Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Platinum by DC Collectibles

I started this week with a Marvel statue, so let’s end it with a DC statue! It’s been a little while since I last visited with the Cover Girls of the DC Universe. The series was rebooted, obviously along with the entirety of DC Comics, and last year I picked up Catwoman and Harley Quinn. It’s not quite the same line as it once was, but I still think there have been some interesting releases worthy of my monies. Today’s feature just happens to be one of those: It’s Tina from the Metal Men! I first became a big fan of this team after reading the ambitious, year-spanning series “52” and that got me to go back to read through the initial run of Metal Men books. It was hard not to fall in love with Tina as her mischief and desire to be human often drove many of the stories along. Fast forward to the “New 52” and while the Metal Men proper are still only being teased, Platinum did indeed turn up in Justice League #18 albeit with somewhat tragic consequences. And that, my friends, brings us to today’s statue. I was originally on the fence over buying this one, but I’m very glad I did.


The statue comes in the typical boring but serviceable DC Collectibles box. You wouldn’t know it from looking at this, but it comes from a company that specializes in graphic design. There are some photos of the statue but the presentation here is just very bland and uninspired. Although, I suppose you could also call it artsy minimalist. The piece inside comes wrapped in plastic and sandwiched safely between two styrofoam trays. Nope, it’s nothing special. What we’re dealing with here is a pretty utilitarian way to get the statue safely to the collector and not much else. Platinum comes out of the box already assembled, attached to her base, and ready for display.




When dealing with statues, I usually like to kick things off with the composition or sculpt, but in this case the first thing you may notice is the rather monochrome nature of this statue. The entire piece is painted in a metallic silver (or dare I say, platinum?) color with some black scant panel lining to bring out the details of the sculpt. That’s not a complaint, mind you, as the coloring is quite nicely achieved, looks good on the statue, and is above all appropriate. It is, however, worth noting because if you’re looking for a colorful piece for your shelf, this isn’t it. On the other hand, here’s a piece where you don’t have to worry about paint slop or bleeding and the metallic effect is quite striking, particularly when seen in person.




The composition here is pretty reserved as it simply features Platinum striding along with one foot melting into the base. I’m not sure if she’s meant to be merging with it or if the base is supposed to just be an extension of her, but either way it makes for a pretty cool and creative effect. I’m really happy with the pose DCC went with here. Tina has always been a rather sexualized character and this statue drives that point home without resorting to cheesecake. Sure, she looks kind of like a model striding the runway, but at least she’s not bending over or pushing her boobs together. And she certainly doesn’t need to. Even without a gratuitous pose, Tina’s chest and tushy are well defined and all her womanly curves are on display. While I do like Platinum’s “New 52” design, some may not. Either way, it certainly gave the sculptors more to work with. She has exposed wiring in her arms and just a beautiful mix of organic features, like her visible clavicle, and the robotic plating in her tummy.



I’m also particularly fond of the portrait here and that’s saying a lot since there isn’t a lot of paintwork to help the sculpt along. I think the detailing in her face is better achieved than we’ve seen in some of DCC’s other recent offerings. Her integral headset is a cool design and the giant plate with her trademark “P” is a nice throwback to her more classic self. I think a lot of my love for this piece comes not only from my fondness for the character, but my weird fascination with female robots. I’ve loved this kind of conceptual art design ever since I first saw Metropolis and one of these days I still swear that I’m going to pony up the big bucks for Yamato USA’s discontinued and pricey Sexy Robot 002 statue.


My next purchase in this line was intended to be Supergirl. I actually had her pre-ordered last year and had to cancel it in order to bankroll some higher priority stuff. She still would have been next if it weren’t for me finding Platinum on sale at $55, a price I simply could not refuse considering the retail on these is usually $99. She is a really nice piece, but I fear she has a number of things working against her. The lack of dynamic coloring in the source material may put some people off, but most of all, when you consider her abrupt one-off appearance in the “New 52”, Platinum was just a strange choice to occupy a slot in this line. It doesn’t make her any less welcome to me, but it might have been more prudent for DC Collectibles to wait until she was actually appearing in her own book with the rest of the team.

