Friday, June 12, 2015

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" Figures by Hot Toys--A Guest Review!

I have collected and reviewed a few action figures in the past year, but am still a huge noob in this arena.  I really like my Walking Dead Daryl Dixon figure, but he's not very articulated.  My Phicen Seamless figure is the most beautifully articulated doll I have ever owned...but she's not super durable.  I'm still on the hunt for a happy medium in the action figure world: realism, articulation and durability all in one.  I've had my eye on the 1:6 scale figures from Hot Toys for a while--especially the gorgeous redheaded Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow.  Despite my growing curiosity, I've had a hard time getting myself to plunk down the funds necessary to look at one of these Hot Toys figures up close.

As luck would have it, I got an email a few months ago from Gwen, who was hoping to review not just one...and not two...but three Hot Toys figures!  Of course I couldn't resist the wonderful opportunity to get another perspective on the quality of these collectibles.  Gwen is primarily an American Girl collector, but her tastes have wandered into the action figure realm.  It's fun for me to encounter someone who appreciates dolls at such different ends of the spectrum.  I used to assume that doll collectors mostly stayed loyal to one particular brand or type.  On the contrary, I'm frequently impressed by the combination of styles and sizes of doll that people enjoy.  This diversity is yet another one of the amazing things about the doll collecting hobby.  Anyway, Gwen is an absolute delight to work with and has done a fantastic job of reviewing three dolls in one post.  She did such a good job, in fact, that about half way through formatting her review, I broke down and pre-ordered my very own Black Widow figure from Hot Toys.  Finally!  Thank you for helping me make this momentous decision, Gwen.  My Black Widow review will have to wait for fall, but let's not wait another second to have Gwen tell us all about her three handsome men.  Over to you, Gwen!

Hello everyone! I'm Gwen, and while I usually spend my time blogging about American Girl, historic food and my attempts to cook it, I'm here today to talk to you about these action figures from Hot Toys that came out in conjunction with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With the Hot Toys figures for Avengers: Age of Ultron almost all released and available for pre-order, I thought people might be interested in hearing some thoughts about these pricey-but-cool looking figures, and Emily was kind enough to let me take the chance to do so!

The Captain America: The Winter Soldier Captain America and Steve Rogers Set by Hot Toys, $339.99.
My introduction to these figures actually came around the time The Avengers was first in theaters. While my memory of how exactly I stumbled upon them is a little fuzzy, I do think the first one I saw was The Avengers version of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, who looks so much like the actress, it's sometimes hard to tell if you're looking at a picture of the action figure or the real person.

(Emily interrupts: I could not resist the chance to show you another one of my friend Séverine's pictures of her Avengers Black Widow figure--with Loki.  I love this Black Widow doll and I especially love these wonderful pictures of her!)

Photo credit: Severine
These figures also got on my radar because of a Hot Toys prototype of X-Men: First Class' Charles Xavier, who's one of my favorite Marvel characters (just from that specific movie though, other Professor X's are a bit sketchy for my tastes!) was being shown at a toy convention. As much as I admired the Avengers figures, I said I was going to hold out on purchasing one until they made a figure of my favorite character - either that Professor X or a Bucky Barnes - because this was one of those things where I could either get sucked into buying too many, or wouldn't ever be comfortable owning more than one figure because they really are pretty pricey, even for a collectible.

And then Captain America: The Winter Soldier hit the theaters, and I wound up buying three of them. I decided to begin the review with the Captain America/Steve Rogers Sixth Scale Figure Set, and I'll continue the review with my actual first purchase, the Winter Soldier Sixth Scale figure.

But first, I want to give a little background into the ordering process. Unlike a lot of other collectible, toy or doll companies like Tonner, Hot Toys doesn't have their own website to order from. The figures are produced in Hong Kong and sold in the US through secondary retailers. I purchased both of my sets from Sideshow Collectibles, a company I'd done business with once before many years ago with a good reputation as being the people to go to when you're looking for this kind of figure to add to your collection.

Each figure is a limited release, although not so limited that you need to be awake and at your computer the second they get added to the site to make your order. Sideshow allows you to pre-order figures to make sure you've reserved a spot for when they do ship, and I do definitely recommend this if you've really got your heart set on a figure. They do also offer a wait list for people who missed out on pre-orders, but I always feel like if you want something badly enough to plop down $200 on it, might as well try to make the pre-order.

