DC Universe Classics Wave 16: Robin by Mattel

Pressing on through Wave 16, today we’re looking at Batman’s stalwart sidekick, Robin. It’s amazing that I’ve been collecting this line as long as I have and despite him being released before, it took me 50+ figures to finally pick up a figure of Robin. Unfortunately, this is going to be a bit of a frustrating feature, because while I absolutely love the sculpting and overall look of this figure, Mattel’s idiotic packaging trends along with some QC issues has made this figure somewhat of a disappointment.

There’s the Wave 16 packaging, and there’s Robin intentionally packaged to do as much harm to the figure’s legs and joints as possible. Before I even took a blade to the bubble, I knew that Robin was going to come out of the package with serious problems and boy was I right about that. Seriously, Mattel, you have to stop this. With the megaton bomb announcement at SDCC this weekend that DCUC is going online only after Wave 20, maybe they will stop it, since the only time we’ll be seeing the figures in package is when they show up at our doorsteps. Robin is also the variant figure in this wave, with either a modern or vintage headsculpt.

So, the figure is out of the package, and it’s clear that Robin should have shipped with a pair of crutches, because the figure looks like The Joker ran over his legs, backed up, and than did it again a couple of times. I mean, come on Mattel, I would expect this from a Barbara Gordon figure, but not Dick Grayson. [Ok, that was a little insensitive even for my standards. -FF] The plastic is ridiculously soft to begin with and while some dedicated work with a heat gun got them looking more normal, I don’t think Robin is ever going to stand on his own for more than a few moments. In fact, he even topples over when plugged into a DCUC figure stand. So disappointing. At least aesthetically, the figure is a homerun. The sculpt and paintwork on Robin’s traditional costume are both excellent. I got the headsculpt with the bangs hanging down, which is fine because I really didn’t have a preference. One slight blemish on my figure is a variance in the skin tone above my figure’s right knee. Not a huge deal, but it is a bit unsightly.

Robin features the newer style DCUC articulation that includes the double hinges in the knees and ankles. You also get the ubiquitous ball jointed neck; Swivels in the biceps, wrists, and thighs; Universal movement in the shoulders and hips; and some hinges in the ankles that seem to be at odds with his boot sculpt. You also have a swivel in the waist and the ab crunch in the chest.

No crutches, but Robin does come with a few accessories. You get a grapple gun, which is very nicely done as the grapple hook fits into the gun and is tethered to it with a short cord. He also comes with a tiny batarang. His hands are sculpted so he can hold either accessory in either hand, but I’m leaving the clear rubber bands on the batarang to keep it from flying off into oblivion when Robin takes a header off the shelf every couple of minutes. He also comes with the head and pelvis for the C&C Bane figure.

Robin could have and should have been my favorite figure in this wave. He’s got the great sculpt and he’s a character I wanted in my DCUC collection for a long time. Unfortunately, between the mangling package pose, super soft plastic, and a little QC flub, it’s hard to overlook all of his problems. If I were a kid playing with my figures, most of this wouldn’t be a problem, but I’m and adult collector and, hey, it says “Adult Collector” right on the package, so it’s kind of hard not to get pissed off when my figure won’t even stand on the shelf and display well.

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