Wednesday, March 2, 2011

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Daredevil

Daredevil | Produced by Hasbro | Released March 2009

By day, he's Matt Murdock, blind defence lawyer and one half of Hell's Kitchen law-firm Nelson & Murdock . By night, he's the scourge of the underworld... He is Daredevil... the Man Without Fear!

With the recent re-issue of Hasbro's 3 3/4'' Daredevil (albeit in a slightly re-coloured costume) we at That Figures thought it was time to revisit one of the earliest Marvel Universe releases in his original costume.

Daredevil comes in the standard Marvel Universe blister-pack. As part of Series 1, the design uses the original Nick Fury/SHIELD illustrations. There's little else to say about the packaging that hasn't already been said, so let's jump to the figure itself!

Daredevil was released as figure 008 in the Marvel Universe Series 1 Wave 1 set. At this point Hasbro's designers were still finding their feet with the sculpts and in the intervening two years, their work has improved dramatically. As a result, Daredevil is a little bit primitive when compared to some of the more recent releases.

Daredevil uses the first core body from the Marvel Universe line, something that was also used for the Union Jack and early Wolverine releases. It's not bad but it's a little skinny-looking and the neck is odd: it tapers to a point quite rapidly in what I assume is an attempt to convey a well-muscled set of shoulders but in reality winds-up making the head look small.

The rest of the sculpt is fine, but Daredevil's costume is a pretty standard superhero outfit, with the only real detailing coming from the head, which is nicely done. The small horns on his mask are suitably sharp and he has a brooding expression to his face. The hand poses are quite nice, with a gripping right hand to hold his Billy Club (see Extras) and his other hand being half-open. I just wish the sculpt included Daredevil's club ''holster.'' Even if it was non-functional, having it would have been nice to see, as it's not only part of the character's look but it also would have added some extra, much-needed detail to the figure.

Joint-wise all is fine, although this earlier body sculpt did not include waist articulation (you're limited to a torso joint only) and the legs still use the peg system rather than the ball-joints seen on some figures in the line. My Daredevil's joints work just fine on the whole, being neither loose or overly-tight, except for his right knee, which is quite loose. Presumably this is not a design flaw and is simply me being unlucky.

Paint application is average-to-good. His eyes are nicely picked-out and the exposed skin is cleanly applied, with no run-over onto his mask. The costume's red comes from the plastic used, although there is a very light dry-brushing to accentuate the muscles. Note that the re-issued Daredevil is in a much darker, almost burgundy red with scarlet gloves and boots.

Daredevil includes his SHIELD file and Billy Club. Technically however, it's a Nunchacku, also used by Ronin and a few other Marvel Universe toys. The figure does not include a stand (the photos use an Iron Man 2 stand.)

Final Thoughts
The Marvel Universe Daredevil figure is an OK attempt, nothing more. It's really hard to get excited about because it's such a generic figure. Aside from the head sculpt and Billy Club, this could be virtually any superhero, which was, I think, the point - he was intended to be reused over and over. It's only as the line has grown that Hasbro has introduced more character-specific costume pieces and designs and it's about time Daredevil got a make-over, not just a simple recolour like the new re-issue. As one of Marvel's bigger stars, it's a shame to see him relegated to being so generic when some of their lesser-known names are getting some superb figures.

The newer re-issue is, from what I can tell, this same figure with a new paint-job. The thing about that is that Daredevil's paintwork was never the issue. He needs a new sculpt and I wish Hasbro would give us one, as he certainly deserves a better figure than this.

Unless you're a real fan or just looking to complete your Marvel Universe line-up, I'd skip this figure. 

Production QualityB-
Final ScoreC

Image Gallery


  1. When the Marvel Universe line started, I was not interested in any of the figures. They were kinda meh.

    But if I have the chance I'll get him. But only if he's cheap.

  2. I was the same. It was only when I saw the (classic) Iron Man that I started buying them. The problem was a lot of them used this same body and it wasn't that great.

    And yeah, he's an OK figure. I think the prices may come down on him from the scalper-level (I would hope) although the 'original' red costume one may still be harder to find.


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