GREEN LANTERN: MOVIE (MATTEL)
You know how I rag on Mattel a lot, but sometimes they still do things right, and I can give them props? This isn’t one of those times.
2011’s Green Lantern isn’t a particularly well-regarded film. In a lot of ways, I don’t think it deserves a lot of the hate it gets. It had the misfortune of being released in a summer already pretty jam-packed with super hero movies, three of which hailed from Marvel and were generally above expectations. Marvel fans wanted another Iron Man (which, in their defense, is what DC was promoting the film as; not their smartest move) and DC fan’s wanted The Dark Knight. The end result is really more in line with Tim Burton’s Batman movies. It definitely could have been better, but it was far from awful. One of the movie’s better aspects was its cast. The late Michael Clarke Duncan made his second turn in super hero flick (his first being the similarly maligned Daredevil; I ain’t defending that one!), playing the GL drill sergeant Kilowog. He got a few figures courtesy of Mattel’s tie-in line. I’ll be looking at the standard version today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Kilowog was released in the first series of Green Lantern figures, which hit about a month or so before the movie’s release. The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation. The articulation scheme on these figures was really strange; it’s not totally out of the ordinary to see lesser articulated figures in the 3 3/4-inch scale, but these figures randomly had extra shoulder joints, which tend to come after elbows and knees in the articulation hierarchy. Also, while Hasbro’s started offering more lower POA figures as of late, their competing figures from 2011’s Thor and Captain America lines were fully articulated. Heck, even Mattel’s own DC Infinite Heroes line was fairly decently articulation. I’m not really sure why these figures were so out of sync with everything around them. I’m getting distracted. Sorry. Kilowog had a unique sculpt initially, but it would eventually be reused for a number of variants as the line progressed. It’s a reasonable translation of Kilowog’s movie design. Of course, the problem with that is that his movie design wasn’t really their strongest. I mean, it’s nice that he didn’t have the same muscle striation thing that Hal did, but he’s just for of lumpy looking. Also, they seriously tweaked the shape of his head, which always bugged me; he looks more like Shrek than Kilowog. Objectively speaking, the head on this figure was definitely the best part. It’s actually so detailed that it looks rather out of place on the smooth and mostly featureless body. They almost look like they belong to different figures. Also, note that once again Mattel has made no attempt to work the articulation into the sculpt. It’s especially bad at the waist, where there’s really no good reason to have a joint that obvious. Like many of this line’s figures, Kilowog’s feet are bent back a little too far, which results in a lot of falling on his back. Getting the two photos for this review was no small feat. As far as paint, Kilowog was okay, but suffers from a very similar issue as with the sculpt. The head has some very nice, very subtle work, which makes him look really lifelike. Then the body seems to just let the paint go where it goes. One thing that really frustrated me with this whole line was the inconsistency of the greens. Pretty much ever lantern had their own shade, which was really odd, since that wasn’t true onscreen. Was it really that hard to pick on pantone number and stick with it? Each figure in the line included their own construct piece to slip over their ring hand. Kilowog actually didn’t get a proper construct, but instead got the larger hand adapter piece, which allowed for him (and other larger figures) to make use of the constructs included with smaller figures.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I picked up a handful of the GL movie figures when they were first released, during my pre-movie excitement, and Kilowog was one of those figures. No figure in this line is particularly noteworthy, but Kilowog was probably the best the line had to offer. He’s got his issues, but he’s also got some saving graces, which is more than can be said about a lot of the line.