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Sunday, July 24, 2016

@MarvelCollectorCorps Review: #YearOneSuperBox

Marvel Collector Corps' Year One Super box is an utter and costly disappointment.

Review by Matt Cummings

As the subscription box war emerges with clear losers (Loot Crate, Geel Fuel) and winners (DC's Legion, and the on/off Smuggler's Bounty), one only need look at Marvel Collector Corps for the reasons why. MCC has always been the bedrock, a box one could always count on to consistently deliver unique (and high value) items. Add the phrase YEAR ONE into that description and one should expect greatness, a box without equal, especially for the asking price of $135. Sadly, MCC's Year One box is an utter and costly disappointment, a submission that offers nothing different than previous boxes, and includes items unfit for such an expensive and supposedly 'exclusive' box.

The Promise

Before we begin, let's look at the original deal and MCC's current offering: promising a value of $50, regular boxes would keep the "fluff" (their words) to a minimum with Funko partnering each time to deliver an exclusive figure. Regardless if you joined at the Founders level or took on a per-box delivery, the Year One box was offered for an additional cost of $135 after tax. That's approximately the price of 4 regular boxes. Founders (like myself) were offered first crack at purchasing these, which were billed as "bigger and better than anything that's come before" in their PR materials.

With Year One Founders already receiving a golden (and somewhat disappointing) chintzy Captain America statue for their one-year commitment, it's clear that such a 'reward' was not exactly what fans had in mind. Based on previous situations, one could see MCC's team learning from their mistake, vowing to never do it again. A Super Box should have afforded an excellent opportunity to do just that. With Super Box, MCC has hit a creative low, a failure perhaps without equal, as the following photos should attest.

The Delivery
As always, we use QUALITY and TIMING to base our reviews, so let's see exactly what happened. As always, we'll end our review with some additional thoughts after the unboxing:


The Guts
Ugh. It's hard to put into words the level of disappointment I have for this box. Let's be clear: we have been very happy with MCC from the get-go. It's the reason why we cancelled Loot Crate and Geek Fuel after a long and complex relationship based on hate. MCC's boxes on the other hand have set the gold standard for a high-quality subscription box, from their pin/patch set to their usually outstanding t-shirts. And of course, one can't forget their partnering with Funko to deliver terrific Pop! figures. But for a box of this importance, it's critical to separate it in terms of quality. For $135, one should expect a box without equal, a success that establishes the highest standard by providing customers with once-in-a-lifetime gear. If you're a toy collector, it would be like Hasbro's Marvel Legends offering its San Diego Comic-Con set of completely unique figure sculpts (and charging a high price for them), because it's likely you won't see that particular set offered in your local Target store. This is the reason why Year One is such a failure: it's basically a retread of previous boxes in terms of makeup, with us merely receiving more figures and an overly-large (and frankly ridiculous) statue. As you can see, it's none other than - of course - Captain America, a mistake Hasbro keeps making as it releases one ML line after another. I have 20 Caps of various sculpts; the last thing I need is Golden Cap #2. More on him later.

The Wearable
For some reason, MCC felt it would be great to supplant the usually excellent t-shirt with a hat, just like July's Smuggler's Bounty (which was also a failure). Great: another hat. Granted, Groot is a popular figure and the brim contains the Funko logo, but on the whole it looks like MCC raided a local Hot Topic warehouse to secure it. That's not the sign of a Year One box, and certainly not what we've come to expect. FAIL.

Pin/Patch
Usually the bread & butter of the line, its failure here is of particular note. Sure, it's like wearing certain clothing lines that show off your allegiance (and deep pockets) to others. Previous sets have celebrated characters from different corners of the Marvel universe, and have done so with a style that makes them fun to collect and wear. Super Box's submission feels self-serving, as if they're celebrating their achievement more than I am at receiving it. I don't need items that remind me of the sale, but instead celebrate the diversity of the Marvel universe. FAIL.

More of the Same, and Yet Less
Dorbz hasn't exactly won me over these last months with its unique sculpts of overly-happy heroes. To receive two of them - and both of characters we've already received in better boxes - feels like MCC went through their stock of rejected lines to force more Dorbz down our throats and then slapping 'exclusive' on it. FAIL.

A Funko Worth Hating
Funko has made a ton of money with its Pop! line, a feat considering all the licensing they've had to secure in order to produce the widest array of a single toy brand I've ever seen. MCC has also benefited from this, as we've consistently received entirely new sculpts in each box. Which is why I'm so upset at who appears here: a repaint of Figure #109, Green Goblin. Yes, the same GG offered as a Walgreens exclusive this same year, only this one includes a cape. How is that 'exclusive' especially for a box of this importance? FAIL.

The Shiny, Candy-like Cap!
Perhaps the biggest letdown of all is Hikari's Captain America statue. At almost 9 inches, this gold-speckled caricature is a colossal fail, both in terms of design and paint. Considering that Hikari is relatively unknown, its inclusion here would have made more sense if the other selections had been of higher quality. This figure has already been produced by Hikari as a full-color preorder, but at $64.99 who would pay that price? Perhaps in their minds, a gold version of their figure - with an unknown production amount - is better than Hikari's stated limit of 500 for the full-color one. Who doesn't already have a significant amount of Captain America figures in their collection? This comes after Founders received a gold Cap statue as their one-year anniversary gift. So let's see: we have two Captain America figures offered as 'gifts' to loyal fans, neither of which was a desire of those same fans in the first place. FAIL FAIL FAIL.

The Bottom Line
Marvel Collector Corps' One Year Super Box is nothing of the sort. Filled with a staggeringly lame amount of disappointing gear, it's a fail without equal, even when stacked against the punching bags that are Loot Crate and Geek Fuel. For a box of this price -and importance to the sub box genre - to include such a poor selection of items, while advertising it as "bigger and better than previous boxes," this one feels like I've been lead into a sham. I expected more from MCC, and certainly from a box which is billed with such high promises. I won't be misled when (and if) Year Two is advertised under the same guise. Simply put, I won't commit if DC Legion or Smuggler's Bounty doesn't give us some idea of what will be inside, and strongly encourage everyone out there to do the same.

Want to read our other sub box reviews? We've got them all listed below: MARVEL COLLECTOR CORPS
May
June
August
October
December
February
April
June

GEEK FUEL REVIEWS
September
October
November
December
January
March
April
May
June

SMUGGLER'S BOUNTY
January
March
May
June

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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