I have a well-documented tendency to just hoard my Matty Collector in-flow. It's likely an offshoot of one of the worst realizations of my life (if I don't open this toy now, I'll have more to open later - which has lead to an incredible number of un-opened puchases) and my general malaise regarding Mattel. Plus, after a few months of stockpiling these it occurred to me it would give me the chance to review them all in one fell swoop, and boy do I love my themed Spoils! And so, at last, we find ourselves here. You, me, and 13 releases from the first year of a somewhat controversial toyline through an always controversial outlet.
DC Signature Collection: Jay Garrick
The first figure out of the gate and the one at the top of my list. After they eventually gave us Martian Manhunter my battle cry became "We have a figure of ______ but no Jay Garrick!?" He allows us to satisfactorily complete both the classic and the modern JSA's, which is ironically my biggest problem with him. Just as with Alan Scott I need two of this guy, but like heck I'm pay Matty prices + shipping more than once! I'm not really one to jump on the "holding toys hostage" malarkey thrown at Matty's subscription practices but I think I may on this case. Otherwise he's a really good figure. I'm not terribly crazy about the vac-metalized helmet but it's not a turn-off either. I am not crazy, though, about it being at an angle on his head. It would have been nice to at least toss in a couple of those translucent yellow "lightning forearm" things to give him a since of Flash-motion. I'd rate this guy as second best in the line, though, so that may be a spoiler on where things are headed here.
DC Signature Collection: Atrocitus
Ah-TROS-it-us or At-ro-SITE-us? I confess I was doing the latter until I heard it pronounced at a Con or somewhere. He's one of two (well, three counting the "subscription exclusive" Metron) characters I definitely wanted from this line and thus a core reason for my subbing. He's a pretty good figure, right in line with your Mattel/Four Horsemen expectations. He gets a reasonable amount of new tooling and the sculpting is pretty good. The hands and head gets the most detailing and look great, despite being cast in an odd shade of red which heavily favors the pastel end of the spectrum. The metallic reds on some of his armor look great, and ultimately I like the three shades of red on him; it makes him more dynamic. He gets an all-new Lantern accessory which turned out fantastic, but he can'y carry it (which doesn't bother me that much, though your mileage may vary). All in all this is the best figure in the series and the gold standard for which it should strive for: stylistically identical to DCUC with about 25-35% new tooling and a new accessory.
DC Signature Collection: Starman
I remember the first time I saw this character knowing he was a toy just waiting to happen. DCD made a version in their JSA line a few years back and this is essentially just a Mattel duplicate of it, but with one major difference: whereas the DCD figure was cast in black with "stars" painted on him, this one is cast in the more accurate and expected translucent black with glitter mixed in. Unfortunately the glitter is fairly fine, so he almost has a more pearlescent look than a "full of stars" one. The heads were a little difficult to swap, but not in a deal-breaker way. Originally I had thought of getting two, one for my Modern JSA and one for my Kingdom Come display but, as with Magog, I think I'm fine just having one for KC.
DC Signature Collection: Rocket Red
Who is this? Oh, that blocky guy from JLU but in a new costume - great? It's a neat design, I like it much the same way I quite love the modern Adam Strange outfit, but once again he appears to be an over-sized release for the simple sake of being over-sized. As yo mentioned the classic design is probably more recognizable and certainly bigger than a normal guy while this new one is neater but certainly not over=sized. He's a decent figure, though I'm really nonplussed by his forearms, which have the laser blasters sculpted on at a weird angle. He's neat as a figure "I am forced to own" (thanks to the subscription) but I have no real interest in him nor place for him in my collection/display.
DC Signature Collection: Mirror Master
So this dude is someone's favorite character. He gets more new tooling than most figures plus six accessories! His mirror guns have interchangeable "open" and "closed" reflector nozzles, which, frankly, I didn't even know was a feature they had until this toy. The downsides are that the guns only fit in the giant holsters with the closed nozzle attached and that his collar restricts a lot of his head movement. Otherwise it's a good figure and a welcome addition to our semi-recognizable villain ranks. However, I just can't help but look at extra expenses on this figure and be upset that he gets so much while folks like Constantine get so little.
