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Marvel Universe
by yo go re

There was quite an uproar about Hasbro switching its focus from the 6" Marvel Legends to the 4" Marvel Universe, but the fun-sized figures turned out really well - you'd have to be blind not to see that.

Though he is blind, Daredevil perceives far more than most people. His senses heightened to superhuman levels by a childhood accident, he lives in a world of continuous sensation. He can smell lies on a man's breath, or hear the panicked heartbeat of a mugging victim from ten blocks away. His uncanny radar sense paints a detailed picture of the world around him, allowing him to dodge bullets, and survive incredible dives from the rooftops to the street.

You know, I don't care how you spin it, DD's enhanced senses would not allow him to survive a dive from a rooftop to the street. It doesn't matter how well you can hear, gravity still works the same way. I can buy that the improved sense of touch could provide better balance, and would thus keep him from falling, but once he's in the wind, physics take over.

Daredevil stands an even 4" tall, a good height for him. Considering how good Hasbro is with scale in their Star Wars toys, these Marvel Universe figures are all over the place. Hopefully it's just because the line is new, and they'll get things under control as we go along, because we definitely don't need more giant Wolverines. The figure has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, swivel/hinge torso, actual balljointed hips, double-hinged knees and swivel-hinge ankles, enough to have him beat up anybody who gets out of line in Hell's Kitchen.

Similarly, DD's sculpt is also appropriate for the character, making him thick and muscular, rather than all wiry like Spider-Man. His neck juts forward, like a lot of figures' do, meaning it's easier for him to look down than up. Or even straight ahead. His boots and his trunks are wrinkled, and he has litle horn-nubs on his forehead. You can even make out the impression of his ears beneath his mask, which makes sense, since he'd probably have the thinnest cloth possible there.

The paint is simple, as you'd expect: Daredevil wears a pure red suit, so it's not like he needs a ton of apps. However, don't make the mistake of thinking the paint work is amatuerish. Yes, he's all red, but his boots and gloves are darker thanthe rest of the costume, and the belt and eyes are lighter. He has subtle shadows, and a paint wash on the legs to bring out the musculature. His logo is crisp black, and the skintone seems a bit too yellow, but that may just be a result of being surrounded by so much red.

Daredevil has one accessory, his billy club. Well, technically it's just a repaint of Ronin's nunchucks, done in red with gray tips, but the idea is there. The stock photos show him with two separate sticks, but you'll need a pair of scissors to pull that off. His right hand is molded to hold the chucks, while his left is open. He's also got the SHIELD file that all the Marvel Universe toys include: his is a memo from Hank Pym to Tony Stark about duplicating Daredevil's abilities. There's also a code you can enter on Hasbro's website for another little story.

This is figure #008, by Hasbro's numbering system, but being one of the first released doesn't mean he's low quality. Good sculpt, good articulation, really good work on the paint... the accessory could be better, but this is a great miniature Daredevil. Now if only Bullseye were as good...

-- 07/27/09

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