#1743: Rey

REY

STAR WARS MIGHTY MUGGS

Remember how I was talking about having some Mighty Muggs piled up to review yesterday?  Well, yeah, let’s have a little bit more of that, shall we?  In fact, let’s have some more of the same subline from yesterday!  Yes, it’s time for some more Star Wars, specifically the franchise new lead character Rey!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rey is figure 02 in the Star Wars Mighty Muggs line, placing her second in the first assortment of figures.  Rey’s design here is taken from The Force Awakens, specifically her appearance from the Starkiller Base sequences.  It’s a little bit surprising given the general leaning towards the Last Jedi designs for the new trilogy characters, but it’s kind of a persistent look.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall and she has three-ish points of articulation, if we’re counting the slight mobility at the neck joint.  Since she’s from TFA‘s final battle sequence, Rey uses the same lightsaber-weilding body that was used for Luke, with a unique hairpiece.  The hairpiece is a nice, stylized summation of her look from the movie, which fits in very well with the piece we saw on Luke.  For Rey’s three facial expressions, she goes for a similar selection to Luke.  She’s got a serious expression, a happy expression, and an angry expression.  Of the three, my definite favorite is the happy one, but the angry one works well, too.  Her stern expression is alright, but the mouth seems oddly small when compared to the other Muggs I’ve looked at.  It just throws her whole look off, and ends up making her look a bit more childish than the others.  But hey, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, right?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw Rey a few times before actually picking her up.  I think I was holding out that I might be just grabbing the whole set of the first series, but I never did get around to that.  I eventually got around to picking up Rey from GameStop while visiting Super Awesome Girlfriend Fiancé there one day.  She’s a nice companion piece to Poe and a pretty fun little figure all around.

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#1742: Poe Dameron

POE DAMERON

STAR WARS MIGHTY MUGGS

Man, I got a little side-tracked in my reviewing habits, and somehow, I’ve got this whole pile of “new” figures that have now gone months without being reviewed.  So, I guess I gotta make my way through some of that piles.  One of the lines that’s been the most neglected has been Hasbro’s relaunch of Mighty Muggs, which they’ve been trying to set-up as a competitor to Funko’s Pop! line.  Their primary focuses have been Marvel and Star Wars.  Today’s figure is Poe Dameron, from the latter license.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Poe Dameron is figure 9, part of the second assortment of Star Wars Mighty Muggs, which hit shelves a couple months back, right around the time Last Jedi was released on home media, in fact.  Poe’s got a few different designs to go with, so this one goes with his pilot gear.  It’s the one that crosses over from Force Awakens and Last Jedi, so I guess that makes it a reasonable choice.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall and has articulated shoulders, just like the other two I’ve looked at.  Also, since reviewing the last two Muggs, I’ve discovered that the head *can* turn; it’s just really tight, and only ratchets into one of four positions.  Still, it’s better than nothing.  Poe uses the same body as Luke and Black Panther, but with a unique helmet piece, patterned after the helmet he wears in the movie.  It’s pretty well-rendered and captures the look from the movie quite nicely.  Poe, like the other new Muggs, features three different facial expressions.  He’s got serious side-eyed, cocky smile, and intense and teeth-gritty.  They’re all pretty decent, and actually have a solid likeness of Oscar Isaac.  The slightly odd thing is that the cocky smile face doesn’t have the lenses like the other two.  Not really sure why, but it makes giving him an unhelmeted look even easier, provided you can find a proper hair piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Poe from Target when he was first release.  I was pretty happy when he was announced, and kept an eye out for him as soon as the line started to hit.  He’s not my preferred look for Poe, so I’d definitely like to see another one, but he’s a fun addition to my quickly growing Mighty Muggs collection nonetheless.

#1741: Hoth Rebel Soldier

HOTH REBEL SOLDIER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“The Empire has located the Alliance’s secret headquarters on the Ice Planet Hoth. During the consequent invasion, Rebel Soldiers hold out bravely against an unbeatable ground assault until a retreat salvages their heroic effort.”

