#2909: Shriek Unmasked

SHRIEK UNMASKED

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Walter Shreeve was a skilled audio engineer living in Neo-Gotham, trying to fund his research in the field of sonics. Unable to do so, Shreeve used his highly advanced sound technology to build an armored suit capable of demolishing buildings with sonic blasts. Going by the name Shriek, he was soon hired to destroy Batman and nearly succeeded, but lost his hearing in the ensuing battle. He was then sent to Blackgate Penitentiary where he was able to continue his research behind bars. Since then, Shriek has managed to break out on occasion, each time seeking revenge against Batman and wreaking havoc on the citizens of Neo-Gotham!”

It was bound to happen eventually, I suppose.  After two days of McFarlane DC reviews that weren’t Batman-related, we’ve circled back to what Todd truly knows best about DC.  I mean, it’s not specifically a Batman, of course, but it’s a Batman villain, and it’s also got a stupid variant structure, so we’re right back in that McFarlane comfort zone!

Batman Beyond‘s creator’s strove to give Terry his own unique cast of villains, which wouldn’t just be cheap re-hashes of Bruce’s old foes.  Introduced early on, and becoming a rather recurring opponent, was Walter Shreeve, aka Shriek.  He’s got one of the most distinctive and memorable designs of Terry’s foes, making him a solid choice for toy treatment.  That said, he never did get it during the show’s original run, with his McFarlane figure being his very first…or second, I guess, what with there being two of them and all.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shriek Unmasked is a solo release within McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  As with Batman Beyond, he was preceded by a Target-exclusive release, which also included a Build-A-Figure part, and was fully armored, rather than unmasked.  Yes, in classic McFarlane form, rather than giving us one figure with an extra head, they’re selling us two of the same figure with different heads, and thereby making both figures less valid than one single figure with an extra accessory would have been.  Greeeaaaaat.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  It’s largely the same as the usual set-up, but the movement on the arms is predictably kind of restricted by how the armor works.  To McFarlane’s credit, the movement is all pretty decent, and the arms work better than you might expect at first glance.  The sculpt is a pretty decent piece of work.  He’s technically based on the comics, as was the Batman Beyond, but it’s a good merging of the aesthetics.  The armor’s detailing is pretty sharp and cleanly detailed, and there aren’t too many extra details shoved in to really mess things up, so it’s generally a nice piece.  The head is likewise a very nice piece of work.  It’s real world-styled version of Shreeves, but it really still feels like the character as depicted in the show.  There’s just the right level of slimy sleezebag, and I love it.  Shriek’s paint work is well handled; the suit has some nice contrast on the black/white, and the clear blue parts are definitely fun.  His head has a rather involved paint deco, which gives Shreeves his usual sickly pallor.  He’s clearly a guy who doesn’t get out much.  Shriek is packed with two sound effect pieces, a display stand, and a collector’s card.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy reminds me of exactly why I don’t like how McFarlane does things, because the splitting of the two looks just really sucks all around.  I certainly was down for a Shriek to go with my Batman, but I wasn’t really big on how the helmet looked on the first release.  I wanted an alternate head of some sort, which this figure gave me, but, of course, at the cost of him never actually being helmeted now, which is limiting in its own right.  Sure, I may not be thrilled by the helmet’s design, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the potential option of displaying it.  Ultimately, I was going to feel he was lacking either way, but I felt slightly less so this way, so it’s what I went with.  I do really like this figure, and I think he turned out really well.  He’d be better with the extra head, though.

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.

#2908: Green Lantern – John Stewart

GREEN LANTERN — JOHN STEWART

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“John Stewart is a former U.S. Marine who uses his military training and discipline to protect Earth, and the rest of Space Sector 2814, as a member of the intergalactic peacekeeping force known as the Green Lantern Corps. As Green Lantern, John wields a power ring, which creates a protective shield around him, allows him to fly, and generates hard-light energy constructs in the form of anything he imagines. Fueled by willpower, Green Lantern’s power ring is one of the mightiest weapons in the universe!”

