Sunday, 13 September 2020

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Captain Marvel (Avengers: Endgame)

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Release Date: June 2020
RRP: 7000 yen

Avengers: Endgame provided Marvel Cinematic Universe fans with the largest assembly of Marvel heroes on screen yet, and it's no surprise to see that Bandai Tamashii Nations are largely going the same way with their S.H. Figuarts releases as well. In fact so much so that they're also currently doubling up on the main cast members with "final battle" editions with decos and parts more accurate to the film itself (since a lot of the original releases were presumably based off of concept art). There's still plenty of gaps though, with one being filled with the release of S.H. Figuarts Captain Marvel (Avengers: Endgame)! The second S.H. Figuarts release of Carol Danvers, this Tamashii web exclusive release is based on her new costume and appearance following the film's five year time skip – notably appearing at the end of the film to help the Avengers' last stand against Thanos' forces.

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Captain Marvel comes in the same style packaging as the earlier release Avengers: Endgame Figuarts, which is the clean white boxes rather than the ravaged brown of the “Final Battle” variants. There is one difference however, as Captain Marvel’s packaging has the brown  Avengers logo rather than the clean white one. So technically you could say you’re getting a mixture of the two here. Either way there isn’t a whole lot to say about the box since it’s so clean, with the only items of note really being the stock images of the figure printed on the back and sides. Inside, the figure and accessories are on the usual moulded plastic tray.

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If there's one thing that I never fully understood about Captain Marvel, it's why she continues to wear the uniform of the people that lied to her and suppressed her powers for years. Nevertheless Endgame Captain Marvel sports a slightly alternate look from her appearance in her own movie (as well as the beginning of the film). Though the costume is largely similar the red and blue have largely been reversed in their prominence on it, with alternate detailing on the arms and legs as well as new blue boots. There have also been a few more additions to make her appearance more comic accurate, such as the sash around her waist (although it's blue here rather than red like in the comics) and of course the shorter haircut. Tamashii have had some problems with Brie Larson's likeness the past (the original figure having a complete head revision between announcement and release) but they've done a pretty good job here - the details are a little soft but there isn't really any mistaking who it's supposed to be. Likewise the bodysuit looks great, using three colours that go together brilliant as well as a mixture of both smooth and raised textures. The sash is a loose piece which has been slotted over the crotch before the waist was connected, so rattles about a little bit but not to the point where it becomes an annoyance.

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Captain Marvel doesn't really break the mould in terms of articulation – offering for the most part what every Marvel Figuarts has so far. Altogether she features the following: 
- Ball jointed head, neck, torso, waist and wrists 
- Swivel hinge shoulders with added butterfly joints 
- "Drop down" ball jointed hips 
- Single hinge elbows and toes 
- Double hinge knees 
- Swivel hinge ankles 
The fluidity of the articulation does a lot to put Captain Marvel above most other figure representations of her, but it's still missing a few areas that you usually see on Figuarts. Why these figures lack bicep/thigh swivels and only have single joint elbows is a real mystery. On some of the more casually dressed characters it makes sense, but not fully suited ones like Carol. On a more positive note, since the sash isn't fixed to the body it doesn't get in the way of the legs, since you can push it further up the torso if you want to extend or bend them in any way. Despite some flaws there's a lot here to get some great poses out of her, and the slender body type makes her an absolute wonder to pose using a Tamashii Stage. The claw arm grips the waist perfectly, allowing for all manner of flight poses.

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Captain Marvel keeps it pretty simple with the accessories, simply coming with two pairs of additional hands (giving her closed fists, open hands and splayed finger open hands overall) and three different pairs of effect parts. One are translucent blue fireball effects that slot over her fists, and the remaining too are translucent orange flames that clip over her legs (one larger pair for the upper legs, and a smaller pair for the shins). When all attached, you’ve got yourself a pretty powerful looking binary mode Captain Marvel. At first I thought that the fist parts were just a reuse of the pair previously included with Ultraman Zero Beyond, but while they have the same basic idea these are just better in every way. They’re larger, and more importantly just comfortably slot over the fists rather than pegging on in their place. It’s also worth mentioning that they’re also larger than the ones included with the original Captain Marvel Figuarts as well. The leg parts are thin so be careful not to apply too much pressure and snap them, but it shouldn’t be a problem as they clip onto the legs pretty easily. It’s a pretty basic assortment and there’s certainly more she could have come with (alternate heads, Nano Gauntlet etc), but at as a web exclusive release this amount is about expected. After all, Bandai would rather you buy the a Final Battle Spider-Man as well for the Gauntlet rather than include it with two different figures.

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S.H. Figuarts Captain Marvel (Avengers: Endgame) is a pretty no-nonsense release from Bandai Tamashii Nations that does everything it needs to do to be good while at the same time not doing anything especially spectacular to make it stand out from the rest of the line’s high standard. The figure itself is fantastic and a perfect option for someone looking for a more comic-inspired Carol, and the effect parts included really enhance the look of the figure. Could Bandai have done more? Sure. Did they honestly need to in order to satisfy buyers? Probably not, no. Avengers:Endgame is proving to be a nice little money maker for Tamashii Nations, and Captain Marvel certainly isn’t a bad pick up for a character (and suit) with mere minutes of screen time.

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