#3132: Beast Man

BEAST MAN

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

“Shaman of the Seven Savage Tribes that dwell within the majestic jungles of Eternia, Beast Man defeated the mighty bear demon and earned the right to lead his people.  Then they mysteriously disappeared.  Now he searches all corners of the planet for his tribe.  Nothing can stop him from reuniting him under his care.  Not the barbaric He-Man.  Not even the evil Skeletor.”

There’s been a slight hiatus in Masters of the Universe coverage here on the site, so, hey, why don’t we fix that. It seems like Mattel’s done a respectable job reviving the brand at retail, with three separate main lines all running concurrently. My definite favorite of the trio is Masterverse, which is sort of a half-step between Classics and the 200x run. The line started with a focus on tying in with the Revelation cartoon, but as it has continued, Mattel is treating it more like a legacy line, covering some of the other parts of the franchise. The first additional theme to be added is “New Eternia”, which reinterprets some of the pre-Masters concept work into all-new figures. Today, I’m taking a look at that particular sub-set’s version of Beast Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

New Eternia Beast Man is a deluxe offering from the Masters of the Universe: Masterverse line. Thus far, he’s only showing up at Target, but it appears that he’s only a first to market exclusive, much like Faker was. The figure stands a little over 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. The core of this figure is, unsurprisingly, the same as the Series 2 Beast Man. It’s a very sensible re-use, and it helps that it was a solid piece the first time around, and was notably not saddled with some of the issues which plagued the standard male body. The body gets modified forearms and shins, which remove the bracers from the original molds, as well as an all-new head sculpt, and new add-on pieces for his chest armor, shoulder and wrist plates, wrist bands, loin cloth, and shin guards. The parts work together to create a new look, inspired by Beast Man’s original Lords of Power concept, but modernized and made a little more monstrous. It’s a fun look, and I particularly dig the faux fur for the chest piece. There’s also a removable head piece, which furthers the sort of shaman vibe that the whole design’s got going on. It has a little trouble staying in place during posing, but it at least looks pretty cool. The more specifically updated parts can all be removed and there’s an alternate chest piece based on Beast Man’s classic design, so that you can also have a more standard looking Beast Man, adding a whole other look to the figure. The color work on Beast Man is generally okay, but he’s got a notable issue with the torso and knees being a different color from the rest of the body. Thanks to the armoring, it’s mostly hidden, but it definitely looks a little bit off. The paint work is at least otherwise applied fairly cleanly. In addition to the various parts for both of his looks, Beast Man also includes two sets of hands, his whip, and an all-new spiky club thing. According to Tim, it’s actually called a “Macuahuitl”. I was content with spiky club thing, but Tim’s a real stickler when it comes to weapons.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was content with my Revelation style Beast Man, or at least I thought I was. Life apparently had a different plan, it would seem. In a rather sizable development, I now have a six-year-old son in my life, and he was determined to buy me something I didn’t have for our first Father’s Day together, so he dragged his mother to Target, and they bought me this guy. I wasn’t in dying need of owning him at first, but, I gotta say, in hand I find this figure really fun, and I’m quite glad to have him.

Matty’s Corner #0001: Space Ranger Alpha Buzz Lightyear & Jr Zap Patrol Mo Morrison

SPACE RANGER ALPA BUZZ LIGHTYEAR & JR ZAP PATROL MO MORRISON

LIGHTYEAR (MATTEL)

Hi, Ethan here!  Welcome to Matthew’s Corner, where I’m collecting the mad ramblings of my 6 year old Matthew, who also likes to talk about action figures.  What can I say, I’m sympathetic to his need to ramble about action figures.  So, I’m just gonna let him take it away…though, for what it’s worth, I’m still transcribing for him.

Hello.  It’s Matthew again!  Just a reminder: this is not my website.  This is Ethan’s website.  My dad owns this website.  I don’t know what to say now.  Chonkuta kun chot.  [At this point he broke down into mad laughter–Ethan].  I love the Buzz Lightyear movie.  Whoa.  I can always engage with my mouse protocol.  Lifeforms detected.  Meow Meow Meow Meow. [He’s just quoting his talking Sox toy at this point]  Sorry, I’m back to normal.  I was just doing something that the movie said.  I have a stuffed animal.  His name is Sox.  If you see Lightyear, you would see Sox.  He’s a cat.  But I want to talk about the action figures.  I have Buzz Lightyear and Mo!  If you know who they are, then you may have watched the movie.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

I’m gonna talk everything about Mo.  Mo is the guy with a blue hat.  He is a weird guy and he thinks sandwiches go “Meat, bread, meat.”  Mo has 20 joints of articulation total.  I like Mo a little bit.  I like that the figure actually comes with the hat.  I usually put it on him often in most of the poses I do.  I like the paint, I like the sculpt, I like the pieces.  I don’t like how his face looks.  It just looks weird.  He feels good.  Moving on!

