DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
“Tim Drake is the third youngster to serve as Robin, partner to Batman. Through rigorous and constant training, Robin keeps his physical edge, which, along with his knowledge of computers, makes him a formidable foe of Gotham City’s villainous population. Tim balances his activities as Robin with his school and friends… but he is always ready to answer the call to action.”
Mattel’s DC Universe Classics line was rife with distribution issues, pretty much for its entirety, but especially at its start. This meant that key characters had figures that were virtually impossible to find, which was a major barrier for entry. To offset this, Mattel tried to at the very least offer up repaints of prior molds. Series 3’s Robin figure had a direct rerelease in their World’s Greatest Super Heroes sub-line, but even still was hard to find, and to top it off, he wasn’t in the costume most collectors hoped for. Mattel attempted to kill two birds with one stone with today’s figure.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Robin was one half of a Walmart-exclusive “Dynamic Duo” two-pack, released in 2010 under the DC Universe Classics banner. No points for guess who the other half was. This Robin makes use of the exact same tooling as the Series 3 version of the character. That figure was not without its flaws, but one of the most stand-out issues was one of scaling. He was pretty darn tiny when compared to the rest of the line, especially when you remember he was supposed to be the older Tim Drake of “One Year Later.” It was a major blow to a figure who might have been pretty nice otherwise. This figure changes up the entire paint scheme, going for something that more closely resembles Tim’s original costume. While the sculpted details don’t all exactly match up with his older design (the scallops on the gloves and cape, and the pouches on the belt being the main errors), it still works surprisingly well, and in fact the head sculpt with its short and spiky hair actually makes more sense for this color scheme. Additionally, the traditional Robin colors are just more appealing to my eye, and on top of that, the fact that it’s supposed to be a younger version of Tim means that the scale issues are a lot less pressing on this release. The only drawback to this figure was that he lacks the original’s combat staff, since the set only included a single batarang for the duo to share. Ah, classic Matty.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So, you know those crappy distribution issues that prevented me from easily acquiring the original Robin release? Well, they reared their ugly head again when it came time for the repaints that were supposed to address the issue…which didn’t really fix things, did it? Whatever the case, I didn’t get the set new, but I was able to get ahold of Robin on his own thanks to one being traded into All Time Toys last December. I’m glad I finally got my hands on this one, as he really manages to salvage the sculpt of the original, without being held back by scaling or overly-time-specific costumes.