DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
“Ted Grant was a heavyweight boxing champion in the 1930s. He became a fugitive when mobsters framed him for murder in the ring. Ted donned a black costume and, adopting the name Wildcat, used his combat skills to beat a confession out of the men who framed him. Wildcat decided to remain in costume and focused his attention on mob-related crime. In his civilian identity, Ted Grant has operated a gym and trained Batman, Black Canary, and Catwoman in hand-to-hand combat arts.”
I had been tempted to start this review with a gag about how I hadn’t reviewed any DC Universe Classics figures recently, and how that was actually Mattel’s fault. Trouble is…it’s only been two weeks since my last DCUC review, so I guess that joke doesn’t really fly so well. Well, I’m still gonna blame Mattel…force of habit really. For today’s review, I turn to one of the DC Universe’s older heroes, Wildcat, notable for sharing his first appearance with Wonder Woman (and Mister Terrific, but not as many people know him). As a definite second stringer to her starring role, he found himself somewhat pushed to the sidelines, not even joining the premier Golden Age team, the Justice Society, until after the Golden Age had ended. He found a renewed life after Earths 1 and 2 merged after Crisis on Infinite Earths, where he was retrofitted into an aged hero who had trained most of the current generation. As a mentor, he flourished and became a fan-favorite. And that’s how he’s become one of the most action-figured golden age heroes.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Wildcat was released in Series 9 of DC Universe Classics. He wasn’t technically the only JSA member in the assortment, since Black Canary was also part of the line-up, and the two actually made for a pretty sensible pairing. He was also right at the head of the oncoming push for the JSA, and continued the DCUC trend of providing updates to characters DC Direct hadn’t touched in a while. There were two versions of Wildcat available, though unlike a lot of the variants produced for this line, the differences between the two are menial at best. The standard’s body suit was a straight black, while the variant (reviewed here) was instead a very dark blue. The reasoning behind the variant was never really explained, since it’s not exactly a callback to a specific look. Both figures went for Wildcat’s slightly modernized look, with his wrapped up hands, befitting his past as a boxer. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. Wildcat was built on the larger male body, which was in service from Series 1 to Series 20. For a bruiser like Ted, it was a good fit. He also got a new head, forearms, hands, and feet. The head is definitely the most impressive piece; rather than just a solid piece, the face is separately sculpted from the mask on top of it. It adds some nice depth to the sculpt, and makes him unique amongst the other, single-piece sculpts from the line. Wildcat’s colorscheme is fairly monochromatic, and by extension his paintwork is pretty simple for the most part. The variant is sort of a purplish-blue, which doesn’t look half-bad, and he gets some pretty impressive work on those hand wraps. Wildcat was packed with the torso and head of the Series 9 CnC, Chemo, who I didn’t actually complete, but there it is.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I feel like all of my DCUC reviews have the same “Me Half of the Equation,” but here goes: Series 9’s distribution was spotty. Not as spotty as Series 8, but still pretty damn spotty. I never saw either version of Wildcat at retail, and so I never got one while the line was running. Fortunately for me, when All Time Toys got in a DCUC collection last December, I was able to find this guy among them. He’s a strong figure, no doubt, and I’m definitely glad I was able to get ahold of him, because he really exhibits the line’s strength in simplicity very nicely.