I know what you’re thinking. You killed off Marvel Mondays, backed away from Marvel Legends, and now DC Multiverse is coming to take its place. That’s not how I planned it, but I can understand that’s the way it looks. I’ll explain… but first it’s story time! Once upon a time, I had a thing on FFZ called DC Fridays. It was back when I was doing five reviews a week (holy shit, how did I ever make that work?) and I was bookending the week with Marvel and DC content. But after many attempts by Mattel to keep it alive, DC Universe Classics and all its spiritual successors died out. I collected DC Collectibles figures for a while, eventually got into the DC Icons line, but all that crumbled to dust and I just gave up on collecting DC figures altogether. When McFarlane took over, I was interested, but it looked like every other figure was Batman, and I’ve never been enough of a Batman fan to pursue a line like that, so I let it pass me by. But when I wasn’t looking, DC Multiverse seemed to diversify a bit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still way too much Batman, but then they released a Booster Gold and Blue Beetle two-pack based on the limited series Blue and Gold, and I pre-ordered the set as fast as my finger could mash the button, because I adore these characters so much. And that brings us to today.
I’ll confess it’s exciting to start checking out a line of figures that are new to me. I have looked at a few other current McFarlane releases, including their Doom Guy and I’ve started looking at their figures from Vox Machina, but this is my first experience with the DC Multiverse series. The giant window box is impressive, and the figures look great in the package against a futuristic cityscape. Alas, it’s not quite so collector friendly, as the figure stands and the collector cards are sealed against the backdrop. I won’t be removing those for this review, as for now I plan to return the figures to the box for storage. Thankfully, the set includes a tandem diorama-type display base to use instead.
The back of the box features some great character art, even though Booster’s costume doesn’t match his appearance in the Blue and Gold series. It’s close, but he’s got his collar from the earlier days, whereas the figure does not. But, let’s start with Ted Kord as Blue Beetle!
Wow, it’s great to have a new Blue Beetle figure, considering the last one I owned was all the way back in the DC Universe Classics days. DC Icons put a Booster and Blue Beetle two-pack up for pre-order, but like a dozen other pre-orders in that line they got shit-canned along with the entire line. This new McFarlane version certainly hits all the right points for me! The suit is achieved almost completely with paint, which makes sense, since both Booster and Beetle share the same body. You do get a sculpted black belt with gold buckle, and sculpted bands around the tops of the boots, but the rest is just painted buck. The suit looks as iconic as ever with a light blue base and darker blue making up the boots, gloves, undies, and shoulders and the stylish beetle shape cut-out with thick black borders. This figure looks great!
The head sculpt is also on point, with the dark blue cowl, big yellow bug eyes, and the sculpted eyebrows and antenna on the cowl. The facial sculpt is a tad soft, but still looks solid and is punctuated by a big and cheesy Ted Kord smile. I suppose the eye globes are a step back from the clear lenses used on the old Mattel figure, but I’m not hating it. If anything, the painted globes give the figure something of a more animated look to me.
As my first experience with DC Multiverse articulation, I can say I find what’s here pretty satisfying. The arms feature shoulder crunches as well as rotating hinges, there are swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows, and rotating hinges in the wrists. The hips are ball jointed with soft plastic used in the undies, knees are double hinged, ankles have hinges and lateral rockers, and you get hinges placed right before the toes. There’s a ball joint under the chest and a ball joint in the neck. Everything feels great and works well with an overall excellent range of motion. I think my only two nitpicks would be the wrist joints look a tad awkward, and I would really like swivels in the thighs instead of up top in the hip joint.
Blue Beetle comes with one accessory and that’s his grapple gun. It’s a nicely sculpted piece with that lovely bulbous design and painted with in a sharp silver sheen. The beetle grapple and connecting line is permanently attached. It would have been great if this piece was separate and just pegged into the gun, but the effect is still well executed. Let’s move on to Booster!
As I mentioned, Booster shares the same body with Beetle, which works well enough, given the two are depicted with about the same build. The costume here is again nearly all paint, with the exception of the wrist bracers. If you look close enough, you can see the sculpted edges of Beetle’s boots are still here, but they aren’t that obvious. The yellow plastic looks fantastic, while the painted yellow areas are a shade too dark for a perfect match. I also wish the blue was a touch lighter to match the comic panels a bit better. But all in all, this is a great looking figure!
As much as I dig Beetle’s head sculpt, I think Booster’s is the winner in this set. Once again, you have an opaque lens for the goggles, so no visible eyes. The shock of hair protruding from the top of the cowl looks nice, and I love the big toothy smile.
It’s the same body, so you get the same articulation, and once again these figures are a real joy to play around with. While Beetle only came with the one accessory, Booster comes with two… well, sort of three.
The first is this blast effect part that clips to either of his wrists. It’s a cool bonus and I like the bright blue plastic used for the blast. Maybe it should have been tinted clear plastic? Eh, it looks fine the way it is.
Second, Booster comes with his phone, perfect for taking selfies of his heroics and promoting himself on social media. OK, as far as accessories go, it’s pretty simple. The phone’s case is yellow and it has a simple black screen. A sticker for the screen would have been cool. The left hand is designed to hold the phone, and while it can be a little tricky to get it to stick, I was able to do it without resorting to blue-tack trickery.
The final sort-of accessory is his buddy Skeets, and I’m not thrilled about how they did him. Skeets comes attached to a segmented pipe, which plugs into the display stand, and I have two issues with this. First, why not make it a translucent stand to depict Skeets hovering? Second, why make it so low to the ground? Skeets is usually depicted hovering around Booster at eye level. The DC Universe Classics version of Skeets actually pegged into Booster’s back with a translucent swoosh effect and it worked pretty well. My gripes here are nowhere near critical enough to impact my enjoyment of the set, but I just don’t think a lot of thought was put into Skeets.
The tandam base is a really nice sculpt, but I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be. It looks like the deck of an alien spacecraft, but that doesn’t really fit, so I’m wondering if it’s recycled from a previous McFarlane two-pack. I suppose it could be the Space Museum? Nah, that was always depicted as clean and sterile. Rip Hunter’s lab? Maybe. Either way, it’s cool to have a detailed stand to display the figures on, so I won’t be complaining.
I opened this set a while ago, and while I just got around to reviewing it now, I was impressed enough to start looking at DC Multiverse more seriously. So, no this wasn’t planned as a replacement to Marvel Legends, but it’s something that I’ve been buying now. Some of the figures that have come and gone have become a bit too pricey for me to go after, but since opening this set, I have amassed quite a pile of figures from this line, nearly all purchased at deep discounts. And so you’ll see this line popping up a lot in the coming months, but I’m not going back to a dedicated day for DC, since I’m moving away from that sort of thing. But not to get ahead of myself… I really love these figures and it felt damn good to be reviewing some DC figures again. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a beautiful new friendship between me, McFarlane and DC!