#2006: Bizarro

BIZARRO

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

You know, it would be really clever to write this whole review in Bizarro speak, wouldn’t it?  Well, clever as it may be, that seems like way more energy than I have to put into a Monday review.  I know, making things easy for myself seems to run counter to my whole brand, but consider this: I did the backwards speak gimmick for my first Bizarro review, meaning that doing it again would be a retread, so, in a way, this is the less traversed and therefore more difficult path.  Yeah, that’s what I’m going with…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bizarro is a Walgreens-exclusive release for the DC Comics Multiverse line.  He started cropping up in the last couple of months, though he was originally shown alongside the figures that made up the “Lex Luthor Series.”  The majority of those figures are modeled on the characters’ “Rebirth” appearances, but Bizarro here is actually a much more classically inspired figure, which was a kind of nice change.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  Bizarro, understandably, re-uses the body introduced with the Rebirth Superman figure from the Clayface Series.  It shares a more common ancestry with the old DCUC body than the body used for Ray, meaning it’s just not quite as refined.  It’s still a definite improvement on the old body, though it feels a little more piecemeal and uneven.  I think the pelvis and hips are the part that really throw the whole thing off.  Bizarro gets a new head sculpt, which is a pretty respectable piece.  It’s appropriately squared off and blocky, and the detailing on the hair in particular is quite nice.  Bizarro trades out Superman’s sculpted cape for a cloth piece that connects around the neck.  On a standard figure, it would be a little goofy, but for Bizarro it actually works to the design’s favor.  His paintwork is overall pretty clean.  The colors are nice and bright, and his skin has a nice textured look about it which works really well.  Bizarro is pretty decently accessorized.  He’s got two sets of hands, in fists and flat flying poses, as well as his signature “Bizarro No. 1” placard.  And, if you want an alternate look, well hey, he has one of those too!  You can give him his Kent Clark guise from the comics by adding a pair of glasses, a tie, and a rather raddy-looking jacket.  As a bonus to this look, the use of a cloth cape means that it can fit under the jacket and stick out like it does in the comics.  It’s a fun extra look and adds a real unique touch to this release.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was moderately interested in this figure when he was shown off, but wasn’t 100% sold on it.  After picking up and being quite impressed by Ray, I found this guy while out on a day trip with my parents and my brother, and was actually pretty happy to do so.  While he’s not quite as strong as Ray, he’s still a lot better than Mattel’s output has been for a good long while.  I am again frustrated that they managed to improve things just before losing the license.  But hey, at least I got this cool Bizarro figure.

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#1993: The Ray

THE RAY

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Following the super hero comics boom of the ’40s, there was something of a comics crash in the ’50s, which resulted in the demise of a great many of the smaller companies that had cropped up.  Perhaps the only company not completely decimated by the end of the Golden Age was National Comics, who would eventually become DC Comics (after their best-selling book, Detective Comics.  Yes, their full name is Detective Comics Comics).  They promptly went about buying up many of the other failed comics businesses, thus amassing a large selection of other companies characters to add to their growing universe.  Amongst those companies purchased was Quality Comics, whose biggest characters (barring Plastic Man and the Blackhawks) would be integrated in the DC mythos as the Freedom Fighters, a team of super heroes from Earth-X, a parallel Earth where the Nazis won World War II.  Following the collapse of the DC Multiverse during Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Freedom Fighters were worked back into the main DCU and one of their members, The Ray, was given a reasonably successful reboot.  Ray Terrill was the son of Langford “Happy” Terrill, the original Ray, and was born with sun-based super powers.  This legacy take on the Ray built up quite a cult following, but despite that spent the first 26 years of his existence with absolutely no toys.  For shame! (EDIT: I forgot the JLU figure.  Of course, that one wasn’t really available to most collectors, so I think my point still stands.  But I was technically wrong.  Technically).

