DC Icons: (#21) Deathstroke by DC Collectibles

Collecting the Icons series has been quite the roller-coaster ride. The line swelled pretty quickly and with a slew of releases planned for this Summer, it only seemed to be gaining more and more steam. I was sure we were looking at the next DC Universe Classics. And then DC Collectibles began the cancellations and it seemed as if the writing was on the wall. Right now, we’re getting mixed signals, with some figures still shipping, but I think it’s safe to say this line is on its way out. DCC blames poor retailer support. Either way, I’m not going to let my support for the line falter. Today I’m checking out Figure #21: Deathstroke!

The packaging remains unchanged from the last Icons figures I looked at, and it’s actually very similar to DCC’s Designer Series as well. Hey, why not go with what works! You get a nice clean design with a large wrap-around window to show off the goods. The left panel includes the name of the figure, the number in the series, and the comic that he was pulled from, in this case, The Judas Contract, a real classic, and the subject of a recent DC Animated film. Very good choice! Let’s open up this box and check out Slade Wilson!

As far as costumes go, Deathstroke is about as iconic as they get. I wouldn’t think that orange and metallic blue would go so well together, but I guess it works for The Hobgoblin too. Here we have Deathstroke in all his classic comic book glory. He features some ridiculously exaggerated buccaneer boots and gauntlets, and sculpted scale armor on his legs, arms, and lower chest. The upper chest and shoulders are matte black, which leads into his mask. The use of all original sculpting is a big part of what makes this line shine, and there’s plenty of that on display with this figure. I particularly love all the detail in his belt, right down to the pouches and grenades. He also features a belt of ammunition slung across his chest.

From the back, we can get a good look at Slade’s sword and scabbard. The scabbard pegs into his back and stays on firmly. It’s orange, to match the costume, and it features gold painted fixtures. And a closeup of the holster shows that his revolver fits into it… well sort of. I wish they had put a hole in the bottom to pass the barrel through. As it is, it rides kind of high. That’s probably convenient for those quick draw situations, but not so beneficial when it falls out unexpectedly.

I’ve already mentioned the coloring on this figure, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t praise both the quality and application of the paint. The metallic blue used for the scale armor is just so damn gorgeous and it contrasts so nicely with the matte orange. You also get some yellow applications on the trim of the gauntlets and various places on the belt. The ammo strap has more of that lovely blue, with each cartridge painted gold on the front and back, and some more gold on his collar. Even the sculpted straps for the holster are neatly painted. This is a beautiful figure!

Slade comes out of the box with his masked head, which is simple but nonetheless excellent. I really dig how the sculpt shows the contours of his face underneath it, and the one eye is superbly painted as is the black outline around it. You also get some metallic paint on the discs over the ears. The mask is rounded out with tie strings coming off the back and running down behind the neck.

And you also get the unmasked head, which is a fantastic piece of work and really presents me with an unsolvable conundrum. Which head to display him with? Which only leads me to other questions: Do I need to pick up another one of these figures so I don’t have to decide? Will it save the line if I buy two of every figure released? Because I’m prepared to do that!

Articulation is standard DC Icons stuff, which is to say it’s pretty damn good, but not quite pretty damn great. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. Nope, still no thigh cuts, and that’s a big part of what keeps the articulation from being all that it could be. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The torso has an ab crunch and a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is ball jointed as well. Make no mistake, this figure is tons of fun, but after playing with the Designer Series Bombshells, I can’t imagine why DCC couldn’t have added those thigh swivels.

No doubt Deathstroke comes with a lot of goodies, which I’ll run through right now, but he also has an extra pair of hands to help hold his killing tools. I’ve already shown off his revolver in the holster, so here’s a shot of it out and ready for action. It’s a good sculpt, but just cast in silver plastic and has no extra paint apps. His right hand is sculpted to hold it perfectly, trigger finger and all.

Next up, we have this assault rifle. It’s an interesting design, very futuristic, and like the revolver, he can hold it perfectly in his right hand. It’s cast in the same plastic as the pistol, and here especially I think some additional paint apps would have helped make a cool looking weapon even better.

His sword draws from the scabbard easily, and his left hand is designed to grip it firmly. The blade is made of pretty stout plastic, so it isn’t susceptible to warping and I really dig that.

And finally, Slade comes with his staff. It’s another accessory cast in silver plastic. It also separates to form two fighting batons.

DC Icons Deathstroke is such a damn great figure, I can’t help but feel sad for the Icons releases that have already been cancelled. Booster Gold, Ted Kord Blue Beetle, Etrigan, Catwoman, Sinestro, and Deadshot are all among the confirmed cancellations and that’s breaking my heart. I know, I shouldn’t be pissing all over the end of this review by dwelling on this stuff, but every time I open a new Icons figure, I just want more and more. I’m guessing it’s too late to save this line, but I still have pre-orders up for all of these figures on Amazon, where they have yet to be taken down. I know, it’s wishful thinking that I can change anything, but I’m still willing to try.

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DC Comics Super-Villains: Deathstorm by DC Collectibles

Yup, every now and then I’m still picking up some of DC Collectibles’ New 52 line and the Super-Villains series was one of my favorites. I was tempted to pick up all of the Crime Syndicate, but I already have the DC Universe Classics versions, so I decided to just pick up some of the ones that Mattel never put out. Enter Deathstorm!

As usual, the figure comes in a sizable window box and it’s even branded with the Crime Syndicate logo up on the flap. This figure is based on the character’s appearance in Forever Evil where he was basically a living prison, trapping the Justice League inside his energy matrix. I really enjoy that story arc and Deathstorm had some solid moments in the events that unfolded, but the main reason I wanted the figure is because his character design is just so bad ass.

Deathstorm’s costume is a dark and sinister reflection of that of his counterpart Firestorm’s. He has a burgundy and black suit with the flared shoulders and segmented boots and bracers. He even has his own version of the energy burst symbol offset on his chest. From the neck down this is a fairly simple costume, but the figure pulls it off quite well, thanks mostly to some excellent paint work. I especially appreciate the mix of matte and gloss black.

And Deathstorm has a portrait that would make Ghost Rider proud! Yup, he’s sporting a full on skull for a face and he has a flame for hair. The skull is cast in the same translucent plastic as the flame and painted over with a dirty white finish. I’ll bet that lends to some pretty damn nice light piping.

Aw, yeah. It does! It’s a shame they couldn’t have slapped a hinge in that jaw, but it probably would have been difficult with the hood that frames it.

Speaking of articulation, Deathstorm’s got all the right points. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps and thighs, ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso has a waist swivel and an ab hinge, and the neck is ball jointed. Note, I didn’t mention the elbows and note that there are no visible joints on the elbows. There are actually what appears to be rotating hinges buried under rubbery sleeves. It’s really uncommon for DC to put hidden joints on a figure, and I find it odd that they chose Deathstorm to get this treatment. Unfortunately, it has some mixed results. The right elbow articulates perfectly, the left one won’t hold a bend and it’s impossible for me to know what’s going on in there. Oh well, it was a cool idea.

And that’s really all I have to say about Deathstorm. He comes with no accessories, although I’d like to think DCC sculpted a teeny tiny Justice League and inserted them all into his torso. He’s definitely a simple figure, but well executed. At least, everything but that one elbow. I picked him up at a really good price from an online comic shop, and I only wish the rest of the Crime Syndicate were going for reasonable prices these days, because I wouldn’t mind having more of them to go with him. As it is, I only have two other members of the Syndicate from this series, and I’ll be coming back around to look at them in a few weeks.

DC Bombshells (DC Designer Series): Poison Ivy by DC Collectibles

After a little mid-wave sabbatical last week, I’m back on target to work on finishing off this amazing assortment of action figures based on the DC Bombshells art and statues. The third figure up on deck is Poison Ivy!

If you’ve been on board since the beginning of the wave, then you already know all there is to know about the packaging. It shows off the figure wonderfully and it is totally collector friendly. You also get some nice character art on the side panel so you can identify who is who when the boxes are lined up on a shelf. I have to be honest, Ivy was probably my least anticipated figure of this wave, so let’s see how she ranks among some pretty stiff competition.

Batwoman was aimed at America’s Greatest Pastime, Wonder Woman referenced WWII Posters, and Poison Ivy here is squarely targeting the cheesecake pin-up style of the 1940’s. As such she comes wearing not much at all, just her chlorophyll-infused skivvies: Bra, panties, stockings, and high heels. All of her outfit is integrated into the sculpt, so the only thing on this figure that’s achieved by paint alone are her amazingly cool tattoos and the vine patterns on her legs, which I assume are supposed to be part of the stockings, but this is Poison Ivy, so you never know! Particularly nice touches include the sculpted bow in the center of her bra and her garter belts. I’ll also note that this is one of the few times I can remember where a figure in this scale had high heeled shoes that didn’t come out looking like granny shoes. Ivy comes out of the box with a pair of fists, which I don’t find a lot of use for with this figure. Luckily, she does have two other pairs of hands to choose from.

The portrait definitely has the whole pin-up style down pat. I don’t think they were going for any specific actress, but the hair style feels influenced by the famous pin-up artwork by Alberto Vargas. The paint applications for the eyes and lips is quite good, and the sculpted rose in her hair is a very nice touch. This shot also provides a better look at her lovely tats… and by that I mean tattoos!

The articulation here is right in line with what we saw for the last two figures and as such it’s some of the best pose-ability I’ve seen in any of DC Collectibles’ lines. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with swivels in the thighs, and double hinges in the elbows. The hips are ball jointed, but also seem to have a sort of hinged dog-bone up in there, that allow for even more range of motion. Further down we get swivels at the tops of the stockings, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s an ab crunch hinge and a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is ball jointed. My figure’s left bicep swivel was stuck, but a little warm water fixed that. I should also note that while those heels look great, Ivy is a difficult figure to keep standing!

If Poison Ivy stumbles a bit where the others excelled, it would be in the area of accessories. Now, don’t get me wrong, the accessories she comes with are definitely on point for the character, but by their nature, I didn’t have quite as much fun using them with the figure as I did with the previous two releases. It might also have something to do with the fact that the other figures were kitted out more for action, whereas Ivy is in her underwear. I wouldn’t call these complaints, she just has a different feel to her in that sense. With that having been said, the first accessory is a simple rose.

The other accessory is a little more interesting and also a tad frustrating. It’s a coil of vine with a snapping head on the end. I like it. It’s a cool looking piece, but it’s hard to figure out exactly what she’s meant to do with it. None of the official photos of the figure that I’ve seen have her interacting with hit. I managed to come up with some OK things for her to do with it, but I still feel like I’m missing out on exactly what was intended here.

I feel as if I’m more critical of this figure than the others and I’m not sure why. The truth is she’s a fantastic sculpt with some beautiful coloring, and a superb level of articulation. It’s true that Ivy is my least favorite figure of the three I’ve opened so far, but in this assortment of figures, that’s not something she should be ashamed about. On the next DC Friday, I’ll wrap up the wave with a look at Harley Quinn. Was I saving the best for last? The worst for last? Come on back and find out!

DC Designer Series: Batgirl (Babs Tarr) Statue by DC Collectibles

I’m taking a mid-wave break from reviewing the excellent DC Bombshells action figures to check out a statue that’s been long overdue for my collection. It’s rare that I court a statue for as long as I longed after this one. Sure, sometimes I’ll waffle a bit and other times I’ll wait for a deal, but this Babs Tarr Designer Series Batgirl Statue is one that I started eyeballing way back when the teaser art was first introduced. Then it was revealed to be part of the B&W Series. I loved the art direction, loved the sculpt, but wasn’t keen on it being a B&W piece and it was too small to really fit in with my mostly 9-inch or 12-inch scale statue collection. But, as if in answer to all my reservations, DC Collectibles re-worked the statue back in 2015 as a full color sixth-scale piece. I was in love again, but there were so many reports of QC issues and statues arriving broken, despite being new in sealed boxes. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when my infatuation finally won the day, and I decided to roll the dice and risk disappointment or else forever regret what might have been.

While this is my first DC Designer Series statue, the packaging is very similar to my beloved Cover Girls line. It’s a fully enclosed and collector friendly box with a brick of styrofoam inside that houses the statue. The box on mine is a little beat up and there’s some heavy rubbing on the sides. Oh, man. I can’t tell you how nervous I was as I sliced the tape and prepared to reveal the statue inside. The Interwebs are littered with pictures of this statue with pieces broken off of it, I was terrified mine was going to be a mess, and this distressed box isn’t helping to calm my fears. Nevertheless, I came this far, and I just had to see how my luck turned out…

Well, it turned out pretty freaking great, thank you very much! Not only did the statue arrive without any breakage, but the paint quality and overall coloring on this piece are both superb. Setting her up simply requires that you peg her foot into the base with the metal rod and she’s all ready to go. Before getting started, I will mention that while this figure is billed as being cold-cast porcelain, there’s definitely some mixed media going on, namely the plastic used for her the skin tone of her face, and I’m pretty sure the hands and some other fixtures are resin. That’s not a complaint, mind you, as the results are fantastic, but just an observation. And the statue still has a remarkable heft to it, especially as I’m used to the smaller Cover Girls.

Where to begin the love fest? Well, for starters I think the pose really captures this iteration of the character perfectly. She’s got one foot kicking back behind the other, a little playful lean on her right hip, and her left hand fiddling with the pouch on her utility belt. They did such a great job bringing this costume to life. There’s just enough detail to keep things interesting, but it still manages to capture that rather simple animated art style of the book. And she’s so damn colorful! Granted, a big part of that comes from this costume design, but credit has to be given to the team of artists at DC Collectibles for translating it so perfectly into this piece. The purple and black matte finish on the suit is smooth and practically flawless and it contrasts so beautifully with the bright and glossy yellow used on her big, chunky boots, gloves, bat symbol and utility belt. Some silver paint on her zippers and black lacings on her boots round out the costume beautifully.

The portrait is just plain adorable. I love the way her head tilts down to the left while she glances up to the right with her big green eyes. And that smile says it all! Her cowl appears to be sculpted separately from the face, which gives the head some welcome depth, even more so than if there were just sculpted lines. The reddish-orange hair swirls around her neck and drapes down her left shoulder. There’s so much personality in this portrait, and like the pose I think it just captures Babs Tarr’s Batgirl perfectly.

The beast of a base is a simple black disc, which is a heavy slab that all but ensures Batgirl won’t be taking any dives off the shelf. It has a bat symbol cut deeply into it, and I really dig the way they outlined the cut lines with purple paint. It makes for quite a striking statement. The bottom of the base features the hand-numbered limitation. Mine is 1,990 of 5,200.

It’s always a tricky thing, pining after something on your want list for so long. Can it possibly live up to the anticipation and expectations? Well, in this case, Batgirl certainly did. I was in love with this statue when I first saw it, and I’m just as much now that it’s in hand. It’s been so long since this statue debuted, I don’t even remember it’s original MSRP. I’m guessing it was somewhere in the $100-125 ballpark. I picked up mine from a comic shop on Ebay for about $85 shipped and I am so damned happy to finally have this gal on my shelf. Every little thing about this piece works for me. The colors are gorgeous, the pose is so perfect, and I actually set her on the shelf beside my desk, at least temporarily, so I can admire her every now and then, before retiring her to the display case in the spare room. I’m looking forward to picking up some more statues in this series, and I’m pretty sure my next one will be the Amanda Connor Starfire.

DC Bombshells (DC Designer Series): Wonder Woman by DC Collectibles

On the last DC Friday, I started digging into the first wave of the new DC Bombshells action figures. These figures are based on a line of statues, which conceptualize DC Characters (mostly the gals) in a 1940’s style. I kicked things off with a look at Batwoman, and boy was I impressed. Today, I’m pressing on and opening up my second figure in the assortment… Wonder Woman!

Clean, attractive, functional, and collector friendly. These are all words that I would use to describe DCC’s packaging these days. You also get some wonderful Bombshells character art on the side panel so you can line these up on a bookshelf and still know who is who. In this case, you also get a sticker on the window proclaiming the 75th Anniversary of Wonder Woman, and my doesn’t she still look great for her age! Normally, I’m quick to throw out action figure packaging, but I’m actually holding on to these boxes for now. I know, I probably won’t be able to keep them for long, but I want to at least give myself the option up until wave two hits.

And here she is out of the box and ready to go! If Batwoman represented America’s greatest pastime, then Wonder Woman here is going for the Rosie the Riveter, “We Can Do It!” angle. It’s a little more subtle here than a full on baseball uniform, but I still think it works very well. A big part of the success of this design for me is in the way the costume manages to stay faithful to Wonder Woman’s traditional look, while still embracing the 40’s style. The blouse, for example, features her emblem on the front, but adds a wide white collar and cuffs on the short sleeves. The blue shorts feature her iconic white stars, and her red high-heeled boots have white decorations and stars as well. The outfit is rounded out by a belt with a sculpted gold belt buckle and her famous lasso hanging off her right hip. She’s even got her wrist bracers, which are beautifully etched. All the details in the costume are part of the sculpt, and the paint is sharp and clean.

The portrait is over-the-top cheese, which certainly fits with the original statue. Wonder Woman is offering her biggest “Can Do” smile and has her hair tied up with a yellow ribbon while the bulk of her coif blows off in the breeze. I really love what they did here, but I have a feeling that it may be a little too singular a look for some collectors. It conveys the original art beautifully, but with a perpetually smiling expression, you are certainly limited in some of the poses you can pull off with her, whereas Batwoman’s portrait was more versatile. With that having been said, apart from adding in a second head, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

The articulation here is every bit as good as what we got with Batwoman. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint in the chest and another in the neck. Once again, I’ll point out the irony that these are figures based on a line of statues, and yet they feature some of the best articulation that we’ve seen out of DCC yet. And no stuck or gummy joints, either!

In addition to three sets of hands (fists, tight gripping, and loose gripping), Wonder Woman comes with two fun accessories. The first is a wrench, and let me tell you, if you’re in the market for a wrench in this scale, this is probably one of the best ones I’ve seen. It also fits the theme here quite well. I’m sure Wonder Woman is going to use that pipe wrench to tighten the bolts on the bomb that’s going to blow up Mr. Hitler! If not, then it’s just a great metaphor for the whole “Put America to work” mobilization that made up the CCC and WPA leading up to Doublya-Doublya-Two!

The other accessory is a chain with a cinder block on one end and a ball on the other. The original statue had her breaking a chain, which obviously inspired this piece. At first, I thought it an odd accessory, but I have to confess that I’ve had a ton of fun playing around with it.

If Batwoman spoke to my love of Baseball, Wonder Woman here does the same for my love of history. Everything about this figure gels so perfectly. The design, the execution, and the amazingly fun level of articulation. I was originally on board with these figures as some inexpensive alternatives to buying the statues, but I never expected them to be so engaging, or so difficult to put down. These figures are retailing for around $25 at most online retailers, and if this style is your jam, then you really can’t go wrong. On the next DC Friday, I’m going to take a mid-wave break to check out a statue, and then I’ll start opening up the second half of this assortment of amazing figures.

DC Bombshells (DC Designer Series): Batwoman by DC Collectibles

If you are at all attuned to the collectible comic statue market, then you’ve probably seen the DC Bombshells line. They’re DC gals (and a few dudes) re-imagined as WWII-era nose art. Or at least that’s how it started. It’s since grown into a wider scope, embracing the DC characters depicted in 40’s-era style in general. The statue designs have been pretty cool and while I’ve come close to picking up a couple, I’ve managed to resist so far, mainly because I’m already struggling to find space to display my DC Cover Girls. Although, I just miiiight have one Bombshell statue on pre-order. Enter the DC Bombshells figures. You get the same re-imaginings of the characters in action figure form and at a fraction of the price. Now you’re talking! I picked up the whole first wave and I’m kicking things off today with a look at Batwoman.

