Tuesday, June 21, 2011

REVIEW: Captain America: The First Avenger - Comic Series Captain Britain

Produced by Hasbro | Released June 2011

Captain Britain is a jack of many trades and a master of all. Strength, stamina, flight and invisible force field - he's got everything he needs to battle villains across the globe. The more he believes in himself, the more powerful he becomes, and the more justice he can bring to Britain and the rest of the world.

Packaging Shots

Captain Britain
Captain Britain Monthly was the first comicbook I collected seriously and - even putting national leanings aside - Brian Braddock's alter-ego always been a favourite character of mine. I have to admit though, I did lose track of the Captain for some time and so was surprised when I saw he'd undergone yet another costume change. But not half as surprised as I was to see him appearing in the Captain America: The First Avenger toy line...

Initially the figure looks pretty good but as you examine him, you notice there's something not quite right about his build.Captain Britain stands at 6' 6'' and the figure doesn't just fail to capture that height but actually renders him shorter than the other figures in the line. It appears his torso is fractionally too short and - as a result - the figure not only loses some height but also has a slightly squat look to it. Compare this figure to the previously-released ''Classic Modern'' Marvel Universe figure and you'll see what I mean. This Captain Britain is simply too stocky.

It's a shame the torso piece is so weird, as the sculpt itself isn't bad. There are some nice details on his gauntlets, the ''utility belt'' and mask and although the Captain's costume is relatively simple, the figure manages to capture the look pretty well. I'm not sure about the pants though - they seem more like spandex tights rather than tailored trousers but overall it's not a bad effort and you can clearly see not only who the figure is, but also which costume he's wearing.

Whilst his arms move reasonably well and the head articulation is fine, his ball-joint hips seem to have been assembled incorrectly. From the default position, the legs can be elevated to around 60 degrees from vertical. But rotate the ball-joint through 180 degrees and the leg can now be elevated to almost 90 degrees. This wouldn't be an issue except the ball-joints are painted to line-up with his leg chevron and rotating them ''breaks'' the line. Yes, it's a small point but it just seems odd Hasbro would knowingly design the figure in this way. Maybe it's just a production issue with the figure I have. But even if it is, it's not acceptable for a toy of this price.

Unfortunately there's no waist articulation and the torso pieces are quite snugly designed, so there's not a great range of movement in his body should you try to bend him forward/tilt his chest back. On the plus-side though, Captain Britain has articulated wrists. Which is an odd thing to have to give praise to, given it's the norm with most figures...

The figure's paintwork falls into the ''nicely designed but sloppy'' category. Whilst some of it is cleanly applied - especially for a design so intricate - there are areas where the paint is too thinly applied. This is frustrating to see, as - for example - his right shoulder's chevron is white and his left is a very, very, very light pink. Similarly his gauntlets are painted white but the black plastic beneath shows through. There are also a few mis-applied strokes around his torso, head and boot lines. It simply smacks of a slapdash approach and it's annoying to see that some places get it right but others fail to do so.

Annoyingly there's also a serial number stamped on his inside calf.

Captain Britain comes with a couple of accessories, most interesting of which is Excalibur, the legendary sword of King Arthur.

It's a pretty nicely designed weapon and - surprisingly - isn't as bendy or cheap-feeling as some of the other accessories in the line. Paint is also neatly applied and overall, it's a good-looking accessory that Captain Britain grips well.

He also includes a steampunk-esque wrist-mounted missile launcher. It's OK for what it is but I'd have preferred to see the extra plastic being used to get Captain Britain's build right.

The figure does not include a base.

Final Thoughts
The Comic Series Captain Britain is an improvement on the other toys I've seen in the Captain America: The First Avenger line. That's not exactly high praise and I know I've been pointing out a lot of issues in the above text but this figure is actually... not terrible. He's certainly better than wave-mates US Agent and although he doesn't look as good as the Captain America Battlefield figure, the overall production quality is higher.

Sure, his paint app is weak in places, the sculpt isn't quite right and he does still feel a little cheap. But he also doesn't feel quite so fragile as the other figures from the line. His knees aren't quite so bendy and although the hips still feel a little loose and cheap, they're better than those found on the aforementioned figures.

But don't get the idea that this is a particularly good figure. Considering the Captain America: The First Avengers figures are about $2 more expensive than, say, a GI Joe figure (most of which feature better articulation, more accessories and a higher production level), I find it shocking that Hasbro can even think it's acceptable to release figures of  such a lower quality at a higher price.

If (or rather, when) you find Captain Britain in the discount aisle, then you might enjoy the figure. Were he available for a couple of Dollars less, I'd probably be signing this Review off by awarding him a B- Grade. But he's not. He's a $5 figure with $8+  price tag and that's simply not acceptable.

Production QualityB-
Final ScoreC+

Image Gallery


  1. Not a terrible figure i would say but i think i will get the K-Mart 3-pack version of him along with Cap and Red Guardian. CB's costume has a different look than the one shown here in the pack and for $20 for 3 figs not too bad i don't think.

  2. Yeah, there are three different ''modern'' Captain Britains (this one, the MU one and the 3-pack one) plus a ''Vintage'' Captain Britain, which is coming as a 2-pack with Spider-Man.


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