#2639: Cyborg

CYBORG

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Half robot, Vic Stone is a high-tech genius and valued member of Robin’s Teen Titans team. Cyborg not only designs and engineers T-vehicles and excels at video games, he’s also a great cook–specializing in spaghetti and burgers!”

At the beginning of the entire decade of time that made up the year 2020, the DC Comics license passed from Mattel into the hands of both Spin Master and McFarlane Toys.  Spin Master’s been sticking more to the “toys” side of things, and have generally wound up resonating far more with me, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t attempted to give McFarlane’s more “collector” oriented line its fair shot as well.  One of the problems I’ve been having with the McFarlane stuff is how Batman-centric its been, so I’ve been trying to keep my eye out for cool not-Batman stuff.  The most recent assortment of figures has a little bit of that, including today’s focus figure, Cyborg!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cyborg is part of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  As far as wave/series/assortment, I’d honestly be hard-pressed to tell you, because there hasn’t really been any clear delineation, and releases have been hitting all over the place.  He’s not from Series 1, and that’s the best I can hone in on.  So far, the DC Multiverse stuff has all been drawn from specific source material, and in the case of Cyborg, he’s based on the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon.  He’s the first figure based on the show, and so far the only one to be solicited.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  With the McFarlane stuff, there’s been a bit of an issue on the articulation front; there are plenty of points of movement, but range isn’t always the best.  Cyborg improves a bit over the prior Multiverse figures I’ve had, but I did find the arms to still be rather restricted, especially at the elbows.  Also, while the shoulders have decent range, they’re a little bit on the loose side for my figure.  They can hold poses fine right now, but I’m a bit concerned about the long-term integrity of the joints.  Cyborg’s sculpt is an all-new affair, and compared to the animated sculpts of the first assortment, it’s actually a marked improvement.  I don’t know if it’s just the change in style between the shows, but they’ve managed to get a much closer recreation of Cyborg’s cartoon design than any of the other three animated figures.  It’s still not really in scale with anything (though he does look okay with some of the larger Bandai figures), as has been a recurring issue with the McFarlane stuff, but internally, it’s at least got solid proportions and does an okay job replicating the design.  I quite like the way they’ve handled the blue sections of the cybernetics, being white plastic with the detailing sculpted in, and then a clear blue plastic shell over top.  It works very well, and solves a problem that other animated Cyborgs have never quite gotten down.  In terms of paint, he’s pretty basic.  There are a few errant marks on the white sections, but for the most part it look okay.  It’s appropriately bright, and refrains from McFarlane’s tendency to go a little murkier, so it’s not bad.  Cyborg is packed with an extra hand in sonic cannon configuration, plus one of the small black disc stands, and a card.  The cannon piece is definitely the coolest part, and swaps out for the hand without much trouble.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve not really been picking up any of the McFarlane figures, because I really just wasn’t that impressed by the three I had already gotten.  I did like the look of this guy when his prototype was shown off, but was planning to refrain from getting him largely because I honestly don’t trust Todd and company to actually get the whole team line-up out.  At most I’m expecting to get a Robin and *maybe* a Beast Boy, but I can’t see anything beyond that, which does make the prospect of this figure weird to say the least.  I wound up getting this one from Cheyenne and her parents, and it’s honestly a pretty strong figure, and one I’m pretty glad I ultimately got.  Hopefully, I’m proved wrong on the team line-up, but for now, he does look pretty nice with my Bandai Speedy figure.

#2371: Harley Quinn

HARLEY QUINN

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“When she first met The Joker, Dr. Harleen Quinzel was his psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum.  Instead of treating her patient, she fell in love with him and became his prankster partner in crime known as Harley Quinn.  Although mentally unhinged, Harley is highly intelligent.  She’s a skilled gymnast and her agility makes her an adept fighter.  Like The Joker, she uses a variety of weaponized gag props in her chaos-creating crimes.”