Sideshow also offers payment plans so you don't need to throw down the full price all at once if you don't want to. You can select a few different options for monthly payments depending on what works best for your budget, and Sideshow will send you an email a few days in advance reminding you they're going to charge your account. When one of my orders went on back order, they held off on charging me my last payment until they were sure the figure was going to be shipping soon, and informed me of when the payment date was moved forward to each time they needed to make a change. Steve & Cap retail for $349.99 with shipping from Sideshow, and the Winter Soldier retails for $239.99 with shipping. Both are still available from Sideshow, along with the Hot Toys Falcon and the Hot Toys Captain America Stealth STRIKE Suit figure. One other plus about shopping with Sideshow is that they offer a rewards points system, so each purchase you make can help make future purchases less stressful for your wallet.

Sideshow was very good about updating me on the progress of my order, sending me reminders that payments were due at least a week in advance of when they charged my account, and gave me regular updates when Steve/Cap went on backorder. This was really the only slightly frustrating part of the process. I was told my Winter Soldier (Bucky) figure would be shipped in February and Steve & Cap would be shipped in November. It wound up that Bucky shipped in November and it took Steve & Cap until March to get shipped to my house. I don't know how common this experience is, but keep in mind you might need to wait a little longer than expected if you do opt for a pre-order. On the plus side, they got here very quickly once they did finally ship, and you do have the option to cancel your order. There's a nonrefundable down payment - I'm fairly certain it was about thirty dollars for each set I ordered - but otherwise, you can back out at any time if you start having second thoughts.

The figures came in a plain brown box that clearly stated who and what was waiting on the inside:

If you have people in your neighborhood who might judge you for ordering a large toy or who might make off with your Age of Ultron Hawkeye, I'd recommend shipping to an address you know will be safe from judgment and less scrupulous Marvel fans.

After slicing open the shipping box, I discovered the figures had been shipped literally just in their display boxes with no other padding or insulation except for a plastic bag over the top of it. While that's definitely good for the environment, again I worried that I might be opening up a box filled with pieces of action figure instead of two complete ones!

I was a little worried because I noticed a bit of a hole had been torn out of the brown box, but the box with my figures was unscathed.

My Cap box has a cool promo picture of both of the figures on it, with Steve holding the shield defensively in front of his face, while Cap stands behind him with the shield on his back looking ready for action. It also lists the movie title/logo, and has the name of both figures printed in glossy, overlayed text on the side.

The box was not taped shut, and the top just lifted off the bottom to reveal...

More promo art! Now with Steve and Cap both looking like they're in the middle of fighting something.  This is a piece of card stock that can be easily lifted out to finally get you to...

Your very securely packaged action figures, safe in their packaging!

There are three layers of plastic packaging. Pulling the first one off gives you the tray with your figures and their accessories:

And the next tray has the stands and shields, one for each figure.

Here's everything that came in the box:

(For the sake of clarity and sanity, I'll be referring to the figure in the full costume as Cap and the figure in street clothes as Steve.)

Neither figure is designed to have their clothes removed, so showing off the joints and flexibility is a little difficult. Here's Steve in a fairly compromising position to show off his torso joint:

They are flexible, though. Steve is a lot easier to move around naturally than Cap is. Cap's suit is too tight for him to do much in it. This is as far as I could make him go in a split:

Meanwhile Steve can sit on the floor with his legs outstretched, kneel with a bit of back bending without support, and in theory would sit well in a chair, if I had any properly sized chairs for him to sit in:

He did, however, also have a hard time doing a split:

Both Steve and Captain America stand at about a foot tall. Here, you can see Cap standing with Monster High Scarah Screams, Disney Store John Smith and American Girl Molly McIntire:

From left: Monster High, Hot Toys, Disney, American Girl.
And here with DC Direct Deluxe 1:6 Scale Nightwing, DC Direct's 1:6 Scale Rorschach, Medicom Toy's 1:6 Scale Mutt Williams and Playmate's 12 inch Dr. McCoy from the 2009 Star Trek Film:

From left: Nightwing, Rorschach, Steve Rogers, Mutt Williams, Dr. McCoy.
Of these, Mutt is the only one whose original price is really comparable to Steve and Cap, but both Nightwing and Rorschach retailed for over a hundred dollars back when they were first available, and were easily some of my most expensive action figures.