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Ray is part of the “Lex Luthor Series” of the DC Comics Multiverse line, which was the second comic-based assortment following Mattel’s attempt at retooling the line at the beginning of 2018.  It technically hit shelves in November, but “technically” is the magic word here.  Experiences were very mixed on that.  Ray is based on his recent re-appearance in the DCU, following his book’s re-launch under the “Rebirth” heading.  The design is different from his prior designs, but keeps the same general spirit, and is just generally a pretty solid design.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  His size means he actually scales okay with Marvel Legends, which is actually kind of a first for a mainstream DC figure.  Also, can you believe it, that’s actually an all-new sculpt on a comic figure.  Yes, after a decade of use, it appears Mattel finally realized it was time to retire the DCUC body, and Ray is on a new base body, which I would imagine is the same one being used for the Batman Beyond, Kyle Rayner, and Kid Flash that are just now hitting.  It’s…actually not bad.  It’s not quite as sleek as a  Legends body, but it’s certainly a lot less clunky than the prior bodies, and it’s certainly nice to get a DC male who’s not smuggling bowling balls in his shoulders. Most of the articulation’s even got decent range to it.  Look at those elbows!  They go deeper than 90 degrees.  About the only real complaint I have is that he can’t quite get his arms down flat at his sides.  But he can still get into a good pose and actually hold it, which is certainly a breath of fresh air after years of getting the slowly degrading DCUC molds and their soft-detailed, loose-jointed spawn.  Even the paintwork is pretty darn good.  The gold is a nice hue, which stands out well from both the white and the black (often times, it’ll get lost on one of them), and the application’s nice and sharp.  There aren’t any obvious missing applications, and everything is cleanly applied, with minimal slop.  They’ve managed to keep the color scheme nice and striking, which is really one of the most appealing things about the character.  Ray was packed with an extra head and hands, as well as the arms for the Lex Luthor CnC (missing from my figure).  The head is the same as the standard, but with grin instead of the more stoic standard look.  It’s a small change, and I might have preferred an unmasked head or something, but I’d rather have this than nothing.  The hands swap out fists for gripping.  Why gripping?  He doesn’t have anything to hold, right?  Well, he was originally shown off with some effects pieces, but they got cut along the way, thereby making the hands kind of without purpose.  But, like the head, I’d rather have them than not.  Plus, it’s another positive change after years of figures getting stuck with open grip hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, you’ve gotten all the way through this thing, and you, the faithful reader, might be sitting here wondering why I didn’t post this positive review of a Mattel figure yesterday, since it must clearly be some kind of prank.  Mattel’s been producing some of the worst “collector” figures on the market for years.  I mean, they couldn’t possibly have produced something decent, let alone actually good, could they?  Hey, I’m as surprised as you.  When the prototype for Ray was shown, I thought he looked alright, but Mattel’s been doing okay prototypes for god-awful figures for a little while.  I kind of expected him to follow suit.  And then like a year passed and I forgot he existed, and really wasn’t even sure he would ever see the light of day.  I never actually saw this assortment or the one that preceded it at retail, but a loose Ray was traded-in with a collection that came in at All Time Toys, and I decided to snag him.  I’m glad I did, because he’s really good.  Kind of a shame Mattel couldn’t have improved these figures sooner and kept the license.

