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Col. Stars & Stripes

Kick-Ass 2
by yo go re

If this guy was wearing all white (and was 100% racist), they could have called him "Stars and Bars" instead.

K.A. inspires a new wave of masked crusaders who band together to fight as Justice Forever. Just as they start to make a difference on the streets, the world's first super villain, the MF'er assembles his own evil league and puts a plan in motion to take his revenge on K.A. and Hit Girl.

Yes, it really does say "KA" and not "Kick-Ass," even though that's his name and the name of the movie. Hey, if you want to be sold in polite company, you willingly censor yourself. Anyway, the same text is on the back of all the packages - we just haven't reviewed any of the figures yet, so this seemed like a fine time to share it with you.

The movie's "Colonel Stars & Stripes" is an amalgam of two characters in the comics, Col. Stars and Lt. Stripes; there wasn't really much advantage to having them be two separate people in the book, so combining them (and their supranyms) was an acceptable choice. He's that universe's version of a "patriotic" superhero, so his costume is just camouflage pants and jacket, thick MMA gloves, and army boots. He has small American flags on his shoulders and gloves, an eagle belt buckle, and his shoelaces tied around his ankles. His clothes have a lot of wrinkles and folds, but there are still sculpted pockets on his chest and legs. There are even small, unpainted stars sculpted on his gloves and a blue asthma inhaler his his leg pouch, small details that would have been easy to miss or ignore.

There's a variant of this figure available: one has his hood up covering his head, while the other has his hood laying down against his back. Personally, I like the unhooded version better - the hood "hangs" in a rather goofy way, and it makes his head look to big for his scrawny body. Once it became apparent that Toys Я Us was probably never going to shelve Series 2 of the toys, I resigned myself to ordering online. Amazon had listings for both the hooded and unhooded versions, but there was also a listing that didn't specify which version you got, and it was cheaper, so I took my chances. Well, hood-up is what I got, but it's easy enough to pry that piece off the neck to at least simulate the look I prefer.

Col. Stars & Stripes was played by Jim Carrey in his third comicbook role. There was a bit of a controvery when Carrey officially withdrew his support for the movie before it opened (though the more cynical among you may point out that his declaration only had the effect of drawing more attention to the film). That didn't affect this toy, obviously, because it's got its Jim Carrey likeness front and center; you can recognize him even under the makeup used to make him look like a haggard old man.

The figure moves at the ankles, boots, knees, thighs/hips, waist, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck. The head is pretty much immobile with the hood up, as if you needed another reason to think that version was better.

The Colonel only comes with one accessory, his beatin' stick. Nicknamed "Betsy Ross," it's a modified axe handle, with stars on a blue field painted at one end and alternating stripes of red and white tape at the other. In the middle is painted a scroll with the slogan "these colors don't run" on both sides (though, judging by NECA's own prop replica, one side should read "hey ho, let's go"). It's about 2¾" long, and fits in his right hand well. The tip has three more rank stars, while the butt has an eagle. Betsy is another change made from the comics: there, Col. Stars just used a normal basebal bat.

Just because there's only one accessory, that doesn't mean it's the only thing in the packaging. We also get his sidekick, Eisenhower. Eisenhower is a German Shepherd. In the comics she was just named Sophia, and more a green mask like her master's; the film improved that, giving her a camo vest and a very cute "American flag" mask. The dog has two balljoints in her neck, and a hinged jaw. Honestly, Eisenhower is most of the reason I was interested in this set at all: getting a NECA-made animal is always neat! Eisenhower can hang out with the zombie dog, Ezio's spirit animal, and the posessed deer head. Still wish I had the Harry Potter animals, though.

Colonel Stars & Stripes isn't quite as much fun as the first film's Big Daddy, but it's not like we're going to be getting a figure of him anytime soon. This one is well-made, and has good pack-ins, but if you've got the choice, get the unhooded version.

-- 03/22/14


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