Taskmaster has always been one of those odd characters to me. I can recall exactly one story he was prominently featured in and based solely on that Avengers issue I’ve considered him a cool villain.
Captain America: Civil War fever is spreading among comic book fans and Team Marvel in particular. Taskmaster benefited and was cast in the loosely based on the movie series.
Even though my preference is Taskmaster’s classic old school outlandish blue, orange and white costume, this figure proved to be one of the bigger surprises of the year for me. It proves a well made figure can even make a classic leaning collector appreciative of a modern based figure.
Packaging: Compared to the Spider-Man packaging, the blue color scheme for the accents and text really gets lost in the predominantly black packaging. Taskmaster’s packaging pulls double duty as he’s sharing with Demolition Man aka Skorge. The darker, heavily shadowed portrait on the back is much more fitting for villains and really adds to their sinister nature.
Likeness: Although it’s more sensible for a mercenary, this modern outfit lacks the flair of Taskmaster’s previous costume with the huge white cape, flared gloves and buccaneer boots loaded to the teeth with weapons. This outfit is more tactical and bit generic. Without the signature white hood and skull mask there’s not a lot to make this look stand out.
This look isn’t exactly comic accurate to the UDON attire it’s very loosely based on so fans of that costume might still be disappointed. The figure is more based on the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon and you can see it’s very accurate to that appearance:
Given the color scheme of the rest of the figure the alternate UDON influenced head might be a better fit, but there’s something indescribably cool about that menacing skull/hood combination that he pulls off without looking like a poor man’s Skeletor. I do wish the pistols in the holster could come out as guns are about the only thing Taskmaster is lacking.
Scale: Taskmaster is right at the same height as the standard ML figure. He’s not a character that should be towering over the other figures so that’s perfect.
Paint: Hasbro is finding white paint applications to be the biggest thorn in its side this year. Once again, working white into a costume proves a difficult task. The white stripe across the chest in particularly is weak and more closely resembles a custom that needs a few more coats of paint. It’s especially noticeable since most of Taskmaster is cast in the respective colored plastic. The leg covers have an interesting swirl pattern that mimics actually armor nicely even if I wouldn’t complain about a wash or a shinier metallic paint.
Just from a matter of preference, I like the white skeleton mask as opposed to the silver used here. Photographing it proved a lot of fun as I could really play around with lighting the eye slits or really amping up the sinister vibe and cast it like a real skeleton mask.
Articulation: Taskmaster’s articulation is really smooth and fluid even with the armor plating on the arms and legs. The figure has:
- shoulders (hinge)
- elbows (double jointed)
- wrist (hinge and swivel)
- knees (double-jointed)
The ankle has a great range of motion allowing for some really dynamic pose options and the thigh armor doesn’t impact articulation much at all.
Accessories: Taskmaster is loaded with a good assortment of necessary accessories, but I really wish Hasbro would make holsters where you can remove the guns. The alternate head is a really nice touch and provides an intriguing option for Taskmaster henchmen if we ever approach the point where he’ll become plentiful on the shelves.
He’s also got a not-a-lightsaber laser sword. The translucent effect is sharp and Taskmaster’s classic shield really looks great. The web gear is a nice, snug fit on the figure and you won’t have to worry about it annoyingly riding up while you’re
playing posing him.
Worth it? I managed to get Taskmaster during a Wal-Mart sale for $16. This is a rare instance where I’ll say the Taskmaster was a figure worth the $20 price tag. I’ll never complain about getting more villains to add to the fold even if it’s their modern incarnation. Captain America and the Avengers can always use an opponent who requires a team effort and with a figure this fun it’s likely you won’t look at the old Toy Biz one the same way again.
Rating: 9.7 out of 10
Smudgy chest painting aside this is a fantastic figure with a ton of display options and accessories making Taskmaster one of the standouts of this wave. He’s a pain at times to track down, but definitely worth it.
Where to get it? Considering Civil War’s high profile no retailer is going to get left in the cold. I’ve seen the wave at both Toys R Us and Wal-Mart and I assume Target will get them in a matter of time. If you want to avoid the hassle, grab them from online retailers including Amazon.com: