By Phantom Troublemaker
Two things have made me a bigger fan of Daredevil than I used to be – Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s run of the comic book and the Netflix Original Daredevil.
I think I talked enough about my background with Matt Murdock in the above post, so instead I’m going to talk about what’s up with Mezco’s One:12 Collective action figures and how I think the line is going.
I also see some haters (sorry – there’s no better word) who always kick up a fuss about the price and will say things like, “I can get a Marvel Legends Daredevil for $20, it’s ridiculous that this one costs four times that”.
First, these people clearly haven’t seen these in person. Of course, that’s tricky because you pretty much have to order one to be able to see it. You can’t just walk into Walmart and pick one up.
Second, that’s still just asinine. There’s no comparing these figures to Hasbro’s cheap plastic offerings. You don’t need to see them in person to recognize that. Even if you don’t consider the fabric clothing and improved articulation, the sculpted pieces make it clear that these are far higher quality and intended for a different market.
Side Note: I know I poo-poo Marvel Legends almost as much as I do Mattel’s stuff. It isn’t fair of me because they are a different product category and in many cases they are making some very good action figures. But I still think that $20 is just too much, especially when it’s a figure like, say, Daredevil, who is basically a head sculpt and some paint apps on the same buck they’ve used for fifty other characters.
Fortunately it’s pretty easy to get most Marvel Legends for much less than twenty bucks if you’re patient and smart.
Anyway, I love Mezco’s One:12 Collective and am pretty much hooked.
He’s very red and has a shiny chest. Of course, Daredevil mostly just is red, which means that the Marvel Legends figure did all that it needed to do.
Mezco, on the other hand, did their usual magic and found ways to bring the character design into the real world and make it much more interesting as a three-dimensional representation. There are a lot of textures and details here to make this much more interesting than just a guy in his long johns.
Of course, this leaves me wondering why the One:12 Flash is just a guy in his long johns. I wouldn’t want armor or anything, but some kind of extra details like seams or at least different materials seem like they’d work. I suppose I’ll find out when I get the Flash figure later this year (maybe).
This is the same gorgeous style of box as Captain America’s, with a paper slipcover with various elements printed on it. The front sports a raised “DD”, along with the standard branding stuff.
The back of the box features several full color images of the figure in action, along with some detail shots. All of this is on the interior box, as well. The slipcover seems to be there mostly just to keep the box closed. I prefer the clear plastic on the DC releases, but this isn’t by any means bad. I’ll also say that I’d prefer some concept art of the figure design over pictures of the figure.
The front panel opens to reveal the figure and a classic illustration of the Man Without Fear. There are two magnets in the front panel to keep it closed.
The box opens easily. Inside there are two plastic trays, each with their own cover. These separate easily and are not taped together, which I liked. The bottom tray holds the arm and armature for the display stand and a storage bag. Everything else in is in the top tray. The figure itself had a couple of plastic pieces around it to protect against scratching. For this release, the accessories were held in place by the top piece of plastic. There wasn't a piece of film over them. This seems to have worked just fine.
This is a fantastic box. It’s a perfect combination of everything that collector packaging should be – it has a beautiful design, it’s easy to open and remove the figure, and it’s also completely resealable with no sign of damage; not even tape marks. Mezco put together a box that is utilitarian and attractive and it might well be the best I’ve ever owned. I didn’t have even a second of difficulty removing any piece of the toy from the box, and that’s significant.
I love this head sculpt and the fact that the helmet is just red. I mentioned in our recent Toy Fair 2017 coverage that the MCU Daredevil figure was announced on the very day that this one arrived. At first I was disappointed because I generally prefer the MCU versions where Marvel is concerned, but once I opened this figure up I preferred it. The Netflix costume has too much black. I like the amount used on this figure for details and trim. It’s enough to break the red up, but not enough to where you couldn’t still say that he has a red costume. As opposed to the other one.
The sculpt of the helmet is clean and even. All of the lines are distinct and I particularly like the horns. They’re just exactly right. Like Captain America, there appear to be layers to Daredevil’s headgear; in this case a mask with a reinforced helmet piece on top. Matt’s exposed face is very distinctive and has a wash of paint over the detailed sculpt. I haven’t really touched on the flesh tones of these figures yet because I tend to be distracted by so many other details, but I think the almost translucent plastic Mezco is using is great. It reminds me of the look of Mattel’s WWE Elite figures, which may seem like odd praise coming from me, but those figures have some of the best looking skin on shelves today in my opinion.
Daredevil is the smallest One:12 figure I have so far. He has a lean physique and is shorter than Cap, Dredd, and the Batmans, as he should be. Mezco utilized their Magic Tiny Fabric technology to give the bodysuit some texture variance – there are sections of standard stretchy fabric and sections where the fabric is covered with a rubberized substance. As always, this substance seems similar to treatments Toy Biz used on the Famous Covers figures, but far, far more permanent. The material seems fused to the fabric rather than simply applied to it. The edges are clean and the overall effect is much cooler than long johns.
The shoulder plates are not attached by magnets like Judge Dredd’s, but are permanently affixed to the figure through the suit. There are a few parts like this and the fabric of the bodysuit moves around all of them without problems (somehow). I think that they add some needed depth to Daredevil’s profile, but I can see where some folks wouldn’t like them. And they do get in the way a bit. More on that later. The sculpted seams and rivets have black paint applied, but beyond that there are scratches and scrapes with silver underneath. It creates a great, worn look. There are matching elbow plates that are also attached through the bodysuit and miraculously do not interfere with the double joints.
