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King Shark

DC Multiverse
by yo go re

Mattel hasn't released a DC Build-A-Figure worth finishing in five years. Justice Buster armor, Doomsday, a grapnel gun, two versions of Killer Croc, Ares, Steppenwolf... they've all come and gone, and not a one of them was worth completing. (BAFs from Hasbro in that same time? Everything from Arnim Zola on up.) But hey, they're back at last, with King Shark.

click to embiggen

This character's origin differs based on whether he's supposed to be the comic King Shark or the live-action King Shark. On The Flash, he's an Earth-2 marine biologist who got transformed during the particle accelerator explosion; in the books, he's the son of a Hawaiian diety. Either way, he's a gigantic man-shark, and that's what the toy gives us.

King Shark is made from seven pieces (eight, if you count the variant piece you can get at TRU, but we'll get to that in a little bit): arms, legs, upper and lower torso, and the head. The pieces were a little tough to click together - I'd think I had a piece in on one side, and when I'd brace against it to push a piece in on the other side, out it would pop! Now that they're in, though, they seem very secure.

It may surprise you to learn this, but King Shark is a shark. He's gotten more sharky over time, too: originally, his head was just a bit pointier than a normal face, but in time it became basically Jaws on a jacked-up human body. This is the later look, a full shark head like a Bojack Horseman character. It's a great piece, with scars around the mouth and on the fin, gills on the neck, and multiple rows of teeth. There's a pointy little nose with cute nostrils, a wee wiggly tongue inside the mouth. This is a shark!

The body is large and muscular, with more scars cut into the chest and back. His upper arms are fairly smooth, but the forearms have more of a texture to them, as well as fins sticking off his elbows. Ones on his heels, as well. His right hand is curled into a fist, while his left is open. On both hands and feet, he only has four digits instead of five; there's a little bit of webbing between the fingers and toes, but not as much as you might expect. The fact that he's wearing jeans, rather than a black singlet, suggests that this is meant to be the TV King Shark, but in that case the number of fingers and toes is wrong.

It may not seem like the paint is going to be very complex, but more work went into it than you might expect. The bulk of the body is just a flat gray, but the chest, fingers and toes get a lighter dry-brushing to catch the textures and keep the toy from looking dull. The pants are done in dark blue(as you can see when you move the joints), then given a heavy coat of pale blue above that to suggest aging denim. Gray skin shows through he holes in the jeans, as well. He wears a brown belt with a golden buckle, suggesting that he's still dextrous enough to work the clasp. His nails are as black as his eyes, and the interior of his mouth is a dark red. Shark!

King Shark's articulation is right on par with the other Mattel DC BAFs - for instance, Brimstone, since neither of them have necks. King Shark (who is a shark) has hinged ankles and knees, swivel thighs, H-hips, a swivel waist, hinged torso, swivel wrists, hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinged shoulders and a hinged jaw. Standing staright up, he's about 9¼" tall, but here's a tip those fatcats in Washington don't want you to know: he looks better squatting, like he's burdened by his own weight when he's not in the water.

If you bought the Toys Я Us exclusive Damian Wayne figure (and considering how every store seems to have dozens of him on the shelf, we're betting you didn't), you got an alternate head depicting King Shark's "New 52" design, which pointlessly saw him looking more like a hammerhead than a great white. Is he going to cycle through every kind of shark, eventually? Will there someday be a Goblin King Shark and a Basking King Shark? Whatever. The head can be removed from the body easily, meaning you don't have to choose one look or the other for him. Still, the normal head looks better than the variant head - the only sculpt they share is the lower jaw.

It only took until Series 3 for the DC Multiverse line to produce a Build-A-Figure anyone would actually care about building, so of course that was the perfect time for their already-poor distribution to get even worse. I'm luckier than most fans, in that I actually saw the entire series in a store at once; that was way back in the spring, but like an idiot, I passed on them then, thinking "oh, they'll be easy to find later." Yeah, sure. Dang things did show up in other stores eventually, but in such small numbers that the only evidence of their fleeting presence was the Hawkman nobody wanted. But even seeing that put me ahead of the curve, because some collectors have still never found a single figure in the wild. King Shark is good, and adds another member to the Secret Six, but you already have to buy some lame figures to finish him; you shouldn't have to pay scalpers' prices on top of that.

Earth-2 Flash | Zoom | Batman: Superheavy | Batgirl of Burnside | Hawkman | DKR Joker
TЯU Robin exclusive

-- 11/09/17

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