I was really interested to compare Steve's face to my other comic book & movie figures. This is definitely what attracted me most to the figures produced by Hot Toys. Some of them look so real, it's spooky!

Fortunately, neither Steve nor Cap look spooky to me. They both look a lot like Chris Evans, and are obviously representing the same character, even with Cap's helmet blocking most of his facial features. My only complaint is that Steve's hair is a little dark, even for how dark Chris Evans' hair was in the film.

Up close, it's pretty incredible how obviously superior both Steve and Mutt are to the other figures, which makes sense because of their higher price tags:

I think Steve's face looks a little more like Chris Evans than Mutt looks like Shia LaBeouf (something about the frown lines around Mutt's mouth make him look too old to me), but it's a pretty close thing.

That said, Mutt's neck joint makes him look a little less natural and Steve's skin seems a little more realistic, but otherwise, they look pretty great next to each other.

The height difference is a little too extreme, though. Chris Evans is only about three inches taller than Shia LaBeouf, and Mutt looks a little more like a teenager

What was really kind of shocking to me is comparing how cartoonish Nightwing looks compared to them:

His face paint is very matte, with no real realistic variations in skin tone, and his eyes look a little lifeless. I've never really looked at him and thought wow, you look cheap before, but this little headshot, I'm feeling it especially badly. I'm very fond of the character, so it's not like I regret buying him, but it is pretty shocking to me just how badly he stands up, especially because Steve is really only about thirty or forty dollars more expensive than he was.

Rorschach is another disappointment in this sense:

While his face paint is a little better than Nightwing's, he really doesn't look like Jackie Earle Haley the same way Steve looks like Chris Evans. And while his costume has a lot of great attention to detail, he also seems to be having a bit of a scale issue, because without his mask on, his trench coat totally swamps him. The character's supposed to be short, but I don't think he's supposed to look like he's a little kid borrowing his dad's jacket!

The one thing Rorschach has that neither Steve nor Cap have is the ability to take off most of his clothes. I'm not sure why you'd want to (except to remove his blazer jacket to try and make the trench coat look less bulky, which is why I know his clothes are removable), especially because there's nothing else for him to really change into, but it's still something I think is interesting.

Another thing that has always surprised me about my approximately 1:6 scale movie figures is how well this Dr. McCoy holds up to the more expensive figures in terms of looking like Karl Urban:

His face paint is no where near as detailed, but his clothes are well made and movie accurate, and his face sculpt definitely looks more like the actor than Rorschach does. This is especially surprising to me because my Kirk from the same line looks nothing at all like Chris Pine.

Just for fun, I decided to try testing their posing ability. 

My sister used to like to test all the joints of my action figures after I pulled them out of their packaging, so I'd often find them in my room looking like this:

Unsurprisingly, McCoy has the worst articulation of the four, but since he's a playline figure and originally probably retailed for only slightly more than your average Barbie, I'm not super heartbroken. Steve and Mutt's movements felt and looked the most natural, and Nightwing? For a character who's supposed to be an acrobat, his joints were creaky, difficult to hold in place, and also stretch the spandex fabric making up 95% of his outfit, which has always made me reluctant to actually do much with him posing wise in fear he'll blow out a knee or elbow on his suit. Admittedly, he's on the older side, so it's possible he just hasn't aged well, but I remember him being kind of creaky and difficult to pose right out of the box, too, so I guess he's just not made very well. Bummer!

Now, let's take a closer look at the clothes.

Again, neither figure's clothes are designed to be removed. Cap's uniform feels like thick workout material and fake leather. The website and box don't specify what it's made out of, but it's pretty thick and sturdy feeling, very unlike Nightwing's uniform. This is Captain America's stealth STRIKE suit he wears at the beginning of the film, and was inspired by the uniform the comic character wore while head of SHIELD. The helmet isn't removable.  He's also wearing a harness on his back to carry the shield, and a utility belt.

One shoulder has a SHIELD logo and the other has an American flag:

There's a black plastic hook that slides under the harness which can hold the shield on his back. We'll see how Steve can hold his shield in a little while.

The stealth shield looks nothing like the shield used in the movie, and this kind of disappointed me. I get that this is a decision a lot of toy lines make to help distinguish between their figures and their props, but I like my movie accuracy! And the classic red, white and blue colors are definitely iconic.

