Friday, May 4, 2012

Stark Tech Captain America Assault Armor

To be honest, I could care less about the Avengers movie; I dislike Loki being the villain again right after being the villain in Thor, I would really prefer Edward Norton as the Hulk (or Bruce Banner if you want to be snippy about it) and I would trade Hawkeye and Black Widow for Spider-Man being on the team in an instant. I have been looking at Hasbro's Avengers merchandise all the same however and two gems immediately caught my eye, the Stark Tech Assault Armor suits.

The basic premise is that to help combat Loki's army of aliens, Tony Stark Developed and constructed powerful armored mech suits for himself and Captain America. Just himself and Captain America, apparently the rest of the Avengers are designated cannon fodder. It would be really cool if further along we got mech suits for Thor, Hawkeye and Hulk (though he hardly needs one and wouldn't fit in one), but there's a reason why I don't think we will and I'll get into it in this review.

The Stark Tech Armor sets consist of the large suit or armor itself and a pack in figure of the appropriate pilot, in this case, Captain America. If this Cap figure looks familiar to you, it should, it's the exact same Cap figure used for Midnight Air Raid Captain America, whom I reviewed earlier. If the figure looks really familiar, that's because it is Midnight Air Raid Captain America, I can't seem to find the exact Cap that came with the mech. Since they're identical and it doesn't really matter, this Cap will be standing in.

Here's the basic suit with all the weaponry removed to give you a better idea of the sculpt and articulation. There is a lot of detail going on here. Armor plating, rivets, pistons, wires and more come together to make this hunk of plastic really look like the hunk of high-tech metal it's meant to be. Also, stripped down like this, you might notice similarities between this armor and a certain other armored hero of Marvel's who hangs out with Tony Stark. No? Nothing yet? We'll come back to it.

Standing a little over six inches tall and probably a good four and a half wide at the shoulders, this is a decently bulky toy. Articulation consists of ball jointed shoulders, hips, and ankles, hinge elbows and swivel wrists and neck. Those translucent red cylinders on silver robot arms beneath the suit's main arms are control yokes that the pilot's arms slip into, these are also on ball joints, allowing the pilot to mimic the movements of the larger mech's arms which is a cool touch.

Color scheme is nothing surprising since it's Cap, but there are a lot of painted details including a white "A" on the mech's forehead, "STARK" painted in white on the right shin, and a white star across the chest. There are also some small tampographed details like warning stripes on the forearms, an arrow indicating the cockpit release and "CAPT. ROGERS, AV 02" on the left side of the chest.

Here you can see how Cap pilots the suit; swing the chest plate out, fold the shins down, and he slips right in. The panels close snugly around Cap so despite there not being an actual peg or anything holding him in place, he doesn't rattle around. An issue I have with the Cap mech but not the Iron Man version is that this mech's chest plate is too wide and strikes the shoulder armor if you open it too far, resulting in it popping off.

The armor includes several weapons that can be placed in a variety of places thanks to a universal peg and hole system. These weapons consist of a red cannon, blue machine gun, large blue missile pod and two smaller blue missile pods. The missile pods are meant to worn on the shoulder and sides of the legs respectively while the guns can be swapped between points on the forearms, backs of the hands and shoulders, though the extended forearm armor on Cap's mech makes placing them on the hands difficult. Both the cannon and machine gun fire gray missiles like the one visible in the cannon in my pictures and the suit comes with two. I don't have one in the machine gun because it looks goofy protruding from the center of a ring of gun barrels.

"Well, one of us is going to have to change..."

By now, some of you may have noticed that elements of the armor and weapons seem familiar. Or you've been reading my not-so-subtle hints and want me to get to the point. Well, the point is this; I believe this toy and the complimenting Iron Man version were originally slated for release in the Iron Man 2 toy line and this particular suit was to be War Machine. Looking past the patriotic paint job and Steve Rogers specific lettering, there are many design details from the War Machine armor present here: The forearms are thicker and more heavily armored, the chest is sculpted to include the "shoulder strap" sections that War Machine has and the forehead features the horizontal slat details also present on War Machine's helmet. I'm guessing these sculpts were probably developed late in Iron Man 2's merchandise push and didn't make it to final product in time, so some smart exec pitched the idea of repainting and re-purposing them for the Avengers line. And it works, it works well. Unless you're aware of the War Machine connection, Cap's armor just looks like a slightly different version of Stark's own, built with heavier arms and armor in mind. It works in-universe as well since it would be just like the brilliant, yet somewhat lazy, Stark to have designed heavy armor suits for himself and Rhodes in his idle time, only to have a light bulb go in in his head when Cap later mentions in battle the need for heavier and more advanced weaponry to even the odds. Not that I expect anything as cool as giant mech armor in the actual movie, but a man can dream.

"I'll be taking this!"

"Get lost Rogers!"

"For America!"

"Oh God, there's something right behind me, isn't there?"

Stark Tech Captain America Assault Armor is part of the brand spanking new Avengers toy line and can be had from just about any of the bigger stores for around twenty dollars. In my opinion, it's very much worth it. He's a fun, chunky mech suit with a lot of weapons and a decent if not thrilling pack in figure for one portrait of Andrew Jackson. If shows like Exosquad, Robotech or Gundam are your forte, you may very well enjoy this red, white and blue bruiser as well.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thanks for the review! The toy looks amazing. I hope to find it someday.