JLA (DC DIRECT)
“Using an extract of the plant Gingold, Ralph Dibney transformed his body into a malleable elastic state!”
In preparation for this review, I realized that I’ve only fleetingly discussed Ralph Dibney, aka the Elongated Man, here on the site, twice in reference to Plastic Man not being him, and once in reference to him being one of three characters for whom I own all of the action figures. That’s it. Well, as you may have guessed from the whole “I have all of his action figures” thing, I’m a rather big Elongated Man. I’d go so far as to say he’s my favorite DC character. The fact that he’s been so mistreated in modern times isn’t so great, but on the flip side, he’s done alright for himself in the realm of action figures in the last two decades. Let’s start off what should be a lovely journey through Elongated Man figures with the very first one, released way back in 2004. That’s right, this figure’s almost old enough to vote.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Elongated Man was released in the second series of DC Direct’s JLA line. After a debut assortment based on the team’s current (at the time) incarnation, the second series was inspired by the Satellite Era of the team. As noted above, this marked Elongated Man’s first action figure (also true of his assortment-mate Adam Strange), though, like last week’s Kilowog figure, he would be quite shortly followed by a JLU release courtesy of Mattel. The figure stands 7 1/2 inches tall with his neck extension in place (6 1/2 inches without it) and he has 12 points of articulation (11 if the extension is removed). While not super articulated or anything, his movement scheme marks what became the standard for DCD figures around the time, which wasn’t really a bad one. The only real downside to this particular figure, in relation to the others in the set, is that, due to how the neck extension works, he lacks the ball-jointed neck that the other three in the series got. Instead, he’s just got a cut joint. It’s not the end of the world, but does limit him a little bit. Elongated Man’s sculpt was all-new, and it remained unique to this release. It’s a pretty strong one, doing a respectable job of capturing that classic Ralph look. I particularly like the head sculpt, goofy, cheesy grin, and all. It just feels really appropriate for the character. Elongated Man’s paint work is pretty decent. It’s bright and colorful, which is the main effort for the design, so it works. The application is clean, and I really like the glossy finish on the gloves and boots. Elongated Man was packed with a JLA-labeled display stand, which was pretty standard for the time.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This set of figures, as well as a number of other DCD figures, hit around Christmas time in 2004, so I got a handful of them as gifts that year. I was far more fixated on the Atom figure at the time, so he wound up being the one from this series I got on Christmas morning. Elongated Man I actually made a point of buying for myself the week after Christmas, using a gift card I’d gotten for Cosmic Comix during the holiday. I remember being quite excited to get him at the time, and he was a favorite of mine for a while. I like him enough that I even snagged a spare over the years, just because. To date, he’s still my favorite, and is probably the best version of the character overall.