Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DC Superheroes - Darkseid

Since I've gone through a good chunk of the Batman related action figures from the DC Superheroes toy line, I figured that I should start on some more of the Superman portion of the series. So today, well go over Mattel's DC Superheroes Darkseid from series 6 which is a repaint variant or the series 4 Darkseid figure and was released back in 2006.




This sculpt of Darkseid was originally released in DC Superheroes Series 4. The only difference is that Darkseid's uniform in series 4 was a light blue and his belt was silver, a very classic look. But for me, I preferred the darker look of the series 6 toy.





Its a great looking figure. His face and body looks great with a rock like texture for his skin. His uniform is basically a one piece suit starting from his head all the way down to his skirt.


He's bigger than most of the other DC Superheroes line up standing about 7 1/4 inches tall. He ranks up there as one of the taller figures in the DCSH & DCUC toy lines. As you see below, I've placed him next to some of the other larger figures, Gorilla Grodd & Clayface. His body is also very thick all around dwarfing DCSH Superman. Kind of reminds me of a powerlifter.



The paint job is nothing fancy but done well. He is for the most part 4 colours. His, red eyes, the metallic blue on his belt, the dark gray/blue outfit and his rock colored body. There isn't any shading or highlighting so to speak which is a shame as I think that would bring out the great detail in rocky skin. But, the paint job is very clean, the with no slop or runs.

Darkseid comes with one small handheld computer which i suspect is a motherboard. It has some nice detail for such a small trinket. It doesn't fit very securely in his hand though. Your best bet is to keep the clear mini elastic band that comes with it and leave it attached to his hand so you don't loose it. The DCSH series 4 version of Darkseid comes with a reprint Superman comic book. This series 6 version comes with a cardboard diorama.

Darkseid's articulation is pretty good but he does not have as many points as most other DC Superheroes figures. Starting from the top, you've got neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, forearms, waist, hips, knees and ankles. If you bother to look up Darkseid's skirt (that sounds so wrong), it appears Mattel has used ball joints for his hip joints instead of their usual four way joints (not sure what else to call them) that you see with most of their other DC action figures. Ball hip joints have more flexability but are a uglier in my opinion. That being said, Darkseid's hip joints are covered by his skirt and unfortunately the skirt also minimizes the hip joint movement. You can barely get any lateral movement at all. Its a bit of a design flaw but hard to get around without hurting the sculpt of the figure.

Overall, its a great looking figure with minor flaws. A Superman collector needs a good Darkseid and this figure does not disappoint. The figure's size makes him fit in with either DC Direct or Mattel toys quite nicely. Weather you prefer the costume from series 4 or series 6, DC Superheroes Darkseid is a worthy purchase.

Sculpt/Design - 8.5, Paint - 8, Accessories - 6, Articulation - 8, Fun - 8
Darkseid Overall - 8/10
Since he was originally released in 2006, Darkseid is obviously a discontinued toy at this point in 2008. A quick search on eBay revealed a wide variety of price ranges from $15 to $65 dollars (plus shipping) for either the DCSH series 4 or series 6 versions. There are the odd online stores as well that will carry him. Its just a matter of doing your homework if you are a collector and want this figure.
To find DC Superheroes Darkseid by Mattel on eBay click here
Thanks for checking out my action figure review blog which is currently featuring Mattel's DC Superheroes and DC Universe Classics toys. Check back for more news, reviews and info. The latest release from the DC Universe Classics line, series 4 will be review shortly.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

DC Universe Classics - Batman

Continuing with my DC comics action figure theme, today I'm going to focus on the DC Universe Classics Batman series 1 (aka Classic Detective Batman) and comparing some differences between it and previous Mattel Batman figures

For years, Mattel has been producing a variety of Batman action figures. Recently they've been licensed to make action figures of all sorts of characters from the DC Comic world. So with the first series of DCUC that was released in early 2008, who do we get, another Batman of course. Why? Probably because he sells.






