- The Washington Times - Friday, January 27, 2012

Hot Toys teams up with Sideshow Collectibles to give superhero fans an incredible assortment of high-end 12-inch dolls to proudly display in a home entertainment room.

Its Movie Masterpiece series has included representations of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Christopher Reeve as Superman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker.

Its latest pays tribute to the Star-Spangled Avenger as portrayed by actor Chris Evans in last year’s live-action film “Captain America: The First Avenger.”

Figure profile: From the box — Ineligible for the armed services due to his small stature and sickly disposition, Steve Rogers volunteered in 1941 for a top-secret military experiment called “Project Rebirth”

Recognized for his valor and strategic aptitude, Rogers was injected with the Super-soldier Serum, which transfigured his cellular structure and transformed him into the perfect physical specimen.

Heightened endurance, increased strength and an indestructible Vibranium shield gave Rogers an edge in his fight against Hydra and the Red Skull, but it is his courage and unwavering dedication to the greater good that will shape him into an enduring symbol of freedom.

Accessories: As with all Hot Toys’ 1:6 scale figure releases, the detail of the doll and extra stuff makes it worth the price.

Let’s start with the dead-on, hand-painted sculpt of Chris Evans’ face encased in that movie-modified helmet, a muscular body with 30 points of articulation and a costume that mirrors designer Anna B. Sheppard’s film equivalent.

The garb offers a variety of fabric types and a staggering amount of stitching based on a 1940s American paratrooper. It combines a blue and off-white embossed jacket with stars, blue pants, heavy-duty red suspenders, some metal buckles, and a brown pleather belt with munitions pouches and a pistol sheath.

Under weapons, the Captain gets a Colt M1911A1 pistol, and M1928A1 Thompson machine gun (with a sliding bolt, removable 30-round magazine and flip-up rear sight).

The key component to his arsenal is the shield, of course, and Hot Toys re-creates its shiny Vibranium alloy base with an electroplated plastic to offer a slick sheen and light weight. The shield can be strapped to his back or held in his hand (please read instructions before attaching to arm and hand).

Now, to easily hold all of the weapons or set up some film moments, owners also get nine interchangeable gloved hands positioned to grasp a shield or gun, as fists and as relaxed palms.

Price: $169.99, available through Sideshow Collectibles (www.sideshowcollectible.com)

Read all about it: Out of the voluminous amount of Captain America stories Marvel Comics has published over the last half of century, I’ll offer two collections to get the new fan started.

First, Captain America: Volume 1 ($24.99) is a Marvel Masterworks tribute to the hero in the Silver Age of comics. It’s a compilation of 23 key issues during his reign in the monthly Tales of Suspense title (including a retelling of his origin) and features the legendary creative might of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, John Romita and Dick Ayers.

Next, look to early February for the release of Captain America: Volume 1 in hardcover ($19.99) that collects the first five issues of the latest monthly comic book series. Written by Ed Brubaker, it reintroduces the resurrected hero to a new generation of fans.

What’s it worth? Hot Toys’ Captain America: The First Avenger is a museum-quality piece that should manage to thrill the movie fan, comic-book reader and pop-culture memorabilia collector equally.

However, convincing the wife to buy into getting a $170 doll that looks cool might be a task that requires the brainwashing techniques perfected by Red Skull’s top researchers.



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