Pros : A brilliant likeness to Jon Bernthal. The skull paint detail on the chest is also impressive.
Cons : Lower half is devoid of paint using moulded plastic colour only. One of the two weapon is very lazy and a bizarre colour?
In late 2016 Hasbro announced that they will be releasing 6" Legends figures based on the popular, but grown up, Marvel Netflix shows. The wave, called the Marvel Knights wave, would include figures from Daredevil and Jessica Jones alongside comic book figures of Blade and Bullseye and a comic book Man Thing Build-a-Figure.
Like the content of the shows, the packaging is a lot darker than we are maybe used to from Marvel Legends with a deep blood red theme around the box and a more grown up style of artwork on the scooped side panels. Punisher is released under the Daredevil logo, being based on his appearance in the 2nd season of Daredevil rather than his own show. We do get the iconic Punisher skull atop the packaging on the top flap.
Round the back is the usual figure image and a checklist for the whole wave. The bio piece talks about Frank Castle and his quest for revenge against the criminals of Hell's Kitchen, grounding this again as the Frank Castle from Daredevi season 2.
Despite there involvement in the show, the Netflix log is not on display anywhere on the box.
Out of the package we now see the blood red card insert is more than just a plain piece with an intricate illustration of some New York style buildings. The figure sits in the inner tray and his two weapons are arranged either side of his head. The Man Thing arm sits down to the figures right.
The head employs the face print technology to give us a very impressive Jon Bernthal likeness, complete with some bruising and cuts around the nose and eyes. We also get a more realistic five 'o' clock shadow around the chin and the shaved sides of Frank's head. The only thing throwing the look on the head is the hair which sits a bit too high and a bit too thick and there is no real gradual transition from shaved sides.
Frank is wearing his outfit from the end of Daredevil season 2 with his flak vest that has been spray painted with the iconic Punisher Skull. The way this is executed is as good as the face paint/print as the skull is not a solid colour and does look spray painted onto the black of the vest.
Frank is wearing a plain black pair of combat trousers and boots. These look to be cast in the black colour and while they have a good level of sculpted detail like folds in the cloth and laces in the boots - there is not a scrap of paint on them to bring out that detail.
The coat is a separate piece and can be removed, although this then makes the figure look bizarre with big baggy sleeves. It does give Hasbro scope for a re-released version without the coat at a later stage - and I would buy that one as well.
Articulation has been dialled back a little on Frank compared to Daredevil for example. While cost may play a part, it is also a sensible decision for Hasbro as The Punisher does not need to be doing kung fu kicks or flying poses - he just needs to look mean and be able to be posed firing guns.
The head is ball jointed as usual and the movement is good, with the head bending fully forward so the chin touches the chest. Do be careful with the head as the joint can make the head look unnatural in terms of its position. The head joint is also very visible from the back. The torso is a ball joint and is not immediately visible, but once moved it can throw out the look of that painted skull.
Arms are ball jointed shoulders with a bicep swivel. The elbows are a dialled back single joint, but this still bends beyond 90 degrees and it also rotates - making the bicep joint above it a little bit redundant. The wrists are pegged and jointed, but the joint doesn't move easily. Only one set of hands are included with Frank.
Legs are ball jointed hips, disguised well under the coat. The thigh is cut with a swivel and Frank does get double jointed knees as well as a satisfyingly ratcheted ankle rocker. Frank stands perfectly well on his own in a variety of poses.
The Punisher would not be The Punisher without an arsenal of weaponry, and Hasbro have given us a couple to start off with. First is a machine gun with scope that Frank often uses throughout Season 2 of Daredevil. This is cast in black plastic and is crisp with plenty of detail. It has been left black with no paint apps. This fits into either of Frank's gripping hands, and even with the single jointed elbow you can get a two handed pose with the other hand cupping the muzzle.
Our second weapon is a hand gun. This looks like it is from a different line altogether. While the Machine Gun was crisp and neat, this one is lacking any real detail other than a textured grip and it looks soft and warped. This handgun is cast in a silver plastic, again with no paint apps - why not black? When was the last time you saw Frank Castle blasting away with a shiny silver gun?
Like the rifle this fits in either hand. And a pair of these would have been nice considering Frank is often seen utilising a weapon in each hand. While there would have been room, there is no holster on the belt in which this gun can be stowed.
While these weapons are nice, well the machine gun anyway, I would have given these up if Frank could have come with the mini-gun he was using in the Daredevil Season 2 finale. That is the iconic weapon we associate with this outfit and I am already scouring the market for a 1/12 version for my display.
The Punisher Netflix figure is really well executed in terms of the likeness to Bernthal and the costume. The articulation is appropriate to the needs of the figure and yet pretty wide ranging. The paint is excellent, particularly that facial print and the skull.
But it is not a perfect figure by any means and the lower body would have benefitted from some extra paint or weathering. The accessories are also varied - one being great, the other not so much - and why could we have not got a mini-gun to make this spot on screen accurate.
I score Frank Castle, The Punisher, a very impressive 4 out of 5.