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Platinum & Tin

DC Signature Collection
by yo go re

Oh man, it's here at last! That moment when the final figure you need to complete a team arrives! This is always exciting!

Professor Will Magnus invented the Responsometer - a microcomputer capable of imbuing pure elements with a semblance of life, intelligence and emotion. Magnus implanted samples of gold, iron, lead, tin, platinum, and mercury with their own Responsometers, giving them humanoid shapes and personalities. The team of robots became the Metal Men. Platinum (nicknamed Tina) was the first of the Metal Men and arguably the most human. Tin is the smallest of the group, but his bravery knows no bounds.

So, do you think it's "respons-ometer" or "responso-meter?" Also, if this is the third time that same stock biography section has been used, why is this the first time Responsometer has been capitalized? Of course, it's also the first time platinum has warranted a mention as one of the metals Doc Magnus used to make the Metal Men, but that may be because she'd been built as a prototype, while the other five were made specifically to form the team.

Platinum probably uses one of the standard DCUC female bodies, but we can't tell which. Why not? Because the only identifying features - the chest and the hips - are both covered by the new bits of Tina's costume. Like Gold and Mercury, she gets a triangular smock that runs from her collarbones to the lower edge of her skirt. And also, she's wearing a skirt. Thus, any parts of the sculpt that would stand out are covered. If we had to guess, we'd say it's the improved second body. The forearms and shins are definitely new, since no woman before her has gone to the trouble of bolting on their boots and gloves.

Like Lead, Platinum doesn't use the alchemical symbol for her element as her symbol. Probably because the symbol for platinum is just an upright version of the symbol for Iron. Rather, she uses a capital P with a dot in the center. The heck? It's not molded on her chest, just on her little hat, so at least you don't have to look at it very often. Her face is a bit flat, but not as bad as some DC women have been. Typically we'd assume the hair was merely sculpted to suggest what hair looks like, but since this is a robot, maybe the individual strands really are as thick as they're seen here.

Platinum doesn't come with any fun alternate limbs to show her shapeshifting abilities - how sad! However, because Mattel didn't want to drag this out any longer than they already have, Tina's not along in the packaging: next to her in the tray is a slot for tiny, timid Tin.

And boy, "tiny" is right! The figure only stands 3⅝" tall, which is ridiculous. Yes, Tin is the smallest member of the Metal Men, but he's not miniscule! He should at least come up to the other guys' shoulders, not their hips. This is scaled like a 4" figure, not 6". He's just as much undersized as Lead is oversized. They really should have used the "teen" body to make him, but then he wouldn't have worked as a pack-in.

Since Tin is just a glorified accessory, he's mostly pre-posed: he swivels at the shoulders and neck, but that's not really enough to display him multiple ways. He's hunched over and his knees are bent, suggesting his crippling lack of self-confidence; the left hand is pointing at something, while the right appears to be indictaing a small size or calling for attention.

The figure may be too small, but the face is great. Tin has an extra-long nose, just like Mercury did, but clearly the sculpt has not been reused. He's got big black eyebrows that make him look scared, and his mouth is pulled back in a nervous grimmace. He has the symbol for tin on his forehead and chest - it's also the astronimcal symbol for Jupiter.

Putting two characters into a composition is tougher than a solo shot - not just because you have to draw twice as many people, but because you have to find a way to make them share the scene without competing against one another or having one completely overshadow the other. And that gets even harder when the figures are drastically different sizes, and when they look almost exactly alike. Mike Thompson managed, though. Platinum stands tall and proud, while Tin's posture is much more compact and protective. But what's really cool is the color. Both characters are silver, right? Well, yeah, but they're different silvers: Tin's is closer to white, while Platinum has a rose tint; so even where the two characters overlap in the image, there's no confusion about who's who.

So, unless Mattel decides to release a figure of Will Magnus (or a BAF-sized version of their melded form, Alloy), we're done with the Metal Men. Most of them are the wrong height, half of them don't come with accessories, two came with those stupid buttons... and yet Mattel finished the lineup, and that counts for something. Platinum turned out very well, and though Tin is disappointing, he has to be judged like an accessory, not a real figure.

-- 01/10/13

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