To Buzz Lightyear!  Woo! Woo! Woo!  My figure can glow in the dark.  He’s a really cool figure.  He has 20 total joints of articulation.  I like Buzz Lightyear.  I like the figure.  It feels good.  I like the paint.  I like the sculpting.  He comes with a gun and his hat.  And he likes Mo.  They are best friends.  I like that they made the action figure smile.  It’s really cool that he’s looking like he’s happy.

THE MATTHEW HALF OF THE EQUATION

My best friend Ethan got my figures for me.  He’s my best buddy ever.  He picked these two out for me.  The characters I liked almost the best in the movie.  I like Sox the best of all, but they didn’t have Sox at the store.  I got the figures from Target.  I like the figures overall.  There are more.  Maybe I can review them next time.  I don’t know.  Please don’t be shy.  Look at this website.  Talk back.  Do everything you can to see the website.  Good bye!  Have a good day!

#3059: Savage He-Man (w/ Orko)

SAVAGE HE-MAN (w/ ORKO)

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

The early days of Masters of the Universe are a little loose on the exact origins and roles of the characters, with He-Man in particular being a little bit back and forth on who exactly he was.  One of the origins presented early in the minicomics has him as a jungle-dwelling barbarian granted his powers by the Goddess (an early amalgam of Teela and the Sorceress).  During the Classics incarnation of the line, this design was repurposed as Oo-Larr, an earlier carrier of the He-Man mantle.  For Revelation, it’s been repurposed once again, this time as Savage He-Man, Prince Adam’s alter-ego when the power of Greyskull isn’t channelled through the sword.  It’s a different approach to the character, and a fun nod to the history of the franchise, and its also the subject of the most recent deluxe Masterverse figure, alongside a post time-skip version of everyone’s favorite bumbling sorcerer sidekick, Orko, who needs less of a lead-in, because I kind of talk about him a lot on this site.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Savage He-Man (who is billed as the main figure here, with Orko technically just being a pack-in accessory) is a standalone deluxe-sized release for Mattel’s Masterverse line.  He started showing up at Targets first, hinting at a quiet exclusivity (kinda like what happened with Faker), but the wide release followed within about a month.

SAVAGE HE-MAN

How about that, we’re getting our first proper He-Man variant (seeing as Faker is *technically* a different character and all) for Masterverse.  It’s on one hand sort of surprising it took quite this long, and on another, not terribly, since He-Man proper only actually gets the two looks in Revelation.  They did the first one, and now here’s the second.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  He’s built on the standard male body, and, well, that’s honestly a bit surprising.  Savage He-Man in the show is very clearly a lot larger than the standard He-Man, so the assumption was that he was going to be using the larger Skelegod body, rather than the standard He-Man body.  I guess for the Oo-Larr equivalent set-up, this works out better, but it’s certainly a deviation from the source.  He’s got a new head, lower legs, feet, and loin cloth piece, and ditches the armored parts from the standard He-Man.  The new head is quite similar to the standard He-Man, just with a slightly angrier expression, and much longer hair.  I didn’t mind the normal He-Man head, so I don’t mind this one, but I know my opinion on that was far from a unanimous one.  The new legs swap out the usual boots for bare legs and feet.  The look is slightly interrupted by the cut joint mid-shin, but I’ll take that over reduced mobility.  The new loin cloth is less ornate and defined than the belted one, fitting better with the savage appearance.  Otherwise, he’s the standard parts we’ve seen before.  It’s certainly a good sculpt on its own, issues of scaling aside.  Savage He-Man’s paint isn’t something that would initially seem very involved, given how little there is to the design, but Mattel went the extra mile on this one, and actually gave him a brown was over most of the body, to really emphasize the musculature of the sculpt.  It’s a touch heavy in some spots, and also varies a bit from figure to figure, but it does a good job of changing up the appearance a bit, and differentiates him from regular He-Man nicely.  Savage He-Man is packed with two sets of hands (gripping and open gesture), a spear, an axe, and the Power Sword.  The spear’s a good callback to zoo-Larr, and I’m glad to finally have the classic He-Man axe in this style.  Why he comes with the sword is anyone’s guess, since this explicitly He-Man without the sword to channel the power, but I won’t complain about extra stuff.

