Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Review : Daredevil Marvel Select (Diamond Select Toys) Wave/Series : Netflix Released : November 2017
Pros : The sculpt is fantastic with a great likeness (even with just the chin showing) of Charlie Cox Cons : Daredevil is sadly undersized vs other Marvel Select figures. The "action" stand is just plain useless
Diamond's Select range is 15 years old, and after doing a wealth of both comic book and Marvel Cinematic Universe figures over the years, we now see them dip their toe in a new Marvel avenue with this Netflix release of Daredevil.
As always with Select figures, Daredevil is a single release rather than be a part of a larger wave or case assortment. The packaging is the usual oversized blister card with the wrap around side panel to the left. While Daredevil is probably more akin to the Marvel Movies - Diamond have chosen to go with the standard comic book design to the box art with the large orange character name on the side panel - above this sits the Marvel Select logo and beneath it a new 15th anniversary badge.
The first mention of the Netflix series is on the triangular flash across the base of the blister. Here we would normally see some character art, but instead this is a deep dark burgundy with the Daredevil and Netflix logo's on top.
The large side art panel on most MCU Select releases sees an image of the character taken from the movie. For Daredevil the look is more comic art as they use the concept comic art of Joe Quesada that was used on the Season 2 poster and on the subsequent UK steelbook release. While striking and still linked to the Netflix series it sits more comfortably with the other comic book releases from a MIB collection.
The card back is more familiar for MCU collectors and we see a larger Daredevil logo ahead a bio of Matt Murdock and his journey to becoming the Devil of Hell's Kitchen. Aside this is a full image of the actual figure and the diorama base.
Once opened the diorama sits behind the main plastic insert. In this sits the figure, the stand, a spare pair of hands and the billy clubs.
After years of Select figures being notoriously long winded to unpack with multiple twisty ties, Diamond appear to have changed the approach on Daredevil and while there is a twisty tie at the waist - the limbs are held in clear elasticated bands. These are easier to remove and do pose less risk of damaging the figures paintwork.
Immediately out of the pack you can see what a brilliant job the sculptors have done with the Daredevil head. Even though we lost the unmasked head in development due to costs, the masked head still carries a brilliant likeness to Charlie Cox. The horns are proportioned well and the lens of the eyes a glossy deep red. The paneling on the helmet is filled in with a black wash and this adds a darkness to the mask.
The body of Daredevil doesn't quite match up to the head sculpt and looks a little gangly and thin. The outfit is detailed well enough with the same paneled sculpting as the helmet. The base colour is the rich burgundy with black inserts and washes. We get some silver detail on the belt buckle and round the side of the torso where fastenings are sculpted. The thigh holster also gets some silver highlights.
The boots feel oversized to me - as though they are too big for the figure. These are black coloured, but have some weathering to dirty them up.
Standard articulation for a Select figure has been 16 points for recent years. Daredevil does move on from this standard and has 19 points throughout the body. The head is a ball joint with a pivot at the front. The head rotates fully and can look down to the point Daredevil's chin is on his chest.
The torso has both a waist joint that swivels, and above this a torso ball joint that allows further rotation as well as the ability to lean forward and backward. From a visual perspective the forward position closes up the gap between chest and stomach - leaning backwards does open the joint up and looks a bit odd.
The arms have the standard combination of a ball jointed fully rotating shoulder, a single rotating elbow and a pegged wrist which rotates and pivots to 90 degrees - any further and it pops out of the socket.
The legs use the t-joint hips that Diamond have used for a number of years now. This means the legs can swing forward to be sitting as well as spread out to the side. While not as easy on the eye as say a ball joint hip, this combination of joints does allow a lot of leg movement. The hips are supported with a thigh swivel and double jointed knees. At the boots there is a rotating joint at the point the boots end and the legs begin. We still then get an ankle rocker.
All of this allows Daredevil to do plenty of moves including kneeling, action stances and even some martial arts moves which we will see later on when we get the stand into play. The one thing he does struggle with is standing in a neutral pose as his right leg is longer than his left. That means when the legs are straight he has an odd lean to one side. The added height seems to be in the thigh segment and it is bizarre that in a time where we have such technological advances as body scanning and computer sculpting that we can make a human leg a good 5-6mm longer than the other?
Daredevil comes with a stand, which is a fantastic idea in principle considering the type of action we see in the show. The stand is a two part affair with a segmented arm and a circular base - the two clip together easily. This is the same stand used on the Ghostbusters series - Slimer and Library Ghost - and sadly the flaws have come with it
First off the stand is not heavy enough for such a large figure, the base needs to be wider or heavier. The other issue is that each of the joints is far too loose - they are screwed so can be tightened, but not by much.
