The Marvel Legends line as we know it today kicked off in 2013/14 as Hasbro moved the previous carded legends to a new window box format called the Infinite Series. The line also started to incorporate the newly established MCU characters into the main line rather than individual waves from each movie. One of the first movies to be tackled in this format was Captain America : Winter Soldier and from this movie we got a wave of movie figures mixed with associated comic book figures like Baron Zemo and Red Skull.
While I am not an MCU completist, this MCU original Winter Soldier has been on my wants list for a while (at the right price). As an older figure out of production and nearly 7 years old now it will be difficult to judge this figure on today's standards and therefore I wont be scoring this review.
I purchased my Bucky Barnes as a loose figure so didn't get a clear look at the packaging in person. In 2014 the packaging had just moved to the scooped side window box and the Captain America wave featured a blue highlight to the side art and the character name.
The wave featured a Mandroid BAF and Winter Soldier was packed with one of the Mandroid's legs. The rest of the wave was shown as a checklist on the back of the box.
The MCU figures in 2014 were just establishing and splitting away from the main Legends line, but they retained some essence of the comic book proportions. Like today, the figures were also produced ahead of the movie using promo images, stills and concepts. That means we get a Winter Soldier who is a little out of proportion in terms of modern standards of Legends and what we see on screen. The musculature is overstated and the legs are too long for the torso and in proportion to the arms.
The outfit is pretty close to what we get on screen with a leather look jacket with individual panels and a tactical vest / holster over the top. The colours are good and crisp and the metal left arm is impressive in both sculpt and décor with the finishing Soviet Star on the shoulder.
The legs, as long as they are, are sculpted to match combat trousers with a separate belt / holster piece that circles the waist. On this belt is a non working holster of sorts and at the back a sculpted knife in another holster - non removable. Bucky is wearing brown combat boots complete with straps and sculpted laces. These two are a little out of proportion.
There are two heads provided, the first being the masked version we first see on screen complete with goggles. Strictly speaking this head does not go with this outfit as Bucky had on a bigger coat and was sporting a grenade launcher while wearing the full mask. When facing down Cap in this outfit he was only wearing the mask and not the glasses. This head is my favourite with the mask well proportioned and the hair sculpted to hang over the top and down the sides.
The second head is less impressive. This was a time before face print technology and even the sculpts were very much inspired by the character with likenesses often quite a way off what we saw on screen. The facial features are all done well enough and the hair again is well executed. Paint apps are basic and the eyes have been heavily "made up" with the dark face paint seen in the film.
At this time in Legends history, Hasbro were not packing realistic weaponry with their figures so much. Bucky therefore ends up with a very odd red and black futuristic rifle of sorts which has nothing to do with the movie.
It is cast and painted with some impressive details, but fails to fit too well in The Winter Soldier's hands. And even when posed it looks like you have incorporated a cheaper figures "Sci Fi" gun with Bucky,
If you are wanting to display Bucky with some appropriate weapons then look to newer figures like the Killmonger from Black Panther or the newer comic book Winter Soldiers with their Assault Rifles.
One thing that has been consistent with Marvel Legends is their level of articulation. The Winter Soldier boasts a total of 19 points of articulation and a pretty extensive repertoire of movement and posing options
Head : ball joint neck with pivot
Body : torso T-joint, waist swivel
Arm : ball joint shoulder, bicep swivel, double joint elbows, wrist pivots
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rockers
Each joint is secure with full motion and most are ratcheted for additional security when posed, although those that are (knees, ankles, torso and elbows) do then feel a bit floppy as there is free movement between each ratchet position.
I found The Winter Soldier easy to stand, pose and display - he just needs some appropriate weaponry before I add him to my MCU shelf alongside Black Widow and Cap.
The Winter Soldier does show his age a little in a few areas, most notably the body proportion and the unmasked head. But in terms of décor and particular articulation he is up there with any modern Marvel Legends release and with some clever posing will not look out of place in an MCU display with more modern figures.
The big shame about the release is the accessories, with the gun having nothing to do with the figure or the movie and looking very out of place in Bucky's hands. Add in a handgun, make the knife in holster removable and give him an Assault Rifle or Grenade Launcher and this Winter Soldier figure would be good to go.
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, marvel, legends, hasbro, infinite series, captain america , the winter soldier, bucky barnes