Thursday, January 7, 2010

DC Universe Classics 11 & Flight Stand Review

While still in the process of writing 2000 other pieces, two DCU 11 sets arrived today and I wanted address this new wave quickly.

I’m not going to litter this piece with pictures – with a simple Google search you can find plenty of pictures better than anything I can be bothered to take. The one picture here is meant to illustrate the lameness of both the figure and “flight” stand.

After 10 previous waves and many box sets, lots of the same problems that have plagued this line since day one are still present:

1) the ball-jointed neck that doesn’t look up or down
2) the generic nature of the sculpts
3) the blocky ankles that make the flight poses look awkward because the lines of the body don’t look natural.
4) ill-advised love affair with Super Powers
5) Stupid T-crotch
6) Ugly & obvious thigh cut
7) It's called ENGINEERING

Hopefully the shifting of ToyGuru to the GL movie line will result in a fresh set of eyes that will save DCUC from extinction and rectify the stupid shit ToyGuru has failed to fix over the past few years. For example, this wave is not exactly packed with A-listers. Here’s what you get:

Katma Tui: Both of mine have paint issues as does John Stewart. Oddly, the issue is on pieces that are molded in solid green plastic but are both painted solid black – which is not only a waste of paint, but also an unneeded application. The female body sucks. The arms are too spindly. In this case the head is also huge, which adds to the disproportionate look of the figure overall. By the way, FIRST TIME IN SIX INCH!!!!!! "Oh mommy, can I get it? This character I've never heard of has finally been made as a six-inch figure!! The power of lazy meaningless marketing compels me!"

John Stewart: Yawn, although the accessories (detachable Lantern fist & gun) are nice, especially as there are hardly any accessories in this line (another issue that should be fixed). Same paint issues as Katma.

Steppenwolf: There are two versions, the comic version and the Super Powers version. Again, a D-lister. Execution is fine, but they will rot on shelves. No one under 40 knows either version. Even in the 80’s Kenner knew this character needed to be a mail-order figure. Twenty + years later, neither new version comes with a C&C piece – the lack of which would normally make him the least desirable figure in the Wave, but ToyGuru has dug deep and found a less appealing character. Who is less sellable than Stepenwolf? Welcome…..

Shark: Hello peg-warmer! This ugly execution of an interesting character design is completely ruined by the connection of the head to the neck. Also, kids don't buy characters in shiny pink jumpsuits. If you can’t execute properly, why bother with this D-lister? Please note there are running changes with this figure including a cute “Bubbly-Bubble” and a revision to the paint job that eliminates the pupils.

The Question: This is the fan poll winner (according to the sticker on the package – as if that will drive sales in any way). Thin arms and a rubber overcoat restricts movement to such a degree that much of the articulation is compromised. Hands are sculpted to hold guns that aren't included. yay.

Deadman: Horrible headsculpt and once again, the thin, spindly body looks wrong. Thin, yes. Monkey arms, no. I thought they were going for classic looks in this line.

Cyborg Superman: Fine, but again, articulation is unnecessarily compromised.

Kilowog: Here’s your C&C figure; nice except there’s an issue with either the T-crotch being too large or the range of motion in the hip joints are too limited, but regardless of the cause, the legs & crotch don’t fit together well. This means that even with the side swivel ankle joints, Kilowog’s legs can’t move close enough together to get his feet flat on the ground, making this top-heavy figure ready to fall over if a gnat farts in the next room.

OVERALL: As usual the C&C fig is pretty good, although this one has a huge flaw that is impossible to overlook. The case ships with more Flash, Batman and Superman reissues. So the new figures are two marginal Lanterns (& one from second-tier), a Superman variant, and the others are basically unknown or unexciting to anyone except hardcore DC fans. This line is being brand managed out of existence.

And while I’m shitting on Mattel, you’ll notice the pic of Deadman in the “flight” stand. These were sold on the Matty website, at the outrageous price of $12 for three (!). I was surprised to see these are made from the same crappy plastic as your mom’s old Tupperware (she brought me a slice of apple pie in it after I did her in your old bedroom). It’s translucent, not clear, so the illusion of flight it’s supposed to simulate is lost. Also, as you can see, the stand isn’t very high, so in the case of Deadman, you can’t even have him hovering in the air, because his TOES TOUCH THE GROUND. It looks like he’s practicing ballet. And come to think of it, that’s the face I’d make if I had to walk around on my toes. So in case you were wondering where I’m going with this, these stands are overpriced, badly-conceived pieces of shit that should be avoided at all costs.

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