The stand plugs into a socket on Daredevil's back - the same principle that was used on the comic book Star Lord figure earlier this year. The hole is strategically placed in a section of black colouring on the outfit so isn't noticeable when the stand is not in use.
Once the figure is in the stand - all those flaws them come to haunt you, and it is frustrating as hell trying to get a decent pose. With those weak joints the stand comes apart in multiple places, and with the lightweight base - even if you get the arm to stay secure the figure more often than not over-balances the stand.
That being said with a lot of patience (a lot) some poses are achievable as we can see above - but be warned they will not hold for long on a display. If you are desperate to have Daredevil in these type of mid-action poses then my advice is to either glue the stand, or pay for a better quality aftermarket stand.
I have found a lot of Select figures lately have come with lots of hand options - and many of these are not of any use, or not that wildly different from each other. Daredevil keeps it simple in that he comes fitted with a pair of clenched fists to beat up the bad guys by hand.
There is then an alternative pair of gripping fists should some additional force be needed in the guise of his billy clubs. The hands pop in and out easily and there is no obvious paint rub being cast in a black plastic anyway with just red panels.
The billy clubs themselves are pretty plain, but they are a nice shape and show no signs of warping - a common issue with action figure weapons recently. They are cast in differing sizes, accurate to the show, and appear to be a silver plastic cast with the red painted on top.
They fit into the gripping hands really well, and work with the articulation for even more action shots.
When not in use the two clubs will slot into the thigh holster. Sadly, the holster is a touch too tight and on the first use they scratched the red paint off one of my clubs as you can see in the top left picture above. While the paint so far has been very good and robust, the red on the clubs looks to be that flat flaky paint we often see on Select figures.
As we alluded to earlier, Daredevil is a very diminutive figure by Select standards. He stands 6 3/4" high, that is 17cm. If we assume the closest scale on Select is 1/10 then Daredevil should be a touch closer to 18cm based on Charlie Cox's listed height of 1.78m.
Now Select have had varying heights and scales for a while, and say themselves they are not a team building range and don't adhere to a strict scale. For me Daredevil is not too bad, and he scales OK to some of the older figures like Widow and Hawkeye.
What is an issue is how he looks against the more recent "oversized" figures like Civil War Cap and Dr Strange. The issue looks worse when you compare him to Marvel Legends versions of the same figure as they are near identical - but we should remember though that Legends themselves have been getting bigger and if you stick Daredevil next to a 6" Star Wars Black Series figure, for example, he looks huge.
I guess in the end size is relative and you can get round it with some clever posing or positioning. The frustration is that I would love Select to choose a firm scale and stick to it as I don't for a minute buy or accept their "not a team building range" comment.
On to the diorama piece that is a trademark of the Select line. Daredevil comes with a two part base that clips together to make a lift door diorama. The plastic is solid enough and the decor is pretty good with some weathering on the walls and some defects and cracks in what is meant to be the concrete floor.
The piece is also a decent size and Daredevil looks right and in scale once placed into the diorama.
This piece is designed to be more of a static stand, and it has 5 sockets on the base into which you can insert the arm of the stand we talked about earlier. Three sockets are on the upright lift door, with two more on the floor.
Again this is innovative, but it fails in practice. The stability is better as the diorama becomes the base and this is weightier and broader than the circular stand. The issue remains with the weak joints on the segmented stand. These still can't support the weight of the figure easily and while they can help action poses, most of time you will need one or two of the legs of the figure in contact with wall or base to help keep the pose.
As a package the Daredevil figure is not a bad release and has loads of great new ideas from Select. The articulation has taken a few baby steps forward and the sculpting and paint jobs just keep getting better. The stand is an innovative idea, but fails in practice and a more robust solution is needed if they are going to use this again. The thought process on the thigh holster is also in question being so tight it rubs the paint on the billy clubs.
The diorama is OK but mine, like many, will go the way of the spares box. I am not sure if the dioramas are written into the Select deal to differentiate them from Legends - but if not I wouldn't be adverse to seeing them disappear and for us to get an extra head (one was dropped from this release) or better quality stand or accessories.
In terms of the size concerns, they are not as bad as you may think once the figure is in hand. Yes he could do with being a touch taller, a touch broader and having his boots scaled better - but he doesn't look massively out of place and there are lots of great things on the figure to be impressed with. I just hope that the number of negative responses to Daredevil doesn't put any dents into Diamond looking at further Netflix type releases - would love to see a Punisher next, and maybe a Jessica Jones after that....
I score the Diamond Select Netflix Daredevil a 3 out of 5.
Checkout the Diamond Select figures available at Toys in the Attic