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Let's Discuss: Hasbro Marvel Legends Spider-Man Retro VHS Series: Daredevil Action Figure

As you know, I missed out on the Daredevil three pack with Bullseye and Elektra. I was very disappointed because D.D. is on the new body mold and I was so impressed with what I saw in reviews. Therefore, it was a no brainer when Hasbro announced this Daredevil in the VHS Retro style two pack. Even though he comes with Hydro-Man, I didn't care. While many don't care for the cel shading, I actually really like it, particularly on this figure. There are some great surprises in the shading as well, which I'll talk about shortly.

Matt Murdock grew up in the Hell's Kitchen section of NYC. His father, Jack, was a club fighter who was killed when he refused to throw a fight. Prior to this, though, while saving a pedestrian from being run over, Matt suffers his first tragedy. He is struck in the head by a container, which fell from the speeding truck. The accident took Matt's eyesight, but the radioactive contents of the container heightened his remaining senses to super-human levels. Matt's hearing is now so acute that he can tell if someone is lying by listening to their heartbeat. His sense of touch is so keen that he can "read" print on a page, just by feeling the indent and grooves left by the printer. Most astonishing of all is his incredible "radar sense" which operates in a 360-degree radius, allowing Matt to "see" what is going on around him. As Matt grew and devoted himself to studying law, he also was trained in the ways of the Hand Ninja by the mysterious individual known as Stick. Matt continued to train and develop his skills until he exceeded even Olympic level athletes as an acrobat and gymnast, as well as mastering hand to hand combat, stick fighting, and various Martial Arts. Daredevil carries a pair of multi-use billy clubs. They can be used individually for combat, combined into a short staff for fighting and can even deploy a cable for rooftop traversal.

For me, personally, Daredevil has always been a favorite character. He's seen several different iterations of life through the eyes of each of the teams that have created his comic books and still finds his way back to his roots. Though I haven't picked up a newer DD book in a long time, I still enjoy breaking out all of my comics from the 80's and 90's to follow the Man without Fear's adventures!

Accessories: 8/10

Unlike his box-mate, Daredevil actually comes with a fair number of accessories. There are two head sculpts, one with gritted teeth, the other with a stoic expression. He has two billy clubs which fit into his thigh holster and can be connected by the rope line that also comes with the figure. The ends of the line are designed to pop into the ends of each billy club and stay in place, until you remove them. Unfortunately, the line is a hard plastic and is fixed in this particular shape. I thought about heating it up and re-bending it but decided against doing so. I may see about making a line with bendy wire, but I'm not sure how to best secure it in the clubs. Anyhow, back to the accessories. Daredevil comes with three pairs of hands: fists, weapon holding, and open/relaxed hands. I really like the fact that the open hands appear to be new sculpts as the fingers are posed differently than we've seen before. There are also sculpted wrinkles to give the gloves more texture, which is a bonus. The score could have easily been a 9 with a bendable line connecting the two clubs.

Appearance: 9/10

I wanted, very badly, to give Daredevil a 10, but there are some minor issues with the appearance that detracted for me. The lack of shading on his rear end, the back of his belt and holster, boots, and gloves does give an unfinished look to the figure. I can deal with there being no shading on the back of his head/mask, because more light will hit that spot, but the rest does throw the look off a bit for me. Now... with that said, for me, this is some of the best shading done on a figure. The DD are highlighted on his chest as they so often appear to be in the comic books. The shading is applied to enhance his musculature, and much to my joy and surprise, the shading contains feathering and cross hatching. This is typically only seen in comic book pages but makes its first appearance on Daredevil. I think this looks spectacular as it softens the edges of the shadows and gives a more organic look to the figure. I do appreciate the work that went into applying this paint design. Kudos to Hasbro on it.

Aside from the issues I mentioned before, the only other problem I have with the figure is on the back of the gritted teeth head sculpt. There is a small nick or chip in the back of the helmet. I can touch it up with red paint but need to work on mixing the right shade to cover it.

Beyond that, the figure looks amazing. The inclusion of the new hand sculpts help to convey a whole new gamut of expression when posing the figure. I know I'll likely be in the minority with how much I like the look of this Daredevil and I'm ok with that because, in the end, we buy what we like and everyone is entitled to like what they want to like.

Articulation: 8/10

Daredevil is so close to being one of the best engineered figures. However, there are a few issues which bring him down a couple of notches. So, let's start up top. His head can turn side to side and has a small degree of tilt. He can look down reasonably well, but even with the notch in the neck, the shape of his head prevents Daredevil from looking upward very well. The butterfly joints on this figure work as they are supposed to. I was blown away when I was able to bring both arms back to almost parallel behind Daredevil! This is how the joints should work, which means the shoulder pegs are the proper length and not intrusive in the rotating mechanism! The arms can raise out to higher than a T pose and will rotate a full 360 degrees as well. The bicep swivels work fine and the pinless elbows bend fully, allowing the hands to come right up to his head. The wrists all pivot and hinge easily without any obstruction. The upper diaphragm joint swivels, tilts sideways, bends back reasonably well and has decent forward crunch. Coupled with the lower diaphragm hinge and Daredevil gets an excellent crunch. There is no waist swivel because of the design of this body mold. His belt is floating and slides up and down easily but doesn't interfere with the crunch functions. Sadly, his leg splits are pretty weak, nowhere near what a martial artist is capable of. They will kick forward reasonably high though, which helps. The thigh cuts work fine and even the billy club holster doesn't hinder that movement in any way. His pinless knees also bend in deeply and the boot cut works fine, if you like those. His ankles hinge and pivot with ease but aren't loose. Lastly, Daredevil's toe articulation hinges very nicely and is sturdy enough to pose him without fear of tipping over.

Affordability: 8/10

As I mentioned in the Hydro-Man review, I was astonished that this two-pack was only $49.99. When you combine both figures and their accessories, we basically get a two pack that costs as much as the two figures should individually. This is how Hasbro should do it all the time.

Overall, I really do enjoy this Daredevil. Though Hasbro still has the bad habit of doing Hasbro things, I feel like they are starting to up their game just a bit with Marvel Legends. I hope this isn't just wishful thinking on my part, but for now. Daredevil on his own earns:

8.5 out of 10 ToyBoxes

As a standalone, Daredevil is a solid figure. You may not like the cel shading and that's ok because there are a lot of tutorial videos out there that show how to remove it. With or without it though, this Daredevil is a figure worth adding, even at the cost of including Hydro-Man. As a set, I will say Hydro-Man brings the score down, but I'm good with giving them a solid 7.5 out of 10. Watch for our next review when Dan's ToyBox discusses the G.I. Joe Classified Scrap Iron action figure. Until next time... GEEK OUT!!!


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