Man of Steel ushered in a new era of DC movies, an attempt at catching onto the train that Marvel was riding with the MCU. The self-proclaimed DCEU tried to make a big splash, but just never caught up. Five films into their new shared universe, DC decided to re-orient their movies, moving away from their frantic universe-building epics, and away from their mainstream characters. Shazam! was their second film in this new-new era, and set its focus less on making its characters “super-hardcore-metal” and more on actually making them semi-likable and giving them a decent story to reside in. It was the first DC film in a good while that I actually enjoyed, even if it had the misfortune of being wedged between Captain Marvel and Endgame, which seemed to, almost poetically, steal its thunder. The dead licensees walking over at Mattel are still on tap for the toys, which I’m finally getting around to reviewing a few of this week. Let’s kick things off with the title character!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Shazam is part of Mattel’s basic tie-in line for the movie, which offers up the whole Shazamily. It follows Mattel’s trend since Batman V Superman of having the basic line and the “collector’s line” be virtually the same scale. The figures stands 6 inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the articulation on this guy, especially on the arms, which sport universal joints on the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Honestly, if this figure had more than just swivels on the hips, he’d be on par with any of Mattel’s higher end offerings. Even as is, he’s an incredible improvement on many of their Multiverse figures simply because he can actually *use* most of his articulation. No pointless joints here! Being in the basic line, you might not expect Shazam’s sculpt to be anything impressive, but it’s actually pretty decent. The head seems to be sporting the best of the Zachary Levi likenesses to be offered up for this movie. It’s not a spot-on look, but it’s quite close, and fairly identifiable. The body takes his bulked up physique from the movie and bulks it up just a little bit more, but not quite to the cartoonish proportions of some of the prior basic line figures, especially when compared to how he looks on-screen. What really impresses me about it is the level of texture work on the suit, which is both movie accurate, and not quite as overpowering as the texturing on the Multiverse release. Shazam’s paintwork is mostly pretty basic. The application is fairly clean, with minimal slop. The eyes and brows actually appear to be printed on, which looks quite lifelike. However, you have to be careful with it, because a couple of the figures I saw in person had the eyes applied really off the mark. Each figure in this assortment is packed with a little rubber recreation of one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Shazam is packed with a little Wrath, molded in red. It’s not a terribly exciting piece, but it’s nifty enough.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
After seeing the movie opening day, I immediately ran out to pick up some of the figures, because that’s what I do. I compared both of the 6-inch Shazams, and I found myself overall liking the look of this one more. Once I got him out of the box, I felt even happier with my purchase. At half the price of the Multiverse figure, this figure offers the better likeness, the more accurate build, and plenty of articulation. It’s just a really solid figure, and if you know my track record with Mattel, you know that means a lot coming from me.