DC Universe Classics Wave 12: Part 3, Iron and Desaad by Mattel

Sorry. I know its been a little bit since I posted Part 2, but I’ve had a busy week and I just haven’t been able to get back to my computer much and when I have, I’ve been spending time with Star Trek Online. Now, I’ve got some toys piling up and I’m trying to make a concerted effort to finish up this piece so I can move on to other things. So, getting back to DCUC Wave 12… today I’m looking at Desaad, my most anticipated figure in this wave, and Iron, my least anticipated figure in this wave. And let me just clarify when I say Desaad is my most anticipated figure, I’m not counting the C&C Darkseid. Because:Darkseid > Everything.

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Yep, as we’ve seen already, these figures come in slightly different packaging. There’s a new “75 Years of Super Powers” logo and you get a collector button that I couldn’t give a shit about. Sorry, I don’t mean to be insulting to Mattel throwing us collectors a little bone now and then, but these little pins just don’t do a thing for me. There are bios and stats of each character on the back.

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Let’s start with Iron, because I had absolutely no desire to own this figure, mainly because unlike everyone else in the wave, I had no idea who the hell he is. Now, surprisingly, this doesn’t happen all that often with the DCUC figures, which I am pretty proud to say, because there have certainly been some obscure characters released and I’ve been nerd enough to know most of them. Conversely, I am not at all shamed by the fact that I never heard of The Metal Men until I read the bio and looked him up online. It has, however, motivated me to get some comics and bone up on my reading. I’m a great champion of a well-rounded education, especially when it comes to comic books.

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Now, not knowing who Iron was, doesn’t hurt my appreciation for what is still a very cool figure. He’s basically iron personified and this figure does that concept justice. His arms and legs still have an organic, muscular look to them, but his torso is one peice and made to look like it was hammered out of… well, iron. The metal motif is further conveyed by the sculpted rivets and pitting scattered around his body. Overall the execution of the sculpt on this guy is first rate. Iron doesn’t have a lot of variety to his paint apps, in fact he’s done entirely in one color, but Mattel did a great job giving him a gunmetal blue finish that really makes the figure look like he’s made of metal. The only other time I’ve seen a paint effect this cool on a figure was on Hasbro’s recent Comic Series War Machine figure.

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Iron comes with two attachments for his arms that socket over his hands to make these pieces look like his arms have morphed into them. The right hand takes a giant chain and wrecking ball, while the other has a huge pipe wrench. The ball has a real chain to attach it and the pipe wrench actually works. By that I mean it opens and closes, don’t try doing any real work with it. These attachments give Iron a number of variables for posing and display, which you don’t see too often in this line of figures.

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Mattel made a few sacrifices to Iron’s articulation in favor of his sculpt and design. Most obvious is the fact that he has no hinge in his torso or swivel in the waist as his torso is all one piece. The articulation might be buried under there somewhere, but the plastic layered on top makes it a moot point. The missing turn in the waist is a bit of a bummer, but I really don’t miss the torso hinge at all. Apart from that, Iron has all the usual DCUC articulation. He has ball joints in the neck and shoulders. He has swivel cuts in the biceps and wrists and his elbows are hinged. His legs have universal joints in the hips, which are somewhat inhibited by his “skirt,” he has swivel cuts in the thighs and hinged knees and ankles.

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Ah, and then there’s Desaad. As a kid, I didn’t have too many of Kenner’s Super Powers figures, but I did have a few and one of them was Desaad. I was anxious to get a bigger and better version, not only for nostalgia sake, but because I dig the character. Its also still astounding to me that we have toys based on a character who was: a) a torturer, and b) basically named after one of the most infamous sexually depraved writers of all time. The DCUC version sticks pretty closely to the original design and it really takes me back. The only thing missing is that action feature that squeezes his arms together.

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Desaad’s character design has him cloaked, which brings both good and bad. The good is that it makes him a really stand out figure. Let’s face it, a lot of DCUC are paint variations on a similar body, so Desaad’s creepy, druid-like appearance is pretty fresh and unique. On the bad side, Desaad suffers the fate of many plastic-cloaked action figures… limited articulation, which is also somthing we are definitely not used to seeing in the DCUC figures. Although it seems to be the running theme today. I love the Desaad’s head sculpt. He’s got a creepy, sadistic grin and all in all he just looks like some kind of sick-o pervert. His robes are rather plain, but they do feature a lot of sculpted wrinkles and his boots have buckles and straps sculpted onto them.

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Naturally, Desaad comes with his bizarre set of torture gear that he wears around his chest. This piece fits over his head like a harnass and rests on his shoulders. Its got a control panel, two articulated hoses that can be directed under his arms towards his back, and two leads that he holds in his hands, presumeably to attach to his victim. I really love the fact that Mattel made this contraption removable as it gives the figure a lot more potential for different poses.

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Like Iron, Desaad sacrifices some articulation because of his design. The figure body actually has all the usual DCUC articulation, but the molded plastic robes inhibit some of it. He can turn his head and swivel at the waist. He has ball jointed shoulders, swivel cuts in the biceps and wrists and hinged elbows. His legs feature universal joints in the hips, swivel cuts in the thighs and hinged ankles and knees. The robes are slit up the sides to give him a bit more movement below the waist, but the robes do get in the way. I’m not sure if this body has the torso hinge or not, but if it does, you can’t really do anything with it.

I’ve been waiting to get a Desaad figure in this line for a while now, way before he was even announced, and finally having him in my collection is something I’m really excited about, especially since now I have a Darkseid to stand him next to. As for Iron, that’s the great thing about the DCUC figures, in the same wave you can get a figure you’ve wanted really badly and another you don’t even know. Its fun to look up some of these oddball characters, learn about them and in a lot of cases, I’ll even hunt down some of their comics. And chances are the character you don’t even know is one that someone else has been hotly anticipating, and vice versa. Its all just part of the DC Universe Classics experience.

Next time, I’ll finally wrap up my look at this wave with Mary Batson, in both variants, and the Collect & Connect figure, Darkseid himself.

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