The packaging should look readily familiar if you’ve picked up any DC Collectibles figures these days. They use this same style for the Designer Series, the Icons Series, the DCTV Series… just about all the Serieseses. And why not? This is clean, collector friendly packaging that show off the figures beautifully and really lets you get a solid look at not only the figure, but all the accessories you’re getting. DCC is actually releasing the Bombshells under their Designer Series, celebrating the wonderful art of Ant Lucia. Batwoman is inspired by what else? America’s greatest pastime, Baseball! Get it? Bat-Woman? Oh, you did get it. OK then, let’s check her out.

Batwoman dons a somewhat non-traditional, but quite yummy, skirted baseball uniform, which includes a low cut top, sculpted belt, high socks, dainty gloves, and glossy cleats. Naturally, the deco is inspired by her crime-fighting costume in the comics, featuring a snappy mix of black and crimson. The paintwork here is super sharp, from the silver buckle on her belt to the piping around her collar and the black stripes at the tops of her socks. Best of all, you get a glossy bat symbol across her chest. This is a great piece of inspiration and an all-around great looking figure.

A quick view from the back reveals the lettering on her uniform top: “Gotham Knights 52” I love it!

The portrait here is pretty stellar as well. She features wide green eyes, perfectly painted lips, and a flowing coif of crimson hair that spills out from her distinctive baseball cap, which features both her bat symbol and a pair of adorable little pointy bat ears. She also has just a hint of grease paint around her eyes, suggestive of her mask. All the skin tones are achieved through nekkid plastic and the stuff they used looks great.

DCC went above and beyond with the articulation here. It’s something I really didn’t expect from a line of figures based off of conceptualized statues, and yet here we have it. This is quite frankly even better articulation than we’ve been getting out of DC Icons. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint in the chest and another in the neck. The jointing feels excellent, with no gummy hinges or stuck joints. I can’t even tell you how much fun I’ve had playing around with this figure, but hopefully the pictures will convey a little bit of it.

Accessories include three pairs of hands: Fists, bat-holding hands, and ball-holding hands. She also comes with a catcher’s mitt, a baseball, and a bat. The mitt is just another hand that can be swapped out and it’s sculpted to hold the ball perfectly so you can recreate some amazing catches. Batwoman doesn’t let anything get past her… not even those pop flys!

If there’s anything in this package that’s disappointing, it would have to be the bat. It pains me to say that, because it’s an excellent sculpt with a very realistic wood-grain finish. It even has her name engraved on it and a tiny bat emblem on the tip. So what’s the problem? It just feels too small. Maybe I’m off base (HA!) on this. I dig baseball a whole lot, but I’m no expert. Nonetheless, I just get a sense that the bat isn’t regulation and that it’s under-scaled for the figure. Make no mistake, it’s not enough to tarnish my love for this gal, but worth mentioning nonetheless. Besides, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have anything negative to say here at all.

Am I gushing? I’ve been gushing, haven’t I? Well, truth be told, I was really looking forward to getting this first wave of Bombshells figures in hand, and I gotta tell ya, after opening up Batwoman, this gal does not disappoint. Everything about this figure, from the sculpt to the paint to the super fun articulation is just about perfect. I love the spirit behind these designs and I am suitably impressed at how this figure manages to capture the look of the statue while delivering all the fun that goes along with a fun action figure. I’m chomping at the bit to open up another, but sadly, that’ll have to wait until the next DC Friday.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Harley Quinn (Ver.2) by DC Collectibles

I’m committed to getting completely caught up with DC’s Cover Girls before the next statue ships in a month or so, and to that end I’m finally getting around to this, the second version of Harley Quinn to be released in the current incarnation of the line. The first Harley consisted of her full-on New 52 look, whereas this one returns the character to her more classic look. It’s also worth noting that a third version of Cover Girls Harley has been announced, but I’m pretty sure that one will kick off the third Cover Girls series, which will be under the stewardship of a new artist.

The statue comes in a really big box. Next to Bleez, this is probably the biggest box they’ve had to use for this line. What’s funny, though, is that it weighs so little that I was actually worried that there might not be anything in it. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case and what’s really going on here is that Harley’s a pretty slender gal, but her rather unique pose required the bigger box. Combine those two elements, and you get the deceptive size to weight ratio. With that having been said, the box is bright and snappy with a white, black and red deco. It notes on the bottom that this is a numbered second edition, as the original run did sell out and DC Collectibles put her back into production. As a result, the limitation here is 5,000 as opposed to the usual 5,200. Apart from the disclaimer on the box, that change in limitation is the key to identifying the second edition of the statue.

