#2896: Desaad

DESAAD

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“The Tiny Tyrant of Terror! Although DeSaad has no special powers, he is a master at creating devices to torment humans. Among his arsenal are the Fear Machine, which can incite entire cities to panic, Nerve-Beams, which induce instant paralysis, and Vertigo Grenades, which make people lose their sense of balance.  For all his torturous abilities, DeSaad is a coward. Thus, he uses Darkseid’s other minions to fight battles for him. But when cornered, DeSaad will beg for mercy.”

When Darkseid joined the Super Powers line, he brought with him a handful of his faithful servants from the comics.  While Darkseid himself was a hulking figure of great strength, one of his closest devotees was DeSaad, a small, cowardly lackey, whose primary focus was on manipulating his opponents into fearing him through less scrupulous means.  After Darkseid himself, DeSaad is one of the more notable residents of Apokolips, within the grand scheme of things.  Fitting, then, that he was right there with Darkseid getting his first figure in tandem.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DeSaad was added to Kenner’s Super Powers line in its second year in 1986, getting the first of his two figures to date.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation…sort of.  Depending on how you look at it, it could be a little more, but also a little less.  The shoulders do have some butterfly motion, but it’s totally tied to his action feature.  Moreover, the hips are restricted by the skirt piece, the neck is restricted by the tubes on the head, and the shoulders are restricted by the device on his chest.  Lotta restricting going on there.  This is definitely one more for just kind of standing there.  DeSaad’s design in the comics is pretty basic; he’s a small scrawny guy in a purple cloak.  This one isn’t too far removed from that at its starting point, but then also adds the weird contraption on his chest, which does give him a little more flair, to be fair.  The device, along with the tubes running to it from his head, are unfortunately quite prone to breaking, which is why one of the tubes on mine is in such a state.  Otherwise, it’s not a terrible piece of work.  He looks suitably creepy, and the detailing on the outfit does get pretty involved, which is cool.  His paint work’s not bad.  Fairly nuanced compared to others in the line, with a sickly green skin tone, and some subtle accenting on the legs and cloak.  Generally, it looks pretty solid.  DeSaad’s gimmick is a “Power Action Shock Squeeze.”  Squeezing his legs moves his arms in closer to his center.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

DeSaad is one of the most recent Super Powers I added to my collection.  He was purchased in the fall of 2019, from Factory Antique Mall, the largest antique mall in America.  They got a lot of stuff there, and that included this guy.  I didn’t have him, and he wasn’t a terrible price, so I bought him.  That’s really the whole story.  He’s cool looking, but definitely a lot less playable than the rest of the line, which is a little bit of a bummer.

#2889: Darkseid

DARKSEID

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Darkseid’s powers are practically unlimited. Along with incredible strength and invulnerability is the bizarre Omega Efect, which he uses either to destroy his oponents or to teleport them to other dimensions.”

Though he’s a household name these days, Darkseid hasn’t always been quite as top tier, initially staying in Kirby’s little corner of the DC universe with the rest of the Fourth World characters, and not generally interacting with the rest of the DC universe.  It wasn’t until the ’80s that he really began to become a more encompassing foe, and it was via Jack Kirby’s own involvement with the Super Powers line as it moved forward that Darkseid and the rest of the New Gods found their place amongst the mainstream heroes and villains.  Darkseid would subsequently find himself worked into Super Friends in its later seasons, beginning the path that would cement him as one of DC’s heaviest hitter villains.  At the beginning of all that is the figure I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darkseid was added to Kenner’s Super Powers during the line’s second year, as one of the six Fourth World foes added that year.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Darkseid was by far the tallest figure in the line, which was appropriate to his menacing stature in the comics.  His mold was totally unique to him, based partially on the house style of Jose Garcia-Lopez, and also on Jack Kirby’s own work for the line.  While the Fourth World characters were mostly changed up for the line, Darkseid is one of the few characters to remain effectively the same as his classic counterpart.  He’s got shorts instead of a loin cloth and he adds a cape, but neither of those things really changes up the look that much.  The sculpt is a pretty impressive piece of work, successfully giving Darkseid the presence that the character should have.  There’s some rather nice texturing on the exposed portions of his rocky skin as well, and the facial sculpt in particular seems to really capture Kirby’s take on the character.  Darkseid’s cape is cloth, as was the standard for the line, but it’s notable in its use of a far more elaborate clasp to hold in in place, which features a sculpted pendant piece.  It’s not a classic Darkseid piece, but it does add a nice little extra bit of flair to the design.  Darkseid’s paint is less intensive than most, relying heavily on molded colors, but what’s there is clean and bold, and matches usual depictions of the character.  Like many figures in the line, Darkseid had no accessories, but he still got an action feature, his “Power Action Raging Motion,” which swings his arms up when his legs are squeezed.  Additionally, he’s got light-piping in his head, which allows for his eyes to light up, simulating his “Power Action Omega Beams,” or, as they’re often called in the comics, “Omega Beams.”

