Driven by rage, these advanced Hydra super soldiers are prone to clash with anyone in their paths.
Silly Hasbro, don't you know you're not supposed to call it "rage"? Racists who traded their white hoods for red baseball caps just have "economic anxiety," not "backwards-ass ideas their ancestors should
have been embarrassed of a century ago." It's not "casual bigotry," it's "a heated gaming moment." TERFs aren't transphobic, they're "gender critical." It's utterly important we protect the delicate little feelings of the world's worst people, because if we're nice enough to them and polite enough to them, then surely they'll start being nice and polite, too, right? "Sure, we'll give you money to keep running your concentration camps, but only if you pinky swear to tell us the names of the toddlers who die! DNC2020!" Anyway, Hydra is fascists, that makes them the bad guys, and, well, you know how the saying goes. Give 'em something to clash against.
There was already one Hydra Trooper from Hasbro (two, technically), and this figure is fundamentally identical to that one: it's the same figure, but it not like they just had a bunch of him sitting in a warehouse somewhere waiting to get repacked. They went back to the factory and made new ones. But hey, the point is that the Hydra Troopers all dress alike, so a rerelease makes sense.
But! This is a set for armybuilders to fill out the crowd scenes in their displays, which means we need a little variety. Or at least the potential for variety. Since the figure uses a standard body, that makes it compatible with a lot of existing pieces. You can pop off the soldier's scowling
head and replace it with one of the two others included in the packaging: the gas mask head that used to belong to a SHIELD agent, and the Udon skull mask head from Taskmaster. Both choices make a degree of sense. Hydra and SHIELD have been very intertwined over the years, so it makes sense they might get their equipment from some of the same suppliers (or that a soldier might keep an enemy's helmet as a trophy, and paint it in his own colors); and Taskmaster has surely trained some of Hydra's troops, so perhaps his best students might adopt a skull mask to honor him. Or they just think it looks cool, like the way you can identify an a-hole by the Punisher Skull sticker in their car window.
To further create variety, you can take off the chest harness and swap it for a vibrant yellow vest. Don't worry, this edition of
the mold has Hydra logos tampographed on the shoulders, so you'll still be able to tell who he works for. The vest comes from that ML4 Captain America figure who pegwarmed because he didn't come with any Hit-Monkey parts, meaning it wasn't designed to fit on this torso - eh, close enough, though. So with three different heads and two choices for chest adornment (we're going to just assume you don't find the bare green chest to be worth displaying) you now have six options for how you want this character to appear. And that's before we even look at his two weapons (a shotgun and a sci-fi rifle with the Hydra logo painted on the removable ammo drum).
Hasbro could have just put two of this same
figure in the package and called it a day - like we said, there are at least six variations for how you want him to look, so it's not like you would be locked in to just having two identical figures in the box or anything. But instead, they created a new kind of Hydra, the Hydra Enforcer. Or Brute. Whichever. (There are four translations of his name, while there are only three for the Soldier, because "Soldado" is the same in both Spanish and Portugese; "Brute," in this case, is the French translation, but it makes good sense in English as well.)
The Enforcer is a big guy, using the parts from Nuke: the tactical vest, the pants, etc. Changing the colors to Hydra's green and yellow really changes the look, leaving no doubt as to which faction he belongs. He too has Hydra logos painted on his shoulders, plus black apps for his grenades and red on the ammo cartridges on his chest.
This figure also gets his choice of three heads. In the package, he's wearing a helmet, but there are also two unmasked:
Nuke donates his (non-robotic) face, while the other was last seen on Drax. The red eyes in the helmet are a little too small to stand out against the black surrounding them, and the five yellow slashes over the top don't make a lot of sense - two big solid lines (like an H) would have worked better. The Nuke head doesn't have a flag painted on the face, but it does get a wicked scar and a blank white eye on the left side. Finally, this is the first time the third head has been done in pink, so even with the painted stubble, it looks very new! And kind of French?
Brute's vest is removable, but
he looks weird without it. If they'd just painted two vertical yellow stripes here, it would have done wonders for him. So you could get six different looks out of this figure, but at that point, the Soldier going harnessless would count as well. Even the Enforcer's weapons are huge! There's the knife that goes with the vest, of course, and the gun Nuke carried, but also a bazooka! All the weapons in the set are the same shade of grey.
This is a neat idea for an armybuilder set, but I didn't plan to get it, because I already had a Hydra trooper. I only ended up getting it because Toys Я Us had it, and it seemed like a good keepsake. Turns out the variety the figures can offer is pretty awesome too.