Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Review : Unmasked Captain America (Civil War)
Diamond Select Marvel Cinematic Universe
Wave/Series : Disney Store Exclusive
Released : January 2017
Price : £19.99
To understand this Disney Store exclusive release of Captain America we must first go back to Summer 2016 and the figures released by Diamond from the Captain America Civil War movie. These three releases - Cap, Iron-Man and Winter Soldier - were packed with a diorama base and each base connected to the others to make a larger Avengers facility backdrop. Once fans started receiving their releases they soon found that perhaps things weren't quite as had been promised, and that the three figures combined to make 3 parts of a 4 part display?
Roll back even further to the announcement of these Civil War figures at Toy Fair 2016, Diamond clearly showed a 4 segment display - but only three figures. When quizzed they confirmed that three figures were all that was required to build the base. But we now know that wasn't strictly true.
With me so far? So back to Summer 2016 and when now asked about the missing 4th section, Diamond simply commented for fans to buy a 2nd Winter Soldier and reverse his piece to build the diorama. Soon after it was then announced that the 4th piece would actually be packed with a Disney Store exclusive Captain America. It's common now for Disney Store to commission their own tweaked version of a Diamond release, and an unmasked option is usually the one they go with - either that or battle damaged. The question we will probably never know is what Diamond had planned for this 4th piece originally?
So here we now are with this Disney Store exclusive release of the 2016 Civil War Captain America.
While the Cap packaging looks identical to the normal Diamond releases it is worth noting that this is a slimmer box design. You also get the Disney Store stamp on the bottom left of the character name panel, just under the Civil War logo. In the window the shield has dropped to bottom of the pack with the alternative hands above. The spare masked head then sits above.
The side panel wraps round to the left hand spine and a stunning image of Cap from the movie, but stylised to look painted rather than a direct photograph and these panels alone look awesome when lined up on a display alone, or with other MCU packaging.
Round the back is another big change vs the standard release. There is no bio or movie blurb, only a blown up image of the figure stood against his diorama base. Something isn't quite right here either as the head sculpt on this rear image is NOT the one packed in the box. This is frustrating as the illustrated Chris Evans sculpt looks pretty impressive, and is so much better than the repacked 2014 Winter Soldier sculpt that we actually get.
Out of the box and Cap stands 7 1/4 inches high - exactly the same as his Winter Soldier release, and consistent with Chris Evan's on screen height. The unmasked head is not a great likeness for Evans and is the same one we got nearly 3 years ago with the Disney Exclusive Winter Soldier Captain America.
While the sculpt is the same, there is some improvement in the paint. The hair, while still very yellow, isn't as vibrant as the older 2014 version. The skin tone is also improved and the eyes much more realistic.
While you can argue that this unmasked head is packed in extra vs what you got with the vanilla release it is a bonus. Sadly it doesn't feel that way. First off it's not the one shown on the box, and I cannot fathom why Disney Store and Diamond allowed an improved but un-produced head sculpt to be plastered on the packaging. And secondly the unmasked head does not stand up to the sculpt of the masked version in the same pack. Diamond have come on leaps and bounds recently with head sculpts, and to the untrained eye the two heads could be from two different companies they vary so much in quality.
Moving to the Masked head now, and although Cap is masked on this figure, you can spot the Evans likeness from just the nose downwards. It is a huge step on from the Evans sculpts we have seen on the previous two figures, and for me is on par with that wonderful Hugh Jackman sculpt on Wolverine from a couple of years back.
What also helps with the sculpt is the paint detail. Not only is cap skin-tone spot on, it also has some subtle washing to bring out the sculpt details. The lips are neat and not overly blushed and the eyes are blue and intense behind that mask. The mask is also well sculpted and painted, with that silver A logo on the forehead and the silver wings down either side. At first I thought I had some paint splodge on these wings, but it turns out its a painted rivet and exactly where it should be. The helmet moves down into brown leather straps with painted silver buckle.
Moving down and into the costume, and this two is a full re-work from previous suits - there is no re use on this figure despite te temptation to do so from the Stealth Suit at least. The top chest section centre piece is the silver star, and from this the suit runs outward with sculpted lines and panels rather than simply relying on paint detail. Around this are the shoulder straps, again in brown leather and with silver buckle detail. The blue isn't washed as such on the suit, but a darker shade is used for contrast on the Cap's under-suit around the neck and around the star to make that pop even more.
This same dark blue is used subtly on the arms in a couple of areas, as is the brown leather strapping. The arms are crowned at each shoulder with a red and silver Avengers logo. I thought at first this is decal, but it has a relief to it that I am still not sure if this is actually part of the sculpt and hand painted?
The hands on Cap are brown finger-less gloves and he comes with the gripping set fitted. These two have a lot of sculpted detail, with a ribbed section to the back of the hand and cut outs for each knuckle which is then painted in the skin tone. They are also washed to bring out the depth and my only minor grips is that this brown wash is also used on the fingers and here it makes them look dirty - although I guess while fighting Iron-Man in that Soviet bunker that is exactly what Cap's hands would be.