On the topic of McFarlane not always *just* doing Batman, here’s a bit more in that category.  I’m classically a pretty big Green Lantern fan, and there’s no denying that Todd’s been rather stingy on the GL love.  To date, there’s been a Green Lantern Batman (which only half counts), and two different versions of John Stewart.  I don’t really want to delve into the monstrosity that was the animated-style version, so I guess I’ll look at the other one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern John Stewart was 2021 release for the DC Multiverse standard line.  Again, there’s the whole distribution thing, which means he showed up early some places, but just showed up rather recently others.  Yay, that’s fun.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  John’s articulation scheme is again pretty much the same as the other DC McFarlane stuff, but I did find the range of motion on him to be a fair bit more restricted, and also more prone to breaking up the flow of the sculpt.  John’s sculpt was unique to him to start, but most of it’s already planned for a re-use on the upcoming Hal Jordan.  Effectively, this means they kind of designed it with the two uses in mind, so you can sort of see how the details are loosely meant to work for their two differing costume designs.  In simplest terms, that means that no matter which of the two you’re looking at, they’re really over designed, especially for GLs.  There’s just so many unnecessary details just really muddying up the cleanness of the GL design.  It’s especially notable on John, since he’s wearing his more modern, even further streamlined costume.  They didn’t even add extra lines to his costume during the New 52, you guys.  Even New 52 standards knew not to mess up the John Stewart design.  And yet, here we are, with way too much going on.  Todd really does remind me of the old adage “if less is more, think of how much more more could be.”  All the excess detail might be easier to get away with if the actual body sculpt worked, but it’s got kind of wonky proportions, with the arms in particular just being far too long.  I’m also really not digging that the right hand is doing a trigger finger grip; how do you not give a GL a fist for their ring hand?  Topping it all off is the unique head sculpt that’s supposed to be pulling the heavy weight on selling this figure as John Stewart.  Trouble is, it doesn’t really look like John.  It looks like a generic black guy.  They don’t all look the same, I can assure you.  I felt kind of the same way about Mezco’s version of John as well, so maybe there’s just some confusion about his defining facial features.  John’s paint work is alright.  It’s nothing to write home about, and I find myself wishing the greens were a bit brighter, or possibly even metallic.  Just something to make it pop more would be good.  John’s accessories include a construct armor piece for the torso, a construct minigun, a display stand, and a collector’s card.  The minigun isn’t the worst thing ever, but it does really feel a little less joyful and fun than the usual constructs.  I also don’t really like that’s only held, and doesn’t clip on in any way, nor do I like that we missed out on getting a lantern, or maybe some extra hands.  It’s not an awful selection, but it’s not particularly thrilling either.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The general lack of GL focus in the McFarlane output hasn’t really thrilled me.  I wanted to be excited by this guy, but the prototype shots did nothing for me, and seeing him in person didn’t do a lot either.  A loose one wound up coming in at the same time as the Flash figure I reviewed yesterday, so I decided that was the time to give him a try.  He’s…well, he’s really not great.  I want to like him, but I guess I’ve been a little bit spoiled by earlier, better John Stewart figures.  If I’m entirely honest, I pretty much went the whole review just wanting this figure to be the DCUC one, and he’s not, and he’s never gonna be.

#2907: The Flash

THE FLASH

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“In a freak lab accident, forensic scientist Barry Allen was struck by lightning and doused with chemicals, which gave him the superpowers of the Speed Force. Now he uses these powers to defend his hometown of Central City—and the rest of the world—from the forces of evil as The Flash! The Fastest Man Alive can run up the sides of buildings, across oceans, and around the world at light speed. He can also vibrate his molecules to phase through solid objects!”

Hey, look at that, sometimes McFarlane doesn’t only do Batman.  I know, it’s a crazy concept.  Sometimes he’ll laser focus in on a different character for just a moment.  And for a little portion of the last year or so, one such laser focused character was the Flash, who’s now had a whole five figures.  Can you believe that?  I mean, I guess it’s possible to believe it.  I mean, there’s like empirical evidence to support it and all.  It’s probably been peer reviewed.  Speaking of reviews, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing here, so why don’t I do that?  Yeah, I think I will!  Let’s jump in on that!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Flash was part of the basic DC Multiverse line-up, hitting retail at roughly the mid-point of last year…some places anyway.  McFarlane’s distribution’s been all over the map, so exact timelines can be weird.  He was the first of the Flash figures McFarlane released, but was quickly followed by the slight retool of this one for the two-pack release with Red Death.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  Flash’s articulation scheme follows what we’ve become used to with McFarlane’s DC stuff.  The range isn’t bad, but it does have a tendency to break up the sculpt in rather odd ways.  Also, some of the joints, notably on the ankles, are a little on the loose side, so it can be hard to get him to hold poses for terribly long.  But, for the most part, it’s not terrible.  Flash’s sculpt was initially unique, but then saw re-use for the two-pack release, and is getting another re-use for the upcoming Reverse Flash as well.  It’s patterned on his far more ridge-y post-New 52 appearance.  While it’s got a bit too much going on for it to be my preferred Flash, it does seem like it’s more up Todd’s alley.  Also, it’s still his current look, so it adds up.  It does at least make for a pretty nice looking figure, and they didn’t add a bunch of other unnecessary details that don’t need to be there.  The main defining trait of this figure, in contrast to the two-pack release, is the head sculpt.  For this one, he gets a more playful expression with a smile.  It’s a bit cartoony an exaggerated, but it feels appropriate for the character, and I really like it.  The only part I’m a bit iffy on is the ear wings, which seem a little too crazy for my preferred take on Flash.  Otherwise, it’s pretty solid.  Flash’s paint work is generally pretty basic.  It’s bright and colorful, which is a bit of a contrast from the usual McFarlane output, so I won’t really complain on that.  The figure is packed with an assortment of lightning effects, as well as a display stand, so that you can get some more intense running displays…when he remains standing, of course.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When DC Collectibles launched Essentials, I picked up Reverse Flash, but not the standard, because I found basic Flash to be just a touch too bland for my taste.  I still wanted one in a comparable scale, so when this guy was shown off, I was at the very least interested.  Of course, with the wonky distribution and such, All Time never ended up getting theirs, and I couldn’t really be bothered to actually hunt him down.  As luck would have it, he wound up getting traded in loose a couple of months ago, so I was able to pick one up without much fuss.  He’s still got those typical McFarlane things going on, but I do like him a fair bit overall, and he fits in well with my Essentials figures, so I’d call that a win.

