THE ATOM – DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW
DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)
Oh dear. It’s a Mattel review. DC Comics Multiverse even. This don’t look good….
In effort to at least try to get off to a good start, I’m going to talk about some more pleasant things. Just over a week ago, I was mentioning that DC’s actually got a pretty good slate of live action TV shows running right now. Flash and Supergirl are solid straight super hero shows, but over in the eclectic odd-ball corner, there’s Legends of Tomorrow, which is pretty consistently fun. Part of its success lies in spinning off some of the breakout characters from The Flash and Arrow, including today’s focus, Ray Palmer, aka the Atom. I’ve been a fan of the character for quite some time, and Brandon Routh’s portrayal of him in Arrow and Legends is always enjoyable. I’ve been patiently waiting for him to get a figure from *someone* and it looks like Mattel was first up to the bat. I really like this character and his design, so I’m going to try very hard to like this figure.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Atom (or should I say “FGC12,” since that’s how he’s listed on the back of the box. Yes, it looks like Mattel forgot to swap out the actual character names for the assortment numbers when the box went to print. I can’t wait for kids to try and beg their parents to buy them DWM60 figure to go with their Robin) was released in the “Rookie” series of DC Comics Multiverse figures, which started hitting towards the end of the summer. Atom is based on his slightly upgraded design from the second season of Legends, which I think is a slightly stronger look than the earlier design. The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation. As with the last few Multiverse figures I’ve looked at, the articulation count is largely theoretical. This figure hasn’t met a joint it couldn’t limit. The neck is a balljoint that operates as a simple swivel. The shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees all get less than 45 degrees of movement, so sitting poses and any real flying pose are out of the question. There are ankle joints present, but they don’t seem to actually do anything, so I’m not sure what they’re supposed to be accomplishing. They’ve foregone the ab-crunch completely this time, which I suppose is better than the essentially useless one found on the Suicide Squad figures. At least this way the sculpt isn’t needlessly broken up. Well, in that one place, anyway. Despite it’s lack of actual effectiveness, most all of the articulation is out there, naked, on display. Noticeable gaps in the sculpt somehow still leave the joints insanely restricted. How do you do that? You be Mattel, that’s how. The figure’s sculpt is all new, and it’s not atrocious. The details are certainly sharper than on a lot of the TV/Movie figures that Mattel’s offered in the line. The suit pieces certainly don’t look terrible. That said, the underlying body is definitely off, though. The neck’s really skinny and leaves the head sitting too high, the forearms almost look backwards, and the legs are very tube-shaped and inorganic. He’s also got that hideous hip construction that Mattel seems dead-set on saddling every one of their live-action figures with. The best I can say about this sculpt is that the whole is the slightest bit better than the sum of its parts; the complete figure looks okay. The paintwork on this figure is a bit better than some of Mattel’s other offerings. There aren’t any glaringly missing applications, and the work seems to be overall pretty clean. If you want to get nitpicky, the visor shouldn’t be solid black like it is, but it’s not terribly far off from the Season 2 design. Atom is packed with a smaller version of himself, which is a pretty standard extra for Atom figures. It’s decent enough, but it’s rather hard to keep standing. There’s also an unmasked Ray Palmer head, which is cool in theory, but not so much in practice. It doesn’t really look like Routh at all, it’s too large for the body, and it’s really, really shiny. Of course, seeing as it’s a Mattel accessory, I suppose we should just be glad he doesn’t have “CHINA” stamped right across his forehead. Lastly, Atom has both the head and pelvis of the Rookie Collect-N-Connect. Apparently Rookie is the name they assigned to Commissioner Gordon’s big Batman suit. Was that really a name associated with that suit? Because I don’t believe I ever heard it referred to as such. Bleh, I’m getting side-tracked again.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Okay, I’ve been burned by Multiverse before. I don’t really like this line. Why did I buy another one? Honestly, I just really wanted a TV Atom figure. I found this guy at Walmart while I was moving in August, and he just sort of called to me. I wanted to like him, I really did, but as soon as I took him out of his packaging, I found myself immediately let-down. Mattel’s articulation has been weak before, but I think this figure may be a new low on that front. The best you’ll be able to get from him is a semi-decent standing pose. That’s it. And, unfortunately, unlike the DCC TV Supergirl, who was also articulation-challenged, Atom’s sculpt isn’t high enough caliber for me to feel his lack of movement is justified. Instead, he’s just another below average figure. And that kind of sucks. I was really rooting for this figure. I don’t entirely hate him. He looks okay in that standing pose. But he’s hardly fun. For what may be the first time ever, I wish I’d left a toy in its packaging. At least that way I wouldn’t know just how disappointing he is, right? DCC’s releasing their own take on Atom in a month or so. I guess I’ll see how that one turns out.