Saturday, June 21, 2008

DC Universe Classics - Series 2

Welcome to my action figure review blog - ActionToyReview.

Today's review: DC Universe Classics - Series 2 (Mattel)

This set comes with 5 action figures which are on average about 6 to 6.5 inches tall. Each figure also comes with a piece of a 6th figure and if you purchase the full set, you can put together the additional action figure. This is referred to "Build a Figure" (BAF) or as Mattel specifically refers to them as,"Collect & Connect" (CAC).

The characters from the DC Universe Classics - series 2 are Aquaman, Black Manta, Harley Quinn, Firestorm and a variation of Superman from the Superman Red/Superman Blue comic series. The CAC figure is of Gorilla Grodd.

Certain figures have more than one versions or variants. In this series, Aquaman and Firestorm can both be purchased in either a classic or modern uniform. Superman also comes in either the red & white or blue & white costume.

The first figure is Aquaman. I chose the classic variant as it was more appealing to me. This figure has a fantastic sculpt, highlighted by the great head, face and upper body. The face and hair are very well detailed. The shirt has a scaly look and feel to it.

Overall the figure is painted very nicely with no runs or smudges. Aquaman comes with the right arm piece of the "CAC" Gorilla Grodd figure and a Trident, which is also well designed and fits nicely into either or both of his hands.

The articulation is a good as it gets. Neck, shoulders, biceps elbows wrists, abdominal, waist, hips, thighs, knees and ankles. All joints out of the box were not too loose or tight.

Overall, great figure. Probably the best of the set.
Sculpt/Design- 9
Paint - 9
Accessories - 8
Articulation - 9
Fun - 9
Aquaman Overall Score - 9

Aquaman needs an enemy to fight and who better than his arch enemy Black Manta. Another great figure put out by Mattel and the Four Horsemen, however, this one is not quite as nice as Aquaman.

The body is somewhat generic, nothing but a plain black outfit. But that is what the character looks like. He has an oxygen tank on his back which is silver and purple and his helmet is a silver with a dark paint wash to give it a bit of a weathered look. The body is painted in a matte black.

In addition to the left leg of the Gorilla Grodd "CAC", B.M. also comes with a trident. Its not quite as flashy as Aquaman's, but he also comes with a ray gun of some sort. Both are silver and have a decent amount of detail, but nothing fancy.

Articulation is as good as Aquaman's, even his helmet has a decent range of motion. All joints were in good condition out of the package.

Sculpt/Design - 8
Paint - 8
Accessories - 9
Articulation - 9
Fun - 9

Black Manta Overall Score - 8.5

Firestorm is not one of my favorite characters, but this figure does not disappoint for those who are fans. This is the classic variant Firestorm. The head is topped with a clear yellow/orange/red transparent plastic to give the illusion of flames. The body sculpt and face are nicely done.
Overall, great villain character and a must have for DC toy collectors.

Firestorm comes with two attachable "molecular structures" which pop on around his wrists (nothing too exciting) plus the right leg of Gorilla Grodd.

Firestorms articulation is a good as the others. A great job by Mattel in giving us the right amount of articulation without taking away from the design of the figure.

Overall, trying not to be bias, its a good figure. There are a few minor paint issues but nothing that drastically effect my rating. He is still a fun looking toy good for play or display.

Sculpt/Design - 8
Paint - 8
Accessories - 6
Articulation - 9
Fun - 8

Firestorm Overall Score - 8

Harley Quinn is a newer member of the Batman Rogue Gallery. Originally created for the Batman: Animated Series cartoon in the 90's, she eventually got her own comic book due to her high popularity.

This figure is her classic jester outfit. The actual body design is basically the same as the Catwoman figure from the now discontinued Mattel DC Super Heroes toy line. The arms are very skinny and there is not much muscle tone in the entire body. The paint job is nice with the exception of the face. Mattel has chosen to use a blue wash over her face instead of going all white. Not sure why they've gone this route but i think it takes away from her look. The rest of the paint job was well done.