Hey, remember how McFarlane has the DC license now?  And remember how Spin Master also has it?  And how I’m really leaning into that Spin Master curve?  Well, it could only last for so long, I suppose.  In an effort to make my way through some of the stuff sitting on my “to review” pile, I’m grabbing a few things I’ve kind of been putting off.  Today’s entry is definitely in the “putting it off” category.  Guess I can’t put it off any further.  Okay, here’s Harley Quinn.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Harley Quinn is part the…well, still technically the first assortment of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line, but exactly where she falls in that is a little debatable.  She’s not part of the Superman/Batman portion that we first saw, and she’s not part of the more Bat-family-themed build-a-vehicle assortment that Nightwing was in.  Technically, she was shown off alongside Green Arrow from Arrow and Green Lantern from JLU, neither of whom she really ties in with all that well.  It hasn’t got any less confusing since I reviewed Nightwing is the general theme of what I’m getting at here.  Harley is, according to the box anyway, based on her appearance in her self-titled miniseries from the comics, which introduced her into the mainstream DCU.  I’ll get to that.  The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and has 35 points of articulation.  Compared to the rest of the line, Harley’s not only too tall; she’s just flat out too big.  She’s not actually taller than Nightwing and Superman, but thanks to the way the parts of her body are scaled internally, she looks like she’s taller than they are.  It’s really the head that throws things off the most, because it’s so large.  Also?  Clearly not based on her main DCU design.  That head’s unquestionably meant to be an animated-style Harley, and there’s nothing about it that indicates otherwise.  Given they were already doing actual animation-based figures in the strange collection of figures that makes up “Series 1”, I’m not sure why they didn’t just say she was an animated Harley.  Okay, actually I kinda do get why, but that’ll come up later.  Whatever the case, the head’s not a great piece, even for an animated look, because it’s kinda off-model for any version of Harley we’ve seen before.  Below the neck, Harley suddenly doesn’t seem quite as animation-styled, but I wouldn’t really classify it as realistic either.  There’s a definite style there, but whose I couldn’t really say.  The part that really bugs me is the shoes, which are the usual pixie shoes, but inexplicably have high heels on them?  I don’t know how that works, and I don’t want to.  Harley in high-heels just feels wrong to me, though.  Of the three McFarlane DC figures I’ve looked at, Harley’s probably got the most basic paint scheme.  I don’t know that I’d call it “cleaner”, because the actual application is kinda messy.  There’s a noticeably splotch of white on the left shoulder, and in general the transitions between colors aren’t very clean.  It’s not terrible, though, and I don’t know that it’s really messier than the other two; there’s just less extra work to distract from the errors.  Harley is packed with a mallet, a gun with a “Bang” flag, a display stand, and a collector’s card.  The mallet is the weirdest part, because it’s definitely meant to be more real world, and therefore doesn’t fit with the rest of the figure at all.  Sure, there’s a lot of nice work on it, but why does it come with *this* figure?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The animated figures from Multiverse kind of repulse me, and though she’s not technically an animated figure, so does Harley.  From the prototype shots, I knew I didn’t like her, and in person that didn’t change.  So, why do I have her?  It’s Max’s fault.  He bought her because he decided to buy a whole set of them, and after opening her up and messing with her for a bit, he decided he didn’t really need to keep her, and passed her along to me for the purposes of reviewing.  There it is Max.  I reviewed her.  I hope you’re happy.  Ultimately, I’m cooling on this whole McFarlane DC thing pretty quickly.  While Superman and Nightwing held my interest at first, I ultimately don’t have much to say about them a month after the fact.  And a month with Harley sitting on the shelf waiting to be reviewed did nothing to really make me like her any more than I did when I first looked at her.

#2327: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Dick Grayson began his crime-fighting career as the original Robin—Batman’s protégé and crime-fighting partner. An expert acrobat and skilled fighter, Dick eventually left the nest and ventured out on his own as a new hero called Nightwing. His childhood experiences as a circus acrobat and trapeze artist make him extremely agile. He is a superior fighter and a highly skilled martial artist who has been personally trained by Batman. Nightwing is a keen detective, a natural leader, and a strategist with advanced knowledge of a variety of technologies.”

