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Marvel Collector Corps Review: May 2015

Marvel's opening round is a knockout.

Review by Matt Cummings

Subscription boxes are all the rage: with more arriving each day, it wasn't going to be long before powerhouse Marvel would get into the game. Their concept - titled Marvel Collector Corps - delivers a completely exclusive box of nerdy comic goodness every other month. At $25 a box plus $6.95 shipping, it might seem a bit overpriced. But from our observations, the contents were well-worth it.

The Promise

The initial offer was enough to peak our interest: promising a value of $50, the box would keep the "fluff" to a minimum (a nice choice of words considering that some boxes are a bit heavy with them), but also offer one of four similar-themed t-shirts (no choice but that worked out OK as you'll see) and an exclusive Funko figure.

But the deal goes deeper: subscribe to a year and you join The Founders, which means you get an 8" exclusive figure on your one-year anniversary. As of this posting we think it might be Captain America - based on images from their site - but we're promised something unique and apparently not a re-hash of an already existing figure. There are two levels: Collector and Founder. Collector is a one-time purchase and does not get you the figure, while Founders does. Guess which one we chose?

The Delivery
From the moment we got our hands on this one, we knew that the investment of $200 (yes, that includes shipping for all the boxes) would be well worth it. Each month is themed, with this one featuring Age of Ultron. First, the outer box features a classic Captain America image, as well as lettering across the entire sides of the box.That's not an indication of what you will get inside, but it's better than the very average Loot Crate subscriptions or (worse) the Priority Mall boxes used in Custom Box. There's also classic art on the inside.

The flap contains two collectible "accessories" including a Marvel Collector Corp patch and a Captain America pin. Both are very nice and well constructed. Alone, I'd say these items were worth $7-10.

The Guts
Behind the flap lies the good stuff. While at first glance the amount of items looks thin, it's the quality that's worth mentioning. Filling a box with random and useless items doesn't make a great box - Marvel knows this, and gave us some very high-quality items.

Go to Sleep! Go to Sleep! Go to Sleep! First up is an exclusive Funko Hulkbuster figure. Just like in Age of Ultron, this one is massive, and its bobble head just makes it all the more fun. This is a well-made figure that should hold its value even when other versions of it arrive in stores. It's far too cool for Marvel and Funko to leave to us.

Apparently bobble-head Hulkbuster needed a friend, so MCC threw in this Dorbz 2" Vinyl Figure of Ultron. This guy from creator Vinyl Sugar is pretty cute, and is the beginning of an entire line of them to be released throughout the year. Others include Wolverine, Deadpool, and a couple versions of favorite Guardians of the Galaxy. Although it's cute, I'd honestly say this one feels like an unnecessary repeat of Hulkbuster. Two figures in the same lot? Fail.

Not Just Another Shirt
Perhaps the best part of box arrives next: an exclusive boxing-themed Avengers t-shirt! This one is super-cool, and the shirt is made of a soft material. It was completely random which version you got, so others included Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Regardless which one is 'more exclusive' than the other, I love my Hulk shirt. Simple. This is one a clear win, especially when you consider its worth is around the $25 subscription. That's at least what Hot Topic would charge. I know that many boxes come with a shirt, but the idea of offering four completely randomized is very unique.

The Comic
Of course we get a comic in a Marvel box! The last item in the box is a variant cover of Guardians Team Up Avengers. Apparently, it's a starting point for a whole new series, as the following summary suggests:
Launching directly out of Guardians of the Galaxy comes the new ongoing series bringing the Guardians to the Marvel Universe’s grandest stage for an opening arc of out-of-this-world adventures with some of the biggest hitters Marvel has to offer. Kicking off with a cosmic threat so massive, it’ll take more than just the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop it! Assembled side by side with the mighty Avengers, prepare for two titanic teams to unite like you’ve never seen before!

Marvel is always so good at getting people into their comics with offers like these (see Free Comic Book Day), and this one feels like something kids can totally get into.

The Bottom Line
Minus the Vinyl Sugar fail of Ultron, Marvel's Collector Corp's opening salvo is a success. Filled with many high-quality items, it's clear the company (mostly) recognizes the crowded subscription box market and wants to stake their own claim to it. While we would have liked a better and different submission than two figures, we're willing give Marvel a RECOMMENDED. Watch out, Loot and Custom: Marvel's in town!

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.


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