DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
It’s rare for something’s greatest strength to also be its greatest weakness, but that’s really the case with Mattel’s DC Universe Classics. One of the most endearing and memorable things about the line was the sheer reach of character selection. Not only did we get definitive versions of major characters, but we also got lots of characters that pretty much no one ever thought would get action figures. Unfortunately, while is is great for hardcore fans, it doesn’t result in the greatest sales in a retail line. Still, the line did give a lot of DC characters their very first action figures. Interestingly enough, today’s focus Todd Rice, better known as Obsidian, is not an example of this. Oh sure, he’s obscure, but he actually had already gotten a figure courtesy of the Justice League Unlimited toyline. For those of you less familiar with Todd, he’s the son of the Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott. He was a member of the JSA-spin-off team Infinity Inc in the ‘80s, and has been on-again-off-again affiliated with the Justice Society themselves. Most recently, he was played by Lance Hendrickson in an episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which is easily the most coverage Obsidian’s ever gotten!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Todd Rice was released in Series 14 of DC Universe Classics, which was the third (and final) Walmart-exclusive series from the line. Given the presence of both his father and fellow JSAer Hourman in the line-up, as well as frequent JSA foe Ultra Humanite being the CnC for this particular series, Todd was right at home. It’s worth noting that Todd’s official codename is Obsidian, and has always been Obsidian, but for whatever reason (more than likely it’s the fact that Obsidian, as a rock, can’t be trademarked), he’s called “Todd Rice” on the box. Whatever gets us the figures, I suppose. The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 23 points of articulation. Todd was built on the mid-sized male buck, with unique head and hands, as well as add-ons for the cape and belt. The base body is starting to show its age a bit more with every figure I review from this line, but it’s still a pretty solid piece. The mid-sized body is actually a pretty perfect fit for Todd. In fact, he’s the sort of character who really works in a line of this nature. The new pieces all work pretty well with the established body. The hands are nice and expressive, and certainly a nice change of pace compared to the basic gripping hands so many of the figures got stuck with. The cape is one of the better capes from the line, and the belt does a decent job of capturing the design from the comics, as silly as it is. The head is…well, I guess it’s okay, but I’m not sure it’s one of the better DCUC sculpts. What’s weird is that is seems almost too detailed on the face. Like, it’s as if no one told the Four Horsemen that Todd’s wearing a mask and that’s not just his face. Usually, the black part of the mask was mostly featureless, with just the eyes and his open mouth showing, which makes him look pretty sleek. Here, they clearly tried to replicate that, but they also tried to add this realistic touch to his face, which just seems…odd. Also, he seems to have had his lips removed or something, because they appear to be absent. Obsidian’s paintwork did a pretty decent job of replicating his color scheme from the comics. It’s a good scheme, and it looks really nice on the figure. Obsidian was packed with the left arm of Ultra Humanite. Not really specific to him, but I guess it’s better than nothing.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Obsidian was one of the last figures I found from this particular set (but not THE last; that was Gold). I’m not insanely familiar with the character, but I’ve always liked his costume quite a bit, and I obviously have at least some appreciation for him due to being the son of a Green Lantern and all. I was actually pretty excited to get this guy, and he’s really not a bad figure. Sure, there are a few oddities, but the good definitely outweighs the bad.