So whats the difference between this Batman and the previous two Batman figures that were released in the DCSH toy line. Well quite a bit actually. It's not just a re-paint of previous sculpts. For starters, the outfit is different. Mattel has gone with the classic batman look, similar to that of the old 70's Superfriends TV show. Its a little more campy and not quite as dark or rough looking as the DCSH Batman toys.
The cowl is blue with black over the face. The bat symbol on his chest is also different. On the DCSH figures, the outline of the bat symbol is carved into the sculpt and painted black. On the DCUC Batman, it is just painted on his chest. There are also a number little sculpt differences. It looks to use mostly different pieces. The DCUC Batman has a modified chest piece with more rounded pecs. The legs are also different. In the DCSH toys, Batman's right leg seems to be positioned differently making it look like he is slightly leaning on his left leg. In the DCUC version, both legs are straight and he has a straighter stance. The belt and cape are also different. The belt has been shrunk down and no longer has pockets. The cape is a little different around the shoulders and not quite as long as the previous figures. The cape is still a little heavy and can weigh back the figure at times. One big plus over the older toys, his hands are open and can now hold accessories.

The quality of the paint job is good, but not great. The main different between this figure and the DCSH series 3 batman is, there is no highlighting or shading on the cape, cowl, gloves or boots on the DCUC Batman. This figure is painted with a brighter blue and its a nice change. There are spots where they go over the lines so to speak. The black around his cowl is not perfectly oval and there are various places where the blue seems to run a bit over the grey or flesh colors specifically around the edges of the boots, gloves and mask. I may be nit picking a bit but that's the purpose of the review. The belt is basically one shade of yellow with a dark red outlining the belt buckle that looks like it could use another coat. The bat symbol on his chest is perfectly painted.
Aside from the "Collect and Connect" arm piece of Rex Mason that comes with Batman, he also comes with two hand held accessories. A bat grapple gun and one bat-a-rang. The gun is well detailed with a removable hook which is attached to a 4 inch string. The gun seems a little bulky if you think about it. Its suppose to fit on Batman's belt which is quite small. The bat-a-rang is nothing special. Just a black piece of plastic with a different shape from previous bat-a-rangs that came with the older Batman figures. Both accessories fit very nicely into Batman's hand
Articulation is as good as it's going to get with these Mattel figures. DCUC Batman has mostly the same articulation as the previous DCSH Batman figures. Neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, abdominal, waist, hips, thighs, knees and ankles. Very standard for these toys. Classic Detective Batman fits in nicely with other DC Universe Classic toys as you can see below. He also looks great with DC Superheroes figures as well.

Overall, Classic Detective Batman does not disappoint. At first, I was not thrilled about Mattel releasing another Batman figure so soon after the DCSH black and grey Batman variant which i love. But when I finally got around to buying him, he grew on me. The weakest part is the paint job. Its just a bit messy around the lines in some areas. Accessories are good and articulation is what we've come to expect with this series.
Sculpt/Design - 8.5, Paint - 7, Accessories - 8.5, Articulation - 9, Fun -9.5

Classic Detective Batman Overall Score - 8.5/10

This Batman figure is of course from series 1 of the DC Universe Classics toy line. Also included in series 1 are The Penguin, Red Tornado, The Demon Etrigan, Orion and of course the Connect & Connect figure Rex Mason (Metamorpho).
DCUC Batman is still fairly common and not overly expensive compared to some others. He can be found at many online story and eBay for 10-15 bucks. Just watch out for shipping costs.
To find Classic Detective Batman on eBay, click here and on Amazon.com, click here
Thanks for checking out my action figure review blog currently featuring Mattel's DC Universe Classics and DC Superheroes toys.
Be sure to check back for more reviews, news and info. DCUC series 4 will be reviewed shortly and I'll also start gearing towards some of the Superman characters from the DCSH line.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

DC Superheroes - Catwoman

Today's I'll be going over the Catwoman action figure from Mattel's DC Superheroes action figures, series 8.




So far Mattel has not given us a large variety of female characters to choose from. The current DCUC series only has two females (Harley Quinn & Wonder Woman). The previous DCSH line had 3. Batgirl (2 variants), Supergirl (3 variants) and Catwoman. Now that Mattel has access to the full DC Universe list of characters (not just Batman & Superman), expect to see more females figures in the future.

