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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Lex Luthor - Batman V Superman
Multiverse Action Figure

Mattel
Date Published: 2016-06-17
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 2 out of 4

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Lex Luthor Batman V Superman action figure by Mattel

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Introduction

Later this month, Batman v Superman: The Ultimate Cut will be available for download (although I won't get to see it til mid July, when it comes out on blu-ray - I prefer old school quality with a flick like this), but many of the key additions have already been leaked. I doubt the new edit will change the minds of those that hated it - like Ghostbusters, I suspect many that hate BvS did so well before the movie made it to theaters, and no version was going to make them happy - but I like what I've heard so far.

Mattel's Multiverse figures based on the film wrapped up with two final figures necessary to build the grappling gun replica, Lex Luthor and a Bat Creature.  The Bat Creature hasn't yet made it into my hot little mitts yet, but Lex popped up at a local retailer last week.

You can expect to pay around $20 for these depending on the retailer, and Target seems to be the first one to get them.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Lex Luthor Batman V Superman action figure by Mattel

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Packaging - ***1/2
I'm going to get this out of the way right now. The best thing about this figure is the package, and that in itself should tell you a whole lot.

It's the same collector friendly package they use for the rest of the Multiverse line, movie themed or not. It has some good personalization, although the photo of Lex on the box in a completely different outfit only further highlights the issues with the figure itself. They did include a rubber band or two this time, but it is easy to cut him free, and you can replace him without them.  The plastic tray will hold him in place just fine.

Lex Luthor Batman V Superman action figure by Mattel

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Sculpting - *1/2
This is one of those awkward situations where you meet someone, and you know you know them, but you just can't quite place them. I suspect that if you handed this figure to any one of your friends or family and asked them to identify who it was, they'd guess almost every movie and TV character with the slightest resemblance before getting to Lex Luthor. Personally, I thought 'Kelso' the minute I pulled him out of the package, but perhaps I've been watching too many That 70's Show reruns lately.

Here's another way to think of it - if you plan on cosplaying Lex at SDCC this year, I'd advise against going with this look.

Ignoring the basic lack of accuracy, the sculpt itself is quite plain.  The outfit has very few wrinkles, folds or textures, and what is here is very broad and large. Everything is super smooth, and with the lack of paint operations (more on that next), it ends up tremendously dull. There's a couple small details like the buttons or the untucked shirt, but for the most part the overall effect is one of 'blah'.

Getting a boring figure of a dude with long hair and unkempt shirt might have been okay, but they followed it up with some weird proportions. The head appears tiny, but I don't think it is in relation to the torso. What's making the head look weird is the huge hands and long forearms, creating a negative impression of the overall appearance.  The total arm length isn't that far off, but the elbow is higher than it should be, creating this monkey arm look, and the hands are huge. Yea, this is one ugly figure.

This is a 1/12 scale line, and he fits in at just under 6" tall. The hands are sculpted to hold accessories, of which there are none.

Lex Luthor Batman V Superman action figure by Mattel

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Paint - **
The paint quality is actually quite good. The eyes and eyebrows are straight and neat, the hairline is fairly clean (one spot has some skin color up on the hair), and most of the edges on the clothing are well defined.

But it helps when there's almost no detail whatsoever. You can't mess up what you don't do. The shirt, the pants, the jacket - each are just one color, with almost no detail, no wash, no dry brush, no patterns, nothing to catch the eye at all. There are a couple buttons, the belt has a buckle, and the shoes have laces. And that's it.

Added to the lack of detail is the outright awful color of the hair. While he clearly had brown hair with blonde highlights, this brown is much too dark and muddy looking. I know it was a tricky color to capture, but they clearly didn't even bother to try.

Articulation - ***
Remember Movie Masters? Yep, that's the same sort of articulation you'll see here.  A ball neck that's very restricted by the hair, rotating hinge shoulders, cut biceps, pin elbows, ab crunch, cut waist, hinge hips, cut thighs, pin knees, and pin ankles. Oh, and cut wrists, but I could barely get them to turn, and of course the ankles are pretty much blocked by the pant sculpt.

That sounds like a lot of joints, but the design means there's lots of restriction and the overall effect is much less beneficial than it looks on paper.

Lex Luthor Batman V Superman action figure by Mattel

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Accessories - **1/2
Regular readers know my BAF rule - a figure gets a baseline of **1/2 for including a BAF piece.  Lex comes with a big hunk of the 'build a prop replica' grappling gun, and I may review the final product when I finally stumble on a Bat Creature.

Lex Luthor Batman V Superman action figure by Mattel

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Fun Factor - **
Limited articulation, no accessories, and a super dull, boring look does not add up to a lot of fun for kids or adults. I suppose kids could use him as a victim to be saved...and customizers can probably take the body and work their magic on it, re-purposing it for other characters they'd much rather have in their collection.

Lex Luthor Batman V Superman action figure by Mattel

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Value - **
At $20, he's priced at the norm for 6" scale figures right now. He might be not that and a bag of stale, off brand chips, but if you want to complete the grappling gun, Mattel has you by the grapples.

Lex Luthor Batman V Superman action figure by Mattel

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Things to Watch Out For -
The scorn and ridicule of friends and family for buying this figure.

Overall - **
Thanks to a poor sculpt, boring paint job, no accessories, and weak articulation, this figure is an all around loser.  There are really only three reasons to buy this figure: a) you want to complete the grappling gun; b) you want to use the base body for a Kelso custom; and c) you're a sucker for anything remotely related to Batman, even when it's not a true Batman villain. Yep, I'm a 'c'.

By the way, I recently mentioned in my Mi World play set review that everyone needs at least one, but even better is two, of the Mi World vending machines. In the very last photo, you'll see Lex buying a candy bar, chatting with a friend of his.  You can get those vending machines on sale right now for $6 - $7 each, and they come with enough stuff to fill them up!

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - *1/2
Paint - **
Articulation - ***
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - **
Overall - **

Lex Luthor Batman V Superman action figure by Mattel

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Where to Buy 
Target seemed to get them first, but other stores will be receiving him as part of their more recent shipments of Multiverse figures.

Related Links -
I just covered the Toys R Us exclusive unmasked Batman, as well as the Knightmare Batman, another Multiverse release. Other Multiverse figures in this scale that are related included the recent Dark Knight Returns set from Walmart, and I did a Batman comparison and a Wonder Woman comparison between the Multiverse figure and the regular movie figure.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Lex Luthor Batman V Superman action figure by Mattel

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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