I am nothing if not a creature of habit.  The habit of which I am a creature in this case, apparently, is trying out DC lines with the same two characters.  First Superman, then Nightwing.  I did it with Spin Masters stuff, and lookie here, I’m about to do it with the McFarlane stuff too.  You can’t say I didn’t try to warn you!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing is part of the…well, it’s still the first assortment of DC Multiverse, but it’s like distinctly separate from the one that Superman’s in, I guess?  This one’s got a different price point because there’s a build-a-thing, and so it’s…I don’t know, it’s all a little confusing, or maybe its not.  Forget it Ethan, it’s McFarlane.  Like Superman, this Nightwing figure is, at least in theory, based on specific appearance, namely “Better Than Batman,” the first volume of his Rebirth title, which reintroduced the black and blue color scheme.  Much like the “based on Action Comics #1000″ translated to “McFarlane take on Classic Superman” for yesterday’s figure, “based on Better Than Batman” here translates to “Mcfarlane take on Nightwing’s most recent costume.”  Nightwing stands 7 14 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation.  He’s pretty much the same height as the Superman figure (and a little taller than the basic Batman), which makes him a little tall for Dick, but believe me, he’s not the worst case of internal scaling in the line.  His articulation isn’t too different from Clark’s.  There’s better range in the arms for this guy, which is good, but I didn’t find the neck joint quite as useful this time around.  The legs are also still kind of clicky and heavy on the ratcheting for my taste, making him not a ton of fun to pose.  I will say he’s pretty stable on his feet, though, so kudos to McFarlane on that.  Let’s discuss the sculpt.  By and large, I don’t like this sculpt quite as much as the Superman, largely due to this one feeling far more uneven.  The head’s definitely the strongest part, and I definitely get an effective Dick Grayson vibe off of it.  Not sure if it’s quite a Rebirth Dick Grayson vibe, but that’s really splitting hairs.  The body’s where things get funkier.  At first glance, I thought this figure’s arms were too short, and he was kinda giving me T-Rex vibes.  In-hand, it doesn’t seem like it’s the arms that are throwing things off, but perhaps the torso?  I think it’s too large relative to the rest of the figure.  It’s hard to say for sure, but it definitely looks off.  The legs, especially below the knee, also seem slightly…mishapen?  With the right posing, it doesn’t look bad, but there’s definitely something weird about this figure’s proportions in general.  As with Superman, the costume has been given an assortment of extra little details littered throughout.  I myself tend to prefer a more streamlined Nightwing, but these details still work better on him than they did on Superman.  Nightwing’s paintwork is more in line with McFarlane’s usual output than Superman was, being a little murkier on the details, and slightly washed out.  It’s not a bad look, but compared to something like the Essentials figure, he looks almost unfinished.  Maybe that’s just my classic sensibilities kicking up, though.  Nightwing is packed with his batons, a piece of the mini-Batmobile, a display stand, and a card.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was sold on Superman, I was still kinda on the fence with this guy.  I liked parts of him, but I wasn’t sure about the whole.  Max wanted the mini-Batmobile piece, so he bought this guy, and ended up pretty much just giving him to me.  He’s not a bad figure.  Honestly, he’s probably about as good as the Essentials figure, which also had it’s pluses and minuses.  However, I still personally prefer the Essentials release and its slightly cleaner approach to the character.  Both figures have their merits, and neither one is truly definitive, so I guess I’m just gonna have these two nearly identical Nightwings in my collection.  Oh, the oddity of me.

