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Friday, April 27, 2012

Marvel Avengers Movie Series: Captain America Shield Launcher

Presenting Captain America (Shield Launcher) from the Marvel Avengers Movie toy series.If you read our review of the Avengers Goliath Assault Tank, then you've already seen this figure replacing the crappy Captain America that accompanied it.

In a nutshell, this is the modern adaptation of the movie-based Captain America as it will appear in the upcoming Avengers movie. As you may recall, Captain America's original costume - not the pansy one he wore while selling war-bonds - was born out of the 1940s. They obviously thought that he needed an up-grade and here he is.

As with his 1940's movie costume (Though he kept losing his helmet), this modern uniform is closer to the Ultimates Captain America uniform (By Brian Hitch) than to Captain America's uniform in the normal Marvel Universe timeline.

Shield Launcher Captain America's Blister card reads "Captain America is more than just an incredible warrior with years of experience - he's also a peerless leader. It is his keen intellect and flawless tactical thinking that makes the Avengers truly a force to be reckoned with."

The funny part is - based upon the movie - Captain America doesn't have "years of experience." He wasn't part of the regular military and while he may have gotten Special Forces training, most of his actual experience was spent punching a faux Hitler in the face while selling war-bonds. Yes he saw action. Yes the movie was truncated, but World War II was only six years long (Shorter for the Germans). In the movie, Captain America joined the war when the American's were already in the European theater so he entered, late (After June, 1944). At best, the movie Captain America only has a year or a year-and-a-half of actual combat experience before he disappeared. Most of what he does is an uncanny ability because.... he doesn't like bullies I suppose.

What's to like about the Shield Launcher Captain America?

The Uniform. I honestly appreciate the continuity between the two movie eras as well as the nod to the available materials of the time. Captain America's World War II costume obviously consisted of padding for armor. That was the bet that they could do at the time and I like how the producers did not bother to come up with some magical armor for him.

Captain America's modern costume practically reeks of Kevlar armor plates and other hardpoints throughout his costume. Again, nothing magical, just practical materials of the time.

Next up is Captain America's shield. The Shield Launcher Captain America's shield is .25cm wider than the shield of the World War II Captain America. The new shield is also flatter versus the more convex shape of the original movie-shield which makes it better for throwing I suppose.

It may not seem to be a very big difference in terms of size (3.75cm versus 4 cm in diameter), but honestly I've always thought that the World War II Captain America's shield was.... small - no way would a rational man hide behind it - it honestly felt like a buckler more than a shield. The new shield with that small difference in diameter provides more practical cover and it's almost comparable to the shields used by the Spartans in the movie 300. 

What's NOT to like about the Shield Launcher Captain America?

It's shameful that something that comes from Hasbro should have such poor articulation. The Shield Launcher Captain America actually has less articulation than the WWII Captain America. The modern Captain America loses the ability to twist his wrists and ankles and the ability to swivel his upper torso. Neither figure can twist at the waist. So what you see here is the probably extent of his articulation and pose-ability.

Oh and his gun is not secured to his side by a little strap like it is with the WWII version of Captain America, so be careful, you may lose it. 

Lastly, we have this: The ability to launch an oversized shield that he can't use (There's a block on the other side) through a really cockamamie device that has no bearing in the movie (hopefully) or in reality (definitely).  Instead of spending on the plastic to make this, Hasbro should have just invested in his articulation. It's not even spring loaded, it's a "push it out" launcher.
Although, he can use it. I have to say that that's a bit cool. This actually makes me wonder if this is Habsro giving a nod to Toybiz's Captain America with Shield Launcher released a life-time ago.

The Marvel Avengers Movie Series Captain America Shield Launcher was purchased at retail price from Toys R'Us Philippines for PhP 549.75 (US$ 12.78). He's currently available on Amazon for US$ 14.99 (PhP 644.75 plus shipping). 

For the full Gallery and review, visit

Review by: Denis del Callar

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