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Darkseid was a figure I wanted from a rather early point in my collecting of the line, because of how fascinated I was with the Kirby characters, and how unique he was compared to the rest of the line.  He was very near the end of my Super Powers collecting as a kid, purchased at the Baltimore Comic-Con the year before I got Mantis.  He was without his cape at the time, but I was able to get ahold of a replacement for him in just the last month, courtesy of All Time Toys.  He’s truly one of the line’s definitive pieces, and just an all around solid figure.

#2888: King Shark

KING SHARK

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

One of the absolute best parts of The Suicide Squad is Nanaue, aka King Shark.  King Shark has had a rather recurrent history with the team in the comics, but was left out of the first film in favor of Killer Croc, due to director David Ayer not wanting to rely as heavily on CGI for the character.  Given how the rest of the movie worked out, that was an odd line to draw, but whatever.  King Shark was in the second film, and he was awesome, and everyone agrees.  Great that we can all be on the same page about something.  Given his relative size, he’s been split up and made into a Build-A-Figure…but is also being sold as a single through Walmart, because why not?  Todd’s gotta Todd.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

King Shark is the Build-A-Figure for the Suicide Squad-tie-in line-up for DC Multiverse, split accross the four single figures included.  As I mentioned above, the same sculpt is also available pre-assembled and with a few accessories (and a different pair of shorts) as a Walmart-exclusive.  I’m just as happy to not have to deal with Walmart, so here’s the main line version.  The figure stands 9 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  After giving McFarlane some credit yesterday on the articulation front, I’m going to have to give them a hard time again, because oh boy is the articulation on this figure’s lower half just an absolute mess.  There are full universal-style hip joints under the shorts, but due to the thick rubber of said shorts, they are completely motionless, which seems like a silly design choice.  Of course, even if the hips were free to move, the knees would still be locked.  Again, there are full joints, but for some reason, there is a sculpted “lock” on each joint, which prevents them from getting much range.  You can flex them ever so slightly, but that’s it.  The ankles and toes are fully articulated, though, which is super useful, what with nothing else on the legs being mobile or anything.  Thanks McFarlane.  At least the upper half isn’t so bad.  The arms and neck get decent mobility given the design, and he’s even got an articulated jaw, which doesn’t look terrible.  The general quality of the sculpt is pretty nice.  It matches well with the model seen in the film, which is itself a really good design for King Shark.  He’s got that perfect balance of menace and cuteness, just like in the film.  He’s also quite sizeable, as he should be, and there’s some serious heft to the figure.  In terms of paint work, he’s honestly pretty good.  The skin does a nice job of subtly shifting between the two shades, without too much in the way of slop, and the smaller details of his face are pretty decently rendered as well.  Even the pants get a touch of accenting to bring out the sculpted pattern, which is pretty cool.  King Shark is really an accessory himself, and while the single has a stand, a card, and some limbs to chew on, the standard release doesn’t get anything extra.  Given the sheer size, though, it’s not really an issue, plus, he is, again, essentially an accessory himself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy was my primary want from this set, from the word go.  I’ve always had something of a soft spot for the character, ever since the Total Justice days, and his recent appearances in Harley Quinn and the lead-up to The Suicide Squad got me very much on board with owning this figure.  After seeing the movie, that resolve only increased, and I was very excited to crack them all open and assemble this guy.  The leg articulation set-up sucks.  There’s no way around that.  I know there are modifications that can be done to fix it, but, unlike, say, Bloodsport, where the mods help but aren’t necessary, this feels more like fixing things that should have just worked out of the box.  All that said, the figure does look really nice, and the upper half is at least decent in the articulation department.  Even with the flaws, he’s still the second best part of this set.

