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B'Dg, Despotellis and Dex-Starr

Green Lantern Classics
by yo go re

Back in Marvel Legends 5, ToyBiz released a small pack-in of Howard the Duck. They once planned to do a Frog Thor, but that fell through. Mattel found a way to get little animal sidekicks onto the market again, though: put three of them on a card together and call it a single release!

There are seven different armies of power-ring wearing soldiers, each drawing strength from a different color in the Emotional Spectrum.

The bio then goes on to offer one-sentence info about each of the characters. We'll break it up, because that helps us fill up space:

Despite his "funny animal" appearance, B'Dg has proven his courage repeatedly.

B'Dg (pronounced like "badge," apparently) is the second Green Lantern to come from the planet H'lven, which is populated with anthropomorphic animals. His predecessor was Ch'p (who had a best friend named D'll), but he died when he was run over by a yellow truck. Ch'p started out as a realistic squirrel and got more cartoonish as the years went by, so maybe B'dg will do the same.

B'dg is based on a red squirrel, rather than a gray squirrel like C'hp. The figure is 2¾" tall to the tips of his pointy ears. He seems to spend most of his time on Oa, so he doesn't have a mask - secret identities are for your homeworld, not for your fellow GLs. The eyes and nose are black, and he has tiny white teeth. No little bowtie, though: that was Ch'p's thing.

The figure has a pear-shaped body, and six points of articulation: balljointed neck, plus swivel shoulders, hips and tail. Thankfully, Mattel hasn't repeated the mistakes of Gleek's articulation - each of the joints is its own joint, rather than being connected inside the body. So in other words, "not stupid." His feet are long enough that he'll stand fine by himself, even if you don't use his tail as a tripod, and that's more than we can say for our next little sidekick.

Dex-Starr was an ordinary house cat on planet Earth whose animalistic rage attracted a red power ring.

Yes he was, as you already know if you read our blog post about him. He already had a figure from DC Direct, but this one is a much different beast (no pun intended). To begin with, he's also done in the "funny animal" style: Dex Starr is pure cat, with no human elements, but this one stands on his back feet and appears to have hands. He's also larger than DCD's version, which is particularly odd since DC Direct figures are in a slightly larger scale to begin with.

The previous Dex-Starr looked like an angry cat, befitting a Red Lantern, but this one seems more sinister. His yellow eyes are narrow slits, and his ears are back. The shade of blue used for his fur is noticably lighter on Mattel's cat than on DC's: on one hand, that makes it stand out better against the black of his costume, but it's still not what the comic usually uses.

Dex is the only figure in this set who has an accessory - and since Red Lanterns don't exactly make "ring constructs" the way other Lanterns do, the accessory is something a little bit special: a column of translucent red blood that plugs into his mouth, so it looks like he's vomiting his acidic bodily fluids at someone.

Despotellis is an intelligent virus that reduces entire worlds to rotting graveyards.

When Rustin got this figure, he took issue with the size of it, which may be in the running for "dumbest complaint ever." It's a virus! It's literally microscopic, even at 1:1 scale! You'd never see it! At DCUC's 1:12 scale, it would be even more microscopic! To even mention scale in regards to Despotellis borders on the idiotic.

Despotellis is shaped like a bacteriophage virus, which are about 200 nanometers high. There are 25,400,000 nanometers in an inch, so at 1⅝" tall, the figure is created in a 206,375:1 scale. Well, assuming this actually is Despotellis: the figure is cast from translucent yellow plastic, suggesting that it's a ring construct; perhaps Despotellis is projecting a larger version of himself so he can interact with other characters. The head of the virus moves, via swivel joint.

Since the three characters included in this set are so small, they come with the largest part of the build-a-figure: Stel's chest. It's got a great design, and it painted black, silver and several shades of green, and there's some floating armor to create a sense of depth and layer to the robotic form. Again, this is going to be cool once assembled.

Paying full retail price for three pack-ins and a BAF chest really doesn't feel like a good value. They all get new molds, and one even gets an accessory, but it still feels a bit like we're getting shortchanged. There are other small Lanterns that could have been included without pumping up the price too much. How about Bzzd, the fly who defeated Mongul, or Leezle Pon, the superintelligent smallpox virus (and archenemy of Despotellis)? These three by themselves are good, but are they "$6 apiece" good? You'll have to make that call.

-- 07/02/11

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