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Being a comic book collector of many years, I tend to spend the majority of my money on the comics and graphic novels themselves as I obviously want to read about the characters above anything else. These days though, there are a million and one pieces of merchandise out there, and a fan and his money are easily parted.
Although the majority of my collecting is of American characters (Superman and Captain America are my two favourite characters) I love British characters as well. Marvel Comics publish two of my favourites, Captain Britain and Union Jack, and I tend to collect almost anything that features them..which is how I came to be in possession of this action figure.
Hasbro, as part of their merchandising tie-up with Marvel have produced hundreds of lines, and this line, the small but perfectly formed 3 3/4 inch Marvel Universe line first appeared in 2009 and are still being released today in 'waves' (marketing speak for batches). It has proved a very popular line, due to the quality of the figures themselves. I own several of them, and like them all.
Union Jack himself is a great figure, and a great character. In the Marvel Universe, he was originally the British version of Captain American, fighting in both World Wars, and recently another person has taken up the mantle, working alongside MI5 as a state sponsored hero. It is this modern version that the figure represents (not that it really matters!)
The Union Jack figure was first produced as part of Wave 4 of the Marvel Universe releases, and was the 26th figure up to that point. He was slightly unique in that there are two version available; the 'standard' version, with his traditional weapons included, a pistol and dagger, and a 'variant' with just the figure and no weapons included. As these figures are as much aimed at children as adult collectors, I suppose Marvel didn't want to risk offending some parents with the weapons. Most superheroes obviously have fantastical non-offensive weapons (Thor's Hammer, Cap America's Shield etc), so a gun and knife are a bit too real world for some.
The figure itself is, as they all are, 3 3/4 inches tall, and comes in the Marvel Universe branded packaging; the S.H.I.E.L.D logo is also prominently displayed, as these early wave figures were part of The Fury Files. The Fury Files figures included a envelope, marked 'Top Secret' which includes a Superhuman Registration Act card and official S.H.I.E.L.D. file for each character, plus nice character art by Marvel artist Frank Cho. Nice little bonus!
Union Jack is excellent quality, very nicely sculpted and painted. He has several points of articulation, so is fully poseable, and can hold weapons as well. It is a pretty durable figure as well, as not being one of those collectors that never open anything, I let my kids play with the figures when they want to, and Union Jack is a pretty tough customer!
Hasbro have been hit and miss with their Marvel licence, but this line is one that has been a great success; great choice of figures, high quality sculpts, and those nice little extras like the S.H.I.E.L.D files.
Recommended for Marvel fans, and fans of action figures...plus kids that never grow up, like me.
The legends of the Marvel Universe got a little bit smaller! These pocket-size, 3 3/4-inch action figures include incredible articulation and amazing detail, and will be perfectly scaled with your other similarly sized toys. Marvelous mutants, superb superheroes, and venomous villains are all here! His strength and reflexes enhanced by the ancient, mystical Pendragon, Union Jack serves England and her people. Though his primary purpose is to defend his homeland from the ravages of the undead, vampires are in short supply these days. He works mostly alongside agents from MI-5 and MI-13, defending the British Isles against all those who mean them harm. Includes secret S.H.I.E.L.D. files and Packaging artwork by Mike Deodato. Variants include classic and modern. Series 1 figure 026.