#1243: Mr. Freeze

MR FREEZE

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

What am I reviewing today? <checks review docket> Mr. Freeze.  DC Comics Multiverse.  Mattel.  *sigh* Well, I’m sure this’ll be a joyous review.

Okay, so my hate for Mattel is no secret, nor is my general dislike of their current DC line, dubbed DC Comics Multiverse, which, in its small-scale form, never even came close to living up to that name.  Might as well have called it “Batman & Friends: Arkham Style (and also three ‘80s movies that get two figures each).”  Yes, there was more than a small focus on the Arkham games in this line.  And that’s not inherently bad; the Arkham games were a popular series, and a solid source of cool toys; but there’s a whole lot more DC out there, and returning to the days of no one but Batman getting any toys doesn’t exactly thrill me (the larger scale line looks like it’s avoiding this for now, which is good).  Anyway, I don’t hate Batman or his rogue’s gallery, so I’m not completely unwilling to pick up the stray figure here and there.  One of my all time favorite Bat-Villains is Mr. Freeze, who I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr Freeze was released in the very first series of DC Comics Multiverse figures from Mattel.  He’s based on his appearance in Arkham City, the second Arkham game.  It’s not a terrible Freeze design; it feels a little over  complicated for my taste, but it fits alright with the rest of the Arkham game aesthetic, which I guess is really the main point.  The figure stands a little over 4 inches tall and has 17 points of articulation.  The articulation is like a lot of the other figures in this line, where the lower half has reasonable movement, but the upper half is mostly pretty restricted.  Freeze’s shoulder pads in particular limit when can be done with his arms.  Also, the lack of bicep movement is a real killer on Freeze, since it means he cant hold his freeze gun with both hands.  Freeze’s sculpt was all-new to him, and it’s honestly one of the best sculpts this line had to offer.  There are some slight oddities to the proportions, especially when it comes to the placement of the pelvis.  The feet also are a bit clown shoe-y, which looks pretty goofy.  The head and helmet is a pretty solid implementation; his head is connected to the waist joint, which subverts the usual issues with neck movement on Mr. Freeze figures, so that’s something Mattel actually did right.  The paint on Freeze is decent enough.  It’s pretty straight forward work, with solid color work, and no real accent work to speak of.  The application is all pretty clean, and he has some brighter colors that help him stand out from the pack a bit.  Mr. Freeze is packed with his freeze gun, which as I noted above, he can only hold one handed.  It doesn’t look awful that way, so I guess it’s not the end of the world.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with Knightfall Batman and Detective Mode Bane, Mr. Freeze was given to me by Super Awesome Girlfriend, who purchased him for me during one of her stress-buying sprees.  I gotta say, I came into this review kinda down on this figure, but I’ve come out the other side actually kind of liking this guy.  I mean, he’s still far from perfect, but he’s certainly not as bad as the last few Mattel items I’ve looked at.

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#0767: Batman Beyond

BATMAN BEYOND

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

BatBeyondDCM1

Uh oh. It’s a Mattel figure. This can’t be good. Okay, that’s not entirely true or fair. Mattel figures have the potential to be good, or even on the rare occasion great. In fact, most are at least passable, but some aren’t. And also, I don’t like Mattel as a company, for a whole slew of reasons, chief among them being that a whole lot of their products just feel so lazy. In fact, in the last year, I believe I’ve bought a whole four Mattel figures, mostly due to the vast majority of their output being rather dull. One of those four figures is today’s entry, Batman Beyond. Let’s see how he turned out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BatBeyondDCM2Batman Beyond is part of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse line. The line doesn’t really have traditional series to speak of, but BB was released in the last year of the line. He’s part of the Arkham City sub-set, and is based on one of the alt looks for Batman from the game, rather than being an actual Terry McGuinness Batman Beyond. The figure stands 3 ¾ inches tall and has 18 points of articulation. The layout of the articulation is the same as both the Christopher Reeve Superman and Arkham Knight Robin figures. It’s not the worst articulation ever, but it could really, really use some sort of upper arm swivel and a mid-torso joint. The current layout leaves him a little stiff looking. In general, the sculpt of this figure feels pretty stiff and somewhat oddly proportioned. Some of that, such as the small head and larger hands, are at least partly present in the game design, but some of it’s just weird sculpting. Like Robin and Superman before him, the figure’s waist just sits too low, which looks really odd. Also, it looks like BB’s got at least a few parts in common with several of the previous Batmen. Because of this, he still has the usual Batman boots, which aren’t accurate to the design, as well as a weird shoulder piece that looks like it should have a cape or something attached, but it doesn’t, which is reasonable, since BB’s not supposed to have a cape anyway. Since one of the draws of Batman Beyond is his sleek design, these issues with the re-used pieces jump out a lot more than they would otherwise. BB does get his own head, belt, and forearms, which all do a pretty great job of capturing those parts of his design, and blend pretty decently with the rest of the sculpt. BB’s paint is one of his stronger suits. Everything is pretty cleanly handled, and his emblem in particular is nice and crisp, and really stands out well from the rest of the figure. BB has no accessories, which isn’t out of the ordinary for a Multiverse figure, but remains annoying given the price of the figure and the fact that he re-uses quite a few pieces.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember how I was done with DC Comics Multiverse? Yeah, that seems increasingly incorrect. When I was down in North Carolina visiting family, I ended up finding this guy on a grocery run. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Batman Beyond design, and Super Awesome Girlfriend was there with me, so there really wasn’t a chance I was saying no to this one. He’s a flawed figure to be sure, and definitely reminds me of why I don’t really do Mattel figures anymore, but he’s Batman Beyond, which does a lot to outweigh some of the cons.