Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"Figuring" things out

Mattel's DC Universe action figures have been hitting the stores for some time now and these 6-inch action figure assortments are quite a bit better than their older DC Direct peers.

Don't get me wrong, DC Direct issued some lovely toy versions of many classic DC Comics stars, but despite the really awesome sculpts on most of them, they failed in one major respect. The damn things just wouldn't stand up!

I had purchased about twenty of them over the years ranging from the fairly crude golden age Wesley Dodds/Sandman to the twin pack of Hawkman & Hawkgirl, but the last straw came for me with the Alec Ross Justice line of figures. Those figures certainly managed to capture the signature Ross art-style, but after buying three figures from the inaugural wave (Superman, Sinestro & Barry Allen/Flash) I threw in the towel on any further DC Direct figures. The Flash figure's knee gave out less than a day after purchase. This was primarily due to an obvious design flaw. All of the figures weight was placed on the same leg that attached to the base stand peg and the stress caused the knee peg to quickly fail.

Unless you're one of those really peculiar little people that prefers to leave their toys in the original packaging, this is a problem that repeated itself over-and-again with various DC Direct characters. They may not all have broken in the same manner, but the often bulky PVC on the upper portions of the figures just didn't lend itself to being supported by the legs of the figures. I couldn't tell you how many of them just kept falling over on the shelves, but it was beyond irritating.

I just saw a couple of the DCU Classics characters for the first time, at a local Target store and thought that Penguin and Orion not only looked very cool, but they seemed to be better realized - - - even with the enhanced articulation on the figures. Penguin included the upper torso & head of Rex "Metamorpho" Mason, the chase figure of that wave, and seeing them really made me want to head out and collect the whole batch in order put him together. It looks like upcoming waves have other ultra-cool assembly characters - for those who buy the entire lot. Gorilla Grodd in Series 2 and Solomon Grundy in Series 3; may have me playing with toys - - - all over again.

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