When it comes to Star Wars-related army building, the Stormtroopers and their ilk get the lionshare of the attention.  I guess a lot of people like to stack the odds against the heroes a bit, but it’s also a little easier to buy lots of faceless minions.  The Rebels, by comparison, all have a face, making buying a bunch of the same figure for the purposes of an army a little more difficult.  Not impossible, but difficult.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Hoth Rebel Soldier was released in 1997, as part of the third year of Power of the Force II‘s run.  He was one of two Rebel Troopers released that year.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has the usual 6 points of articulation.  The Hoth Rebel Soldier is a little different than the previously reviewed Endor Rebel Soldier, who was an amalgam of a few soldiers from the movie.  This guy’s actually directly based on one of the soldiers seen in the trenches on Hoth during the Empire’s attack.  The trooper he was based on was even shown on the packaging for this guy, allowing you to pick him out in the movie proper.  While this makes him more screen accurate, it does have the flipside of making him less an army builder and more a very specific background character from the movie.  Honestly, I’m a little surprised he doesn’t have a proper name, like Leber Reidlos or something.  That feels right up the Star Wars EU’s alley.  Wasted opportunity if you ask me.  Anyway, Leber’s sculpt is mostly unique. The legs were shared with the Deluxe Hoth Rebel Soldier from the same year, and the head would later be stuck on the Hoth Luke body for the Saga line in 2003.  That said, the parts were all pretty well sculpted.  The uniform is very sharply defined, especially compared to some of the earlier figures in the line.  There’s a lot of detail going on there.  His head matches up pretty decently with the guy we see on the back of the card (though his goggles are off of his face; a minor change), and likewise features some solid detailing.  Leber’s proportions are not terrible for this line.  I mean, they’re still way jacked up from real life, but at least he looks mostly human (which is better than can be said for another Rebel Trooper released that same year).  His paintwork is kind of monochromatic, as you would expect for a guy that’s trying not to stand out.  It matches pretty well with the movie, and it’s surprisingly well-detailed for a background character.  Leber is packed with a blaster rifle and a survival pack.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Growing up, this was another of the figures that was jointly owned by me and my cousin and kept at our grandmother’s house.  When we finally divied them up, my cousin got this guy, since he was more of a Hoth fan than I.  The figure reviewed here was just recently added to my collection, courtesy of Lost in Time and one of their sidewalk sales.  He’s not a bad figure at all, and I’m actually pleasantly surprised by him.  That said, he’s less an army builder, and more a unique extra to fill up the background of your collection.

The Blaster In Question #0060: Sharp Shot

BlasterInQuestion1

SHARP SHOT

DART TAG

sharpshot1It’s always exciting to see new and innovative systems and mechanisms in Nerf blasters, whether they actually work or not.  It’s nice to see the effort and the willingness to try.  What really makes entirely new systems so exciting is how many other blasters use the same old tried and (usually) true methods in between.  Today, we’ll be looking at one of those old classic designs, the slide-primed single shot pistol, specifically the Dart Tag Sharp Shot.  So what sets this one apart from any other single shot pistol out there?  Let’s have a look and find out.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

sharpshot2The Sharp Shot was released in 2011 for the newly revamped Dart Tag line and then again the following year with allegedly improved internals, denoted by a blue trigger.  As mentioned above, it uses functionally the same system we’ve seen on other pistols like the Scout IX-3 or Eliminator where you load a dart in the muzzle, rack the slide and fire.  The big difference between the Sharp Shot and any other similar pistol is really the looks.  Keeping in line with that particular iteration of the Dart Tag series, the Sharp Shot features smooth, rounded edges and a nicely contoured overall shape.  Not only does this serve to look real nice, but it actually works to ensure there aren’t any weird sculpted areas that could create hot shots while using the blaster.  The other thing that was different about the Sharp Shot was the accessory that came with it.  sharpshot3Originally, the blaster was packed with a 2-ended plastic carabiner that had a ball joint swivel in the middle.  The idea behind this was so that you could clip the pistol to a belt loop or whatever so it was on your person but then if you needed to grab it quickly, the ball joint would pop apart with a stout pull, making it act kind of sort of maybe like a holster in theory.  Personally, I never once used it and mine has since gone missing, but I can’t say I feel bad about it.  For the time, the Sharp Shot had ok performance.  It was still a pistol after all, so no one really expected it to shoot like a laser.  In this day and age, however, it doesn’t hold up so great.  I’d say if you have one or can find one for cheap, it feels great in the hand and looks pretty cool to boot, but unless you’re planning on effectively overhauling the entire mechanism, don’t expect it to be much help busting into your younger sibling’s room.  The Sharp Shot comes packaged with the quick detach clip and 4 Dart Tag Velcro whistler darts. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I don’t remember too much of how and when I bought this blaster.  It was a few years ago at this point.  I probably bought it mainly for the looks, which is understandable.  I want to keep this one in its original condition, but if I happen to find another one, it might be a good base for a prop blaster, should the need arise.