All in all, I was expecting to be happy with this set, but I wasn’t expecting to like all of the individual figures quite as much as I did.  Polka Dot Man is the definite star for me, with King Shark right behind him.  Peacemaker and Harley are both really solid figures, too, and, much like in the movie, Bloodsport is the real surprise, as a figure I had no investment into, but that I actually came around to liking quite a bit.  The most damning thing about this set is the lack of a Ratcatcher II to complete the core team, since she’s really the heart of the film, and my favorite character to boot.  Hopefully, McFarlane will find a way to add her to the set.

#2887: Harley Quinn

HARLEY QUINN

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Harley Quinn, re-incarcerated for making a cash withdrawal with her car, buys her freedom once more by joining the Squad.  This colorful, cheeky, cheerful psychotic still has all her deadly dynamic moves, and the single-and-ready-to-mingle rogue is as eager as ever to show them off…much to Amanda Waller’s dismay.  But Harley, in her signature, ladylike style, isn’t afraid to manhandle anyone who comes her way.”

The Suicide Squad is a film that is, simultaneously, it’s own movie, and also a sequel to Suicide Squad. It’s a weird spot for a movie to be in, but it honestly handles things pretty well, by keeping just enough from the prior film to feel like it’s truly building something more, while also being light enough with pre-existing backstory that you don’t have to see the last one to understand what’s going on in the slightest.  One of the few characters to be carried over between both films is Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.  I felt the role wasn’t really written to Robbie’s talents in the first film, but TSS gave us a Harley that was the best version of the character pretty much since Batman: The Animated Series.  I found her to be a thoroughly likable character, and Robbie was given a great chance to shine.  As the highest profile character in the movie by far, Harley is of course one of the figures in the tie-in line, and I’ll be taking a look at her today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Harley is figure 4 in the Suicide Squad-tie-in assortment of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse.  Harley gets two distinct appearances in the film, but this figure opts for her disheveled party dress look, which she has for most of the film’s run-time.  While I’d still like to see her jumpsuit and goggles look, I can understand doing this one first.  The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and she has 36 points of articulation.  After ragging on McFarlane about articulation implementation yesterday, I do have to give them a little bit more credit today, as Harley’s joints aren’t nearly as detrimental to the sculpt when she’s posed.  The elbows and knees in particular are a much smoother transition, and I do appreciate that McFarlane’s been good about making sure their female figures get double joints too.  Harley’s sculpt is generally a pretty decent one.  Her arms and legs are perhaps a touch lanky, and the dress is a solid chunk of largely unmovable rubber, but it looks good, and the Margot Robbie likeness is undoubtedly one of McFarlane’s best real person likenesses.  It’s still not perfect, mind you, but it’s still really good.  Harley’s paint work is a mix of kind of phoned in and really intricate, which is sort of weird.  The base work is all just sort of there, and much like Bloodsport, I really feel there are some areas that would benefit from some accenting, namely the dress and her hair.  However, there’s some really clean, sharp detail work going into her tattoos, which shows that they were at least trying.  And I can certainly appreciate that.  The no guns rule means that Harley doesn’t get any of her firearms, but she does at least get Javelin’s javelin, which is a pretty nice plot relevant piece, and one that makes her feel less lacking than Bloodsport or Peacemaker.  Also included is a display stand, a collector’s card, and the legs to King Shark.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Harley was the figure I was most dragging my feet on in this line-up.  I was purely just grabbing her for the King Shark legs.  Then I saw the movie, and I was really happy with how they handled the character, and suddenly I was really wanting this figure.  She’s honestly pretty good, and shows that McFarlane is stepping up their game in terms of figures based on real people.  I’m still hoping to see the other look, too, but this one’s a very good one for now.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2886: Peacemaker

