Would The Collector want to collect this year’s SDCC addition to the 3.75″ Marvel Legends collection? Let’s find out.
The Hasbro Marvel team’s concepts for Comic-Con exclusives this year was particularly strong. On the 6″ front we had the brilliant Raft box set, while 3.75″ collectors once again get to go cosmic, with a set based on the creatures and curious found within The Collector’s vault. It’s a fun idea, and I like how we get to cross the streams between movies and comics here– the set is based entirely on comic book designs, yet it taps many characters featured in Guardians of the Galaxy, from The Collector himself, to his
captives guests such as Cosmo the space dog and Howard the Duck.
Let’s start with a full rundown of what’s in this box– the set includes The Collector, Howard, Cosmo, Lockjaw, Moon Boy, and accessories including the Zodiac Key, the Casket of Ancient Winters, and the Wand of Watoomb. It’s a diverse spread of stuff that isn’t afraid to go DEEP into Marvel Universe history… I’m not ashamed to admit even I had to do a Google search to figure out what the heck a Wand of Watoomb was. And the packaging for this set is another huge win, with its gatefold cover that opens to reveal The Collector in the center, lording over his possessions… all of whose plastic bubbles double as stasis chambers.
So in short, this exclusive is far from the standard box set of action figures. We actually only get the one standard figure in the lineup, The Collector, who is quite well done. Beyond that, we’ve got another desperately needed addition to the Inhumans lineup with Lockjaw– who maintains a perfect scale with his 3.75″ cohorts– as well as two mini figures, and a handful of accessories. The content we have here is as weird and fun and awesome as you’d hope for a toy version of the Collector’s Vault. But what has me so deeply conflicted about this set is the price tag.
The pricing behind Hasbro’s SDCC exclusives this year was incredibly baffling. Some items– like The Raft– actually seemed like a bargain, considering there’s one (maybe two?) Build-A-Figures in a box set that evened out to standard retail price for the six figures within. Other exclusives seemed to tack an exorbitant premium to what would be a standard retail cost… and The Collector’s Vault may be the biggest offender.
This set cost $70 at Comic-Con, and as cool as the elements its composed of are, it’s impossible to justify that price tag. What we’re dealing with here is, in essence, a single figure with a bulked-up cache of accessories.
From a value standpoint, it’s not the size of these toys that impacts them, but their quality. Lockjaw is wonderfully big and in-scale, but he features a moving jaw and no other points of articulation. Moon Boy has a few joints, and his flocked body is a fun feature that makes me hold out hope we’ll see a fully plastic version at retail along with Devil Dinosaur, but he’s hardly a figure I could justify at the current $13 price tag for these small scale Legends. And the PVC Howard– while a really fun, character appropriate sculpt– is literally one solid piece, whose webbed feet tend to bend in on themselves to the point that my figure can’t even stand on his own.
I’ll MAYBE give you that there’s two standard figures’ worth of content in this box set. And yes, it’s a convention exclusive, so the retail price can migrate north a little. That still leaves this, at most, as a $50 box set. And I can’t honestly say it’s worth that mystery $20 tacked on to Hasbro’s retail price.
I’m a nerd, through and through, and as such there’s those characters I’m so fiercely loyal to, I would go to admittedly embarrassing lengths to support. For me, Lockjaw is one of those characters, and as such his presence in this lineup, while absurd– because an Inhuman with the power of teleportation would never resign himself to being captured by The Collector– makes this exclusive a must-own for me. But if you’re a person wondering why the hell there’s a tuning fork on that giant dog’s forehead, then all I can really tell you is that The Collector’s Vault, while really cool, is not worth the price of admission.