At first look, this is a good looking figure but it does have its flaws. Catwoman's outfit design looks very similar to the look she had in the Batman Hush comic. Also you could say its similar to the Catwoman from "The Batman" cartoon. She is in a full black outfit with big goggles (which cannot be removed) over her eyes, a zipper that runs right down the middle of the torso and buckles on her belt and boots. There is some nice detail in the leather belt and wrinkles in the costume around the neck, waist and back of the head. The sculpt is similar to the other female DCSH female action figures with the exception of the head of course. The arms are very thin but they do fit in compared to the size of the figure. The hands are different too. They are open and look like sharp little claws made of a softer plastic so you don't scratch your eyes out. Catwoman stands at about 5' 3/4 inches tall.

The paint job is ho-hum at best. Its mostly a dull black with the exception of the zipper and buckles which are silver and the gloves and boots which are a very glossy black. The paint on the face is most disappointing. The skin tone is terribly done. Its done in a dark flesh skin tone over most of the face except around the mouth. There is a circle of lighter flesh color around the mouth and it just looks cheap and lazy. The lipstick and eyes are painted on fairly clean. The eyes are hard to see through the goggles though. It would have been nice if they were removable.

Mattel has given us a few extras to go along with this action figure. First is a removable purple & black back pack (above). Also included is her traditional whip, a black necklace and a cat statue. Unfortunately, the whip only loosely fits into her hands. It falls out very easily if not positioned properly.


One area where this figure does not fall short is articulation. We have joints in the neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, forearms, abdominal, waist, hips, thighs, knees and ankles. Very standard compared to the other toys from these series.
Overall, Catwoman is not my favorite DC Superheroes toy. Not by a long shot. From far away, she looks great, but close up, not so much. Maybe i need to wear beer goggles. The paint job on the face was the real letdown and her goggles should be removable. The accessories are plentiful but it ticks me off when they don't fit properly in their hands. Articulation is the best you can get on any 6 inch Catwoman figure.

Sculpt/Design - 6, Paint - 5, Accessories - 10, Articulation - 9, Fun - 7

CATWOMAN OVERALL - 6.5

If you're a Batman fan looking to fill out your villain gallery, then sure, she fits in nicely. There are other DC Direct figures you can try like Hush Catwoman or the Long Halloween but they have their faults as well. Due to distribution issues with Mattel, this figure did not have a big release so there are a limited supply available. Problem is, you're looking at about $25-50 US for her right now. Ouch!! Since the toy was released in 2007, it is now discontinued and eBay is your best bet to get her.

To find Mattel's DC Superheroes Catwoman on eBay, click here
Thanks for checking out my Action Toy Review blog currently featuring DC Comics Action figures from Mattel. Check back for more reviews, news and information.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

DC Superheroes - Mr. Freeze

Ice day for a review....uhhhh!!! Now that I got that lame Mr. Freeze joke out of the way, on to my review of this very sweet (avoiding the term "cool") Mr. Freeze action figure which was a 2007 NY Comic Con Exclusive meaning it wasn't and never will be available at your local Walmart or Target.  This is a rare action figure and can be found only be found on eBay and you're looking at a minimum of $35 to $75.  But this action figure is well worth the price to a collector and/or Batman fanatic.







First off, this was not a new sculpt when it was released. There have been a number of repaints for this figure that i can recall which adds to the complaints of Mattel re-using or recycling the same figures and parts. It was originally released in the 2003 Mattel Batman figure toy line. One variant with goggles, and one without. It was released again with a new paint job in 2006 in the DC Superheroes toy line in series 3 and then finally this exclusive figure came out a year later in 2007.



So, aside from the re-using the same sculpt issue, this is still a great looking toy. Mr. Freeze's stands 6 inches tall with bulky wide shoulders and big boots. The Tech Suit has plenty of detail including small patches of ice leaking out in various spots. The head is under glass which is NOT removable. The face looks great supporting a cold evil expression.


