DC Icons: (#05) The Flash by DC Collectibles

It’s DC Friday and time to open another figure from the second wave of DC Icons. This time it’s Barry Allen as The Flash. I was especially excited to get this figure, not only because it’s The Flash and he comes with a damn cool accessory, but it’s a very classic 80’s Flash, which is something I haven’t seen in a while in action figure form.

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The package is the same thing we’ve been seeing all along. It looks great, it’s fairly compact, and it shows off the figure beautifully. A quick glance may have some scoffing, “What? All he comes with his a couple of hands?” But that’s just because the Cosmic Treadmill isn’t prominently displayed in the package. The package denotes that this is the fifth figure in this series and that Flash comes from the late 80’s “Chain Lightning” Arc. I was about 15 at the time, and this one was a stand out story for me, particularly because I love the time travel elements so much.

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The best way to describe this figure is basic, classic, goodness. DCC could have gotten away with just painting most of the costume, but they went that extra mile and gave us a decent amount of unique sculpting here. The boots feature sculpted lightning bolts on the sides and treads on the feet. The lighting bolts around his waist and arms are sculpted as well as painted, and the chest emblem is also sculpted. The build feels exactly right for Barry, in other words not terribly buff, and while the red plastic is a little duller than I would have liked (it looks a lot brighter under the studio lights) I still think the coloring here is overall very good.

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The head sculpt is solid, but not exceptional. In addition to the “wings,” the contours of the mask around the face is part of the sculpt, which is nice, and the exposed lower half of the face looks good. The eyes are very squinty and while the paint looks fine with the naked eye, it breaks down as you get in really close. The portraits have never been one of this line’s greatest points, but I’m fairly happy with what we got here.

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Articulation, on the other hand, does continue to be one of this line’s better points and if you’ve played with any of the Icons figures then you know what to expect out of the rest. Flash features rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinged elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers, and you do get swivels at the tops of the boots. There’s an ab crunch hinge in the torso as well as a ball joint under the chest. Finally, the neck is ball jointed.

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Ah, and then you have the accessories. For starters… HANDS! Oh, y’all know how much I love getting extra hands in with my figures. I poke fun, but truth be told, I’m warming up to the idea of having to swap out the mitts on my figures. Flash comes with a pair of “running” hands, which are basically fingers together and straight out so he can cut through the air. The other pair features a graspy right hand and a left fist. Not bad.

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And then we have the piece that I was really excited for… The Cosmic Treadmill. Truth be told, in execution it’s a wee bit disappointing. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s a very nice sculpt and with some decent paint apps, but it feels just a tad small. I applaud the fact that DCC was able to pack it in with a regular priced figure, but I think they missed an opportunity to bump Flash up to a Deluxe (Like Green Lantern, which I’ll be looking at next week) and put a little more effort and plastic into treadmill. Now I feel bad for nitpicking. It really is a nice little pack-in.

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Simple and effective is exactly how I would characterize the Icons version of The Flash. He’s as solid a figure as they come and that lovely Icons articulation makes him as fun to play with as any of the figures in this line. He’s also a great example of how this line is not playing favorites with any one particular era or cross section of the DC Universe. You’ve got New 52 version’s like Mister Miracle and Lex Luthor sharing space with classic versions of Batman and Flash, and I think that’s just great. And while I still maintain a Deluxe version of the figure with Treadmill would have been cool, I don’t want to dismiss the fact that they were able to get us such a cool accessory at the regular price point.

DC Icons: (#06) Blue Beetle by DC Collectibles

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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

DC Icons: (#08) Lex Luthor by DC Collectibles

It’s been a while since I checked out the first wave of DC Collectibles’ new DC Icons line, but after a long detour into some statues and a few other things, I’m ready to bring DC Friday back around to look at what Wave 2 has to offer. Today I’m kicking things off with a look at Lex Luthor, because for some reason (I can’t imagine why), I have a powerful need to look at a traditional and faithful treatment of the character. Yeah, I know, this is the New 52 version, but compared to what we’ve seen on the big screen recently, this is still pretty damn traditional.