#1740: Classic White Tiger & Hand Ninja

CLASSIC WHITE TIGER & HAND NINJA

MARVEL MINIMATES

The 38th Series of Marvel Minimates was themed around Marvel’s Daredevil-centric “Shadowland” event.  It wasn’t exactly the most memorable event they’ve run in recent years, but the corresponding wave did at the very least serve to showcase a few of Marvel’s street level heroes, as well as giving us our first crack at one of the more established army builders of the Marvel Universe, the Hand.  Today’s set touches on both of those things, giving us lower-tier character White Tiger, alongside a generic Hand Ninja!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Classic White Tiger and the Hand Ninja were the one-per-case variant set for Marvel Minimates Series 38, with this White Tiger being swapped out for the regular set’s more modern rendition.

CLASSIC WHITE TIGER

By the time of “Shadowland,” Hector Ayala had been dead for a little while, and had passed the title and the amulets that gave him his power on to his niece Angela del Toro (who was the White Tiger that participated in “Shadowland”).  That said, how else were we going to get a classic White Tiger? The figure stands 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  White Tiger is almost a vanilla ‘mate.  The only deviation from the main base body is a pair of flared gloves.  I suppose an argument could be made for having the amulet be sculpted, but it honestly works fine as is.  Beyond that, the character’s design is meant to be pretty simple, and the ‘mate gets that right.  The paint on this guy is okay, but does have a few drawbacks.  The overall detail work is pretty solid, and I think they’ve done quite a nice job of capturing all of the musculature and such.  The detail lines don’t appear to be a clean black like others in the assortment.  This, coupled with the largely white palette, makes him look a look a little washed out.  I think the most disappointing thing about the paint, though, are the lines depicting the bands going around his shins.  They’re only on the front and outward-facing side of each leg, which looks rather silly, and is especially noticeable on a tampo-reliant figure such as this one.  There were no accessories included for White Tiger.  I’m not sure what he could have been given, but an extra unmasked head or something might have been nice.  As is, he’s quite light on parts.

HAND NINJA

The Hand were major players in the whole “Shadowland” event, and have been rather prominent over on the Daredevil side of things for a while.  Their inclusion here was definitely sensible, and at the time they were certainly a highly demanded army builder.  The Hand Ninja has no shortage of sculpted parts.  There’s a hood, a vest, a sash, wrapped hands, armored boots, and a pair of sheaths for his Sai.  Amazingly, there’s not a single unique piece on this figure.  The hood comes from Series 29’s Moon Knight, the vest from Series 9’s Lady Deathstrike (with the quiver from Series 20’s Hawkeye glued on the back), the sash from the Previews-exclusive Dark Phoenix, the boots from the Dark Avengers Ares, and the sheaths from Series 28’s Deadpool.  Only the wrapped hands are technically new, and they were actually sculpted for this very same series’ Iron Fist ‘mate.  Despite their multitude of origins, the pieces actually go together quite well, resulting in a very cohesive, and quite unique looking, Hand Ninja.  Most impressively, all of these extra parts can be removed and a standard pair of hands and feet swapped out, allowing for an almost completely different classic Hand Ninja. Paint is relatively simple on this guy when you get down to it.  He’s got two different tones of red, which go well together, and then some detail lines on his face/mask and his torso.  Not a lot going on, but it’s all very clean, and the main shade of red is really bright and eye-catching. In addition to the extra hands and feet that facilitate the classic Hand Ninja transition, this figure also includes two Sai, a large sword, a bow, and an arrow.  These weapons allow you to arm up your army of Hand Ninjas in all sorts of different ways, thus adding an extra level of fun to them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I purchased this pack and the rest of the series brand-new from Cosmic Comix, back when they were first released.  I remember they hit around the same time as the Thor series and Excalibur boxed set, so I had a lot of Minimates going on there.  They were one of my first sets to be purchased while living on my college campus, and I remember sitting at my desk in my dorm room opening them all up.  This set was a surprisingly solid pairing that quite stuck with me.  Classic White Tiger was a sensible choice for a variant.  He’s one of those characters that’s never really been in the focus, but it was nice to get him in figure form nevertheless.  This figure’s definitely on the simpler side, and he has some flaws, but he’s generally well-executed.  After a couple assortments of sort of weak army builders, the Hand Ninja was a breath of fresh air, not only in terms of choice of character, but also in terms of quality of the end figure.  DST put a lot of effort in on this guy, and also showed that you can really do a lot with re-used parts.  Hands (heh) down the strongest figure in this assortment.

