The Flash (TV Series): Heatwave by DC Collectibles

I’ve been on a statue kick for the last few DC Fridays, so today I’m going to mix things up and open one of the ga-jillion DC action figures waiting on the heap in the corner. DC Collectibles impressed me with their TV versions of The Flash and Leonard Snart, so let’s see how they did with Heatwave!

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Mick Rory is part of the second wave of The Flash TV Series figures, although these have only been two to a wave so far. Nonetheless, the packaging is identical to what we saw used for Barry and Leonard. Heatwave is actually number four in the series. I still have to track down the third figure, Reverse Flash! Anyway, the packaging here is clean and attractive and totally collector friendly.

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Out of the package and Heatwave is looking pretty good, although I wouldn’t say spectacular. He’s wearing a fire-retardant suit from the Central City Fire Department, complete with scorched shoulder patch and CCFD printed across the back. The suit features some decent detail work, including wrinkles, some stitching, and pockets. I particularly like that they sculpted the steel plates on the toes of his boots. The paint wash over the suit looks good and kind of gives it a little sheen to simulate the flame resistant qualities of the material, although it really doesn’t match the fabric used in the show very well at all.

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The articulation here is the same as what we got with Captain Cold. The shoulders, elbows, and wrists are rotating hinges. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and have double hinges in the knees. The ankles appear to be on ball joints, but the cuffs of the pants inhibit most of their movement. Finally, the neck is ball jointed. The elbows here give a little better range of movement than Snart had.

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The portraits in this line have been a little soft, and Heatwave here is no exception. I think it’s a passable likeness to Dominic Purcell, but it could have used something in the way of whiskers and perhaps a more expressive face. Heatwave is a loose cannon and the rather calm expression here doesn’t reflect that.

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Of course, he wouldn’t be Heatwave without his flame gun and DCC has done an admirable job recreating it as an accessory here. There’s a hooked tab on the hip that looks like it’s supposed to fit into the slot on the side of the gun, but the connection is too loose to hold the gun. Luckily you cans till hook the hose on the top and have him wear it that way. The gun design itself is crude and ugly, just like Heatwave. The figure also comes with a total of three sets of hands. You get a pair of fists, and two pair of accessory holding hands, which seem rather redundant.

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Ultimately, Heatwave isn’t the most exciting figure around, but a lot of that has to do with the character design. I think DCC did a solid job recreating him here and he looks great displayed next to his partner in crime, Snart. To be honest, I’ve decided I’m going to be All-In on both the The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow figures, so Heatwave was a must have for me either way. I don’t know that I’d recommend anyone run out and buy him, but I’m not sorry I did.

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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.

The Flash (TV Series): The Flash and Captain Cold by DC Collectibles

Network TV… I ain’t got time for that shit! Of course, I watched the pilot of The Flash way back when and liked it quite a bit, but getting me to make an appointment to watch TV each week? That’s just not going to happen. Bundle up the whole season on Netflix, though, and I’m on board. So, yeah, I just finished watching the inaugural season and I was thoroughly impressed with not only the quality of the show, but the sensibilities that it paid to the DC Comic Universe. Considering getting through most episodes of Arrow has been like pulling teeth for me, I found The Flash’s willingness to pull no punches and jump right into the fray refreshing. Grant Gustin is a fantastic Barry Allen and Wentworth Miller breathed a level of personality into Leonard Snart that I wouldn’t have guessed possible. And guess what? DC Collectibles just released The Flash and Captain Cold in their DC TV-verse action figure line, so let’s check them out.

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I haven’t been impressed with much of DC Collectible’s packaging, but they sure did a nice job on these. The figures come in snappy window boxes with an angled edge with the character name running up the edge of the bubble. The side opposite side panels have some fantastic character art, as well as the name of the character and a number for the figure. Whichever way you line these boxes up on your shelf, you’ll be able to see which figure is which. I do wish there was a window on the top flap to light up the figures inside, but these are still a huge improvement over the boxes we’ve been getting.

