#2362: Superman

SUPERMAN

DC HEROES UNITE (SPIN MASTER)

Well, I’ve just gotten word that the contents of yesterday’s post count as infringement on National Publications’ IP, so in accordance with that, I guess I have to replace it with a genuine National Publications product.  What am I getting at here?  I guess this is just my lazy attempt at a humorous way of saying “Hey, check out this Superman figure.”  So, uhh, hey, check out this Superman figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superman is part of the first assortment of the DC Heroes Unite line from Spin Master.  He’s one of the most common figures in the assortment, which is sensible, what with him being a fairly basic Superman and all.  He’s actually a little behind the times, since he’s sporting his second Rebirth-era costume, which has subsequently been replaced by his classic design.  In Spin Master’s defense, however, it still does show up in various licensed art and merch from time to time.  I would also be genuinely shocked if a classic Superman wasn’t already planned for a later release.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  Structurally, this figure is essentially identical to the black suited Superman I already looked at from the line.  The only difference between them is the addition of a cloth cape, which is the same style of piece that Shazam used.  Again, the cape’s not terribly impressive, although I do like the insignia printed on it.  Otherwise, I’m still quite happy with the sculpt of this figure, and probably even a little moreso on this particular figure, since there are a number of details specific to this design that looked a little out of place for the previous release.  In terms of paint, Supes is pretty standard fare.  The application is all pretty cleanly handled, with minor bleedover on my figure.  As with the others in this line, the accessories are blind packaged and there are a few different options.  I got the “Metropolis Mayhem” selection, so my figure has the same selection of extras as my black costumed figure: the armor in blue, the Kryptonite in green, and the eye beams in red.  There is also a collector’s card as well, which is actually the same one included with yesterday’s Shazam figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was really happy with the variant Superman I picked up, and was feeling the need to own one in more classic coloring.  I saw this guy on a routine run through Target, but passed on him at the time, telling myself if he was there the next time I came through I’d grab him.  As luck would have it, he was.  There’s not much new here, since I pretty much looked at him before, but I do still really like him, and I look forward to getting more of this line as I have the opportunity.

#2361: Shazam!

SHAZAM!

DC HEROES UNITE (SPIN MASTER)

In the ’40s and ’40s, Fawcett Comics’ Captain Marvel (now more commonly known as Shazam) was outselling pretty much anything else in the comics market, including National Publications’ (later DC Comics) Superman.  National wasn’t much of a fan of this, and launched a lawsuit positing that Captain Marvel was in fact an illegal infringement on National’s Superman.  In a case that it is widely agreed wouldn’t hold water these days, National successfully defended this point, and Fawcett was forced to cease publication of Captain Marvel, and in fact shut down entirely.  Years later, the character would return, now under National/DC’s banner, and…unable to use his real name on the cover of any book he appeared in, since Marvel Comics had grabbed the title in the time the character was out of publication.  He sort of puttered around in the background of the DCU for a good long while, but has seen something of a resurgence in the last few years, thanks in no small part to the success of the Shazam movie last year.  It’s thanks to this resurgence that Shazam is a natural choice for the launch of Spin Master’s DC product!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shazam is part of the first assortment of Spin Master’s DC Heroes Unite line, as one of the more common figures in the line-up.  He’s seen here in his current costume, which is the one he’s been sporting since the New 52 relaunch.  It doesn’t quite have the same cleanness of the original design, but it works well enough.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  Shazam is sporting an all-new sculpt, and it’s pretty much on par with the rest of the line so far.  It’s a solid recreation of the character, with a little bit of a stylization to it that works pretty well for this type of line.  I like that, like Superman and Nightwing, he’s got his own distinct build; he’s actually the largest of the ones I’ve looked at (well, excepting King Shark, of course), which feels right given the usual depictions in the comics.  The head manages to really capture that “child in an adult’s body” aspect that the character needs, and the body works in a lot of costume specific details that I honestly wasn’t expecting to see given the other two figures I looked at.  Perhaps the only real downside is the figure’s cape; it’s a rather cheap, very flat piece of almost paper-like cloth.  It’s not terrible, but it does connect to the back a little bit awkwardly, and it’s not so aesthetically pleasing when you view the connection head-on.  From the front, though, it looks alright, and given the price point we’re dealing with here, it doesn’t pull me out of things too badly.  Shazam’s paint work is pretty basic, but for the most part pretty decent.  The only slight issue with mine is that the right boot doesn’t seem to have gotten quite as much coverage as the left, so they’re a little uneven.  Shazam is packed with an electricity effect, a girder, and (coolest of all) a little Billy Batson figurine.  The coloring on these accessories indicates that he’s got the “Metropolis Mayhem” selection.  Regardless of the coloring, I think this is probably the coolest selection of accessories so far on these guys.  There’s also the collector’s card like we saw with the other two figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My Dad was kind enough to pick this guy up for me.  I had shown him the Superman and Nightwing, and he wanted a Superman of his own, and came across this guy at the same time.  I really dig him just like I’ve really dug the other releases I’ve picked up.  Of the two new DC licensees, I gotta say, I’m really feeling the output of Spin Master a bit more than McFarlane.  I’m definitely down for more of the line.

