Tag Archives: dc multiverse

Super-Articulate: DC Multiverse Killer Croc Assortment

THIS . . . is a big one. Quite simply one of the best assortments that Mattel has released since the advent of DC Multiverse, the Killer Croc wave is almost everything that you’d want out of a Batman grouping. Let’s dig in. But first: thank you to Mattel for providing us with these figures free for the purposes of review. First up . . .

Red Robin (Tim Drake): I’m glad Tim got out as Red Robin before the Drake name change. (No sir, I do not like it). DC Multiverse has done a great job getting to Rebirth characters, and I’ve been really pleased with the attention paid to the excellent Detective Comics run. I think that Red Robin looks pretty great. The RR logo is easy to read. The cape is pretty solid. Also, the staff is well done. This figure has a pretty great face sculpt, too; that’s a grim and determined expression right there. I’m kind of surprised that it took until this deep in the line to get to him, but hey, I’m happy he’s here.

Red Hood (Jason Todd): This is the figure that I struggle with the most in the assortment. I’m definitely glad that it exists, but I’m equally bummed that the pistols are sculpted into the gun belt and can’t be removed. That’s a swing and a miss. The rest of the figure itself is pretty good. I like the jacket existing as a separate piece over the torso. The Red Hood helmet sculpt is okay, but the masked Jason head is great. This particular figure has some of the best paint work in the assortment; I especially like the shininess of the helmet itself. Red Hood also comes with a few extra hands, including hands sculpted to hold guns (which is a little ironic).

Katana: I was pleasantly surprised when Katana was announced as part of this group, and I think Mattel did a fine job. The splashes of red and white on a costume that’s predominantly black make for a striking figure; I got a really good paint op on mine, as it has a sleek sheen. Katana does have an extra hand for holding her namesake weapon; that’s another well-done piece. Knowing her history in the Outsiders, I had to take a picture of her with the CW Black Lightning from two weeks back. Seeing them together makes me wish Mattel had gotten time to do Geo-Force and Halo, too. Nice work, good figure.

Batman (Dick Grayson): There’s a lot to like about this figure. First off, I loved the Morrison/Quitely/etc Batman and Robin title. Secondly, he’s sculpted differently than Bruce. You can tell that THIS Batman is different from the OTHER Batman, and that’s excellent. Another difference that’s pretty clever is the use of the cloth cape; it’s another signifier, given the predominance in plastic molded capes for Bruce. Going in that direction with the cape also echoes the way that Quitely drew him, particularly on the cover of issue #1 of that run. The figure comes with an unmasked head and a”hanging cowl” accessory that lets you mimic Dick’s appearance when he has the cowl pulled off. I like this one. It wouldn’t have been one that I would have thought of immediately, and that’s cool; it makes for a nice surprise and it’s a solid figure.

KGBeast: Holy crap; this guy’s HUGE. Originally appearing in the class “Ten Nights of the Beast” story and popping up on occasion across media (Justice League Unlimited; there by his real name in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice), KGBeast has always been a favorite weird villain of mine. I feel like they got the flavor of the guy, particularly with his crazy weapon attachment. That’s just ridiculously big, and also awesome. A pair of daggers go into booth sheaths, which is a great touch. It’s just a massive and intimidating figure, and I really dig it.

Alfred: This Alfred figure is just tremendous. The basic look is terrific. It looks just like Alfred from the comics. The choice of serving tray and glass accessories is hilarious and super-appropriate; way to be on-the-nose, Mattel. This is all well and good. But the thing that pushes Alfred into the stratosphere is the fact that he’s got not one, not two, not three, but four frickin’ heads. Love the ’60s TV show? There’s the Napier head. Love the Keaton movies? Allow us to show you the Gough head. You a comic person? Comic head! And the fourth . . . the Outsider! If you don’t know who the Outsider is (short form: bad Alfred), then trust us; it’s a little complicated to get in right now. But that choice is just awesome. I love this Alfred; obviously, there have been a few over time in various lines, but I think this is the best.