Harley comes balancing with her left foot on her giant hammer and her right leg stretched out in front of her. Her right hand clutches the handle of the hammer and her left hand sports her over-sized pop-gun. There’s a lot to love about this pose. It’s distinctive and totally Harley. She’s playful and whimsical, and she’s probably going to murder someone with that hammer. On the other hand, the composition here makes for a statue that for me really only has one “sweet spot,” which is basically the angle of the first picture.  The problem with this is that it means her right leg is also protruding forward. My Cover Girls display shelves are getting a little congested, and to put it bluntly, when it comes to taking up space on the shelf, Harley does not play well with others. I’m also a little worried I’m going to knock that leg when passing by and all Joker’s horses and all Joker’s men won’t be able to put Harley back together again.

Looking beyond the composition, I have to say that I love what they did with the sculpt. The costume is appropriately simple, but even the little things like the diamonds on her legs are sculpted and not just painted on. She’s also got little wrinkles around her ankles, the flare of her little boots, and the fringe around her wrists and neck all look fantastic. I’m very happy that they went with a subtle gloss for the costume. The Harley from the first incarnation of Cover Girls always looked way too glossy for me. The paint on the costume is super clean too, the lines are pretty sharp, and the red  is nice and even, and compliments the black and white beautifully. There are, however, a few QC issues on my statue, and to show you, I’m going to have to go in for a butt shot. Sorry, can’t be helped.

So first off, let me get it out of the way. Daaaaaayum, that’s a fine tokus! But what we’re really looking at here is that scattering of what appear to be paint bubbles on her right ass cheek. These are pretty unsightly, but at least they’re in a place where they won’t be normally be seen when she’s on display. Instead, I’m only apt to notice them when I pick her up and scrutinize that fine clown caboose. And how often is that going to be, eh? OK, probably a lot.

The portrait is pretty solid. There are a few very minor blemishes on her face, but you have to get in pretty close to see them. Also, it kind of looks like what you might expect to see on grease paint. What’s crazy is that teeny tiny bit of flesh color that they put around the seam between her collar and her hood. I also like the subtle rumple in her tassels. Unfortunately, the posing here does get in the way a little of really taking in her facial features. With her hand holding the gun up in front of her, you have to come in at an angle.

The base uses the standard oval structure that we’ve seen since the earliest releases in this line. I like how they get around that by having her stand on the hammer. It’s like they wanted to do something special, but still conform to the standard that the line has been using. They really went all out on the wood detail for the mallet, which makes for a nice contrast to the smooth and mostly featureless costume she’s wearing. The red and black deco looks great on the base and the paint here is nice and clean. As always, the statue is hand numbered on the bottom, with mine being 1532 of 5,000.

So, I actually passed on this statue when it was first offered. While I have most of this series of Cover Girls, there have been a select few that I skipped. Most notable was the first version of Wonder Woman, which did nothing for me and had a reputation for some unfortunate QC issues. I would have probably stuck with my inclination to skip Harley here, had I not found this second edition for the irresistible price of $45. How could I go wrong? Yeah, I know what you’re saying… you could get one with ass bubbles, and you did! I’m pretty sure that was just a coincidence as my statue was still sealed and I’ve still seen Ms. Quinn here floating around in the forties through other sellers. She’s a nice piece of work, but not one of my favorite releases in the line. I think a lot of that may come down to just having Classic Harley fatigue. Which would also explain why I still prefer the first release version to this one, as it’s something different.

DC Comics Super-Villains: “New 52” Captain Cold by DC Collectibles

The New 52 may be a thing of the past, but I still have some unfinished business with its action figure legacy. DC Collectibles has certainly done their part to immortalize this controversial era in plastic form and among these lines, one of my favorites has been DC Comics Super-Villains. I recently found a box of these stashed up on a shelf in one of my closets from just before Christmas. It’s been almost a year since I last looked at any figures from this line, so today I’m going to open up Captain Cold!

The window box is right in line with what DCC was using for most of their figures at the time of this release. It’s pretty generic, but it’s also crisp and snappy and I kind of like it. The window shows off the figure very well, you get a shot of the figure on one of the side panels, which is perfect if you want to keep these boxed and line them up on a shelf. You also get an extended back with a J-hook if you want to pin them to the wall. The box is black to give it that Super-Villains vibe and DCC always threw in a splash of color on these boxes to coordinate them match the figure. In this case it’s a really nice shade of blue. As always, everything is collector friendly, but I don’t save these boxes. I barely have space for the figures!

And here’s Snart out of the box. While I tend to be OK with a lot of the costume changes in the New 52 Era (Yes, I realize that’s a minority opinion to hold), I was not overly pleased with Snart’s. In fact, next to New 52’s first version of Poison Ivy, Captain Cold’s look is one of my least favorite of the whole shebang. With his weird hat-hood, his sleeveless jacket, and his Art Deco vibe, I’m just not sure what they were going for here when they designed it. That’s not to say the figure doesn’t look good. DCC did a fine job translating this look to figure form. The white paint is super clean, the shade of blue is gorgeous, and the gold belt really makes the figure pop all the more. Overall, the paint lines are pretty clean too.

My one complaint is that they really cheaped out on his jacket, as it’s molded as part of the torso. It looks fine from the back, but the open flaps on the front are chunky and not terribly convincing. DCC has done plenty of jackets by overlaying a separate plastic vest onto the figure, and since this one is sleeveless, not going that route here seems like a huge missed opportunity.