PEACEMAKER

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“A huge, hulking specimen with muscles on his muscles, Peacemaker is a world-class marksman—just like his fellow Squad member, Bloodsport, but if you ask him, better. He’s more than willing to fight, kill, and even start a war, but of course it’s all in the name of keeping the peace.”

First appearing in 1966, Peacemaker was a Charlton character, who, like the rest of the company’s characters, was passed along to DC when they purchased Charlton.  Peacemaker’s most notable contribution to the cultural lexicon is serving as the basis for the character that would become The Comedian in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen.  Peacemaker himself has been rather a minor character in the grand scheme of things, making him a natural fit for joining the Squad.  John Cena’s take on the super patriotic madman, and dude-bro Captain America type, proved so popular during the making of the film that James Gunn and John Cena have already been tapped to create a HBO Max-exclusive show all about him.  After seeing him in the film, I can certainly see the appeal.  And I’ve also got the figure.  Score!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Peacemaker is figure 3 in the Suicide Squad-themed assortment of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse.  As with Bloodsport, there are two versions of Peacemaker available: masked and unmasked.  The masked is the standard release, while the unmasked is a Target exclusive.  Todd’s gotta Todd, right?  The figure stands 7 1/2 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  Peacemaker’s articulation is pretty typical for a modern McFarlane offering, but it also means he falls victim to some of the bigger issues that the articulation entails, mainly that his sculpt is pretty badly broken up by putting him into poses other than just basic standing.  The worst offenders are definitely the elbow joints, which are really broken up and jarring when they’re bent.  It’s not a great look.  I mean, it’s certainly posable, but you tend to hope for something of a middle ground.  Hasbro’s got double joints down that don’t do those sorts of things.  Surely McFarlane can do a little bit better.  Odd implementation of the articulation aside, the sculpt itself is generally pretty nice.  The head has a respectable likeness of John Cena, and the mask is a decent recreation of the really goofy helmet from the movie.  The body also has a fairly nice set of proportions, matching well with Cena’s usual build.  The costume details are also quite well rendered, with some really nice texture work, especially on the shirt.  Peacemaker’s paintwork is certainly the most colorful of the bunch.  It’s still generally pretty basic, but it looks good, and the application is solid.  I do wish the helmet was a brighter, and perhaps shinier helmet, maybe even chromed, but I get how that wouldn’t necessarily be practical at this scale and price point.  When it comes to accessories, Peacemaker is affected similarly to Bloodsport, in that he’s not allowed to get any fire arms.  Instead, he’s got a broad sword, which he’s seen using during the film, and in a more prominent role than Bloodsport’s weird katana.  It’s not a bad choice, even if it’s maybe not the main choice I’d go with.  Fortunately, there are other options available for him, and I was able to get myself a third party version of his modified Desert Eagle (courtesy of Mark2Design), so I’m pretty happy.  In addition, he’s got a display stand, a collector’s card, and the arms to the King Shark Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Of the individual figures in this line-up, Peacemaker was definitely a strong second, after Polka Dot Man.  He’s just got a really good look, and there’s never been a Peacemaker figure before.  It helps that I really liked John Cena’s portrayal of the role, and I look forward to seeing how the show turns out.  The figure’s generally a pretty strong one.  The articulation could be a little better, but otherwise, this one’s a pretty strong figure.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2885: Bloodsport

BLOODSPORT

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Bloodsport is a world-class marksman specializing in brutality—his hands, and anything he wields with them, are deadly weapons. Trained by his mercenary father from the moment he was born, this hardened criminal has but one soft spot…which, of course, Amanda Waller uses to persuade (i.e. blackmail) him to join the Squad.”

