#1041: Free Comic Book Day Blank

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY BLANK

PROMOTIONAL MINIMATES

FCBD2006a

Minimates are a brand that mostly runs on licensed properties, but their makers at Diamond Select Toys like to do what they can to get the brand out there, separate from the licenses they offer. One of the main ways they do this is via promotional blanks, handed out as freebies at various events, just to get the name and base body out there. Most of the time, these events are conventions that DST is attending, but twice now, said event has been Free Comic Book Day, a day where lots of other companies also try the whole promotional thing out at a larger scale.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

FCBD2006bThis Free Comic Book Day ‘mate was distributed on Free Comic Book Day in 2005, and is the first of the two FCBD ‘mates to be done. The figure is about 2 ¼ inches tall and has the same 14 points of articulation as every other Minimate. As a blank, this ‘mate uses no sculpted add-ons, but rather places the focus on the basic Minimate body. Interestingly, this guy has a head with a hole at the top for a hair piece. It’s far from an uncommon sight on a ‘mate, but most blanks tend to use the older style head without the hole. It’s a minor little difference, which makes this guy a little more customizable, but perhaps hinders his integrity as a standalone ‘mate. The FCBD ‘mate is molded in white plastic (which exhibits a nasty habit of yellowing over time, just as an fyi), with a printed Free Comic Book Day logo. It’s definitely a sharp looking design, and makes for a fun little piece. Plus, thanks to the interchangeable nature of Minimates, the logo-ed torso can even make for a cool t-shirt or something on another ‘mate.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was actually my very first promo Minimate. I picked him up from my local comic book store on FCBD, without much thought, actually. I didn’t even realize that it was a thing until I saw the little box of them my store had near the front. He’s actually become one of the prized possessions of my collection. He’s really only for diehard Minimate fans, but he’s definitely an awesome little figure!

#1040: Wonder Woman

WONDER WOMAN

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

WonderWomanDCUC1

Oh, DC Universe Classics, how you confuse me.  The line had a lot of promise. Heck, it had a lot of success. After all, 20 series at retail is nothing to sneeze at. Unfortunately, the whole line was plagued with issues with distribution, strange character choices, and the latter half was really hit by odd design choices for long-awaited characters. Still, early on, the figures really seemed to be really on point. If nothing else, the line gave us some pretty definitive versions of DC’s biggest characters, including today’s focus figure, Wonder Woman.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

WonderWomanDCUC2Wonder Woman was released in Series 4 of DC Universe Classics. She served as the series’ “anchor figure,” which seems pretty sensible, what with her being one of DC’s top three characters and all. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and she has 25 points of articulation. Wonder Woman is based on the look introduced in the late ‘70s-early ‘80s. It’s the look that the character had for a good 20 years or so, so it’s definitely a good choice. It’s also the same costume used by the Super Powers figure, which fits with DCUC’s theme of recreating SP. The figure had a new sculpt at the time, which was meant to serve as a starting point for future female figures. It’s not bad, though it hasn’t aged quite as well as some of the other sculpts from the time. Like the male bucks from the line, there’s the whole shoulder thing, where they just sort of…jut out. At least the line is internally consistent, I guess. The shoulders wouldn’t quite so much of an issue if her arms weren’t as skinny as they are. They aren’t horrid, but they really should be a bit thicker, especially for an Amazon. The waist is also pretty tiny, especially when compared to later figures in the line. On the plus side, the head sculpt is really strong on this particular figure, especially the hair, which has a nice weight and flow about it. Wonder Woman’s paintwork is pretty decent. While she’s not breaking any records or setting the bar, she’s pretty solid. The colors are nice and bold, and everything’s pretty clean. As far as accessories go, Wonder Woman’s a little. The obvious choice is the lasso, but that’s permanently attached. Instead, she gets an axe and a shield, which are fine, but they mean that her hands are in this odd loose grip, instead of a more preferable fist pose. She also included the left leg of Despero, the Collect-N-Connect for Series 4.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Series 4 of DCUC was the first series that I didn’t have much trouble finding at retail. I actually found all but one of the figures at KB Toys just before they went out of business. Which was cool, since they were 60% off and all, but also really sad, since, you know, KB Toys was closing and all. Ultimately, Wonder Woman isn’t one of the strongest figures in the line, she’s still a pretty solid figure, and a pretty good rendition of the character.

