BLUE BEETLE & BOOSTER GOLD
DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE TOYS)
Look, I’m not gonna pretend like this is anything more than it is, guys. Yes, I’m reviewing something else from McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line. I know. I’m not surprised either, just disappointed. Okay, not really disappointed. Honestly, it’s really not all that bad, I suppose. Todd’s decisions with the line have generally been middling at best, but there is the occasional offering that sort of accidentally stumbles into being sort of a good idea. While things are very firmly planted in edgelord territory for most of the line’s offerings, perhaps in an effort to offset that just a little bit, we’ve actually got something that goes pretty anti-edgelord-y, in the form of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. Central to the Giffen, DeMatteis, and McGuire “Bwa-ha-ha” run of Justice League, Beetle and Booster have never been A-listers, but they’ve certainly picked up quite a cult following, especially given they’re more jovial nature and their long-term friendship. They’ve gotten quite few figures over the years, mostly pairing off, since it sure does feel weird to do one without the other. And, in a move uncharacteristic to McFarlane’s DC run up to this point, they’re actually both available at once, in one concise package even.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Blue Beetle and Booster Gold are a two-pack release from McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line. They were announced at the end of July and had a rather quick turnaround, hitting in early September. As with the rest of the two-packs, they’re their own thing, shipping on their own, which is probably for the best. Keeps those Bat-variants just a little bit further away.
“Over the course of a century, three different men from very different backgrounds have taken on the heroic mantle of the Blue Beetle, each making their mark in different ways. The original Beetle was an archaeologist named Dan Garrett, who discovered an ancient Scarab in an old Egyptian tomb that gave him superpowers which he used to fight crime. He was succeeded by the brilliant Ted Kord, who had no powers to speak of, but carried on the Blue Beetle legacy with just his wits and his fists, along with a whole lot of gadgets and a sharp sense of humor.”
You gotta love the bio calling out that there are three notable Blue Beetles in the last century and then only talking about two of them. And not even the most notable of the two, at that. I know, a McFarlane bio being poorly written. Who’d have thunk? Ah, well, I think I’d rather talk about the figure than the bio, so let’s do that. The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation. As with all the McFarlane figures, the articulation scheme is pretty set and predictable. It works better on some than on others, but this one is admittedly on the “better” end of the spectrum. The wrists are a little awkward, and the elbows and knees are still requiring you to break up the flow of the sculpt, but it’s not awful. The sculpt is actually not half-bad. The head is a decent rendition of Ted in costume, right down to that slightly goofy smile, which is really perfect for the character. The body sculpt is pretty basic, and honestly surprisingly clean for a McFarlane sculpt. With one exception (which I’ll touch on a little more in the next figure’s section) only details are the actual details for Ted’s costume, as depicted in the comics, even. No weird extra lines or piping, or armor plating, or odd texturing. Just a nice, basic sculpt, with a fairly sensible set of proportions. The paint work on this figure is also pretty sensible, which is likewise surprising. The colors are generally a good match for his usual depiction, the application is overall pretty clean, and there’s no weird washes or anything to dirty him up. I do miss the clear goggles like earlier figures have had, but the solid finish isn’t terrible, and I do quite like the slight accenting on the face, just to give him a bit more color. Ted is packed with his BB gun, the same circular display stand that comes with all of the figures, and a collector card. The gun is an okay sculpt, but for some reason there’s what looks like a grapple line permanently attached to it, which kind of limits its uses when it comes to posing. I guess maybe they were worried that Warner might ask for it to be cut from the set if it didn’t have the permanent attachment?
“A college football star of the 25th Century who earned the nickname ‘Booster’ on the field. Even though people assured him a professional career of fame and fortune was in his future, he decided he couldn’t wait and wagered on his own games. The scandal ruined his dreams and reputation. Taking a job as a security guard in the Metropolis Space Museum, Mike saw another opportunity after studying the early age of superheroes. With future and alien technology stolen from the museum, and a time machine that was on display, he realized he could not only become a superhero himself in a past era where his criminal history was unknown, but he could also make his good deeds profitable.”
Well, at least Booster’s bio is a bit more on-point. Given Ted’s, I was half expecting a “Super Nova” mention. Small victories there. Though he’s packed with a very much classically-inspired Ted Kord Blue Beetle, Booster goes slightly more modern, by virtue of ditching his somewhat absurd collar from his ’80s appearances. I suppose I’ll allow it. Like Beetle, the figure stands just over 7 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation. Booster’s sculpt is…well, it’s actually largely the same as Beetle’s. Booster gets his own head, hands, wrist pieces, and a slightly different pelvis piece, allowing for his slightly different costume design. The new head is on par with Beetle in terms of quality, but it’s also quite distinctly different. The flow of the hair is quite nice, and I definitely dig the cheesy grin. By virtue of the shared base body, Booster’s perhaps a touch too small, but not terribly far off. What *is* rather off is the boots, which get the tops of Beetle’s boots, which are an entirely different shape. There’s still the slight shaping of Booster’s boot sculpted above the cuff, which was also present on Beetle. It was less obvious on Beetle than Beetle’s boots are for Booster; since Booster was getting saddled with the extra detail anyway, I’m not entirely sure why they attempted at double duty here, but at least it’s a minor detail. Booster’s paint work is okay; not quite as good as Beetle’s, but not terrible. There’s the obvious painting over of the boot details, which is a bit goofy looking. Additionally, thanks to the paint on the shins, plus the molded yellow higher up, and then the slightly different material on the knees, there are no less than three different yellows in the space of about an inch. From the knees up, however, he looks pretty great. His goggles are opaque, just like Ted’s, and the face likewise gets some really nice accenting to give it a little more life. Booster is packed with a smart phone (with a yellow case to match his costume), a blast effect to clip onto his wrist, and his robot buddy Skeets, a display stand, and a collector card. Skeets, rather than getting his own stand or attaching to Booster directly, plugs into the larger base shared between the two of them. It’s a rather short arm, and not removable from Skeets. It’s also completely opaque, and it doesn’t plug into anything other than the very large base, which proves rather limiting for him. But, at least he’s included, which is certainly more than can be said of other Booster Gold figures.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’m less and less enamored with McFarlane’s DC Multiverse as it continues forward, but I’ll admit that these two immediately caught my eye. Our first preview had no release info, so I was worried they, like pretty much everything else “classic” from McFarlane, would be an exclusive. I was very glad they weren’t, as it made it much easier for me to actually, you know, get them. Ted’s the better of the two for sure, but honestly they’re both a lot better than I’d expected. As with anything McFarlane, there are some drawbacks, but they’re honestly minimal, all things considered.
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with these figures to review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.