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The packaging has not changed from what we saw in the first wave. You get a collector friendly window box with a snazzy angle on the window indicating the figure’s name and number in the series. Lex is actually #8, so while I am going to cover all of Wave 2 over the next month or so, I’m not going in order. The side panel also has the name and number of the figure, along with the story he’s pulled from, in this case the “Forever Evil” mini-series by Geoff Johns. If you like to keep your packages, you couldn’t ask for more than this. It displays all the accessories in the tray and they look great lined up on the shelf. If I had the space, I’d be keeping these, but as you all probably know, I don’t.

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I like this look for Lex a lot. It’s vaguely reminiscent of his armored costumes from Super Powers and even the DC Universe Classics figure, only a lot less bulky. The sculpting of the costume conveys the idea that he’s wearing armor pieces over a bodysuit and overall it’s fairly faithful to the David Finch art. The armor itself has some rather nice contours, particularly in the chest and shoulders.

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The coloring on this figure is stellar. The green and purple not only scream Lex Luthor to me, but the vibrant shade of the purple suit matched with the super slick, glossy green paint on the armor is pure eye candy. The extra white hits do a good job mimicking the light up features from the panel art. Based on the costume alone, this is without a doubt a great looking figure.

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The head sculpt is solid, but not exceptional. It’s a very simple sculpt without a lot of depth to it. The eyes seem off to me and the jawline is way too severe. I’m also unsure of what expression they were going for, other than passive and bland. I would have liked something with more energy and emotion. In general, I don’t think the portraits in the DC Icons line have been up there with some of T4H’s work on DCUC and this figure continues that trend.

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Articulation, on the other hand, is really wear this line is at and Lex brings it. You get double hinges in both the elbows and knees. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and the ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists and swivels in the biceps. The torso features both an ab crunch hinge and a ball joint under the chest. Finally, the neck is ball jointed, although the high collar does inhibit the head movement a bit.

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Accessories are also a big focus in this line, although I have to admit I find Lex’s collection of extras a little bland. If you’ve been reading FFZ for a while then you know I don’t often go ga-ga over a lot of swap out hands, and that’s mostly what Lex’s extras have to offer. Besides the standard pair of fists and relaxed hands, you also get a hand holding his lighting rod and another projecting an energy screen. These are decent enough display options, but nothing that gets me too excited.

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You also get this little wrist blade that clips on over the wrist. It’s probably my favorite accessory in the box, but that’s not saying a lot.

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If I sound a little underwhelmed by Mr. Luthor, that’s not really the case. He is a solid figure through and through and he’s got a lot of great qualities, including the fun articulation and rather beautiful paint job. Not to mention, I think this is a look for the character that even a lot of those rabid New 52-haters could get behind. In the end, I just felt the extras left a little to be desired, but that’s coming from someone who can rarely be bothered to swap out hands all that often. But in the end, this is another accomplished entry in what has proven to be an extremely fun line of figures. And if anything, having Lex on my shelf is making me very excited to pick up the Wave 3 Superman figure.

DC Icons: (#03) Green Arrow by DC Collectibles

It’s another DC Friday and I’m wrapping up my look at the first wave of DC Collectibles’ delectable DC Icons line. With Batman, Mister Miracle, and Deadman all under my belt, it’s time to check out Green Arrow, one of the figures that made me buckle and dive into this line head first.

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The packaged shot should hold no surprises. You get a window box with that sexy angled corner and the character’s name running up the side. The deco is designed to match the character and also points out that this version of Ollie is culled from the 1987 series “The Longbow Hunters!” Yes, once again this line is drawing from all corners of the DC Universe and this first wave character selection does a nice job illustrating that. Sadly, I don’t have the room to keep these boxes, but it’s nice to know that they’re collector friendly if I had that option.