#1039: Raphael & Michelangelo

RAPHAEL & MICHELANGELO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (NECA…ish)

Raph&MikeyNECA

Wait a second!  Didn’t I just say yesterday that I never found the other half of the NECA Ninja Turtles?  Fear not dear reader, this feeling indicates only that you are still sane.  No, I never did find those other two Turtles.  Well, not officially, anyway.  I’ve spoken once or twice about bootlegs, unlicensed action figures, usually produced by chinese factories as a way of making a quick buck.  They tend to be very cheaply made, and rarely can they be mistaken for any official product.  It does happen, though, especially if a factory producing figures for an American toy company decides to make use of some of the molds they have lying around to earn a little extra profit.  That’s what happened to NECA.  In 2013, it had been a fair while since NECA had lost the license to produce TMNT figures, and the main four had all shot up pretty far in price.  Slowly, more and more of these figures began showing on eBay, shipping from China, and selling at lower prices than usual.  As it turned out, these figures were clever forgeries of the real deal, created by one of NECA’s ex-factories.  While the initial bootleg Turtles were just straight recreations of the official NECA figures, the already unlicensed nature of the the figures quickly opened the door to variations of the NECA figures in the usual cartoon colors (which NECA had not legally been able to use).  Needless to say, I came into possession of the remaining two Turtles, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

RaphNECA2These two are one half of the set of bootleg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures, patterned after the NECA releases.  As noted above, the bootlegs were available in both comic and cartoon color schemes (referring to the color of the bandanas).  These two are the cartoon color versions (though the two versions of Raph are the same).  As far as anyone can tell, the bootlegs are only available in the tube style packaging, likely due to them coming from the factory that produced that run of figures for NECA.  Both figures stand 5 ¼ inches tall and have the same 30 points of articulation as the official figures.  One thing I did notice is that these two have a tendency to pop apart at some of the joints, due to the slightly softer plastic that was used.  Like their official counterparts, Raph and Mike use the same body as Don and Leo.  There aren’t any sculptural changes that I can find, apart from some of the native texturing on the skin being a bit smoother.  The official Raph and Mike had unique heads, which is true here as well.  Raph sports one with a squinting, angry scowl, perfect for his more intense nature.  Mike, meanwhile, gets a much lighter expression, wide-eyed and smiling, RaphNECA2encapsulating his role as the team’s resident goofball.  Mike’s head is probably my favorite of the four, just for sheer expressiveness.  The changes between bootleg and official are most evident in the paintwork.  Obviously, Mike gets an orange bandana instead of the usual red.  It’s a minor change, but especially noticeable if you’re like me and the other three have red.  Raph’s bandana is more or less the same shade as the official figures, though it is a bit glossier in finish.  In fact, both figures as a whole are glossier than the originals, no doubt due to cheaper paint.  The greens of their skin are also a bit yellower than the official versions, and brown pads and belts are noticeably darker.  The black details have also been made a bit less striking, especially on the shells, and the accent work on the shading is a little more heavy handed.  As they are emulating the more bare-bones releases, Raph and Mike each get just their basic weapons: a pair of sai for Raph and nunchucks for Mike.   

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When these bootlegs first started showing up, I was tempted to pick up some of them, since, as noted yesterday, my NECA Turtles were incomplete.  However, they tended to only be sold in sets of four, so I never got around to getting them.  Back in June, I was out with my brother, and we stopped by a local retro game store, who had just gotten in a set of the cartoon colored versions.  While I would have prefered the comic ones, just for the sake of matching the two I already have, I figured these two were close enough.  Perhaps one day I’ll paint Mike to match the rest.   but right now I’m happy to have all four, even if it is through questionable means.