Both Steve and Cap have removable hands with ball socket joints in their wrists. The hands are made out of a slightly flexible/squishy plastic and are surprisingly detailed, with little spots of color and lots of shading to try and make them look more realistic. In theory, switching out the hands should be easy - gently tug off one and snap the other into place while trying to keep the joint still.

In practice? This didn't actually work out so well. A few of the hands just flat out refused to snap on, and I think it might be a defect in the design. The holes are too small to fit the joint back on, which makes it really, really difficult to get them to actually get on and stay on. This was really disappointing to discover considering how expensive the figures are. I'd expect this kind of thing from a cheaply made play line toy, not so much from a really expensive collectible.

A few of the hands are specially designed to be able to hold some of the props. The most obvious one is the shield. Both shields have harnesses on the back of them with two workable clasps.

You take one of the half closed fist hands and gently work the belt of the harness in between the fingers and thumb.

You can then click the harness in place and reattach the hand to the figure's arm before closing the other harness around the figure's arm, and you've got him holding the shield!

Again, Steve's "battle damaged" shield doesn't really look much like the movie version of the shield, but at least the colors are a little more true to the film.

Both shields are made out of pretty sturdy metal, and are heavy enough that the figures can have a difficult time holding them and standing up from certain angles. I'd recommend being careful if you're leaving them anywhere unstable. I'd also recommend care in handling the snaps on the harnesses, because they didn't feel like they were made of very sturdy plastic.

Steve is wearing the same outfit he wears in the fight on the highway and street with the Winter Soldier: a white t-shirt, blue jacket, jeans, belt and shoes. The jacket is made of a material that feels like it's going to be prone to attracting dust and cat fur, but everything lays really nicely and feels like decent quality material. The seams are finished and everything looks like it actually fits him, unlike Rorschach's bulky clothes.

Steve and Cap didn't come with too many other extras, which makes sense. Cap tends to use his shield and his fists pretty exclusively in the modern movies, so adding in a couple guns or knives doesn't make much sense. They do, however, come with the magnetic handcuff from the fight in the elevator and an extra Captain America helment, which cannot and should not be shoved over the unmasked figure's head.

Let's take a look at Hot Toys' Winter Soldier figure.

Unlike Steve and Cap's box, Bucky's has a stock image of the actor, not the action figure. I don't love this stock photo - actually, I didn't love most of the stock and promotional images from this movie, despite loving the movie itself. I also like matching, so I don't love that the boxes have different promo art. Oh well!

The packaging is more or less the same from here on out. Strangely enough, the promo art on the cardboard covering the packaging is of the action figure.

Here's everything that came in the box with Bucky:

The figure comes with two different heads. The first one is of the Winter Soldier's unmasked face.

While the figure does look a lot like Sebastian Stan, I didn't love the decision to make his maskless face sculpt featuring the "camouflage sniper warpaint" because the character never actually appears in the movie without the mask and the eye paint. He does in the trailers, but that scene was evidently cut from final production, and this means he doesn't quite look right for most of his scenes sans mask in the movie.

Something about it also just seems to mask the similarities to the actor to me? I don't know, I definitely think he looks like Sebastian Stan, but not as much as Steve looks like Chris Evans, with or without his Cap mask.

Both Bucky and Steve have removable heads. Their joints are pretty different, but I wasn't interested in swapping Steve's heads around, especially after my experience with wrestling Bucky's on and off.

Each set came with a booklet with written instructions and visual aids to help you through some of the trickier features of the figures. Here's Bucky's:

One thing it makes sure to point out is that you shouldn't handle the faces too much because it can damage the paint. Each figure is hand painted, and while I assume the paint's been sealed, too much oil from your hands definitely isn't good for it.

This made the next step in the process a bit difficult.

The head came off pretty easily, revealing the neck joint:

Steve's is much different, as his head isn't on a ball socket like this.

In theory, the other head should snap right back in place, but mine? Really did not. After wrestling with it for a good twenty minutes (this is not an exaggeration), I gave up, worrying I was either destroying the paint or would snap the neck joint by accident. This was super disappointing, because as I said, I don't actually like the default head sculpt as much as I like the one with the mask. I'm not sure if I just had bad luck with both Steve's hands and Bucky's head, or if this is a sign that the figures have issues with things like this on a broader scale, but either way, it's frustrating.

Here's the other head sculpt:

Note that it's basically resting strategically on the figure's neck joint, not actually snapped in place for all of the pictures with the masked face.