ORKO

I don’t know how it worked out for everyone else, but despite this guy being listed as an accessory, Orko was my main reason for picking up this set.  That being the case, I’m reviewing him as his own figure.  Orko has a few looks over the course of the show, but this figure goes for his post time skip, magic-deprived appearance.  Amusingly, this look doesn’t ever interact with Savage He-Man, so  the pack-in here is kinda weird. But, hey, if it gets me Orko, I won’t complain.  The core Orko figure is about 3 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation, but he’s got a hovering stand, which adds another two inches of height, as well as 3 more points of articulation.  Orko’s not terribly mobile.  It’s not like he usually is, of course, but more recent figures have at least given him extra motion at the arms.  This one only gets mobility at the shoulders and the neck.  It’s partially a design thing, since the arms are bare and rather scrawny, making them slightly impractical for articulation.  The neck joint’s not great, either, at least on mine, where it wobbles pretty freely, and doesn’t really hold a pose.  The sculpt is at least all new, and does a respectable job of looking the part, even if the movement isn’t really there.  The paint work on Orko is pretty basic.  There’s not a ton going on, but it does what it needs to, and it works pretty well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My main goal in this line is to assemble Teela’s post time jump team, and I need an Orko for that.  Him being bundled with Savage He-Man wasn’t my first choice, but I went along with it.  Savage He-Man’s okay, if not thrilling.  Orko is an accessory, and it shows.  He’s not awful, but he’s not great either.  Still, I’m happy to have him in some form, rather than nothing.

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

#3058: Fisto

FISTO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

Hey, let’s just keep this Masters of the Universe train rolling here, shall we?  Thus far this week, I’ve taken a look at two of the Evil Warriors in their Revelation incarnation, but none of the heroes.  So, let’s change that.  Introduced as one of three new Heroic Warriors in the 1984 line-up of the vintage line, Fisto was dubbed the “Heroic Hand-to-Hand Fighter,” due to his…you know…fist?  Fisto’s got a few appearances in each major iteration of the franchise, which is more than a lot of characters can say.  Revelation keeps his streak running, with a cameo during the first half, and a proper (if brief) appearance during the show’s second half.  And he also got a figure surprisingly early in the new line’s run, which seems like a good stroke of luck for him.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Fisto is part of the third assortment of the main Masters of the Universe: Masterverse line.  Fisto made use of his classic design in both halves of Revelation, meaning there’s just the one look to choose from.  Thankfully, it’s a pretty strong look through and through, as it always has been.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  His movement is largely the same as the rest of the line, apart from getting a swivel at the wrist and the top of the forearm, rather than the universal joint on the standard wrists.  Fisto is based on the standard barbarian body, as he usually is.  He gets a new head, right forearm and hand, as well as a new overlay piece for his chest armor.  The head does a great job of capturing the animation design, which is a fun update on his classic look.  I like the very angular and exaggerated features. The new hand is fun, largely because it’s made from die cast metal, which gives it a nice sense of heft.  The chest armor is a little looser than other armor pieces, but it works well for the design.  I also look forward to seeing its inevitable re-use for Clamp Champ, who’s the real MVP.  Sorry, I’m getting distracted by the prospect of a Clamp Champ.  That’s not fair to Fisto.  He’s cool and ridiculous, too.  The paint work on Fisto is okay overall, though he’s got some notable coverage issues on the front of the chest armor.  Otherwise, the application is pretty clean, especially on the face.  Fisto is packed with his sword (shared with Tri-Klops), as well as three different left hands, in fist, gripping, and relaxed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t initially sure about grabbing Fisto, since I was planning to just stick to the post-time-jump characters.  Then the second half of the show dropped, and Fisto’s role was fun enough that I found myself really digging the new version of the character.  The figure turned out pretty well.  I like the new head sculpt a lot, and the die cast fist really sells the whole “Fisto” angle really well.  As far as the basic line goes, Fisto certainly ranks pretty highly.

