Marvel's cinematic offerings have been getting most of the attention, which isn't surprising as their television offerings have not been nearly as well
received. But that doesn't mean that Hasbro is going to ignore them entirely. We already saw the
Manthing Series of figures earlier this year which gave us four of the characters from the various Netflix Marvel series. And now with the release
of the Defenders crossover series, Hasbro and Amazon have teamed up to bring fans a box set of the four main characters from that series in their comic
book incarnations. So look out Hell's Kitchen, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Power Man and Jewel are hitting the street to protect the citizens of their city.
Packaging - 8/10The Defenders box set brings us back to the traditional window box with a front cover flap that Hasbro has used for most of their box sets outside of comic con. They produced a nice comic image of the group fighting some Hand Ninjas for the cover and a nice group photo for the back panel. Inside you have a large window to show off the figures and brief profiles for each of the four heroes. The packaging is still held back by Hasbro's decision continue to include all of the text in four languages. When I first saw the character profiles I thought they had reasonably long character histories. So it was disappointing to see that each character only got an Alias listing and one sentence bio. And the photo on the back panel has enough empty space that it really seems to be begging for a general history of the group. But of course, there wouldn't be room to reprint it in four languages. So Hasbro slapped a ML logo in the empty space which only fills about a third of the total space. Overall the packaging is colorful and shows off the characters well. But these are not first string Marvel characters. It would be nice if they could have included more character info and some history about the group for those that may not be familiar with them. (Once again, why isn't Marvel including a code for a digital comic to fill this role and drive traffic to their online comics service?)
Sculpting - Jewel 5/10, others 7/10Since this is an exclusive box set that will likely not sell as well as a normal series of figures, Hasbro was careful to make sure that they could create these figures with as little new sculpting as possible. Fortunately they have already produced figures of Iron Fist, Power Man and Daredevil recently that could be at least partially reused in this set. Iron Fist and Daredevil appear to be straight reuses of the molds of those characters from the Dormammu series and Hobgoblin series respectively. Power Man seems to be made up of a number of different parts. Most of the figure is from the Thunderbolts box set. But they did give him a new belt and wrist bands which appear to have come from the Sandman/Absorbing Man Build A Figure and Guardians of the Galaxy box set Drax. All of that works fairly well. Jewel is not quite as impressive as they used a female body mold and didn't bother to give her any sculpted detail. Her costume doesn't need much. But it would have been nice if they at least gave her a sculpted belt so that the figure had some molded detail.
Paint - Daredevil 4/10, others 6/10The paint work for the box set is kept fairly simple. There is a wash applied to Jewel's hair and across Daredevil. But beyond that the figures have simple paint schemes and limited painted details. Daredevil is a bit of a problem in that they couldn't properly match the color of the plastics used for his torso and crotch to the rest of his limbs. Luckily it isn't as distracting as it could have been. In fact I actually thought it was an intentional paint wash at first. His figure is also the only one with an obvious quality control issue, a small bit of stray paint on his left cheek. Jewel also has a little bit of clumping paint in and around her elbow joints. But they are not nearly as obvious as the mark on Daredevil.
Articulation - 9/10There's not much to be said here. It's the usual thirty plus points of articulation that has become Hasbro's standard for the Marvel legends line. There's a lot of possibilities there with all of those joint and that much range of motion. The ratcheting style joints that they now use do limit the amount of fine adjustment possible, but they also ensure that none of the joints are floppy or overly loose.
Accessories - 5/10The box set includes Daredevil's cane/staff/billy club weapon and a pair of flame effects which can fit over Iron Fist's hands. As with previous versions of this Dardevil figure, the club can be separated into two parts and stored in the holster strapped to his thigh. The flame effects are the same ones came with the figure in the Dormmamu series. They look nice and fit well. Though I would have preferred the translucent fists that were included with that figure instead since they were a much more unique accessory. While I would have liked to see Hasbro throw in some sort of extras with the set, I can't complain too much as there isn't anything particularly pertinent to any of the characters that's missing from the set.
Value - 2/10 to 7/10The Defenders box set sells for $80. At $20 per figure, that is right in line with the normal price of a normal Marvel Legends figure. So in a best case scenario where all four of these figures would be new additions to your collection, that isn't a bad price. The value is still a bit limited since the box set comes with fewer accessories than the figures likely would have included if packaged separately and there is no Build A Figure to add to the value when you are buying multiple figures. But both Daredevil and Iron Fists have been released in very similar forms quite recently at retail. And as one of the collectors who spent the time and money to track down the Thunderbolts set, this version of Power Man isn't that much different that I would have felt it was worth buying it if it wasn't part of a box set. So I essentially paid $80 for a single figure which they put no effort into the sculpt and which includes no accessories. If you are thinking I am a complete sucker for doing that, I can't really disagree.
Happy Hunting:The Defenders box set is an exclusive to Amazon.com as far as I am aware. Though that may be different outside of the United States. If you are in the USA, the set just released around the middle of November and is currently still available from Amazon.com.