Here in Japan the theatrical release of Age of Ultron was several months behind other markets, but Bandai was relentless in its tie-in figure announcements nonetheless. I was fairly impressed by the promotional pictures of most of the figures and impulsively ordered them.
The box is of the usual SH Figuarts style, but with relatively less Japanese text.
Apart from the usual blister tray, a promotional pamphlet was included for the Tamashii Exclusive Hulkbuster.
Inside is a picture of the staple four Avengers members.
Package contents: an extra shouting face, an extra set of eye parts, shield, handle adapter and extra handles, and four extra pairs of hands.
Overall views. As is typical of the line, Captain America has a small head, but he also has a barrel chest and small waist. The paint job is fairly complex, but it isn’t very well-applied. There is no die-cast used on this figure.
While I wouldn’t say it has a complete likeness to Chris Evans, it definitely looks better than the figma version. You can see the botched paint on the forehead A logo and the chin strap.
To change the direction of the eyes, you have to remove the head and disassemble the helmet. The eye parts contain the ball joint cups.
You can make Cap look to the left and right.
The shouting face is quite detailed with details like the teeth and inside of the mouth sculpted.
The paint on the chest emblem is a bit messed up.
However the sculpt is detailed and even attempts to replicate the material of the harness.
The Avengers logo is printed on the shoulder pads. The paint job is a little rough around here too, especially the magnet things on the forearms.
On the other hand the waist is a bit gappy but on the bright side, no soft plastic parts are used on the figure.
The utility belt is also quite detailed.
Somehow the paint around the legs isn’t as messed up.
The shield is 100% plastic and the underside is molded in the AoU style without the leather straps.
On the back, you can remove a tiny cover piece to mount the shield.
To do so you have to switch out one of the handles. The replacement handle has both a peg for mounting on the back of the figure, and a hole which allows you to plug a stand.
To wield the shield, you switch the figure’s hands to one that has the handle molded together, then plug the shield and the other forearm handle.
To simulate Cap throwing his shield, you use a clear support piece which mounts onto an L-shaped peg on the palm.
Cap has a unique joint in his chest which allows you to swing his chest forward and back, eliminating much of the gap between his chest and waist in the neutral position when viewed from the front. There is quite a fair amount of forward/backward range at the expense of some gaps especially at the waist.
The base of his neck is movable and there is a double-ended ball joint at the top but it doesn’t afford much upwards range. When you tilt his chest back, gaps begin to show.
The shoulder pads are hinged and cleverly line up flush against the upper arms to create a seamless silhouette down the shoulders. The waist can rotate a bit but the limited range is somewhat complemented by the chest joint.
The shoulder joints can swing forward like so.
The hip joints can extend downwards.
The ankles have a broad range of motion without breaking up the sculpt too much.
Winter Soldier is probably my favourite Marvel movie so far.
Some people might not have liked the more light-hearted, kid-friendly tone of the Avengers movies.
It might have been too much to ask for a non-helmeted head sculpt, but even then at this scale the face already looks much better than the figma version.
Too badass to use a parachute.
Bandai sure has come a long way from the horrendous face sculpts in some of its older figures.
Unfortunately I can’t get him to crouch as low as the movies and practically hide his entire body behind his shield.
Getting ready to throw his shield. The shoulder joints aren’t stiff enough to maintain this pose for long though.
Charging with his shield.
The generous amount of extra hands and wide range of articulation make this one of the better figures, almost on the level of Bandai’s Iron Man releases. However this particular one is marred by its botched paint job and if one may nitpick, the compromises in sculpt around the torso. I think it’s a great figure overall though, and though it’d probably be far-fetched I really hope Bandai would churn out more characters like how Hot Toys does.