#2348: King Shark

KING SHARK

BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER (SPIN MASTER)

Okay, so I’ve been informed recently that I need to be higher energy.  So, I, uhh, guess I should try to be higher energy?  I mean, yeah, let’s be high energy!  I love high energy!  High energy is great!  I’m excited to be a part of this plan to be higher energy!  Something that is admittedly pretty high energy is the DC Universe subscription-exclusive Harley Quinn animated series, which launched last fall.  It starts out focussed pretty heavily on Harley and Joker, but in pretty quick fashion Harley picks up her own crew of pretty far-reaching DCU characters.  One of my favorite inclusions is the show’s version of King Shark, who subverts a lot of the usual King Shark concepts and is just generally a good time.  And right as I was getting into the show, Spin Master opted to include a King Shark in their opening line-up of DC figures, so I of course bought one.  Let’s review this boy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

King Shark is part of the first deluxe assortment of Spin Master’s Batman: The Caped Crusader line.  King Shark’s not classically a Batman villain, but I guess with the heavy featuring on a Bat-related show, there was some wiggle room, and I’m not going to argue with something that gets me an easily attainable King Shark figure.  The figure stands roughly 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He’s a little bit restricted on the articulation.  The lack of neck joint is understandable, but no knees or ankles is a little annoying, especially when it comes to keeping him standing.  It’s not the end of the world, but compared to the others I’ve looked at from the line, it’s just a slight letdown.  King Shark’s got a unique sculpt, though almost all of it was immediately re-used for the Target-exclusive hammerhead version.  This one goes instead for Shark’s pre-New 52 Great White-style head, which has always been my preferred.  It’s a rather stylized take on the character, and definitely errs more on the cartoony side of things, but I really dig the detailing on his gills and the small scarring on the torso.  Those are the sorts of details that could have been overlooked, so their inclusion here really shows Spin Master is going the extra mile.  The paintwork on King Shark is more basic than the sculpt, but it gets all of the important details down, and again fits the style of the rest of the line.  Spin Master’s deluxe figures have so far followed a common theme, that theme being big armored wing pack things.  King Shark gets one of those, because why not, I guess?  It’s pretty neat, if perhaps rather gimmicky.  But then, Spin Master seems to know where their target audience is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Super Awesome Wife’s background in marine biology has her talking about sharks a fair bit of the time, mostly touching on the unfairness of their usual portrayals in media.  So, when King Shark’s Harley Quinn appearances subverted this, she was quite thrilled.  Honestly, that did even more to endear me to a character I was already pretty into.  After getting Superman and Nightwing, I had made a passing mention to Max that I *might* be interested in King Shark, and he was kind enough to keep an eye out for one, setting me up with this guy shortly thereafter.  He’s goofy and gimmicky, but I continue to enjoy this line of figures wholeheartedly!

