Rustin's Spoils of the Week #219

And now we partake in the second Mattelocaust in order rush through a handful of 2019 purchases from that once great toy manufacturer. I enjoyed the Aquaman movie far more than I imagined but by the time I'd seen it, the Multiverse figures were mostly sold out, so I just decided this would be my cold-turkey break from the line, since I was mainly just buying all the Mattel movie figures out of a compulsive desire to be a completionist [ link to SPOILS 217 ]. But then this spring word broke that Mattel had lost the DC license, which meant that the two Shazam figures would be their final movie figures, and suddenly the line had a clear stop-point! So, I went ahead and between Amazon and Target I got all the figures I was missing, and usually at a decent savings to boot!

Lego - The Lego Batman Movie: Justice League Anniversary Party
I dragged my feet on this set for a long time because it's so boring, but decided to pull the trigger since I found it at a decent price and it had been discontinued. I'd gotten all the "Super Friends" minifigs from the second Lego Batman Movie line, so I "needed" El Dorado here - not to mention Green Arrow and Wonder Dog. Superman is a reasonable inclusion (thank goodness it wasn't another Batman) and Hawkgirl is nice as it's her first Lego minifig. The set sort of recreates the party at the Fortress of Solitude which everyone was invited to except for Batman. It's a nice little approximation of that scene, truly, but out of that context it's kind bland and boring. Likewise, while I more-or-less enjoyed the movie, it wouldn't be my first choice to display all these characters in the context of that scene, so... in to the parts bucket ye go, dance'n'DJ pad!

Mattel - Hot Wheels: "Aquaman" Mera's Ship
I had forgotten all about these ships until I spotted this one at Target. Presumably they also released Blank Manta's Submarine, but I couldn't find that to save my life - so your guess is as good as mine on its distribution. This is a neat little ship, the body is diecast metal while the fore and aft fins are plastic, as is the translucent window. It's a remarkably good, detailed and screen-accurate ship for what I've come to expect from Mattel. It even gets a translucent two-part stand that has the Aquaman movie name/logo on it! The $5 price is a bit tough to swallow, though, when this is one peg away from $0.99 Hot Wheels... but this is how they get ya, I suppose. I love this thing and really hope Hot Wheels gets the license for the Marvel Cinematic Universe too, cause that also has some genuinely awesome ships and vehicles that deserve to have toys made of them!

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: "Aquaman" Aquaman
This is a really nice, really detailed sculpt and the paint is clean and vibrant - it's everything that the Snyder-verse and related Mattel figures wasn't. It's still not quite at Hasbro level, but it's fairly close, especially thanks to a pretty solid likeness. Artie comes with his trident (that's right, eff-off Snyder-Pentdent) and the build-a-Deep's left leg. My only real complaint here is that the "shirt" is a bit too muted as compared to the vibrant orange of the film, which I much prefer. Also, given that this is King Atlan's gear I'm really surprised we did get an exclusive somewhere with some slight retooling to turn this into Atlan.

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: "Aquaman" Black Manta
Manta was sort of an afterthought in the film, clearly there just to world-build for sequels rather than be substantive part of the narrative, but it was still neat to see him; AND looking so close to the comics. The figure captures the suit pretty well and is fairly poseable too (even the "jets" on his backpack pivot!). He comes with his sword, and the build-a-Deep's head and torso. I do kinda wish Manta's helmet was hollow and the eye were translucent like on the 12" kiddie figure, because it'd be rad to put a light in there, but I get why this was easier and cheaper for production (and it still looks quite good).

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: "Aquaman" Mera
This is another surprisingly detailed sculpt for Mattel, and it looks quite good and quite different from her Justice League appearance. I appreciate that the filmmakers originally wanted to make her a bit more unique but this "aquafresh" coloring of her body suit just looks weird (and makes me think of toothpaste every time I see), so I applaud them for color-shifting it green in the movie, and wish that'd been done soon enough that Mattel could have matched in for the toy before production. She comes with both of the build-a-Deep's arms as well as an odd spear plus swappable water-effect hands. These are the same that came with the Justice League version, but match this costume seamlessly. The water is a much deeper shade of blue which looks too toy-ish, though.

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: "Aquaman" Ocean Master
I've never been able to get into Ocean Master, but the character in the movie actually sold me on the silly name as something legit and I can pretty much buy in this goofy costume. The sculpt is pretty detailed and the use of metallic plastic and paint, plus several shades of purple paint, really helps add life to it. The head is just off somehow, though - it seems too soft and toy-ish for how detailed the rest of the sculpt and line is. I kind of wish they'd just done him unmasked or something. I also totally get why they did this armor, but in context of the movie there are better looking armors he wears longer that I think I would have preferred. He comes with his trident and the build-a-Deep's left leg.

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: "Aquaman" The Deep (Collect'N'Connect)
I mean, seriously Mattel, the movie gifts you with one of the coolest and greatest armybuilders of modern cinema and you make it a Build-A-Figure!?!?! And don't even do a version in the cheapie kids' line!? Man, if anything can help sum up why Mattel lost this license, it's that. Mattel has never met an idea they can't do wrong. Like the rest of the line, the figure is very well sculpted, articulated and painted. This is easily something we'd all want multiples of, but alas...

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: "Aquaman" Vulko
Amazon had this exclusive Willem Dafoe figure, which is neat to have, but... of ALL the other figures/characters they could have done... this guy? Just off the top of my head Nereus (Dolph Lundgren), Ricou (Djimon Hounsou), Atlanna (Nicole Kidman, and either version) or, again, Atlan all would have been much, much, much cooler figures than ole Uncle Vulko... but whatevs. Again, can you believe Mattel lost this license? The figure is well sculpted and has a passable likeness (the face is good, but the head/skull shape is pretty off). He comes with red sword, which fits very nicely in a silver sheath on his back, and a paper map to the trident (or whatever MacGuffin it was).