The head sculpt here is quite good and the distinctive glasses at least provide some link to Snart’s more classic look. I’m still not a fan of that weird hood-hat, though. As for articulation… Well, DCC has made some major strides in articulation since the DC Direct days, but you wouldn’t really know it from this figure. His arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, and hinges in the elbows. His right hand has a swivel, but that’s only because it pegs in, as the left wrist has no articulation. The hips feature a standard T-crotch, which at this point is a terribly dated design. The leg articulation is rounded out by simple hinges in the knees. The head may be ball jointed, but I can only get a swivel out of it. Truth be told, this is still better than what we usually got with DC Direct, but not by much.

Luckily, this figure really shines through his effect parts. For starters, the forearm is all iced over and it looks fantastic. It’s cast in jagged, shimmery plastic and it’s probably the most convincing ice I’ve ever seen in plastic. It’s also sharp as hell in some parts. I also really dig how they painted the icy veins in the bicep as part of the effect. This is great stuff. As already mentioned, this forearm is designed to pop off so you can swap it out with his other ice effect…

A spiked ice ball!  This thing is a pretty big accessory, and because of it, Snart here probably uses more plastic than any other standard release in this line. This thing looks every bit as good as the other ice arm and those spikes are really sharp. I got a couple of ouchies when I was trying to peg it into the arm.

Finally, Captain Cold comes with an ice dagger that he can hold in his left hand. While not as impressive a sculpt as the other two ice pieces, it’s still pretty cool.

The Super-Villains figures tended to run around $21 a pop. Some have gone up in the meantime, others have gone down. I remember picking up Captain Cold and some others before Christmas for under $10, and a deal like that can certainly temper my expectations for a figure. That having been said, this guy is just a roller coaster of ups and downs. I don’t dig the look all that much, but I really loved Snart in his Post-Forever Evil Justice League appearances with Lex Luthor. The articulation isn’t great, but stand him up there on the shelf with his ice effects, and he looks pretty damn good. If nothing else, he can keep my New 52 Flash figure company.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Starfire by DC Collectibles

The current incarnation of Cover Girls of the DC Universe is running out of time. There are only three more statues due to release before it reboots in favor of a new artist. Conversely, there are only three previously released Cover Girls that I need in order to get all caught up, and I’m opening one of those today. I hope you like Tamaranean T&A, because it’s time to check out the lovely Princess Koriand’r!

I’ve showcased enough of these statues by now that I have precious little left to say about the packaging. Starfire comes in a fully enclosed box and sandwiched between two styrofoam trays. It’s not the snazziest presentation out there, but it’s collector friendly, and I’ve yet to receive one of these pieces damaged, so obviously the packing is doing its job. Starfire requires no assembly. She’s already attached to her base and ready to go.

And WOW! Starfire hovers in mid-flight supported by the toe of her right boot, which dips into the fiery trail left behind by her hair. There are so many things I love about the composition of this piece. The graceful flow of her body, tapering off to her outstretched right hand is absolute poetry and the way her hair arcs alongside her is stunning. It’s not only a great comic statue, but a wonderful study of the female form. The balance (both literal and figurative) of the statue is also fantastic, as Starfire looks like she’s defying gravity. Cover Girls is so often about museum-style posing, but every now and then DCC lets loose and delivers a release like this one. It’s definitely one of the most kinetic statues in the line, and yet she still feels right at home when displayed among her fellow Cover Girls.

The costume is lifted directly from her appearances in Red Hood and the Outlaws, although purple and skimpy has almost always been the order of the day for Koriand’r, so this New 52 look isn’t a huge departure from her more classic appearances. Granted, she covered up a bit more once she got her own book by Amanda Connor, but that’s another statue for another day. It’s perhaps worth noting that there isn’t a lot of sculpted muscle definition here. I only tend to notice it around her abs area where it’s totally smooth. Not a problem for me, but I thought it was an interesting choice on the part of the sculptor and I feel it gives her a slightly more animated appearance.

From the neck down, the paint on this piece is quite good, both in terms of quality and application. The metallic purple used for her costume is right on the money and is nicely complimented by the silver borders. Her distinctive orange skin is just the right shade as well as being smooth, warm, and even. There are a few areas on mine where the paint lines don’t quite conform to the sculpted lines, but I really had to scrutinize her carefully to notice them. Needless to say whatever tiny flubs are here, don’t bother me at all.

And as long as we’re doing paint checks… nothing wrong back here!

I like the portrait a lot, but I think there are just a few areas for improvement here. Normally, I wouldn’t bother mentioning them, but since all I’m doing is gushing over this piece, I’ll play devil’s advocate for a bit. The first is just my personal preference that I would have liked to see a little smirk or smile on her face. As it is, it’s a very neutral expression, and that’s fine. There’s so much great stuff going on here, that I’m not immediately drawn to her expression anyway. Secondly concerns the paint application, which is a tad off on the hairline and the lips, both of which are only really an issue if I get in super close and start to scrutinize it. Still, it’s not bad and I’ve seen far worse paint applications on far more expensive “premium” statues.

