You didn’t think I was gonna skip the good Captain in my gift guide, did you?
Longtime readers of PopCult know that I’m a huge fan of the 1960s classic action figure, Captain Action. His gimmick was, that with costumes and rubber masks (each sold separately), he could turn into other heroes, like Superman, spider-man, Batman, Captain America and more.
Earlier this year I raved about a new revival of the Captain from Round 2 Corp. and Forever Fun, with an all-new head and body sculpt, and a license to produce outfits based on Silver Age Marvel Comics characters.
A new batch of Captain Action products has hit stores just in time for Christmas, and we’re going to rip into these presents early to tell you about them.
Dr. Evil is Captain Action’s arch-nemisis, a blue skinned alien from Alpha Centuri with an exposed brain and a Carnaby Street inspired style. For the new century, Dr. Evil (not to be confused with the bald guy from the Austin Powers movies) has been upgraded, with an all new head sculpt and the nifty ultra-articulated Captain Action body. The sculpt, seen at the top of this post, is more serious and intimidating than the vintage Dr. Evil. Plus, this new face of evil has a secret weapon–interchangeable brains!
The deluxe version of Dr. Evil comes with two extra brains plus the Hypno Eye, extra hands, a “Dr. Tracy” mask, a flesh colored neck plate, and a reproduction of the original Dr. Evil photo box.
The basic version of Dr. Evil (the one you’ll find at Toys R Us) just features the Doctor himself, decked out in a modified Nehru jacket, with his ray gun, giant medallion, and new boots with a design that pays tribute to the original Dr. Evil’s sandals without looking quite so moronic.
This new edition of one of the toys I most wanted as a child is a fantastic villainous addition to any action figure collection. The basic version of Dr. Evil runs about thirty bucks, while the deluxe version can be found online for thirty five to forty-five dollars.
Arctic Captain Action
Available only in a basic edition, this variant “arctic” version of Captain Action is decked out in a color-switch version of his normal outfit. The blue panels of his uniform have been replaced with white panels and the black panels have been replaced with blue. In addition, his cap, gloves, and boots are molded in white. This set also includes a set of bare hands so you can use the figure with other uniform sets.
It’s a clever twist on the original Captain Action uniform. There were stories in the recent Moonstone comic book where Captain Action went on arctic missions, so it makes sense. My only beef with the color scheme is that he looks just a little bit like he should be selling ice cream.
This is a basic Captain Action figure set, so it retails for around thirty bucks and includes the figure with his uniform, boots, belt, cap, ray gun, and an extra pair of hands. As I write this, he has yet to show up at the Toys R Us in Charleston, but the Barboursville store was one of the first in the country to get him about three weeks ago.
Thor (outfit set for Captain Action)
Of course, the cool thing about Captain Action is that you can change him into other superheroes. The third uniform in this series (Spider-Man and Captain America were relased last spring) is Thor, the God of Thunder. He is presented here in all his Jack Kirby-esque splendor, complete with Mjorlnir, his trusty hammer and his winged helmet, plus a very cool cape with articulated wires for added dramatic poseability. The deluxe edition includes an additional rubber mask of the bearded Thor, Dr. Blake’s walking stick, and extra hands. Plus, as with the first six Marvel uniform sets, it includes one component of the “Build A Uniform” series where if you purchase all six deluxe uniforms you will have a complete outfit for Hawkeye, The Avengers resident archer.
This outfit is stunning. The mask slips on easier than any of the other Marvel sets to date. The uniform is a spectacular recreation of the Silver Age God of Thunder and even the package art is cool, with a Walt Simonson drawing on the front and Jack Kirby drawings on the back and side. The only minor quibble with this set is that the belt closure is a little wonky. I had to bore out the hole for the peg to fit into with an exacto knife in order to get it to work. Other than that, this set is just about perfect.
The basic set can be found at some Toys R Us stores for around twenty dollars while the deluxe set with all the extras is a thirty dollar item at hobby shops and other online retailers.
Loki (outift set for Dr. Evil)
The first uniform set for the new Dr. Evil is Thor’s evil half brother, Loki. Looking just like a Jack Kirby drawing from the sixties, this is one impressive figure. He’s got the distinctive green and yellow outfit with the wild horned helmet and yellow gloves and boots. The deluxe version throws in all kinds of extra goodies including chains, Loki’s spear, and extra gloved hands (with closed fists), plus another uniform piece for Hawkeye. This is a very sharp-looking action figure.
The Captain Action line will continue into the next year and beyond. Starting next summer, DC Comics characters will be added to the mix, and the Marvel line will continue. Variants of Captain America and Thor are due out any day now, and 2013 will bring Iron Man, Wolverine, Superman and The Joker to the new Captain Action line.
You can find Captain Action at some Toys R Us stores (Charleston seems to be lagging in this regard, but Barboursville had a full assortment), or you can order them online from TRU or specialty retailers.
The 2012 PopCult Gift Guide will continue next week with a few last-minute gift ideas.