(Emily interrupts again: I've heard you can heat up the hands/heads on these figures with hot water or a blow dryer to make swapping easier...but I wonder if that would put the paint at risk? Definitely sounds frustrating).

One very cool feature of this figure is the extra customizable element to the masked face sculpt. In the film, the Winter Soldier wears goggles that further mask his identity until Black Widow manages to shoot him in the eye and shatter them. While the masked head doesn't come with the goggles attached, there are grooves hidden under the figure's hair that will let them snap in place.
All you need to do is remove his hair!

The hair is held in place by a magnet. It stays on very securely when you're not touching it, but pops right off when you pull at it.

There are grooves in the side of his face at the temples, which the goggles snap right into, and the hair goes right back on over that. The goggles are a little flimsy feeling, so I'd recommend being careful in applying them.

The maskless head doesn't have the grooves to hold the goggles in place, and the hair doesn't come off, so don't try it!

Here's the complete look:

Like Cap, Bucky's uniform is made primarily of padded fake leather and is not designed to be removed. Unsurprisingly, he also has a lot more weapons and little accessories, most of which have holsters or sheathes to be tucked away in.

The detailing on his metal arm is very realistic, and like his face, you're advised to be careful in how you handle it so you don't damage the paint.

Bucky's uniform is a lot more confining than Steve's, which makes him much harder to pose, sit down, kneel or do splits. Because of the bulkiness of his vest, there's also a large gap between his torso and left arm, which seems particularly bad in certain spots.

Like Steve and Cap, he comes with hands that are capable of holding all of his various accessories.

There was one more quality control issue here. Although Bucky's smaller sidearms are held in place on his hip and thigh by sturdy plastic grips, seen here:

His larger sidearm is held in place by much flimsier grips. I was worried about these as soon as I took him out of the box, and it turned out I had good reason to.

While taking pictures for this review, I must have accidentally snapped one of them off. The bottom grip was wobbly and could be bent back and forth to accommodate and hold the handgun, and finally just broke off. Here's what it should look like:

And here's the piece that snapped off:

Without it, the handgun won't stay in place, and I'm not sure how best to fix it. It's such a tiny spot to repair that I worry I'll do more harm than good trying to put it back together with glue, and I know it's just a cosmetic detail, but again, it's frustrating to have quality issues with a figure that cost this much money.

One other thing was he comes with two little hand grenades, and one won't fit into the pouch that's designed to hold them. It looks like it was sewed too tightly, and part of me wonders why they bothered making these removable instead of just including them as a permanent part of the costume. The guns and knives being removable makes sense, but he can't really hold the grenades and it just seems sort of... useless?

Here are all three figures together.

Now, we all know that promotional art of figures, dolls (and basically anything else) rarely reflect reality, even if the reality works out to be pretty darn good. In the promo art available on Hot Toys' website and Sideshow's, these figures are shown in poses that make them look like they can hold easy, natural poses just like a real person, some of which look like they're from right out of the movie. While these figures move smoothly and are quite flexible, they're definitely not as easy to pose as their promo photos look.

In fact, apart from this look of surprise at seeing his best friend back from the dead:

The best I could do without one of them falling over was having them glare menacingly at each other.

This is as close as I could get to the iconic shot of the Winter Soldier punching Cap's shield:

In fact, the most dynamic, realistic pose I was able to get them into was Steve hugging Bucky, with Bucky looking a little confused about why his target is apparently crying on his shoulder:

While this doesn't disappoint me because most of my action figures and dolls just sit or stand on my shelves even when they are capable of holding impressive poses, I could definitely see this as being a bit of a let down to a fan who was hoping to get a figure who could recreate scenes from the movie on their desk or shelves after seeing the impressive promo pics showing the figures holding their weight in impressive action shots.

Overall? I really enjoy these figures and I'm glad to have them in my collection, but I am a little disappointed with some of the quality issues I experienced. While admittedly, no toy or action figure or doll is absolutely perfect, I would have been able to forgive the issues I had with swapping out hands and heads if these figures didn't cost a lot of money. They're easily some of the most expensive pieces I have in my collection, and I feel like knowing there's some quality control issues with them would make me very hesitant to buy more of them down the line. I think I was most disappointed in my Winter Soldier figure because my hopes were pretty high - Bucky is and has been my favorite character in the greater Marvel universe for a very long time, and it was frustrating that the figure had some issues that make it difficult to enjoy him the same way I would have if his second head had been able to fit on his neck.