DC Signature Collection: Black Mask
I had never heard of this guy before DC Direct made their figure of him and really haven't seen him much since, so I have no real draw to this character. He did turn out cool, but more as just a neat looking figure than an interesting Bat-villain. The head is a great sculpt and the body is all-too familiar. He risks being too dull from all the black but somehow it kind of works. He also pulls a boondoggle with not one or two but three accessories! He gets a Rambo knife, a comicbook-y Grendel dagger and an empty Batman cowl. The cowl is the best of the bunch but he can't hold it... it can't hang off either knife... it's too "full" to lay on the ground... it's just utterly pointless. I can accept Atrocitus not holding his Lantern, cause really - Lanterns are for looking, not carrying - but that this guy can't hold the most interesting thing about his entire release? It's not like he has new hands or anything either. Just head-shaking disappointment with Neitlich and the Four Horsemen on this. Bad show, gentlemen.
DC Signature Collection: Poison Ivy
I think we were all pretty surprised that this fairly major character was coming to DCSC rather than retail. She gets a new head and giant hair, both of which look pretty good, plus an all-new upper and lower torso. She also gets three vine accessories, but those are little more than dressings for herself (though I suppose you could put them on other figures for an "ensnared" look). That's a pretty significant volume of new tooling, and it's all well sculpted, but also minimal enough to feel quite lacking, unfortunately. She's cast in a pale green, which I suppose helps her stand out more on the shelf, though I've never been a fan of green Poison Ivy. It would have been nice if they'd done her whole bathing suit as leaves and given her a balljointed waist rather than the bland majority of the torso and fairly useless, tight pseudo-balljoint at the ribcage. She necessary for your Rogue's Gallery, and honestly on the better end of releases, but she's still not something I find myself excited about.
DC Signature Collection: Elasti-Girl
Well it's nice to basically complete a team, though it was a team I never really had much interest in beginning in the first place. She's a good figure built off of the Giganta body but with enough new pieces to make her feel different. I quite like the head sculpt, it feels like a real person's face. The micro-figure of her is a nice, if obvious, inclusion though I'm hard pressed to believe anyone would choose to display that over the full figure, which brings me to my only problem with her - her size. She's the tallest figure in the line and towers over Negative Man and Robotman, which isn't necessarily wrong considering her power, but how do I adapt such extreme variation to my limited shelf space. It basically relegates the Doom Patrol to the back row which is a shame as the other two guys look kinda neat. She's the only good use of the seemingly obligatory "over-sized" slots in the line and this is probably the most interesting way of doing the character, but at the end of the day I would have preferred a regular sized figure.
DC Signature Collection: John Constantine
Constantine - the character so cool you want a toy of him but he's not really that toyetic, so where does that leave us? Here. It's possible the coat and Casual-Friday-shirt upper torso pieces are new, but they look so familiar it doesn't seem like it. Maybe that's where the budget went cause he certainly doesn't come with any accessories to make this more than a "just a guy" figure. At least include the Movie Masters handgun, or like a Swamp Thing growing out of a plank of wood or something. Instead just get a remarkably bland figure with a remarkably dis-interesting head. His face reminds me a lot of that OMAC they did, which just looked intangibly weird. I guess I'm pleased to put him with Swamp Thing, Deadman and the other paranormals but it's not really anything DC Direct hasn't given me or done better a decade ago.
DC Signature Collection: Uncle Sam
This figure will always put an ironic smirk on my face. At SDCC 2012 I came across a booth that had the DCD Uncle Sam for a very reasonable price, and I had just been thinking it was a shame I'd never got him, so I was right pleased to pick him up figuring that was the only figure of Uncle Sam we'd ever see. Well... that very afternoon Mattel unveiled this figure at their Mattypalooza panel. Oh irony... This guy is little more than a repaint of Joker with the standard DCUC "grip hands" and a new head plus hat (the latter is not removable, of course). He also gets a little Dollman as an accessory which is novel and a pretty good micro figure. Dollman's a little wacky but I'm far more pleased to have him than nothing (looking at you Constantine). The only real complaint I have here is he should have had a "pointing at you" right hand. Seriously, what's the point of having a toy of Uncle Sam if he can't "want you?"
