Review: Hasbro's DEFENDERS And MCU 10 Years RED SKULL & TESSERACT Sets

Hasbro 7-25 review
Credit: Lan Pitts (Newsarama)
Credit: Lan Pitts (Newsarama)

Announced in June, Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Defenders Rail Authority 5-Pack debuted at Comic-Con International: San Diego this past weekend for fans of the Netflix corner of the MCU to scoop up their favorite New York street heroes.

But that’s not all!

Along with the Defenders set, Hasbro is also releasing the Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years set of Red Skull with an electronic Tesseract prop, in the vein of their Marvel Legends Star-Lord helmet and Mjolnir. Both were first available at the con at the Hasbro booth then eventually at select conventions, as well as online at in case you don’t want to brave the SDCC madness.

Hasbro provided Newsarama with the exclusives as we take a deeper look into sets and if they’re worth the hype.

Up first is the Defenders 5-Pack featuring Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Daredevil, and for the first time, Colleen Wing, bearing likenesses of the stars of their respective shows. Now, a lot of these are repaints and have minor resculpting. The Daredevil figure, for example, is exactly the same body and paint job from its release last year in the Marvel Knights Legends line-up. The big difference here is that it comes with a Matt Murdock/Charlie Cox alternate head sculpt. It doesn’t even come with variant hands. While it’s cool to have more figures with the look of their live-action counterpart, something a bit more might have been warranted. Maybe a casual Matt with the blindfold look that was shown in the teasers?

Credit: Lan Pitts (Newsarama)

Now, there are only two Luke Cage MCU figures currently, but the big problem is you have to buy other figures to get him. You have the two-pack with Claire Temple, where he’s sporting the trademark yellow shirt, as a Walmart exclusive, and now this version of him rocking the dark red shirt. It’s an exact same sculpt, even with his watch, just a different shirt. Hopefully they release another version down the line that’s standalone.

Credit: Lan Pitts (Newsarama)

The Iron Fist is also the first of its kind with Finn Jones as Danny Rand in his casual kicks. He comes with a translucent yellow hand for a visual cue of his powers and another hand that’s in “chop” mode (it’s the same sculpt they use for Namor’s swimming hands). While the Iron Fist series wasn’t exactly to fans’ liking, the head sculpt of Jones is stellar and one of the best renditions of the MCU likenesses (though it’s still hard to beat that first Chris Pratt sculpt from that Guardians wave last year). The jacket gives Danny a limited range of motion in the torso, but he has the same level of articulation as most Marvel Legends these days with 20+ points.

Credit: Lan Pitts (Newsarama)

Jessica is kind of a let down here as it’s a repurposed figure from the Marvel Knights line sans jacket. Her tank is a grey color instead of black, but she still has her cuffed boots that come apart at the ankle. The face and hair sculpts are exactly the same. She has high points of articulation but the bare shoulders look weird because of the ball joints. The paint job on the dark jeans having a bit of a fade is a nice touch, but nothing more really to say about her.

Colleen Wing finally joins the fray with her first figure in a Marvel Legends line. While not exactly looking just like Jessica Henwick, there’s a lot to love about this figure. The sculpt is super crisp with the lines and folds of her clothes looking incredibly realistic. She comes with her white katana and sheath, with her hands sculpted just right for them to fit in. Since the sheath is from a premade sculpt, it comes with a peg that doesn’t really fit anywhere on her clothing, so don’t worry if you feel like you’re missing something. You can slide it into her left hand if you prefer however.

Collectively, this is also one of the sturdiest waves in a while. There was only a few issues with trying to balance Colleen without a base, but you’ll get there with a little patience, and she’ll stay there.

Credit: Lan Pitts (Newsarama)

The packaging is truly worthy of SDCC  and on par with their previous installments like the Book of Vishanti from 2015 and last year’s Thor rune set. They’re on a subway train full of debris and Metro cards and newspapers talking about the attack on New York. It’s also massive so be forewarned if you think you can just slide this into your backpack because this set will be a pain to take on a plane as is.

While this set has has a repaint, a jacketless variant, an additional headsculpt, and just two new figures, it might be hard to justify the $125 price (plus whatever you’re paying to ship it home if the case warrants it), but on the secondary market, loose figures from the set are going for $45-50 each. Also, Hasbro has this tendency of making sure at least one figure from the set is purely exclusive to that pack, never to be seen again in another line (looking at you, Magik) so completests out there might want to take the plunge regardless. It’s not the strongest SDCC offering, but there’s still lots to appreciate.

Credit: Hasbro
Credit: Lan Pitts (Newsarama)

The second Marvel exclusive might seem small by comparison, but it has one of the best MCU sculpts ever in the Marvel Legends line: Red Skull from Captain America: The First Avenger with a life-size electronic Tesseract.

Announced at ToyFare this year, the Marvel Legends Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sets showcased some great two-packs and single sets with movie-accurate face sculpts and costumes. There is already a Red Skull available for preorder that comes dressed in military jacket, and Hydra Soldier variant heads, but this version is exponentially cooler.

Credit: Lan Pitts (Newsarama)

Garbed in his long coat, this figure is serious quality. The headsculpt for this one is truly remarkable, and an uncanny likeness to the Red Skull that debuted in The First Avenger, with a sinister snarl and intimidating silhouette. Even the detailing on the Hydra belt buckle is immaculate and the tiny Tesseract that fits perfectly in his grasp.

With his wardrobe being what it is, ole Skully here doesn’t have the widest range of motion, but the set more than makes up for it with the packaging and the electronic Tesseract.

Trying to get into the Tesseract was a small chore since you have to unhinge the cube then put in three AAA batteries to get to the Infinity Stone (you will need a screwdriver). After that, press the button and watch the stone pulse an eerie blue light. This compliments the rest of the props from this product line and isn’t as cumbersome as the Infinity Gauntlet or Cap’s shield.

As aforementioned, the packaging is all kinds of cool as it looks and feels like an old Hydra vault with notes about Captain America and the Cube itself; it’s really the little things that go a long way at times. You can easily put this in a bag or bookbag around the con so if space is a concern, you might want to lean towards this way and $60, it won’t exactly break the bank.

Credit: Hasbro

Defender 5-Pack ‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10

Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years Red Skull and Tesseract: 9 out of 10

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