#1739: Batman – The Dark Knight Returns

BATMAN — THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

ONE:12 COLLECTIVE (MEZCO)

I told you there’d be another Batman review this week.  See, I’m not a liar!

Today, I’m continuing the DC trend, but moving away from Mattel, and indeed moving away from the lower-end styling of figures they offer.  Instead, I’m turning my sights onto Mezco’s One:12 Collective line of high-end 6-inch-scale figures.  I’ve only looked at one figure from this line before (Space Ghost), but he very much impressed me, and I’ve been eager to check out more from the line.  Today, I’m going back to the very beginning of the line (as well as bookending my reviews for this week) and looking at Batman, based on Frank Miller’s classic The Dark Knight Returns story.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman was the inaugural release in Mezco’s One:12 Collective line, released in the summer of 2015.  A consistent feature of the line has been single releases with a number of color variants all released around the same time through various different means.  Even amongst his peers, this release of Batman was kind of drowning in variants.  The one seen in this review is the Previews Exclusive release, based upon Batman’s more classically-inspired color scheme from early on in the story.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has over 30 points of articulation.  For that articulation count, I’m just going by the solicitation info for this guy, since he’s sewn into his costume, thereby making a 100% articulation count a little bit difficult.

Batman was packed with two different heads, though they both end up being pretty similar, with only the expression changing between them.  He’s packed wearing the angrier, teeth-baring head, but there’s also the second one, which is also angry, but you can’t see the teeth, so I guess his slightly less angry?  That’s just my teeth-to-anger scale though.  Yours may differ.  Both heads are very sharp sculpts, which pretty expertly capture Miller’s artwork from the series.  Particularly impressive is the slight texturing of the cowl on both heads; it’s very subtle, but enough to keep the mask from looking to simple, like a smoother surface might.  I’d be hard-pressed to pick my preferred of the two heads, because they’re both very good.  Which one is better really depends upon what sort of pose you want the figure in.  Paintwork on both heads is fairly internally consistent.  The application is quite clean, his palette is appropriately washed out, and there’s even a nice dark grey wash over the face to give him a more dynamic, comic book-inspired appearance.

Despite his smaller stature, Batman is built in a similar fashion to a 1/6th scale item, with an underlying body and a cloth costume.  Space Ghost was built on a smaller body than the one here, but they’re similar in construction.  It poses very well, which is the most important thing by my count.  The costume is made up from a mixed media effort.  The main body suit, shorts, and cape are all cloth items.  They’re pretty well tailored to the body, though the shorts could perhaps be a little tighter fitting.  They aren’t too off, but they definitely end up looking pretty similar to a Mego offering.  The body suit has the logo screened onto it.  It’s a rubbery sort of material, so it shoulded end up stretched out or anything over time. The cape is one of the more impressive Batman capes.  It’s a thin material with no internal wire or anything, so I wasn’t expecting much at first, but it hangs really well on the body and is a lot of fun to mess with during posing.  The belt, cuffs, and boots are all sculpted elements, as is the neck piece that goes under the cape and holds the costume in place.  The sculpted detail is quite impressive, and the boots and gloves in particular are very nice, as they’ve been done up with texturing to match the masks on the two heads.

The accessory complement for this Batman is definitely a solid selection of extras.  In addition to the two heads, he’s got four different sets of hands (in fists, open palm, gripping, and batarang-wielding configurations) which make for lots of fun options when posing.  He’s also got a leg strap of pouches, as he sports for some parts of the story, his rifle, a grappling hook, and a display stand.  The display stand can be used as either a standard pegged stand or a flight stand, and in the flight stand configuration, there’s an extra wired attachment, which can be used to dynamically pose the cape.  It definitely takes some getting used to, and I couldn’t really see myself using it for long term posing, but it certainly helps with some nice photo set-ups.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was very much tempted by this figure when he was originally released, but as only a moderate fan of Dark Knight Returns, I didn’t know if I could justify the higher price tag.  Still, I’ve been intrigued by this figure since its release, and having it in hand, I can definitely say this is one of the best Batman figures out there.  I’m now really interested in checking out Mezco’s follow-up Batman, the Ascending Knight.