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: "Aquaman" Gladiator Battle
Target got this two-pack, which unsurprisingly wound up on clearance and I snagged it for half-off. This comes from a very important scene in the movie, but not an especially memorable one, or one that makes for the most exciting of figures. Aquaman takes the "Shirtless Aquaman" figure and gives it a new head and boots plus some added-on-top armor pieces. The different shades of bronze and brass really help bring out the details of the armor and make the figure pop a bit. Orm is a totally new sculpt (and again sort of just begs the questions of: "you're spending new tooling money and this is the armor/character you choose?"), heck, even his trident is a unique sculpt! It has a bigger, pointier, better trident but a shorter, stubbier staff. I don't know if the studio just screwed Mattel on reference or what, but it just feels like so many cooler, more toyetic things from the movie were left undone (in both this and the $10 line) while they just made relatively uncompelling stuff like this set.

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: Bizzaro
WHOA - Walgreens coming to play! Out of nowhere, Mattel started to dip their toe back in to a DCUC-esque line, and launched it unceremoniously with this super rad Bizarro figure which was exclusive to Walgreens. He uses the new, standard hero body which is fairly good. The main differences to the old DCUC body are rounded, Marvel Legends style hips, double-jointed knees, and balljointed elbows - nothing ground-breaking (just catching up to Hasbro of 10-15 year ago, to be a douche about it) but all welcome tweaks. Weirdly, the forearms have triangular peak that goes over the hand a bit. It's odd, and surely some kind of New 52 "so hip and edgy" redesign, but fortunately they don't seem to restrict the hands too much. Bizarro gets a nice, scruffy head sculpt that got some nice, simple, subtle paint work to bring out the details. Accessory-wise, this guy is bonkers! We get a cloth cape with a Super Powers-esque c-clip for the neck, a "Bizarro No. 1" name plaque, swappable flat and fit hands, a removable, ripped up sleeveless jacket, glasses and a neck tie!!! I'm not a fan of the cape, but by doing it this way we basically get both Bizarro-Clark AND Bizarro-Superman in one go! So, yes, of course I needed two! Like about half of the Walgreens exclusives, this was a blink-and-you-miss-it release, so I count myself very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time! It's a pretty fun figure and a welcome addition to the collection!

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: The Joker "Batman: Endgame"
This guy was, like, $10 on Amazon so I pulled the trigger for some reason or another. I'm pretty bored of Joker reinventions, but I am a sucker for toys in business suits, plus the head turned out remarkably well sculpted and painted for a Mattel figure. He's on the same old Two-Face body that was wonky from the outset but which Mattel has been reusing for at least decade at this point. He comes with his/a sliced off face and the left arm of the Build-a-BatBot ["Justice Buster" --ed.]

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: "Justice League" Batman (Un-armored)
In my disgusting compulsiveness, I bought this online to fill out my Justice League collection since it's unarmored Batman, which is how he appears in most of that movie (if I recall correctly). Surprisingly, he appears to be an all new sculpt from the waste up. He gets a much better, less cartoony looking head that the BvS figures though he's painted in a less interesting graphite color scheme. He and Cyborg, with a fully armored head (which didn't appear in the film) were Walmart exclusives and they both seemed to come with identical sets of Motherboxes... well, imagine my surprise when I opened this up to discover only half of each Motherbox... Ugh! And here I am, having passed up countless Cyborgs at FiveBelow... If I can find one again for $5 I'll likely get him just to complete these dumb MacGuffins.

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: "Justice League" Mera
For essentially just a cameo, this is a surprisingly unique sculpt. She's pretty well detailed, and even painted, though the likeness leaves a lot to be desired. She comes with the same spear and swappable hands reused for the Mera from the Aquaman movie, but this Snyder-Suit is remarkably different and worth adding to the collection. I much prefer the soft blue of the water effects in this one, though the white over-spray is a bit much. Still though, it's a neat inclusion. Ultimately, I'm glad they made this figure, but why anyone thought it'd work as an Amazon exclusive is beyond me - so it's no surprise she's only $10 these days (heck, as of writing she's just $6.60!)

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: "Justice League" Parademon
This sonuvabitch... How was the situation with The Deep all that surprising after Mattel dumped this movie's armybuilder as a store exclusive which barely got any distribution? This was at least meant to be a Toys R Us exclusive, but I certainly never saw him there (though I did hear some folks found him at FiveBelow...! Oh, perchance to dream...). Unlike the other figures, the sculpt here is a little dumpy and the details are pretty soft. Dark green plastic with metallic green overspray helps give this guy some life, though, and he looks pretty good (for just a generic, modern-movie redesign). The articulation is kind of limited due to his bulk, sadly. He gets a space gun and then has four insect-y wings, all on pivots on his back, so you do have some options there for posing.

Mattel - DC Comics Multiverse: "Suicide Squad" Harley Quinn (Night Club)
This silly figure... another Amazon exclusive they could barely give away. A soft, gummy sculpt of a trashy night club dress with pose-restrictive articulation. I adored Harley so much on B:TAS and it breaks my heart to see her dumbed down to this sort of stereotype... but people seem to love it so maybe I'm the asshole here. The main reason to get her, aside from being a completist, is that she goes with the Night Club version of Joker, so even though I HATED that scene (and their relationship), I'm still a sucker that wants to complete the set and theme. She comes with un-wrapped hands for the build-a-Croc figure because... well I guess they had to stuff in some kind of accessory, and emotional & physical abuse is tough to sculpt.

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