Friday, October 8, 2010

Sideshow Captain America Premium Format Exclusive Statue, Modern or Retro that is the question

A shield, tights and 2 wings on his head? What more could you ask for from one of the marvel universes biggest freedom fighters. Next on is the highly anticipated Sideshow Captain America Exclusive Premium Format Statue. Premium format?!?! Well in my most simple words it's a statue with clothing. No, it's not a barbie doll with plastic arms or a really bad imitation of a superhero with "life like accessories". The premium format is so many levels above that and you'll soon see why.

Back Story: Captain America (Credit goes to Sideshow Collectibles)
Steve Rogers had one ambition - to join the army and support the America he loved so loyally. Steve was intensely disappointed when he was rejected, thanks to his frail frame and physical limitations. Noticing Steve's determination, General Chester Phillips offered Steve a spot in a top secret government experiment named "Operation: Rebirth." Steve was injected with chemicals, a mixture called the_ 'Super-Soldier Serum,' which increased his strength, senses, and agility. With his newly gained abilities, Steve trained in all forms of military combat and tactics, and was outfitted in the colors of the American flag. A new, better man, Steve serves his country on the battlefield as Captain America, the living embodiment of Freedom!  

First Impressions:
When I got this about 5 years ago it was a steal from today's current $800-$1200 going price (I think that beats inflation). As typical with all sideshow products there are 3 layers of packaging, the brown shipper, the 4 color box and the styrofoam. When I got my piece I managed to get the illusive brown shipping box as well as a nicely slapped on Canada post customs form. I guess most boxes weighing 30lbs and 3 feet high, warrant some kind of attention... I guess. If you're shocked so was I. Actually I got one of those delivery slips that required I pick it up from there, seeing the post office lady struggle to get the biggest box to the exit so i could carry it out made me excited to see what was inside.
Another fact, this was my first premium format figure (I almost had the incredible hulk too missed by a little bit though), so I didn't know what to expect. I even happened to stumble across the item and wanted it enough to pay for it. (Blessed and favored, I am)

The Goods: What you need to know and see
The brown shipper
Has the distinct Sideshow style, the red of their logo on each short side. Except this one being one of the older creations didn't have the sideshow logo on the short sides I'm not sure they had a logo yet. The long sides of the box have the standard fragile and other shipping symbols. In the middle the description of the item, look closely for the word Exclusive. In this case, pay close attention to these highly sought after 4 letters "EXCL". That's what will set this statue apart from the regular/normal version.

The 4 color box aka "original box"
Like most sideshow boxes looks amazing. I'll let the pictures explain it for you. The print is a high gloss finish (which sadly shows scratches to easily).  The colors look great and the best part is that they use the actual statue for the box art. Rest the box on its side so the flap opens up like a garage door. Then proceed to slide out the piece. I found this works best to not damage or loose grip while pulling the piece out.

Open like so. Make sure its flat on the floor and follow the arrow -------->-----> pull out this way ----->-->

The Styrofoam
Typical sideshow grey with the statue resting perfectly inside each of the specially made cavities. The great thing is that they do this so well that its quite rare to ever hear of anything breaking while in transit. It even came with a sideshow catalog. Which was very professionally done giving the piece that added bit of weighed anticipation. The unpacking is tricky, the foam has 2 layers.
The top (the correct way facing up) has the sideshow catalogue. Pull that styrofoam layer off to get to the first set of goodies. Underneath the styrofoam slab is the shield (for the exclusive it's shields). A spot for the modern (the round) and the retro (the triangular shape). The base and a piece of metal that will be attached to the base for final assembly.
Finally lift that up and you'll find what you've been waiting for. For the exclusive version you'll see an unusual site, 2 Captain America heads, 1 Robotic Ultron head, and a helmet. You'll also see the headless/decapitated body of Captain America. Not to worry though this is how the exclusive is supposed to be. It will all make sense upon final assembly.
The Shield alone is about 6 inches in diameter. That's how big this thing is. HUGE!!!!

Final assembly
Usually I start with the base, check the underside to make sure it matches with the bottom of the box. Grab either the helmet or Ultron's head its a tough decision, which ever you choose that will be what Cap will stand triumphantly over (I know tough choice Nazi's or Ultron). Next grab the body and mount it both pegs in to the holes, left foot (of the statue) on top of the head or helmet and the right foot into the ground. Next up the shield this you can have some fun with, either you can go with the modern or retro version whichever you like. Once picked carefully slide the shield arm into the peg hole, you will want to make sure the magnet securely catches on to the arm (move some of the arm fabric if you have to). Just don't want that shield falling and getting dented or anything.
Finally on to the head. This one can be fun too, you can pick any head you want, you can even make your own parallel universe cap and mix the parts around, modern head, retro shield, ultron head or what ever combination of 3 you want. There's 8 combination's to choose from (thanks data management for that flashback math lesson on combinatorics AKA combination's and permutations). Can't believed I actually used it.
Once you have your combination set Cap is ready to display modern, retro or parallel universe he still looks amazing.

The Base with the Edition Number and the Statue description. Underneath the 4 items you can pick to switch up or mix and match how you want Cap to look on final assembly.

The base with the the metal accessory attached (top right) NOTE the magnets on the piece makes contact with the magnet on the base. Now its ready for your choice of parts.
It's your choice either Modern or Retro. I wasn't much of a fan for the alternate universe versions (mix and matched retro and modern parts). It just didn't have the same feel none the less I will post those options in an edit later on.  

Which version looks best? I DON'T KNOW!! All I can say is that... without getting the exclusive you wouldn't have this amazing dilemma on your hands. Depending on your feel... go the modern route or go old school with the retro.

Final thoughts
The first of what seems to be a lot more mixed media statues to come from sideshow. If they can keep this standard of quality there's not one premium format I'd want to miss. Right down to the leather gloves and individual scales on his upper torso there's not a flaw I can find. Even the spandex fabric is awesome it folds all in the right places and the muscle sculpting comes out perfectly. They even managed to craft a leather belt with a metal belt buckle for the tights. The attention to detail is amazing, it's amazingly lifelike right down to the rubble strewn on the floor of the base. The pose is triumphant exactly the way any Captain America statue should be standing, its almost as though you'd want to throw a salute his way whenever you walk into the room.
There's not much more you could wish for here except for maybe a lower re-sale price point. If you can drop the $800+ (if you're lucky) for one then do it. Your next best option would be get a desktop wall paper of it. It is really that good or just drop by the blog anytime and check out our pictures.

5 Great American Salutes + 1 Modern Vibranium Circular Shield out of 5 Great American Salutes

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