#2315: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER (SPIN MASTER)

Remember how I ended yesterday’s review by saying I wanted to see more from Spin Master with their DC stuff?  Well, it happened sooner than I expected.  Like, you know, right away.  Don’t you look at me like that.  We all knew what this was, okay?  Look, just sit back and enjoy this Nightwing review, alright?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing is part of the first standard assortment of Spin Master’s Batman: The Caped Crusader line.  Rather wisely, Spin Master has opted to separate out the Bat-characters from the main DC line, which means that the main line-up won’t get too overshadowed by the Bat-family.  This Nightwing figure is based on the character’s DC Rebirth design, which is my favorite of his more recent redesigns.  I dig the New Adventures vibes.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation, for real this time!  No broken joints on this guy!  Nightwing’s sculpt is an all-new piece, but given its generally generic nature, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it get re-used for some similarly built characters.  He’s actually smaller in build than the Superman figure, which is nice to see, given that the far more expensive DC Essentials version didn’t even get that.  You know there’s a problem when your $30 collector’s figure gets outclassed by an $8 toy….I’m getting distracted, aren’t I?  Yeah, it’s a decent sculpt.  It’s not perfect; the neck is a smidge too short, and the hair’s not my ideal choice for Nightwing.  The hands and feet are also a little chunky, but given that the same is true of Superman, that feels more like a stylistic thing.  Also, it’s nowhere near the level that it was on Mattel’s old Infinite Heroes line, so I can give it something of a pass.  Nightwing’s paintwork is all fairly basic, but the bright blue looks really nice, and the application is all pretty sharp. There are one or two spots of missing paint on mine, but nothing too bad or figure ruining.  As with the Heroes Unite line, the Caped Crusader line is also doing the blind-boxed accessories.  There are currently two different accessory sets available for Nightwing.  Mine has the “Harbor Defender” selection, which is a pair of batons (with built-in gauntlets), a scuba mask and tank, and a batarang.  I found the accessories a little more interactive for Nightwing than with Superman, and really like the batons in particular.  He’s also got a collector’s card like Superman’s.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Again, Max’s fault.  I mean, in a slightly different fashion than yesterday’s review.  And, admittedly I get a lot of the blame on this one, since I did actually buy it myself, but Max let me know that the Walmart near All Time had this guy, and said “if you’re gonna grab one, mind getting one for me too?”  At that point, I felt a little obligated, because what was I gonna do, make Max stop on his way home?  That just wouldn’t be very nice, now would it?  So, I got my Nightwing, because obviously I wasn’t just gonna buy one for Max.  As with Superman, I’m very happy with this figure, and am further intrigued by the rest of the line.  Also, this has perhaps set a precedent of me trying out new DC lines by buying Superman and Nightwing.  Possible spoilers for future reviews?  You’ll have to keep reading to find out…

#2314: Superman

SUPERMAN

DC HEROES UNITE (SPIN MASTER)