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.

#3057: Trapjaw – Revelation

TRAPJAW — REVELATION

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

Masters of the Universe: Revelation‘s first half spends a good portion of it’s post-time-skip time delving into the effects of the power vacuum caused by Skeletor disappearing.  His evil minions fracture, some of them leading their own factions, some of them placing themselves behind a new master within those factions.  Backing up Tri-Klops in his Cult of the Motherboard is the *other* notable tech guy from within Skeletor’s ranks, Trapjaw, whose new figure I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Trapjaw is another figure in the deluxe-line-up of Masters of the Universe: Masterverse.  While the deluxes don’t have the same strict assortment structure as the main line, it’s worth noting that Trapjaw and Tri-Klops were solicited and shipped together (alongside the third assortment of the main line).  As with Tri-Klops, Trapjaw uses the deluxe price point to go for more of a two-in-one approach, although it does work out *slightly* differently here.  I’ll get to that in a moment.  The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  His articulation is slightly changed from the main line body; the right arm lacks the double elbow and wrist movement, but he gains the extra joint on the jaw.  And, while the general layout of the leg articulation is *technically* the same, it’s not quite as effective in how its implemented, since the layout leaves his feet slightly outwardly pointed at all times, and means his knee pads won’t always line up  with the knees, since they’re connected to the boot.  Trapjaw’s sculpt is almost entirely new, apart from sharing the lower torso and pelvis with the main male barbarian body.  The core body is patterned on the classic Trapjaw look, with his more fully armored up appearance and everything.  It’s generally pretty cool.  There’s still the issue with how the legs work, but they look alright, and match alright with the animation model.  The head is quite impressive, and surprisingly gruesome.  He’s still got his tongue and everything.  Removing his upper belt and swapping in the tunic, tabard, and alternate belt allows Trapjaw to be converted to his cultist look.  It captures the overall essence of the look, but I don’t feel it’s quite as effective a transition as Tri-Klops’ was.  Still, it’s a nice option to have, and it’s still going to be my preferred look.  Trapjaw’s paint work is generally well handled.  There’s some slight slop in a few spots, but it does what it needs too, and there’s some particularly nice accent work on the face.  Trapjaw is packed with three different attachments for his mechanical arm, as well as two left hands.  The attachments look cool enough, but the post that they go onto is really thin, which is a little worrying in terms of long-term durability.  Likewise, they don’t quite hang on the classic belt right when in storage mode, which stretches out the hooks a little bit, again with the concerns for long-term durability.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have less investment in Trapjaw as a character than I do Tri-Klops, but I did like the whole cult angle, and what good is cult leader Tri-Klops without any cultists to lead.  In the box, this guy looked pretty impressive.  Out of it?  Less so.  I want to like him more than I do.  There are definitely cool elements, but other parts feel a bit half-formed or phoned in, and he just doesn’t quite stick the landing the way Tri-Klops did.

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.