The base manages to maintain the uniform oval generic theme of this line, while still going above and beyond. For most of the Cover Girls, the bases are just something for the figures to stand on, but here, it’s an integral part of the presentation, as her hair flows down and transitions into the fire effect. It’s beautifully done and genuinely hard to tell where the cold-cast porcelain ends and the translucent plastic begins. The effect is quite similar to what we saw with Bleez’s fire base and Mera’s water base. It’s an effect that could easily make or break the statue, but here it succeeds brilliantly. As always, the limitation is hand numbered on the bottom of the base. Mine is 2,223 of 5,200.

Starfire’s MSRP is right in line with the other Cover Girls at around $100. It’s certainly a fair price for what you’re getting, but I try to do a little bargain hunting when it comes to this line, and was able to pick her up for just under $70. Between the elaborate marrying of hair and base, the vibrant combination of colors, and just the overall beauty of her form, I think this is one piece that really sticks out, even in a display case full of Cover Girls releases. It’s also a piece that makes for a great stand-alone representation of Koriand’r for someone who isn’t collecting the line. And considering that Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo Starfire is now selling for well over $100, this one is a damn good value too.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Power Girl by DC Collectibles

Apologies to DC fans who have missed DC Friday for the last two weeks, but truth be told, I’m almost caught up with opening my DC figures and statues, so I’ve been rotating DC Fridays out in favor of other areas. It’s going to continue to be a little hit-or-miss in the weeks ahead. But I’m bringing it back home today with a look at another DC Cover Girls statue. This time, it’s one of my all time favorites… Power Girl!

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If you’re unfamiliar with this line, these are approximately 9-inch scale, cold cast porcelain statues released in numbered editions. The box she comes in is mostly white with, in this case, a blue swipe running down the the front. You get some photos of the statue and credits to the designer, Stanley Lau, and the sculptor, Jack Matthews. The box is fully enclosed and collector friendly. The collectible comes wrapped in plastic and sandwiched between two hearty styrofoam bricks. The only assembly required is to plug Kara’s feet into the base via the metal posts. It’s a comfortable fit, they go in easy and despite just balancing on one foot, she’s very sturdy.

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Power Girl stands confidently with one knee bent and palming her fist as she prepares for a fight (someone’s about to get the most enjoyable beat-down they’ll ever get in their life!), while a breeze blows her half-cape and short coif of hair off to the side. This is a great pose that not only characterizes the nobility and courage of Power Girl beautifully, but also fits in right at home with her fellow Cover Girl statues. It’s cover-worthy composition with the promise of a little action to come.

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The sculpt does a fantastic job of recreating Power Girl’s timeless outfit. The white one-piece features sculpted seam lines and some slight wrinkles to suggest it’s properly snug in all the right places. Of course, you also get the high collar and her iconic boob window. Hey! Her eyes are up there, mister! Her cape is perfectly sculpted to billow in the breeze and is secured by a sculpted gold painted disc and braided cord. The rest of her costume is rounded out by her blue buccaneer boots and gloves and a blue belt with gold buckle. About the only downside is that her cape obstructs the view of her caboose. Just saying.

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The coloring and quality of paint on this statue are both exceptional. The white is clean with a subtle glossy sheen, the blue is deep and rich, the red is vibrant, and the gold adds that perfect little pop to the whole ensemble. What’s more the flesh tones on her legs and chest are warm, even and clean. When it comes to the figure itself, I have to say I’ve seen far more expensive statues painted with a lot less care than this one.

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The portrait is spot on and absolutely lovely. The shape of her face and the contours of her perfect nose make her a sight to behold. The paint on the eyes, eyebrows, and lips is all crisp, and the sculpting on the wind blown hair is perfect. If I wasn’t already in love with Power Girl, admiring that face would surely push me over the edge.

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The base is the standard oval that we’ve been seeing throughout most of this line. It’s painted white with blue edges and you get her trademark “P” at the cardinal points. The base is also the only place on this piece where the quality of paint application stumbles a bit. It’s not terrible, but the lines are certainly not as straight and even as they could have been. Nonetheless, if the paint has to take a hit somewhere, I’d much rather it be down on the base than on the figure itself. As always, the limitation is hand numbered on the bottom of the base. Mine is 2,722 of 5,200.

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The suggested retail here is around $99, but a little patience and hunting netted me this one for $66 shipped and it’s hard to beat that! Most people who know me are surprised that I didn’t jump on this one the moment it was released. The truth is that most of the official photos gave me pause. Even the shots on the box don’t do the finished product justice at all. When she arrived and I opened her, I was practically bracing myself for disappointment. And in fairness, my love of Power Girl means that I often hold her merch up to especially high standards. But, as it turned out, I couldn’t possibly have been more delighted with the way this statue turned out. I have just a few more DC Cover Girls to get caught up on and then there’s three more yet to be released this year before DC Collectibles reboots this line again with a new artist. Will I still be on board after the reboot? Most likely.