#1498: Kid Flash

KID FLASH

THE FLASH (DCC)

One of my favorite TV shows (and one of the few I can actually more or less keep up with) is CW’s The Flash.  The show’s gone pretty much all-in with the whole Flash mythos, and just last season they officially introduced Wally West in the role of Barry Allen’s sidekick Kid Flash.  Wally’s always been a very important character in the Flash, and I was pretty thrilled to finally get to see him in action.  I was also pretty thrilled that finally got an action figure, courtesy of DC Collectibles’ very slowly released line of figures from the show.  Let’s have a look at how he turned out, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kid Flash is the seventh figure in DCC’s The Flash line.  The last of these I looked at was Captain Cold, who was figure 2, so it looks like I’ve fallen a little bit behind.  Wally just hit a few weeks ago, alongside White Canary from Legends of Tomorrow.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall (just a skosh smaller than Barry, which is about right) and he has 26 points of articulation.  Wally loses several points of articulation from Barry, all of them swivels on the legs.  I’m not sure what DCC has against swivels on the legs, but they do seem to remove them a lot.  It’s frustrating, because it definitely limits the poses you can do with the figure.  He does at least have rocker ankles, so he makes out a bit better than Supergirl in that respect.  The articulation is far more useful than on recent Mattel offerings, and that’s a definite plus.  Wally’s sculpt is all-new to him.  While it’s not quite as detailed as Flash or Supergirl (which is true to his show design, since his costume lacks a lot of the texturing of the main characters’ costumes), but it’s still quite accurate to the show design.  I actually find his build to be more realistic and far less gangly than Barry, which is a step in the right direction.  The head sports a pretty solid likeness of actor Keiynan Lonsdale in the mask, although this is clearly him from earlier in Season 3, given the shorter hair.  Wally’s paint is some of the best I’ve seen on the CW figures, helped largely by the bolder colors present in the design.  There’s a lot of vibrance in the color choices, and he’s even got some pretty solid accent work to keep the larger stretches of the same colors from getting too monotonous.  Wall is packed with hands in fists, gripping, and in flat running poses, which make for a decent variety of poses.  He also gets an extra unmasked head, which makes me retroactively frustrated that DCC stuck the extra Barry head in a freaking two-pack.  I still would have liked to see some sort of running stand included here; I ended up making due with a Minimate flight stand for the photo up top.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Wally from Cosmic Comix.  As luck would have it, he hit during the 26th Annual Annual Sale, so I got him for 40% off his usual price.  I definitely wanted to pick him up at some point, but I won’t deny that the sale helped me make the decision to grab him sooner rather than later.  I’m happy with this figure.  He’s not perfect, but he’s still quite good.  And, most importantly, he got me to dig out my CW Flash figure, and reminding me that that figure was actually way better than I remembered.  And now I have this pretty awesome pair!

#1441: The Atom

THE ATOM – DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Oh dear.  It’s a Mattel review.  DC Comics Multiverse even.  This don’t look good….

