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Friday, August 28, 2015

Marvel Collector Corps Review: August 2015

After a smallish June, Marvel returns with a big Secret War theme.

Review by Matt Cummings

The subscription box war has seen Marvel enter the fray with it Collector Corps boxes, which resulted in a fabulous and memorable April, which was followed up by a somewhat disappointing June. While not a total failure like Fox's The Fantastic Four, it did show just how close Marvel had cozied-up with Funko Pop; whether that bothers you probably depends on a number of factors, including the addition of Pop! figures in every box. And while Ant-Man the movie has grown on me, I still can't say the same about that month's Collector Corp. So it's very satisfying to announce that August's box - SECRET WAR - is back with everything we loved about April, giving fans exactly what they want: quality exclusives, including a shirt.

The Promise

Before we begin, let's look at the deal again: promising a value of $50, the box would keep the "fluff" (their words) to a minimum with Funko partnering each time to deliver an exclusive figure. Joining at the Founders level would get you an 8" exclusive figure on your one-year anniversary, but you can also subscribe at the Collector level at $25 with $6.95 shipping. We're still not sure which figure they will release to Founders, but it's clear now that Funko will play a part. With my Marvel Unlimited Plus comic sub, I get a terrific (and exclusive) Legends figure, so I'm hopeful that we'll see something as high quality as the Rocket Raccoon which graced my door months ago.

The Delivery

This is a nice big box, which tells me that what's inside could be great. The Thor image on top does not give away the interior, but the art is solid, as it has been for all of the boxes so far. As you can see, the outer box features the same lettering across the entire sides of the box as in previous months. But it's the change in interior art that's also worth noting: the images do not feature dialogue (probably a legal issue), but the frame they included appears to be from Secret Wars.

The box also features separate sections for each of the figures. This helps to keep everything in line, something I'm sure MCC heard about from irate fans who got smashed or dented boxes.

As with previous months, the inner flap contains two collectible "accessories" including an Iron Man pin and a Falcon patch. These are consistently some of the best items in every box, and my messenger bag is filling up quick with both. I'm definitely keeping these.

The Guts
As you can see, we have a shirt and what appears to be two Funko figures - nice! This month's theme is Secret Wars, based on the successful re-launch of the comic that brought Ultimates and 616 universes on a collision course. Exposing the interior flap revealed three layers: shirt, comic, and Pop! figures in that order. Knowing now that Marvel and Funko are collaborating here makes it harder to be disappointed every other month, when I was expecting Marvel Legends figures or other non-Funko items. Again, notice how the cardboard now features separated sections.

Say what you want about Marvel's decision to cast a female Thor in their comics, but this exclusive figure is well made and attractive. The same goes for Miles Morales Spider-man, whose much darker uniform looks pretty cool. I don't open these figures but will be displaying them along with the others from the MCC line. Their exclusivity and craftsmanship make for a nice display.

A Shirt I'm Happy to Wear
One of the things I loved about the April box was the awesome boxing-themed shirt; it factors big time in my scoring. This month features a Funko-inspired Secret War set, with female Thor, Iron Man, FalconCap, and Superior Spider-man. The material is soft and the colors vibrant, and I've noticed that my other shirts do not fade or shrink. They always do their shirts right, and this one will look great in my collection.

The Comic
Included with the set is another comic: a MCC variant for Secret War, featuring Jane Foster Thor. What's great about this submission is that the comic is bagged AND boarded! That's a great touch, and it's totally appreciated, as I won't be opening it. This one goes right into the comic box, but that's not because it's not worth your time to read. And the cover is very cool, making for another nice addition. This should keep the comic-heads happy when their previous comics arrive dented and generally messed up.

The Bottom Line
Marvel's Collector Corps' August release is another winner, a return to the majesty of April. Everything here screams quality, especially Marvel's continued commitment to protect your investment. Filled with several exclusive items - including a great shirt - the box misses nothing as you delve into the world of Secret War. With Loot Crate's apparent fall off from their April, May, and June boxes, MCC looks to take the lead - possibly for good - in the subscription box war.

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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