The item reviewed here is not from my personal collection, but was instead provided to me for review by my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in owning the very Batman figure reviewed here today, head on over to their eBay listing for this item.  If you’re looking for other toys, both old and new, please also check out All Time’s full eBay store front, and take a look at their webstore at alltimetoys.com.

#1738: Steve Trevor

STEVE TREVOR

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Last year, Wonder Woman arrived in theaters, and everyone loved it.  Well, not everyone, because I actually didn’t love it.  I didn’t even like it all that much.  I won’t go so far as to say I hated it, but I was certainly disappointed.  So there’s my controversial opinion for the day.  Less controversial?  My review of the following figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Steve Trevor was released as part of the four-figure Wonder Woman assortment of DC Comics Multiverse figures, which hit shelves last year just prior to the movie’s release.  Naturally, he’s based on Chris Pine’s turn as Steve from the movie, specifically in his main out he wears while out on the German front.  It’s rather a departure from how I’d picture a “classic” Steve, and actually looks more like another war comics character of DC’s, Enemy Ace.  But, that’s what happens when you shift Wonder Woman to a different war, I suppose.  Regardless, that’s not actually the fault of the figure, so I’m not gonna harp on it too much here.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  His sculpt is unique to him…which is probably for the best.  Wouldn’t want to risk this thing getting around too much, potentially affecting other figures.  As with the Suicide Squad figures, the sculpt’s implementation makes most of the articulation little more than theoretical.  He’s a little more posable than the Squad figures, but not by much.  He does at least get some range out of the mid-torso joint, but it requires him to look as if he’s been sawed in half to do so.  That’s really not ideal.  Moving past the clumsy and badly-integrated articulation, let’s look at the rest of the clumsy and badly-proportioned sculpt.  He’s…well, he’s simultaneously lanky and pudgy.  I’m not sure how that works.  The arms and legs seem too long, the torso’s too body, and his head is too small for the body, meaning it also sits too high on the neck, which in turn makes that look too long.  The head looks like it might have at one time have a decent Chris Pine likeness, but then somebody back at Mattel HQ sat on it or something, and it wasn’t corrected before the figure went into production.  It’s not great.  Then there’s the paint.  The rather hideous paint.  Once again, not entirely the figure’s fault, I suppose, since it’s a color scheme that comes from the movie, but it’s a bit ugly to look at.  To give them a little credit, I do appreciate the slight weathering they’ve done to accent the leg wraps.  However, since that’s the only accenting on the whole figure, they sort of stand out as oddly defined, and only further highlight the undefined nature of the rest of the figure.  Steve is packed with his Winchester 1897, which is a decent enough weapon.  Of course, Steve can’t really hold it, in part due to his lack of posability, and in part due to the fact that Mattel didn’t see fit to give him a trigger finger.  Gee, thanks Mattel.  Steve is also packed with three pieces to Ares: the head, torso, and sword.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If I didn’t like the movie, and I don’t like Mattel’s product, why did I buy this figure?  Honestly?  It’s because I was at my local Toys R Us on its very last day, and I wanted to buy *something.*  They had about 5 of this guy left, and he was heavily discounted.  I also like Steve Trevor as a character, and this is still his only proper action figure. It’s not a good one, and I’m certainly glad I didn’t pay full price for it, but it’s at least a little special, and ultimately, I feel a little sorry for it.