Collect + Connect Killer Croc: Did I say KGBeast was big? Good Lord. Killer Croc is enormous. But even better, he’s still extremely poseable. Frequently in figures of this type, you trade that poseability for the size. Not here. Aside from the hinged jaw, you have good mobility at the joints. And the detail! The size makes it a little easier to achieve this, but this figure is a veritable explosion of scales and ridges. The texture and general weight of this figure is off the charts. Outstanding work.

As you can tell, I think that Mattel pretty much pulled out the stops this time. There are some fine figures here and I appreciate the selection. I got out the DCUC Signature Damien to pose Al and the boys for a couple of shots to mark the occasion. What about you, readers? You like this set? Tell us about it in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Super-Articulate: DC Multiverse Batman Ninja Assortment Part 2

Welcome back! Last time, we took a deep dive into catching up on the DC Multiverse Batman Ninja assortment.  This Titans-heavy group was released a few months ago, but are readily available at online outlets and can be found in the wild at various stores. This time, we’re focusing on the last regular figure in the group, the Collect and Connect figure, and two figures from last year that you might still see swimming around. Before we begin, we’d like to thank Mattel for providing these figures free for the purposes of review.

Beast Boy: The last regular individual figure is fantastic. Beast Boy is based on the Rebirth redesign, but also has a few cool anime touches. The face and hair definitely echo what you’d expect from a Titans manga. This is a very good sculpt overall, but the real stars are the hands and feet. If you look closely, there’s a lot of fine detail on the fingers, toes, and the nails on both. That took time, and it’s the kind of detail that a casual observer might miss.

The figure is pretty striking, and I found it to be the most poseable of the group as well. That makes sense due to the nature of the character, but it’s evident when you work the joints and set a position. It’s well done. The only issue that I have with the figure is that it probably should have come with some small green animal for Garfield to transform into; however, I also understand that there’s a lack of room here, as Beast Boy comes with more than one piece of the Collect and Connect figure. Overall, though, this is one of the better, if not the best, figure this time around.

Batman Ninja: Based on Batman’s appearance in the 2018 animated film Batman Ninja, the Collect and Connect figure is dripping with detail. Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki did the design work for the film, and the figure really manages to capture the look in an exacting fashion.  It’s a beautiful looking piece once it’s all together.

A word about the construction: I found this to be a really interesting C+C in a couple of regards. The first one is that the head doesn’t connect directly to the shoulders. The cape goes on a post on the torso first, and then the head attaches to a post on the cape. That’s definitely different, but it’s innovative, and it gives the cape a full and solid look that might have been obstructed by other approaches. I also like that the figure lends itself really well to the katana-drawing pose. This is certainly a figure that you look at because there are little design elements here and there that you miss the first time.

Our two bonus guests . . .

From the Aquaman film and the Trench Warrior C+C assortment . . .

Aquaman: Aquaman is a decent movie figure. The head captures the likeness of Jason Momoa fairly well. The body sculpt is good, with the attention to individual scales being particularly praiseworthy. The trident accessory is appropriately long and a little thicker than I expected; that’s a good thing, as other tridents from other Aquaman figures from across lines come in various degrees of fragility. I think this one is better.

Black Manta: Every pun intended, but Black Manta blows Aquaman out of the water. This is an outstanding, absolutely crazy-looking figure. The head seems a little oversized, and yet, that makes it a little more awesome.  Interesting details abound here, as well as smart choices like that wrist blade. The paint quality is particularly good; those red eyes pop like crazy. There’s something about the design here that just feels so . . . modern. It’s really a top-notch version of a character that’s had more than few figures over the years.

Thanks for reading! Next time, we’re catching all the wall to the DC Multiverse Killer Croc C+C wave, which is in stores RIGHT NOW. See you then.

Super-Articulate: Catching Up on DC Multiverse (Batman Ninja Asst. Part 1)

Greetings again, friends! We have a veritable title wave of DC Multiverse to catch up on in our next couple of installments, as well as a look at the Imaginext Remote-Controlled Batmobile. We’re getting started today with five figures from the DC MultiverseBatman: Ninja Collect + Connect figure assortment. But first, we thank the fine folks at Mattel for providing us with these figures for free for the purposes of review. That said . . . Titans Together!

