DC Universe Classics Wave 16: Mercury by Mattel

Creeper was my least anticipated figure in Wave 16, but he turned out to be sort of OK. Now it’s time to cover what turned out to be my least favorite figure in the wave. I want to get this guy out of the way early on, because for the most part I’m really happy with these figures, and I don’t want this one disappointment of the bunch hanging over me any longer. Oddly enough, he was one that I was really looking forward to, and part of a sub-group that I am was anxious to complete. He’s Mercury from The Metal Man, and I’m sorry to say, when compared to Iron and Gold, I was expecting better things from this figure.

Here we have another look at the Wave 16 packaging. I neglected to mention last time how much I like the dynamic shape of the bubble and the way each figure has an icon or emblem on the insert to represent them. In this case it’s the emblem on Mercury’s chest. Once again, despite a ceaseless outcry from collectors, Mattel was good enough to package the figure in a pose that warps the figure’s joints. Mercury’s packaged pose isn’t at all exciting, but just dynamic enough to completely screw up the super soft plastic on his legs and knee joints. Thanks, Mattel!

Speaking of super soft plastic, that’s the first thing I noticed about Mercury when I got him out of the package. After some work with a hot air gun, I was able to de-fuckify the legs into their semi normal state, but it doesn’t change the fact that this plastic feels rubbery and overall inferior. When I compare Mercury to the solid hunk of beautiful plastic that was fellow Metal Man, Iron, I can’t help but be gravely disappointed. I realize that Mercury has a slighter build and I appreciate that it’s reflected in the figure, but you can’t tell me that these two figures are of like quality. I could also point out that Iron’s paintwork is an absolutely gorgeous faux patina, whereas Mercury is just unpainted red plastic. The sculpt, on the other hand, is perfectly fine. I particularly like the characteristics captured in the face, like the pinnochio nose and the chin that would put Bruce Campbell to shame. This is not a bad looking figure at all.

Articulation includes universal movement in the shoulders and hips; swivels in the biceps, thighs, and wrists; double hinges in the knees and elbows; hinged ankles, and a ball jointed neck. You also get a swivel in the waist and an ab crunch hinge.

The first Metal Man figure, Iron, came with a few attachments for his arm, including a giant wrench that really tightened, and a ball and chain, with a real metal chain. Mercury comes packaged with his giant scissor hand and a spare hand in case you want to swap it out for the scissors. The scissor attachment is pretty cool and includes a hinge so they open and close. I also like the bubbling effect on the sculpt that is suggestive of Mercury’s transient liquid state. Unfortunately, the plastic is so soft, when I tried to get the scissors off of his wrist, It started to mangle the wrist joint, so I opted not to proceed, rendering the spare hand useless. Iron used a much better system where the attachments fit right over the hand.
Mercury also comes with the upper torso piece for the Bane C&C figure.

I don’t think it’s unfair to compare Mercury to Iron, since both figures are from the same figure line and sub-group. I don’t want to say that Mercury represents any kind of uniform decline in the quality of the DCUC line, but there’s no denying that he is a massive step down from the quality employed in the Iron figure. Iron was a better made and better painted figure, with a better selection of accessories. He also cost about three bucks less. I probably wouldn’t be so hard on Mercury without Iron to compare him to, but as a follow up figure for the Metal Men sub-group, he is a woefully disappointing figure.

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