In addition to Gorilla Grodd's torso piece, Harley also comes with a giant mallet and a pop gun however, neither weapon fits very well in her small girl hands. It is very hard to get them to stay in.

One area this figure does not disappoint is her articulation as she has as many point as the others. She is probably hardest figure to pose of the set probably due to her thinner legs and clunky accessories.

Overall, Harley was a bit disappointing. It appears she is made of recycled parts which I'm not too fussy about but the blue face and the fact that she can barely hold her weapons are the main downers. That being said, she fits in nicely with the other Batman villains from Mattel's DC Super Heroes toy line as well as the Universe Classics.

Sculpt/Design - 5
Paint - 5
Accessories - 9
Articulation - 9
Fun - 6
Harley Quinn overall score - 6

Superman Blue and Superman Red were probably the figures i was least looking forward too. When i ordered my set it actually came with both the blue and red variants. The Red is still sitting in its box in my basement as I type this (edit: taken out a year later).

The figure itself is a fairly standard sculpt. A muscular superman. His body size is roughly the same size as the other figures in this set. The face very much resembles Superman Blue from the comics as expected and hair wavy standing straight up.

The paint job isn't bad. The entire uniform is painted on except for where it opens up around the head. There are some blue marks where there shouldn't be. There are basically 2 shades of blue. One shade on the uniform and hair, a lighter shade on his face.

In addition to the Grodd CAC piece, Blue Supes comes with detachable electricity bolts. 2 that pop nicely into his back and 2 that loosely fit around his forearms.

Articulation is pretty much the same as all the other male characters from this set and all joints were in fine working order when opened.

Overall, i would've preferred to see a different character but it is a decent figure. The figure matches up to the character fairly well, its just not the first Superman toy you'd go for if you a choice of just one. If you're not interested in the CAC Gorilla Grodd piece and you've already got the DC Super Heroes Superman figure, then you could probably pass on this one. Unless of course, you're a die hard Superman fan.

Sculpt/Design - 7.5
Paint - 7.5
Accessories - 5
Articulation - 9
Fun - 7
Superman Blue Overall Score - 7

Finally we come to the Collect and Connect figure, Gorilla Grodd. Grodd towers over the other figures standing at almost 8.5 inches tall. He is very well designed with plenty of detail throughout his body.

The paint job appears to be well done. Its hard to point out any blotches because of the dark grays the figure is painted in. The face and eyes are paint cleanly and the entire figure is nicely shaded and highlighted.

There are no accessories for this figure since Grodd himself is the actual accessory. His helmet is not removable.
The figure falls short on articulation, especially compared to the others from this set. He has joints in his neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows wrists, hips and ankles. Noticeably missing are abdominal, waist and knee joints. However, all joints move nicely and the figure is still fairly easy to pose.

Overall, Grodd is an added bonus to a great set and would be a good toy for either kids or for display. All we need now is a figure of The Flash to go with him, however, we'll have to wait until the 7th set DC Universe Classics set for that.
 Sculpt - 9
Paint - 8
Accessories - n/a
Articulation - 7
Fun - 8

Gorilla Grodd Overall Score - 8

All these figures are relatively hard to find in the stores these days however, they can be purchased at various online merchants, and eBay. Store prices are in the $10-$12 range but you're looking at about 12-20 bucks per figure to purchase online + shipping. The full set will run you about $70 -$80 (plus shipping) if ordering online. If you're looking for the classic variant of Aquaman, it will be hard to find and more expensive. I've seen eBay auctions as high as the $50 range for him.

That's it for Series 2. Stay tuned for my review on Series 3 which I'm planning to receive the 2nd week of September 2008. Series 3 will feature Green Lantern, Sinestro, Nightwing, Robin, Deathstroke and the CAC Solomon Grundy.
Thanks for reading my Action Toy Review Blog.

The outfit is basically yellow and red. There are a couple different shades of red, for instance, the symbol on his chest is the brightest shade of red and his knees seem to be a darker tone. Some may complain but I'm not too picky about this figure. There are some minor red paint smudges on yellow areas but nothing to cry about and is sometimes expected with these "mass market" toys.

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