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There’s a giant Flash emblem illustrated on the cardboard behind the tray, which frames the figure nicely. Everything is collector friendly and the large windows grants a great look at the figures inside. The back panel shows an assortment of Arrow figures and while I’m far from sold on that show, chances are I’ll be picking up some of those for the cross-over value. As nice as these boxes are, I fear that I will inevitably have to pitch them because of space limitations, but I’m going to hang onto them as long as I can. Let’s start with Barry…

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I loved the design of the TV suit from the very beginning and I appreciate the fact that they wasted no time getting him into it. The design is a great compromise between comic book design and that sense of realism that the movies and TV shows have strives to bestow on these costumed heroes. The attention to detail here is superb and everything from the raised lightning bolt on his chest right down to the gold piping is actually part of the sculpt. The different materials are reflected by texturing and sculpted rumples here and there.

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The bulk of the figure’s coloring comes from the deep crimson plastic used for the body and even the fleshtone for the face is bare plastic and looks great. What little paint that’s here is confined to the eyes, the gold piping, and the bright red in the center of his chest emblem. But don’t think that the minimalist use of paint is a shortcoming. It perfectly suits the costume design and the gold is applied with the utmost precision.

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DCC has been slowly improving on articulation (and sometimes taking a few steps back), but here they’ve gone all out, at least in terms of actual points. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, and hinged swivels in the wrists. The hips appear to be a T-crotch, but feature lateral hinges as well. The legs have double hinged knees, swivels in the thighs and boots, and hinges in the ankles with lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the torso and another in the neck. Now, with all that having been said, some of these points are limited in their range. I was a tad disappointed that I couldn’t really get Barry into a proper hunched down running pose with head pointing forward. He can still do some nice stuff, but improved range in the chest joint and the elbows would have gone a long way to making him perfect. Flash comes with fists attached and two extra pairs of hands, one set is relaxed and the other are flattened to mimic how he holds them when he runs.

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Moving on to Captain Cold, once again the show did an admirable job giving Snart a “real world” look. He’s sporting some rugged looking pants with knee pads and thigh straps, a textured pull-over, and of course his winter coat with the fur-trimmed hood. Wait, was it blue or brown in the show… I just can’t remember. Weeeeee…. That’s a Star Wars joke, friends!  The coat is the usual soft plastic vest with sculpted sleeves and it looks great on him. I think my only complaint here is that while you can pull back his hood to get a better look at his head sculpt, you can’t put it in a down position. I’m not going to hold it against DCC, though, because I can’t imagine a way they could have pulled that off.

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The head sculpt here is a tad soft, but I think the likeness is still solid. He’s wearing his blue tinted goggles and if you pull the hood back, you can see that the entire head is sculpted, even the bits of his hair that are otherwise obscured.

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Snart features most of the same points of articulation as Barry. The most conspicuous omission is the lack of any articulation in the torso. Like Barry, the rotating hinges in the elbows are rather limiting, which is a bit more disappointing here, but I’ll bet that coat is made out of Gortex and as George Costanza will attest, Gortex isn’t easy to move around in. My biggest issue with the elbows is that it makes it difficult for Snart to hold his gun across his chest. Difficult, but not impossible.

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Speaking of which, Snart obviously comes with his trademark freeze gun and it’s a really nice piece of kit. The sculpt is very detailed and it has a great weathered paint finish. Captain Cold also comes with a total of three pairs of hands: Fists, relaxed hands, and gun-gripping hands so he can dish out the cold as a lefty or righty.

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DC Collectibles has put out some great figures over the last year or so, and this pair continues that trend. The sculpt and paint on these figures are top notch and apart from wishing the elbows (and Flash’s torso) had a greater range of motion, I’ve got nothing but praise. It’s nice to see that they’re paying homage to the DC TV Universe and I sincerely hope they sell well, because I’d probably going to be all in on this line. Well, except for Iris, she’s terrible. Now, if Wave 2 consisted of her dad and Reverse Flash? Yes, please!