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As the source material suggests, Ollie comes in a very classic looking outfit, which features a ton of original sculpting. Details include the cuffs and laces on the tops of his boots, the belt and shoulder strap, the tunic, which hangs down below his belt, and the v-neck collar, which forms his hood.
His sleeves bellow out a bit where they meet his gauntlets and the two-tone green used for the costume looks great. The only hiccup here is a little bit of gloss paint, or maybe glue dribbled on the inside of his tunic. I haven’t decided whether it bothers me enough to pick up a replacement.

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The scabbard is permanently attached to the figure and can hold all of the arrows he comes with. It’s also worth noting that the shoulder strap securing it is a separate piece so as not to interfere with the torso articulation.

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The head sculpt is pretty simple and serviceable. I like the way they sculpted the beard and mustache and the domino mask looks good. It’s also worth noting that everything on the head is fully sculpted and painted so you can pull the hood back and get a good look at everything. I don’t think this comes close to Green Arrow’s DCUC portrait, but granted it is a different scale. While the hood is sculpted as part of the tunic, there’s enough room in there to still turn the head.

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Articulation is very much in line with what we’ve been seeing on the previous figures. The legs feature ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The tops of the boots feature swivel cuts, something that has been inconsistent in the line and I’d still rather see them up in the thighs (or both!). The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. You get an ab crunch hinge and a ball joint in the chest and the neck is also ball jointed.

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Accessories include an extra pair of hands, a bow, two sets of double arrows, and two single arrows. The figure comes with fists on the figure, but I doubt I’ll use those a lot. The extra hands include one for holding the bow and the other for knocking arrows.

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The bow is just a lovely piece of kit. It’s simple, but feels sized perfectly for the figure and includes a real string with enough elasticity to allow for drawn string poses. The double arrows are also a nice addition. I’m not sure if they’re intended to just help fill out the quiver, but I think they come in hand for posing Ollie about to perform a trick shot.

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Damn, I love this figure! He’s possibly my favorite in the first wave, although I’m still very partial to Mister Miracle. I think Ollie’s big selling point is the beautiful way the articulation works with the accessories to provide an in hand experience that we haven’t seen with previous Green Arrow figures. He’s so much fun to play around with and further reinforces how great these figures feel in hand. I am seriously hooked on this line. That having been said, next week I’m going to jump into some other DC-related business before returning to DC Icons and starting my look at Wave 2.

DC Icons: (#02) Deadman by DC Collectibles

It’s DC Friday again and today I’m opening up another figure from DC Collectibles’ Icons line: Deadman is a character that I’ve really come to know and love thanks to some directed comic book reading over the last few years. A lot of the interest was sparked from picking up the DC Universe Classics figure and featuring it here way back in 2011. That was a great figure and it remains one of my favorites in the line to this day. How will DC Collectibles new version stack up? Let’s find out…

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The figure comes in a window box similar to the first two Icons figures that I looked at, however, keep in mind that you do get a little variety in that each box’s deco matches the character. One thing I am enjoying about this line is that it’s running the gamut of DC lore and not just sticking to the New 52. This version of Deadman, for example, hails from Brightest Day. Not that the New 52 version is all that drastically different looking.

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Deadman features his classic maroon costume with super high collar and a low-plunging v-neck on the front that partially exposes his chest. There isn’t a great deal of sculpting required for his outfit. The boots and gauntlets are painted in glossy red and there’s some nice texturing in the torso. The trademark “D” on his chest is part of the sculpt and neatly painted in white. Otherwise, the costume is pretty straight forward.

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The portrait here is really nicely done. The features in the face are well defined and the expression sways between grim and serene. I hesitate to champion it too much, only because the head sculpt Mattel did on their DCUC version many years back is still so impressive to this day. In terms of what the character means to me, I think this one best suits him, but from a purely technical standpoint, that DCUC noggin is still the one to beat. I will say, however, that the white paint here fits better than the ashen gray paint on Mattel’s figure. The gray paint used for the lips and the black spray around the eyes looks very good too.

