There’s no end to the merchandising of JUSTICE LEAGUE but do the releases from MAFEX really capture the action in their latest figures based on the movie’s heroes?
The feature film may have polarized its fanbase, yet the endless marketing and branding of the Justice League has ensured the continuing proliferation of the characters that appeared in the movie that finally introduced the extended DC Cinematic Universe. With an endless opportunity to rake in the profits, the items that are most attractive to collectors are those that inspire the opportunity to bring the action home — action figures are inevitably the best way to do that, and based on the DC heroes the collectibility is boundless.
Japanese toy maker Medicom is among the licensees that have purchased the rights to produce movie accurate facsimiles of the league. The high-end line of fully articulated, intensely detailed MAFEX Action Figures are among the best available for the avid collector who wants to assembled a league of their own. Historically the on-average 6 inch figure line has experienced a share of product mishaps in early runs including those based on Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. The manufacture has listened to the consumer and made major improvements!
Those enhancements have made their way into the current Justice League figure line which features all 6 of the main cast members, including some alternate versions of some favorites that appeared in the film.
Assembling the League
Although the film was released theatrically in 2017, its enjoyed a significant momentum since its availability on Blu-ray and additional formats for home viewing. Merchandise continues to hit the market, including the MAFEX Action Figures which were introduced at the last Toy Fair and have now become widely available with the first in the series based on Batman hitting shelves in spring. Gotham City’s Dark Knight is captured in his current look, as portrayed by actor Ben Affleck. Since returning to full-on active duty, The Batman’s look in Justice League has been beefed up.
The action figure design by MAFEX is extremely film-accurate and captures the look of its star suited up proper in the darker and much denser color scheme than was first experienced in his theatrical introduction with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. This bat-suit has more polish and a bite to it that is apparent in the highly articulated figure, and also sports a leather-looking cape that helps to complete the silhouette. The detail and paint job on the utility belt are well crafted, as are the gauntlets which are a flat gold which pops beautifully against he black.
The Batman action figure is no. 056 in the series and is packaged with a multiple set of hands for added poses, including grips for handling Batman’s weapons and paraphernalia which includes his harpoon gun and “batarangs”. There’s also a more tensely expressive face sculpt that will make the Caped Crusader appear more than battle ready. The figure’s proportions are stylistically more flattering than other figure releases on the market, especially Mattel Toys more commercially playable sculpt and even the smaller, more tout looking from competitor S.H. Figuarts.
Following on the heels of the release of The Batman figure, is Superman based on Henry Cavill who has now starred as the Man of Steel in three feature films, including Justice League. This is perhaps the most the character has ever resembled his comic book counterpart. For Justice League Superman’s classic uniform was giving a major retooling which is most evident in the vibrant color palette and clearly makes the action figure itself appear to pop like neither of its predecessors.
Certainly the previous incarnation of the Last Son of Krypton which was fashioned for BvS proved unpopular with collectors who complained the figure fell apart and was impossible to pose. It certainly didn’t capture the actor’s appearance all that well either in the face sculpt and dulled when compared with other releases like the far superior version by ONE:12 Collective from MEZCO’s which incredible articulation and a fabric suit. For MAFEX Superman from Justice League the colors are outstanding, and the figure is much more solid in construction.
Superman is also packaged with multiple hands for various poses, and 2 alternate face sculpts to help recreate the action from the movie. Fans will also be happy with the cape which can be properly positioned whether the figure is floating in air or calmly assembled alongside his teammates. An additional feature of the MAFEX line is that each figure is packaged with a display stand so you can pose your action figure is interesting positions, and given the level of articulation the action is almost limitless. Superman is no. 057 in the MAFEX line.
In The Box
Compared to other high-end manufactures including the series from S.H. Figuarts by Bandai which sport a significantly lower price tag (averaging between $50 and $60 on shelves), the MAFEX releases have really lived up to the hyped and delivery a genuinely deluxe collectible experience to fans. The face sculpts are among the best for the comparable sizes of these releases, and very closely resemble their film versions in detail, and the accessories are also scaled to match.
The colors are also beautifully captured and appropriately fixed; when a detail is glossy on film, the figure will have a sheen that reflects, and when something is matte finished, it appears as such on the figure as well. With the rest of the Justice League line from MAFEX hitting specialty retailers over the rest of the season pretty soon the league will be fully assembled. Expect Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg to round out the collection, along with a Batman in his “Tactical Suit” from the final act of the film.
Visit the Medicom Toy website here for more product information including details on the Justice League line of figures as well as others in the MAFEX inventory.