Rorschach addendum

Now, I've been pretty open about how much I don't care about packaging at all, but I have to hand it to Mattel, this Watchmen packaging is really well done. Normally I'd rather have as little packaging as possible to keep costs down, and Scott Neitlich's grainy video didn't really do much to sell the idea of fancy packaging... but having this in hand, it's really quite beautiful.

Instead of the usual white mailer box Matty's other figures come in, Rorschach comes in a yellow, black and red outer box with the Doomsday Clock on the front and back, graffiti on one side, and a graphic representation of the character (in this specific case, Rorschach's trademark splatter) on the other:

The only downsides are the lame "peel away" new DC logo in the lower right corner, and the phrase "adult collector" which is always obnoxious. But other than that, it's really striking and pretty.

Open the box up and out comes a second package, this time shaped like a book. The front apes the cover of the graphic novel, with "WATCHMEN" running down the left side and an extreme close-up of the Comedian's blood-stained button dominating the rest.

The "spine" features a stylized drawing of the character inside:

The back cover features a giant yellow letter A and part of a T. Future packages will obviously feature the rest of the letters, so you can line them up to spell out WATCHMEN. But if Rorschach is the first figure, why does he not get the W?

The order of the figures, when aligned to properly spell out WATCHMEN, is the same as the order needed to get the "who watches the watchmen" graffiti lined up. But more than that, it also matches the order needed to have the hand on the Doomsday Clock move toward midnight (which also relates to the character's position in the overall story, from first victim to final mastermind). Clearly this was designed with purpose, so why were the toys released that way? As it is, only Silk Spectre, Nite Owl and Ozymandias were sold at the proper time.

Open up the "book" by unsnapping the two plastic trays inside, and you're greeted with Rorschach himself on the right, and a full color version of the spine drawing printed on a card on the left.

The drawing is really nice, with an altered version of the side-of-the-box graphic in the background and some bio info on the back. Maybe even too much info. In the story itself, Rorschach (like everyone else) gets his origin spelled out gradually over the course of the narrative. But I suppose the book's old enough that there's no need to worry about spoilers, and nobody would be buying these who isn't already a fan, so no real harm done.

Moving to the figure side of the book/package, you'll find Rorschach tucked into the plastic tray. No blister bubble, no wrapper, totally collector friendly (although there is one rubberband around his ankles, it can be removed without messing up the package. Most of the time my toy boxes go right in the trash, but this one I'll be hanging onto; it's really beautiful.

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8 Responses to Rorschach addendum

  1. Black Arbor says:

    That is some good lookin' packaging, even though the grapple gun is redonkulously huge. It would've been even cooler if they gave each figure a C'n'C piece of a giant Dr. Manhattan (maybe retooled from Atom Smasher) as incentive to get the whole subscription.

    • monkey boy says:

      a CnC Manhattan would be a cool option, but i'd only be interested if it was really the old toybiz build-a-figures. that'd be worth my while. a slightly larger Manhattan probably wouldn't be much of an incentive though, particularly when these figures have been so highly anticipated, there's no real need for mattel to incentivize them more than just saying "these are watchmen figures from the comic book!" and this is matty, so we're very lucky if we get anything more than the bare minimum. i was all ready to bash the packaging for being unwieldy and unnecessary, but then i got it in my hands, and wow.

    • Onslaught says:

      I may be wrong here, but I think the giant gun is a reference to a small drawing of possible toys in one of the issues of Watchmen.
      Now I kind of want all of them...

  2. Black Arbor says:

    Very true. Maybe they could've split it up like the Fin Fang Foom BAF, starting with this year, and then next year do the Minutemen or something. Wishful thinking, I guess. I never got why Alan Moore is such a crab, though. I know he doesn't like the commercialization of his work, but come on, it seems like that guy hates everything. He needs to just relax, and stop being so hard on himself.

    • Frowny says:

      I've bought toys of nearly everything I've liked that I could get my hands on, but I stayed the hell away from these and I'd argue anyone who is really excited about them doesn't really "get" the book. I know how much of a pretentious asshole that makes me, and I'm okay with that. If you want to know why Moore's such a crab ass, it would require a lot of reading, (interviews, things he's written, things that have been written about him) but Eddie Campbell's "How to be an Artist" is a great place to start.

      (I'll admit I'm pretty in the tank for Moore, have loved his stuff since I was about 11, and have been frustrated with how comics fans have turned on him because it turns out he was always more of a fan of counterculture and comics as a medium than cranking out stories about superheroes. Also, here's a hint. . . when DC offered him the rights to the book back it was contingent on him saying something of approval towards the "Before" books. DC somehow doesn't get that if the book were really Moore's again the first thing that would happen would involve pulping every copy of "Before Watchmen," because everything you need to know is really in there if you look hard enough. Though I haven't read all of them, there was nothing in the copies I saw that either informed or enhanced the original work. It was just "More stories about Watchmen characters." They're less "Wide Sargasso Sea" and more "Carlito's Way: Rise to Power." Also, he's written some pretty good stuff since then, including "A Small Killing," "The Birth Caul," "Top 10," "Promethea," and "25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom," not to mention his essays from Dodgem Logic. . . and all anyone ever wants to ask him about is Watchmen.)

      • monkey boy says:

        i don't really understand why wanting figures of characters from this story means i don't "get" the book. you could argue i don't "get" alan moore, but i certainly "get" watchmen, and the characters are interesting enough for me to want figures of them. maybe alan moore doesn't "get" the community that reads his work, and that's fine. i understand that watchmen was just one thing he did, and he's done plenty of other stuff, but watchmen is what he'll primarily be remembered for, and there's nothing sad or upsetting about that, because it's just a great story. and the characters are interesting, and LOOK interesting, so why not figures? i can enjoy and understand his work without necessarily agreeing with his stance about his work in every way. i think before watchmen is unnecessary, and i haven't read it, because i think everything you need is in the book, story wise. but like you, i collect toys of things i like, and i like these. so far anyway.

  3. Rustin Parr says:

    I gotta say, I generally dislike, if not hate, elaborate packaging but this style is not only absolutely amazing, it's the best "collector friendly" packaging I've ever seen. Big thumbs up to Mattel!

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