I started off my Captain America Marvel Legends 2014 reviews last week with Baron Zemo, Captain America’s greatest enemy (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). But Zemo isn’t the only major Captain America villain in this assortment–Cap’s other greatest enemy also got a brand-new Marvel Legends figure to kick off the new year. But while Red Skull is about as popular and recognizable as Captain America villains come, the Captain America Marvel Legends Red Skull figure definitely has its share of shortcomings…
Though it’s been years since the last Marvel Legends Red Skull 6″ figure was released, I feel like the previously-released Red Skulls still hold up today, rendering it unnecessary to release the iterations of the Red Skull that were produced as part of the Toybiz Marvel Legends line.
There are two iconic looks for the Red Skull: his Nazi military uniform and his trenchcoat look. Typically we get the military uniform Red Skull in action figure form, so I was glad to see that Hasbro decided to give us a trenchcoat-wearing, less militaristic Red Skull Marvel Legends figure this time out. I love this more modern Red Skull design.
The Marvel Legends 2014 Red Skull figure’s head is excellent all-around. The sculpt itself is great, as is the stern, no-nonsense grimace etched on Red Skull’s face. Hasbro put a dark paint wash on the Red Skull’s head that really brings out the detail of the sculpt and adds some eerie moodiness to Red Skull’s portrait.
Red Skull’s attire is all equally terrific, with a very nicely-done texture on Red Skull’s shirt and pants. The trenchcoat is same one as we got on Marvel Legends Fantomex in 2012, although I like it much more now that it’s black. In fact, I love everything about the attire on this 6″ Red Skull action figure, including his boots with treads and all the belts and straps all over the Red Skull. This Marvel Legends Infinite Series Red Skull figure just feels more “realistic” to me than the military uniform Red Skull figures we ordinarily get.
In addition to including the other Marvel Legends Mandroid Build-A-Figure Arm (Baron Zemo/AIM Trooper come with the other one), Baron Zemo includes three other accessories: a Cosmic Cube and two guns. Both guns have paint detailing on them, which I like, though I had some issues with the guns that I’ll address a bit later on.
The Cosmic Cube is molded in translucent blue plastic and looks really cool with light shining through it. Hasbro perfectly molded the 2014 Red Skull Marvel Legends figure’s left hand to grasp the Cosmic Cube, which turns out to be the best and coolest pose for the action figure (at least in my opinion).
The main drawback to the Captain America Legends Red Skull action figure is his articulation scheme. While on paper Red Skull has a ton of articulation, his trenchcoat ends up hugely restricting the flexibility of Red Skull’s shoulders, upper torso and hip joints. His leg articulation moves a bit oddly, and he’s unfortunately lacking ankle rockers. The restrictive articulation isn’t catastrophic, but it’s clearly a step below Zemo and the troop-builders in this wave.
For some reason that is beyond my comprehension, Hasbro gave the Red Skull two working holsters, but only one pistol that will actually fit into either holster. The Red Skull’s red and silver gun has a big plastic bit sticking off of it that prevents it from fitting into either holster. If there’s a way to stash that gun on the Red Skull comfortably, I sure haven’t found it.
And speaking of the Captain America Marvel Legends Red Skull’s guns, I have to say that I wish Hasbro hadn’t felt the need to make them so, well… red. I’m sure there’s some precedent for the Red Skull wielding red guns in some comic book out there, but in toy form, it just looks weird. It reminds me of those horrible role-play fluorescent Han Solo blasters from the 90’s. The red pistol looks really stupid in the holster on Red Skull’s chest, too. I like that Hasbro put paint deco and detailing on the Red Skull’s guns–I just don’t like the deco that they actually chose to use when doing so.
Packed at one-per-case in the 2014 Captain America Marvel Legends cases, Marvel Legends Agent of Hydra Red Skull has been a frustrating action figure to find at retail. I paid about $22 after tax for Red Skull at my local Toys R Us, but you can order the new Marvel Legends Red Skull for a dollar or so cheaper than that online right now.
Overall: The Captain America The Winter Soldier Marvel Legends Red Skull figure is an overall solid figure that’s held back by some design flaws and weird choices. I love the attire and sculpting of this 6″ Marvel Legends Red Skull action figure–this is basically the iconic Red Skull appearance in my mind. On the other hand, the ML Red Skull’s guns look like squirt guns and his arm and leg articulation both feel pretty wonky. By no means would I say this 6″ Red Skull Marvel Legends figure is a bad figure, but he definitely has more problems than the outstanding other villains in the Captain America Marvel Legends 2014 Wave 1 assortment.