When Will Smith was unavailable to reprise his role as Deadshot for The Suicide Squad, the film needed to fill his role in the line-up with someone with a similar energy.  Idris Elba was rather quickly announced as Smith’s replacement, initially just as a recast Deadshot, but ultimately as a different character entirely.  Bloodsport’s a rather minor Superman foe, created by John Byrne during his post-Crisis run on the book.  He’s never amounted to much, and he’s ultimately something of a blank canvas.  Honestly, he’s in a very similar spot to Deadshot himself when he was added to the Squad’s initial line-up in the ’80s, and that similarly allowed Gunn and Elba to craft a character that goes far beyond the simple quick replacement for Deadshot that he could have been.  He’s key to the core arc of the film, and gets his own unique spin on something of a tried and true backstory.  Bloodsport was central to a lot of the film’s marketing, so it’s no surprise to find him amongst the figures we got for the toyline.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bloodsport is the second figure in the Suicide Squad-themed assortment of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse.  In true McFarlane fashion, there are two versions of the figure available: masked and unmasked.  I’m looking at the masked version, which is the standard release, while the unmasked is a Walmart exclusive.  Given that he’s pretty evenly splits his time between the two looks in the film, it would certainly have made far more sense to include two heads with one figure, especially since literally everything else about the figure is the same, but that’s not how McFarlane’s ever operated, really.  I mean, at least it’s not like the Justice League Batman, where you have to buy no less than three of the same figure to get each minor tweak on his goggle/mask placement.  It could be worse, you guys.  The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  The Suicide Squad figures make use of rubber torso covers to allow for a little more range of motion to their torso joints, which is I suppose not the worst idea.  It’s not a lot more range, especially on Bloodsport, but it does give him a little more flex, which isn’t a bad thing.  Otherwise, the articulation works much like any other Multiverse figure, which means there’s an alright range, but it doesn’t always look super pretty.   That said, Bloodsport’s joints impede his aesthetics less than others from the line, so it’s a mark of some improvement.  His sculpt is largely pretty good.  He’s got more going on than Polka Dot Man, so there’s more for them to work with.  There’s a lot of layering and texturing, which all works pretty well, especially the texturing.  Some of the details, especially on the torso, are slightly soft, and I’m really not a fan of the front butt thing he’s got going on with his pelvis, but it generally looks good.  Obviously, the head has no likeness, but it matches well enough with the helmet design from the movie, and quite frankly, it doesn’t look any less like Elba than McFarlane’s actual unmasked head does.  There was initially some belief that the two Bloodsports might get different paint schemes, since the stock photos were quite different.  As it turns out, that’s because the unmasked shots were just on the actual production body.  Gone are all of the actual accents or the proper bronze coloring, replaced by a slightly metallic orange, that’s really much too bright for the character.  The general scheme is there, but the figure definitely lacks something.  I’ve already modified mine to do some panel lining and proper accenting (though the photos still show him unmodified), and it makes the figure look a lot better, for what it’s worth.  It’s just a shame he’s not like that out of the box.  Bloodsport is, in the movie, typically depicted with projectile weapons, but for the purposes of this figure, he gets two swords, which don’t feel quite his speed.  To McFarlane’s credit, they’re based on a sword that Bloodsport has in the film briefly, but it’s really brief.  Word is that Warner doesn’t want their figures coming with guns, and that’s why the swords instead.  Given the very sci-fi nature of Bloodsport’s weaponry, you’d think an exception could be made, but I can believe McFarlane’s hands were tied on this one.  At least he got *something*.  Also included is a display stand, a collector’s card, and the torso to King Shark.  Compared to Polka Dot Man, he does feel slightly light.  If only we could have gotten, oh, I don’t know, an unmasked head…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When these were first shown off, I was really only interested in Bloodsport for the purposes of getting the King Shark part.  Then I saw the movie, and I really, really enjoyed the character, and that made me actually really want his figure.  I opted for the masked version, largely because it’s the easier of the two for me to get, and also doesn’t require me to step into a Walmart, but also because I really wasn’t feeling McFarlane’s take on Elba.  This is a figure that needs some work to really make him shine, but ultimately I’m still very happy with him, flaws and all.  If anything, that little bit of work makes me appreciate him all the more, and feels almost appropriate to the character.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2884: Polka Dot Man

