#2255: Green Lantern



As we come to the close of 2019, we also come to the close of Mattel’s 17 year run with the DC Comics toys license.  Their run with the license had its share of ups and downs as they stumbled their way through the boys toys market.  They definitely hit their biggest success with DC Universe Classics, a line of super-articulated 6-inch figures, but just as they launched that line, their competitors at Hasbro opted to shrink their Marvel lines down to 3 3/4 inches.  Mattel followed with DC Infinite Heroes, a line that was…not very good.  After launching in 2008, they were already pretty much dead at retail by 2009.  It did hang in there til the end of ’09, and in typical Mattel fashion, they started to get the hang of things just before giving up.  One of the line’s better offerings wasn’t from the line proper, but was instead a pack-in with 2009’s direct to video Green Lantern: First Flight movie.


Green Lantern was available exclusively at Best Buy, packed in with the DVD and Blu-Ray releases of First Flight.  Though he doesn’t bear any official Infinite Heroes markings, he was constructed from mostly IH parts, albeit ones that hadn’t shown up at retail yet when he hit.  The figure is a little shy of 3 3/4 inches tall (noticably smaller than Hasbro’s Marvel Universe offerings) and has 22 points of articulation.  The body used here is Mattel’s second attempt at a standard male body, which was a huge improvement on the first.  The only piece shared between the two was the torso, arguably the only part of the body worth keeping.  The articulation is almost double, meaning that you could actually, you know, pose the figure.  It’s still a little backwards compared to the likes of MU, with only cut joints at the neck and hips, but at least he could move his wrists and ankles and get some side to side motion on the arms and legs.  The proportions are also a lot better; they’re still not a perfect set-up, but at least he doesn’t have those frightening monster hands.  The new joints weren’t the most resilient, though, and the cut joints at the wrists in particular were prone to tearing, which happened with the left arm on mine.  That said, IH had breakage problems from early on, so this wasn’t exactly a step back.  GL’s one new part was the head, which was patterned on his animated appearance.  It’s not a bad sculpt, and actually works pretty decently for a comics Hal as well (which is why Mattel ended up re-using it for comics Hal later down the line).  The paint work on Hal is okay, nothing amazing.  It lacks some of the smaller details of the costume from the movie, and there are some odd choices like not lining the edge of his armband up with the arm joint, but it’s not awful.


When Infinite Heroes launched, I picked up a few of the figures to give it a try, but ultimately wasn’t that impressed and backed out of the line.  However, when First Flight was released, it was right on top of my birthday that year, and my brother was absolutely committed to getting me the deluxe version, figure and all, and had my parents drive him around to a couple of Best Buys in order to make sure he could get me one.  This figure is honestly pretty good, and if Mattel had put out figures like this at the launch, then maybe Infinite Heroes wouldn’t have been such a flop.

#0135: John Stewart – Green Lantern



So, I’m taking a short break from all the Minimate-y goodness I’ve just gotten and looking at a few other figures in my collection.  This one’s not a new figure, nor is it one of my favorites.  But I own it, and it’s on the list of random figure choices from which I dare not deviate.

Mattel is a company I’ve mentioned a few times before on this site.  They aren’t really my favorite topic, as I have a tendency to go off on rants when I bring them up.  They just recently started up a new 3 ¾ inch scale line of figures.  This is actually their second venture into this scale.  Their first was called DC Infinite Heroes, and was widely seen as a pretty big failure on their part.  It didn’t last as long as some of their other lines, but it went a few years, and did release a fair number of figures.  I’ll be looking at one today.


So, it’s John Stewart.  Earth’s 3rd or 4th Green Lantern, depending on how you look at it.  Not the host of The Daily Show.  Sorry if it’s confusing.  John was released as part of a Green Lantern themed 6 pack.  The set was released relatively early on in the life of the Infinite Heroes line.  The figure stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and has 10 points of articulation.  Like most of Mattel’s DC toy lines, DCIH operated on the buck system, meaning every figure was built on one of the few stock bodies.  Unfortunately, the stock bodies for DCIH aren’t anywhere near as nice as those used for DCUC or even Justice League Unlimited.  John was built on the slightly larger male body.  This is okay, since John tends to be depicted a little bigger than Guy and Hal, but the body itself is probably one of the worst of the stocks.  The waist is super tiny, the arms are bulky and stubby, and the hands are GARGANTUAN.  The only new piece here was the head, and it doesn’t do much to improve the figure.  I’m not really sure what look they were going for, but John looks sort of like he was kicked in the crotch while eating a whole pack of Sour Patch Kids.  I’d love to say the paint helps the figure, but it just makes things worse.  For some reason, they gave John brown hair and eyebrows, which makes his whole heal look a bit…mushy.  Plus, his eyebrows kinda give off a weird Vulcan vibe.  The paint is particularly sloppy on the wrists, and for some reason his boots are an entirely different shade of green than the rest of his uniform.  John includes no accessories, which is a shame because they might have added some value to this figure.


I don’t remember where I got this figure exactly.  I know at one point I had the whole set, but I think I sold most of the others off.  I don’t know why I kept him.  I think I just wanted to have John represented in this scale.  Infinite Heroes wasn’t a very good line, but there were a few figures that didn’t totally suck.  John is not one of those figures.