A blog-premiere review: Superhero Squad Captain America & Hawkeye

The first of Hasbro's Marvel toys have started to sneak out early in a few locations, and so far everything looks good. There's been no huge drop-off in quality. Of course, we haven't seen anything but repackaged Spider-Man movie figures so far, but they look promising.

The first original Habsro stuff, however, is the Superhero Squad - the Marvel equivalent of the Star Wars Galactic Heroes, the line that started out as Playskool sets until someone realized how much collectors liked them, too.

The figures come in the same small, curved blisters that their Star Wars cousins do, with a giant  MARVEL  logo across the back. The superdeformed drawings of the characters on the insert seem kinda crappy, though. Marvel has a history of chibi versions of their characters - heck, the X-Babies and the Mitey 'Vengers were supposed to be pack-ins with ML14, but they got dropped. So step one, Hasbro: if you're going to have art of comic characters, make sure it's good art.

The figures themselves are good. the first series is mostly X-Men, with one Avengers pair thrown in the mix: Captain America and Hawkeye. And just like Marvel Legends was tons better than anything similar on the shelves, Superhero Squad is much better than Galactic Heroes.

To begin with, the poses are more dynamic. GH all have the same sort of squat pose, while SS changes things up a bit. Hawkeye is crouched down, with an arrow drawn over the top of his bow. The bow doesn't have a string, because that would be silly, but the bow and arrow are a molded part of his right hand. His left hand is designed to look like it's actually got the arrow nocked. The quiver on his back is full of arrows, and he's got a slight smirk on his face.

Captain America's pose looks similar to the GH squat, but it works out for him. He's got his shield on his left arm, so you can pretend he's ducking behind it to take cover from gunfire. Amazingly, the scale pattern of his armor is sculpted in - not even the original ML Cap could boast that. The look on his face is a bit... maniacal. It would probably work better as USAgent than Cap himself.

The paint on both figures is good, but that's nothing new. The Galactic Heroes didn't have any problems with that, either. Hawkeye's purple looks fuscia on the back of the cards, but in person it's more dark royal purple. There doesn't seem to be any kind of mess between the sections of Cap's red, white and blue.

Finally, articulation - as in, "Superhero Squad actually has some." Galactic Heroes were more or less static plastic when they debuted, but both Cap and Hawkeye move at the waist and shoulders. It's not a lot of articulation, but it's enough for toys like this.

The pint-sized Superhero Squad figures are a really nice addition to the world of Marvel toys. If you feel silly having "kids' toys" in your collection, then stand them next to Mojo and tell people they're not Captain America and Hawkeye, they're Captain Amerikid and Hawkey.

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