#1738: Steve Trevor

STEVE TREVOR

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Last year, Wonder Woman arrived in theaters, and everyone loved it.  Well, not everyone, because I actually didn’t love it.  I didn’t even like it all that much.  I won’t go so far as to say I hated it, but I was certainly disappointed.  So there’s my controversial opinion for the day.  Less controversial?  My review of the following figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Steve Trevor was released as part of the four-figure Wonder Woman assortment of DC Comics Multiverse figures, which hit shelves last year just prior to the movie’s release.  Naturally, he’s based on Chris Pine’s turn as Steve from the movie, specifically in his main out he wears while out on the German front.  It’s rather a departure from how I’d picture a “classic” Steve, and actually looks more like another war comics character of DC’s, Enemy Ace.  But, that’s what happens when you shift Wonder Woman to a different war, I suppose.  Regardless, that’s not actually the fault of the figure, so I’m not gonna harp on it too much here.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  His sculpt is unique to him…which is probably for the best.  Wouldn’t want to risk this thing getting around too much, potentially affecting other figures.  As with the Suicide Squad figures, the sculpt’s implementation makes most of the articulation little more than theoretical.  He’s a little more posable than the Squad figures, but not by much.  He does at least get some range out of the mid-torso joint, but it requires him to look as if he’s been sawed in half to do so.  That’s really not ideal.  Moving past the clumsy and badly-integrated articulation, let’s look at the rest of the clumsy and badly-proportioned sculpt.  He’s…well, he’s simultaneously lanky and pudgy.  I’m not sure how that works.  The arms and legs seem too long, the torso’s too body, and his head is too small for the body, meaning it also sits too high on the neck, which in turn makes that look too long.  The head looks like it might have at one time have a decent Chris Pine likeness, but then somebody back at Mattel HQ sat on it or something, and it wasn’t corrected before the figure went into production.  It’s not great.  Then there’s the paint.  The rather hideous paint.  Once again, not entirely the figure’s fault, I suppose, since it’s a color scheme that comes from the movie, but it’s a bit ugly to look at.  To give them a little credit, I do appreciate the slight weathering they’ve done to accent the leg wraps.  However, since that’s the only accenting on the whole figure, they sort of stand out as oddly defined, and only further highlight the undefined nature of the rest of the figure.  Steve is packed with his Winchester 1897, which is a decent enough weapon.  Of course, Steve can’t really hold it, in part due to his lack of posability, and in part due to the fact that Mattel didn’t see fit to give him a trigger finger.  Gee, thanks Mattel.  Steve is also packed with three pieces to Ares: the head, torso, and sword.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If I didn’t like the movie, and I don’t like Mattel’s product, why did I buy this figure?  Honestly?  It’s because I was at my local Toys R Us on its very last day, and I wanted to buy *something.*  They had about 5 of this guy left, and he was heavily discounted.  I also like Steve Trevor as a character, and this is still his only proper action figure. It’s not a good one, and I’m certainly glad I didn’t pay full price for it, but it’s at least a little special, and ultimately, I feel a little sorry for it.

#1737: Batman – Superfriends

BATMAN — SUPERFRIENDS

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

In addition to overall DC theme, I’m introducing a sub-theme today.  I know, that’s a lot to handle, but bear with me.  Anyway, the theme I’m going with is Batman on alternating days.  Why?  Because I have a lot of Batmen, that’s why.  Today’s Batman follows the trend set by yesterday’s Green Lantern, being at the very least inspired by the Super Friends cartoon.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superfriends Batman was distributed through the same means as Green Lantern, being a Walmart-exclusive entry in the DC Comics Multiverse line.  He, too, would actually stay a Walmart exclusive, unlike the second half of the Super Friends sub-set (who, despite their non-exclusivity, I don’t actually have).  Unlike GL, Batman’s a pretty natural choice for this assortment, since Batman was with Super Friends for its entire run, and was a pivotal player in most episodes.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  For the most part, his sculpt is a straight re-use of the DC Universe Classics Series 1 Batman, with one small exception.  The sculpted cape has been replaced with a cloth one, which has been done in the style of the old Super Powers capes.  Not *quite* the right source material, but it’s goofy and fits the general aesthetic.  I find myself liking the look of it quite a bit, actually, though it’s definitely not going to be for everyone.  AS with Hal, Bats’ mold is definitely showing its age and the wear from all those repeated uses.  On my figure in particular, one of the shoulders doesn’t even quite peg together the right way.  Batman’s paintwork actually ends up more faithful to the source material than GL, which is a plus.  It’s also pretty clean, and likewise very bold.  It looks good on this sculpt.  I appreciate the return of the black shading on the cowl (it’s true to the show, but I wouldn’t have put it past Mattel to leave it off).  Bats even makes out pretty well on the accessories front.  To start with, he’s got the same base and backer card as GL (with the same issue with the peg on the stand).  The back of both cards has part of the Super Friends logo, so that if you get all four, you have the whole thing.  In perhaps the most Mattel move of all, GL and Batman (who, it should be noted, shipped together) don’t have sequential cards, unless of course you really want to celebrate the “Per Inds”.  Fortunately, Batman gets more accessories than GL; he also gets a grappling hook and a batarang (and it does *not* have “CHINA” stamped on it, which was a nice change).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Batman at the same time as GL, from an Ollie’s for $3.  I couldn’t just leave him there, now could I?  That would have been cruel.  Minor issues aside, this figure is actually not terrible.  He’s hardly going to be anyone’s default Batman, but unlike GL, he seems to more fully embrace the concept Mattel was going for.

