With luck so dumb it practically numbs the brain, I stumbled upon a complete set of DCUC16 at Target Sunday morning. Since I'm still waiting on my pre-order set to arrive I went ahead, caved in, and bought the set. For $17.29 each. What the hell, Mattel. DCUC is now more expensive than DC Direct.... I'm not officially out, but I am officially cutting back to only the figures I care about, so... way to alienate the fans for real this time, dumbasses.
Hasbro - Spider-Man
Yes, I'm the guy that hates Spider-Man, but as is often the case with my collecting, love of toys outweighs hate of source material. This is one of the first Spider-Man figures Hasbro released when they "brought back" the 6" line after the failed attempt at resetting collectors to the long-dead 5" size. At any rate, this is a really solid figure I've had my eye on for a really long time. I know most prefer the ToyBiz double-hinge joints but I'm more a fan of the Hasbro ball-hinge - comparable range and far better aesthetic. The real problem with this guy is no wrist or forearm articulation. Usually that's survivable but when one hand is sculpted in web-sling pose you simply need that flexibility in posing. One of the reasons I was so drawn to this guy was the more muted color scheme as compared to other Spider-Men. I also really like the gold "armor" for some reason - it really fits in with the color palette well and I find myself wishing there were some gauntlets for the arms. I scored this dude for $7 at Wal*Mart, and he is certainly worth that, if you need or want another Spider-Man that is.
Hasbro - Thor: Invasion Frost Giant
It's a cool toy, and YES! The loincloth is removable and thankfully no, there are no frosty, giant genitalia. The sculpt is pretty detailed and the paint is pretty clean, this is my preferred figure of the series so far. The accessories are pretty neat (then again I am a total sucker for translucent plastics), but the big ice arm/dagger is kind of weird in proportion and the helmet doesn't look too good on him. Also, for a giant he's not that giant, being only about ¼" than the rest...
Hasbro - Thor: Secret Strike Loki
Where's the helmet? I'm guessing I'm a sucker and just bought in too soon. Oh well, I'm kinda banking on Loki being rather cool in the movie, so don't let me down, Branagh! The sculpt, paint and articulation are pretty much on par with what I've come to expect from Hasbro; so... they're good. Also included is the first of the dumb "kinds are idiots" accessories - some big sword that does something. What's the action feature you ask? It fits very well in a ziplock bag in the "not on display" box!
Hasbro - Thor: Shield Bash Marvel's Odin
Where's the helmet!?!?! Odin hasn't really been shown sans helmet, I believe, so they better do a reissue. Overall quality is the same as Loki, so we got that going for us. Odin comes with a ridiculously large shield with pop-out spikes kinda like the 5" Coin Blast Two-Face from The Dark Knight and a massive sword that "opens up" to be five-bladed. Okay, I'll admit that's kinda cool, and I'll be interested in seeing if that's in the movie at all. Frankly the most impressive thing is that I was able to get him to stand on his own, holding both sword and shield, and it took less effort than you'd expect. There is something about owning a 4" Anthony Hopkins in battle armor action figure that needs commentary, but I'm not sure what kind of commentary it is...
Hasbro - Thor: Sword Spike Thor
So I don't expressly mind Thor sans helmet since the trailers suggest that this is his more signature look for the film. Pretty much this guy is in line with the other figures - good quality for a Hasbro 4" figure and a totally useless action-feature sword. It's pretty nice to see that Hasbro can finally launch a 4" line with good quality output. Marvel Universe and, more famously, Indiana Jones had wickedly rocky starts, so the future bodes well (come on, Hobbit/Lord of the Rings license!) I will tell you this - it's really hard for me to keep his cape on and in place - be ye forewarned!
Mattel - DC Universe Classics 16: Azrael Batman
This guy has been on the very top of my "want list" since Mattel first announced a 6" Batman line almost a decade ago. I know little about the "Knightfall" storyline and care even less about finding out more. My "passion" dates back to the Kenner figure of the '90s. Much like Ben Reilly Spider-Man, it's a really cool upgrade to the costume design caused by a really dumb "event" (this bat armor is too gimmicky to really replace the classic/standard batsuit, but Ben Reilly suit definitely should have replaced Spider-Man's classic outfit - YEAH!? I said it! And I flippin' meant it too!) Fortunately, this figure fully delivers. Not sure what all to say but that this is a really cool toy! I'm not crazy about the double-jointed knees, I think the standard ones would have been a better choice to maintain a stronger chance of not falling over (Update: he already has, and took out a third of the display with him), but as a toy, there's not really a whole lot to do above the waist, do this does offer some added poseability for leaping/flying type stuff.
Mattel - DC Universe Classics 16: Bane
Bane... ugh, I get that you love him but I just don't get the draw. It is a much better figure that the DCSH version, so at least there's that. This is the "Collect-N-Connect" figure for the series and fits in with the inherent Bat-theme of the series. Just not an exciting addition to me, but I'm glad to have him. Lil' Tommy "Shinzon" Hardy plays this effer in The Dark Knight Rises so we'll see how that works out for everyone.
Mattel - DC Universe Classics 16: Creeper
Man, if I don't get the fan following Bane has then I'm totally baffled by the popularity of the Creeper. The extent of my knowledge of this guy is pretty much relegated to The New Adventures of Batman & Robin animated show and that everyone shat a brick when Kenner made a figure of him from the show. A godawful design that gets to live in the box next to Killer Moth. "Super Articulation" to justify him and give you something to do with the guy, but who cares. Like Deadman, his proportions are long and slender but to the degree of looking implausible and awkward. Buy 'im if you need 'im, but you won't be missing much (outside of the Bane limb).