DC Comics: The Flash ArtFX+ Statue by Kotobukiya

Today I’m taking a look at the next addition to my Justice League ArtFX+ statues by Koto. This time it’s The Flash and he’s been sitting around waiting to be opened since just after Christmas. I think it’s well past time I get him out and add him to the team! I should note that there’s no particular order in which I’m picking these up. I’ve just been going for whichever ones turn up at special prices online.

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There’s the packaging. It’s the same style used for Supes and Wonder Woman only this time with a Flash motif. Once again, the clear illustrated plastic box makes for a great presentation, but it is rather fragile. I worry about it surviving in the long term, but I still think the tradeoff was worth it. Besides, the character art all matches up with the other statues so chances are you’re going to opt to display the boxes behind the statues rather than put them away into storage. On the downside, I’m going to have to find a wider shelf to display them all because I estimate I’ll only be able to get five across in the display case they’re in now. I call that a First World Problem!

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As with Supes and Wonder Woman, the pose here leans more toward “museum style” than it does action scene, and yet with each release, Koto has managed to work a little inferred energy into the character’s stance. In this case, Flash is standing with one fist punching his open palm. It’s a great pose as it conveys a “Let’s do this!” attitude, as if he’s getting ready to go up against a wave of Parademons.

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If you aren’t up to speed on this line, it’s the “New 52” look and I’m quite partial to The Flash’s current costume. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, many of the current DC costumes were expressly designed with 3D modeling in mind and it really shows in a statue like this one. Every single detail on this piece relies on sculpt rather than just paint. As a result you get all the cut panel lines, the texturing on the boots, the raised chest emblem and even the belt is raised. On top of that Flash features some superb musculature, particularly in his back. You don’t get to see the back detail on Supes because of the cape, but here with Flash it looks pretty spectacular.

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The portrait retains the same anime style as we saw with Superman and, to a lesser extent, Wonder Woman. I don’t think it’s quite as apparent here either, but mostly because Flash is looking slightly down and his mask does cover a great deal of his face. It works for me, but I know some have been put off the style. Either way, the coolest thing about Flash’s head sculpt for me are the lightning bolts. They’re slightly bent to follow the curve of Flash’s head, but each ends in a razor sharp point and boy do they look amazing.

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And then there’s the coloring. No doubt, one of the high point of these statues for me has been the jaw dropping metallic paint jobs. I was a little concerned about Flash because the statue substitutes the gold for the yellow in his costume. It’s really the first time Koto had to make a significant color change to make the metallic finishes work and it obviously makes Barry Allen’s costume look more like old school Wally West’s. In hand, it doesn’t bother me so much, probably because I’m just smitten by how gorgeous it looks.

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Once again, the included base is a simple black metal square with “Justice League” printed on the front. The magnets in Flash’s feet allow him to stand up without toppling over and you can position him on the stand anywhere you want without having to worry about the placement of peg holes or posts.

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So far this line has not disappointed and these statues just look amazing alongside each other! Koto continues to deliver fantastic display pieces for extremely reasonable prices.  Flash retails at around $40-45, but like a lot of these statues, I was able to grab him for just under $30 and that’s quite a steal for the workmanship involved. Next week, I’m going to take a week off from the ArtFX+ statues to give the Kotobukiya slot to Bishoujo and then the following week we’ll swing back around to look at Aquaman!

DC Universe Classics Wave 20: Reverse Flash by Mattel

It’s raining Flash foes, as I’ve managed to add both Mirror Master and now Reverse Flash to my DCUC collection over the past month. Ok, maybe not raining, but there’s certainly a little trickle to keep Captain Cold company on the shelf. With Flashpoint still fresh in people’s memories, including this figure as part of Wave 20, made a lot more sense to me than yesterday’s White Lantern Flash, as it’s both topical and also remedies a niche that many collectors were likely happy to see filled. Much like yesterday, this is going to be a quickie. But unlike yesterday, it’s not because I’m bored with the figure. Quite the contrary. No, in this case, no matter how happy I am to get the character in my collection, there’s still only so much you can say about a repaint.