It’s a time of change.  After 17 years with the DC license, Mattel lost it at the end of 2019.  In their stead, two companies are taking over as the primary holders: Spin Master and McFarlane Toys.  The first product from both companies started hitting in the middle of last month, giving collectors a chance to try out both styles.  Spin Master is handling the more kid-focused, all-ages side of the license, and I managed to pick up some of their stuff first.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at one of their versions of the Man of Steel, Superman!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superman is part of Spin Master’s DC Heroes Unite line, and is one of two versions of Superman available at launch.  This one is marked “rare” on the included booklet, so I would assume that means he’s a one-per-case figure.  That said, Spin Master’s set-up for the line tends to suggest that none of the figures will be that hard to find in the long run.  This Superman is based on the Superman’s appearance from the 2016 Lois & Clark series, which saw the Lois and Clark of Earth-Prime return to the Nu-Earth, and gave Clark this new darker costume.  It’s clearly meant to call back to the “rebirth” costume that he wore in the ’90s after coming back to life, but it’s still effectively a modern appearance.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation…or at least he should.  My figure’s right knee was fused out of the box, and ended up snapping when there was an attempt to bend it.  Probably just a one-off issue, but certainly something to keep in mind.  The sculpt of this figure is shared with the standard Superman, which actually isn’t the worst thing, given the similarities between the costumes.  The only downside is that the upper portion of the cape that’s not there is still…there.  With it being all-black, it’s not terribly distracting, but it’s too bad he couldn’t at least get a unique torso.  Aside from that, the sculpt is actually pretty nice, especially given the quality of the last Spin Master figures I picked up in this scale.  He’d certainly benefit from a waist joint and maybe some wrists, but he’s a far better offering at this scale than anything we ever got from Mattel, both in terms of sculpt and and articulation.  It’s a fairly basic layout of details, but it works very well for the style that they’re after.  Superman’s paintwork is pretty decent across the board.  The details are all pretty sharp, and the bleed over is minimal.  The painted beard works better than I’d expected, and I like how sharp the eyes are.  The primary gimmick of Spin Master’s 3 3/4 lines right now is tied in with the accessories, which are blind-boxed, and have a few different possibilities for each figure.  For my Superman, I got the armor in blue, the Kryptonite in green, and the eye beams in red, indicating this is the “Metropolis Mayhem” accessory selection.  Not a bad little assortment, and honestly not the worst gimmick for the line.  There’s also a little collector’s card, which can be removed from the front of the package, if you’re into that sort of thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is Max’s fault.  I saw the Spin Master stuff and was honestly interested in checking them out in person, but Max beat me to the punch, and picked up this very figure for himself.  Then it went and broke on him, and he was going to throw it in the trash.  I can’t bear to see a figure thrown in the trash, and I honestly wasn’t quite as perturbed by the broken knee, so I salvaged him (with Max’s permission, of course), and fixed him up.  And, boom, new line tried.  Breaking knee issue aside, I’m very happy with this figure, and I think that all of Spin Master’s launch product looks really great.  I look forward to seeing more from them.

Guest Review #0004: Quorra

QUORRA

TRON: LEGACY (SPIN MASTER)

Qorra2

Today’s review is written by Tim Marron.  Check out more from Tim over at Tim’s Blarg and Timsical Thoughts.  Take it away Tim!

As I’ve said before, my action figure collection tends to stem from video games. Today’s figure follows this pattern, even though the game itself exists in a movie, but was then made as a real game, sorta… it’s complicated. Anyway, today I’ll be looking at Quorra from Tron: Legacy. I’ll also be reviewing an action figure of her as well made by Spin Master.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The figure is based on Quorra’s initial appearance in the film when she rescues Sam from GAMES. Regrettably this means that she is depicted wearing her helmet which only stays on for about a minute of screen time and there isn’t the alternate Olivia Wilde, slanted bangs head that everyone hoped for. Quorra stands about 4″ tall and features 23 points of articulation. One of the gimmicks for this line of figures is that they light up, in keeping with the aesthetic of the movie. Aside from the unfortunate perma-helmet, the figure’s sculpt is unique to this character, and is pretty decent with just a few minor hiccups. The legs are a little skinny and the proportions around the waist are slightly off, making Quorra look a just a tad chunky if viewed from the side, but then again this is to accommodate the battery and aforementioned light so I’ll let it slide. Also, for whatever reason, her skirt is made of hard plastic which substantially restricts hip movement which stinks because the overall figure has fairly good range of motion. If it weren’t for the skirt, and maybe the neck, you could probably pull off some cool action poses. The paint keeps up this trend of decent-but-not-fantastic with a few small areas of bleed over as well as a couple spots of careless slop marring and otherwise pristine paint job. Quorra comes packaged with her Identity Disk and sword as well as a stand on which to display her. So overall, yes the figure has its problems, but for the most part I can overlook those flaws because she’s my favorite character from the movie. It also helps that I only paid $5 for the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I purchased this figure not long after I saw Tron: Legacy for the first time. I knew I wanted a little light up figure after they were cleverly shown off in the opening scene by a horrifically CGI-ed Jeff Bridges, it only became clearer later on who I wanted a figure of. After finding out that the 12″ Impulse Projection line of figures from the movie did not include Quorra, I settled on the 3″ version I have now.