#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.

#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.

#2850: Plastic Patroller

PLASTIC PATROLLER

FORTNITE (MCFARLANE TOYS)

My last Fortnite-themed review was back in December of 2019.  Ah, 2019.  What a different place to be.  Given that I’ve never played even a second of the game, I do actually review stuff from it here with a surprising frequency.  Look, I’m a sucker for a fun toy, and you can’t deny that Fortnite‘s designs do result in some fun toys.  While I’ve stuck with the Jazwares component of the tie-ins thus far, McFarlane has also had their own line running alongside for a bit, which offers up a lot of the same stuff at a slightly different scale, but also a few unique pieces.  Included amongst the unique stuff is today’s figure, the Plastic Patroller.  Added in Season 9 of the game, the Plastic Patroller is a pretty straight forward concept: he’s an old school plastic green army man.  That’s very toyetic, and I’m all about it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Plastic Patroller was added to McFarlane’s Fortnite line early this year. The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation.  Comparing the two toymakers’ lines, I don’t find the McFarlane offerings to be quite as easily posed, at least going by this particular figure, but I don’t think it’s a bad set-up.  It’s on par with the DC stuff, so it’s certainly much better than what Todd used to do.  In-game, the Patroller is largely a recoloring of the Jonesy skin, so this figure is unsurprisingly built on a lot of the same parts as the McFarlane Jonesy.  It’s a decent enough starting point.  I’m super crazy about how the ankles and wrists look, but for the most part it works.  I also did find it interesting that the trigger finger is on the left side, which isn’t very common.  That I definitely don’t mind, though.  He does get a new head and feet, though, in order to give him both the helmet, and the excess plastic at the feet, to help really sell that green army man feel.  The helmet does maybe feel a little to joined to the head and not a distinctly different part, based on the animation model, but it’s not terrible, and does still feel like the old toy, so it still works.  The extra stuff on the feet actually makes him a bit more stable, so I won’t complain about that.   In terms of color work, the Patroller is actually a little more involved than you might think at first glance.  He’s based on the skin’s second iteration, after it was reworked in order to remove its potential for blending in with certain environments.  So, he’s not just straight green, but actually has a little bit of dirt build-up.  Though not quite as classically green army man, it does make him a slightly more involved design, I suppose.  It’s like he’s been taken out to the playground.  The Patroller is packed with the Response Unit Back Bling, Scar Assault Rifle, Knockwurst harvesting tool, and a stand.  Not a bad selection of parts, and it certainly follows the gamut of the game’s stylings, being a mix of goofy and straight forward.  The rifle’s basic, but I really dig the Knockwurst, as goofy as it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My Fortnite purchases are entirely based on “hey, that’s a cool design”, with no underlying knowledge beyond that.  Jazwares had dragged me in with the Joe compatibility, and then gotten me on board with the 6 inch stuff, but I was steering clear of McFarlane, because why would I need to start another scale.  Well, a green army man’s a good enough excuse.  I mean, I’m pretty sure it’s a one-off.  I hope it’s a one-off.  I’m sticking by it being a one-off.

FYI, we’re heading into another post-Jess section here.  The Plastic Patroller came from the same trip to Target as yesterday’s Major Bludd.  Likewise, I didn’t go in expecting to find him, but after finding Bludd, I was wandering through the video game section, and I spotted this guy.  And I heard this little voice in the back of my head telling me that they’d be mad at me if I didn’t buy him, because I’d regret it later.  It felt very Jess.  Again, I may be doing some projecting, and maybe I’m seeing more than what’s there and attributing silly, little minor things to her, but hey, that’s where I am.