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Captain America & Peggy Carter

Captain America
by yo go re

The Marvel Studios: The First 10 Years line was enough of a success for Hasbro that they're keeping its spirit (aka "charging 25% more for a figure without a BAF part") alive in both the "Marvel 80 Years" line, and with a series of MCU two-packs.

Driven to help out his country during World War II, Steve Rogers enlists in the military as part of Project Rebirth. After he impresses the scientist in charge of the project, Steve is injected with Super Soldier Serum, increasing his strength and physique. He becomes the patriotic hero Captain America, fighting for freedom throughout the world.

There have been no shortage of movie Captains America (trust me: I had to dig all eight of them out in order to make sure this was really a new sculpt), but this one is different. Not even the 4" line for the first movie created a "rescue" Captain America - for that, you'd have to go to the Minimates, which are always ahead of the curve. To make the outfit Steve wore to go rescue Hydra's POWs requires new molds (though many of them will immediately get reused for a different WWII Captain America). This is basically normal military garb worn over his USO costume, which raises the question of why he continued wearing the costume under it at all. Other than for our benefit.

The figure includes two nearly identical heads, both with fairly good Chris Evans likenesses. The hair on one is minorly puffier than on the other, which is all that sets them apart. Why would they do this? Well, because the "flatter" head is designed to work with the removable blue hemlet, but again: to what end? Other than the opportunity to put this helmet on the other figure in the set, why is this better than just making it permanently attached, like so many other helmets?

Cap's articulation is mostly the usual Marvel Legends stuff, but the chest is a balljoint instead of a hinge. Maybe that's so it's more moveable beneath the webgear? His accessories include a pistol and a knife, the aforementioned helmet, and two shields: the triangular one he used in the USO show , and the bare silver prototype Howard Stark made using the world's entire supply of Vibranium. Technically there shouldn't be a sculpted star in the center of it, but that's a minor quibble for a reused mold used to create an accessory we haven't had before, not even with the Minimates. And speaking of things Minimates have done...

A British agent with the Strategic Scientific Reserve, Peggy Carter is a capable soldier and strategist. She is part of Project Rebirth, which developed the Super Soldier Serum that was injected into Steve Rogers. When Project Rebirth ends, Peggy continues to assist Steve as he becomes the world's first superhero, Captain America.

In case there were any question that Marvel Legends is one of the greatest toylines of all time, here we have a fully fledged action figure of Peggy Carter. Companies can barely ever manage to make Lois Lane, easily the most famous girlfriend in comics, and yet we have, as Monkey Boy put it, "Hasbro gambling on 'lady in a 1940s pencil skirt' as an exciting toy design." Of course, it helps that Peggy was a stone badasss, ready to stand in the path of a speeding car to calmly shoot the driver. Yes, the world of The First Avenger is more egalitarian than the real world (which is why Cap doesn't bat an eye at integrated troopers), but you know you'd have to be better than the best of the best to get any respect as a woman in the '40s.

The Minimate is the only Hayley Atwell toy there's been before now, so this is already the best likeness she's ever had. The wavy hairstyle is straight from the film, and the Photo Real paint gives her a steely look that's perfect for her. No alternate head here, because she didn't get to wear a hat until the Agent Carter show, and that would require a different dress - though we wouldn't mind Hasbro making that one, either!

There's a Tommy gun in the tray next to Captain America, but he's already got enough accessories, so why not let Peggy use it instead? She moves at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, (balljointed) waist, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. The hips are pretty much blocked off by the skirt, but the rest is usable. Someone was really paying attention when it came time to design the deco, because her legs are a slightly different color than her hands and face - she's wearing stockings! And more than that, they even remembered to paint the seams down the backs of her legs! Superb!

This set is an Amazon exclusive, and with two entirely new, unique figures, it's a great one! Forget Tony Stark, Captain America and Peggy Carter are the heart of the MCU, so getting them together is just right.

-- 08/19/19

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