DAREDEVIL – YELLOW
In the 90s, Toybiz was king of the toy aisles with their expansive selection of action figures based on characters from the Marvel Universe. Eventually, opinions and expectations of toys began to change. Toybiz wanted to stay at the top, so they changed with the times. In an effort to tie into the hype of the character’s first foray onto the big screen, Toybiz launched Spider-Man Classics, a line that upped the scale, the detail, and the articulation. The second series of the line introduced not only an outreach to other corners of the Marvel universe with the character Daredevil, but also the very first instance of something that would become a staple of future Toybiz lines: the Variant. A slight change to one of the figures in the series, packed at one to a case. The figure immediately caught collector, and scalper, attention and its price sky-rocketed on the aftermarket. What was this figure everyone had to have? Yellow Daredevil!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Daredevil was released in the second series of Spider-Man Classics. This figure is the variant of the regular Daredevil, dubbed “Yellow Daredevil” because it’s based on Daredevil’s first appearance costume, which was predominantly yellow. The figure is 6 inches tall and sports 30 points of articulation, a point that is proudly boasted on the figure’s packaging. Daredevil’s sculpt makes use of the basic body sculpt of Black Spider-Man from the first series, with a new head, hands, feet, as well as an add-on for his billy-club holster. The sculpt hasn’t aged all that well. The body is long and lanky, and the hands and feet are a bit on the large side. For the time, it was pretty impressive, though. The head sculpt is one piece that still manages to look pretty good. It’s a bit exaggerated, but it works. I will admit I also really like the sculpted tread around the bottom of his feet. It does a lot to make the figure stand out from the Black Spider-Man it was based on. Daredevil’s paint is a bit of a mixed bag. There’s some great detail work, and they’ve done some cool things to make the design pop. I do like the slight occurrences of red on the black areas, which is a nice way of paying tribute to the red highlights he was often seen with. However, the figure shows quite a bit of slop, uneven paint application, and a few very fuzzy lines. These aren’t immediately apparent, but do crop up with a tiny bit of examination. It becomes a bit more forgivable when you remember these figures had a retail of $7. Daredevil includes his billy-club, a wall mountable display stand that looks like a stained glass window, and a copy of Daredevil #241.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Yellow Daredevil figure has for quite some time been one of my personal grails. For whatever reason, I’ve always been fascinated with the design. When word of this figure first broke out, I was eager to get one. In fact, my Dad made it his mission to try and find me one. Sadly, we were never able to find one on the shelves. As the original “variant figure” the figure maintained a hefty value on the aftermarket. More than once I picked one up at a convention, only to be told the price (usually well over $100), which would lead to do the “back away slowly” move. Years passed and I pretty much gave up. Instead, I resigned to just get every other figure of Yellow Daredevil (which incidentally led to my getting into Minimates, but that’s a story for another time). A few weeks ago, my local comicbook store Cosmic Comix posted on their site that they had gotten in a pretty large collection of figures, and they would be selling them for a set price. I got there to pick up my comics and looked over the table of figures. I found one or two, but nothing really jumped out at me. I walked up to the counter and the owner, who knows I’m a big action figure collector, asked if I’d like to look at the more expensive figures before they were officially priced. This is a scary idea for me, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to look. I moved one figure from the top of the stack, and there was Yellow Daredevil. As it turns out, he’s actually gone down a bit in price in the last few years. On top of that, the owner agreed to cut me a pretty great deal. So, I got the figure I’ve been trying to find for 13 years, and I got him for a pretty reasonable price. Is he the perfect figure? No. There’s some definite flaws. But, to me, he’s more than just a figure, he’s an accomplishment. After all that time, I’m just glad to finally have this figure.
And yes, I took him out of the box. Deal.