DC Signature Collection: Platinum & Tin
This set came out at the same time as Lead meaning the Metal Men were completed in one fell swoop - pretty nice. Platinum is a good figure though not much different that what you'd expect. She has a nice bright sheen to her paint and it doesn't interfere with any of the sculptural details which is both surprising and excellent. Tin makes perfect sense as a pack-in, and being ignorant of the characters was fine with his tiny proportions until, once again, yo pointed out how out of scale he was. The "claim" is that the figure shown at SDCC was a two-up, but I think they just shrunk him due to costs. Solvable - swap this set with Lead for an "oversized" two-pack and a smaller Lead figure and boom, automatic cost alignment. Again, a nice entry in terms of team completion but not terribly exciting beyond that.
DC Signature Collection: Lead
Yawn. Oh, sorry I just saw another Metal Man. Sorry fans of theirs but they are fourth stringers at best, so while I do enjoy building and completing teams my interest is low for ones like this that just aren't that interesting. I mean, these aren't the most exciting designs we're talking about here. This guy is built off of the Darkseid build-a-figure which means he's both large and his arms pop out easily (though his right hand does not - I had hoped to give him the Not-Infinity-Gauntlet for poops'n'giggles). Like Elasti-Girl it seemed like a way to do an over-sized figure for the sake of doing one and was likewise somewhat warranted, but yo pointed out that it's pretty out of scale, which begs the question, why not just make him a regular figure and build off of the excellent DCSH Darkseid? At the end of the day, they completed a team which is a good thing. But that's about the only appealing thing about this figure to me, alas.
DC Signature Collection: Metron
For reasons unknown I suddenly became both a huge Kirby and Fourth World fan about seven years ago (damn you, un-findable Omnibus Volume II!!! Will you ever be mine!?) so I've been gobbling up every character they've done and begged for more. Metron was the club exclusive for year one and he's a great addition. It's another great Kirby costume and most importantly comes with his trademark Mobius Chair! Though DC Direct had made (a far cooler and) more stylized Metron before I believe this is the first Mobius Chair ever released (or did Eagle Moss do one?). I'd be remiss not to mention this was the first time I'd ever had a significant problem with a Matty figure - he'd come loose in the tray and there was remarkable paint damage to the nose and chest, but I was able to exchange him in a process that was far less terrible than I'd been led to expect. So - the figure is basically a perfect example of the DCUC style, but what of the chair? I'm not sold on it, to be honest. The Mobius chair that always comes to my mind has a triangle base, not a rectangle, so I would have preferred that but the really issue here is that the chair is a little too big. Looking at Metron and how he fits in it I feel like the chair is in 8" scale though the figure is in 6" scale. So... what happened? It's just big enough to make Metron look like a little kid. But, at the end of the day we have both the figure and the chair, which is the important part, and in general they turned out great!
Nice review. Seeing all the CIE figures together in one big review, makes me realize how sort of unremarkable they are. I don't have the sub, but I bought Elasti-Girl, Poison Ivy, and Black Mask on Ebay. I'm pretty happy with all of them, but they are nothing special.
On a side note, I was surprised you'd never heard of Black Mask. I haven't read Batman on a regular basis for years, but even I knew who Black Mask was. This leads me to suspect that you've never seen the excellent animated movie "Batman: Under The Red Hood", which is arguably the best of the DC direct to video animated movies. Black Mask has a big role in the story. His part was one of my favorite things about the film, and a big reason I really wanted the figure. So, do yourself a huge favor and check it out.
Well, I meant I hadn't heard of him before the DC Direct figure (http://www.oafe.net/yo/dcdsf1bm.php). I recall him being pretty cool in the Red Hood movie, too, but he's still a fairly unimpressive villain in the best rogue's gallery in comics
Is it just me, or does Poison Ivy look like Sasha Grey?
(If you don't know who she is, DON'T Google image search her at work!)
Hardcover or softcover volume 2? My store has a copy of the softcover version in stock.
I think you might be misinformed about DC Direct's Starman. It was actually made of translucent gray plastic with glitter underneath.
Okay, I wasn't entirely sure but I couldn't find any images of that figure and mine is up in the attic, so I just took a gamble
i really kinda want a black mask now. are you sure there's NO way to hold the cowl?
I spent a big chunk of time and found no way to make him hold it without having to implement some customization or glue.
I don't regret not subscribing to this. I do regret that we don't have any new Spoils!