Nightwing: Four of the six regular figures in this group are Titans affiliated characters, and we’re starting off the ur-Titan, the original Boy Wonder himself, Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing. Nightwing has a pretty prestigious figure history at Mattel, having appeared in number of comic and animation-based lines. He lines up in verticals that include the mainstream DCU and animated product, as well as Imaginext. This particular version is a really nicely done piece; it’s look is taken from the recent Rebirth era in the comics.

One of the cool things about this particular figure is the hair. There was a singular look that Nightwing had in regard to his hair in the recent Titans series, via artist Brett Booth and others. Well, the sculpting and design team nailed it. On top of that, the general overall look of the figure is impressive. This is a rock-solid Nightwing. The figure comes with two sets of hands (fists and “holding”) and two escrima sticks. (I’ll talk about the individual Collect and Connect pieces in part two when I assemble Batman: Ninja).

Starfire: This is a really good representation of Kori. Focusing on the hair for a minute again, I really like the translucent effect that they used on the plastic; it allows light to pass through while also giving it a fiery and otherworldly vibe. It’s a nice resting effect for the character that gives the hair a unique look. The costume reflects that one that Kori’s been wearing in the Rebirth-era DCU, and that’s great. I have zero problem with her classic Perez look, which I love, but it’s been made a few times. This is a whole new take, and I dig it.

In terms of comic accuracy, Mattel went with the heeled boots here. Frankly, that doesn’t always work out, as figures with heels tend to fall easily. However, I had no problem standing or posing Starfire with the heels; even with the large hair, the figure is incredibly well-balanced. That’s a big win for displaying collectors. I also think that the face sculpt is fine work, with the individual tendrils of hair in front being a nice touch. This figure comes with two green energy signature/blast accessories. I found them to fit really nicely and up the display presentation of the figure.

Rebirth Wally West Flash: OG Wally West is one of my two favorite DC characters. I was a massive fan of Mark Waid’s run, and I was sad that he vanished from the DCU. I like the newer Wally, but I was also glad when our guy here made his return. For me, this was the figure that I anticipated the most from this assortment. I’m not disappointed.

Wally here has a number of cool touches. He’s got the silver accents. He’s got the two shades of red. He also has some cool hair. (Is 2019 the greatest year for action figure hair across all companies? It might be.) Including two sets of hands (fists and flat running/sprinting posed hands) makes complete sense. The silver lightning effects attach to the wrists to give the look that occurs when Wally is using his speed in the comics, which definitely shows that Mattel is paying attention to the books when they make the figures. Like Nightwing, Wally’s been represented a bunch of times in several formats, going back to Justice League, even. This is a fine version of the character that we’ve had back for a few years, and I was glad to see Mattel give it some love.

Green Lantern John Stewart: Not a Titan, but a stalwart of the DCU. With his somewhat recent return to the Justice League and his long history in animation and comics, John is definitely a DC A-lister. I’m glad to see him get a good treatment here. Of particular note are the eyes; the eyes might be the most “alive” set of eyes that I’ve seen on any of the DC Multiverse figures. That’s a really refined job there; it took some real craftsmanship to get that set and expression.

The figure overall is a pretty smooth sculpt. John doesn’t require a lot of extra details; just precision in the paint op and general quality, and this figure’s got both. In terms of extras, John comes with some alternate hands. The rest one is a ring-hang with a blooming energy signature. It’s a cool effect and looks good for display. It’s another strong showing from the team.

Black Lightning (CW TV version): Black Lightning (co-created by Tony Isabella and a Trevor Von Eeden) is back! This is a great representation of the TV version of Jefferson Pierce. First of all, that facial likeness, even around the goggles, is terrific. You can tell its him at a glance. It’s really well done.

The best thing about this figure would be all of the little fine details. The circuitry layout, etc. is captured really nicely and just pops under the right light. It makes the figure distinct from other figures. It’s a very cool effect. Also worthy of praise are the extra hands; we get three pairs here, including fists, holding, and electrified. I shot a picture of the lightning hand from the side to capture that “mid-action” look, and I think the piece turned out well. I’m historically less sure of TV or film-based figures, but this turned out to be a really good one.

So where’s Beast Boy? And the completed Batman:Ninja figure? You’re going to have to wait for the next installment for those! We’re going check out Garfield, assemble the Batman, and quite possibly check in with a couple of underwater inhabitants of the DCU. What do you think of these? Did you have luck finding them in your area? What’s your favorite? Talk to us here and on social. Thanks for reading!

