Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DC Classics Wal-Mart Exclusive Box Set is out

At last! Mattel finally ships something of the DC Universe Classics line to retail. Wal-Mart stores are currently re-setting their toy aisles for fall and some new items are showing up. Today I came across the new Wal-Mart exclusive Gotham City 5 boxed set of DCU figures.

This set was first shown recently by Mattel during the San Diego Comic-con. At first glance I didn't think much of this offering because it appeared packed with so many re-decoed figures previously released. But up close the set proves to be a must have for collectors of the line.

The best and completely new figure in the set is '70s look Lex Luthor. Lex sporting his most familiar outfit best known as worn often in the old Super Friends animated series. The Superman sculpt in this set has been used several times by now but this is the first time we get a basic and classic Superman figure to display. The previous releases included the lame Super-Mullet hair style and a two-pack version were Supes' eyes were painted solid red to simulate the use of heat vision. It's amazing it took this long to finally get a basic Superman in this line.

The other figures in the set are re-tooled or decoed Bat-Universe characters. Like with Superman in this set, we finally also get a basic and modern Batman in the black and grey. The head and cape are new sculpts, different from the previous blue and grey incarnation of the character in the line. The mask's ears are taller and the cape forms around his neck instead of hooked onto his shoulders. Again, a most welcome and long overdue version. The Catwoman figure is simply a purple paint job over the previous release of the character in the older Mattel DC Super-Heroes line that pre-dates this current DC line. For me the look is out of place with his outfit but I know a lot of collectors have been begging for a Catwoman and had a hard time finding the previous version years ago so I understand Mattel's choice here.

The lamest figure in this set is Two-Face. This figure is a hack job. Mattel is using a Clark Kent body (again previously found in the DC Super-Heroes line) and sculpted a new head and left hand. The new head just sucks. Even to a blind person, the head is too small for the body and has limited pose range. It cannot pivot up or down. Besides the shitty head, the biggest miss on this character is absence of a coin in one of his hands. Seriously Mattel, if you are going to go through the trouble of sculpting up a new, scarred left hand, at least have it posed holding a coin, Two-Faces' signature accessory and trademark. How much could a detail like that have possibly impacted this set? A lazy oversight.

The set retails for just under $55. Not a terrible deal. Single figures average $12.00 at retail these days and Mattel confirms that price will likely be rising by end of the year. It's a set worth picking up for Luthor and better versions of Superman and Batman alone. You can place this Catwoman and Two-Face in the back of your DCU display on your shelves.

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