There we go. I’d say this is the last time we’ll see actual DCUC packaging, but then I have plenty of holes in my collection to fill, and even a couple of figures still in my acquisitions pile yet to be opened. So, the line may be technically dead, but it’ll continue to crop up from time to time around these parts. The back panel of the card has a nice little bio blurb and shows off the other figures in the wave that you will need to complete your Collect & Connect Nekron figure.

Yep, Mattel has certainly gotten their money’s worth out of repainting this figure body. I’m not complaining, mind you. It’s totally appropriate here and the end result looks good. I was a little worried about how the unpainted yellow plastic would look, but it turned out just fine. The chest emblem and lightning on the figure are all crisp and the red boots and wings on the mask really top off the figure nicely. Mattel did spring for a new head sculpt, and I must say they did a bang up job on it too. The expression is awesome! Oh yeah, there is one other change to the sculpt: The left hand. Instead of leaving the normal fist on the figure, Mattel re-sculpted it so he can hold his baton accessory. I would have been perfectly happy to have kept the fist, but I’m not going to quibble about an extra accessory, and much to my surprise, I did wind up displaying him with it.

Articulation includes everything we saw yesterday with the look at White Lantern Flash. But hey, let’s go through it again anyway: Ball joint in the neck, ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows, swivels in the biceps and wrists, patented universal DCUC hip joints, hinges in the knees and ankles, swivels in the thighs, swivel in the waist, and ab crunch hinge in the torso. But chances are you knew all that already.

Truth be told, not every “must have” figure needs to be some amazing new sculpt, and that’s particularly true in the DCUC line. I’m always thrilled to add to my DC rogue gallery and considering some of the questionable slots used up in the last couple waves, Reverse Flash is a welcome treat. It’s like Mattel wanted to get just one more sought out character across the finish line before the race was over. Because he’s Reverse Flash… and it’s a race analogy… ahem. But equally important, my Nekron now has legs. And we’ll check him out in all his standing glory tomorrow as we round out this DCUC weekend.

DC Universe Classics Wave 20: White Lantern Flash by Mattel

We’re going back in time a bit today, and actually all weekend, as I take care of some unfinished business with Wave 20 of DC Universe Classics. You may remember that I covered this entire wave a little while back, except for two figures. Well, my poor Collect & Connect Nekron figure has been lying on the shelf without any legs for too long, so I decided to hunt down the last two figures and finally have some closure in that Wave. Those last two figures were the Flash variants: Eobard Thwane, aka Reverse Flash, and Barry Allen Flash as part of the White Lantern Corps. We’ll start out today with White Lantern Flash.

I’d say it’s good to see this packaging again after DCUC got canned and all that, but then we just saw this packaging, more or less, when we looked at the new DC All Stars figures. Considering nothing much has changed, let’s just get on with the figure. I’ll confess right now that I would have easily passed on this one if it weren’t for my Nekron needing legs. I love me my Darkest Night/Brightest Day, but enough was enough, Mattel. A figure like this had no business being in the last wave of DCUC.

I wasn’t nearly as upset with getting the Blue Lantern Flash, mainly because I think that’s a really great looking figure. The black and blue paintwork on it makes it really pop on the shelf, so I could easily forgive having to buy it to finish my C&C Anti-Monitor. White Flash, on the other hand, is just boring. It’s the same old head sculpt, and while the White Lantern emblem looks nice and sharp, his color scheme isn’t even  as good looking as the White Lantern Hal Jordan.

