Saturday, May 31, 2008

I love Mattel's DC Universe Classics line

Wow, it's been a while since I posted. Probably because the last one had so much thought and introspection that it used up all my insight for a while. But the time has come to post again, and it's actually mostly going to be ABOUT toys, instead of about TOYS. If that makes any sense.

But first, a quick preview. Wizard World Philly was this weekend, and we got to see previews of three figures from DCUC Wave 6 - Hawkman, Kryptonian Life Suit Superman, and Mr Miracle. The Four Horsemen do amazing work on these figures.

I think Mr Miracle, aka Scott Free (yeah, that's kind of a lame name, especially knowing his talents are in the way of being able to break out of and escape anything) looks awesome, and Hawkman looks very promising. Can't wait to see a painted version of him, and I hope that he comes will all the pictured accessories (sword, mace, shield). I quite like the Life Suit costume, and think that Superman will be cool, too.

I should also mention that a picture of Darkseid's firstborn son surfaced earlier this week. I'm familiar with this character from the animated series (Superman and Justice League) and I think this figure looks awesome (although, as you may have noticed, I say that about almost every single figure in this line). It hasn't been officially announced yet, so we don't know when we'll get him, but I'm guessing wave six, since we only know of three figures from that set. Presenting Kalibak.

Anyway, moving on...

The point of this post comes from a thread on my new favorite forum The Fwoosh - why do I like the DC Universe Classics line? This is a (hopefully) more coherent version of my response in that thread.

Character Selection

From the five and half waves and two 2 packs that have been announced, wave 1 is the only one that I'm not interested in 4 characters or more. I didn't care for Penguin and Detective Bats, and wasn't too interested in Red Tornado or Res - until I opened Etrigan, and saw how cool the C&C piece was. I pieced together Rex from friends and eBay, and absolutely love him, though I'd never heard of him before this (I'm actually not very up on comics). I will get Red Tornado one of these days, I just haven't yet, I'm sort of holding out for the modern version.

From wave 2 on, I love almost every single figure, even the characters I'm not familiar with or overly fond of. I want every single one. This line has made me the closest to a completist I think I will ever be. I was originally planning not to get Black Manta or Gorilla Grodd, but once my case arrived there was no way I could get rid of them. They were even on my desk at work this week so I could see them all day. From the responses in the Fwoosh thread, every time we see a new picture of an upcoming figure, someone says something like "I didn't know I needed this figure until this picture." There are hundreds or thousands of character in the DC Universe, most of which I have very little knowledge of, but seeing them in plastic form, sculpted by the fantastic Four Horsemen, makes me appreciate them more, and want to have them all.

There are so many cool looking characters they're doing, for example, Superman Red and Superman Blue in wave 2. I've never read the comics, I've heard it was a lame story, but the look is quite cool, and I was extremely excited to learn both would be available. And they're great figures. Deathstroke, kicks Justice League butt in Identity Crisis, how could I not want that figure? A giant Solomon Grundy, Despero, Batman Beyond - awesome characters that I know from the animated series' I'm so happy I will have these characters in such a great line. Eradicator, Lobo, Nightwing, Robin, I could go on and on, but I'd end up listing ever figure that's been announced. It's just awesome, the random and wide variety character selection we're getting. They're not just focusing on Superman and Batman, or other more well know characters. I mean, we're getting Lightray and a super-robot version of Metallo.

Sculpting

Rex Mason, Aquaman, Etrigan, etc. They're all extremely detailed, and really well done. I really like the way all of these look. They've gotten me to go back and pick up figures from the DCSH line such as Darkseid and Mongol (man, I wish I had been collecting DC over the last two years, instead of just Star Wars). I really hope that Brainiac, Luthor and Supergirl get re-released, and there are others that I would also buy if they were. These figures all look so good, that characters I don't care for I want to buy. Black Manta as an example mentioned earlier. Hell, I'd probably even buy a Jimmy Olsen figure at this point, and I really don't like him. I can't really say much more about this, other than to point you at my DCUC Wantlist post so you can see all the pictures of the figures.

Articulation

I've always been a bit of an articulation junky - sure these aren't as crazy good as the Halo 3 figures, but they're so much better than DC Direct's figures, or the old Batman figures I have. There are a couple points of articulation that I think they would benefit from, but at the same time, I don't really miss them much, either. And they're hellalot better than anything we've gotten in the Spawn lines for the last few years.

Accessories

Aquaman and Black Manta have really neat tridents. Scarecrow (DCSH wave 1) has a crazy cool scythe. Superman Red/Blue have neat energy effects. Harley has a crazy big old mallet AND a gun. She can't quite hold the hammer, but still. DCSH 3 Batman had 7 batarangs, he also couldn't hold them, but seven's a lot. The Amazon figures come with cool weapons - Artemis with a bow and quiver of arrows, Wonder Woman with an axe and shield and Ares with an axe and a big old sword. Deathstroke comes with his own armory - a staff, sword, pistol, machine gun, and possibly more. Rex, the C&C for wave 1 had three accessories, that's more than EVERYBODY else in his wave (I think).

Price

Before discovering this line I had been buying DC Direct figures to get all the great DC characters. Frankly my dear, they cost too damn much. Especially some of the older figures - the Return of Superman figures are crazy - $100+ for Cyborg Superman? Holy Hell No. I only had to pay $25 for DCSH Cyborg Superman, and the new ones are $10-$12 (Target-CornerStoreComics.com), versus $16+ for DCD at FYE, the only place I can get them locally. I also quite like Spawn figures, but $13+ for a plastic statue is really grating. I much prefer an articulated toy for $10. And Star Wars figures are up to $7 each, and that's for a figure almost half the size of these.

Look and Feel

They have a cohesive look. They will all look great next to each other, rather than looking like they're from different toy lines. I love the animated series, but haven't been happy with the animated style figures, and I'm not crazy about movie figures either (excluding Iron Man). With DC Direct, each line is in a specific artist's style, which is cool and has it's own merits, but it's rare to get an entire set of Justice League figures, or villains, such as the Legion of Doom, in the same style, or even scale. The only lines I can think of off the top of my head are the 2002/2003 Superman and Return of Superman line, but most of those are prohibitively expensive, and the current Justice League of America line, which after wave 3 will have the entire, current Justice League membership in plastic. But at $15-$17 each. Oh yeah, and between the JLA Classified and Superman/Batman lines you can get the Justice League in Ed McGuinness style, and I'm only missing three. But where that's only the Justice League, with DCUC I can have the Justice League, presumably someday I can have the Teen Titans and Justice Society and Legion of Superheros as well as all their villains in similar styles.

In conclusion - I love DCUC

All that to say, I love this line. For the foreseeable future I will be buying every figure, and I will be more than happy to do so. I guess it boils down to something somebody said on The Fwoosh.

I love DCUC because all the characters I loved as a kid and still love as an adult are finally getting the figures they deserve.
And I get to discover new characters to love and buy figures of.

3 comments:

Marissa said...

A good, all-encompassing post about DCUC. I'm glad you like the figures and all the things that make them good.
Just remember, being a completist can be frustrating at times.

SinlessTouch said...

I agree that its really frustrating being a completist. I also collect 80's adult toys like centurions, M.A.S.K, visionaries, bravestarr, etc.

Avalon said...

Well said.