DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
“During ancient Egypt’s 15th Dynasty, Princess Chay-Ara and her beloved Prince Khufu discovered a downed Thanagarian spacecraft. After their murder, the couple’s exposure to the ship’s anti-gravity Nth Metal has destined them to be reincarnated through the ages and fight alongside the Justice Society of America.”
At the start of this year, the DC comics license officially moved from Mattel (who held it for 17 years) to Spin Master and McFarlane. Their first products started hitting halfway through last month, but right now I’m taking another look at Mattel’s tenure with the license, specifically when they were at their high point, mid-way through their DC Universe Classics run, when they were still filling out that core cast of characters. Today, I’m taking a look at Hawkgirl!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Hawkgirl was released in the eighth series of DC Universe Classics. At this point, each assortment was getting one core DC character, and thanks to Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, that was a category Hawkgirl fell into in 2009. She’s undoubtedly the most marketable character of Series 8 as a whole, due in part to the generally low-profile character selection contained therein. As a whole this assortment was really our first taste of that deep cut philosophy that would define the line going forward. Hawkgirl would wind up re-packed alongside fellow Series 8 release Gentleman Ghost in the “Fates Intertwined” two-pack in 2010, after she (and all of Series 8) wound up being very tricky to find at retail (a common tale with this line, unfortunately). Despite the bio’s detailing of the Golden Age Princess Chay-Ara incarnation of the character, the figure is actually based on the Silver Age Thanagarian police officer Shayera Hol incarnation, who was the one that appeared on the cartoons and is generally better known. The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. As the line was built on parts re-use, it’s no surprise that Hawkgirl had a fair amount of re-use going on. The shoulders, upper arms, hands, lower torso, pelvis, and upper legs are shared with Series 4’s Wonder Woman, while the wings were previously used for Shayera’s husband Hawkman in Series 6. In both cases its pretty sensible re-use (and the wings are just very nice pieces in general), and her new parts fit well with the old. Due to the nature of her head sculpt and how it works with the articulation, she’s stuck looking a bit downward, but if you have her on a flying stand of some sort, it’s not so bad. It is a shame they couldn’t get some more range out of that neck joint, though. Overall, though, this is probably one of the most balanced sculpts the line produced. The paint’s pretty straight forward too, with clean, bright, bold application. There’s a bit of slop on the mask, but otherwise it’s a pretty clean look. In her single-packed release, Hawkgirl included her mace, a short sword, a spear, and a display stand. For the two-pack release, that was cut back to just the mace and the spear. Mine’s just got the mace these days.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Series 8 was probably the worst distributed assortment in the whole DC Universe Classics line, and I don’t recall seeing any of the figures at retail, Hawkgirl included. I ended up getting this one, which is the two-pack release loose towards the end of the line, just so I could finally fill out my JLA line-up. She’s a pretty nice, fairly reserved figure, and one of the best Hawkgirl figures out there.