The best bit on the entire figure for me is the midriff where the red and white comes in on the costume. Diamond have resisted the temptation to make this bright and shiny - something that both Figuarts and Hasbro did with their Civil War Cap. Instead this centre section is muted and the white dirty and used, again giving the Cap some character. Within each muted white panel is some more washing that brings out even more depth.
The belt, like the Winter Soldier Cap, is loose to the figure and you can see why when we start to look at the articulation. This belt is a brown leather matt colour and with a brushed silver buckle - again not bright and shiny, but dull and world worn.
The legs continue the detail started in the upper areas, although here you can now see a movement to reflect real cloth not armour of sorts. The legs are therefore sculpted more with fold and ruffles of cloth and not clean lines - building to a real stuffing of the trousers into the top of Cap's military boots. These boots are painted a darker brown and are sculpted with three straps round to the side where there are well defined and painted buckles.
Lets look at the Shield next, always an import part to any Captain America figure. The shield is also not a re-use and has been shrunk down since the Winter Soldier figure by a good half inch to 2 1/2 inch across. The shield had never bothered me before on the two previous releases, but not you see the proportions of this one to the figure then the WW2 and WS versions now look over-sized.
The shield is a high gloss finish, particularly the red which is even glossier than the Mk46 armour on Iron-Man. Each ring is neatly painted and finishes with the blue inner circle and five pointed silver star.
The detail continues round the back with a brushed silver (vibranium) reverse and then two sculpted straps which then turn into flexible straps for Cap. At first I struggled with getting the shield to fit snugly on the arm - and the key is to use the flat hands for the shield poses on whichever arm you see fit. These flat palms swap in and out neatly and allow the shield straps to slide into place and far enough up Cap's arm to keep it tight in position.
The other set of hands are the fists, and sadly the size issue we had with Bucky continues here and both fists look tiny to the body.
Articulation now, and so far the Civil War range has seen impressive articulation on Bucky, and not so impressive on Iron-Man. I am happy to say that Cap actually surpasses Bucky and is one of the best articulated Select figures I have ever owned or reviewed.
We start with a ball jointed head, with the ball also on a pivot so the head can rotate, tilt and look up and down - so much so that Cap can actually look at his feet with his chin touching the chest of his suit.
The arms are a standard ball jointed shoulder with the arms reaching out to the side to a full 90 degrees and then of course they rotate so can be raised up above Cap's head, or any combination in between. The elbows also give a full 90 degree bend, and with a rotation built in too. The hands are pegs but with a hinge between peg and hand and this allows the hand to bend also nearly 90 degrees - regardless of which hand combination is in place.
Unlike the previous Cap, there is now a torso joint that is neatly hidden where the red & white midriff meets the upper armour. This opens Cap up to a lot of action poses, particularly throwing his shield of leaning in to strike an opponent. The waist is then also jointed to rotate, hidden by that flexible belt, adding more movement to the torso.
The legs remain the T-joint hinge used on most Selects. This means Cap, like Bucky, can do the splits but sadly thanks to the sculpted rolls in the trousers they are blocked from getting much past half way to a sitting position. That being said they move far enough to work with the knees to allow Cap to adopt some kneeling and sliding action poses, and even to make him look like he is jumping with an appropriate stand. The knees are double-jointed and can be bent fully past 90 degrees, with the joint cleverly built into a knee pad of the suit. And if you need it there is also a thigh swivel to adjust the legs and therefore feet out or inward to the body.
The figure ends with rockers on the ankles, hidden in a split in the boot, to allow you to plan the feet securely in a number of poses and keep Cap standing. My one issue with all this articulation is some rubbing paint on the hands in particular, and rubbing where the top of the legs start hitting the torso when they are bent.
For me the most important part of finding and buying this figure wasn't Cap, it was the ability to finish the Avengers Facility backdrop that has been sat unfinished for nearly 6-months. The base for unmasked Cap is packed in two parts, with a small bag of clips and connectors taped with the Diamond mini catalogue in the inner tray.
To assemble the base the small slots on the base section are lined up with two X shaped connectors, and once these are in place the larger cream back wall can be slotted into position. Once the single section is build it can be slid into place with the other pieces, and linked in using the connectors.
Once built the base runs 21 inches across, and stands nearly 11 inches high - meaning even your Select Hulk will still stand without his head sitting above the top of the backdrop. The Avengers logo now sits dead central and while you could leave it displaying the four figures it comes with - it has the ability to house many more.
I scored the basic release of Civil War Captain America a very hefty 5 out of 5, and even said at the time that a good sculpted unmasked head would push it to legendary status and I would have scored it a 5* rating here in the Archives.
You would argue this Disney Store exclusive should get at least the same score. But I want to consider the issues with this figure. First up is the fact you are having to double dip on Cap just to build the diorama base. Secondly is the baited good sculpt on the back of the packaging, and an older inferior sculpt packed in the box. And third is the gap in getting this out to fans. I've had, as I said earlier, an unfinished diorama for close to 6 months - only now (nearly a year since the movie) am I able to complete it.
All that considered, I am going to score this Captain America Disney Store Variant a 4 out of 5.