When Hasbro wanted to relaunch the Marvel Legends line, they started with an exclusive Thor figure at San Diego Comic Con complete with packaging
shaped like Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. And since then, they have come back each year with more awesome box sets. This year, they seemingly took
inspiration from the first story arc of the New Avengers comic from 2005 in which a multitude of super villains escape from the Raft super prison.
The concept behind this box set is that Purple Man is escaping from the the Raft along with four other random villains: Abomination, Enchantress,
Dreadknight and Sandman. And fortunately for the population, Spidey is there to try to stop them. The Raft box set includes figures of all six
characters. When it was first announced, a box set with five villain characters, including three characters that haven't had Marvel Legends figures yet,
I was really excited. But with two of the figures also getting released almost simultaniously in the Abomination and Dormammu series at retail,
there's a lot of pressure on the remaining figures to justify the cost of this set.
Packaging - 6/10The packaging designs that Hasbro has come up with for these SDCC box sets have been really impressive. Last year's Book of Vishanti set was cool enough that I am still holding on to it even though the figures were freed long ago. So I had high expectations for the Raft set. And the concept is promising. The packaging attempts to recreate a section of the prison, complete with cells for each villain. They incorporated the prison theme into all of the graphics which looks great. Physically, the box is a large window box with a flap on the front which wraps around to the sides and covers the window when closed. And in an interesting bit of creativity, when the flap is opened it can be held open using a couple of velcro tabs on the side and it has the upper level of the prison printed on it. The concept is great. But there are two issues which I consider to be major drawbacks. First of all, this set is just huge! It is thirty inches wide and nine and a half inches tall. And that is with the front flap closed. It's even thicker than should be necessary at seven inches deep. And as large as that is, you still can't see the figures that way. If you want to be able to see the figures inside, you will need to display it with the cover open, essentially doublely the area taken up by this set. It's just not worth the amount of space that it takes up in my opinion. The other issue is that it takes the right lighting to be able to clearly see the figures inside. In most cases, they just blend into the shadows in the depths of the box. It's not a horrible design by any means. But it pales in comparison to how well the Book of Vishante and Galactus Imperative sets turned out.
Sculpting - Enchantress & Sandman 7/10, Others 8/10As usual with sets like this which are produced in fairly limited numbers, recycling sculpts is necessary to keep down costs. So Enchantress and Abomination are exactly the same sculpts as the mass market releases which is no surprise. Though it would have been nice to have some variation. Purple Man uses the same suited body that we have seen for so many other figures along with what I think is a reused Tony Stark head mold. Sandman is the Absorbing Man Build A Figure sculpt with a new head. And Dreadknight uses the recent Hobgoblin body, Baron Zemo's belt and loin cloth and a new head. Spider-Man is a generic male body with a Spidey head and web slinging right hand added. For the most part I don't mind the recycled parts. In fact, in the case of Dreadknight I'm downright impressed by it. But the reuse does mean that no attempt to fix the gaps in Abomination's forehead or shoulders was made. And Sandman ends up being a much taller figure than I would expect for that character. They seemingly tried to justify this with his color to make it look like he is partially transformed into sand. But he has none of the texture or sculpted sand detail that I would expect for a transformed Sandman.
Paint - Sandman 6/10, Abomination 7/10, Others 8/10The paint work for the figures in the Raft box set is what I've come to expect from Hasbro's recent Marvel Legends Infinite figures. That is to say that the paint applications are not perfect. But any errors, sloppiness or stray marks are minor and very limited. Spider-man has the most quality control issues thanks to a few spots where the painted webbing lines were either smeared or don't line up perfectly. Enchantress and Abomination both get new paint schemes. For Enchantress, that means a slightly brighter colored green for the dress and metalic finish for her headress. Abomination has a much more uniform and darker color scheme. I can't say which is more accurate. But the lighter greens on the Build A Figure version do a better job of bringing out the details of the sculpt. Sandman is very brown. Brown shoes, brown pants, brown belt, light brown shirt with brown stripes anda brown complextion, if not for the little bit of yellow for his belt buckle and his teeth, the entire figure would be brown. That's not out of place for the character. But it's not very interesting to look at either. Both Purple Man and Dreadknight turned out clean, neat and overall, well executed.
Articulation - 8/10There are no huge surprises for the articulation on these figures. The basic articulation for the males includes:
Accessories - Enchantress 4/10, Dreadknight 8/10The Raft set is pretty light on accessories overall with just four in total. But given the premise is that these villains are escaping from prison, I suppose we should be happy that we got what we did. Enchantress comes with two magic effects that can clip to her hands or wrists. They are of course the same ones the retail version of Enchantress includes. Dreadknight comes with the same sword as Baron Zemo did and can store it on his belt just the same as well. But he also comes with his large lance. Hasbro could have gotten away without giving him a lance based on the prison concept. They could have made a fairly simple lance and most fans would have been satisfied. But we ended up getting a nicely designed and sculpted weapon that manages to look suitably cool and unweildly at the same time. And Dreadknight can even hold it fairly well in at least one of his hands. I could complain about the lack of accessories for the remaining four figures. But I can't think of anything I would expect them to include. So I guess I can't complain too much.
Value - 5/10The Raft box set originally sold for just over a hundred Dollars. But unlike past Marvel Legends exclusive sets, the Raft hasn't increased in price much on the secondary market. A quick search showed multiple sets available for under $150 and even a few with starting prices under the original retail price. That's not too surprising. Of the six included figures, neither Spider-man nor Sandman seem like anything special. Both characters have gotten better Marvel Legends figures in the past. And then both Enchantress and Abomination became readily available at retail. So the only really compelling reason why you would have to get this set is for Purple Man and Dreadknight. While both of those figures turned out well, they are fairly obscure characters, ones that most fans won't feel too bad if they miss. But if you have the chance to get the Raft set, especially if you are not already getting the BAF version of Abomination or the retail version of Enchantress, you are getting several really well done figures for close to retail pricing.
Happy Hunting:The Raft box set was an exclusive at the 2016 San Diego Comic Convention. As usual, Hasbro also made a limited amount of sets available at their web site later this fall. Of course, both of those options are long since past. So at this point, if you want the set, you are going to have to find one on the secondary market. But as I mentioned, this sets doesn't seem to be as in demand as past sets. So there are plenty currently listed on eBay, many for a very fair price.