DC Universe Signature Collection: Lead by Mattel

Alrighty, let’s deal with the giant lead elephant in the room. Mattel has done it again and bestowed giant status on a figure that doesn’t warrant it. First we got the inexplicably huge Rocket Red and now Lead gets the giant treatment. Lead is built off of the C&C Darkseid buck, meaning he towers over the other Metal Men. While definitely the bruiser of the team, Lead was usually drawn the same size as the other Responsometer robots. I should be furious that Mattel took us all the way up to the last member of the team and then did something crazy like this. But I’m not. In fact, I’m willing to give this one a pass, because the Metal Men could change their size and shape at will, and quite frankly, I think he looks pretty good this big.

As a quarterly figure, Lead comes in a bigger version of the same style window box we saw yesterday. In this case, the character art is solid, but not as exceptional as it usually is. You get a little bio blurb about the character and, as expected, the package is completely collector friendly.

Starting off with Lead’s head sculpt, I definitely dig the portrait, which features Lead smiling broadly. He’s got a lot of personality and his nature of the big loveable lug really comes across in the sculpt. Mattel didn’t have to do a lot of new tooling for this figure, but what they did, they did well.

Moving on to the rest of the body… well, besides his obvious growth spurt, Lead’s use of the Darkseid buck also means that he retains the stony sculpted lines on the arms and legs. Mattel, these are the METAL Men not Rock Lords. Lead and stone are two different things and seeing the stone patterns on this figure is both wrong and distracting. Luckily the dark coloring of the figure makes them a little less obvious, but the fact that these are there bother me a lot more than Lead being an oversized figure. One I can explain away, the other I cannot.

Once I get past Lead’s stony limbs, the rest of the figure falls into place pretty well. The rubbery smock that makes up his skirt and chest plate looks good. He’s got heavy rivets sculpted into his triangular front plate, and again around his gauntlets and boots. Otherwise, there’s not a lot of original sculpting on the body, but I’ve come to expect that from this team, and in truth it isn’t necessary.

Lead is painted over in a satisfyingly dark grey wash with some faint swirly patterns that crop up here and there. It’s a good finish for him that’s pretty characteristic of the artwork. The only other paint apps on the figure are the black for his eyes and eyebrows, the “L” symbols on his chest and forehead, and the white for his teeth. I’m a little iffy on the white teeth. I’m thinking black would have worked better, but it’s not really a sticking point for me.

Even as a former C&C buck, Lead retains most of the articulation we come to expect from the DCUC line. His arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, hinged at the elbows, and have swivels in the biceps and wrists. His legs have the usual universal hip movement and feature hinges in the knees and ankles. There are, however, no swivels in the thighs. Lead’s neck is ball jointed, he can swivel at the waist, and he retains his ab crunch hinge, which is still fairly serviceable under his soft rubbery chest plate. The only other thing worth mentioning is that my Lead figure has really loose legs. He can stand ok, but they really flop around.

Mattel can be geniuses when it comes to reusing parts in this line. A quick look back to Uncle Sam certainly proves that to be true. Unfortunately, Lead is not one of those times. They had two good reasons not to reuse the C&C Darkseid buck for this figure: Size being one and the stony pattern in the sculpt being the other. I can get around the size on this one, in fact I even kind of like it, but the problem with the sculpt is tougher for me to get past. I like the figure well enough. I’m very glad to have a complete Metal Men team, but a lot about this figure stinks of laziness, and when you consider that it’s a more expensive quarterly figure, I find that hard to accept. With the first year of Club Infinite Earths in the bag, I’ve been overall extremely satisfied with this line. If Lead here is the biggest disappointment, than that’s not too bad. Still, it’s a shame the line had to end the year on a low.

DC Universe Classics Wave 14: Gold by Mattel

Holy hell… we’re looking at some old skool DC Universe Classics today! Remember Wave 14 of DCUC? Yeah, it was that lovely Walmart Exclusive wave and I had better chance of seeing a Sasquatch commuting to work in the car next to me than actually seeing any of these figures at retail. I was able to pick up Kamandi and Zantanna through trades, and then I wrote the rest of this wave off. That  included Gold, because I never in a million years thought Mattel was ever going to complete The Metal Men and that my Mercury and Iron were destined to stand on the shelf alone. Fast forward a couple of years and now we have confirmation of Platinum, Tin, and Lead all coming this year in the DC Signature Collection, and that sent me scrambling to find me a Gold before every other collector that missed him tried to do the same.

