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Baron Von Strucker

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

"It's not true! It's bull! I did not Strucker! Oh hai, Zemo."

Having served Hydra as far back as World War II, Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker stands as one of Captain America's longest-living enemies. "Cut off one head and two will take its place."

Baron Strucker may hold the distinction of having the biggest waste of a character in the entire MCU. He's Nick Fury's archrival and a major Captain America foe, but he doesn't even last past the opening act of a single movie. Hell, the 1990s made-for-TV Nick Fury movie did Strucker better than the MCU did, and he was already dead at the start of it! Though that hunk of ass did miss a perfect opportunity, after Von Strucker was killed and his twin kids rose up the ranks of the organization to take command, to use the "cut off one head and two will take its place" quote. It's right there. One guy died, two people took his place. Say it. Say the line, Bart. So plase don't think we're calling the 1998 movie good; we're just underscoring how misused this character was when he was put in the new movies.

Strucker has had a Marvel Legend before, but that was a variant in a two-pack during the ToyBiz days - none of those are signifiers of being readily available for new fans today. That one had a wonderful Phil Ramirez head sculpt, with all his wrinkles and scars and stern expression. This new one... has a lot of detail. He's got scars, but not enough wrinkles to make him look like a guy who was born in the 19th century and took part in both World Wars. And for whatever reason, he's got the world's most ridiculous overbite. It's supposed to look like the cover of Secret Warriors #2, but boy does it not! The best thing we can say about this one is that his monocle is clear plastic and a separate piece?

Rather than wearing any kind of body armor, this is just usual superhero spandex. It's the "butt wrinkles" body, because if there's one thing we know, it's that this is the perfect sculpt for men who should be extremely old but are instead weirdly firm and virile. He does get a new belt and a fancy little scarf/aiguillette combo, which is absolutely one of the coolest things about this toy. He's wearing the big red Satan's Claw glove, of course. Originally it was just a thing he wore, but eventually Nick Fury chopped off his hand, so now the current one is a prosthetic replacement - that's why, even though it's a separate piece, we don't get a plain right hand to replace it.

The toy's colors are good. He's the leader of Hydra, so of course he wears the traditional hues. Take that, Viper! The majority of his suit is a nice forest green, with a lighter lime from the boots, left glove, trunks, and scarf. His yellow belt is matched by the cords on his shoulder and the upper edges of his glove and boots. The Satan Claw is a dark red, to keep it looking sinister. His gets paint apps to accentuate his scars, which works better than leaving them plain, but the Hydra logo on the chest has to go over the abdominal hinge, meaning it looks real weird if you flex that joint back at all. No way of avoiding that.

Articulation is as you expect: head, neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, chest, waist, hips, thighs, knees, boots, ankles. Everything feels a little gummy or sticky when you move it, and you can hear the plastic creaking. Since one of his ropes goes over the arm instead of under it, the entire scarf combo can get pushed around depending on how you're posing that arm. His only accessories are those energy swirls we've seen so often, this time done in a really great purple/maroon shade. Like he's firing evil pomegranate juice.

We also get the right leg of Puff Adder, this series' Build-A-Figure.

Considering it's been 17 years since there's been a Baron Strucker action figure, this one should really blow the old one away. But while the body may be more like what we've seen in the comics than ToyBiz's repaint was, the head is a massive let-down, and honestly turns Hasbro's attempt into a joke. It's too bad there's no easy way to swap them. And also that there's no obvious upcoming chance for Hasbro to try again.

-- 06/18/23

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