I really love it when Mattel digs deep for their DC Universe figures. With so many of the final waves of DCUC populated by topical characters from recent comic events, it’s easy to forget that this line was always intended to draw from the vast corners and deep history of the DC Universe. That should be doubly the case now that the line doesn’t need to rely on casual retail shoppers and can be fueled strictly by the interests of niche collectors willing to seek out and subscribe to the figures online. And that’s why I love the fact that they’re releasing figures like Uncle Sam. He’s not only a pretty obscure piece of DCU history, but a masterful; some might say diabolical, kitbash of a figure. Let’s check him out!
Sam comes in a typical Signature Collection window box. As always, the character art featured on the back and side panel is excellent. Close your eyes and imagine what a character named Uncle Sam would look like, and you’re probably right on the money. Acquired by DC from the buyout of another imprint in the 1950s, Sam is not so much a character but the spiritual embodiment of American patriotism able to possess different corporeal hosts when needed. Wow, that’s awesome. The box is completely collector friendly, which is always a plus in my book.
Uncle Sam is one of the finest examples of Mattel’s deviously clever ability to reuse parts from older figures and have it turn out perfectly. Sam is an unlikely hybrid of Gentlemen Ghost and The Joker. When I look at the figure, it’s so blatantly obvious that he’s a kitbash, and yet the final result looks amazing. He has a sculpted shirt and vest with a separately sculpted jacket layered over it. Toss in the necktie and this figure has a wonderful sense of depth and complexity to the sculpt. The pants are cuffed around his ankles and he’s got spats on his shoes. If spats were socially acceptable, I would wear them every day. The only thing that really mars this figure in any way is the plug used in his back to cover up what I presume is a cape socket. Not a big deal, but just a little unsightly.
The coloring on Uncle Sam’s outfit is deliciously patriotic. There are two shades of blue for his jacket and vest and the white and red striping of his pants really make the figure pop. Alas, there are some paint flubs on his red striping.
Of course, the whole figure is really tied together by the superb head sculpt. He has an iconic and noble looking face that still manages to convey the fact that if you mess with America, he’s going to kick your ass off the hemisphere. The hair and beard sculpting is awesome and his hat really crowns (literally!) the whole piece. Wonderful!
Uncle Sam has pretty typical DCUC style articulation His head is ball jointed, although the sculpted hair restricts the movement of the head to a turning motion. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, hinged at the elbows and feature swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs have the usual universal joints in the hips, hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. While there’s no waist swivel, which is disappointing but understandable, Uncle Sam does still have an ab crunch hinge.
While his hands are sculpted to hold accessories, Uncle Sam sadly doesn’t come with any, that is, unless you count Doll Man. He’s similar to the shrunken down version of Rita Farr that we saw last month, only better sculpted and more substantial. He’s actually a pretty solid piece of plastic! I’m not a big fan of Doll Man so he’s kind of lost on me, but it was a nice way for Mattel to deliver a second member of the Freedom Force in this package.
Getting Uncle Sam in my DCUC collection is a real treat. He’s a wonderfully obscure character and while Mattel went the Frankenstein route in creating him, I certainly can’t quarrel with the results. Sam looks amazing and I am thrilled to have him represented on my DC shelf. Of course, November was a double figure month for Club Infinite Earths, and we’ll double back at the end of the week to check out John Constantine.