POLKA DOT MAN

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Dourly dispirited Polka Dot Man wears his rainbow-pustuled dermis with all the shame of an acne-riddled teen going stag to the prom. But when he sprays his colorful dots, his sparkling spots can turn even the smoothest criminal into swiss cheese.”

The Suicide Squad, DC’s second live action film based on the titular team, this time helmed by James Gunn, dropped a month ago today.  It was one of my most anticipated movies of the year, and I was very much a fan of the final product.  Gunn has a flair for the oddballs, and that was in full force here.  For me, one of the definite highlights of the film was David Dastmalchian’s Abner Krill, aka the Polka Dot Man, who, despite his very hokey and minor background from the comics, gets to be quite a major part of the film’s story, with a very satisfying arc.  Thankfully, he’s one of the handful of figures they’ve put out for the movie, so I get to take a look at that figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Polka Dot Man is the first figure in the Suicide Squad-themed assortment of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  He’s directly based on the character’s appearance in the film. The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  Polka Dot Man’s articulation follows the standard McFarlane set-up, though he loses the extra cap pieces in the shoulders, which gives him extra side to side motion, which works very well and doesn’t hurt the look too bad either.  The figure gets an all-new sculpt, in his full costumed look.  He’s really only got the one look, so that’s what they go with here.  Krill’s design in the movie is a pretty faithful recreation of his original comics look, with some minor adjustments for real-world adaptation.  It’s rather colorful, pretty goofy, and absolutely perfect for the character.  The sculpt captures’s Dastmalchian’s likeness pretty nicely, and is honestly one of McFarlane’s best human likenesses.  Likewise, the body matches his build pretty well, and the detailing on the jumpsuit and boots is well rendered.  There’s some strong texture work going on there.  The goggles are a separate, removable piece, allowing for placement up or down.  I know, I’m just as shocked as you that McFarlane didn’t take this opportunity to do two variants with differing goggle placements.  It’s to the figure’s benefit, of course, since it means he just generally looks much better, and it has that versatility going for it.  Polka Dot Man’s color work is generally handled with molded colors, but there’s some decent coverage for the dots, as well as on the face.  It’s all pretty basic stuff, but it works, and it suits his design.  Polka Dot Man is packed with an alternate gauntlet piece in the open configuration, as well as a polka dots effects piece, a display stand, a collector’s card, and two pieces to King Shark.  All in all, that’s a pretty good load out.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m iffy on McFarlane’s DC stuff, and I’m iffy on DC movie based stuff, but I was really pumped for this movie, and I was likewise really pumped for this set of figures.  Polka Dot Man was definitely at the top of my list (for the singles, at least), and this figure does not disappoint me.  He’s a solid core figure with enough extras to cover what you need to make the figure work.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2882: Brainiac

BRAINIAC

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Brainiac The Living Computer is a brilliant computer mind and evil genius whose schemes are capable of destroying whole civilizations with an insane fear and hatred of Superman and of the being he calls the ‘Master Programmer.'”