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The articulation in this line has been consistent so far. Deadman’s arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, double hinged and double hinged in the knees. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s an ab-crunch hinge and a ball joint in the torso and the neck is also ball jointed. I still wish these figures featured swivel cuts in the thighs, but that’s really my only complaint about the articulation.

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Accessories! Deadman comes with clenched fists attached, but an extra pair of grabby hands. The extra hands were totally unnecessary, which makes it all the more cool that DCC included them. You also get a really creative translucent rubber mask that can be placed over other Icons figures to simulate his possession power. It actually looks unspeakably creepy when placed on another figure. Honestly, I mostly like this thing because of the originality behind it, rather than how well it works in practice.

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I think it took a lot of balls for DC Collectibles to not only include Deadman as the second figure in this new line, but a version of him from before the New 52 reboot as well. Normal logic would have seen this initial wave stacked with Justice League A-listers, and yet here we are three figures in and two of them have been Mister Miracle and Deadman. I love it, mainly because it’s showing me that DCC is planning some deep universe building with this line and anyone from any era potentially could be fair game. This figure isn’t terribly flashy, but he looks fantastic and the articulation makes for lots of fun.

DC Icons: (#01) Batman by DC Collectibles

Last Friday I kicked off my look at DC Collectibles’ DC Icons series with Mister Miracle and I was notably impressed. Today, I’m pulling another figure off the stack and it’s Batman! Yeah, I went after Mister Miracle first because of my love for the character, but let’s face it… when you’re taking a new line of DC figures out for spin, Batman really is the best place to start!

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We saw the packaging last time, so I won’t dwell on it. It’s attractive and shows off the figure and the accessories well. My figure’s box is a little miffed up, but that’s OK. Just let me at the goods inside!

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Out of the box and Batman is looking damn fine. Being only a casual fan of Bats, I’m not sure which one they were going for here, but I dig the somewhat classic look of the outfit. There are no panel lines, so it sure ain’t from The New 52. Yeah, he’s a lot more understated than the snazzy metallic finish of my-man Scott Free, but I love the look of this guy. You get a traditional gray body suit with blue undies on the outside and high gloss blue boots and gauntlets. There’s a black bat emblem tampo’ed on his chest and a chunky yellow utility belt.

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The cape is a fairly light and pliable plastic that doesn’t throw off the balance of the figure at all. It also ends just above the ground and isn’t too cumbersome for most action shots. At the same time, it does sometimes feel restrictive in it’s inability to spread out behind him when he’s doing his intimidating Batman stuff. I do like the way it’s sculpted to plunge behind his neck and the scalloped edges look great.

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The portrait features a classic blue cowl and a face sculpt that is solid enough, but nothing exceptional. It’s a little bit soft, but still OK. I dig the detail in his furled brow.

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Articulation is a big deal with this line, which is a new departure for many of DC Collectibles’ figures. Let’s run down those points… The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, hinges in the ankles, along with lateral rockers, and swivels buried under the boots. The torso features both a ball joint and an ab crunch and the neck is ball jointed. Batman is a beautifully balanced figure and loads of fun to play with.

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Accessories! Batman comes with two pairs of hands (fists and holding hands), in addition to a grappel with a hand permanently attached to it. He also comes with a pair of very cool little batarangs.

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Yes, if I had to describe this figure with one word it would be FUN FUN FUN! OK, that’s one word three times, but I’m making a point. Maybe there’s nothing flashy or revolutionary about DC Icons Batman, but his lovely mix of articulation and accessories make him a hard figure to put down. He’s only the second notch on my DC Icons belt, but I can still feel my love for this line growing. At this point, the only complaint I can muster is that I really wish these figures came with action stands. I’ve been cheating with a Figma stand by putting the peg under the cape, but I’m really going to have to invest in a Tamashii Stage to unlock their true potential.

