DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
“After his parents were murdered, young Dick Grayson was adopted by Bruce Wayne, becoming his ward… and, as the first Robin The Boy Wonder, his partner in the war against crime. Years later, Robin struck out on his own as Nightwing and now lives in the corruption-ridden city of Bludhaven where by day he serves as a member of that city’s police department.”
Mattel’s DC Universe Classics was born out of DC Superheroes, a line that was itself born out of their earlier Batman line. DC Superheroes introduced some Superman characters into the mix, but was otherwise still very Batman-focused. When it came time for DC Universe Classics, there was no corner of the DCU unavailable, so Mattel got a lot deeper with their coverage. However, they still didn’t stray too far from the Batman side of things, meaning it wasn’t a huge surprise to see two of his sidekicks crop up early in the line’s run. I’ve already looked at the Robin, so how about the former Robin, aka Nightwing?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Nightwing was part of Series 3 of DC Universe Classics, alongside the previously reviewed Tim Drake Robin, Green Lantern, Sinestro, and Deathstroke. He was the third figure Mattel had done of Nightwing at this scale, and like Robin before him, this figure marked the first time that the Four Horsemen worked on the character. Nightwing is seen here in his traditional blue/black costume, which had been his consistent look for over a decade when this figure hit shelves, meaning it was a pretty safe choice. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. Nightwing used the mid-sized male body, which was first introduced for this very assortment, and would be used simultaneously for both him and Hal Jordan. It’s a little on the bulky side for how Dick is usually portrayed, especially in the shoulders, but within the context of the line, it worked alright. Nightwing had a unique head, forearms, and shins. The head depicts an early-to-mid ’00s Nightwing, as denoted by the hairstyle. While I might like it to be a little more expressive, it’s otherwise a pretty strong take on the character, and there’s plenty of detail work, especially in the texturing of the hair. The forearms and shins depict the most inconsistent element of this Nightwing costume: the cuffs for the gloves and boots. They were frequently all different shapes, sizes, and positions, and by the time of Hush, Jim Lee had removed them completely. That streamlined look is honestly my preferred interpretation, but to Mattel’s credit, there’s been very little action figure coverage with these pieces included, so it does help the figure stand out from DCD’s offerings. The paintwork on Nightwing is mostly pretty basic, straight color work. The blue is appropriately bright, and the application is clean. There’s some ever so slight accenting on the hair, which helps bring out the sculpted textures, and that’s pretty nice. Nightwing was packed with his usual Eskrima sticks (which he can store on his back, another unique feature of this figure), as well as the head/torso of the Grundy CnC. Why he got the largest piece over the comparatively much smaller Robin figure is anyone’s guess, but mine didn’t have it anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Okay, it’s a DCUC review, so you know the drill: this assortment was hard to find at retail, and I never saw a Nightwing in person. I managed to track down GL and Sinestro, my two main wants, in-package and new, and got the reissue of Robin a little later, but Nightwing never turned up. I already had the Hush figure, so I wasn’t too worried about it, but when this guy was among a large DCUC collection that got traded into All Time Toys last year, I jumped at the opportunity to get him. I’ve got a lot of Nightwing figures, and I can’t say this one really stands out from the pack, but he’s certainly not a bad figure.