#1735: Batman – Dark Knight Returns

BATMAN — DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Hey hoooo, it’s a Mattel review.  Haven’t done one of these in a little while.  Ooooooo boy, this’ll go well.

Running parallel to Hasbro’s hit line Marvel Legends, Mattel has their own DC line, DC Comics Multiverse.  It started as a 3 3/4 inch line, before making a jump a few years ago when 3 3/4 inch figures were largely dropped by the toy industry.  One of the earliest offerings from the reformed Multiverse was a set of commemorative figures celebrating the 30th anniversary of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.  Of the three figures offered, I’ve looked at two.  Today, I’m looking at the last of those three, Batman himself!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman was a Walmart-exclusive release from the DC Comics Multiverse line.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  Batman’s actually just a slight retooling of an earlier Batman Unlimited Dark Knight Batman, with a new head.  By extension, that means he shares a lot of pieces with the DKR Superman I looked at back when they were first released.  It’s very similar to the Masters of the Universe Classics base body, but Mattel to this day insists they are completely separate molds.  I guess I just have to believe them.  It works well enough for what they’re going for.  Obviously, it doesn’t really look that much like Frank Miller’s artwork, but it melds decently enough with the DCUC style that Mattel was trying to carry forward.  In the context of the whole MotU concept, and even Superman to a smaller degree, the body works, but for Batman, it feels a little….lumpy?  Balloon-y?  I don’t know.  It just feels somewhat off.  The new head goes for a more reserved look than the prior DKR Bats, though he’s still a little grumpy.  I think it’s perhaps a little large for the base body, and it’s definitely on the softer side.  Compared even just to the other two figures from this same assortment, it looks rather off, as both Superman and the Son of Batman figures have much crisper details.  Batman’s sculpt has a quality not unlike mashed potatoes, if I’m honest.  It’s kind of lumpy and ill-defined, even by Mattel standards.  Also bad even by Mattel standards?  The paint.  Sloppy doesn’t begin to describe it.  It looks like the yellow paint was applied from across the room.  It’s just everywhere.  His logo’s at least not terrible, but the general lack of paint overall just makes the rest of the mistakes that much more noticeable.  Batman was packed with a single accessory: one lone batarang…with “CHINA” stamped on one side.  Apparently he gets all those wonderful toys from China.  Who knew?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I bought the Superman figure at full retail, and I liked him well-enough.  And I got the Son of Batman for a decent discount, and he was alright.  I already had the Unlimited figure of this guy, though, so I wasn’t in much of a hurry to get him.  I ended up buying him *not* from Walmart at all.  I instead found him at an Ollie’s, for $3.  That was enough to get me invested.  I gotta say, I’m really glad that I didn’t pay full price for him, because…well, he’s just not that strong a figure.  I guess I’ve had worse figure, but there’s not a lot that this figure does right.

#1441: The Atom

THE ATOM – DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Oh dear.  It’s a Mattel review.  DC Comics Multiverse even.  This don’t look good….

