DC Universe Signature Collection: Black Mask by Mattel

It’s time for another Matty Collector release! My Voltron and Club Infinite Earth subs didn’t synch up this month, so I’ve just got the DC figure to look at. I was a little tempted by the He-Man offerings this month, but I kept my resolve and didn’t go for them. Anyway, this month’s CIE figure is Black Mask, and he is one of the very few figures getting released by the Club this year that I wasn’t really looking forward to. Batman’s funnybooks have always ranked pretty far down on my reading list. On the other hand, that hasn’t stopped me from picking up most of the other Batman related figures that Mattel has put out, so I wasn’t exactly sorry to be getting him either. Let’s see if Black Mask can win me over…

Ahh, I still love this packaging. As usual, the figure comes in a very cool and very collector friendly window box. The package displays the figure very nicely, with his accessories (Yes! Accessories!!!) mounted in the tray all around him. The back panel of the box has some excellent character art and the token short biography. A few of Black Mask’s accessories were a little loose in the package, but I care not for I am taking them all out.

Riddle me this, Batman, where have we seen this body before? Yuppers, it’s the Riddler from one of the early waves of DCUC. I want to say Wave 5 or 6. I have no issues with Mattel making use of the suited body again. It’s quite a good sculpt and as we’ll see in a little bit it retains a surprising amount of the core DCUC torso articulation. The suit jacket is layered on the figure, which gives the sculpt a lot of realistic depth, and you can even reach in and pull his stylish tie right out from inside his jacket. Black Mask is a pretty monochrome character, so there’s little coloring to get excited about here. The suit is matte black and the arms and legs match the jacket petty well. The high gloss paint on the shoes is a nice touch. All in all, I’m pleased with how the body turned out.

What about the head sculpt? Alas, I’m really not so happy about how it turned out. I’ve been overjoyed with all of the head sculpts in the Signature Collection thus far, and while Black Mask’s should have been a slam dunk, it just doesn’t work for me at all. The head looks funny on his big trunk of a neck and the details in the sculpt are really soft, particularly around the teeth. The paintwork on the teeth, which is ironically some of the only paint on the figure is kind of sloppy and uneven too. C’mon, Matty. It’s a skull mask! The Horsemen should have really had some fun with this one. Instead, it feels like they phoned it in.

Black Mask retains all the usual articulation found in the DCUC line. That means the head is ball jointed, the arms feature ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs have the usual DCUC hip joints, hinged knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. What I wasn’t expecting was to get a waist swivel and ab crunch built under the sculpted jacket. Very cool!

One usually doesn’t get a lot of accessories with a DCUC figure, but Black Mask comes with some goodies. You get a double-bladed fork weapon, a knife, and Batman’s cowl. That’s all well and good, but you know what would have been cool, Mattel? Giving us the gun that’s pictured in the character art on the package. I was actually surprised to find that I don’t have a decent black .45 automatic in this scale, so he’ll have to go without.

Black Mask gets a resounding Meh from me. He’s not terrible. I don’t mind standing him in the corner of my display that houses Batman’s rogue gallery. However, he’s the first figure of the Signature line that really disappoints me, and I wasn’t expecting much to begin with. Considering the recycled body and the figure’s meager need for paintwork, I think Mattel should have put in a better effort with the head. I’m fine with having him in my collection, but considering I didn’t get any other figures from Matty this month, Black Mask shipped alone, and that means he cost me about $25. That’s twenty-five bucks worth of Meh!

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