Remember the first time Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) picked the round metallic disc from Captain America: The First Avenger?
Or maybe you’re one of the few who spotted the shield in the second Iron Man movie.
Did you smile when Captain America kicked it off the ground and into his hands in Captain America: The Winter Soldier?
Or when The Winter Soldier caught it as it was flung towards him?
Maybe you felt puzzled at the end of Captain America: Civil War, when the shield was returned.
Like Batman’s Batarangs, Daredevil’s batons, Thor’s Mjolnir or the Legion Flight Ring, there are some tools/weapons that are heavily linked to a hero. As fans, there is no greater joy than to hold them in your hands. But for the most part, the things we’ve held are mostly plastic toys. (Unless you actually do own a Legion Flight Ring)
These mass market toy replicas are a cheap but poor replacement for the icons they represent, but the alternative would be high-end replicas from the likes of Sideshow Collectibles.
Excitement filled the market when Hasbro, the very same folks who make mass market toys, announced that it was entering the high-end toy replica market with the launch of two replicas – a 1:1 scale Captain America shield, and the Iron Man helmet.
I’ve seen replicas of Captain America’s shield. The Sideshow Collectibles one comes with its own stand, and at US$800, few would think of using it as a plaything. In Japan, I chanced upon a 1:1 scale shield replica that came in a plain brown box. It was attached to two plastic straps and the item was a single, plastic piece painted with the iconic shade of the American flag.
I tapped it with my finger and heard the hollow echo, and saw it for what it was – an oversized frisbee that was not worth the S$200 price tag.
But this 24-inch replica by Hasbro is the direct opposite of that. The moment I lifted the box out of the plain cardboard shipping box, I knew there was something special about this shield. There is a slight heft to it that identifies it as more than a toy, but it is light enough to carry around without straining your arm.
This Captain America’s shield is as I dreamt it. But it also isn’t. This shield is based on the movie’s shield, which comes with circular ridges gracing the dome, denoting the red and white rings around it. The single star placed on the blue ring is also etched into the material, which matches the design from the Marvel movies.
At 60cm wide and less than 2kg in weight, this shield is as good as it gets for cosplayer and collectors looking for a mantle piece in their home.
In the comics, the shield is a singular piece of smooth metal, painted with the three colours, and while I admire that, this is a version that is equally iconic in its take. The colours here are painted on with a metallic glossy paint that easily reflects light. It is supposed to be a replica of the movie prop and it looks very much like it.
When it is flipped over, the underside contains two adjustable arm straps. These are for your arm to slip into, for folks who want to strut around with the shield on their arm. There are also four smaller brackets with the same brown straps riveted to them.
I’m not familiar with the rear design from the movie, but presumably, the movie has this as well. Earlier, there was a replica by Lager Toys and that also followed the movie, and it has the same four brackets and two arm straps.
With the Hasbro version, both the arm straps are the same size and type, which presumes to indicate that one can wear the shield on either arm, and in any orientation. But due to the placement of the star on the shield, one can only wear the shield in one orientation, otherwise the star would be upside down.
On my arm, the strap around my hand fits nicely, due to the adjustable strap. This is just a sliding one, and not one with belt hooks. The other strap is where a slight issue arises. Even at the smallest setting, the strap is still pretty loose to hold on to, and it does not offer the same grip one would expect to have when holding a shield of this type in a defensive position.
But if you’re left-handed, you can wield the shield in the right orientation since the straps allow for left hand use.
While the shield looks like the movie prop, which is supposed to be metal, make no mistake – this is a plastic version. But as stated, there is a heft to it and despite the choice of material, the shield has a great built to it as well. Yes, the shield flexes, but unless it’s a thick metal shield, one would expect that a metal replica would offer the same flex as well.
And a great reason for plastic is due to the weather here. Humidity isn’t a big fan of metal, and plastic would be more longer lasting.
And as S$200 replicas go, this is not something you want to use as an offensive weapon, so fling it at your own expense. I didn’t try to hit anyone or anything with it, simply because this review set is a loan set from Hasbro Singapore and they probably would not appreciate me using it in anyway disrespectful of the replica.
That said, I really want to, so if you ever do toss it, drop me a line to describe how it felt.
The shield is currently available for pre-order at Toys “R” Us stores in Singapore for S$199.90 and I would recommend making a reservation, even though the actual item will only be available for pick up in September. I’ve been keeping tabs on this and for some reason, Amazon has run out of stocks and is no longer taking orders at the moment. I’m not sure if there’s just too much demand or if there is a supply issue, but it looks like the shield will not be easy to get a hold of.
Captain America’s shield is a solid effort from Hasbro in trying to reach out to fans of the movies. Yes, S$200 isn’t cheap for a Hasbro toy, but this reaches out to a select group of fans. It can be adults who willingly buy a smaller version for their children, but would also like a better version for themselves. There are cosplayers out there with the means to make their own costume, but lack the skills needed in making their own shield replica.
Or they could be like you and me, folks who do not mind mounting the shield at home on the wall.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
As I was playing with the shield, I noticed that it’s paint work wasn’t meant to take much abuse. If you’re a fan of the Battle Damage version, just get one and scruff it up yourself. The Captain America shield can be a toy, a display piece for your home, or a basic template to build you own better shield. The Blue and White version anyone?
Design - 9/10
Build - 9/10
Geek Satisfaction - 9/10