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…
Capitano in Azione (SDCC Variant)
12 Inch scale
By: Round 2
$120 San Diego Comic Con Exclusive
As we continue our look at 25 days of Captain Action, we wander into the absurd. This variant appeared at this year’s SDCC as a special attraction figure. The figure itself is essentially a kitbash of existing Captain Action stuff. When the original Captain Action figure was released in Italy during the 1960’s, the first run was wearing Captain America’s outfit.
There’s some debate on exactly why that is, but it’s an interesting footnote in Captain Action history. Eventually Baravelli, the company that produced the Italian version of the figure, got it right, but not before quite a few of these Captain America styled Captain Actions made it to market. Interestingly enough, at the time Captain America wasn’t well known in Italy, so kids over there were none the wiser when this version of Captain Action showed up.
To amp things up, the modern Captain Action crew decided to give their remake of this classic goof-up a special weapon. Given that this was the Captain in Italy, they gave him an Italian Beretta. It’s a nice little touch. But does that make this figure worth so much money? Let’s take a closer look.
Captain Action #4
Story by Gil Kane
Art by Gil Kane
We’re now almost done with the DC comics Captain Action run and Gil Kane is now completely in charge. Considering how much better things got once Kane got control, that’s probably not a bad thing. Still, I have to wonder how much the writing was on the wall at this point. DC obviously was beginning to care less and less about Captain Action and even Ideal was about to pull the plug on the toys.
The comic starts off detailing where Dr. Evil disappeared to in the climax of the last issue. He ends up in some world between worlds again, only this time he discovers an alien race that happens to look just like him. They are super advanced, but apparently are on the end of their life cycle. They want to just disappear and die off, but Dr. Evil will have none of it.
Instead he convinces them that the Earth would make a suitable planet for them to inhabit and take over. It doesn’t really make a ton of sense, but he manages to whip them up into a frenzy. Once he succeeds in that, he decides to go after Captain Action and distract him so the invasion can begin. He tries to enter Captain Action’s mind but the Captain is too strong… So he enters Carl’s mind, because Carl only exists to get Captain Action in trouble.
With Carl under his spell, he gets him to unleash some sort of monsters. This isn’t very clearly defined, but somehow a device of Captain Action’s is able to unleash these monsters. Carl snaps out of the trance, just in time to team up with Pop to face the evil monsters.
Captain Action and Action Boy manage to defeat the monsters rather easily. Dr. Evil isn’t happy that his plan didn’t work. Captain Action isn’t happy that his sidekick son is useless.
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?
Captain Action #3
Story by Gil Kane
Art by Gil Kane & Wally Wood
And like that, Jim Shooter’s run on Captain Action comes to an end. Amazingly, it’s for the better, as issue #3 of Captain Action is immediately a million times better than the first two issues. While there are some problems with this comic, it’s a stronger overall story and concept. It also greatly reflects a lot of the changes that were going on in the era.
We start off with Captain Action in his regular form, working with son Carl on extracting the power from the magic coins. Incredibly, Professor Arno believes that he can use the powers not just for himself, but the good of all mankind. He’s a nice guy. No wonder Krellik didn’t like him. They’ve borrowed a machine from the famed Dr. Tracy, in hopes of getting some progress.
Meanwhile Dr. Tracy is working on a machine of his that can repair fault lines and prevent earthquakes. It’s a great concept, but just as he thinks his machine might be ready, an earthquake is about to occur! He switches on the machine, but it’s too late. A horrific earthquake strikes California. The first two Captain Action comics were full of a lot of “Golly, gee whiz” and now less than two pages into this one we’ve got babies and children being killed in a natural disaster. We’re through the looking glass here people.
Tracy’s machine has some crazed effect, where it drags him into some trippy world between worlds. His body and mind alter, forever changing him. Some of the language here is pretty deep and world’s apart from the first two issues. This is like some some Kirby-esque concept.
Dr. Tracy is transformed into another being. He then dubs himself, Dr. Evil, because that’s all that fills his heart. He wants to destroy mankind and raise his own beings. He wants to evolve mankind, like he was evolved. Time to turn everyone into a blue skinned freak!