I'm not sure where and when this Marvel "concept series" thing actually started, but I can fondly remember that my first encounter with it dates back to the release of the first Iron Man movie's toy line. Some people in the toy community say that the idea behind it was to take comic influences and mix them with the movie design to create new Iron Man armors, thus tying the Armored Avenger with the origin of this "concept series" phenomenon. That may really be the case, and I have to admit that as an Iron Man fan, I actually fell for it. But who didn't? What I'm trying to say is that this "concept series" stuff suits Iron Man perfectly because it fills a particular need, and I don't know if Hasbro understands that.
With the Iron Man concept series armors selling considerably well, Hasbro decided that Thor and Captain America should also join the bandwagon to rake in more dough. And so they did, to mostly negative results. I think it's plain to see that toy fans don't really need a ton of Thor and Captain America figures sporting costumes far from what they're familiar with, and kids probably want their toys to look the way they saw the characters in the movies, making the market for concept series figures very small. But that doesn't mean that all the figures are bad, as evidenced by Desert Battle Captain America here.
Desert Battle Captain America is just a straight repaint of Super Combat Captain America, but a good one at that. The sculpt is crisp and full of amazing details like straps, seams, and creases, and the paint job accentuates the sculpt's high points. DB Cap sports a light brown outfit complimented by dark brown boots and gloves, while some red, white, gray, and silver parts complete the desert look.
Accessories-wise, DB Cap got the short end of the stick compared to SC Cap. Yup, both Caps get a helmet, a pistol, and a shield, but from a collector's perspective, DB Cap's shield is next to useless. Yes, it's the same shield that I was griping about when I purchased my Heroic Age Captain America. The shield is bulky, heavy, and it has an action feature: four blades pop out when the button at the center is pressed. Well, my DB Cap will never be caught dead carrying that shield inside my toy cab, and that means I will have another shield-less Cap on display. Sheeesh!
Though DB Cap can hold his pistol just fine, the figure actually has difficulty holding other weapons due to its hands' wide C-grip. I'm glad I was able to find some wide-handled guns for DB Cap to use as the figure can't properly hold most of my spare Joe guns.
When it comes to articulation, this one's a mixed bag. The range of motion on the elbows is good, but Cap can't raise his arms straight up due to the upper torso's sculpted sleeves. Yes, he can raise his arms all the way up, but at an odd angle. The hips are a nightmare to move, especially when you're trying to make the figure sit. 1:18 Marvel figures usually have this type of hip/thigh articulation (swiwel/hinge hips with swivel thighs), and if you know how to move them with ease, please tell me how to. DB Cap also has a ball-and-socket head, but the up-and-down movement on my figure's head is extremely limited, it's as if the figure only has a swivel head. That's a bummer because my SC Cap's head moves a lot better. The mid-torso joint works to perfection, so do the double-hinged knees.
I have a lot of issues regarding this figure, but I can't help but recommend it especially to G.I. Joe fans. Despite the nuances, this is still Desert Battle Captain America, a figure I believe is tied to G.I. Joe: Pursuit of Cobra's Desert Battle theme. Yup, the fig carries the Desert Battle tag, and believe it or not, the fig looks good with the other Desert Battle Joes. That fact cements DB Cap's spot on my Joe-verse, and it doesn't hurt that the figure's outfit looks like something a Joe would actually wear. Yup, DB Cap's a bit bigger and bulkier than the ordinary Joes, but Cap's a super-soldier, right? If you already own most of the POC Desert Battle Joes, get this figure and give it your desert-themed RAM too!