Super-Articulate: Back to DC

After a few straight weeks of Marvel Legends, it’s time to pivot back to DC. Mattel’s DC Multiverse distribution has been spotty in my area; you can find the Aquaman movie figures, but good luck with just about anything else right now. However, I did acquire a Vixen.

DC Multiverse Vixen: This is another straight-up solid sculpting job from the folks at Mattel. What I’m most impressed by is the fact that they were able to capture the look of the hairstyle that Vixen wore in Justice League of America (which was a fun book, now dead). I know I wasn’t the only fan of that title, as a number of Multiverse figures were drawn from that particular Rebirth run (Lobo, The Ray, the forthcoming Black Canary, Vixen). As such, Vixen is sporting the costume from that run, as well. It’s just a figure with overall good presentation.

Vixen comes with one accessory; in this case, it’s a translucent purple eagle that’s mean to replicate the visual from the comics when Vixen accesses one of her animal powers. Going with the bird makes sense because it’s a power that she uses often and it’s small enough to be an easy pack-in. I like the look of the accessory, although I would have liked a stand or some kind of attachment with it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m sad to see Multiverse go at the end of this year after it really got on track. It would have been nice to see this group of sculptors get to the JSA and the Legion after the fine work they’ve done on the League, the Titans, and the Batman family. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

DC Multiverse Vixen

Imaginext DC Super Heroes Blind Bag Series 6:One DC expression that Mattel gets to keep is the Fisher-Price housed Imaginext line. The current series went with some excellent and crazy choices. There’s Zan and Jayna (the Wonder Twins), Superman-armor Luthor, Dr. Fate, Catman, and The Signal (Duke Thomas). My boys and I have only found two so far, so we’ll go ahead and take a look at Zan and Signal.

The Signal is Duke Thomas, one of the Robins from the We Are Robin series. Duke became more involved in the official Bat Family and received his own individual costume and codename. Signal comes packed with a pair of ninja kama. Imaginext has really upped their sculpting game in the past few years, and the Signal is a good example of that. While the bodies are frequently basic with (admittedly  great) paint jobs, the heads are increasingly unique. This has a good look overall and the vibrant yellow stands out.

Zan and Jayna are no-brainers for a line like this. Zan looks like a decent adaptation of his cartoon self; no real surprises. The best thing is his accessory. As you know, Zan can change into forms of water, and would regularly be carried by his bird-form sister in a bucket. So, of course, Zan comes with . . . the bucket. And the water has his face! Yes, they actually did that. Major kudos, Fisher-Price. Major.

The Imaginext line remains a terrific kids’ focus line, though I know more than a few adult collectors that like to display them as well. While this line-up seems to be a little bit harder to find, these two indicate that their commitment to DC is still in good form.

Super-Articulate: Toy Fair 2019 Overview

Let’s get this straight right now. There’s NO WAY we can hit everything. There’s just too much. I’m going to zoom in on our regular areas, Marvel Legends and DC Multiverse, with a couple of side trips.

Funko Pop: Holy crap, just go look at the pictures. There’s WAY too much to digest there. Rest assured that they’re on fire. Catch our full Funko coverage.

McFarlane DC and Harry Potter/Wizarding World: Nothing to show yet, per the terms of the deal, but The Todd Himself seems very excited in his various interviews and personal postings. His comments seem to indicate that their DC license can pull from comics, animation, film, and video games; I’m really excited to see what they come up with, but for now we’ll have to wait.

DC ¡Lucha Explosiva!: DC Collectibles just hit this one out of the park. The Lucha Libre-inspired line is an unexpected visual joy. Even if you’re familiar with the luchadore wrestling tradition, you might not know that there’s an extensive history of heroic masked wrestlers in Mexican film, notably El Santo, Mil Máscaras, and Blue Demon. This assortment celebrates that, and its mere appearance has delighted collectors. I expect it to be a big hit, and I expect more to follow.

DC ¡Lucha Explosiva!