But, considering I really only ever wanted one or two of these to begin with, I don't think that's a problem, and if these issues wouldn't bother you, I would highly encourage purchasing one or more of your own! These are far and away the best designed and most detailed representations of these characters available, so if you're a big fan of the franchise or the character, they'll be great additions to your collection. Just don't expect to be able to perfectly reenact the movie with them!

What came as a slight surprise to me was how much I love the Steve figure in his street clothes. I was originally attracted to this double set because I liked the idea of the characters being able to reenact the scene from the film where Steve first really meets the Winter Soldier face to face for more than two seconds, and because the Stealth Suit is likely to be a Winter Soldier film exclusive if set pictures from Civil War and future plans for the character hold true. Now that I've got all three figures in front of me and have spent a while getting to know them, I think he's the best one of the three - he's the most movie accurate in terms of clothing and face paint, he has the most flexibility and the least amount of issues with quality. While the set with the two figures was more expensive, I'm glad I opted to get the one with him in it instead of purchasing Captain America separately!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Emily! I hope this review comes in handy for anyone considering picking one of these cool figures up for themselves!


  1. The heads on Hot Toys' figures are such works of art, so I loved seeing these three figures in detail. The close-up photos of the faces here are fantastic!

    It's a shame about the quality control issues though - I only have one Hot Toys figure (Wolverine from the non-X-men release), and while I'm always tempted to pick up another, the same kind of issue has scared me off of it. That said, my figure was easier to pose than these ones seem to be (probably only because his outfit was designed to come off though), but I had similar issues with the pegs on some the option parts fitting properly. And that just seems like something that you shouldn't have to worry about at this price point.

    Still, they're gorgeous on display, aren't they? Thanks for sharing them, Gwen and Emily!

  2. Oh, I'm glad to see this review!! While I primarily collect dolls I love these characters and have been going back and forth over getting these for a long time. I'm kind of still disappointed with the Bucky, I don't think the sculpt really looks like Sebastian Stan at all except vaguely. His face is just...too long? Maybe? It's hard to pinpoint. Also I don't get the choice to make some of the costume dark brown. I'm pretty sure it was all just black in the movie??? Alas. I'm still not sure if I'll make the plunge but this definitely answered some questions I've had, so thank you Gwen and thanks Emily for inviting her to your excellent blog <3

  3. As soon as I saw the words "Shia Lebouf," I broke out into this song:

  4. Hey Emily it's Angel from Flickr.

    I love Marvel/comics so l was happy to see this review but l feel l should point a few things out.

    In the pic of Black Widow that's HT Avengers Loki not Thor.

    Heat will not harm the paint. Wrap the masked sculpt lightly with a towel or cloth and apply heat from a dryer in the direction of the neck whole. It will loosen the hole and it should go on. That's how l got my masked sculpt on and it's a common problem with HT Winter Soldier.

    If your guest reviewer's Bucky is that faulty she should send him back to Sideshow and get a new one. I bought 2 Buckys because he is my fave Marvel character and because l wanted to display both headsculpts and neither had problems with the grenades fitting or handgun brackets falling off. These figures are too expensive to settle for one with problems.

    These figures can be undressed but it's a pain. I don’t recommend it unless you are prepared to ruin some of the clothing on certain onrs. I bought a Winter Soldier body set to have a 3rd Bucky in 'civilian' clothes and he was badly stained from the black padding. On the plus side he's way more posable and the body is really nice.

    I agree that the sculpt isn't dead on to Sebastian Stan but l am ok with that as l would prefer for him to be more recognizable as the character than the actor and he is.. :)

    Lastly l still have that Sister pack Howleen, she is one of my fave MH dolls!

    Looking forward to your Black Widow review!

  5. My 1/6 girls would love to have a Steve Rogers or Thor come to live at our house. Or even a Loki. Too bad they can't earn money.

  6. Great review! I can't get over the faces of these Hot Toys. I checked out the website and am drooling over Hans Solo...they are just SO COOL. Pricey, but they look devine to photograph. :)

  7. Cool! I loved the winter soldier, and really want those action figures, but I don't think my wallet would survive that purchase! And speaking of action figures, have you ever heard of a line of action figures called S.H Figuarts? They are highly articulated and come with interchangeable faces and hands too. They are a lot more affordable, but they usually only make anime characters. I think you would like them, but they are kind on the small side.