Mattel - DC Universe Classics 16: Jonah Hex
This was kind of a surprise when announced, but it made sense, what with the abysmal film as cross-sell. Little did I expect that it would turn out to be one of the best DCUC figures yet! The problem is that there is nothing DCUC-ish about him (no costume, bright colors, warped plastic, minimal paint, re-used body parts, etc) so he doesn't fit in with the collection at all, but in a way that's great. The detail in sculpting and paint are so much better than anything we've come to expect from the Horsemen on this line, and add to that two cool guns (the pistol is a little too small though) and the bad-ass cowboy poses are nearly endless. I really like this figure so much I just don't know what to say! He's just cool - find him, buy him.
[Update: within 36 hours of opening him another figure fell knocking Hex to the floor which severed his head. Why the hell are the neck-bars so brittle when the limbs and accessories are so maleable!?!?! Now I have to try and find another one! Damn it! Mattel-ed again! --ed.]
Mattel - DC Universe Classics 16: Riddler
Finally, the version we've been waiting for! The prototype was shown with double-jointed knees and elbows but he lacks them here, which is pretty lame since this repaint of a figure could really benefit from the added value of kooky poses. He comes with the previous Riddler's cane but his left hand is sculpted too wide to effectively keep hold of the darn thing, and the right hand is a fist. Basically its classic Mattel - a figure that would be hard to screw up, but they managed. Still a very welcome addition to the Silver Age Bat Rogues - now all we need is Super Powers Penguin!
Mattel - DC Universe Classics 16: Robin
Two heads - one body. Initially I was pretty pissed about the two heads, but ultimately it works out just fine for me: one for Silver Age Bat Family, one for Teen Titans. It's a pretty darn good figure, but him having the extra articulation just reminds me of the other SA figures not having it... He seems out of scale, i.e. too big, when on his own but actually fits in just fine, being about a head or half a head shorter than Batman. We're back to six-figure series so no longer do we have an "odd man out" in terms of C-n-C parts and thus are forced to double up with variants, in this case getting a spare Bane head and a spare Bane crotch.
Mattel - DC Universe Classics 16: Mercury
Another one of the Metal Men and the first to spare us the pointless novelty of a diecast metal accessory. He comes with interchangeable "normal" and scissor hands. The scissors work surprisingly well but I'm not too crazy about the novelty constructs. The bright red color stands out nicely on the shelf and with Iron and Gold completes the primary colors kind of display. I have no knowledge of these characters outside of Alex Ross's Justice, so I have no vested interest in them outside of my compulsive need to build and complete teams. More extra articulation... sure it's nice, but it's an irrelevant character. Look - if given the choice between double-jointed knees/elbows and a $15 price point, I'll take the latter any day.
Mattel - Green Lantern Classics 1: Low/Mash
The only thing I like more than building teams is building out my Sinestro Corps! I love the idea of the multi-characters in one figure concept. If you don't care, you don't have to get both, but if you do care, like me, you get to pad out the ranks much faster! Low is one of my favorite Sinestro Corps members so I'm happy to add him the ranks. Conversely Mash is one of my least favorite... but who cases. LONG LIVE SINESTRO CORPS!
Mattel - Green Lantern Classics 1: Manhunter Robot
Well. it's better than the DC Direct version, but something about it still bugs me much as with that one. I guess I just have an inherent issue with the Manhunter's design (whaaaat!? Who could have an issues with such a great design???). The cube lantern is a neat addition though. Not sure how thoroughly I'll battle build with this guy, especially at the $18 price point TRU forced me to pay...
Mattel - Green Lantern Classics 1: Mongul
A slight retool of the DCSH figure and all-in-all a great repaint. The figure looks really good in the new colors too me. I just wish they had retooled him more book accurate, but I suppose just like Cyborg Superman that's asking considerably too much. At least with Hank it was a straight repaint with new hands - the problems with Mongul are his new biceps, which lack the bands he wears in the comics. I would have also preferred him to have a yellow ring on each finger, but I guess having just the one is a fun way to differentiate him from the DC Direct version. On a side note - it really bums me out that established characters get to keep their costume rather than get a Sinestro Uniform. I think continuity would well be served by Mongul in uniform, and Cyborg Superman too! For instance Superboy Prime in Sinestro Uniform looked awesome, short lived as it was.
NECA - Gremlins: Poker Gremlin
The new Gremlins 2 figures NECA showed at Toy Fair are easily my most anticipated figures/line of 2011, so half out of impatience and half out "I should have at least something from the first movie" I picked this dude up. I'm hoping/thinking the cards and poker chips will be fun accessories and hilarity will ensue but we'll see. It's a fine figure for as poor a design as the first movie had. Well, that's not fair, but come on... this is just a hokey '80s beastie while the Rick Baker creations from the astoundingly, absurdly fun sequel are awesome.
Playmobil - Divers
Playmobil - Specials: Arabian Warrior
Turns out the crappy hobby store I'd been cold-shouldering for the last eight months actually has a big selection of Playmobil, including the Specials! What's more? Two Arabian Warriors!!! Finally my giant Crusader Army has someone to reclaim the Holy Lands from!