NECATurtles

#1038: Leonardo

LEONARDO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (NECA)

LeoNECA1

Hey, remember how I reviewed one of NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles yesterday? Well, guess what! I’m reviewing another one today! I know, it’s a total shocker, right? Okay, maybe not. Yesterday, I looked at Donatello, my favorite of the Turtles. Today, I’ll be looking at the Turtles’ leader Leonardo, who’s a definite fourth for me. But, I still bought the figure, so I guess that doesn’t really matter.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

LeoNECA2Leonardo was also released in the first series of NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line. Like Don, he was available in a clamshell, tubed, and in a boxed set with his three brothers. This figure is the clamshell release. Leonardo is 5 ¼ inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. As I noted in yesterday’s review, all four of the NECA Turtles shared the same body, so most of Leonardo is exactly the same as Donatello. Seeing as Donatello was a pretty impressively sculpted figure, that’s hardly an issue. Leo does have one minor change to the body; there is a pair of sheaths for his swords affixed to his back. These sheaths are just as nicely sculpted as the rest of the figure, and add a cool touch of individualism to Leo. Leo also gets a unique headsculpt, with gritted teeth and an overall determined looking demeanor. It’s a good expression for Leo, and makes him instantly distinctive from Donatello.  For the most part, Leo’s paint is more or less identical to Don’s. There are a few minor differences, but none that are intentional (barring the obvious inclusion of his teeth and the sheaths). Leo’s paint does seem just a bit sloppier than Don’s, but that’s the sort of thing that will vary from figure to figure. All three releases of Leo included a pair of katana, which are very impressively rendered. The bottom of each hilt can be removed to allow for an easier time getting Leo to grip them, and they fit great in his hands or the sheaths on his back. The clamshell release also added a pair of open palm hands, a pre-mutation Leo (same as the pre-mutation Don), and a stand that looks like a portion of sidewalk, complete with a fire hydrant. The stand can connect with the one included with Don (as well as those included with the other two Turtles) to form a neat little diorama.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Don, I found Leonardo at a nearby FYE (though not on the same trip). At the point I found him, I’d more or less given up on finishing the set, but was happy to find him regardless. Despite the fact that Leo isn’t my favorite Turtle, this is still a really fun figure, just as good as the Donatello figure. Leo was the last NECA Turtle I found, and the high cost of the other two on the aftermarket meant that for 9 years I’ve only had half of the Turtles on my shelf.

#1037: Donatello

DONATELLO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (NECA)

DonNECA1

For someone who never had a huge attachment to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I sure do seem to have a lot of figures from the franchise. What can I say? I’m a sucker for cool toys, and there are a lot of really cool Ninja Turtles toys out there. For most of their 25+ year run, the Turtles toys have been handled exclusively by Playmates, but in 2007, NECA put out a set of Turtles based on their original Mirage Comics appearances. Today, I’ll be looking at NECA’s take on my personal favorite of the Turtles, Donatello!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DonNECA2Donatello was released in the first series of NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line, and he (like the other three Turtles) was available three different ways: single-packed (clamshell), single-packed (tubed), and in a boxed set with the rest of the team. The particular figure being looked at today is the clamshell version, which means he includes a few extras that the other releases didn’t have. The figure stands about 5 ¼ inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. All of the Turtles from NECA were sculpted by the Four Horsemen, based on Eastman and Laird’s original depictions of the Turtles. The four figures shared most of their parts with each other, with the heads (mostly their expressions) being their only distinctive features. This is true to the early depictions of the characters, so it makes sense. The sculpt is definitely top notch, not only capturing the distinct look of the art, but also offering a lot of really great texture work (which is far better handled here than it is on the Playmates equivalents). If I had one complaint, it would be the length of the neck; it seems just a tad longer than it should be. Donatello’s head sculpt is calm and pensive, which is pretty a good choice for Don’s personality. On top an already awesome sculpt is a very impressive paintjob which, in combination with the sculpt, really helps to sell this as the comics design for the character. The colors are nice and bold, and the black accent lines are sharp, and place just right to make it look like an inked drawing. All of the releases of Don included the basic gripping hands and his signature Bo staff. The staff is a really nice piece, and it spits at the middle to make it easier to get it in his hands. The clamshell-ed Don also gets a spare set of open hands for wall-climbing, a container of T.C.R.I. ooze, a small pre-mutation Don, and a stand that looks like a section of street. All of these are just as well-sculpted as the main figure, and the stand in particular is a really fun piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Don was the first of the NECA Turtles I got. The single-packs were rather difficult to find at the time, so I was quite happy when I found this guy at my nearest FYE. This was actually my first real introduction to NECA, and it’s one heck of an introduction. This is a fantastic figure through and through, and there’s definitely a reason that these guys are so demanded after the fact.