#1737: Batman – Superfriends

BATMAN — SUPERFRIENDS

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

In addition to overall DC theme, I’m introducing a sub-theme today.  I know, that’s a lot to handle, but bear with me.  Anyway, the theme I’m going with is Batman on alternating days.  Why?  Because I have a lot of Batmen, that’s why.  Today’s Batman follows the trend set by yesterday’s Green Lantern, being at the very least inspired by the Super Friends cartoon.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superfriends Batman was distributed through the same means as Green Lantern, being a Walmart-exclusive entry in the DC Comics Multiverse line.  He, too, would actually stay a Walmart exclusive, unlike the second half of the Super Friends sub-set (who, despite their non-exclusivity, I don’t actually have).  Unlike GL, Batman’s a pretty natural choice for this assortment, since Batman was with Super Friends for its entire run, and was a pivotal player in most episodes.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  For the most part, his sculpt is a straight re-use of the DC Universe Classics Series 1 Batman, with one small exception.  The sculpted cape has been replaced with a cloth one, which has been done in the style of the old Super Powers capes.  Not *quite* the right source material, but it’s goofy and fits the general aesthetic.  I find myself liking the look of it quite a bit, actually, though it’s definitely not going to be for everyone.  AS with Hal, Bats’ mold is definitely showing its age and the wear from all those repeated uses.  On my figure in particular, one of the shoulders doesn’t even quite peg together the right way.  Batman’s paintwork actually ends up more faithful to the source material than GL, which is a plus.  It’s also pretty clean, and likewise very bold.  It looks good on this sculpt.  I appreciate the return of the black shading on the cowl (it’s true to the show, but I wouldn’t have put it past Mattel to leave it off).  Bats even makes out pretty well on the accessories front.  To start with, he’s got the same base and backer card as GL (with the same issue with the peg on the stand).  The back of both cards has part of the Super Friends logo, so that if you get all four, you have the whole thing.  In perhaps the most Mattel move of all, GL and Batman (who, it should be noted, shipped together) don’t have sequential cards, unless of course you really want to celebrate the “Per Inds”.  Fortunately, Batman gets more accessories than GL; he also gets a grappling hook and a batarang (and it does *not* have “CHINA” stamped on it, which was a nice change).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Batman at the same time as GL, from an Ollie’s for $3.  I couldn’t just leave him there, now could I?  That would have been cruel.  Minor issues aside, this figure is actually not terrible.  He’s hardly going to be anyone’s default Batman, but unlike GL, he seems to more fully embrace the concept Mattel was going for.

#1736: Green Lantern – Superfriends

GREEN LANTERN — SUPERFRIENDS

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

DC doesn’t get quite as much play around here as other, Disney-owned properties.  It’s not a conspiracy, I swear!  And to prove that there is absolutely no anti-DC conspiracy around these parts, I’m gonna pick up the trend I started yesterday and do a whole week of DC reviews!  …Well, a business week…let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

While Adventures of Superman, the ’60s Batman, and Wonder Woman got the main trio of DC heroes some solid public recognition, it was Hannah Barbera’s Superfriends and its subsequent spin-offs that introduced the DC Universe as a whole to a mainstream audience.  Because of its mainstream impact, it’s also a version of the characters that toy companies like to go back to.  Mattel was no exception.  I’ll be looking at one of their handful of Superfriends offerings today, namely my main man Green Lantern.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern is part of the four figure Superfriends sub-set of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse.  The set was originally meant to be a Walmart-exclusive, but that was ultimately only half true.  For Mattel-ish sorts of reasons, the four figure assortment needed to be split in two, with GL and Batman hitting Walmarts back in September of last year.  By the time the second two figures were ready to go, Walmart backed out.  The long and short of it is that Green Lantern and Batman were exclusive to Walmart (at first, anyway), but Superman and Aquaman weren’t.  Of the four figures in the set, GL is admittedly the odd man out in terms of character selection.  He wasn’t in the original Superfriends roster, only appearing in the later Challenge of the Superfriends incarnation.  Even then, he was never super prominent in the series.  The choice of him instead of another founding member, like Wonder Woman or Robin, is somewhat baffling.  That said, the Green Lantern fan in me is insisting that I not complain too much.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  In terms of construction, there’s not a single thing new about this figure.  He’s a head-to-toe re-use of the DCUC GL from 2008.  That was a good sculpt at the time, and the original figure remains one of my absolute favorite GL figures.  With that being said, it’s a sculpt that’s a decade old, and it’s definitely showing its age, not just stylistically, but also in terms of the actual life of the mold.  While some parts, like the head, still look quite good, the limbs in particular are showing quite a bit of mold degradation.  It’s still in better shape than a lot of Mattel’s more recent output, but it’s time to let it die.  The main thing that’s new here is the paint.  I’m of two minds.  On the one hand, I really do like the bright, bold colorscheme.  It’s quite aestheitcally pleasing, at it looks nice on the mold.  That said, it’s not actually accurate to his Superfriends colors, which means there’s not anything about this figure that’s truly Superfriends-inspired.  They didn’t even get the slightly different Lantern insignia from the show.  His accessories, like the figure, are nothing new.  He gets one of the Batman ’66 stands, with a new iridescent cardstock backer featuring….the Jose Garcia-Lopez illustration of Hal from the style guide.  I love Garcia-Lopez’s work and all, but it’s an odd choice here, you know, instead of, say, something from, I don’t know, Superfriends?  Also, the stand has been designed with slightly smaller figures in mind, so the peg is actually too small for GL’s foot, so it’s not actually any help…standing him.  Yeesh.  I guess I can forgive the lack of power battery, since it never figured that prominently into the show, but he still feels a little light, especially since there are no new pieces in the box and he originally retailed for $8 more than the first release of this mold, which, it should be noted, included the battery *and* a Build-A-Figure Collect-N-Connect piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted above, these figures hit in September.  And I saw them in-store when they hit.  But you know what also hit in September?  All of the Last Jedi product.  Given the choice between that and a total rehash of a figure, I went with the Star Wars stuff.  However, I found this guy at the same Ollie’s where I got yesterday’s Batman, and he too was $3, which was the right price for me.  The thing about this figure is that, as just a Green Lantern figure, removed from the source material, he’s actually not a terrible figure.  Dated and light on extras, but decent nonetheless.  However, he’s just *not* a Superfriends Green Lantern, and he’s a really poorly-executed, rather disinterested attempt at replicating the design, which makes him feel a little bit like a bit of a cash-grab.