  8. Yup, that's Loki with Black Widow up there, and heating their peg holes for a minute with hairdryer is always recommended to make popping them in/out easier(cover it with towel if you're worried the paint might get damaged). Hot Toys are known to be unable to paint blond hair, they always ended up dark blond or almost brown.

    Anyway, SHFiguarts, Play Arts Kai & Figmas are action figures with excellent articulation but it's because they have molded outfits. They also made anime action figures exclusively, although Play Arts Kai made some cool anime interpretations of western characters too, their scale are around 1:12(SHFiguarts & Figmas) to 1:8(Play Arts Kai) if I'm not mistaken.

    Figmas have their chibi counterpart in Nendoroids, they're the size of Sylvanian Families so 1:16 scale? But seldom has articulation, they just have interchangable body parts. Nendos with articulations(elbows & knees mostly) got "edition" in their names. Sorry for the long post.

  9. Interesting review! I am not an action figure collector but it is fascinating to see these figures. The faces are amazingly detailed.

    I will also recommend looking into SHFiguarts. Check out Bigkidjohn's reviews on YouTube. He has a number of these figures and they are pretty spectacular.

  10. Yay for doll collecting comic book fans! I NEED the Scarlet Witch figure almost more than life, but my dad won't let me get any more expensive dolls, even with my own money. *cries in corner*

  11. Wow, a Hot Toys review, I love it :D
    I'm still trying to convince my best friend to buy Bucky cause she's a massive Sebastian Stan fan. And then her Bucky could play with my guys and girls :)
    I also had a bit of a problem with my Thor's arm pegs, but it's getting better and better with the time....but his hair is also too dark, that's true.
    But I'm still amazed by the perfect faces. Every mole, every little mole.

    Oh, just a little sidenote: it's not Thor with my Black Widow, it's Loki :)

    And after this review I def. pre-oder the Scarlet Witch...two new HT girls, wohoo :D

  12. Hot Toys are my latest obsession, so I was very excited to see a review. Very nice review too (though Emily, you called Loki Thor in that pic you added :P ). The only other thing I'm going to mention is that stealth Cap's shield IS accurate to the movie. In the beginning of the movie, his shield is is in 'stealth mode' and is purposefully colored blue and silver (As seen in the movie's promotional poster: ). Also, heres a poster showing his official battle damaged shield:

    So though they may not look shiny and new, they are authentic to what is seen in the movie. Other than that, great review!


    1. Love that someone else posted what I was thinking!

      My daughter has Loki. We love Loki. (She also has a life size cardboard stand up someone got her for Christmas which you should know before you walk in her house and have a mild coronary).

  13. Thank you. I enjoyed the review of the action figures.

  14. Emily- there is a new line of Monster High dolls called Freak du Chic. One of the dolls, Gooliope Jellington, is 17 inches tall! She has double jointed knees and elbows, with torso and upper arm articulation as well! I think you would very much enjoy the double jointed knees and elbows, as with Liv dolls. :)


  15. Hi Emily! Looking at this review made me think about another blogger who reviews figures: never outgrew toys.
    She primarily reviews figma figures but I think they offer an interesting contrast to these hot toy figures. Figma are articulated but not in the fashion of a doll, they have articulation that seems to be intended to make them poseable in a very lifelike way. They are also comparable in price. You should look into them :)

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  17. Hey, really enjoyed this post. Ironically I stumbled over it while doing a Google Search for "what to do if your Hot Toys Original Thor Movie head will not fit the neck" - something like that! The Winter Soldier is awesome. In fact, I'm now thinking of getting one based on your review. And your juxtaposition of the Nightwing head sculpt and paint job vs Cap's - genius. Really, the Hot Toys statues are about a hundred dollars more than these DC collectibles but are on another planet for head sculpts. Hot Toys make great head sculpts, I agree, but like many here, I find the QC issues to be annoying/disappointing for the price you pay. My original Thor's neck is too long and the head ball joint will not sit in it because the material of the neck is too thick - this creates the illusion that his head sits too high. And very very disappointing work on the hands too. Mjolnir's weight is solid but it actually pulls some of the suppled hand poses out of the socket. So I often end up with a "decapitated" and "handless" Thor, like some kind of Asgardian zombie! Caveat emptor.