In effort to at least try to get off to a good start, I’m going to talk about some more pleasant things.  Just over a week ago, I was mentioning that DC’s actually got a pretty good slate of live action TV shows running right now.  Flash and Supergirl are solid straight super hero shows, but over in the eclectic odd-ball corner, there’s Legends of Tomorrow, which is pretty consistently fun.  Part of its success lies in spinning off some of the breakout characters from The Flash and Arrow, including today’s focus, Ray Palmer, aka the Atom.  I’ve been a fan of the character for quite some time, and Brandon Routh’s portrayal of him in Arrow and Legends is always enjoyable.  I’ve been patiently waiting for him to get a figure from *someone* and it looks like Mattel was first up to the bat.  I really like this character and his design, so I’m going to try very hard to like this figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Atom (or should I say “FGC12,” since that’s how he’s listed on  the back of the box.  Yes, it looks like Mattel forgot to swap out the actual character names for the assortment numbers when the box went to print.  I can’t wait for kids to try and beg their parents to buy them DWM60 figure to go with their Robin) was released in the “Rookie” series of DC Comics Multiverse figures, which started hitting towards the end of the summer.  Atom is based on his slightly upgraded design from the second season of Legends, which I think is a slightly stronger look than the earlier design.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  As with the last few Multiverse figures I’ve looked at, the articulation count is largely theoretical.  This figure hasn’t met a joint it couldn’t limit.  The neck is a balljoint that operates as a simple swivel.  The shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees all get less than 45 degrees of movement, so sitting poses and any real flying pose are out of the question.  There are ankle joints present, but they don’t seem to actually do anything, so I’m not sure what they’re supposed to be accomplishing.  They’ve foregone the ab-crunch completely this time, which I suppose is better than the essentially useless one found on the Suicide Squad figures.  At least this way the sculpt isn’t needlessly broken up.  Well, in that one place, anyway.  Despite it’s lack of actual effectiveness, most all of the articulation is out there, naked, on display.  Noticeable gaps in the sculpt somehow still leave the joints insanely restricted.  How do you do that? You be Mattel, that’s how.  The figure’s sculpt is all new, and it’s not atrocious.  The details are certainly sharper than on a lot of the TV/Movie figures that Mattel’s offered in the line.  The suit pieces certainly don’t look terrible.  That said, the underlying body is definitely off, though.  The neck’s really skinny and leaves the head sitting too high, the forearms almost look backwards, and the legs are very tube-shaped and inorganic.  He’s also got that hideous hip construction that Mattel seems dead-set on saddling every one of their live-action figures with.  The best I can say about this sculpt is that the whole is the slightest bit better than the sum of its parts; the complete figure looks okay.  The paintwork on this figure is a bit better than some of Mattel’s other offerings.  There aren’t any glaringly missing applications, and the work seems to be overall pretty clean.  If you want to get nitpicky, the visor shouldn’t be solid black like it is, but it’s not terribly far off from the Season 2 design.  Atom is packed with a smaller version of himself, which is a pretty standard extra for Atom figures.  It’s decent enough, but it’s rather hard to keep standing.  There’s also an unmasked Ray Palmer head, which is cool in theory, but not so much in practice.  It doesn’t really look like Routh at all, it’s too large for the body, and it’s really, really shiny.  Of course, seeing as it’s a Mattel accessory, I suppose we should just be glad he doesn’t have “CHINA” stamped right across his forehead.  Lastly, Atom has both the head and pelvis of the Rookie Collect-N-Connect.  Apparently Rookie is the name they assigned to Commissioner Gordon’s big Batman suit.  Was that really a name associated with that suit? Because I don’t believe I ever heard it referred to as such.  Bleh, I’m getting side-tracked again.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, I’ve been burned by Multiverse before.  I don’t really like this line.  Why did I buy another one?  Honestly, I just really wanted a TV Atom figure.  I found this guy at Walmart while I was moving in August, and he just sort of called to me.  I wanted to like him, I really did, but as soon as I took him out of his packaging, I found myself immediately let-down.  Mattel’s articulation has been weak before, but I think this figure may be a new low on that front.  The best you’ll be able to get from him is a semi-decent standing pose.  That’s it.  And, unfortunately, unlike the DCC TV Supergirl, who was also articulation-challenged, Atom’s sculpt isn’t high enough caliber for me to feel his lack of movement is justified.  Instead, he’s just another below average figure.  And that kind of sucks.  I was really rooting for this figure.  I don’t entirely hate him.  He looks okay in that standing pose.  But he’s hardly fun.  For what may be the first time ever, I wish I’d left a toy in its packaging.  At least that way I wouldn’t know just how disappointing he is, right?  DCC’s releasing their own take on Atom in a month or so.  I guess I’ll see how that one turns out.