It’s been a while since we saw this packaging. I still dig it, although not as much as the collector friendly boxes that Matty is using for the Signature line. Nonetheless, the big bubble and sturdy card show off the figure wonderfully. Gold comes with his two arm attachments on the figure and the Ultra Humanite BAF piece tucked under the insert. Ooooh, look there’s a collector button too. I remember those! Somewhere I have a cigar box full of those! The back panel shows the publication history of the character and a short bio. The bios have carried over to the Signature Collection, but I wish the publication stats had too.

This time, I’m going to start with coloring, because there isn’t a lot of paintwork on this figure, and yet the coloring is just downright gorgeous. The gold is similar to the shade used for Golden Pharaoh and I absolutely adore the way it looks on this figure. It’s just the right mix of matte and sheen and I’m glad that Mattel didn’t decide to try to give it a wash or anything, as I think it would have really ruined the figure. Granted, the Gold’s finish doesn’t quite have the amazing look of the patina used on Iron, but it is a striking color just the same, and in all fairness it is an entirely different look they were going for.

Of course, the sculpting here is no slouch either. I’m really digging the somber, heroic look of the head sculpt, that really gives Gold some major personality. The muscle sculpting on the figure looks great, as do the strategically placed rivets. His triangle chest plate is cleverly designed so as not to intrude on the articulation. Both hands are sculpted into fists, which allows for the attachable accessories, which we’ll get to right after we talk…

Articulation! If you own any of the other Metal Men from the DCUC line, you’ll know what to expect here. You get a ball jointed neck, the arms have ball joints in the shoulders, there are swivels in the biceps and wrists, and the elbows are hinged. The legs have universal movement at the hips, swivels in the thighs, and there are hinges in the knees and ankles. The torso swivels at the waist and has the usual ab-crunch hinge.

As with the other Metal Men, Gold has the ability to morph his hands into weapons and implements and you get two arm attachments to reflect the skill. Gold comes with a spinning buzz saw and a pick axe, both of which attach in the same way as Iron’s. They have sculpted hollows shaped to fit the figure’s fists. They stay on pretty well, and I really do like this method a lot more than the swappable hands used on Mercury, mainly because I’m constantly worried I’m going to break Mercury’s posts and the fact that I don’t have to keep track of the tiny hands when I have the weapon attached.

So, I’ve done a lot of hemming and hawing over whether to track this figure down since it came out. He commonly sells for over $30 on the Ebays, even when he’s loose and without the Ultra Humanite piece. I was lucky to be able to pick one up off a fellow collector for only $20. Had Club Infinite Earths not promised to deliver on the rest of the Metal Man, I probably never would have picked this figure up. Needless to say, I’m glad everything is working out for the Metal Men, and I’m going to be really happy to have the collection complete (minus Dr. Magnus) by the end of the year.

DC Universe Classics Wave 16: Mercury by Mattel

Creeper was my least anticipated figure in Wave 16, but he turned out to be sort of OK. Now it’s time to cover what turned out to be my least favorite figure in the wave. I want to get this guy out of the way early on, because for the most part I’m really happy with these figures, and I don’t want this one disappointment of the bunch hanging over me any longer. Oddly enough, he was one that I was really looking forward to, and part of a sub-group that I am was anxious to complete. He’s Mercury from The Metal Man, and I’m sorry to say, when compared to Iron and Gold, I was expecting better things from this figure.

Here we have another look at the Wave 16 packaging. I neglected to mention last time how much I like the dynamic shape of the bubble and the way each figure has an icon or emblem on the insert to represent them. In this case it’s the emblem on Mercury’s chest. Once again, despite a ceaseless outcry from collectors, Mattel was good enough to package the figure in a pose that warps the figure’s joints. Mercury’s packaged pose isn’t at all exciting, but just dynamic enough to completely screw up the super soft plastic on his legs and knee joints. Thanks, Mattel!

