Comics are generally seen as a very male dominated world. And rightly so. The readers, the creators and the characters within the books all tend to
be mostly males. So it's not too surprising that as Marvel seeks to expand their customer base in recent years, they have been trying to appeal more
to women as well. That has included the introduction of more female characters and attempts to spotlight existing female characters more as well. And
few examples of this have been more obvious than the launch of the A-Force comic. Following the events of Secret Wars, the A-force title follows the
all female team of super heroines who defend the land of Arcadia. And this year Hasbro teamed up with Toys R Us to create an exclusive box set with six
characters from the A-Force title: She-Hulk, Loki, Singularity, Sif, Monica Rambeau and Elsa Bloodstone. I have to give them credit, it would have been
very easy for Hasbro to have put together a set like this just recycling female characters that they have already produced. Just in the last few years,
they have produced or are producing figures of Medusa, Jean Grey, Captain Marvel, Dazzler and Nico Minoru. Those along with an updated version of She-Hulk
who we haven't seen in years would have been more than enough to create an A-Force set. But instead, Hasbro put together a set which not only gives us
a new She-Hulk and the first female Loki figure, but four characters who are completely new to the Marvel Legends line. That character line up alone
makes this set worth a look in my opinion.
Packaging - 9/10The A-force set is packaged in a box with a flip open front panel similar to the previous Guardians of the Galaxy box set from two years ago. The front panel has some nice colorful comic images of the six characters include in the set. When you flip open the front panel, you have head shots of each character along with a breif character description on the inside of the lid opposite a large window that offers a full view of all six figures and their accessories. The back of the box has a simple large photo image of the toys embossed onto it. The overall design is simple and I wish it did a better job of explaining who or what A-Force actually is. But it is attractive and shows off the figures quite well.
Sculpting - 6/10I was puzzeled by the character choices in this box set. She-Hulk, Loki and Singularity all made sense since they featured heavily in the comics. But I didn't see either Monica Rambeau or Elsa Bloodstone in any of the issues. It was only when I started to look at the sculpting that I realized that they seem to have purposely selected characters that they could create with minimal additional sculpting other than a new head sculpt. That's quite a limitation but the figures turned out far better than they had any right to considering the limited effort. I would like to have seen some texture for Sif and Loki's outfits. And Elsa Bloodstone's shirt should really have been sculpted since it's hard to tell that it is suppose to be a shirt that bares her midriff instead of a full body leotard.
Paint - 6/10The paint work on Sif and Loki is well done and there is actually a reasonable amount of painted detail on their outfits. The other four figures on the other hand have just the bare minimum paint work. Fortunately Elsa Bloodstone is the only figure where the limited paint work is any sort of issue. And that is only because her skin tone and the color of her outfit are a bit too similar. Ideally if they weren't going to sculpt her shirt, it would have been nice if they had at least outlined it with a bit of paint.
Articulation - 8/10She-Hulk has thirty points of articulation while all of the other figures in the set have twenty-nine points of articulation. The difference is that She-Hulk's mold still has the rotating bicept joints. But she also only has a ball jointed neck instead of having the ball joint on the end of a hinge joint as all of the other figures have. As usual with Marvel Legends figures, that isn't quite as much as a male ML body. But that is still a pretty reasonable amount of articulation.
Accessories - 5/10For a set of six figures, there is a surprising lack of accessories in this set. She-Hulk, Monica Rambeau and Singularity don't have any accessories. Bloodstone comes with a pistol and two rifles. All three of her weapons look nice and there is even a holster to hold the pistol when not in use. Unfortunately she can't really hold the rifles in any sort of realistic firing pose nor can she store them. So she looks badass. But the best she could actually do in a fight would be to fire off a single round while shooting from the hip and then have to drop at least one of those rifles. Sif has a broad sword which she can weild or store on her belt. Then both Sif and Loki have the same cape albeit in different colors. That cape is actually the highlight of the set in terms of accessories. They look nice and drape well down the figures backs. But what I really like is that they don't have to peg into the figures backs as is the case with most capes. Instead the fur collars hook over the shoulders and keep the capes in place. It can be an issue if you want to pose the figures with their arms up in the air. But otherwise I really like the look and fit of these capes.
Value - 7/10The A-Force box set sells for $120. That works out to $20 per figure which is pretty much the normal retail price for a Marvel Legends figure. Considering that the set is an exclusive, I'm actually kind of impressed that they didn't charge extra for it, even if it was just $5 or $10. But the value of this set is very dependant on how interested you are in the six characters included. And Monica Rambeau, Singularity and Elsa Bloodstone were not names that were at the top of many most wanted lists. And while the figures turned out alright. None of them are so impressive that I would recommend the set if you only want a couple of the figures.
Happy Hunting:The A-Force box set is exclusive to Toys R Us. It showed up first on their web site. But it has been shipping to physicals stores for a while as well. It is still available as of the time of my writing this review from their web site and in the local Toys R Us stores that I have checked as well. So if you are interested, finding it shouldn't be a challenge.