In fairness, Mattel didn’t go the straight repaint here. Oh, it’s close, but they did add a little flare in the way of lighting energy. Unfortunately, in this case going the extra mile kind of ruins the figure for me. I appreciate that you can just take off the arm lighting, but the lightning that comes up off his shoulders is permanently embedded in his back. And even if you were to get ambitious and pry it out, you’d wind up with either a big hole, or a lump of plastic there. I’m just not digging it.

Articulation is exactly what you would expect should you happen to own any of the other Barry Allen Flash figures, or any DCUC figure for that matter. You get a ball jointed neck, the arms have ball joints in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs feature universal movement at the hips, hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. The torso swivels at the waist and has the usual ab crunch hinge.

And there you go, quick and easy. The brief tone of today’s feature should convey how badly I want to finish up and get to The Pub much I care about this figure and how badly I wanted it, which is not at all. And considering what a big Flash fan I am, that’s pretty sad. Look, if you were jonesing for a White Lantern Flash, this figure should scratch your itch. It isn’t inherently bad. The lightning effects aren’t for me, but everything else about him pretty much fits the bill. I think part of the problem is that looking back at Wave 20 is reminding me how badly I wanted Mattel to keep figures like this one in their parallel Green Lantern Classics line and keep the proper DCUC slots for the vast number of characters I still want to see in this format. Anyway, now that I get him out of the way, I’ll be back tomorrow to check out the one in this pair I was actually excited to get… Reverse Flash!

DC Universe Signature Collection: Mirror Master by Mattel

I didn’t mention it during my Voltron features, but Matty did another great job handling my subscriptions this month. Once again, I was billed the correct amount, everything was processed about five days before the Day of Sale and the package was shipped out about two days ahead of the Sale Day. I realize it’s kind of crazy to have to be praising a company for getting it right, but with how screwed up Matty Collector has been in the past, it’s worth giving credit where credit is due, and I haven’t had any difficulties with Matty for quite a few months. I was really looking forward to this month’s Club Infinite Earths figure, as I really love me some Flash and I’m always happy to add more villains to my collection. Put the two together and it’s no wonder I was happy to get Mirror Master.

There’s that Signature Collection packaging that I love so much. It’s a simple window box with some really kick ass character art on the side and back panels. The package is totally collector friendly and includes a little blurb on Mirror Master on the back, pointing out that this is indeed the Evan McCulloch incarnation of the character. Until I can reorganize my DCUC display, I’ve been keeping all my Signature Collection figures in the boxes and they sure look great lined up on the shelf.

Out of the package and we see that Mirror Master gets by with a very simple sculpt. What we have here is a very basic buck with sculpted boots and wrist bracers. There’s a sculpted belt with two functional holsters, each with fastening flaps and there’s a sculpted neckerchief draped above the figure’s shoulders. The body is cast in brown plastic with green paintwork on the bracers and boots. Both hands are sculpted to hold his weapons.

Mirror Master’s head sculpt is well executed, but I don’t think it’s one of the more remarkable ones we’ve seen from the Club to date. That’s not meant to be critical. Truth is there’s nothing wrong with McCulloch’s head, it just doesn’t pack that extra wow factor that I’ve experienced with figures like Jay Garrick or the unmasked Thom Kallor head. A bit more character in the expression might have helped, because as it is, it’s just rather neutral and flat. The paint work on the head is overall pretty good, although there are a few orange smudges on his chin.

Naturally, we get the standard DCUC points of articulation. The head is ball jointed. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, hinged at the elbows, and have swivels at the biceps and wrists. The legs have universal movement at the hips, hinges at the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. The torso swivels at the waist and features the standard ab crunch hinge.

Mirror Master comes with his rather distinctive looking pistols, both of which fit snugly into his holsters. They also each include swappable barrels that feature them deployed in firing mode as well as the standard configuration.