The first year of Kenner’s Super Powers was full of the DC Universe’s heaviest hitters, facing off against a handful of villains, of course.  The villains roster was a 50/50 split between Batman and Superman’s rogues galleries.  I’ve already looked at the first of the Superman rogues included, Lex Luthor, and today I’m following up with the second of those, Brainiac.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Brainiac is part of the first year of Super Powers, as one of the four villains included in the debut line-up.  In a move right on par with the Luthor figure, rather than being based on Brainiac’s classic jumpsuited green-skinned humanoid design, this figure was based on his updated appearance from Action Comics #544, which had debuted the year before this figure’s release.  It was still very new and current, and, admittedly, it’s probably a better toy design, so that’s a plus.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Brainiac was a little bit less articulated than most of the figures in the line, since he dropped the knee joints.  This was, presumably, due to the way the vac metalizing process works, and a desire to have less joints to potentially lead to damaging the finish.  Brainiac’s sculpt is a rather impressive piece of work.  There’s a lot of room for smaller detail work in the more robotic design, and Kenner took advantage of it.  Even with the slightly softer detailing caused by the finish, he’s still got quite an intricate appearance.  It makes for a very visually interesting sculpt, which is a lot of fun.  Brainiac’s color work largely relies on the chrome finish, which has a slightly bluish hue to it.  It’s a lot of fun.  He’s also got detailing on his eyes, and some additional accenting on the shoulders, which mixes things up nicely.  It’s all topped off with that clear dome on the head.  Brainiac didn’t get any accessories, but he did get an action feature.  Squeezing his arms activates his “Power Action Computer Kick,” which swings his right leg upward.  It can make him a little unstable at times, but with the right placement on the hip, he’s still okay.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After I got back into collecting Super Powers as an adult, I had a small fund of money that I put aside in order to work my way through the rest of the collection.  Luthor was my first purchase after getting back in, and a few months later, I followed up with Brainiac.  He’s a pretty solid figure.  Not classic Brainiac, of course, but still very fun.  A very good, fun robot figure.  And who doesn’t love that?

#2874: Batman Beyond

BATMAN BEYOND

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Terry McGinnis was just an ordinary teenager, until his father was mysteriously killed.  Suspecting foul play, Terry meets an older, bitter Bruce Wayne and learns a secret hidden for decades.  When Bruce refuses to help, Terry steals and dons a high-tech, tricked-out Batsuit in a quest to avenge his father’s death as Batman”

Though he had trouble getting any accurate figures during the run of his show, Batman Beyond has done a little bit better in the years that have followed.  Since the character was worked into the DC comics universe proper, he’s been treated to a few more figures, typically a bit more realistic in design.  Most recently, he’s found his way into McFarlane’s run with the brand, you know, because he’s a Batman.  It’s really easy to get Batman variants out there when it’s, like 75% of your output.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman Beyond is his own solo release in McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  A slightly tweaked version showed up first as a Target-exclusive, and the main release, which I’m looking at here, started showing up everywhere else in the last month or two.  The figure stands about 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 38 points of articulation, as well as moving wings.  The articulation scheme here is essentially the same as all the other Multiverse figures from McFarlane.  It’s not a terrible set-up.  Some of the joints are a little tighter than I’d like, and some of the joints are a little more obvious than I’d like.  I especially am not a real fan of how the arms and legs look when the elbows and knees are bent.  Overall, they’re not the worst, though.  BB’s sculpt is a new one, largely shared with the Target-version, of course.  It’s a more realistically proportioned version of the character, which might seem the obvious outcome at first, but then you have to remember the “animated” style monstrosities that were in the first assortment of the line, and that will make you eternally grateful that they went realistic here.  Of course, it’s still a McFarlane translation of the design, so that means there’s a bunch of additional details that do sort of muck up the sleek design that the original has.  It’s not quite as bad as some of their other offerings, and they do at least generally follow the flow of the design, so it’s not terrible.  The only thing I’m not crazy about on the main body is the gauntlets, which go for more Arkham game-style Batman gauntlets, and just don’t work quite as well.  The other thing I’m not so big on?  The wings.  It’s not that the wings are there, mind you; Mattel and DCD both left them off entirely on their first goes, and that was a letdown.  What frustrates me is that they’re not removable, because in a case of classic McFarlane overengineering, there’s a very specific joint for them built into the back of the figure.  A simple peg joint would have allowed them to be removed, and they would have functioned essentially the same way.  As it stands, they can’t be removed, just folded down, which means he’s not accurate to how the character looked for the vast majority of his time.  His paint work is decent enough.  There’s not a ton to it, but that’s accurate.  I appreciate that they didn’t over do the paint, though.  That’s always a plus.  BB is packed with a flight stand, two sets of hands (open gesture and gripping), flight effects, and a batarang.  The batarang is, notably, *not* a Beyond Batarang, which is annoying, since the Target release got the proper one.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve effectively been on the hunt for the definitive Batman Beyond since the show came out.  Every time a new one is released, I hope that one might be the one that does it, and every time, I feel a bit let down, because there’s just always something that throws them off.  Sadly, this one continues the trend.  Where those wings removeable, he’d be really close, but with them permanently attached, it definitely holds him back a bit in my book.  I mean, I do still like him, but I wish I liked him more.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2853: Mr. Freeze