Speaking of super soft plastic, that’s the first thing I noticed about Mercury when I got him out of the package. After some work with a hot air gun, I was able to de-fuckify the legs into their semi normal state, but it doesn’t change the fact that this plastic feels rubbery and overall inferior. When I compare Mercury to the solid hunk of beautiful plastic that was fellow Metal Man, Iron, I can’t help but be gravely disappointed. I realize that Mercury has a slighter build and I appreciate that it’s reflected in the figure, but you can’t tell me that these two figures are of like quality. I could also point out that Iron’s paintwork is an absolutely gorgeous faux patina, whereas Mercury is just unpainted red plastic. The sculpt, on the other hand, is perfectly fine. I particularly like the characteristics captured in the face, like the pinnochio nose and the chin that would put Bruce Campbell to shame. This is not a bad looking figure at all.

Articulation includes universal movement in the shoulders and hips; swivels in the biceps, thighs, and wrists; double hinges in the knees and elbows; hinged ankles, and a ball jointed neck. You also get a swivel in the waist and an ab crunch hinge.

The first Metal Man figure, Iron, came with a few attachments for his arm, including a giant wrench that really tightened, and a ball and chain, with a real metal chain. Mercury comes packaged with his giant scissor hand and a spare hand in case you want to swap it out for the scissors. The scissor attachment is pretty cool and includes a hinge so they open and close. I also like the bubbling effect on the sculpt that is suggestive of Mercury’s transient liquid state. Unfortunately, the plastic is so soft, when I tried to get the scissors off of his wrist, It started to mangle the wrist joint, so I opted not to proceed, rendering the spare hand useless. Iron used a much better system where the attachments fit right over the hand.
Mercury also comes with the upper torso piece for the Bane C&C figure.

I don’t think it’s unfair to compare Mercury to Iron, since both figures are from the same figure line and sub-group. I don’t want to say that Mercury represents any kind of uniform decline in the quality of the DCUC line, but there’s no denying that he is a massive step down from the quality employed in the Iron figure. Iron was a better made and better painted figure, with a better selection of accessories. He also cost about three bucks less. I probably wouldn’t be so hard on Mercury without Iron to compare him to, but as a follow up figure for the Metal Men sub-group, he is a woefully disappointing figure.

DC Universe Classics Wave 12: Part 3, Iron and Desaad by Mattel

Sorry. I know its been a little bit since I posted Part 2, but I’ve had a busy week and I just haven’t been able to get back to my computer much and when I have, I’ve been spending time with Star Trek Online. Now, I’ve got some toys piling up and I’m trying to make a concerted effort to finish up this piece so I can move on to other things. So, getting back to DCUC Wave 12… today I’m looking at Desaad, my most anticipated figure in this wave, and Iron, my least anticipated figure in this wave. And let me just clarify when I say Desaad is my most anticipated figure, I’m not counting the C&C Darkseid. Because:Darkseid > Everything.


Yep, as we’ve seen already, these figures come in slightly different packaging. There’s a new “75 Years of Super Powers” logo and you get a collector button that I couldn’t give a shit about. Sorry, I don’t mean to be insulting to Mattel throwing us collectors a little bone now and then, but these little pins just don’t do a thing for me. There are bios and stats of each character on the back.


Let’s start with Iron, because I had absolutely no desire to own this figure, mainly because unlike everyone else in the wave, I had no idea who the hell he is. Now, surprisingly, this doesn’t happen all that often with the DCUC figures, which I am pretty proud to say, because there have certainly been some obscure characters released and I’ve been nerd enough to know most of them. Conversely, I am not at all shamed by the fact that I never heard of The Metal Men until I read the bio and looked him up online. It has, however, motivated me to get some comics and bone up on my reading. I’m a great champion of a well-rounded education, especially when it comes to comic books.


Now, not knowing who Iron was, doesn’t hurt my appreciation for what is still a very cool figure. He’s basically iron personified and this figure does that concept justice. His arms and legs still have an organic, muscular look to them, but his torso is one peice and made to look like it was hammered out of… well, iron. The metal motif is further conveyed by the sculpted rivets and pitting scattered around his body. Overall the execution of the sculpt on this guy is first rate. Iron doesn’t have a lot of variety to his paint apps, in fact he’s done entirely in one color, but Mattel did a great job giving him a gunmetal blue finish that really makes the figure look like he’s made of metal. The only other time I’ve seen a paint effect this cool on a figure was on Hasbro’s recent Comic Series War Machine figure.


