When Iron came out, way back in DC Universe Classics Wave 12, I had little exposure to The Metal Men, other than their cameos in other comics, like 52. But the thing I always loved most about DCUC was the way it could send me scrambling to buy books I never would have otherwise read if it weren’t for a certain figure I liked. Shortly after buying Mercury, I happened upon a stack of the original 1960’s Metal Men comics at a used bookshop downtown. They were in terrible shape, but I got them for cheap, took them home and devoured all of them that night. A bit later, we got word that Mattel would be completing the team through Club Infinite Earths and so I tracked down the Walmart Exclusive Gold. Soon I was hotly anticipating completing a team that I barely knew a couple of years ago. And that brings us to December’s CIE monthly figure(s): Platinum and Tin.
It’s interesting that Mattel waited so long to do Platinum (aka Tina), because at the start of the original comic she was the most prominent of all of Dr. Magnus’ Responsometer creations. Issue #1 (“Rain of the Missile Men”) managed to endear her to me straight away. The issue starts out with Magnus donated her as a museum display for being too emotionally attached to him. Of course, she was promptly kicked out of the museum because she wouldn’t stop crying and the patrons concluded she was a fake because robots don’t cry. In addition to some fun bickering between her and the chauvinistic, dickhead (“I hate women – especially robot ones”) Mercury, Tina eventually becomes the object of lecherous desire from an alien robot who proceeds to attack Earth to get her as his queen. Fun! As for Tin… well, I found him to be a pretty annoying character even at the best of times, but I’m still happy to get him as a pack-in just to round out the team.
On to the packaging… As usual, the character art is fantastic and the window box is completely collector friendly. Sadly, I’ve amassed quite a few of these over the year, and most of the figures have been incorporated into my DCUC display shelves. I’m starting to feel the pinch for space and I’m resisting the sensible urge to ditch the packages. In the end, I may be forced to keep only the quarterly figure boxes. Anyway, I don’t have much new to say about the package, so let’s move on!
Tina’s design hasn’t changed all that much since she was introduced and the figure reflects that fact. The portrait is pretty good, although Tina looks a lot more confident and mature than the doe-eyed naïve and innocent metal woman from the early funnybooks. Either way, she’s quite pretty and certainly invokes the spirit of the modern appearances of the character. Tina has her little cap with her symbol and the sculptors did a fine job recreating her 60’s hairstyle. The rest of the figure is appropriately lacking in sculpted detail. Really, all you have are the rivets around the edges of her triangular front plate and some more around the tops of her boots. Both of her hands are sculpted into tiny fists, which are fine, but I really would have liked a set of attachable coil hands. All the other Metal Men up to this point got extra pieces that allowed their hands to morph. Tina’s trademark move was turning her arms to springs. I guess that extra plastic went into Tin.
Also keeping with the theme of the characters, Tina is washed over with a pleasing coat of shimmery silver paint. The only other paint apps on the figure are the black making up her eyes and eyebrows and the symbol on her cap. My only quibble about the paint would be the unpainted joints, but the base plastic is close enough that it isn’t jarring to the eye.
Platinum’s articulation includes everything you’d expect from a DCUC style figure. The arms feature ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. Her legs have universal hinges at the hips, hinges at the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. She has a ball jointed neck, can swivel at the waist, and has the usual ab crunch hinge in her torso. The articulation looks good on paper, but her sculpted skirt really puts a damper on her upper leg movement. At least the torso design allows for her ab crunch to work.
And then there’s Tin. Remember that 3-pack of critters Mattel put out in Green Lantern Classics? Well, he’s not as bad as them, but the idea is about the same. He’s a cool little sculpt, which captures the goofy and awkward nature of the character. He’s mostly pre-posed, in an odd hunched over posture with knees bent. I’m not sure what they were going for with the pose, or what he’s supposed to be doing with his pointed fingers, but as a pack-in to finish off the team, I’m fairly happy with him. With rotating shoulders and head, he does have three points of articulation and he stands surprisingly well on his own.
Platinum was one of my most anticipated figures of this year’s CIE offerings, partly because I’ve grown to really love the characters and their books, and partly because my OCD really flares up when I have incomplete teams. In the end she didn’t disappoint. Granted, she wasn’t the hardest figure in the world to do, but at least Mattel didn’t do something crazy like make her into an inappropriately oversized figure like Rocket Red or… oh… well, we’ll talk about Lead tomorrow.