In effort to at least try to get off to a good start, I’m going to talk about some more pleasant things.  Just over a week ago, I was mentioning that DC’s actually got a pretty good slate of live action TV shows running right now.  Flash and Supergirl are solid straight super hero shows, but over in the eclectic odd-ball corner, there’s Legends of Tomorrow, which is pretty consistently fun.  Part of its success lies in spinning off some of the breakout characters from The Flash and Arrow, including today’s focus, Ray Palmer, aka the Atom.  I’ve been a fan of the character for quite some time, and Brandon Routh’s portrayal of him in Arrow and Legends is always enjoyable.  I’ve been patiently waiting for him to get a figure from *someone* and it looks like Mattel was first up to the bat.  I really like this character and his design, so I’m going to try very hard to like this figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Atom (or should I say “FGC12,” since that’s how he’s listed on  the back of the box.  Yes, it looks like Mattel forgot to swap out the actual character names for the assortment numbers when the box went to print.  I can’t wait for kids to try and beg their parents to buy them DWM60 figure to go with their Robin) was released in the “Rookie” series of DC Comics Multiverse figures, which started hitting towards the end of the summer.  Atom is based on his slightly upgraded design from the second season of Legends, which I think is a slightly stronger look than the earlier design.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  As with the last few Multiverse figures I’ve looked at, the articulation count is largely theoretical.  This figure hasn’t met a joint it couldn’t limit.  The neck is a balljoint that operates as a simple swivel.  The shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees all get less than 45 degrees of movement, so sitting poses and any real flying pose are out of the question.  There are ankle joints present, but they don’t seem to actually do anything, so I’m not sure what they’re supposed to be accomplishing.  They’ve foregone the ab-crunch completely this time, which I suppose is better than the essentially useless one found on the Suicide Squad figures.  At least this way the sculpt isn’t needlessly broken up.  Well, in that one place, anyway.  Despite it’s lack of actual effectiveness, most all of the articulation is out there, naked, on display.  Noticeable gaps in the sculpt somehow still leave the joints insanely restricted.  How do you do that? You be Mattel, that’s how.  The figure’s sculpt is all new, and it’s not atrocious.  The details are certainly sharper than on a lot of the TV/Movie figures that Mattel’s offered in the line.  The suit pieces certainly don’t look terrible.  That said, the underlying body is definitely off, though.  The neck’s really skinny and leaves the head sitting too high, the forearms almost look backwards, and the legs are very tube-shaped and inorganic.  He’s also got that hideous hip construction that Mattel seems dead-set on saddling every one of their live-action figures with.  The best I can say about this sculpt is that the whole is the slightest bit better than the sum of its parts; the complete figure looks okay.  The paintwork on this figure is a bit better than some of Mattel’s other offerings.  There aren’t any glaringly missing applications, and the work seems to be overall pretty clean.  If you want to get nitpicky, the visor shouldn’t be solid black like it is, but it’s not terribly far off from the Season 2 design.  Atom is packed with a smaller version of himself, which is a pretty standard extra for Atom figures.  It’s decent enough, but it’s rather hard to keep standing.  There’s also an unmasked Ray Palmer head, which is cool in theory, but not so much in practice.  It doesn’t really look like Routh at all, it’s too large for the body, and it’s really, really shiny.  Of course, seeing as it’s a Mattel accessory, I suppose we should just be glad he doesn’t have “CHINA” stamped right across his forehead.  Lastly, Atom has both the head and pelvis of the Rookie Collect-N-Connect.  Apparently Rookie is the name they assigned to Commissioner Gordon’s big Batman suit.  Was that really a name associated with that suit? Because I don’t believe I ever heard it referred to as such.  Bleh, I’m getting side-tracked again.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, I’ve been burned by Multiverse before.  I don’t really like this line.  Why did I buy another one?  Honestly, I just really wanted a TV Atom figure.  I found this guy at Walmart while I was moving in August, and he just sort of called to me.  I wanted to like him, I really did, but as soon as I took him out of his packaging, I found myself immediately let-down.  Mattel’s articulation has been weak before, but I think this figure may be a new low on that front.  The best you’ll be able to get from him is a semi-decent standing pose.  That’s it.  And, unfortunately, unlike the DCC TV Supergirl, who was also articulation-challenged, Atom’s sculpt isn’t high enough caliber for me to feel his lack of movement is justified.  Instead, he’s just another below average figure.  And that kind of sucks.  I was really rooting for this figure.  I don’t entirely hate him.  He looks okay in that standing pose.  But he’s hardly fun.  For what may be the first time ever, I wish I’d left a toy in its packaging.  At least that way I wouldn’t know just how disappointing he is, right?  DCC’s releasing their own take on Atom in a month or so.  I guess I’ll see how that one turns out.

