DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
“British archaeologist Ashley Halberstam was at a dig in Giza, Egypt when he was engulfed by a bolt emanating from a laboratory on New Genesis. The bolt transformed Halberstam and conferred upon him the ”Power of the Pyramids,” as channeled through his magical pyramid staff. Virtuous and heroic by nature, Halberstam fought alongside Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman against the evil machinations of Darkseid and the legions of Apokolips, eternal enemies of New Genesis.”
Just two days ago, I was looking at a DC Icons figure, and lamenting the sad tale of that failed DC line. How about another? Yes, I’m feeling nostalgic, so let’s turn our sights to DC Universe Classics. Admittedly, it’s funny to view this as a “failed” line, seeing as it ran 20 Series at retail and had two years of a subscription service after that. It’s possibly the longest-running line of DC figures, especially if you factor in its precursor DC Superheroes or any of its numerous spin-offs. It is, for all intents and purposes, the definitive DC toyline. So, why is it a “failure?” Mostly for retrospective reasons. Despite it’s deep reach in terms of character selection, many teams were left sadly incomplete. Choices of costumes and incarnations were frequently questionable. And, if we’re being totally honest, with a few exceptions, the last quarter of the line was filled with mediocre, uninspired figures, leaving it as little more than a hollow shell of its former self. Despite its flaws, the line is well-noted for its devotion to obscure characters, and even moreso for its recreation of Kenner’s Super Powers line, right down to the kooky original characters. This includes today’s focus, Golden Pharaoh, who received his second figure ever courtesy of this line.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Golden Pharaoh was released in Series 15 of DC Universe Classics. From Series 8 forward, each assortment included one Super Powers-recreation figure. Pharaoh would be the last one in the line (well, not including Samurai in the Super Friends series, but he was a slightly different story), as he wrapped up the “originals” set. Pharaoh was easily the least developed of all the Kenner-original creations, so the fact that he was the last one to join the line isn’t a huge surprise. The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. He was built on the medium-sized base body, with a unique head, torso, arms, and calves, as well as an add-on piece for his loincloth. As noted in prior DCUC reviews, it’s a body that’s started to show its age, and it wasn’t exactly top-of-the-line when it was new, but for a character like Golden Pharaoh it’s really not bad. The unique pieces manage to capture the essence of the original figure, while still managing to be modern and updated. It’s definitely got a bit of an Ed McGuinness vibe to it, but that’s not a bad thing in the slightest. The paintwork on Pharaoh is pretty solid work, especially for this point in the line. There’s not a lot of accent work, but he makes up for it with the gold paint and the translucent purple plastic. It certainly makes for a unique looking figure. Golden Pharaoh was packed with his fabulous Golden Pharaoh staff, as well as a Super Powers display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I didn’t buy Golden Pharoh when he was new. I can’t really tell you why. Possibly because we got most of this assortment to finish the Validus Collect-N-Connect, and this guy didn’t come with a piece. I ended up getting him just a few months ago from Cosmic Comix, who just got in a large collection of DCUC figures and was selling this guy for $7, which was about the right price for me to finally get him.