#3073: Hush

HUSH

BATMAN: HUSH MAFEX (MEDICOM TOY)

Every so often, I like to jump into the world of imported toys, just to try out some of the finer things from time to time.  See how the other half lives, or something like that.  It’s a little tricky with some of them, given that the prices can get a bit insane on the domestic market, and things don’t always have a clear line of distribution.  A line that I’ve been intrigued by for some time is Medicom’s MAFEX line, their contribution to the 1/12 scale market.  Unfortunately for me, most of what I’ve been interested in has been of the Marvel persuasion, and those don’t have direct domestic distribution, making them pricier, and therefore less appealing.  I’ve been looking for a decent entry point, and I finally found a pretty good one.  That’s…not what I’m looking at today.  I’ll get to that.  What I *am* looking at today is Hush, based on his appearance in the self-titled arc from the comics.  I said don’t talk about it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hush is figure No. 133 in the MAFEX line-up, the fifth Batman: Hush figure, following the two color variations on Batman, Catwoman, and Superman.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 46 points of articulation.  Hush marks my first time messing with a MAFEX figure, so it’s the first time I’ve checked out the articulation scheme.  It’s a mix of a few different styles, most closely resembling Figuarts in how it’s laid out and implemented, but I found that the motion seemed a little more fluid, at least on this figure compared to the Figuarts I’ve picked up.  Also, in a rather amusing sort of a set-up, it should be noted that four of those points are on the pouches on his belt, which can be posed up, as if he’s mid-jump.  It’s such a minor thing, but it’s also kind of cool.  The only slightly weird thing is that it’s just the pouches on the belt proper, not the lower hanging ones.  Still, it’s a nice touch.  Otherwise, the range of motion is pretty impressive for the scale.  Hush’s sculpt is a totally unique one.  He’s based on his appearance in the comics, directly patterned on Jim Lee’s art from the books, much like the old DC Direct figures.  It does a really good job of capturing the Jim Lee stylings, and there’s a lot of really good small detail work.  The technical work is just really impressive.  Hush includes three different head sculpts.  Two of them are the full bandaged look, one with a calm expression, and the other an angrier look.  The heads are nicely detailed, and internally consistent in their detailing, as well as matching up pretty nicely with Lee’s illustrations of the character.  The third head, and by far my favorite, is a Jason Todd head, based on the famous reveal panel.  It’s a great sculpt, with a ton of character, and super well-suited to the body.  Given the bare neck, this was clearly the head that the body was sculpted specifically for, with the other two being more of a package deal.  Hush’s paint work is really nicely handled.  The application is really clean, and the colors are nice and bold.  There are no missing details, or any notable slop, and the whole thing just looks pretty slick.  Hush has an impressive selection of accessories, including the three previously mentioned heads, plus five pairs of hands (in fists, gripping, relaxed, open gesture, and blade holding), two handguns, a coin, a separate knife, two different insignias for the chest (one H and one R, depending on display option), as well as two different belts (again with the H and R set-ups), and a display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I touched on in the intro, this figure isn’t the one that broke me on MAFEX, though he did come rather close.  No, that would be the Hush Nightwing, which is just too cool to pass up, and will be added to my collection just as soon as I can get him.  Of course, right after Nightwing was announced and I got my order in for him, this guy got traded into All Time used, giving the opportunity to mess with a MAFEX in hand, and also a slightly cheaper option for getting this one to go with that Nightwing I’m already down for.  I mean, it’s not that crazy to have the two grown up Robins, both from a rather formative comic book storyline for me, right?  Right.  So, after much hemming and hawing, I brought this guy home.  Was it the right call?  Simply put, yes.  This is a really nice figure, who really feels worth the heightened price point.  I can’t really afford to go all-in on a set of them at this price point, but I’m definitely even more excited for that Nightwing, and I’ll probably be picking up one or two other figures, as they do characters I have more draw to.

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.

#2201: Red Hood

RED HOOD

DC ESSENTIALS (DC COLLECTIBLES)

“The vigilante outlaw who was once a Robin, the man under the hood is extremely proficient in both weapons and hand-to-hand combat.”