DC Icons: (#04) Mister Miracle by DC Collectibles

When DC Collectibles revealed their new “six inch” line of highly articulated figures, I was interested in what could finally be the continuation of DC Universe Classics/Unlimited/Signature Series or whatever the hell it was called when Mattel finally put a bullet in its head and dumped it in the Gotham River. The new figures looked amazing and I could pick and choose which figures I wanted to upgrade and which DCUC versions I’d stick with. Aaaaand then we saw that when it comes to scale all “six inch” figures are not created equal. The heartbreak hit alongside the realization that they were not at all in scale with DCUC. I swore I would never pick any of these up. Nope, No way I’m going down that rabbit hole again. Scew that and screw you, DC Icons!

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And then that happened, so let’s start looking at some DC Icons figures! I’m only missing one from the initial run up through #9, but I’m not going to go in order. Instead, let’s start with Mr. Miracle. Why him? I’ll refer you back to my DCUC Feature on Mr. Miracle and Big Barda to answer that.

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Here’s the snazzy new packaging and I do like it quite a lot. Yes, it still clings to some of that stark white and bland style that DC Collectibles has been going with. But I like that each box is themed to match the character. I dig the angled window with the character name, like we saw with the Designer Series and the Flash TV Series figures. Speaking of The Flash, thanks to the convenient numbering system, it was easy find out that the figure I’m missing, #5, is The Flash with his Cosmic Treadmill. (Yup, he’s already been ordered). You also get a great look at the figure and the accessories.

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The back does show all four figures available in the first series. Everything is collector friendly and I’m tempted to keep the packaging for this line, but I’m just kidding myself. I don’t have the space for it. There’s no blurb about the character or anything, which is fine with me, although I’ll note that this is the New 52 version, which has made appearances in Earth 2: World’s End and Justice League Beyond 2.0. I’m not currently reading either of those books, but hey… It’s still Mister Miracle!

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Well, hello new and sexy costume! I really do like Scott’s new look. It’s certainly recognizable to older fans like me and just all over streamlined and new. Every single detail in the costume is part of the sculpt, so I don’t get that feeling of “let’s just paint a costume on a generic buck” as was often the case with DCUC and still is with Marvel Legends. In fact, everything about this figure feels like it’s been lovingly crafted. And while the scale being at odds with DCUC irks me on principle, I have to admit the figure feels just right in hand. Just how tall is “six inches” these days? Well, he stands a full head shorter than your average Marvel Legends or DCUC figure. If I were to make a size comparison, I’d say he’s just about Figma sized.

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The cape is lightweight, made of super soft plastic, and it doesn’t drag on the ground. These are all qualities that make it ideal for action poses. I also dig the way it cinches in the middle. It has a wind-swept look that adds a dynamic air to the figure without looking too pre-posed.

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The paintwork is superb. It looks like the figure is cast in a yellow plastic, which only shows through on the head and a bit on the arms. The rest is a meddly of rich metallic red and green along with some gold. The quality of the paint is fantastic with a sharp glossy sheen. Lovely.

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Articulation? It’s not too shabby. Let’s run down the points. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, with nice solid ratcheting joints. The elbows are double hinged with no mushy plastic making the connection. The biceps have swivels. The wrists are pegged in (to allow for swapping) and hinged. The hips are ball jointed and designed to allow for a solid range of motion. The knees are double hinged. The ankles are hinged and feature lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the chest and another in the neck and you also get an ab-crunch hinge. Room for improvement? Well, I would have liked some swivel cuts in the thighs, but what’s here is still really damn good.

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In addition to articulation, accessories will be a big focus in this line. For starters, Mr. Miracle includes an extra pair of graspy hands to go with his fists.

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You also get his Aero Discs, which now appear to be more like energy constructs than physical discs. They’re cast in translucent yellow plastic and peg into his feet.

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Finally, you get his tiny little Mother Box.

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Every damn thing about this figure screams quality and fun. What’s more, comparisons to DCUC or Marvel Legends are inadequate. DC Icons feels like something new and vastly better. If Mr. Miracle is par for the course, and there’s no reason to believe otherwise, I am going to thoroughly adore this line and I’m very glad I jumped on board. The scale difference is probably for the better anyway. Even if they were the same size, the DCUC figures would have looked out of place next to these guys.