#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.

#1239: Katana

KATANA

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Hey, remember when I was talking about Suicide Squad yesterday?  Well, I’m gonna do some more talking about it today.  If I’m very lucky, this will be my last bit of talking on the Suicide Squad front.  As noted yesterday, one of the biggest flaws with the movie was just how under-utilized anyone not named “Deadshot” or “Harley Quinn” was.  Boomer at least got some characterization (mostly due to Jai Courtney’s scenery chewing performance), but today’s focus, Katana, gets a whole lot of nothing.  No fancy introduction, no particularly good fights, next to no dialogue, and no anything else that would make her even slightly interesting.  Karen Fukuhara really tried to inject something into the character, but there just wasn’t anything there to work with.  Anyway, she got a figure, which I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Like yesterday’s Captain Boomerang, Katana was released in the second Suicide Squad-themed assortment of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse, which hit well after the movie’s release, thereby guaranteeing that most audiences would have zero interest in the figure.  You know what might have solved this problem?  Shipping all six figures at the same time! (In Mattel’s defense, the most recent series of Multiverse wasn’t split in two, so maybe they’re learning)  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation.  The ab crunch can move a little bit this time, but not much more than Deadshot’s.  Of course, the elbows and knees are both unable to make it to a full 90 degree angle (really restricting for a sword wielding character).  Also, the ankles on this figure are essentially useless, which makes it very hard to get her to stand.  How do you screw up ankles this badly?  Okay, the movement’s not good, but it’s all for the sake of the sculpt, right? Well, that wasn’t the case with Boomerang, so it’s probably not a shock to find it’s not the case here.  All of the joints stick out like sore thumbs, her torso is flat and thick, her arms are super spindly, the legs and pelvis continue the trend of not really looking like any human ever, and the head doesn’t really resemble Fukuhara at all. Perhaps the worst piece of this already pretty bad sculpt is the sash which holds the sheaths for her swords.  The sash itself is super thick and juts out really far from the figure’s hip, in a way pretty much no real fabric ever would.  The sheaths are separate pieces, and they are actually too small to properly fit in the proper slots, leading them to shift out of place a lot.  This is particularly bad with the smaller front sheath, which tends to naturally fall so it hands straight down, thereby making Katana look like she has a certain appendage that she shouldn’t really have.  It’s really a mess.  Who looked at that and went “yeah, that’s okay?”   As far as the paint goes, Katana’s alright, I guess.  The colors are all pretty basic, but there’s at least some interesting character work on the left leg and the back of her jacket.  She looks way too clean to be from the movie, but she fits with the other figures in that regard.  Katana includes a long blade and a short blade, neither of which she can actually hold properly, as well as the head and pelvis of Killer Croc, the CnC I’ll never be finishing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After determining that Boomerang was only $1, I went back and also grabbed a Katana figure.  Not really sure why her, aside from the whole $1 thing.  I was actually in a bit of a hurry, so these were the only two I grabbed, and by the time I made it back to that particular Walmart, they’d been mostly cleaned out.  Alas, no more crappy $1 action figures for me.  I’m not gonna lie, Katana’s a really rough figure.  I’d have a hard time telling you whether she or Boomerang was the worse figure, just due to the large number of issues associated with both of them.  For $1, I feel like I got what I paid for, but I can’t imagine ever being willing to spend even close to full retail on this thing, even if I *had* liked the movie.

#1238: Boomerang

BOOMERANG

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

To quote Jack Sparrow, “There should be a captain in there somewhere.”

