#1078: Robin – Dark Knight Returns




One of DC’s longest lasting legacy characters is Robin.  It’s fitting, what with Robin being one of the earliest examples of a sidekick in comics.  As many times as legacy characters may be rolled back to prior  incarnations, Robin always seems to keep moving forward.  Since Dick Grayson vacated the role in 1984, there have been many others to take on the title.  The first is, of course, Jason Todd, but a fairly close second (albeit in an alternate future) was Carrie Kelley.  Carrie hails from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, and is easily one of the most distinctive parts of the story.  So, it’s not a huge surprise that Carrie has just gotten an action figure in commemoration of the story’s 35th anniversary.


carriekelly1Carrie Kelley was released in the Doomsday series of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse line.  It’s the same series that features armored Batman and the Mutant Leader, all of which bear the 35th Anniversary insignia.  This is Carrie’s second figure, with the first coming several years ago courtesy of DC Direct.  The figure is 5 1/4 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation.  As with a lot of Mattel’s output, the articulation count may be high, but the figure’s mobility is just so-so.  The elbows and knees can’t even bend a full 90 degrees, which is really weak.  Surely this is all for the sake of the sculpt, though, right?  Well, sort of, but not really.  The head sculpt is easily the best part, as it’s a pretty spot-on recreation of several panels of Miller’s artwork.  There’s one major issue I have with the head, but I’ll touch on that when I get to paint.  The rest of the sculpt is passable at best and mediocre at worst.  The overall appearance is fine, and she looks decent when in a straight standing pose. That being said, if you move her out of a basic standing pose, the sculpt exhibits a carriekelly3large number of flaws, where the articulation just leaves these odd flat spots on the limbs.  Also, the freaking cape block makes it’s awful appearance once again here, and I think this is probably the worst example of it I’ve seen so far.  I’m really not sure why Mattel has no idea how to attach a cape other than a huge solid brick of plastic sticking out of the figure’s back.  It shouldn’t be this hard.  You should be able to have a caped character without giving them a freaking hunchback.  The paintwork on Carrie is alright, but there are a few pressing issues.  The colors are nice and bright, and match up nicely with the comic colors.  The biggest issue here is the lenses of the glasses.  In the comic, Carrie’s eyes are consistently visible through the lenses, but here, they’re opaque.  Matte’s done clear lenses in the past, so I’m not sure why they were left out here.  Carrie includes a sling shot (which she can’t hold very well, due to her right hand only having a hole drilled halfway through, for reasons beyond me), as well as the leg of the New-52 Doomsday.


I found Carrie at Toys R Us a little while ago, while looking for the X-Men Legends figures.  I had been looking forward to this figure to go with the other three figures I’ve got from this set.  I can’t lie, this figure is kinda a letdown.  She’s not a bad figure, but she’s just not up to par with the likes of Hasbro and NECA, or even Funko, all of which are in the same price range.  This figure should have been a home run, but instead she’s just another mediocre figure from Mattel.


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