Avengers Super Hero Squad Review: Battle at the Red Skull’s Lair

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With the Captain America marketing blitz in full force, the first Avenger has finally gotten his own three-pack in the Avengers Super Hero Squad line. Amazingly, this set goes pure, classic Cap by releasing three figures that couldn’t possibly make more sense together.

The ultimate hero!

It’s been noted that the upcoming Captain America movie costume resembles his Ultimates look a lot, so it isn’t surprising that Hasbro just repainted the Ultimate Captain America figure and called it a day. The sculpt holds up very well even though it originally debuted in wave 5. The whole look feels more like a suit than a costume and it is pretty close to how Cap is going to look.

The sculpt is still one of my favorite designs in the Super Hero Squad that strikes the perfect balance of style and cartoon. The oversized hands and feet look good without anything being comically out of proportion. Captain America moves at the shoulders and waist.

The colors have been changed a bit. The reds and blues are more vibrant while the gloves, boots and belt are a very dark brown. Little touches like only a single red stripe help make this version of Cap look unique. On the side of his head, small wings are painted which look foolish but Cap’s head wings have always been kind of weird. The paint on the shield though is stunning with it being done in silver, metallic red and metallic blue. It really looks like it’s made of metal!

Crafty criminal commander!

Red Skull is one of those Marvel villains who can’t ever really be redeemed. He’s a guy who worked closely with Hitler which is bound to leave even other villains sour on working for him. But there’s no denying he’s a great character. Instead of making a new movie version of Red Skull, Hasbro made a minor repaint of his wave nine figure.

As a figure, Red Skull is kind of weird given how hunched over he is. Perpetually trapped looking down, Red Skull looks goofy when at the same level as a hero but looks menacing as can be when towering above them. The baggy green suit looks odd in this day and age of spandex and leather. In his right hand, Red Skull is clutching the Cosmic Cube. Articulation is limited with Red Skull having cut joints at the shoulders and a neck that doesn’t move much thanks to his large chin.

He’s still wearing his classic colors, but the tones have changed making him see much more vibrant. The green suit is darker, the boots and belt are done in black. The cosmic cube is cast with a tint of blue and looks to be glowing. Oddly, his hands are painted red – which makes zero sense since the Red Skull has normal human hands! The skull itself though looks exceptional. The bright red color stands out while the sunken gray eyes look crazed. Even the teeth are given a wash that make them crooked and discolored in delight.

The heroic warrior!

Bucky Barnes went from being a questionable-caricature of a sidekick to originally being one of the few comic characters who could never come back to life. Of course, the original three of Uncle Ben, Jason Todd and Bucky Barnes both Jason and Bucky have returned from the grave. But before Bucky became the cybernetic assassin, he was Cap’s sidekick and comic relief.

Well, that was before. Bucky has now been retconned from a 15 year old into a dangerous and specially trained soldier who carried out missions that Captain America and the rest of the Invaders couldn’t be seen doing. Like assassinating people who got in their way.

This brand new figure definitely takes the modern view of Bucky because he’s very well armed. Brandishing a pistol in his right hand and a Tommy gun in the left, Bucky would be right at home in the middle of the Combat Heroes line. His classic costume is all there with domino mask, the driver’s jacket and gloves. The face is young and reminds me a lot of Hal Jordan. What is really weird is how Galactic Heroes the pose is. Articulation is limited with Bucky moving at the shoulders, thus being unable to really aim his guns.

To keep Bucky from being a bright red and blue banner man, Bucky’s new color scheme is much more toned down and military. The brown pants are simple while the matching gloves at boots look rugged. His blue jacket is dark and looks like a solid reimagining of the classic costume.

With Captain America: the First Avenger coming out in theaters very soon, it’s about time this merchandise got on store shelves! For kids who will see this movie, this is about as excellent as the Iron Man 2 packs. Sure, the designs aren’t perfectly movie accurate but they’re definitely close enough. Cap isn’t a super exciting repaint, but his name is on the box. As for Red Skull, it’s about time he got re-released. What astounds me though is that the Super Hero Squad has released Bucky, Winter Soldier and New Captain America.

Written by jestergoblin

July 1st, 2011 at 12:00 am

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