So, Suicide Squad was DC’s less sucky live action film from last year.  Of course, when your claim to fame is “not as bad as Dawn of Justice,” you may not be on the strongest footing.  As I noted in my review of Mattel’s version of Deadshot from the film, it did have its moments where it didn’t totally suck, or at least hinted at not sucking as much.  It was kind of like watching a clumsy kid on a bike riding up a ramp; there’s promise, and you hope things end well, but it pretty much always ends with a disappointing crash of reality, and leaves all the participants worse than they were at the start.  With a few exceptions, the movie’s cast really did try their best to salvage the film, putting in the best performances they could of the material they were handed.  Outside of Will Smith (who almost manages to save the movie), the performance I was most impressed by was Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang.  After seeing him give a number of rather forgettable turns as generic action heroes, Courtney actually did the good captain some justice.  The fact that he was so underused (especially given Boomer’s long history with the Squad) is one of the film’s greatest failings.  He ended up getting a figure from Mattel, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Boomerang was released in the second assortment of the Suicide Squad sub-set of DC Comics Multiverse, which hit stores late last year, well after anyone was actually interested in Suicide Squad figures.  Good move there Mattel.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 23 points of articulation….in theory.  As I noted in the Deadshot review, a lot of the joints on this figure are significantly limited in range of motion.  The elbows can at least make it to 90 degrees, which is something.  Of course, on the flipside, there’s the torso crunch; remember how Deadshot’s ab-crunch was essentially useless?  Well, Boomerang goes right past “essentially” and straight to “completely.”  Seriously, the joint cannot move.  At all.  What is even the point of including this joint if it literally provides no extra movement.  All it does is stick out like a sore thumb on the sculpt.  All of the articulation sticks out, as a matter of fact; there doesn’t appear to be even the slightest attempt to work any of the joints into the sculpt organically, resulting in a figure that strangely offers the worst of both worlds in regards to sculpt and movement.  I guess the sculpt has some merit.  The head looks passably like Jai Courtney’s Boomer, albeit one who’s been scrubbed and cleaned within an inch of his life.  He’s also got a rather bland expression, which seems rather out of place. The rest of the body is…well its there.  Most of the details are rather on the soft side, and he looks rather clunky and outdated compared to most modern figures.  The worst offender is the torso/pelvis, which isn’t really shaped like any human ever, much less Boomerang from the movie.  The coat is inaccurate, mostly because it’s just a re-use of the Dark Knight Rises Bane coat.  They aren’t really that close in design, and it also doesn’t fit the new body sculpt, so it just looks awkward and poofy.  Under the coat, there’s a holster piece, which is glued in place.  It looks rather weird and tacked on, and it can’t really hold a boomerang all that well, thanks mostly to the ill-fitting jacket.  The paintwork on Boomerang isn’t the worst work I’ve seen, but it’s not particularly great.  Everything is just solid colors, with no real weathering, which is really essential on a figure like this.  There’s several noticeable occurrences of slop, and overspray on the neckline.  Lots of details, such as the zipper on his shirt and the buttons on his jacket are just left completely unpainted.  And, to top it all off, the silver paint they used is already starting to flake off.  Boomerang comes packed with three of his namesake weapon.  They are each stamped with a large “CHINA” branding, but what else is new.  They don’t really resemble any of the boomerangs he uses in the film, and on top of that he can’t actually *hold* them, thanks to his hands being sculpted into weird, generic grip poses.  If you’re already sculpting him new hands, why not at least make it so he can hold his signature weapon?  Boomerang also includes the other arm of Killer Croc, which he, amusingly, can actually hold pretty well.  Maybe Mattel thought they were actually making a figure of Captain Killer Croc Arm?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ethan, you didn’t like the movie, you don’t like Mattel, and you don’t like DC Comics Multiverse.  Why, dear God why, did you buy this figure?  That’s a good question.  Remember how I got the Son of Batman figure for $5 on clearance?  Well, this guy was sitting next to him on the shelf.  He had no price tag, but I was curious, so I took him to the price scanner, to see if he was also $5.  He wasn’t.  No, he, along with all of the other Suicide Squad figures at my local Walmart, was $1.  And for $1, there are few action figures I’d say no to.  This is an awful figure, make no mistake.  Don’t pay full price, ever.  But if you see one for $1?  Well, okay, he’s still awful, but at least he’s cheap, and therefore a little more worth it.  At least this way my Deadshot figure’s less lonely.