#3056: Tri-Klops – Revelation

TRI-KLOPS — REVELATION

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

It’s been a little bit since I just took some time to focus on Masters of the Universe, so I guess that’s the thing I’m gonna be doing this week.  There’s a bunch of new upcoming stuff being shown off by Mattel, and there’s also a bunch of stuff making its way to retail as well.  We had a little bit of a gap in Masterverse releases, but it one fell swoop, we’ve gotten the next main assortment, as well as a bunch of deluxes, all at once.  That’s pretty fun.  Thus far, everything is still based on Revelation, which suits me just fine.  Revelation focused in on not only showcasing the classic good vs evil aesthetic of the vintage Masters line, but also deconstructed it post-He-Man and Skeletor’s disappearance.  One of my favorite aspects of the time skip’s re-alignment was seeing the new factions and splinter groups that arose in the aftermath.  In particular, Henry Rollins as cult leader Tri-Klops was just an absolutely spot-on character choice, and, would you look at that, now it’s got a toy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tri-Klops is part of the deluxe line-up for Mattel’s Masters of the Universe: Masterverse line.  While last year’s Skelegod figure used the deluxe price-point to justify a larger and more involved figure, Tri-Klops instead uses it to justify effectively being two figures in one, with those two figures being Tri-Klops both before and after the show’s time skip.  No matter which configuration he’s in, the figure stands about 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation (counting the rotating eye, which, yes, works on both of the heads).  At his core, Tri-Klops is using the standard male barbarian style body, also seen on He-Man and Skeletor, leaning more heavily into the He-Man parts.  This time around, I didn’t experience the same weird issue with the hips sticking, so it seems that at least some improvements have been made to the mold, or at the very least its associated QC.  The only adjustments made to the core body are the shoulders, which now sport a little bit of tech detailing, consistent with Tri-Klops’ design from the show.  The primary look for the figure, at least going by how the box advertises him, is his cult leader attire from after the time skip.  He’s got a new head and armor/tabard overlay for this look, as well as a cloth goods robe piece to complete the ensemble.  It matches well to the show design, and also fits well to the core body.  I love the goofy headgear, and the detailing on the cult gear is nice and slick.  To change him over to his classic look, he gets an extra head and armor piece, which, coupled with removing the robe, manages to give him a pretty convincingly different figure.  Everything swaps out easily enough as well, meaning it’s really not an issue swapping them back and forth.  Tri-Klops’ paint work between the two designs is generally pretty solid.  The application is generally pretty clean, though there is a bit of slop, especially when it comes to all those eyes.  They definitely need to be checked to make sure you’re getting the best option.  Overall, though, he looks pretty solid.  In addition to the extra parts necessary for the two looks, Tri-Klops also includes his sword and two different sets of hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I dig Tri-Klops, especially when it comes to his 200x iteration.  Less so his original version, so I was iffy on how he’d be portrayed in the new show.  That said, I liked the Henry Rollins angle, and liked the crazy cult leader angle even more.  I love the new design, and he was on my short list of figures I really wanted.  I dig the deluxe treatment a lot here, and he’s really just exactly what I wanted, making him quite possibly my favorite figure to come out of the line to date.

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.

#3049: Orko

ORKO

HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)

Last summer, Netflix dropped the first of its two Masters of the Universe cartoons, the more veteran fan-aimed Revelation.  Two months later, they dropped the second, the more younger audience-friendly He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  This one is a more true reboot of the franchise, building things more or less from the ground up.  Roles and basic set-ups are the same, but the specifics of the characters are, in a number of cases, heavily re-worked.  I gave the show a try, and it wasn’t quite my speed.  I’m admittedly about two decades outside of the target audience, so I don’t really think it’s a mark of the show’s overall quality.  It’s clearly designed with toys in mind, and there are some pretty fun designs there-in.  One that particularly caught my eye was the show’s mechanical take on Orko, or “Ork-0,” whose figure I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Orko (as the packaging refers to him) is part of the basic He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toyline from Mattel, which bears the sub-branding “Power Attack”, though I’m not sure if that’s an actual line-branding or not.  The figure stands roughly 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation, as well as a spring-loaded waist joint.  His movement is a little bit on the restricted side.  I found he had an alright range of motion on the neck, but the shoulders and wrists are just simple cut joints, and he lacks any motion on the elbows, which is kind of a bummer.  At the very least, if the elbows had a couple of ball joints (which they totally look like they do), his mobility would be a lot better.  As it stands right now, he’s good for the basic hovering pose, with a little tweaking on the head, and that’s it.  He’s effectively on par with the vintage figure, I guess, so it’s not the worst thing.  Orko’s sculpt is a rather good recreation of the animation model for the character as seen in the show.  The proportions are pretty well matched, aside from the arms being a little bulked up, for the sake of durability.  The detailing’s really not bad for this style of figure, with a really nice bit of texture work on his outfit.  Orko’s color work is largely handled via molded colors, but he gets some paint for his face, and the detailing on his outfit, and it’s cleanly and sharply applied, and again matches well with the show design.  Orko is packed with a single blast effect piece, which can be used on either of his hands, albeit somewhat loosely.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though the show didn’t really grab me, I did really dig the new Orko design, and I enjoy the new concept behind him.  That being the case, I was definitely on board for the new figure.  He’s kind of basic, and there are some slight drawbacks to how the articulation works, but he’s overall a pretty fun figure of a pretty fun design.

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.

