Marvel has been absolutely killing it as of late, so much so that collectors are eagerly scooping up multiple versions of each release, with 3D, Steelbook®, and boutique distributors putting their unique spins for the cinematic universe, there is certainly not a lack of options. Blufans and Mondo have recently teamed up to release The Avengers in a great looking Steelbook®. Fans of the Mondo series will no doubt be rabid to get a copy, but for anyone unfamiliar with Blufans or Mondo, this will be a release that is likely to curry favor towards these two awesome labels.
The Avengers came out in 2012, and roughly 95% of the planet has already seen it (I may have made up this statistic), so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.
Loki has come to earth with vengeance on the mind. With the help of Hawkeye and Dr. Selvig (both of which have been affected by a form of mind control), he steals the Tesseract and aims to open a portal to let in an alien army that will win him control of Earth in exchange for the Tesseract. Naturally, this cannot come to be, so Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and S.H.I.E.L.D. assemble the best of the best to save the planet. And voila, The Avengers come together!
This is definitely one of the best movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The writing is spot on and there is a lot of great humor and fantastic action scenes. A surprising amount of character development happens, considering there is literally a team full of heroes fighting both together and amongst themselves in this movie. Fans of the Marvel movies will no doubt enjoy this one as well, and I am willing to bet that this movie would be one to turn any doubters or naysayers around a 180 degrees and get them back on board for the franchise.
I’m likely preaching to the choir here, so I’ll just move on…
The Avengers is not only incredibly exciting throughout almost the entire playthough, it is also incredibly great looking as well. The beginning has a lot of dark scenes, but the detail and clarity is top notch regardless. The CGI is extraordinarily well done and the action sequences just astound me even several years later.
If you already own the Disney/Buena Vista release, then you know what to expect here. If not, then get your popcorn and go to the bathroom before you press play; this movie is exciting to watch on Blu-ray!
The Marvel films are all a treat to listen to. Plenty of action scenes and futuristic sound effects to keep you riveted. The spot on use of the surround channels combine in a way to create a unique and somewhat rare experience. The Avengers is no exception, and, in my opinion, is even better, as you get all of the superheroes together, so you get all of the cool sounds!
The mix is done perfectly, so even in the loudest of battle scenes you can still catch all of the witty banter between heroes. This is reference quality sound if there ever was such a thing.
The Features & Packaging 4.5/5
So, we’ve come to the reason why you are here. What makes this version of The Avengers special? Well, to start, it is part of the highly collectible and ever popular Mondo collection. Each release that Mondo puts their branding on includes a Steelbook® (which is exciting enough to warrant the purchase to many), fantastic cover art, and, in some releases, a limited run of alternate art covers. Oh, and they have numbered spines too, so OCD sufferers out there will have to get this to avoid having an incomplete set.
To make this release even more exciting, this has been released by Blufans. If you haven’t heard of them before, it is likely because you haven’t spent any real time looking into boutique distributors. Blufans is quite well known for making some of the best Steelbook® releases out there. They are based out of China, and their releases are relatively difficult to get a hold of. The best bet for getting their releases are from group buys on the blu-ray.com forums, or by scouring eBay and praying for a deal.
There are actually two releases for the Blufans x Mondo The Avengers, one with a standard slip, and then the one we are reviewing today, with the variant slip. The difference is relatively minor, with just a slight color difference on the slipcover. However, this is enough for some to go out and get both copies. The urge to collect Mondo releases can be quite strong.
But enough rambling about the companies that put this out, let’s talk about what you get here. Apart from the obvious Steelbook® with fantastic art on the front and the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on back, you get a slipcover, and great art on the inside and on the disc. This set is limited to 2000 copies.
As for special features, included are several of the same ones seen on the Disney/Buena Vista release:
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
- Marvel One-Shot: Item 47
- A Visual Journey
It is unfortunate that there is nothing new or exclusive here, and we are actually missing a couple of the special features in the regular release. Nonetheless, you trade in extra viewing content for gorgeous packaging, which is the point here.
The Verdict 5/5
It all boils down to personal taste. Most fans of the series will have long since bought this Blu-ray, but if you haven’t then I can definitely recommend this one if you are a big fan. If you are a casual viewer then the extra money spent for a boutique release may not be worth it, but boy does this look good on the shelf.
Either way, I highly encourage you to keep your eyes out for future Blufans releases, they are a bit more expensive than your typical Blu-ray release, but damn are they worth it.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.