In this final part of my feature on SDCC 2016’s “The Collector’s Vault” set, I take a look at the Collector, his artifacts (the Wand of Watoomb, the Casket of Ancient Winters, and the Zodiac Key), as well as the special packaging they came in.
So if you don’t already know who the Collector is, he’s one of the Elders of the Universe and the brother of the Grandmaster. He appeared in the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie, played by Benecio del Toro, and also in numerous Marvel animated series. He has cosmic powers, which really mean that he’s as powerful as the plot dictates, and often serves as a neutral but powerful character that various heroes encounter.
The Wand of Watoomb is traditionally a Doctor Strange MacGuffin of great magical power, and the Casket of Ancient Winters is a Thor relic that does exactly what its name describes (in addition to appearing in the first “Thor” movie). The Zodiac Key took a bit more reading up, and is more of an Avengers/SHIELD MacGuffin.
The Collector and the artifacts are from the 3.75 inch Marvel Legends line, and he comes as part of the SDCC 2016’s ‘The Collector’s Vault’ box set. ‘The Collector’s Vault’ retails for SGD $99.90. Thank you, Hasbro, for sending him over!
The box has evocative artwork, and opens up to reveal the Collector’s vault, with all the different characters and artifacts either in stasis or sort of roaming around. It’s up to you how you interpret it, but the background brings to mind the fact that this is a cosmic space station which houses powerful artifacts from around the multiverse.
There’s also a quote on each character/artifact behind the front flap, written from the perspective of The Collector. It does the job of both fleshing out The Collector’s character and giving some background on each piece in the set. I like the design and thought that went into the packaging, and it’s just as gorgeous to behold as it is to play. You’d probably want to keep the box, although it’s a bit difficult to extract the figures without damaging the box.
Overall, I like how the packaging is very collector-oriented, and how its name (“The Collector’s Vault”) is also a pun on the appeal of the set to hobbyists.
The Collector himself is perhaps the only “standard” 3.75 figure in the set, with the usual points-of-articulation that you’ve come to expect. He also comes with a cape and a loincloth (I’ve honestly never noticed he had a loincloth before I examined his figure). His face sculpt has no pupils, which reminds you of his cosmic nature. His belt and gloves and boots have a bit more of the science fiction look, making his design a good blend between magic and science fiction.
To be honest, the Collector is really going to just pose with Thanos, Galactus, and my other cosmic beings, rather than participating in battle. I mean, that befits his status as one of the Elders of the Universe, right? His flowing cape also gives him the sense of regality, and I like the stripes that break up his black costume.
Overall, the Collector is a good addition to your pantheon of cosmic 3.75″ beings, and fits in well with the rest of the artifacts featured in this box set.
The artifacts are a mixed bag. The Zodiac Key is made of a soft material (I believe it’s foam), and looks plain at first sight. However, if you examine it carefully, you’ll see that there are many sculpted details in it, and a lot more thought has gone into the Zodiac Key than first meets the eye.
The Wand of Watoomb is sized so that it can be held by most 3.75″ figures, and it bears the demonic face on one side of the Wand. I found it a little hilarious, but then I realised it’s also true to the comics, which are a product of an older era. So props to this prop being comic accurate.
The Casket of Ancient Winters is a sculpted box. I honestly thought it could be opened, since you can open Lockjaw’s mouth. However, it’s more of an ornately designed artifact rather than a literal box you can open. I’ve made some wintery sound effects while swishing it around.
So here’s the last in the series about SDCC 2016’s “The Collector’s Vault” set! For $99.90, I think it’s pretty worth it, given that you get quite a number of figures and MacGuffins that would never come out in a normal set (or even the comic two-packs). There’s a lot of playability in the set, especially for older fans, but you should bear in mind that it’s targetted at collectors (like yours truly) rather than children.
This is an original article on marcusgohmarcusgoh.com
SDCC 2016’s ‘The Collector’s Vault’
I’m a Singapore television scriptwriter who’s written for Lion Mums, Crimewatch, Police & Thief, and Incredible Tales. I’m also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find me on social media as Optimarcus and on my site.
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