Iron comes with two attachments for his arms that socket over his hands to make these pieces look like his arms have morphed into them. The right hand takes a giant chain and wrecking ball, while the other has a huge pipe wrench. The ball has a real chain to attach it and the pipe wrench actually works. By that I mean it opens and closes, don’t try doing any real work with it. These attachments give Iron a number of variables for posing and display, which you don’t see too often in this line of figures.


Mattel made a few sacrifices to Iron’s articulation in favor of his sculpt and design. Most obvious is the fact that he has no hinge in his torso or swivel in the waist as his torso is all one piece. The articulation might be buried under there somewhere, but the plastic layered on top makes it a moot point. The missing turn in the waist is a bit of a bummer, but I really don’t miss the torso hinge at all. Apart from that, Iron has all the usual DCUC articulation. He has ball joints in the neck and shoulders. He has swivel cuts in the biceps and wrists and his elbows are hinged. His legs have universal joints in the hips, which are somewhat inhibited by his “skirt,” he has swivel cuts in the thighs and hinged knees and ankles.


Ah, and then there’s Desaad. As a kid, I didn’t have too many of Kenner’s Super Powers figures, but I did have a few and one of them was Desaad. I was anxious to get a bigger and better version, not only for nostalgia sake, but because I dig the character. Its also still astounding to me that we have toys based on a character who was: a) a torturer, and b) basically named after one of the most infamous sexually depraved writers of all time. The DCUC version sticks pretty closely to the original design and it really takes me back. The only thing missing is that action feature that squeezes his arms together.


Desaad’s character design has him cloaked, which brings both good and bad. The good is that it makes him a really stand out figure. Let’s face it, a lot of DCUC are paint variations on a similar body, so Desaad’s creepy, druid-like appearance is pretty fresh and unique. On the bad side, Desaad suffers the fate of many plastic-cloaked action figures… limited articulation, which is also somthing we are definitely not used to seeing in the DCUC figures. Although it seems to be the running theme today. I love the Desaad’s head sculpt. He’s got a creepy, sadistic grin and all in all he just looks like some kind of sick-o pervert. His robes are rather plain, but they do feature a lot of sculpted wrinkles and his boots have buckles and straps sculpted onto them.



Naturally, Desaad comes with his bizarre set of torture gear that he wears around his chest. This piece fits over his head like a harnass and rests on his shoulders. Its got a control panel, two articulated hoses that can be directed under his arms towards his back, and two leads that he holds in his hands, presumeably to attach to his victim. I really love the fact that Mattel made this contraption removable as it gives the figure a lot more potential for different poses.


Like Iron, Desaad sacrifices some articulation because of his design. The figure body actually has all the usual DCUC articulation, but the molded plastic robes inhibit some of it. He can turn his head and swivel at the waist. He has ball jointed shoulders, swivel cuts in the biceps and wrists and hinged elbows. His legs feature universal joints in the hips, swivel cuts in the thighs and hinged ankles and knees. The robes are slit up the sides to give him a bit more movement below the waist, but the robes do get in the way. I’m not sure if this body has the torso hinge or not, but if it does, you can’t really do anything with it.

I’ve been waiting to get a Desaad figure in this line for a while now, way before he was even announced, and finally having him in my collection is something I’m really excited about, especially since now I have a Darkseid to stand him next to. As for Iron, that’s the great thing about the DCUC figures, in the same wave you can get a figure you’ve wanted really badly and another you don’t even know. Its fun to look up some of these oddball characters, learn about them and in a lot of cases, I’ll even hunt down some of their comics. And chances are the character you don’t even know is one that someone else has been hotly anticipating, and vice versa. Its all just part of the DC Universe Classics experience.

Next time, I’ll finally wrap up my look at this wave with Mary Batson, in both variants, and the Collect & Connect figure, Darkseid himself.