ToyBiz, as a company, is always stretching. They earned their place in the industry by combining excellent sculpts with groundbreaking articulation, but they realize that not everyone wants that in a toy, so they keep creating Marvel characters in different sizes and formats. Their newest pieces are the small Figure Factory dioramas.
We've already taken a look at the idea and general execution of the Figure Factory sets in a related article, so we're just going to jump right into the review. If you get lost, just check out our primer course for the answers to your questions.
The line is divided into identified figures and mystery sets, adding a slight dimension of collectability, surprise and unpredictability to the line. One of said surprises is the guardian of Hell's Kitchen, Daredevil.
Blinded as a boy, Matt Murdock uses his remaining senses, heightened to superhuman levels, to fight crime. He's the only lawyer around who's also a fully accomplished ninja, which means that even if you lose your case, he can kick the other guy's ass. Damn, I'm hiring him to contest my next speeding ticket.
Though he wears all red now, DD started out in a red and yellow eyesore of a costume, which current revisionism has changed to brown and yellow, saving us all a lot of painful McDonald's flashbacks. That's the version of DD represented by this set, which can lead us to two conclusions: 1) the 12 mystery sets not only introduce new characters, but variants of said characters, as well, and 2) there's a red Daredevil out there to be found in a mystery box.
DD is built from 25 pieces, putting him at the upper end of the Figure Factory part count. He's posed leaping across the rooftops, swinging his billy club as he goes. Four pigeons have been disturbed by his passing, taking flight through the steam coming out the pipes in the roof. The hardest part of assembling this set is figuring out which pipes fit in which roof, and where each of the birds belong.
The sculpting is very good, showing us the stone and brick work, the texture of the shingles and even the individual feathers on the birds. Daredevil's anatomy looks just as good as any similarly-sized McFarlane figure, and the assembled set has a great sense of dynamism. The figure is not articulated, but it is poseable, depending on the shape of the connectors in the joints. The paint apps seem a bit sloppy, and I hope ToyBiz gets these under control before the line goes much further.
One of the cool things ToyBiz is doing with these sets is capturing the look of the comics well: a big sweeping arc of white plastic sticks off the backside of DD's club, standing in for the motion blur that would be drawn on the page. The assembled Figure Factory set is just over 5" tall, with DD's slightly hunched pose keeping him below 3".
The Figure Factory sets are really surprisingly fun. Daredevil looks great once you put him together, and the relatively cheap price tag (and lack of breakable parts) makes these perfect desk accessories. Plus, I can't remember the last time I was actually excited about collecting a set of cards - the prospect of completing the two posters is tantalizing. If you're on the fence about whether or not to get one of these sets, pick up your favorite identified character - it's worth it. But if you're feeling brave enough for a mystery box, there's plenty of cool stuff to be found within.
What do you think of the idea behind Figure Factory? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.