#1036: Batman

BATMAN

DC COMICS DESIGNER SERIES (DCC)

BatmanCooke1

Earlier this year, we lost Darwyn Cooke, one of my favorite artists in comics. As fate would have it, this was also the year that DC Collectibles decided to devote a sub-set of their Designer Series to Cooke’s work, with the figures arriving just over a month after his passing. The figures are nothing if not a very nice tribute to all the awesome things Darwyn did during his career. Today, I’ll be looking at Batman, a character Cooke illustrated quite frequently. DC Direct did a Cooke Batman back when they did their New Frontier line, but that one was one of the line’s weaker figures, and it was also based on Batman’s ‘50s design, so this figure, based on a more timeless design is far overdue.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BatmanCooke2Batman is figure 1 in the Darwyn Cooke sub-set of DCC’s DC Comics Designer Series, released alongside Supergirl and Harley Quinn. The figure stands about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. The articulation count isn’t super high, but very similar to what the New Frontier figures had (with some of the range increased a bit), which helps this guy to still fit in with those figures. For the most part, he’s just going to be doing basic standing poses, but he can get a nice variety of nuanced changes, and you can even get some slightly more dynamic poses if you work at it. This Batman is based on the character’s look from the early-to-mid-40s, after his appearance had settled a bit, but before he had become his more jovial self. It’s Batman as he appears in a lot of Cooke’s work, such as Batman: Ego and the first half of New Frontier, so it’s definitely a good choice. The sculpt is very much in line with what I looked at with Doctor Fate. It’s probably one of the best sculpts I’ve gotten from DCC. They’ve done a very good job of capturing Cooke’s Batman, down to all the little creases in his costume. And, unlike the last Cooke Batman, this one doesn’t have an odd, unworkable sculpted pose, so he doesn’t look super awkward. That’s a definite plus in my book. Batman’s paintwork is all very sharp and clean. He’s certainly got a striking color scheme, and I especially like the use of glossy paint for his gloves, boots, and logo. The only slightly odd part of the paint is his mouth, or more specifically, his lower lip. It’s oddly defined and makes him look a bit pouty. Batman included no accessories, which is a bit of a bummer given the price, but certainly not the worst thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cosmic Comix got this set of figures in dribs and drabs. My dad picked up Supergirl at the end of June, but she was the only figure in stock. About a month later, they got this guy, and I picked him up as soon as I saw him. This is a figure I’ve been waiting for since the second series of New Frontier figures all those years ago, which makes me very happy. Now, if I could just figure out what the heck happened to that Adam Strange figure…

#1035: Ellen Ripley – Fiorina 161 Prisoner

ELLEN RIPLEY – FIORINA 161 PRISONER

ALIENS (NECA)

