Licensing is always a weird gamble, even for a company as gigantic and seemingly infallible as Disney, hence the preponderance of clearanced out Rogue One figures currently keeping the pegs nice and warm at our local Toys R Us. While that somewhat indifferently received dark, depressing tale where pretty much every character involved had to die for the story to make sense rated an entire toy line, the gritty street level Netflix adventures of Marvel comics’ Daredevil that initially debuted to rave reviews in 2014 is JUST NOW, in 3rd quarter 2017, getting a toy line.
While the Marvel higher ups usually blame the weird licensing entanglements surrounding their spate of sort-of-but-not-really MCU involved TV series’ when pressed over issues like this, Sony owned cinematic Spider-Man‘s current widespread involvement in the MCU proper just goes to show that if there’s enough money on the table, anything is possible. I guess the powers that be finally decided that t figures from their Netflix shows could potentially turn a profit because here comes Daredevil, the man without fear! And he’s pretty cool.
Charlie Cox’s pensive, melancholy defender of Hell’s Kitchen lacks a full Matt Murdock head sculpt, but the likeness of the bottom half of the masked head we get is pretty spot on, with Cox’s trademark stubble and puffy lips realized fairly flawlessly at this scale and price point. This is the second helmet design, from after when The Punisher smashes the first one early in Season 2, and it looks great, especially the highly screen accurate gloss coat around the eyes. My lone complaint is with a bit of overzealousness on the paint masking of Matt’s skin, but it’s nothing a bit of work with a fine tip Sharpie can’t fix. Likewise his pair of interconnecting billy clubs have been painted a bit haphazardly (and are a tad on soft side plastic wise), but his tactical gloved alternating fists and open hands look and work perfectly.
The good sculpting work continues from the neck down, with Murdock’s gear sporting realistic texture and armor paneling straight from the show (including his badass protective gauntlets and greaves, giving this version a leg up even on the upcoming Hot Toys figure). Paint continues to be somewhat sloppy throughout his various panels and buckles, but with this much matte black it’s hard for errors to hide, and it’s still overall an impressive showing for a mass market piece.
Things get a little weird in the articulation department though. Those ankle greaves that look so cool really make Matt’s below knee articulation a bit of a chore to work with in deep stances. You’ll get what you’re going for, but it may take some patience. His ab crunch similarly has a bit of wonk to it, with a ratchet joint seemingly always either too far forward or backward, making neutral poses difficult to achieve. Elsewhere Murdock is exactly what you’d expect articulation wise, able to get into any sort of badass ninja pose you could imagine, it just may take a little longer than you’re used to to keep him standing.
So that’s our Netflix Daredevil, and aside from some Minimates and Funko Pops, our first Nexflix Daredevil “action figure”, and while he’s not a slam dunk, it’s still pretty amazing to finally have him standing on my desk. This series also includes a Punisher with a fairly awful likeness, an Elektra with giant gorilla arms, and a Jessica Jones that uses the same generic face that most of the ML females do and looks nothing like the actress. So yeah, Matt’s gonna be going solo on my shelf for a while then. But Daredevil always works best alone, and for those purposes, this figure works really well.