No, Mirror Master isn’t the flashiest of figures (har har) but he is a great representation of a really great character. This figure has gone through some major improvements since it was first revealed. Original images suggested the figure wouldn’t be able to hold his guns, let alone hint at the guns having dual configurations. It’s likely that the improvements were planned from the beginning and what we were seeing was just an early prototype, but you never quite know with Mattel, and fans were pretty vocal about the changes they wanted to see. Whether those changes were always planned or the result of a response to fan feedback, it’s nice that Matty put the extra effort into the figure.

DC Universe Signature Collection: Jay Garrick Flash by Mattel

[Disclaimer: Once again, I’m starting a Mattel feature with a rant against that most unholy of partnerships Mattel and Digital River. If you’re tired of reading this kind of stuff, and yeah I don’t blame you, just skip down to where it says “END RANT” and you can get right on to my look at the figure without having to be exposed to my vitriol.                     

So last month’s Matty Sale Day included the first of the Signature Series DC Universe figures. Yeah, the line was supposed to start shipping in April, but Matty fucked up and it was delayed a month. Then, Matty fucked up again and instead of shipping on the day of sale, the figure didn’t ship out until five days later. And that was the least of this week’s complications. Matty also sent out a shipping invoice that claimed they were charging me $57.46 for my $15 Jay Garrick figure. Eventually it turned out that Digital River mistakenly included the original price of the sub on the invoice, so I was not actually charged that. Instead, I was charged $25 and change and then again $36 and change. I was furious.
                         
So after going back and fourth a few times via email, and Matty insisting every time that everything was correct, the $25 charge was debited back to me, and so I was left with a single charge that still overcharged me about five bucks. Emails flew in both directions a few more times. They assured me that the amount on my invoice was correct, despite me doing the math for them and showing them it was wrong. In the end, when I was prepared to take the trouble to FAX my credit card invoice, they debited back that charge and I was finally charged the correct amount, $15 for the figure and $8.70 for shipping. Headaches like this, I do not need. Ok, enough with this crap…
                     
END RANT…]

 