#1429: Supergirl

SUPERGIRL

SUPERGIRL (DC COLLECTIBLES)

In spite of a largely dreary, depressing, and rather boring slate of movies, DC’s actually got a pretty solid little universe of live action TV-properties running.  The Flash is my definite favorite of the bunch, but I definitely appreciate Supergirl for essentially running counter to all of the things the hated about what Man of Steel did to the Super Family.  Supergirl’s initial start on CBS meant that it was in an odd spot as far as merchandising went.  It would seem that the show’s move to the CW smoothed out some of the issues, as we’ve since seen a handful of figures and the like.  Mattel was the first company to put out a figure of Kara, but that one was…well, it was a modern Mattel figure, i.e. not super great.  Fortunately, DC Collectibles followed it up with their own version of her, which looks to be the superior offering.  Let’s find out if that’s truly the case!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Supergirl is part of DC Collectibles’ over-arching TV-based line, specifically under the Supergirl heading.  She was released alongside Martian Manhunter, towards the beginning of the summer.  The figure is about 7 inches tall and she has 23 points of articulation.  Ready for the same complaint I almost always have about DCC figures?  Yep, Supergirl has no lateral movement on her legs.  Hinged hips and double-jointed knees, but still no way to get her to stand anyway other than pigeon-toed.  It’s still a little annoying that this problem keeps cropping up.  I’m also a little bummed by the lack of waist articulation, but that’s more minor.  She’s not going to be getting into any super limber poses, but there are more than a few manageable poses with what’s there.  She isn’t unnatural looking, and that’s a good thing.  Issues with the articulation aside, Supergirl’s sculpt is most impressive.  The likeness of actress Melissa Benoist is spot-on; she’s even got the nice, friendly smile she’s frequently sporting on the show.  Even the hair does a quite respectable job of capturing Benoist’s style, and it’s a soft enough plastic that posabilty isn’t too hindered.  The body isn’t quite the same level of quality as the head, but it’s certainly solid work.  The proportions are all pretty balanced, and all-around quite realistic looking.  The clothing even has all the proper texturing and everything, which makes it look quite nice.  In terms of paint, Supergirl is generally pretty good.  Once again, the head gets the best, cleanest, and most lifelike work.  The rest is okay, but there are a few slight bits of slop, and I’m also not sure how I feel about the bright white paint used on her fingernails.  Still, very nice work in general.  Supergirl is packed with three sets of hands in fists, gripping, and open poses.  They all swap in and out pretty easily, and make for a nice variety of posing options.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I mentioned a while ago in my review of the Dark Knight Returns Armored Batman that I had found the Mattel Supergirl at retail, and was deeply disappointed by her.  I knew DCC was releasing this one, so I was definitely keeping my eye out.  When this figure actually hit, I wasn’t in a good place financially to be picking up figures on a whim, so I held off on her.  Fortunately, my LCS Cosmic Comix held her in stock long enough that I was able to go back and grab her several weeks back.  She’s still a slightly compromised figure, there’s no denying that.  I wish the articulation were better, but the figure’s look is so nice that I’m willing to let it slide.

#0768: Captain Cold

CAPTAIN COLD

THE FLASH (DC COLLECTIBLES)