MR. FREEZE

BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER)  (SPIN MASTER)

Spin Master’s DC lines had a slightly rough start last year, what with the pandemic and everything, but they’re seemingly starting to get things a bit more back on track this year.  In particular, they seem to be having alright luck with the Batman half of their product lines.  Thus far, they’ve even had a small handful of store exclusives, with Target in particular having a few different pairs of Batman and one villain variant at a time.  The latest villainous addition is one of my favorites, Mr. Freeze, who I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Freeze is one of the two latest Target-exclusive figures from Spin Master’s Batman: The Caped Crusader line, the other being another Batman repaint.  Freeze, on the other hand, is actually an all-new figure, which I do believe is a first for one of these exclusives.  That’s pretty nifty, I guess.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  He lacks the usual neck movement, as most Freeze figures do, thanks to the domed helmet, which is a permanent fixture on this guy.  Design wise, he’s taking his cues largely from the post-New 52 version of the character.  While I was iffy on the design earlier in its run, the slight adjustments to it have made it a little bit more palatable.  I’m still not big on the suns out guns out arms, but I’ll live.  Structurally, he’s an all-new sculpt.  It’s pretty decent and generally in keeping with the rest of the line in styling.  There’s some pretty nice detailing going on in his various tech pieces, and I appreciate that he’s got a fully detailed head underneath the helmet.  It’s even got that pitch-perfect lack of expression on the face.  Can’t have any emotion on a Mr. Freeze figure.  I mean, not in front of other people, anyway.  That’s for later, back in his cell, when he’s all weepy and stuff.  But we don’t talk about that.  It gets awkward.  So let’s move on.  In terms of paint work, Freeze is rather basic.  There’s a little bit of painted work on the torso, but that’s it, with everything else just relying on the molded colors.  It’s not really far off from his usual colors anyway, so it works out fine.  There are a few smaller details that get left the same color as the surrounding stuff, but it’s still generally in keeping with the rest of the line.  Freeze is packed with three accessories, all of which are guns.  Lotta guns.  He likes his guns. They’re all re-used, which is a little bit of a let-down, but I guess they have to save some tooling where they can.  The re-used Killer Moth gun works out okay, but the Batman and Joker guns are a bit less so, since they’ve got a Bat-emblem and a pie tin on them, respectively.  Kind of not Freeze’s usual branding.  At least with the clear blue plastic, it’s not quite as immediately evident, but it would have been nice to see at least one new one here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with so many of the Spin Master DCs, this one’s Max’s fault.  Okay, well, not entirely, I suppose, since I actually told him about the figure’s existence in the first place.  So, that’s on me.  I’m very definitely a Freeze fan, so I’m glad to see him added to the line, and while it may not be my first choice of outfit, it’s still pretty darn fun.  Spin Master’s quite good at keeping things fun, and I very much appreciate that.