RipleyCubed1

Hey, you know what movie I love? Aliens! By extension, you know what movie I hate? Alien3 of course! Now, I know what you’re thinking: If I hate Alien3 so much, why do I keep buying figures from it? Well, there’s at least a part of it that’s about it giving me more time to air my grievances with the movie. It could also have something to do with that fact that, as bad as the movie may be, there were still a few interesting designs. Mostly, though, it’s due to the fact that I have an action figure addiction which cannot be stopped. That seems to be the cause of a lot of things in my life, if I’m honest. Anyway, today’s particular figure is NECA’s fifth version of Ellen Ripley, based on her appearance in the aforementioned film.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

RipleyCubed2This version of Ripley was released in the 8th series of NECA’s Aliens line, which, as I noted in my Weyland Yutani Commando review, is a series totally devoted to Alien3. The figure is just shy of 7 inches tall and she has 25 points of articulation. Rather than giving us different figures based on various parts of the film (like the Alien Ripleys), this figure kind of rolls her two main prison looks into one. She has two sets of arms and a removable vest for both jacketed and unjacketed looks. The pieces swap out well enough and provide two nicely distinctive looks, making it almost a bit surprising that NECA didn’t go for two separate figures. I’m hardly complaining, though. The inclusion of two sets of arms was fortuitous for me, since the left hand broke off the jacketed arm while I was removing Ripley from the box. Nothing a quick dab of superglue couldn’t fix, but be careful unpacking her. This Ripley gets an all-new sculpt, which is, overall, pretty good. Perhaps it’s a bit of personal bias, but I don’t find this sculpt to be quite as good as the Series 5 Ripley, especially when it comes to the facial likeness. While I won’t deny that there’s a lot of Weaver in there, the whole face seems just a bit pinched. That said, there’s still some awesome detail work on her shaved head, and the rest of the body is both well-proportioned and very impressively textured and detailed. This definitely feels like the same person from the last two figures. Let’s talk about the paint. So, overall, the paint on the figure is quite good. The clothes all have lots of subtle work to bring out the sculpted textures, and the overall work is very clean and sharp. The skin even has the tiniest bit of airbrushed red to make her look a bit more lively, which is a fantastic touch. There’s one major issue with my figure, and it’s one I didn’t actually notice until partway through writing this review: her face detailing is skewed just the slightest bit downward. It’s seriously slight. So slight that, like 99% of people wouldn’t even notice. However, it’s enough to throw off the likeness a bit, which may be at least part of why I haven’t warmed to this sculpt like I did the prior Weaver sculpts. In addition to the spare arms, Ripley includes a flashlight and the torch used to lead the Dog Alien to its demise. Both pieces are very impressively sculpted, and both fit nicely into her right hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I actually found Ripley at the same time as the Commando, but I ended up passing on her at that time. Of course, then I found the remnants of the series at a couple of TRUs, and was kicking myself for not picking her up the first time. Fortunately, my closest TRU got in a case and I was able to score the last Ripley they had. I don’t like this figure as much as the Aliens version, but then again, I never really expected to. As a figure on her own merits, she’s pretty solid. If nothing else, I’ve got a nice little set of Alien3 figures that I can just pretend are a few more “concept figures.”

RipleyCubed3

#1034: Tom Riddle

TOM RIDDLE

HARRY POTTER & THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (MATTEL)

TomRiddle1

Welcome to The Figure In Question, where I refuse to let any of my guest reviewers have an area of coverage all to themselves.  Tim covers Metal Gear?  So do I!  Christian has AmiiboMe too!  Super Awesome Girlfriend has some Halo?  I’ve got that covered!  The only guest reviewer with something I hadn’t covered was Jill, over there with Harry Potter.  Well, now I’m doing that too!  That’s right, I bought this figure new,  11 years before starting the site  and 10 years before meeting Jill, all to upstage her.  That’s all it could possibly be!  *ahem*  So, here’s this Tom Riddle figure.  Let’s have a look, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

