While at home on quarantine, I decided to spend the time productively. No not reviewing the legions of figures on my to-review list, but by revisiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1. Since I just knocked out Marvel’s The Avengers, it made sense to take a look at one of the long delayed Phase 1 reviews – the Marvel Studios The First 10 years Marvel Legends Red Skull figure from Captain America: The First Avenger. Let’s see if this guy can rally the troops.
Packaging: Hasbro isn’t too afraid to mix up the standard Marvel Legends packaging when it makes sense. For the 10 Years packaging, the biggest change isn’t with the colors — it’s the same black with accent color (in this case red) — as we’ve seen that for years. There’s actually two bios here, which is a huge improvement from the typical packaging.
The right side features two cool images of Captain America from The First Avenger. It really does make me want to track down more of these 10 Years figures based off this cool presentation.
Likeness: I spent more time than I really needed to trying to find the exact spot in the film where Red Skull wore this attire. It is on some behind the scene production and design photos. This was the same attire used for the Hot Toys figure as well so clearly Hasbro didn’t make it up.
As for the figure itself there’s a large amount of original sculpting with the line work from the red lining to the more panel-like trim. The buttons, slightly flared pants and Hydra logo on the belt are really well done.
I don’t know if it’s my favorite Red Skull head sculpt as it lacks something from the film version. Maybe it’s the roundness of the head where Hugo Weaving had more of an angular look? The expression lacks intensity as well and makes it look like Skull is trying to figure out what he wants to order from Hydra McDonald’s.
Paint: No real problems on the paintwork. I find that’s less of a problem when there’s dedicated sculpted elements. Some of the slimmer red line parts have a very minor amount of overspray.
The wash on Red Skull’s head really completes the look and highlights the stronger aspects of the sculpt particularly the sunken cheeks.
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Scale: Red Skull was about the same height as Captain America minus the bulkier outfit, which might have provided the illusion he was smaller. This figure is smaller than the Captain America: Civil War figure, which itself is slightly smaller than the comic book version figure.
Articulation: Red Skull moves well thanks to some smart implementation of the articulation. Instead of the normal bicep swivel, he has a bicep cut. It’s basically the same kind of movement, but aesthetically looks a little odd with the linework of the outfit. It’s not as seamless as the standard comic book figures, but it gets the job done.
Red Skull is more of the fighter from a distance type beyond the occasional physical confrontations with Captain America so the important poses for him is more of the arms crossed behind his back.
Red Skull has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- elbow (double-jointed)
- wrist hinge
- knees (double jointed)
Accessories: The real value here is the ability to switch up the figure with the three alternate heads. I kinda regret now just getting this one figure for Red Skull. If I’d gotten a few extra bodies I could have really made use of the flamethrower Hydra soldier, standard Hydra soldier and Hydra trooper heads. All of these are very well done.
There’s also the Hydra soldier blaster. This is a nice piece and could also make for a nice addition to an Avengers confrontation diorama when Captain America confronts Nick Fury. In addition to the trigger hands, he has a left grasping hand to better hold the blaster.
Finally, there’s the Hydra harness for those special battles. Again, I really feel silly not getting more of these figures to army build.
Worth it? I got Red Skull for $20, but now you can track him down online for slightly cheaper. That’s ideal for an army build type character depending on how nuts you want to get with your Hydra army.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
With a larger build and smoother articulation this would have filled the comic version Red Skull that’s still missing in the collection. As an MCU version, this is a pretty nice figure made better by its versatility.
Where to get it? The Red Skull is largely sold out at retail, but you can find him on Amazon for right around $20.