DC Universe Signature Collection: Huntress by Mattel

Yes folks, Club Infinite Earths continues to wind down. After this month’s figure, there are only three releases left and truth be told Huntress here is the last one that I was really looking forward to. That means that assuming every figure that has come before has been a homerun, in the end I had little interest in about a quarter of the entire 2013 lineup. It’s no wonder that the 2014 sub didn’t make it. Anyway, let’s try not to piss in Huntress’ cornflakes over Matty Politics, let’s just check out the figure…

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It’s the same compact little window box we’ve been seeing all year. While I liked the packaging better before this year’s revision, I’m still fan of this style. If I had the space and these figures weren’t going directly into my DCUC display shelves, I would have certainly kept all of these boxes, but as it stands I’ve just been clipping out the back panels and tossing the rest.

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The back panel has a little bio for the character and some artwork. I’m usually a big fan of the Signature Collection character art, but every now and then they stumble and I think this is one of those cases. Huntress doesn’t look bad, but there’s something off about her face to me. She looks like someone doing cosplay at a convention and it’s the morning after the big drinking binge. It’s certainly not the art that was the basis for the figure’s sculpt and that makes for a strange detachment between package and product. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this, but it’s a pretty minor problem for me.

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Out of the package and Huntress is certainly a very solid figure. When I usually get a new DCUC style figure my mind begins to automatically dissect it to identify all the reused parts. Which body is it? Where’d he get that cape? Etc. etc. That wasn’t the case with this gal. While there’s obviously a standard female buck under there, she’s just brimming with newly sculpted bits and paintwork. The boots and gloves are brand new, as is the belt and the thigh straps and cape. The result is what feels like a totally fresh, new, and original figure. I love DCUC to death, but after years of collecting, that sense of new and original is not what I usually feel when getting a new figure in the line. All the newly sculpted bits here are quite good. The padded look of the boots, along with their straps and buckles, is executed particularly well. I love the scalloped look of her gloves, the holstered gun on her right leg, and all the pouches on her belt and thighs are nifty. The cape isn’t long enough to get in the way of posing, but it does make a nice support when trying to get her to stand in some tricky positions. Initial shots of the figure made me fear she was going to be a little chunky, but in hand, she looks great.

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The head sculpt is also something that I was a little uneasy about early on. The final result is quite good. I wouldn’t call it one of CIE’s best efforts, but it gets the job done rather nicely. In fairness, between the mask and her hair, there’s a lot going on with her portrait. I do like the way her hair is sculpted to hang down over part of her mask and the face is certainly pretty with clean paintwork. If I’m assessing Huntress’ head sculpt a little lower than the norm, it probably says more about the outstanding quality of other portraits in the line than it does about any real failings on this one.

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Overall, the paintwork here is pretty good. Unfortunately the only spot of slop on the whole figure is in a rather conspicuous spot, on her right shoulder, but even that isn’t all that big a deal unless you’re getting in real close with a camera. The white cross painted against her black top is nice and sharp, as is the border around the window that shows off her tummy. The shade of purple used is excellent and every little snap on the pouches and buckle on her boots has been carefully painted. Even the small parts of the gun in the holster are brushed with a metallic finish.

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Huntress features all the articulation I expect in this line. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, hinged at the elbows, and have swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs have the usual DCUC style hinge at the hips, hinges in the knees and ankles, and the thigh swivels are cleverly hidden just under the straps and above the knees. She can swivel at the waist, has an ab-crunch hinge, and a ball jointed neck.

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Naturally, Huntress comes with her trusty crossbow. It’s a simple piece, sculpted in soft plastic, but it’s a solid enough sculpt and painted with a nice shade of metallic purple. Both of her hands are sculpted so as to hold it securely and she can even grip it in one hand and cradle it in the other.

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Huntress is an awesome figure and it’s kind of sad to see this kind of craftsmanship coming out of the line in its dying months. If Mattel was able to deliver a figure like this every month, I have no doubt Club Infinite Earths would have flourished for years to come. There are few figures that I regret getting, but Huntress is still one of the only ones that feel like she’s actually worth the price of $27 shipped. That having been said, I understand a little about how costing things out works in the business and it takes a lot of simple repaints and kitbashes to bankroll so much new tooling on a figure like this, but with more subscribers it wouldn’t have been as big an issue. Maybe that’s a Catch 22… I don’t know. What I do know is that this figure belongs is a high point in the line and she belongs in every DCUC collection. When considered with just a few other releases, Huntress easily justified the entire 2013 sub for me.

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