TomRiddle2Tom Riddle (better known as Voldemort) was released in the second assortment of Mattel’s Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets figures.  He’s based on Christian Coulson’s portrayal of Tom from the second movie (in case the name of the line hadn’t clued you in).  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and has 13 points of articulation.  That may not seem like a lot of articulation, but Tom here was actually one of the best articulated figures in the line, believe it or not.  Tom featured a sculpt that was unique to him.  It’s….well, rudimentary would probably be a good way to describe it.  The proportions are rather off, with poor Tom getting quite the melon of a head.  And, while the face doesn’t look too unlike Coulson, the hair isn’t even close.  It’s a totally different style entirely.  Also, with the upper half of the figure is sculpted very dynamically, the legs just sort of hany there, and, deapite their incredibly obvious joints that are not in the slightest bit worked into the sculpt, there are pretty much no poses that help them match the rest of the sculpt.  The robe has a very nice texturing to it, but none of this texture translates to the rest of the figure, which just make him look even further imbalanced.  The hands are actually not bad, what with the cool sculpted poses.  Of course, the poses mean that he has to have a peg hole in his palm to be able to properly hold his accessory, but it could be worse.  On the plus side, the paint work on Tom is actually pretty decent.  There’s some nice, subtle work, especially on the robe, which looks quite realistic.  Easily the best paint of any of the figures in this line.  Tom was packed with a single accessory, but it’s a good one: the diary that brings Tom “back to life”.  He can sort of hold it, thanks to the peg at the base of the book’s spine.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I never really had a lot of the  Harry Potter figures, but, as noted in the intro, I got this guy new.  Chamber of Secrets was my favorite book, and I quite liked the Tom incarnation of Voldemort.  I ended up finding this guy at the KB Toys that used to be near my family’s summer vacation spot.  He, like the rest of Mattel’s output from the movies, hasn’t aged particularly well.  He’s not awful, though.

#1033: Khan Noonien Singh

KHAN NOONIEN SINGH

STAR TREK (ART ASYLUM)

Khan1

“From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee!”

1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is easily the greatest film to come out of the Star Trek franchise. It not only helped revive the franchise after the somewhat lackluster response to The Motion Picture, but it also made its lead antagonist, Khan Noonien Shingh, into one of Star Trek’s most memorable characters, and one of cinema’s greatest villains. But, before all of that, Khan was just another of TOS’s threats of the week, appearing only in a single episode of the show’s run. During Playmates’ rather long tenure with the Trek license, they released just about every character and look imaginable from the franchise, but Khan’s only figure was based on his film appearance. His TV appearance wouldn’t see release until 2003, after the license had moved to Art Asylum. I’ll be looking at that particular figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Khan2Khan was released in the first series of AA’s Star Trek: The Original Series line. He was the only figure in the series that was not a member of the bridge crew. The figure stands about 7 ¼ inches tall and has 19 points of articulation. Like a lot of the Trek figures in this style, Khan’s articulation doesn’t allow for much more than a basic standing pose, but you can get him into a few decent poses. Khan is seen here in the red jumpsuit he wears towards the end of “Space Seed,” during his climactic battle with Kirk. It’s kind of the go-to look for TOS Khan, so it’s a decent choice. The sculpt does a pretty nice job of translating that look into figure form. He’s not perfect, but he fits with the style of the other figures in this line. The head is very nicely detailed in particular, especially on the hair. In fact, I think Khan’s head sports one of the better likenesses in the first series. The uniform is a little lighter on the details than the head and hands, but the important details are still there, so that’s good. The legs are also rather on the skinny side, but this was common to the line, so at least he fits in. The paintwork on Khan is pretty decent. The skintone isn’t quite as lifeless as some of the other figures in the line (though it does seem a bit pale for Montelban). I also quite like the use of a wash on the jumpsuit, so as to bring out the details in the sculpt. Khan included a standard classic phaser, as well as one of the weird little coins that Art Asylum included with all of their Trek figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was actually pretty excited for this line of figures when they were first shown off, Khan most of all. When they finally hit, they weren’t as easy to find as prior Trek lines from AA. I ended up finding them all from a dealer at a con, but at the higher price, I only ended up with Khan. He’s a very nice figure, just like the rest of AA’s output. I’m definitely glad I have him. If only I had some others in the same scale!

