DC Universe Signature Series: Superboy by Mattel

It’s been over three years since a DC Signature Series figure last appeared here on FFZ. This line was Matty’s noble attempt to keep DC Universe Classics going as a subscription line after it was pulled from the toy aisles for reasons that still don’t make any sense to me, but that’s an issue that I’ve tackled here before and I won’t go into it again now. Anyway, the subscription didn’t get enough support to go forward in 2014, but Matty still released a handful of figures that were already far along in production. One of those was Connor Kent and he was offered up as part of Matty’s going out of business sale at the end of last year.

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While the figures were designed to fit right in with DC Universe Classics, the presentation got a complete overhaul. And, boy, the packaging for this line was great. You get a collector friendly window box with character art on the side panel so you can identify the figure if you have the boxes all lined up on the shelf. The back panel features another piece of character art and a blurb about the character.

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Superboy features a nice balance between simple buck and unique sculpting. The upper body is just a muscled buck with the black, short sleeved T-shirt painted on and the red S-Shield stamped in the middle. It looks great, and the size really fits the younger, albeit still buffed out, character.

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From the waist down, we get sculpted jeans with a simple belt. There are plenty of rumples in the jeans, and I dig how the actual seams on the upper legs are lined up to match the sculpted seams of the jeans on the lower legs. The jeans end in cuffs, left outside of his black boots. Again, there’s nothing outrageous about the sculpt here, but everything works so well. It’s just a great, simple, and clean looking figure.

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The portrait is notably more mature than the last Superboy we got in the DC Universe Classics series. It’s also a bit more stylized than I’m used to seeing in this line. With all that having been said, I still like it and I think it works well. The head sculpts in this line were usually solid efforts, and Connor here is no different.

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The articulation here reaches back to the DCUC line and really scratches that nostalgic itch. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinges in the elbows. The legs have that funky DCUC style hips, the knees and ankles are hinged, and there are swivels in the thighs. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and a ball joint on the neck.

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Connor was one of those figures that fell under my radar. I remember being disappointed at not getting him when the 2014 subscription failed, but somehow I missed him when Matty initially put him up for sale. Lucky for me they had some stock left over at the end, and I was able to drop him into my cart along with the short list of MOTUC figures that I still needed, making my Signature Collection now complete. The only problem with getting a figure like this one is that now I want to hit Ebay and hunt down the elusive DCUC figures that I’m still missing.

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DC Universe Signature Collection: Ice by Mattel

I’m sure many of you recall the DC Signature Collection. It was Matty’s well-intentioned effort to keep the DC Universe Classics line going by turning it into an online subscription. It lasted for two years before it withered and died due to lack of interest during the run up to its third year. Several figures were shown off for that third year and all of those were eventually produced and made available on Matty Collector to allow those of us who still kept the faith, an opportunity to complete our collections as much as they ever could be. Well, a bunch of those figures went up for sale during Matty’s Cyber Monday event and I finally relented and bought Ice to go with my Fire and complete the buxom elemental duo. And so, here we are, at a little more than a year after the line’s demise, revisiting it this one last time.

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I do kind of miss these compact little collector friendly window boxes. These are a far sight better than the bland packaging DC Collectibles is using these days. The Signature Collection character art was almost universally great and that’s certainly the case here with Ice. Man, this is some great stuff! I love the playful ice heart she’s tracing and the portrait is really good. So, good in fact that when I got the actual figure out it felt like a bait and switch. So let’s get her out of the box, jump right in and take a look at that head sculpt…

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Yeah, I don’t know what happened here. The head sculpts for this line were almost always good, but poor Ice got screwed. She’s got a broad and rather manly face looks more like a dude than the attractive Ice from the comic panels that I know and love. Just compare the figure to the box art and you can see an insurmountable artistic chasm between the two. But if the poor sculpt wasn’t bad enough, there are also some creases from the casting process on her face, which make it look like she’s been scarred up in a bad car accident. How unfortunate. The hair sculpt is a bit chunky, but overall not bad.

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The rest of the figure fares a little better with a pretty good recreation of her costume. The top, the long gloves, and the shaggy leggings are part of the body sculpt and both are done fairly well. The rest of the figure utilizes a standard DCUC style female buck with blue paint added to the white plastic for the coloring of the costume. The paint lines are fairly clean, although the pegs for the knee joints aren’t painted blue to match the costume and that’s a bummer.

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Articulation consists of standard stuff for a DCUC style female. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, sivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinges in the elbows. The legs have universal hinges in the hips, swivels in the lower thighs, and hinges in the knees and ankles. She can swivel at the waist and has an ab crunch hinge just below her chest. The neck is ball jointed.

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Ice comes with one accessory and it’s an effect parts of an ice blast that fits over her right hand. It’s just a clear, crystalline piece of plastic that works fairly well for hat it is.

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And really, that’s all I have to say about Ice. She went up for sale during Matty’s Cyber Monday festivities, but she wasn’t actually on special or anything. That means that I paid about $25 for her and that was way too much for such a mediocre figure. Everything about Ice feels like Mattel knew the writing was on the wall for this line and just wanted to push her out the door. The sculpt for the portrait started out as a fail and the poor casting process dragged it down even further by disfiguring it with creases in the plastic. I guess I’m at least content to own the figure and complete the Fire and Ice duo, but it’s sad to see the once great DC Universe Classics line be reduced to this kind of disappointment in the end. It was truly a great line of figures, one of the best, and it deserved a better send off than this.