Luke Cage Season 2 was one of my favorite of the Marvel Netflix seasons. I liked the evolution of Cage and thought his villains were some of the best we’ve seen in the Netflix universe. Hasbro released a wave of Marvel Netflix figures that was missing two important characters — Luke Cage and Claire Temple.
The rumor was a proposed second Marvel Netflix wave was cancelled forcing Hasbro to come up with other release strategies. Thanks to an expanding partnership with Wal-Mart, Hasbro released Cage and Claire in a two-pack. Let’s see if this set is a forward step for these highly anticipated figures.
Packaging: While it’s overdone, the red accents for the Marvel Netflix figures are a smart touch. Cage really pops with his color scheme against the red and black. On the side portraits, the Claire Temple side looks great, but I don’t see Mike Colter as much on the Cage side. The bio actually does a nice job summarizing the characters based on their series’ history.
Likeness: A modern Luke Cage has been on my want list for awhile. I wasn’t a fan of the look in the SDCC Thunderbolts set or the Amazon exclusive Defenders set. While skewing a bit more realistic than most of the comic book figures thanks to the Mike Colter likeness, this fits in nicely. I liked the randomness of the New Avengers team so it’s nice to have one of the cornerstones of that squad.
Cage doesn’t have the most complex outfit — a standard T-shirt and jeans. The shirt has just the right amount of folds and wrinkles. There’s a nice texture to the jeans and the boots have a good amount of detail. To stay accurate to Cage’s Netflix look there’s no chain, but he has a sculpted watch.
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It’s not the most exciting look, but it’s done properly. For show accuracy it would have been nice to have a removable sweatshirt with hood. Maybe this version of Cage is popular enough to get a second figure with hoodie attire, but the best chance seemed to be the SDCC set.
Claire is likewise, not the most thrilling figure. From the right angle, I can see the Rosario Dawson likeness. I think the slight smile is throwing it off somewhat. I think the torso is new with a higher, buttoned collar. Unlike Cage, there’s no texture or detail on Claire’s pants. Maybe she’s wearing yoga pants?
Scale: Cage is generally portrayed as a taller than average guy. The figure also reflects that as he’s the tallest of the Marvel Netflix releases. Even better, Cage is taller than the newest Captain America so he scales in perfectly with the standard comic book figures as well. I wish he were just a little broader though as he’s just a bit too slight.
Claire seems to be a bit too tall. Dawson is about a head shorter than Colter, but the figure is less than half a head shorter. The extra height seems to come from both torso and legs.
Paint: There’s not a lot of taxing paint work required on either figure, but what is here is fine. Cage’s yellow is a more accurate shade than the usual yellow orange we see on the X-Men figures.
While not on the same level as some of the more egregious Mattel issues with black characters, Hasbro probably went one shade too dark with Cage’s skin tone. There’s some wash in the jeans to help bring out the detail. I wish Cage’s watch had some detail even if just the face was painted so it looked more like a watch.
Claire’s paintjob is even more basic. There’s no shading or wash in her outfit. Her lipstick and eyebrows are done nicely. I don’t doubt Hasbro went with Claire as she’s less labor intensive and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t make for the most dynamic civilian figure either.
Articulation: Both sport good articulation for what we’d want out of them. Cage can hit the standard ‘yeah, I’m bulletproof’ poses and has a nice range for punching and protecting shots.
Claire is fine and her lack of bicep joints isn’t that big a deal. She’s not much of a fighter anyway.
Luke Cage and Claire Temple have:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- bicep [Cage only]
- elbow (double-jointed)
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Cage has one if you want to count the removable watch.
Claire has the rest of the accessories, but she’s loaded.
One is the reused purse we’ve seen before with the Mary Jane figure. She also comes with a set of blue surgical glove hands.
That’s a nice touch since she’s the Night Nurse on duty for the Netflix crew. In a nod to her team-up with Iron Fist and Colleen Wing, Claire also comes with a set of claw hands. It was perfectly ridiculous that Claire was hanging with Hand ninjas, but they were increasingly weaker as the series have played out so there you go.
Worth it? This set is $40. That’s the standard price for two Marvel Legends without the Build a Figure part. That’s not the best value even if you factor in that Claire would be very unlikely to get released in any other format. Even if the set were about $5 cheaper it would feel like a better price for what we’re getting.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
This is a really well done set that’s only missing a bit more girth on Cage and a hoodie to capture his other signature look.
Where to get it? This set is a Wal-Mart exclusive so that’s your main and second option. The website has been pretty good about keeping it stocked, but I expect the stores to have them on shelves any day now.