For those who haven’t been paying attention, DC Universe Classics is gone, and even the line that was supposed to replace it, DC Univese All Stars, has been put on the back-burner. As a result the only way to keep your DCUC collection going is with Mattel’s online exclusive/subscription line, Club Infinite Earth. It seems like an eternity ago that Matty put up the sub for this line with the disclaimer that it would only go through if they hit a certain goal. The goal was never met, but the sub went forward anyway. Of course, back then we weren’t entirely sure what figures we’d be getting, but one of the few that Matty used to tempt people into the sub was the long awaited Jay Garrick. And here he is. And I have no problem admitting that this Golden Age Flash was a big reason why I subscribed, because… well, damn I wanted this figure bad.
I’ll confess, I sort of expected Matty to just keep going with the DC Universe Classics packaging, with maybe a new insert to set these apart. So, I’ll give credit where its due, as they went for an entirely new packaging and threw out the cardback and bubble altogether. Jay Garrick comes in a window box and it really goes a long way to make this figure feel like something extra special. There’s no C&C piece, there’s no stupid collectible button, just an honest to god figure of a character I’ve wanted since the day I started collecting DC Universe Classics. Looking at the box dead on, the package allows the figure to do most of the talking. It has the rather simple, yet snazzy “DC Universe Signature Collection” title on the top, and “The Flash” diagonally on the bottom. You get a great look at the figure behind the window, who thankfully is packaged in a very neutral stance. How badly Matty must have wanted to put him in a joint-fucking running pose, but kudos to them for resisting.
The side panel and back of the box features some really fantastic artwork. I mean, seriously, the illustrator put some great effort into the character art and boy does it show. I love ya, Marvel Legends, but damn you could learn a thing or two from this character art. The back features a simple, but effective little bio blurb that ties Jay nicely in with Barry Allen, just in case you’re a little too young to remember or appreciate Jay Garrick. I do sincerely miss the extra stats that used to appear on the DCUC packages, but that’s really the only gripe I can come up with concerning the Signature Series packaging. I love it!
The name of the line and the packaging may have changed, but once I got Jay Garrick in hand, it was a comfortable and familiar feeling. This is still a DCUC figure through and through, and I’m so happy that Jay Garrick can hang with the rest of my DCUC collection without looking out of place. The plastic even feels a bit more solid than the more rubbery stuff I’ve been seeing in the later DCUC figures. Jay features the standard DCUC painted costume body, which means that from the neck down there isn’t a whole lot of unique sculpting at work here. You do get a sculpted belt, his hands are both sculpted into fists, which works fine for the character.
The sculpting that is worth mentioning, however, is the head. Matty’s team really nailed the face perfectly, right down to the little hint of a smirk. Its not quite as deliciously cheesy as the character art, but just right. The helmet is sculpted onto Jay’s head and the little wings are made of something a little softer, but they still hold their shape great.
The paintwork on my figure is pretty immaculate, but then there isn’t a whole lot to screw up here. Sure, the lightning bolt on his chest is crisp and clean, but apart from that you just have the red shirt, blue pants, and red boots. The colors are rich, particularly the red and blue. Ok, there’s a tad of uneaven application between his shirt and skin, but the fleshtones are nice, and the paintwork on the face is crisp and clean, as is the case with most of my DCUC figures. I think the nicest surprise here was the vac metal helmet, which I’m sure was talked about prior to the release, but I don’t remember reading anything about it. Either way, it was a nice surprise and looks very sharp on the figure. If anything makes Jay Garrick stand out as something different from the DCUC figures, its that cool chromed out helmet.
Articulation is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the DCUC line, which again helps to make the figure feel right at home among the rest of my collection. You get a ball jointed head, naturally. The arms feature ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows, and swivels in the wrists and biceps. The legs feature the usual univeral hinge for the hips, hinged knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. Jay can swivel at the waist and features the ubiquitous DCUC ab crunch hinge. Yes, I would have liked to see swivels in the ankles, or even rocker joints in the ankles. Or maybe double joints in the knees. The articulation isn’t perfect, but its familiar and perfectly serviceable.
In the end, I still have to ask myself is it worth it? Is it worth the headaches with dealing with the sub? Is it worth paying basically $25 (including shipping) for what used to be a $15-18 figure line in the stores? And I keep inexplicably answering yes. I’ve invested a lot of time, energy and money into DC Universe Classics over the years and truth be told, I still adore the line. and by extension I love this first figure in the Signature Series. The fact that DCUC is living on this way isn’t exactly optimal, but I’m still glad it is. Ultimately, Matty delivered on a fantastic first figure for the line. The Jay Garrick figure represents every reason I’m still motivated to collect this line, as it is quite simply a great figure of an iconic character that desparately deserved a place on my shelf.

DC Universe Classics Wave 17: Blue Lantern Flash by Mattel

Pressing on to Day Three of this look at DC Universe Classics Wave 17, let’s check out Blue Lantern Flash! I should be able to knock this one out pretty quickly, in a flash one might say, as he is basically just a repaint. Lets go!

Standard DCUC packaging! Barry looks great in the package, although I’m not sure what Mattel was going for with the pose. He doesn’t look like he’s running. Actually he just looks like he’s humping the air. He’s holding up the Blue Lantern of Hope. That’s all I’ve got, let’s get him out of the package and see what we’ve got…
Yep, it’s a repaint of The Flash figure that we’ve seen before in this line. Actually, this version looks a tad taller, but the only other real difference in the sculpt is he’s missing the plug of plastic on the back where some of the figures have their cape attached. This is one of the simpler body sculpts that rely on paintwork for the costume, but he does still have the sculpted wings on his boots. The headsculpt still looks great.
I absolutely adore the paintwork on this figure. The blue and black motif on the outfit looks great and I really love the Flash’s lightning emblem over the Blue Lantern Corps emblem. I’m not quite as keen on the lightning stripes around his arms and waist, but its not bad. The paintwork is pretty solid too, without much slop or bleeding.
That’s really all I’ve got to say about Blue Lantern Flash. I’m usually pretty pissy about having to buy repaints to get C&C pieces, but in this case I just don’t mind. I love Barry Allen and I just love the way the deco of this costume looks on him. He’s a great addition to my Blackest Night shelf.

