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Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
by yo go re

If the groundhog sees his shadow, does that mean this guy gets six more weeks of soldiering?

A mysterious shadow from Steve Rogers' past returns to haunt his present. Only time will tell if the Winter Soldier is friend or foe!

We're just over a week from the release of Captain America 2: Winter Soldier Boogaloo, and you have to give the advertising campaign credit. As comic fans, we all know who the Winter Soldier is and what his story is going to be, but the trailers have gone out of their way to not spoil it for the normal audiences out there. I mean, we can all tell that Robert Redford is clearly the one controlling him (that whole "your work has been a gift to mankind," line is totally being delivered to Winter Soldier, not Cap), but as far as the central reveal? No hints. Good job, filmmakers! Way to show a rare moment of restraint from a series of trailers that's already showed every other goddamn thing.

Like Black Widow, Winter Soldier comes with two heads, although neither of his are based on his appearance in Avengers (mainly because he didn't appear in Avengers). The one he's wearing in the package has a full mask and goggles, because apparently the costume department got a good deal on Spider-Man 3 leftovers. His second head is unmasked, revealing Winter Soldier's Rocket Raccoon cosplay. Okay, not really, but he does have some kind of black paint smeared under his eyes. We'll have to find out what that's about when the movie opens.

Winter Soldier's movie costume is really impressive. So impressive that it retroactively makes me happy I didn't get the "Commie" version of the two-pack figure, because this is a better version of it. He's wearing a brown leather jacket that has a bunch of buttons running down the chest, and the detail on his metal arm is really impressive. There's stitching sculpted around the seams, four sniper bullets on his forearm, and a separate harness around his chest. He has a utility belt with a (non-removeable) knife sheathed on the back, and a pad hanging down against his right thigh. His pants have an amazingly intricate texture, he's got kneepads, and large, chunky boots. This is unmistakably a soldier, not a superhero.

And he has all the articulation you want from Marvel Legends, too: head, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, torso, waist, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. The neck hinge is pretty stiff, so every time I move it, his head ends up popping off - good thing it's a balljoint and it's meant to work that way. Also, the ankles are sculpted with a "lip" in the front that prevents the feet from flexing forward at all; that's just poor design, and should have been noticed before the tooling stage.

Plus, he only gets one accessory: a gun. But not a good gun, a red repaint of the Hydra Agent's long pointy rifle. Not a sniper rifle, not an assault rifle, not the mine launcher he uses in the trailer, not the knife he does that cool flippy trick with... no. A red repaint of the Hydra Agent's long pointy rifle. Well, gee, "thanks."

He does also have a piece of the Mandroid Build-A-Figure: the left leg. It's big and silver and the same sculpt as Iron Monger's leg. That's all I have to say about that.

Winter Soldier is getting really positive reviews from the folks who have seen it already. But even if it turns out to be the first disappointment in Marvel's current unprecedented streak of seven straight hits [they've released eight movies; you forgot Incredible Hulk, didn't you? --ed.], this is a great Winter Soldier toy, and close enough to the comics to fit into that sort of collection, too.

-- 03/24/14


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