DC Multiverse: Not gonna lie. This was a let-down. I’m glad to see the Red Robin and Poison Ivy figures, which look great, but I feel like Mattel are squandering their chance to go out big with this line. While it’s always been hobbled by poor distribution, they had picked up a lot in the last couple of years. The ’89 Batman and new Joker are well-done, but ultimately another Batman and Joker.

Shazam
Photographer David C Stylist Audra Bennett

Imaginext DC Super Heroes: The 80th anniversary Batman figures, including the boxed set and individual carded figures, look super-fun. Including a Detective #27 figure, the Batmobile-armor version from Alex Ross’s Justice, a Sinestro Corps Batman, the “Rainbow” Batman, a GL Bats, an Azrael Bat, and the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, these kind of hilariously wonderful. The kids will love them, but adult collectors that don’t normally pick these up might be tempted to grab some, too.

Power Rangers Lightning Collection: Police, I’d like report a murder, because Hasbro KILLED THESE. I’m not a Rangers fan, but damn, these are awesome.

Marvel Legends: Where to even begin? Last week, I wrote a piece about the top 10 figures I wanted to see. And Hasbro gave us NONE OF THEM. And yet, I am extremely impressed and excited by the massive amount of reveals at the show. The Alex Ross Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America are outstanding. The fact that we’re getting Peggy Carter, Ghost, Luis, the Grandmaster, and Korg is insane. The four revealed Retro X-Men (Madripoor Wolverine, Silver Samurai, X-Factor Cyclops, and “Outback” Dazzler) are simply great. Boom Boom is perfect, and long overdue. The problem with Marvel Legends is the best possible problem; even as they make new, great stuff (or new, continually improving stuff), you still find yourself wanting the characters that haven’t been reached yet. The funny thing is that we didn’t even get the full 2019 picture; the other two Retro figures and the rest of the X-Force assortment haven’t been seen, and neither have the Endgame film figures. For me, Hasbro’s line was the clear winner.

What did you guys think? Let’s talk.

Toy Fair 2019: Mattel Reveals their Shazam Movie Figures

With Toy Fair 2019 underway, Mattel has revealed what we’ll be getting as part of their 6″ scale assortment of figures of the upcoming movie Shazam! as well as the DC Multiverse Shazam and Doctor Sivana.

Photographer David C Stylist Audra Bennett
Shazam Freddy
Photographer David C Stylist Audra Bennett
Shazam Mary
Photographer David C Stylist Audra Bennett
Shazam Darla
Photographer David C Stylist Audra Bennett
Shazam Pedro
Photographer David C Stylist Audra Bennett
Shazam Eugene
Photographer David C Stylist Audra Bennett
DC Multiverse Shazam
Photographer David C Stylist Audra Bennett
DC Multiverse Doctor Sivana
Photographer David C Stylist Audra Bennett

Toy Fair 2019: McFarlane Toys Lands the DC License for DC Multiverse Collector Figures Starting in 2020

McFarlane Toys is expanding its licensing agreement with Warner Bros. properties. Yesterday the company announced that it would be creating figures based on Harry Potter. Today, the company has announced they have entered into a three-year global licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC, to release DC Multiverse collector figures in both mass and specialty retail spaces. Beginning early 2020, McFarlane Toys will bring dozens of the iconic DC comic books, video games and feature films’ near-endless stable of characters to life with 6” – 12” ultra-posable action figures, corresponding accessories and vehicles branded DC Multiverse.

This is the second major shift for DC figures in recent months. It was revealed recently that Mattel has lost the license for some of DC toys to Spin Master Corp.

Super-Articulate: Catching Up on DC Multiverse

Let me set the parameters on this one right away. This isn’t an exhaustive look. It’s more of a highlight reel of the past few assortments of DC Multiverse figures. I’ll be checking back in with DC Mutliverse a few times throughout the year; unfortunately, as the DC master license leaves Mattel, the line is on a ticking clock. On the upside, I think that the character selection and sculpts have steadily improved over time; the downside, again, is that Mattel will stop making DC figures after a couple of years filled with some exciting choices.

Presently, a new assortment is making its way to stores; it’s a four-figure wave featuring Batman Beyond, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner (in his classic outfit), Kingdom Come Superman, Kid Flash (DC Rebirth), and a Lobo Collect & Connect figure. We don’t have any of those to show yet; as for myself, I only plan on getting the Kid Flash, as I have representations of the other characters that I’m pleased with. And that brings up a salient point. Be a completest if you want, but you’ll be a happier collector if you simply buy what you dig.

