With Falcon and the Winter Soldier done and dusted, so cometh the inevitable wave of tie-in merchandise to capitalize on the Disney+ streaming show. But if you’re looking for, say, an action figure of Sam Wilson as Captain America from Hasbro, it turns out you’re gonna need a lot more than the 20-odd dollars you were expecting to throw down if you want the full deal.
Today Hasbro officially announced a wave of its 6" Marvel Legends line inspired by the first three Marvel Disney+ shows: WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and the upcoming Loki. While we’d already seen the companies plans for figures of the Scarlet Witch and the Vision based on the show, today we saw the rest of the figures that would fill out the TV-focused wave, due out this summer. And they’re mostly good!
I mean, Baron Zemo, nice to get an action figure of a problematic dancing fave. Maybe not so much U.S. Agent, even though it’s basically the same John Walker as Faux-Cap the company had already revealed, but with black accents (something something something political commentary, something). But Bucky! And Sam! And a Loki that’s a little less visually interesting than the President Loki we know is in the show! It is kind of funny to just get “Tom Hiddleston in work slacks and a jacket: the action figure” though.
But there’s kind of a problem. While Hasbro’s Captain America figure looks cool, it’s missing something kind of fundamental to Sam’s design: his wings. His action figure doesn’t come with them.
Hasbro’s Marvel Legends waves all usually have a “Build-a-Figure” incentive, meaning that they each come with a part of another figure that you just cannot buy as-is. It’s meant to encourage you to buy all or most of the figures in a wave, and more often than not Build-a-Figure characters are ones that would often be something infeasible to release as standalone due to their size—recent examples include the upcoming Shang-Chi wave coming with parts to build Mr. Hyde from the comics, or the recent House of X/Powers of X series including the parts to build a Tri-Sentinel. But for this Disney+ wave? The Build-a-Figure isn’t a figure at all: it’s Sam’s wings, a stand to pose him on with them, and a little separate stand to pose his Redwing drone on.
This isn’t the first time Hasbro’s taken a winged character, clipped those wings, and spread them across a bunch of figures—when Michael Keaton’s Vulture got an action figure, it happened then, too. But it’s a huge bummer that if you want a Captain America action figure, it’s no longer $22: you need to buy the entire wave to get him as he should be, which is a whopping $154. Technically, Sam himself is the only one that doesn’t come with parts—you’re “only” paying $134 for the wings, but he’s arguably the important part himself!
It’s an especially shitty move because there were ways for Hasbro to release Sam with his wings. The company’s done it a bunch of times before when he was Falcon—a Captain America: Civil War Falcon figure exclusive to Walmart was $30, and a recent Infinity War two-pack of him with Bucky cost around $40. And sure, you could argue the fact that this new set of wings is more posable and articulated thanks to being individual pieces, and there’s additions like the stand, but hey, psst: Hasbro also did a deluxe X-Men Archangel release a couple years ago that had articulated wings included, for around $35 to boot. All these options are a lot less than 150 bucks! And especially considering other Sam-as-Cap figures revealed today like the Diamond Select 7" figure ($30) or the kid-friendly Toybox figure ($13) have wing options, and Hasbro starts looking a little silly in comparison.
It’s more than just that the cost is so egregious though. It also sucks because Sam’s wings are fundamental to his identity as a hero, both as Falcon and now as Captain America: a statement about who he is even as he takes on the mantle and what makes him unique compared to those who wielded the shield before him. Taking them away and splitting the parts over a bunch of other figures—half of which aren’t even related to the show Sam was one of the titular heroes of!—would be almost as misguided as releasing him without the shield.
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