The tops of the gloves cover whatever miraculous joining of fabric and figure occurs at the ends of Daredevil’s arms. These pieces can be rotated without bunching up the costume. They’re basically a bunch of straps and buckles and look cool. I fully believe that this guy’s gloves need to be super-secure for him to do all of the rooftop jumping and swinging he does. The hands have raised, weighted knuckle dusters on them. There’s black paint to bring out all of these details.
Daredevil’s belt is awesome and the design is brilliant. The two belts hang Han Solo-style, with a pouch connecting them on the right hip. The lower belt holds the holster for the included batons. The brilliant part is that, like the shoulder pads, there are points of this belt that are affixed to the figure through the costume – at the right hip above the waist and at the top of the left thigh. This seems like it would be a problem, but it keeps the belt in place and does not inhibit movement at all (somehow). The buckles are painted silver and there’s black paint in the eyelets.
The kneepads are the final pieces attached to the body through the costume. They’re attached at the tops of the knees. Daredevil’s boots match his gloves. The tops are buckles and straps – don’t want to lose a shoe while you’re running around Hell’s Kitchen – and there are even plates on top of the feet that resemble the knuckle covers. They also sport the same kind of wear as the shoulder and knee plating. Under those are detailed shows with cool, athletic soles. There’s a wash of paint over the entirety of each boot that looks sort of like mud. I don’t like that. It’s a little silly to me that the mud ends exactly at the tops of his boots. I would prefer is this app had been left off.
Daredevil comes with a stand, a posing armature, two extra heads (that I forgot to put in this picture but that you’ll see below), ten extra hands, two separate batons, two batons connected by wire, Daredevil’s danger sense, and a storage bag.
The hands swap out easily with the default hands, but stay put well. There are three sets of various kinds of gripping hands, a set of “whoa look out” hands, and a set of “NOOOOO” hands. I love the variety that came with this figure and the subtle differences between some of the sets. Also the fact that the designers realized there were several ways that Daredevil might hold his batons.
The batons fit nicely into the hands meant to hold them. The wire isn’t quite strong enough to support the weight of a baton when fully extended, but it’s sturdy and you can get plenty of poses with it. The separate batons look good and fit easily and securely into the holster. Honestly I feel like Mezco missed the mark here. We’ve seen the Man Without Fear do a lot more with his weapons than what’s included here, even on the TV show. There should be at the very least a grappling hook baton and a piece with the two parts combined into a short staff. This is the first time I’ve felt at all let down by a One:12 figure’s accessories.
The first alternate head is Matt Murdock. I would have liked to have one with his glasses on, but in all honesty that wouldn’t have made sense. Maybe if they do the red business suit Daredevil from Waid and Samnee’s run (and I would totally buy that). It looks great and matches the profile of the masked head. The hair, in particular, looks good. The sculpt is very lifelike and the paint only serves to enhance that.
The other head is battle damaged with a torn mask. It looks great, but I’d trade it for more variations on the batons in a heartbeat (that Matt Murdock would be able to hear). The bruised eye and cut cheek look absolutely incredible. Some of the best deco I’ve seen on a toy this scale. But I’d still rather have more batons.
The heads all swap out easily thanks to the large ball at the top of the neck peg.
Side Note: I really wish the Dawn of Justice Batman had come with an unmasked head so that I could put it on this figure.
The base is super shiny and will scratch easily, so be careful. There’s a removable peg so that you can simply stand the figure on it, but there is also two an armature if you want more extravagant poses. It holds the figure in various jumping or kicking positions; aerial stuff.
There is an extra piece with this set that allows you to attach the “danger sense” effect to the stand and position it behind Daredevil’s head:
It’s very cool, but like the battle damaged head, I’d rather have batons. That’s just my preference, though. I’m sure plenty of people prefer these pieces.
The bag is plastic and has a zipper seal on it. There is a spot to presumably write the figure’s name. I won’t be doing that. I do store the extra parts in there in a drawer, though. If I put everything back in the box I’d never pull the parts out and use them.
Like the other One:12 figures, Daredevil is a tremendously fun action figure. He is, however, slightly more limited than some of the other releases. The shoulder plates restrict movement there and his ankles might have the least range of the line so far. I was surprised by this, as the figure can’t even really approximate a squat.
This is still an amazing figure to play with and pose. I had a blast putting it on the stand and figuring out new, dynamic ways to position it. While it is slightly more limited than the others, I could still manage a satisfying number of Daredevil-esque stances and action poses.
Obviously the huge number of accessories add a lot to the play value. Being able to change up the look of the figure is great and the variety of weaponry make for near-endless posing options. All of my One:12 figures are still near my desk. Partly because I don’t have an area to display them yet and partly because I like futzing around with them.
I also want to emphasize that these figures are much sturdier than you probably think they are. I’m not saying that you should buy one for your kids, but I would be much more comfortable handing a One:12 figure to my nine year old son than I would any DC Collectibles release.
That score won’t dip any lower than “4”, despite my disappointment with the weapons. Everything else about the figure is thoroughly exciting and I’m thrilled to own it, even though it wasn’t on my original list. If you’re a fan of the Man Without Fear, I can’t help but feel like this is a must-have. It’s a little more involved than Matt’s traditional suit, but all of the upgrades and changes make sense not just from an action figure design standpoint, but from a real world perspective, as well.
4 out of 5
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