DC Universe Week Begins: Justice League Unlimited Eclipsed Boxed Set by Mattel

Welcome to DC Universe week! I’ve got a lot of great stuff I want to get through in the next five to seven days, so I’m just going to dive right in with the first of two Justice League boxed figure sets that I picked up out of Ross’ Toy Graveyard last week. Now, I love me my Justice League cartoon. I’ll pop in the DVDs and have the show running in the background when I’m puttering around the house, mainly because I’ve watched them all so many times, I know what’s going on even if I’m not sitting in front of the TV and looking at it.

I really haven’t gotten into the Justice League Unlimited figures too much, mainly because when I’m looking for some smaller scale DC figures, I tend to prefer the less stylized and more realistic Infinite Heroes line. But, the beautiful thing about clearance and closeouts is that you can try out some stuff that you wouldn’t have otherwise picked up, and sometimes you’re pleasantly surprised.

As the title suggests, this set is based on the Season 2 episode, Eclipsed, in which Eclipso possesses a good chunk of the Justice League, leaving Flash to save the day. I love Eclipso and his back story, but I wasn’t crazy about his portrayal in this episode. Overall, I enjoyed the episode, but I would have gone a different route with him. Plus, his character design just looked more goofy than sinister. Nonetheless, this set includes Eclipso himself, in what the package exlaims is his first JLU figure form, as well as possessed versions of Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Hawk Girl, and a regular Flash.

I love the package! It’s nothing fancy, and yet I still feel like I’m getting something really cool. The figures are laid out with three on top and three on bottom, each nestled in a clear plastic tray, with their names just under their feet. It’s a nice big, impressive presentation and it kind of reminds me of the old action figure carry cases they used to sell for the Superpowers figures. It’s also totally collector friendly. While most of my figures reside in totes or on the shelves, I chose to keep these six figures displayed in the package. Also visible in the package are two clear figure stands. Wait… two? TWO? Ok, so either Mattel can’t count or they wanted to be a bastard and short us four stands. Seriously, how much could those stands cost to make that they couldn’t afford to provide one for each figure? The back panel of the box shows images from the episode along with blurbs on each character.

Let’s start with the possessed Leaguers. Obviously, these are all repaints of the core hero characters, and when I say repaints, I’m overstating things a bit. The figures just have some purple triangles shards p ainted on them and no pupils in their eyes. It’s almost subtle enough that you could just use these figures as your regular Justice League team. The effect is more noticeable on the ladies, just because the trianglesshards are on their skin. Superman shows them off pretty clearly, but Green Lantern’s are almost lost in his darker colored costume. You have to look pretty hard to see them.

The sculpts are all pretty solid and very similar to the character designs on the show, although Hawk Girl is my favorite of the bunch. Mattel really did a nice job on her, and her big soft plastic wings are cool. Superman is my least favorite. He looks great from the waist up, but I think his lower half is way too scrawny, even for the stylized look. His posture is also a bit wonky as he tends to look like he’s leaning forward even when he’s not.

As mentioned, The Flash is the only one of the heroes that doesn’t have the shard-possessed deco, although he still doesn’t have any pupils, but then he never did. The paint deco on him is nice and crisp and overall he’s a pretty good figure.

Eclipso is the set exclusive and while he still uses a pretty basic body sculpt, his excellent paint deco really looks great. The eclipse insignia on his chest is nice and crisp and the purple eclipse circle painted on the side of his face is well done too. His face sculpt looks a little too cheesey for my tastes. I like the more demented look of the DC Universe Classics figure, but that’s kind of an apples and oranges comparison. For some reason, Eclipso only has a peghole in one foot, so you can’t really get him centered on a stand. Grrrr.

All of the figures have the same basic five points of articulation: Head, shoulders, hips. It’s a lot more useful on the male characters, since the hip joints on the females are closer to being just swivels. Actually, that’s only in theory. The two ladies can’t move their heads at all because of their big sculpted hair. Either way, don’t expect to get any of these figures into any dynamic action poses.

There are no real accessories to speak of, which is a shame. Hawk Girl should have at least come with her mace. You do get the paltry two figure stands, which are best saved for the ladies, because they’re a bit top heavy and have tiny feet.

All in all, this is an ok set. I’m not sure how much it originally retailed for. The label said $20, but I find it hard to believe that Mattel was releasing a six figure set for an Andy Jackson. I picked it up for $13.99, which is even better. I’ll give the set higher marks because these are my first JLU figures and so even these subtle repaints are new to me. If you already have the core League figures, I don’t know that these very episode specific variants are a must-have unless you’re a completist or you really, really want Eclipso and you happen to need The Flash. I still prefer the sculpts of the Infinite Heroes over these cartoony sculpts, although these guys do have a certain vinyl toy style charm to them that seems to be all the rage these days.

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