LEGION OF SUPER HEROES (DC DIRECT)
The beauty of DC Direct in its early years was a wonderful haven for toys of characters that had literally never had them before. Without the ability to do Superman or Batman, they had to rely on other characters, allowing for a great focus on fan favorites, such as the Legion of Superheroes, to whom they were able to dedicate an entire line of figures. They tried to focus on the team’s heavy hitters from the earliest days, and that included the heroic descendent of one of Superman’s greatest foes, Brainiac 5, who I’m taking a look at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Brainiac 5 was one of the two figures in the second series of DCD’s Legion of Superheroes line, with the other one being Mon-El. After the original three were covered in series 1, Brainy was by far the most natural choice for inclusion. The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation. After the weird articulation choices on the first series figures (where someone had the bright idea of “what if we gave them knees but not hips?”), Brainy is a much more straight forward set-up. Apart from lacking the ball-jointed shoulders that would become more or less standard later, he’s got a decent set-up. He’s still very stiff, of course, but for DC figures at this time, he was quite good. Brainy’s sculpt was largely shared with Mon-El, and it was one that would serve as the influence for the rest of the Legion line from DCD. It’s a pretty nice sculpt, matching up fairly well with the early silver age appearances for the character. His head and belt were the two pieces that remained unique to him, and they’re both fairly well-rendered. The head’s maybe not my favorite, but neither is it a bad offering in the slightest. The slightly looser sleeves are a very cool touch, and one I’m glad they didn’t leave out. In terms of paint, Brainy is pretty basic, butt gets all of the important things, I suppose. Like most DCD figures of the era, he’s completely painted, rather than being molded in any of the proper colors. It means that he does suffer from a slight tendency to scuff in some parts, especially the purple sections, but for the most part it looks alright. Brainy included no accessories, which was not surprising, I suppose, but was also a shame. I don’t know what you’d give him, but still.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As I’ve brought up previously, a lot of the early DCD stuff fell into sort of “shared” collection of figures between me and my dad. Initially, all the Legion figures were officially his, but I was allowed to borrow them whenever I wanted to. I didn’t start collecting them for myself until the line’s final series, thanks to Ferro Lad’s inclusion. After that, I started going back and filling in the earlier figures for myself. Brainiac 5 was a little trickier to find by that point, but I wound up getting him from Baltimore Comic Con a few years later. He’s fairly basic and not much to write home about these days, but he was fantastic for the time, just because we’d never gotten one before.