#1032: Deadshot

DEADSHOT – SUICIDE SQUAD

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

DeadshotSS1

“…Mama, just killed a man. Put a gun up to his head. Pulled the trigger, now he’s dead!”

Hey, didn’t I start out this week with lyrics from “Bohemian Rhapsody”? Indeed I did! Since Suicide Squad used the song rather prominently in the trailers (and also totally randomly and out of place in the movie), I thought it might be appropriate. It also reminds me of happier times, back when I was reviewing something that had nothing to do with Suicide Squad. Yes, against my better judgement, I went and saw Suicide Squad in the theatre. I wanted to like it. I really did. It had its moments, most of which were while Will Smith’s Deadshot was on the screen, but it was otherwise rather disappointing. Since he was one of the few worthwhile parts of the movie, I’ve picked up a Deadshot figure, from Mattel’s latest round of tie-in products.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DeadshotSS2Deadshot is part of the first half-wave of Mattel’s Suicide Squad-themed DC Comics Multiverse series. Why Mattel insists on shipping these out three figures at a time is beyond me, since the whole B-a-F concept loses a lot of the selling power if the figures that come with the pieces arrive in stores months apart… I’m getting distracted from the figure. Sorry! Deadshot stands about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation. Several of the joints are severely lacking in range of movement: the head is a ball joint that moves like a cut joint, neither the knees or the elbows can get a full 90 degrees of movement, and the ab-crunch is so limited that it might as well not be there. Sure, he fares better than yesterday’s Grey Fox, but that figure is almost 20 years old, and this one came out last month. Compared to what Hasbro’s been doing with Marvel Legends, this guy feels very behind the times. At the very least, the sculpt is pretty decent. The overall look of the design has been translated pretty well into figure form. The detailing on the clothes is a little on the basic side, but it’s about what you’d expect from a Mattel figure. The wrist guns could stand to be a little more pronounced, but that’s minor. The proportions are pretty decent; no weirdly elongated or widened bits here. The figure features both a masked and an unmasked heads. The masked head is the stronger of the two. The details are nice and sharp, and there’s even a bit of texture work. The unmasked head is a little on the softer side, especially on the beard. It’s a decent enough Will Smith likeness, though he seems a little more gaunt here than he is in the film. Deadshot’s paint is a bit of a mixed bag. The overall look isn’t terrible (I don’t even mind the slightly brighter palette), and there are even a few cool little details, such as the little phrase written on his collar. That said, there are a few spots that are just missing paint apps all together, like the straps for his shoulder pads, the ankle knife, and the guns at the back of his belt. And, as cool as the collar is, I feel like the graffiti on the costume should be an all or nothing sort of deal. Of the two heads, the masked one once again pulls ahead, with some nice small detail work. The unmasked isn’t awful, but the beard looks beyond fake. In addition to the extra head, Deadshot includes a small handgun. For a guy whose whole shtick is guns and shooting, that’s very underwhelming, especially since we didn’t even get the rifle that he’s seen carrying in just about every promotional image. Would one more piece really have killed them? He also has the right arm of the Killer Croc Build-A-Figure. If I let it sit long enough, do you think I can grow a whole Croc figure?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this guy on my birthday, as part of the expedition to various toy stores that made up the better part of the evening. It was a week prior to the release of the movie, but I figured that I liked Will Smith and I liked Deadshot, so, even if the movie was bad, I could still enjoy the figure. That’s pretty much exactly how it turned out. I know the review’s a little down on the guy (in my defense, I got him the same day as the Marvel Legends Black Panther. That guy set a really high bar), but I actually don’t think he’s awful. Yes, he has his flaws, but the good outweighs the bad. Plus, he’s a Will Smith Deadshot figure. That forgives a lot of sins.

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