It’s DC Friday and I’m back to working my way through the pile of DC Icons figures that currently resides in the corner of my toy closet. Today’s figure? Blue Beetle! Now, I’m a Ted Kord fan and I will be until the day I die. How come everyone else gets to come back to life, but not Ted? Even Booster Gold couldn’t make that happen. My point is, when when DC passed the mantle of Blue Beetle onto some kid named Jaime Reyes, I was pretty skeptical and resistant. But in the end I was won over by a really great character, a super cool new (retconned alien) suit, and what was a truly solid ongoing book.
Here’s the package. We’ve seen this plenty of times, so let’s not dwell on it. It points out that this is the 8th figure in the series and that Blue Beetle is based on “Infinite Crisis,” which was his first appearance back in 2006. As always, the box is collector friendly and gives you a great look at the figure and the accessories inside.
Besides Reyes being a great character, it’s hard not to fall in love with the design of this suit and it’s obviously heavily influenced by the retconned alien tech origins. The Icons figure nails all the crucial details, particularly how almost eerily slender it looks. The two-tone black and blue deco is quite striking and I’ve got to say the blue plastic they used here is absolutely gorgeous. The black portions of the suit feature sculpted segmented lines, while the blue armored portions are beautifully contoured. The beetle sits on his back and the legs protrude around the sides of the torso as well as over the shoulders. You can get a better look at it from behind…
It actually looks like a separate removable piece, although it is permanently attached to the figure. The wings peg into the back of the beetle and are cast mostly in an iridescent clear blue plastic, which offers some spectacular effects when lit up from behind.
In most cases, I’ve said the portraits on the DC Icons figures aren’t really up to the DC Universe Classics standards. With Blue Beetle here, that’s definitely not the case. The DCUC figure’s head was too flat in the face, whereas this one is absolutely perfect. The blue chin guard that extends around to frame the face is actually part of the sculpt, as is the down-turned mouth. The painted details here are particularly good as well.
Another area where the DCUC version of this character fell flat was the articulation. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t up to snuff with the incredible agility that the suit gave Reyes. It’s much better executed here in what is essentially the standard articulation for the Icons line, although there are a few opportunities for improvement. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, the elbows and knees are double hinged. There are swivels in the biceps and middle of the forearms. The hips are ball jointed. The ankles feature hinges and lateral rockers. There is a ball joint in the chest and another in the neck. As always, my only real gripe here is the lack of swivels in the thighs.
The wings are articulated only because they peg in and can swivel. I really would have liked to see hinges added similar to what Mattel has done with some figures in the Masters Classics line. It’s not a huge deal and what we got here is still better than the completely static wings of Mattel’s DCUC Blue Beetle.
Of course, Blue Beetle’s suit can create various weapons and tools and this figure conveys that ability with two swap-out arm pieces. You just pop the arms off at the middle of the forearm and pop in the desired weapon. The first of these is some kind of beam emitter, which kind of reminds me of Cyborg’s sonic cannon. I honestly don’t remember what this thing is supposed to do, but it looks pretty cool on the figure.
The other is an alien minigun and I absolutely love this thing. There’s so much detail packed into the sculpt and while it’s clearly some kind of chain gun the alien influences in the design are unmistakable.
Blue Beetle is easily my favorite figure that I’ve featured in the DC Icons line to date. He’s a huge improvement over what we got from the DCUC line and he’s ridiculously fun to play around with. I would expect that this is going to be the definitive action figure version of the character for a long time to come, only because it’s hard to imagine anyone doing it any better. The sculpt and colors are spot on and the addition of the swappable arm parts just add value to what is already a fairly reasonably priced $20 figure.