MAGAZINE REVIEW: Marvel Chess Collection Issue 1

Official blurb: “Each superbly detailed chess piece has been sculpted by expert modellers, cast in metallic resin and then hand-painted. The good guys – the white team – stand proud on silvered bases, while Marvel’s best bad guys are mounted on bronze-effect bases. A crest on the front of each base makes for easy recognition of each piece’s rank.

I missed out on the Eaglemoss’ DC version of this concept, but I have to say, I’m mighty impressed with this vehicle: it’s a great Marvel resource, and an ideal way to get children into chess (presumably the a huge target market) through a very popular medium. First to the magazine: this first issue focusses on the supplied piece, Spider-Man as a white knight. Inside the magazine, we get one of the best summaries of Spider-Man / Peter Parker’s comic history I have ever read – concise, to the point, covering all the major Marvel milestones, but including anecdotal information where appropriate. We then get a few pages on chess game-play and strategy (in very clear & simple English), and then the clever bit: the magazine takes the chess concepts & terminology previous explained, and applies them to a classic Spider-Man confrontation story… genius! In this case, it’s ol’ Webhead fighting Doc Ock, but with terms like Early Exchange and End Game applied to graphic panels. Finally there’s a section on some of the best Spider-Man stories ever written (e.g. Torment and Spider-Man No More) as recommended reading.

The pieces themselves are brilliant – solid, detailed and well crafted, standing over 5 inches tall, although I fear I’m going to need a find a decent box to store them in to protect them… they are very nice to handle, with nothing obvious to bend or break (which is the problem I have with another Star Wars oriented set).

$_35 DC500902 marvel-chess-figure-collection-magazine-3-wolverine-white-knight-by-eaglemoss-3

My oldest son plays chess, and both read Marvel, so I can honestly say that this approach really appeals to them. The issues will work out at £8 each (x 31 pieces, this initial issue #1 comes as a lower introductory price), but there are a couple of subscription options with freebies such as a binder, chess board and a set of alternative Fantastic Four pieces. It does mean that you are looking around the £250 mark for a total investment, which is a lot for a chess set, and unlike say, the Batman Automobilia or Star Trek Spaceship collections, which were relatively easy to dip in & out off, it could well be argued that the chess set is no good unless it’s complete. A cheaper option might be to just to buy everything except the pawns (@ £125), and don’t forget, you’re not just buying the chess set, you’re getting the magazine IP too.

Checkmate!

GS Rating: 4/5

Source: Eaglemoss Collections

GS Reviewer: SilverFox

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