get the belt to say on… But this thing just barely fits and has a tendency to pop off. I don’t know why, but it’s VERY annoying. Adding the pouches to the outfit only amplifies this effect.
The boots are nice, but are made of a super soft rubber. This wouldn’t a be a problem, but the rubber is significantly softer than the regular Captain Action boots. The harder basic boots are the only thing that keeps my Captain Action from falling over because of his weak knees. The Captain America boots just aren’t sturdy enough to hold him up, so he falls over constantly.
On the plus side, Hawkeye’s boots have their own unique sculpt.
You also get a pair of fist gloves. They’re pretty nice. Fitting the gloves on can be a bit of a burden, but honestly they’re the least of the problems with this set.
The set is rounded out with a neat little paper newspaper of the Daily Bugle. It’s a cute little paper accessory and I appreciate that it was included.
Maybe I just got a bum set, but this thing is kind of a disaster. Part of the problem with creating “retro” type toys is that so few modern toy companies can make retro figures that are as good (much less better) than the “cheap” retro toys they are emulating. That’s the problem with this Captain America set. When both shields broke on me within 2 minutes of taking them out of the package, I knew this wasn’t going to be pretty. At $40, I want this thing to last longer than that. The old toys held up for 40+ years and I seriously question if this will be able to last 1/4 of that.
Packaging – 7
Outfit – 7
Mask – 6
Weapons – 3
Other Accessories – 6
Value – 4
So few things have frustrated me recently like reviewing this set. I wanted to love this set. Certain parts of it are great. I think the guys at Round 2 and Captain Action Enterprises care about their product, I really do. This is a neatly designed set… But there are a ton of little nagging issues and I got two huge quality control problems right out of the box. Hopefully Round 2 can send me some new shields and maybe I can just chalk this up to being a bum set.
But I have to review what I purchased and this deluxe Captain Action set greatly disappointed me. So much so that it made me dislike my regular Captain Action figure some. Because the costume set started to expose some of the flaws with that figure. In the end, this can be a nice affordable way to get a pretty decent looking Captain America figure in 1/6 scale. It truly can… But the quality control issues hold it back from being something that I really want to mess around with and enjoy.