DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
“Tim Drake already had impressive detective and computer hacking skills when Bruce Wayne offered him the opportunity to train and become his protege, Robin. But when Batman disappeared, Drake went incognito and became Red Robin to find him. During his search, he masterfully formed an alliance with Ra’s Al Ghul that eventually dismantled Ra’s League of Assassins and paved the way for Bruce Wayne’s return. Drake continued to use his brilliant deductive and martial arts skills as Red Robin, working with The Outsiders and Teen Titans.”
Hey, remember a few weeks ago, when I was talking about the history of the name Red Robin? Let’s touch on that again. Though the name was originated by Dick Grayson in the alternate future of Kingdom Come, only one of the four Red Robin figures is Dick. The other three are Tim Drake, who has pretty much laid claim to the name. It wasn’t quite as cleanly Tim’s at first, though, especially when he got his first Red Robin figure, which I’m looking at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Red Robin was released in “All Stars” series of DC Universe Classics. Originally, “All Stars” was supposed to be the refitted incarnation of DCUC post-New 52, with this just being the first series. Unfortunately, demand was pretty low on this particular assortment, and practically non-existent on the proposed follow-up, which retroactively makes this assortment essentially just Series 21 of DCUC, rather than the first series of the new line. As a continuation of DCUC, Red Robin’s place in the line-up makes a little more sense, given how the line-ups for DCUC assortments tended to go. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. Red Robin was built on the DCUC line’s medium male body which was an odd choice to say the least, given that this is meant to be Tim, and that his last DCUC figure, which is only supposed to be him about a year prior in-universe, is a heck of a lot smaller. Admittedly, that figure is widely agreed to be really under-sized, but this one definitely goes too far the other direction, making the 19-20 year old Drake look like he’s a good decade older. It’s worth noting that this is the same base body that Mattel used for both Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, making you wonder if this figure was originally designed to be one of the two of them, rather than Tim. He does look a fair bit like the Jason Todd version, but that incarnation was rather short-lived, so perhaps Mattel opted to slap a new name on it for more longevity? I don’t know. It’s genuinely just possible that Mattel was just being Mattel and simply put him on the wrong body; that’s pretty in character for them. Scaling issues aside, it’s worth noting that Red Robin got a decent selection of new parts, including a new head, cape, straps, belt, forearms, and shins. These parts mesh well with the pre-existing parts, and the end result is a pretty clean looking figure, which does a solid job of capturing the costume design from the comics. His paintwork is all pretty clean. By this point, most of the nicer accent work from earlier in the line was gone, but there’s still nice touches like the shiny finish on the boots and gloves, as well as the slight accenting on his tunic. It’s also pretty clean, which is really the most important thing. The plan for “All Stars” was to cut down on production costs by removing the Collect-N-Connect pieces, so this figure does that, his only extra being a staff (which my figure is lacking).
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Though demand for the overall assortment was pretty low, Red Robin was really the only figure contained therein that anyone really wanted, which made him a little bit harder to acquire. Not helping matters was that regular retailers had pretty much given up carrying the line by this point, so if all you wanted was Red Robin without his three case-mates, you were kind of out of luck. Because of this, I didn’t get him new. Instead, I got him last year when All Time got in a DCUC collection. Choice of base body aside, he’s a pretty fun figure, and I’m glad I finally got one.