For the most part, the paint job is decent. The metallic blue color over the boots, gloves. belt, neck and shoulders looks awesome and was a great choice. The rest of the suit is mostly black with red buttons or gauges positioned in various places. There are some spots where the paint goes over the lines, like around the belt and the blue part of the shoulder piece but overall there is nothing really bad. The face is painted nicely and very clean with some highlights in a lighter tone over the forehead, chin and nose. Unfortunately, this is probably the only area on the figure where there is any highlighting which is a shame. The worst part of the paint job in my opinion is the frost they've attempted to put around the glass helmet. It just looks like splattered paint and is really quite sloppy. I could have done without it.


Mr. Freeze comes with one huge freeze gun that is permanently attached by a plastic hose to a very bulky back pack. The back pack just pops right into Freeze's back and fits in securely. The gun is meant to be held by two hands. His right hand at the trigger and his left hand on the handle towards the front of the gun. The gun can be held by just his right hand but it is quite heavy and just weighs his arm down. Despite the clunkiness, the gun and the back pack have plenty of detail although, like the figure, could use some shading and highlighting. He could also perhaps use a smaller gun, one that is just the size of a hand gun and doesnt attach to anything as seen in Batman the Animated series.

As for articulation, Mattel has done a good job. Mr. Freeze has joints at the shoulders, biceps, elbows, forearms, mid-torso, hips, thighs, knees, calves and ankles. As for the neck, as I mentioned the glass helmet is not removable. But it turns when you turn the lower end of Freeze's body so the head is always facing the direction that the feet are facing. The shoulder joints are constricted a bit by the bulky tech suit design. Out of the package, the joints were a bit loose for my liking. Mostly in the knees which ticked me off a little. Usually i find i don't have this issue from this line of action figures. Regardless it's not bad enough where he can't stand but I would have liked the knees to be tighter.
Out of all the different re-paint versions of Mr. Freeze Mattel has given us, this is probably the best looking of the bunch. Hopefully if Mattel decides to do another Mr. Freeze figure, they will choose a new sculpt. I think 4 re-painted versions is enough. Despite its flaws, (the re-used sculpt, paint flaws and the clunky accessories) Mr. Freeze is still bad ass! A great fit with the other DCSH and DCUC toys from Mattel. He would not be bad with DC Direct toys either but keep in mind DCD figures are generally a bit taller than Mattel figures.

Sculpt/Design - 8.5, Paint - 7, Accessories - 8, Articulation - 8, Fun - 8
Mr. Freeze Overall - 8/10
Since this is a NY Comic Con exclusive toy, this figure is hard to find. If you do find it, it's expensive at this point. A quick search on eBay came up with 2 auctions for this figure in the $50 range. The other versions can be obtain at a cheaper costs
.
To find DC Superheroes Mr. Freeze by Mattel on eBay, click here.
Thanks for reading my action figure review blog currently featuring DC Superheroes, DC Universe Classics and DC Direct toys. Be sure to check back for more reviews, news and information about your favorite comic book action figures.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

DC Universe Classics - The Demon, Etrigan

Continuing with my DC Comics action figure theme, today's review is:

DC Universe Classics Series 1 - The Demon, Etrigan


So, I've already reviewed Mattel's DCUC series 2 and series 3 (check the blog archive) and from series 1, I've gone over The Penguin & Red Tornado. So I might as well finish getting through the rest of the first set before series 4 comes to my door. The Demon, Etrigan is not one which I'm overly familiar with. I believe my first exposure was actually the Batman animated television series in the 90's which featured Etrigan in one episode towards the end of its run. For more character info on The Demon, Etrigan, check out Jack Kirby's The Demon.


Etrigan is the tallest figure from DCUC series 1 set standing at 7 inches tall. As usual with these Mattel action figures, the head is the highlight. There is a lot of detail on the head from his ears to the wrinkles around his face and pores in his skin. The torso is big and thick but not overly heavy. The belt has a slightly worn leather look with a detailed buckle. The hands have pointy fingers but are made of a soft plastic so you or your children won't hurt themselves. The cape is made of a heavy plastic which is typical for DC Mattel action figures with capes. It sometimes can be an issue for posing as it can weigh the toy backwards. Its not a huge issue though.

Etrigan's paint job is clean...perhaps too clean. Well, what I'm referring to is the cape. Looking at the cape's design, its all torn and ripped apart. But its painted a bright blue and looks like Etrigan may have just picked it up from the cleaners. I would've like to have seen a dark wash over the cape to give it a rougher look. That's just my preference. Aside from that, there are no paint runs or slop and everything is paint relatively within the lines. The face is nicely done. There is minimal shading on the torso but overall the paint is well done, miles above Red Tornado's paint job.