CapCold1

Well, CW’s The Flash successfully made its way all the way through its first season and is now halfway through its second. It’s not a perfect show (few shows are), but it’s been a lot of fun, just all throughout. The series’ cast of regular characters have a lot to do with that, but they don’t do it all on their own; they get by with a little help from their… guest stars, who, more often than not, are playing members of the Flash’s oh so awesome rogues gallery. One of the most prominent, most recurring of those rogues is Captain Cold, who’s proved to be quite the popular character. He’s even getting an expanded role on the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow spin-off. So, what better to celebrate that than an awesome action figure?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CapCold2Captain Cold was released earlier this year as figure 02 in DC Collectibles’ The Flash line. He follows the Flash, and precedes his frequent partner in crime, Heatwave. The figures stands about 6 ¾ inches tall (he’s just a little taller than Flash) and has 30 points of articulation. The range of motion on the joints is a little restricted, but I found Cold to be easier to pose than Flash, so that’s good. Captain Cold is based on his most frequent appearance from the show, which is his fur-lined blue parka look. It’s a pretty nice callback to his comics design, while still being reasonably practical in a real world setting. This figure’s sculpt is all-new, and it’s pretty reasonably handled, though it isn’t without its drawbacks. The articulation is mostly worked in well, but the ankle joints are a little rough, and his feet almost look like they belong on another figure. Also, there’s no way that this guy can get his arms close enough to his chest for a two-handed hold on his gun, so you’ll just have to pick one side or another. The hood is probably my least favorite aspect of the figure. It’s permanently up, for one thing. You can sort of pull it back behind his head, but it’ll want to go back into place. I feel the figure might have been helped by a separate hood piece that could be swapped for one that was folded down. Plus, the fur lining looks more like a poor CGI rendering of a fur lining than the real thing. The rest of the sculpt is actually pretty good. The texturing on the clothing is very nicely handled, and there’s a fully detailed shirt under the coat. The head gives us a pretty spot-on likeness of Cold’s actor, Wentworth Miller. He doesn’t quite have Miller’s intense stare, but I think that’s more a result of the goggles. Cold’s paintwork isn’t the most exciting paint ever, but it’s quite nicely done. Everything’s pretty clean, and there’s lots of nice accent work for the sculpt’s finer details. Captain Cold is packed with his trusty cold gun, as well as two pairs of hands (gripping and fists).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I actually wasn’t sure I was going to get Captain Cold when he was announced, and even less sure after not being wowed by The Flash figure DCC put out, but I really found myself liking the character on the show a whole lot. So, when he showed up at my local comic book store, I happily picked him up. I’m glad I stuck with the line. Cold still isn’t a perfect figure, but he’s a definite step up from Flash, and shows that the line is definitely going in the right direction. I can’t wait to see who else we get!

CapCold3

#0561: The Flash

THE FLASH

THE FLASH (DC COLLECTIBLES)

FlashTV1

Live action and DC Comics have something of an iffy history. While they pretty much invented the modern Super Hero movie with Richard Donner’s Superman, most of their film work has been acceptable at best and horrifyingly bad at worst. On the small screen, they faired a little better, with popular runs of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, but they kinda started to run out of steam. Smallville lasted for an insane 10 seasons, but I wouldn’t really call any of them particularly noteworthy. When they launched Arrow, I watched for about a half a season, but gradually lost interest. I figured that DC TV just wasn’t for me anymore. Enter The Flash. It’s fun, light-hearted, and it doesn’t seem to be shying away from the bolder aspects of the characters. And now it’s getting action figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

FlashTV2Flash here was just released last month as part of DC Collectibles’ The Flash line, based on the show. It’s sort of a spin-off of the Arrow line, and Flash is a single release figure (though he’ll soon be joined by Captain Cold). Flash is marked as figure 01, so clearly DCC is planning on there being at least a few of these. The figure stands about 6 ½ inches tall and features 30 points of articulation. In case you hadn’t already pieced it together, Flash is based on the character’s appearance on the TV series of the same name. The show design is, of course, based on the comics design, with a fair bit more texturing and the like added. The figure features an all-new sculpt. After dipping my toes into the DCC waters with several of their animated figures, the Flash is a little bit of a letdown. The sculpt certainly isn’t bad. There is plenty of texturing on the suit, and most of its finer details are nice and sharp. The problems with the sculpt are mostly related to its resemblance of actor Grant Gustin. Gustin is a pretty skinny guy, but he’s definitely not as lanky as this figure would have you believe. In addition, while the head features a passable likeness, the details are a little on the soft side. The figure’s paintwork is generally pretty decent. The colors seem to be a close match to those on the show, and most of the details stay within their designated areas. The only real weak point is the head, where the paint ends up being a little softer at the edges, although that’s at least in part due to the sculpt. The Flash is packed with three sets of hands, in fist, grip, and open poses. They’re perfectly fine additions, but the figure would have majorly benefited from the inclusion of some sort of stand to facilitate some deeper running stances.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Flash was something of an impulse buy (which is fitting, I suppose). I don’t do that very often anymore, but my comicbook store had him sitting on the shelf, and I have been enjoying the show. The figure isn’t the most impressive figure ever made, and he hasn’t really swayed me on buying anymore of DCC’s TV-based figures. That said, he’s really not a bad figure, and I don’t regret the purchase. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the rest of the line, and I’ll probably end up picking up a few others, depending on the character selection.