Originally conceived as a potential former alias for the man that would eventually become the Joker, the monicker of Red Hood is one that’s been passed around a little bit, but ultimately it’s stuck a pretty darn long time with the un-deceased Jason Todd.  I suppose there’s something poetic about one of the Joker’s victims laying claim to his old name.  Despite being well-established in the role for a good long time now, as well as being introduced in a rather well-known modern era Batman story, Jason’s comics version of his Red Hood gear has been surprisingly absent from toys, or at least was for the first decade of his existence.  There was a New 52 figure which kind of worked in a pinch, but it wasn’t until just this year that we got a whole two Jason Red Hoods, one from DCC, and the other from Mattel.  Today, I’m taking a look at DC Collectibles’ version!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Red Hood is figure 18 in DCC’s DC Essentials line.  After doing a fair bit of retreading, Red Hood is finally a taste of more new stuff…though it looks like we’re going back to the retreading after this.  Oh, DCC, how predictible of you.  This figure represents Jason in the biker-styled Red Hood gear, though it’s not quite his first appearance attire.  Instead, he’s technically the most modern take on the design, from the post New 52/Rebirth era.  It’s a little more costume-y than the original look, but also has lost some of the over-designed elements that the initial New 52 stuff brought about, making for an overall pretty clean looking design for the character.  The figure 7 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  The Essentials line has been fairly heavy on the re-use side, but Red Hood actually does inject a fair number of new pieces into it.  He uses the torso, pelvis, and upper legs of the standard male body, but gets an all-new head, arms, hands, shins, and feet, as well as add-ons for his jacket and belt/holsters.  The new pieces really work out in this figure’s favor.  The head, is definitely sleek and very cool, living up to the really solid heads we’ve gotten so far from the line.   The new arms are great because, in addition to adding the coat sleeves, they are also ever so slightly shorter than the standard arms, thereby fixing the monkey arms problem of prior figures.  The jacket add-on also hides those exposed pegs on the torso joint, fixing my other major complaint.  As a whole, the new parts really sell this figure as his own figure, rather than leaving him really tied to the rest of the Essentials line like the prior figures have been.  The paint work on Red Hood is also really strong, with the metallic red on the helmet being my favorite aspect by far.  The rest of the application is actually cleanly handled, and lacks the fuzzy edges that a lot of DCC stuff sports.  Red Hood is packed with a pair of pistols (which can actually be removed from the holsters and held, giving him a leg up on the Mattel release), as well as two sets of hands in both gripping and fist poses.  It’s nice to see the extra hands cropping up again, as the lack of them with the earliest figures was a real drag.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Red Hood was something of an impulse buy, truth be told.  He came in at Cosmic Comix, and I just really, really liked the look of him on the shelf, so I just ended up grabbing him.  I actually haven’t done that with a single Essentials figure since Reverse Flash, and I wasn’t sure it was going to pay off.  Then I opened the figure up, and oh boy did it.  Essentials has been really spotty for it’s run, but Red Hood is genuinely a solid figure, and by far the best figure this line’s put out.  I’d say here’s to hoping for more like him, but unfortunately DCC’s just shown off a bunch of stuff that goes firmly the other direction…alas.

#1379: Jason Todd

JASON TODD

BATMAN: HUSH (DC DIRECT)

“When the mysterious Hush swoops into Gotham City, Batman is forced to cut a swath through his famed Rogues Gallery with the aid of his closest allies in a desperate search for the masked villain’s true identity!”

No body ever stays dead in comic books.  There used to be exceptions to that rule, but slowly but surely they’re all finding their way back.  One character who managed to stay dead for a decent chunk of time was Jason Todd, the second Robin.  Following his death in 1989’s “Death in the Family,” he was gone for almost two decades.  He was first “brought back” during Geoff Loeb and Jim Lee’s “Hush” storyline, where he was revealed to be the titular villain.  Over the course of that particular story it was revealed that (spoiler) it wasn’t really Jason at all, but instead Clayface masquerading as Batman’s dead partner to mess with Bruce’s head, and that Jason was still deceased.  But, a returned Jason proved to be a popular idea, and so it was retconned that Jason had indeed been brought back during the course of “Hush,” and he’s since taken up the role of Red Hood.  Comics everybody!  He’s had a crap ton of figures since his return, but today I’ll be looking at his very first proper figure….which may actually not be him…or maybe it is?  Ah, heck with it, let’s just look at the freaking figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jason Todd was part of DC Direct’s Batman: Hush line, and was offered as a special ToyFare-exclusive, released just before the first series of the main line.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  Not a lot of mobility, but it was pretty good for the time.  He’s based on the Jason-Hush from the comics, depicting him from his fight with Batman, following the dramatic unmasking.  It was a pretty easy way for DCD to get an extra use out of the Hush mold from Series 1, so that’s exactly what they did. The Hush body is actually a pretty nice bit of work, capturing Lee’s design and style very nicely, and offering a crisp, highly detailed sculpt.  It’s really only got the one pose, but you can finesse it a bit, which offers a bit of variety, I suppose.  He gets a new head, which is nicely sized for the body (which is more than can be said for the standard head), and does a respectable job of capturing “Jason” from the story.  I particularly like the slight sneering to the mouth; it adds a lot of Jason’s character to the figure and helps to further separate him from the similar-looking Dick Grayson.  The only one draw back to the figure is his hands.  The Hush figure had guns permanently molded into his hands.  They’re well-sculpted, and work fine for the basic Hush, but Jason never actually has guns during his fight with Bruce.  The figure was originally supposed to have spare hands, but they were dropped somewhere along the way.  The paint on Jason is tight and clean, and very bold.  It’s on par with the rest of the line, and it’s aged a lot better than contemporary figures.  There’s minimal slop, and there’s even some awesome weathering on the jacket and gloves.  The figure’s only accessory is a display stand, which is the same one included with the rest of the line.  It’s a shame he didn’t get anything else; as is, he feels a bit light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Talk about grail figures.  This guy’s been on my list for a very long time.  I remember very well when he was offered in ToyFare, and I really wanted him.  However, as I’ve noted in my review of Rex Ganon, I only had the money for one of the two, and I ultimately chose Rex.  Since then, I’ve always kept an eye out for Jason, but he’s always been far out of my price range.  Earlier this year, I found someone at a toy show selling a complete set of Hush figures for $400, Jason included, and asked if he might part with just Jason.  He said he would, but quoted me $250 for Jason on his own, which was most definitely not happening.  I came across another Jason just a week later, at Gidget’s Gadgets, a regular stop of mine.  This time he was $70, a far more reasonable price, but still outside of my range.  Have I mentioned before how my family are too good to me?  Because they are.  See, my brother was with me both times I asked about Jason.  He knew I really wanted the figure.  So, being the truly amazing person that he is, he went out and bought me the one that GG was selling.  Have I mentioned I love this guy?  I’m beyond thrilled to have this figure.  I’d reconciled long ago that I’d never own one, but now I do.  And he’s really, really cool.