#1232: Son of Batman

SON OF BATMAN

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Two Mattel figures in a row?  Uh oh, this can’t be good.  Nah, it’s okay guys, things aren’t ugly (just wait until next week, though; oh boy).  Today, let’s have another look at Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse line.  It’s been a real mixed bag, to be sure.  It started more than a little rocky, and has been the subject of a lot of changes, the most prominent of them being a jump from 3 3/4-inch scale to 6-inch.  The 6-inch line spent most of its inaugural year devoted to the lackluster Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad lines, but there were some slightly less sucky items in there.  For me, the best stuff was definitely released in the Dark Knight Returns 30th Anniversary sub-set of the line, which more or less returned back to the DC Universe Classic days.  Today, I’ll be looking at another figure from that set, the Son of Batman!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Son of Batman was part of the three-figure Batman: The Dark Knight Returns series of the DC Comics Multiverse line, which was exclusive to Walmart.  For those not familiar with the story, the Son of Batman isn’t one particular character, but rather one member of the larger Sons of Batman gang, which is formed from the remnants of the Mutant Gang after the Mutant Leader is taken out by Batman.  There are quite a few of them, and they don’t have a completely uniform look, but this one more or less checks all the basic boxes, and can suitably pass for just about any of the members.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  While the majority of the Dark Knight Returns figures were built on a variant of the Masters of the Universe Classics body, the S.O.B. (clever, right?) breaks from the back, making use of the medium-sized DCUC body.  Specifically, he uses the body of the Green Lantern Corps boxed set Guy Gardner figure, along with an all-new head and forearms.  While the DCUC bodies were alright for their time, at the time of this figure’s release, the pieces were eight years old, and very much showing their age.  This is most evident in the articulation, which, in addition to not being very well worked into the sculpt, is also not privy to the best range of motion.  The knees can’t quite make a 90 degree angle, and the elbows barely even make it to 45.  This is kind of ridiculous for a collector-aimed figure from 2016.  Also, some parts of the mold, the hands especially, are showing some serious degradation from over-use.  Those things aside, the body is hardly the worst thing ever, and at least he fits in with the older line, I guess.  As for the decision to re-use the Guy Gardner pieces, they work alright I guess, and he does bear a passing resemblance to the basic S.O.B. look.  There are some inaccuracies (the big belt being the most glaring, but the turtleneck is wrong too), but it’s pretty much a certainty that this figure only got made because of the limited number of new pieces required, so it was slightly off or nothing.  The new pieces are pretty basic stuff, but reasonable enough.  They match up with the pre-existing parts, and the head still retains a little of the Miller flair (albeit a more cleaned up version).  As far as paint, the S.O.B. is pretty basic.  Mostly, he’s molded in the appropriate colors, with some very moderate solid color application here and there.  There’s no real accent work to speak of, and the only paint of note is on the eyes and bat tattoo on the face, which is, admittedly pretty sharp work.  The S.O.B. is packed with a rifle and a torch.  They’re decent enough pieces (aside from the giant “CHINA” stamped into the side of each of them; seriously Mattel, you don’t have to label every single piece; we can figure it out on our own), though he can’t actually hold the rifle the right way, since it was outside of the budget to give him new hands, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I’ve noted in several of the prior anniversary figure reviews, I’m at best a moderate fan of DKR.  So, the Son of Batman wasn’t incredibly high on my list.  On top of that, he was the short pack of the exclusive assortment, and an army builder to boot, so I didn’t exactly have much cause to run into him.  When I moved down to SC, the closest Walmart actually had one, which I picked up and looked at several times, over the course of several months.  Eventually, I found him moved over to the clearance section, with a tag that read $5.00.  For a quarter of the price, I figured he was worth it.  And honestly, yeah, he’s worth it.  Full price?  That’s iffy.  The fact is, this guy’s made from parts that are at least five years out of date, and for the same price, you could get a Marvel Legends or Black Series figure from Hasbro, or one of the Aliens or Predator figures from NECA, and those offer a much better value.  Still, he’s worth what I paid for him, and that’s good enough for me.