DC Universe Signature Collection: Larfleeze by Mattel

April was a busy month on Matty Collector. For starters, they offered up a crap load of Masters figures. I’m happy to report that despite really wanting to get Mosquitor and Webstor through my Early Access privileges, I was able to resist. $27 a figure plus shipping? The stink of desperation is upon you, Matty, and you’re going to ruin a good thing with your greed. Speaking of greed (I LOVE SEGUES!!), Larfleeze was this month’s Club Infinite Earth figure, along with the Sub Exclusive, Monsieur Mallah and The Brain. Today we’ll check out Larfleeze and tomorrow I’ll double back to Mallah. Let’s go!

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You know the deal by now. The Signature Collection features nice window boxes that show off the figure very well. The box is totally collector friendly, but for space concerns, I now only keep the boxes for the oversized figures. Later today I’ll take a scissors to this one, cut off the back panel for keepsies and pitch the rest. Hey, I gotta do what I gotta do. Anyway, I really dig the character art here, even if it is drawing from the Larfleeze design that I like the least, but we’ll come back around to that in a minute.

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Aside from way back in Blackest Night, I haven’t encountered Larfleeze much in my regular funnybook readings, but then I’ve only read the first couple issues of the current Lantern books. Most of The New 52 Green Lantern and New Guardians are still stowed away on my Kindle waiting to be read. In fact, the last time I can recall seeing this fellow was in the delightful Larfleeze’s Christmas Special, a one shot which really betrays Geoff Johns’ bewildering and endearing love for this character. It was a lot of fun for what it was, and it even contained a recipe for Larfleeze’s Orange Lantern Cookies and other fun activities. DC really needs to turn that into a thirty minute animated special that I can pop in around the holidays.

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So, the first thing worth mentioning about this figure is his portrait. The character has gone through some artistic changes over the years and this one is certainly at odds with his appearance in the aforementioned Christmas Special, which happens to be my preferred look for him. Gone is the horse face, and I’m not sure I’m all that happy about it. I’ll grant you that the head sculpt is very impressive, particularly the rictus grin with all those wonderful teeth, but I don’t think it has the same personality as the more elongated face. Although, this one is definitely a lot scarier. Maybe this would have been a good opportunity for Matty to have provided a swappable head. Either way, what’s here is definitely good.

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As expected with these Lantern figures, The body is a very simple sculpt, with most of the detail of the costume being painted on. There are raised discs for the emblem tampos on his chest and shoulders, and sculpted rings to segment his arm bracers, but the bulk of this body is just cast in orange plastic and has some black paint on the arms and torso. The paintwork is ok, although there is certainly some slop around the lines and the paint on the arms doesn’t quite match the orange plastic in the torso. There’s nothing spectacular here, but he gets by.

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Larfleeze’s articulation consists of ball joints in the neck and shoulders. The arms feature double hinges in the elbows and hinges and swivels in the wrists. The legs have the usual DCUC style hip joints, which allow for lateral movement, hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs just above the knees. The torso has a swivel in the waist and an ab crunch hinge. What’s missing? The bicep swivels. Seriously Mattel? You cut out the bicep swivels? That pisses me off beyond belief. These figures are supposed to be based on the DCUC style and that has always included bicep articulation in the male bucks. Cutting that out is unacceptable to me. I should also mention that there’s so little clearance in the ankle hinges, they might as well not be there either.

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Of course, Larfleeze comes with the Orange Lantern of Avarice. It’s more or less the same lantern we’ve seen before only with an orange coat of paint. But wait a minute… isn’t the orange lantern not supposed to have a handle? You managed to get that right in the super shitty Orange Lantern Lex Luthor figure, why’d didn’t you just recycle that piece? Hmm… Well, it’s probably a good thing that it does, because without those bicep swivels, it’s hard to get him in a good pose where he’s hugging it close to him.

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I’ll grant you, Larfleeze is a little disappointing. The portrait is what it is. It may not be the look I preferred, but I can’t argue with what is an excellent head sculpt. But cutting out crucial articulation is just not cool. I love the DC Signature Collection to death, but if Mattel starts making a practice of doing these little cost cuts in articulation, they’re going to find themselves with one less subscription next year. Still, considering, the only other Orange Lantern is Lex Luthor, and I probably hate him more than any other figure in my entire collection, it’s nice having Larfleeze representing on my shelf. Normally, I’d toss in a little bitching about the cost of the figure with shipping being way too much, but this month I got to split the shipping between him and the Sub Exclusive, so in the end, he probably only averaged around $20. Still a lot for one figure, but I am an irrevocable DC whore so it’s not like I have much choice.

I’ll be back tomorrow to check out the wonder that is Monsieur Mallah in all his improbable action figure glory.

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