So, with our column today, I’m going to go back to a pair of figures from 2017, and several more from throughout 2018. First up is Batwing, which featured in the Batman Exo-Suit/Rookie Wave from Summer of that year. I chose to go all the way back to Batwing because he’s an interesting figure and it’s running fairly inexpensively on eBay. If I’m not interested in a C&C figure for a particular wave, then I’m totally comfortable picking up loose figures online for less rather than paying full price with pieces I don’t want.

At any rate, Batwing is a decent, not spectacular, figure. I’m really glad he was made, particularly because of the key role he plays in the excellent Detective Comics run in Rebirth. I do wish there had been a swappable head for him because I’m certain that not a lot of people outside of the direct readership realize that he’s a member of an underrepresented community. I do like the wing assembly; despite the weight of the thing, the figure is still able to stand, which is a huge plus. Not great, but certainly good.

Wonder Girl from late 2017, however, is excellent. Great sculpt, solid presentation of a character that many have loved since Young Justice, then Teen Titans, then Young Justice on TV. The only bummer was that if you wanted the rest of the Doctor Psycho C&C figure, you had to get a DKIII Wonder Woman. I didn’t care for the story, the design, or the figure, so I passed. But, as for Wonder Girl herself, very well-done. I really like the way that the lasso hangs on the figure, and there’s some fine detail in the hair. She’s looks great next to the Superboy on the shelf.

Batwoman and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz came from the spring/summer 2018 Clayface C&C series, and that’s a great set overall. With that one, DCM went all in on Rebirth. I vastly prefer those to the TV and film figures; in fact, I think that the overabundance of TV, Justice League film, and Dark Knight Returns figures really hurt the line. Some of those figures continue to hang in stores. While the face on Jessica Cruz isn’t the greatest, I’m simply delighted the figure exists at all. I took a picture of the back to show that the costume detail continued on both sides, which is great. The power battery is well-done, the power effects are okay, and it’s generally an agreeable figure. Batwoman is the superior of the two; the extra head is great, but the mask is particularly well-sculpted. It’s kind of shock to consider how few Kate Kane figures there have actually been between DC Direct/Collectibles and Mattel, so we should be glad that we got this one.

The final two I’m looking at come from the DC Rebirth Lex Luthor C&C wave, and those are The Ray and Spoiler, which started dropping in November. This is a generally solid wave, and a strong reminder that DCM was doing their best when they were doing Rebirth. Their plan through 2019 really shows that they were determined to present a strong assemblage of characters from Detective, Justice League, Justice League of America, and the Titans titles, and they were doing pretty damn good job of it. Again, a shame this license is leaving now.

The utter lack of a mass market Spoiler until now has been confounding, but I’m glad she’s here. I’m a little bummed we didn’t get the original look first, but for God’s sake, at least it’s Stephanie! This is a rock-solid figure. Well-designed, well-sculpted, and with nice hood and hair elements, I’m sure it made a lot of fans happy. I wish that she had a little more articulation, but it’s a damn fine addition to Bat-or-teen-hero shelf.

I’ve been a fan of The Ray for years, and I’m glad he’s gotten more a spotlight with the CW Seed animation, the Crisis on Earth-X CW appearance, and his prominent role in Justice League of America. This is a GREAT figure, hands-down. Speaking of hands, it comes with two extras and a “smiley” head; I prefer the serious in this case. But this just another solid, well-sculpted, well-painted figure. I know he’s a little hard to find, but I grabbed one on eBay for less than store price, so I felt pretty good about that. As a matter of act, all of these figures are fairly findable on eBay for decent prices, outside of Jessica Cruz; that one takes more work, but it can still be found in the 20s, despite the fact that some people are pricing Buy It Nows in the $60 range.

At this point, I plan to get Vixen and Rebirth Kid Flash, which are still in release, Katana at year’s end, and several entries in the Killer Croc C&C wave, notably Red Hood and Alfred. Have you been enjoying DC Multiverse? Will you be sad to see it go? What do you want to see before the end of 2019? Thanks for reading, and comment away.