Not much to talk about in the accessories department. Of course, Etrigan does come with the collect & connect piece of The Element Man, Rex Mason (Metamorpho). Other than that, Etrigan will have to rely on his pointy fingers when in battle.


Articulation is great as with most of the DC Universe Classic Action Figures. He comes with all the standard joints as you would expect from this toy line. Neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, abdominal, waist, hips, thighs, knees and ankles. I think there comes a point where you can have too many joints that takes away from the figures look but in the case of the DCUC toys, Mattel has got it just about right. All joints out of the package where fairly tight as they should be.

Overall, despite not knowing too much about the character himself before purchasing it, this action figure is quite good. He would fit in great with any toy line in the 6 inch range from DC Direct to Marvel Legends if you like to mix them up. Despite some small issues and lack of accessories, he fits in well with comic book toy collections or would be great for the kids as well.

Sculpt/Design - 9, Paint - 8.5, Accessories - 5, Articulation - 9, Fun - 8
Overall Score 8/10
This figure was released in early 2008. There might be the odd one still on shelves at your local Walmart but it is still widely available online. Generally, Etrigan will sell for about $10-15 bucks plus shipping. But sometimes there are deals. I was able to pick this bad boy up on eBay for $4.99 plus $5 shipping.

To find DC Universe Classics - The Demon, Etrigan on eBay, click here and good luck.
Thanks for checking out my action figure review blog currently featuring DC comic book characters. Be sure to check back for more DC Universe Classics, DC Superheroes & DC Direct action figure reviews.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

DC Superheroes - Scarecrow

Today's review: DC Superheroes - Scarecrow.


Scarecrow is from the series 1 set of Mattel's DCSH action figures released in 2006. This particular sculpt is actually a re-release of a figure from Mattel's previous Batman toy line which ran between approximately 2003-2005.

Scarecrow is thin, tall and lanky, standing at 7 inches tall to the tip of his hat. The figure is well crafted with plenty of detail from head to toe. His face has a great evil smirk and the costume looks like it was put together with rags and rope. Very classic Scarecrow and very well done.



The paint is mostly done in various browns, orange and has a dark wash over most of the figure that really gives the figure some depth. The face is cleanly painted (always a good thing). No complaints really.

Scarecrow comes with 2 accessories. A sling blade and a skull bomb. The skull is very small but has some a good amount of shading and detail as well. There are two canisters on the back of the skull which are probably meant to hold Scarecrow's fear toxins. The sling blade also has great detail. The grains of wood are seen on the staff and the blade is made to look very rough with chips and scratch marks all over it. The skull sits nicely in the palm of Scarecrow's left hand but will fall out if the hand is not positioned correctly. The sling blade also has a pitch fork on the opposite end and can be held by two hands or just one.


As you can expect with these Mattel figures, Scarecrow has a good number of joints. The neck can be moved forwards & backwards as well as side to side. The main problem with the neck joint is that it can not be moved very far back so for the most part, Scarecrow appears to be looking slightly downwards. He has joints in his shoulders, biceps, elbows, forearms, waist, abdominal, hips, thighs, knees, shins and ankles. All joints were reasonably tight out of the package. He can sometimes be hard to pose due his lankiness but overall it is not a big hassle.



Overall, Scarecrow rules! This is a great action figure to compliment a cool Batman villain. He fits in great with all DCSH, DC Universe Classics and even DC Direct collections. Even in 2008, this toy is still reasonably priced online (not in stores anymore) and there are deals to be found on eBay. He can easily be purchased in the $10 range which is quite cheap compared to other Mattel DC toys.


Sculpt/Design - 9, Paint - 9.5, Accessories - 9, Articulation - 9, Fun - 9.5

Overall - 9.5/10



To find DC Superheroes Scarecrow by Mattel on eBay, click here

Thanks for checking out my DC action figure review blog. DC Universe Classics series 4 will be arriving shortly. Be sure to check back for more.

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