#1735: Batman – Dark Knight Returns

BATMAN — DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Hey hoooo, it’s a Mattel review.  Haven’t done one of these in a little while.  Ooooooo boy, this’ll go well.

Running parallel to Hasbro’s hit line Marvel Legends, Mattel has their own DC line, DC Comics Multiverse.  It started as a 3 3/4 inch line, before making a jump a few years ago when 3 3/4 inch figures were largely dropped by the toy industry.  One of the earliest offerings from the reformed Multiverse was a set of commemorative figures celebrating the 30th anniversary of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.  Of the three figures offered, I’ve looked at two.  Today, I’m looking at the last of those three, Batman himself!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman was a Walmart-exclusive release from the DC Comics Multiverse line.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  Batman’s actually just a slight retooling of an earlier Batman Unlimited Dark Knight Batman, with a new head.  By extension, that means he shares a lot of pieces with the DKR Superman I looked at back when they were first released.  It’s very similar to the Masters of the Universe Classics base body, but Mattel to this day insists they are completely separate molds.  I guess I just have to believe them.  It works well enough for what they’re going for.  Obviously, it doesn’t really look that much like Frank Miller’s artwork, but it melds decently enough with the DCUC style that Mattel was trying to carry forward.  In the context of the whole MotU concept, and even Superman to a smaller degree, the body works, but for Batman, it feels a little….lumpy?  Balloon-y?  I don’t know.  It just feels somewhat off.  The new head goes for a more reserved look than the prior DKR Bats, though he’s still a little grumpy.  I think it’s perhaps a little large for the base body, and it’s definitely on the softer side.  Compared even just to the other two figures from this same assortment, it looks rather off, as both Superman and the Son of Batman figures have much crisper details.  Batman’s sculpt has a quality not unlike mashed potatoes, if I’m honest.  It’s kind of lumpy and ill-defined, even by Mattel standards.  Also bad even by Mattel standards?  The paint.  Sloppy doesn’t begin to describe it.  It looks like the yellow paint was applied from across the room.  It’s just everywhere.  His logo’s at least not terrible, but the general lack of paint overall just makes the rest of the mistakes that much more noticeable.  Batman was packed with a single accessory: one lone batarang…with “CHINA” stamped on one side.  Apparently he gets all those wonderful toys from China.  Who knew?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I bought the Superman figure at full retail, and I liked him well-enough.  And I got the Son of Batman for a decent discount, and he was alright.  I already had the Unlimited figure of this guy, though, so I wasn’t in much of a hurry to get him.  I ended up buying him *not* from Walmart at all.  I instead found him at an Ollie’s, for $3.  That was enough to get me invested.  I gotta say, I’m really glad that I didn’t pay full price for him, because…well, he’s just not that strong a figure.  I guess I’ve had worse figure, but there’s not a lot that this figure does right.