As we all flock to the theaters to see Captain America and Iron Man go toe-to-toe on the big screen in Captain America: Civil War, it’s a very interesting time to be a Cap fan. You see, these two have certainly tangled before. In fact, Cap already fought this particular war roughly a decade ago in the comics version of Civil War, upon which this film is based.
Aspects of the conflict were re-fought with a fresh twist in Marvel’s 2015 Secret Wars event as these two heroes struggled, once again, over opposing ideologies in the Battlezone. Even today, Marvel Comics are preparing to return to this hero versus hero fight during their summer comic book event, Civil War II, which kicks off in earnest through a mix of titles in June.
“Whose Side Are You On?” was the tagline for the 2006 Civil War. It remains an ongoing theme today, as heroes line up to battle each other almost as often as the villains they oppose. The basis for this film is a significant Marvel storyline and the topics presented still resonate today, inside and outside the world of comics. The Superhuman Registration Act touched a nerve when it was first unveiled. Just as the New York Times was uncovering government surveillance and we discussed wiretapping and terrorism, Captain America was fighting for individual freedom only to be taken down by his former friends who supported government registration. He was imprisoned and ultimately assassinated for this fight. Of course he returned from the dead eventually, but it was a seminal moment in comics that was covered extensively in mainstream news. Though a commercial success, reviews were certainly as polarized as the two sides in Civil War. Fans seemed to either love it or hate it.
What is not in question when it comes to Captain America is the wide range of amazing collectibles available to fans of the red, white and blue. Celebrating the films and 75 plus years of comic history surrounding the character, I present 10 collectibles that caught my eye.
Released by Hot Toys in 2016
It is hard to beat the creative excellence consistently presented by the products of Hot Toys. Here we share an absolutely movie accurate version of Captain America as depicted by Chris Evans from the current film. This sixth scale figure stands roughly a foot tall and sets the bar high for the items that follow in our list. It comes packed with extras and interchangeable bits that make posing it fun and it can be yours for $224.99.
Released by Kotobukiya in 2012
Kotobukiya is another name any serious collector should have in their ranks. If you have any question why I advise this, just look at the detail present on this statue. Sculpted by artist Erick Sosa, the representation pays homage to the classic comic version of our hero. There is no denying this would look good standing watch over your living room or office.
Released by Rubies Costume Company in 2015
No one says all collectibles have to be serious. Also, I feel it’s never too early to start thinking about Halloween. Why can’t this pint sized sentinel of liberty be the one to help you out this year? It will get your friends talking, even if his grin is just a little off putting.
Released by Disney
Captain America’s jaw line is iconic. You could even go so far as to claim that it’s a mug that just begs to be represented as a mug… a coffee mug that is. Here you can sip from the exposed cranium of our favorite Avenger as you contemplate his shield bouncing off the walls of your office, defeating all who oppose you and smoothly returning to your hand. It’s a caffeinated moment waiting to happen if there ever was one!
Released by 3DlightFX
As long as we’re visualizing that shield rocketing around the room, let’s consider lodging it in the wall for a bit. This 3D wall night light includes a cracked sticker to give it just the effect you would want from a deco lamp. Made of plastic and sporting an LED bulb, this is the light of freedom you’ve been looking for in the dead of night!
Released by Timely Comics in 1941
Want to show of your historical knowledge? Just flash this badge from the very earliest days of Captain America fandom and you will set yourself (and your collection) apart from the rest. This badge (along with letter and membership card) was sent to readers who joined Captain America’s Sentinels of Liberty back in the first year the comic was produced. Ads at the time invited you to be part of the “greatest army of red-blooded young patriots ever assembled under one flag.” It also invited you to wage a daily war against the “spies and traitors to our country,” but that’s an entirely different story.
Released by FunKo in 2015
No list these days feels complete without a consideration of the Funko Pop! version of the character being discussed. I love this solid little representation of the film version of our hero. There have been a lot of Captain America’s released by Funko, but there is just something a little lovably retro about this version that makes it the best for me.
Released by Her Universe in 2015
Who says Steve Rogers should have all the fun? The good folks at Her Universe have taken the iconic imagery of our Captain and given it a beautiful stylized twist as part of the New Avengers Fashion Collection. Honoring the shield on the skirt of this halter dress, the Red Skull will never know what hit him as you celebrate your Captain America fandom.
Released by Kidrobot in 2014
On the more interesting side of Cap collecting, we present Frank Kozik’s Captain America design which was part of the 2014 Mini Marvel Labbit series from Kidrobot. Known for their creative vinyl figure design, Kidrobot’s labbits feature a distinctive, stylized rabbit character which is typically presented smoking and unshaven. Here the lip-held shield gives off the smoking aesthetic. This little Labbit is quite the conversation starter.
Released by Peter Pan Industries in January 1974
In any realm of collecting there are toys that just take us back and I’m ending this list on a bit of a selfish note. Because when it comes to Captain America, even more than any single comic moment, it’s the *ding* of this Peter Pan record that takes me back. This dramatic, “tell you when to to the page” reading of the origin of Baron Zemo has stayed with me through the years. Just spotting the cover reminds me of a small plastic record player that began my lifelong love of superheroes. Just as I was starting to read, this record helped me along and it’s a great memory (and a collectible I still own today).
Now that we’ve finished our list, it’s time for you to pick your side in the Civil War. For me, it was never in question. It’s Captain America from start to finish!