Tomorrow, we’ll get to one of my favorite figures in this assortment… Indigo Lantern Atom!

DC Universe Giants of Justice: Flash by Mattel

Are you a Barry Allen whore? Do you need something to go with those Flash bedsheets and comforter and Central City themed wallpaper in your room? Is your army of Justice League Unlimited Flash figures just not cutting it? Well, here’s the item for you. While I was pretty much oblivious to Mattel’s Giants of Justice line of figures, I do remember shots of The Flash here circulating from the SDCC of twenty-ought-nine. I didn’t really pay it much mind though until it turned up on clearance at TRU for an irresistable $5.98. Seriously, a 1:6 scale Flash figure that was technically an SDCC exclusive? Why wouldn’t I buy that? Um, because you have no space for it. SHUT UP!!!

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The packaging is a window box with the familiar DCUC deco. It’s very similar to the style Mattel uses for the DC Universe Classics 2-packs, only a lot bigger. It’s also sort of collector friendly. You can get the figure out just fine and return him to the package for display, but getting the display stand out is trickier since it’s sealed behind a bubble on the back of the cardboard insert. A little razor blade action can’t even help you, because the bubble is glued to the backdrop of the tray. I’m leaving mine alone because this figure will probably spend most of its time displayed in the box. The back panel has a nice little bio blurb. I mentioned earlier that this figure was technically an SDCC exclusive, but it’s worth noting that it doesn’t say it anywhere on the package.

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In terms of sculpt, this isn’t bad, but it is pretty basic. The muscle tone is well done, particularly on the figure’s upper body. From the neck down, The Flash’s costume does’t require a lot of unique sculpting, apart from the sculpted wings on the boots and heavy treads on the soles. The hands are balled into fists, which works fine for running poses. The red suit features a decent paint wash that helps to pick out the detail in the muscles. The emblem on his chest is a tampo, which means it’s nice and crisp. The yellow used for the boots is particularly vibrant, although there’s a little slop around the tops.

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The head sculpt is very basic, although probably roughly on par with the DC Universe Classics release. It just looks a lot simpler when it’s blown up to this scale. Again, not bad, but nothing spectacular. The mask is actually part of the sculpt and his ear wings look pretty good.

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So how about that articulation? Well you’re getting considerably less than you are with a 6-inch DCUC figure. I suppose that’ll seem odd to some since a larger figure should warrant better articulation. Then again, considering that a lot of these larger pieces tend to be statues, you aren’t making out all that bad either. Flash’s head turns from side to side, his arms rotate at the shoulders and are hinged at the elbows. His legs rotate at the hips and are hinged at the knees. He also swivels at the waist and… that’s it.Yeah, the shoulders do look like ball joints, but they aren’t. You can still get him in a nice running pose with the help of the stand, but considering the size and original cost of this figure, I think most collectors were going to be expecting more.

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I really dig The Flash, but it still feels like an oddity to have this one big lone Flash figure in my collection as a stand alone piece. I can’t emphasize enough that the main reason I bought this figure was just because it was dirt cheap and basically an impulse buy that I threw into my cart while buying a number of other figures. I know, that’s not a ringing endorsement for the figure, but it is still a solid piece, particularly if Barry Allen is your thing, or if you happen to have any of the other Giants of Justice figures. On the other hand the original retail on this guy was $39.99, which even factoring in that he started life as an SDCC Exclusive, is still pretty outrageous for what you’re getting, even if you are specifically in the market for a big Flash figure.