#2326: Superman

SUPERMAN

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Sent to Earth from the dying planet of Krypton as a baby, Kal-El was found by farmers Martha and Jonathan Kent and raised as their son, Clark.  As Clark grew up, the radiation from Earth’s yellow sun gave him extraordinary powers, which he kept hidden.  Now fully grown, he uses his powers to protect his adopted world as Superman.  The Man of Steel is virtually invulnerable and has the powers of super-strength, super-speed, and flight.  He also has enhanced senses, including heat vision, X-ray vision, super-hearing, and super-breath.”

When Mattel lost the DC license (or chose not to pursue a renewal, depending on who you ask), it was split between two main licensees.  For the more all-ages oriented toys, Spin Master has the license, and I’ve already taken a look at a couple of their offerings.  Now I’m jumping over to the other company, McFarlane Toys, who will be handling the more collectors-oriented side of things.  I’m kicking things off with their take on the Man of Steel.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superman is part of the rather large assortment 1 product launch for McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  While all 12 of the initial figures are technically part of the same assortment, they’ve been broken down into a few different subsets.  Three variants each of Superman and Batman make up the first grouping of figures.  This particular Superman is the most standard fare, being based specifically on his appearance in Action Comics #1000…at least according to the box.  I’ll touch on that in a bit.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  In terms of scaling, these guys are pretty big.  You won’t be mixing them with your Legends to be sure, as they’re more in line with McFarlane’s other offerings or the stuff coming from NECA.  You could also probably mix some of them in with the DC Essentials figures, thought they’re a bit large even for those. While there’s certainly a lot of articulation, the effectiveness of a good number of the joints is a little on the iffy side.  The neck joint and mid-torso both have some decent range, as well a smooth motion to them.  The legs have decent mobility, but the joints are really clicky and a little tricky to work with.  The arms are the worst of the bunch, with really heavily ratcheted joints, poor range on the shoulders and the elbows, and some truly hideous design on the wrists.  Ultimately, you can get some fairly decent poses out of him, but for someone who’s used to Legends, he’s a bit of a pain to pose.  Articulation aside, how’s the actual sculpt.  Well, in my eyes, Superman is the best of the initial offerings, so I don’t think it’s that bad.  For the most part, the proportions are fairly balanced and realistic, while still being rather heroic.  Although he’s supposedly based on Jim Lee’s depiction of Clark from Action 1000, I don’t get much Lee out of this sculpt myself.  The head’s a little wonky; I’m not sure exactly what kind of likeness or expression they’re going for here, but he seems a little…off from my usual mind’s eye version of Clark.  It’s not terrible, though, and far from the worst head sculpt in the bunch.  It’s probably not helping that the head was one of the few things I unquestionably liked about the Essentials figure when I reviewed it.  The body sculpt is decent, but does run into a little bit of Todd being Todd and adding details that don’t necessarily need to be there.  He’s got some various piping running along various parts of his costume, and the insignia is now large and raised.  I do like the cape a lot; while I’m not always a huge fan of the overly large cape for Superman, it works well here, and it has a nice, dynamic flow to it.  Superman’s paintwork is pretty basic, which is a good thing, because I was a little worried that was another area where things might get all Todded up.  Application is mostly pretty clean, apart from a few small issues here and there.  The most glaring thing on my figure was a little spot of flesh tone on the hair.  Superman is packed with two sets of hands, a flight stand, and a collectors card.  The hands are probably my biggest complaint, because they don’t feel very suited to the poses I want out of a Superman.  The relaxed hands aren’t as handy as a pair of flat flying hands might have been, and I can’t begin to fathom why we got a gripping hand for the right instead of a fist to match the left.  He doesn’t even come with anything to hold!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I was hesitant on the McFarlane stuff, due to them not having the best track record.  When they showed this figure off, I wasn’t much of a fan of the proto, but after getting to see him in person, I decided to at least give him a chance.  Ultimately, he’s not bad, and certainly an admirable effort from McFarlane.  He’s still got his flaws, though, and I’m hoping they can offer some improvements.  Still, he’s a solid piece on his own.

I got my figure from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.