#2966: Eclipso

ECLIPSO

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

“Long ago the Spectre defeated the Spirit of Wrath, exiling its physical manifestation to a black diamond called the Heart of Darkness. And so it remained until Dr. Bruce Gordon found a fragment – and was possessed by Eclipso, the Earthly incarnation of the Spirit of Wrath. During a lunar or solar eclipse, Gordon’s alter ego would grant him superhuman strength, light-powers and use him in its ancient schemes for control over all mortal beings. Since then, Eclipso has possessed others, and is ever ready to tempt and corrupt both superhumans and ordinary people.”

When introduced in House of Secrets #61 in 1963, Eclipso was effectively a superhero comics take on Jekyll and Hyde, two sides of of one man, each struggling for dominance, and ultimately reaching an impasse in all their efforts.  In the ’90s, the character’s history was reworked into what is mentioned above.  Eclipso himself was an ancient entity, a precursor to the Spectre, judged to be too cruel a spirit and banished by the Spectre proper when he finally took his place.  All that’s not terrible for a guy who looks as hokey as this one.  He’s done alright for himself on the toy front, with three whole figures.  Crazy, I know.  I’m looking at the last of those three today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Eclipso was released in Series 12 of DC Universe Classics, the first assortment to be released in 2010.  Series 12 would mark perhaps one of the most obscure selections of characters the line ever boasted, so I suppose Eclipso was right at home with them.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  Generally standard articulation, but it’s notable that this marked the first assortment to remove the rocker ankles.  Ultimately, they weren’t blessed with a particularly great range anyway, but it marked the first step towards the sorts of things that lead to the line’s decline.  For this figure directly, it wasn’t that bad.  Eclipso was built on the mid-sized male body, with an all-new head, left hand, collar, and belt, as well as the right hand from the Series 11 Deadman figure.  The new parts were generally pretty impressive.  They’re up to par with the rest of the line at the time.  The head sculpt was certainly an expressive one, definitely on the more cartoony side, but it definitely fits the character.  The new hand holds his black diamond, which is a fun touch.  It’s posed so that he can hold it out to look through it, as he did in the comics.  Beyond the new sculpted parts, Eclipso relies on paint work to sell his design.  Generally, it works pretty well for the look.  The belt even gets a little bit of accenting, which is pretty cool.  Eclipso was packed with no parts of his own, but did include the left leg of the Darkseid Collect-N-Connect.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

2010 marked a turning point for DCUC in that, in contrast to prior years, the figures actually were generally easy to find, at least with minor searching.  Eclipso wound up was the first figure I got from that year, alongside Dr. Mid-Nite, both of whom were picked up for me by my parents, while I was away on a trip.  He’s not really a star piece for me, but he’s definitely one of those by-the-numbers figures that filled in the DCUC ranks nicely.

#2959: The Flash

THE FLASH

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

You do have to give Mattel a little bit of credit, and I can’t believe I’m saying that, on how they handled the early line planning on DC Universe Classics.  There was some serious effort not to just front load the whole thing with all of the hitters right away, instead using them to anchor assortments of otherwise more minor characters.  Their first year saw them struggling to reach full retail distribution, but going into their second, things were starting to seem a little more solid.  They kicked off the year with an assortment loosely centered on today’s focus, the Flash, specifically of the Barry Allen variety, since he had just returned to life after a lengthy period of deadness just a few months prior.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Flash was part of the seventh series of DC Universe Classics, the series that built the Atom Smasher figure I reviewed last year.  This marked Mattel’s first of many assortments where the heavy hitter of the set would be sold sans Collect-N-Connect part, something Hasbro would end up co-opting into their Legends line when it returned a few years later.  Flash was, unsurprisingly, the heavy hitter for this assortment.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  At this point in the line, the rockers are still present on the ankles, for all the good they do.  Okay, that’s a little unfair, because they do wind up being somewhat useful on Flash, at least for some slightly better running poses.  He’s still not gonna balance very well in those poses, but let’s take what we can get.  Flash was built on the medium male body, originally introduced in Series 3 for Nightwing and Green Lantern.  It was the slightest build they had available for an adult male body at the time, and would remain that way for quite a while.  Ultimately, it’s just too bulky for any iteration of the Flash.  Barry can be a little bulkier than the average speedster, but this goes to excess.  I honestly think that it’s really the shoulders that throw things off; the DCUC bucks always had very prominent shoulders, and for a character like Flash, this stands out even more.  Generally speaking, however, it’s not the worst it could be, and in light of a line that was built upon such things across the board, it’s ultimately a minor issue.  Flash got a new head, shins, and feet.  The head is decent, if a bit devoid of personality for Barry.  A slightly warmer expression would go a long way.  The lower legs gave him proper boot sculpts, which are actually quite nice.  The feet even get treads on the bottoms, just like Flash always had.  It’s certainly a nice touch.  His paint work is generally pretty basic, but it’s also generally pretty clean in its application.  He also gets a little bit of accenting on the reds and yellows, just to keep things a little more visually interesting.  It actually works pretty nicely.  Flash was the one figure in the set not to get a CnC piece, but he did get one of Mattel’s patented crappy blue display stands.  They were great for…umm…being not so good at helping the figures stand?  They sure were blue and translucent, though.  They did that part well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

By the seventh series, the line was starting to get a little easier to get, so it wasn’t quite the nightmare of other sets to get these figures.  That said, I didn’t actually get Flash until after the line was essentially dead.  At the time he hit, I was still mixing these guys in with my DC Directs, and I had a couple of other Barry Allen Flash figures I liked well enough, so I didn’t go after this one.  When the line ended, I realized how close I was to having the Satellite Era League, so I filled in a few gaps, and picked this one up for a decent price loose.  He’s not my favorite figure from the line, but he does an okay job, and he does look cool with the rest of the League.

#2952: Atom Smasher

ATOM SMASHER

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

DC’s handling of the Justice Society from the ’60s forward marked an important change in how they handled story telling as a whole, at least for a while.  With the dawn of the Silver Age, they had rebooted most of their popular titles, but “Flash of Two Worlds” confirmed that the original DC heroes existed in a universe all their own, where time had progressed since we last saw them.  It created a universe where the heroes were allowed to age, which, in tandem, created a universe where the heroes were allowed to retire or otherwise pass their mantles onto a new generation.  Roy Thomas’s All Star Squadron was a series dedicated to the exploits of the JSA after we stopped seeing them regularly, and through it we were introduced to a whole collection of legacy heroes, who would eventually become Infinity Incorporated.  Amongst those heroes was the original Atom’s god-son Albert Rothstein, also known as Nuklon.  Al would later move up to the JSA proper, and would take on a new identity, Atom Smasher, whose second figure I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Atom Smasher was the Collect-N-Connect for Series 7 of Mattel’s DC Universe Classics.  Atom Smasher would mark the first proper JSA offering within the line, but he would be the first of quite a few, including a whole JSA-themed series by the time the line ended.  Atom Smasher’s status as a CnC allowed him to be a little taller than is compatriots, standing about 8 1/4 inches tall.  His base body was really just patterned on the standard male body, so he kept the same basic 25 points of articulation.  In terms of height, Al had the ability to vary his, much like Giant-Man, but this figure still seemed a little bit on the small side; he felt more like a kind of tall guy, and less like an actual giant.  Still, it was at least a better representation of his size than *some* of the figures in this line…heck, in this very same assortment (looking at you Little Barda).  In terms of sculpt, the sized up base body worked pretty well for the character’s design at least, and the figure specific elements on the neck, belt, forearms, and boots all look pretty good.  The head was a pretty nice piece as well, and would wind up scaled down to normal figure size for use on Mattel’s version of the Al Pratt Atom a few years later.  Atom Smasher’s paint work is pretty good, showing the slightly more involved work from earlier in this line.  The base work is generally pretty cleanly applied, and he also gets some pretty nice accent work, especially on the larger stretches of the same colors on his mask and torso.  Atom Smasher had no accessories, but as an accessory himself, and without any major extras that warranted inclusion, that’s really not a big deal.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Atom Smasher was a slow burn figure for me.  I picked up the figures I most wanted from this assortment right away, so I had their parts for him floating about for a bit.  I even wound up with the Barda figure as well, so I had her part too, but I was so unimpressed with her, and so disenchanted with the possibility of finding the rest of the parts, that I actually wound up trading off the part that came with her before completing this guy.  It wasn’t until the end of the line, when I really started to go back and fill in some holes that I finally brought myself to finish him.   I’m glad I did, because even at his slightly smaller size, he’s a cool figure, and it’s unlikely we’re ever going to get a better Atom Smasher.