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DC Comics Squatz

DC Comics Squatz figures


I've been a big fan of what Mattel is doing with the DC Universe figures, especially the Classics. But when I was wondering my local Meijer and spotted the newest addition on the pegs, I have to say I was a bit surprised. They're called 'Squatz', and yes, it's a really bad name. I don't know about you, but I can't think of anything other than 'squirts' when I hear the name, and that's not a good thing. The shape of these little guys doesn't help any either. To be fair, these aren't Mattel's work, but rather Wild Planet, but because the package graphics and colors are very similar to DCUC, I expect some confusion.

What are they? They are small (and I mean small) Weeble like figures of various DC characters. In each package there are two figures, both embedded in what appears to be Alka Seltzer. They tell you what one figure is, but the other is a surprise.

There are 13 characters in this first wave, with 6 known and 7 unknown. I picked up three of the Batman figures that are known - Batman, Penguin and Joker. The other three known figures are Superman, Green Lantern, and the Flash.

The 7 unknown figures include Lex Luthor (who I got with the Penguin), Aquaman (who came with Batman), and Robin (who came with the Joker). I assume what unknown figure is in each package is random. Still to get are Hawkman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, and Gorilla Grodd.

The two packs run $9 at Meijers, which is probably on the low side. I'm betting that when they show up at Toys R Us they'll be another buck.
DC Comics Squatz figures
DC Comics Squatz figures
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DC Comics Squatz figures
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DC Comics Squatz figures
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DC Comics Squatz figures
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DC Comics Squatz figures
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DC Comics Squatz figures
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DC Comics Squatz figures
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DC Comics Squatz figures
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DC Comics Squatz figures

Packaging - **1/2
Nothing too exciting here, but the back of the package does show off all the figures in the assortment. From the front you can see both horse pills, but their huge size is a con, as is the little photo of the figure inside the bubble. I've included a shot of the Batman figure with his corresponding photo card (they are not glued into the tray), and you can see that he's much smaller (and a different color) than what's pictured.

Sculpting - **1/2
It looks like we'll have another block figure to add to the Poppies next year, although these are pretty blocky even for block figures. There's no articulation, and they look very much like those Russian nesting dolls.

Other than that basic body shape, there's no sculpting. These figures are very tiny too, about 1 1/2" tall. That makes them about the same height as a Lego figure, but with no articulation and a double wide body.

Paint - ***1/2
Paint is pretty critical with basic figures like these, and they do a great job there. Of course, looking at my close ups you'll find some issues, but please keep in mind that these figures are tiny, much tinier than you'd expect looking at the huge pills in the package. Getting those tampos just right is no easy task, and they've done a very nice job here.

I also like the designs quite a bit, especially the Joker and Penguin. Both have an extremely maniacal expression, and even a bit of a 70's feel to their look.

Fun Factor - **
The general idea here is that most of the fun is in the character reveal. You take this huge hunk of carbonate (probably calcium, I'm betting) and toss it in some warm water. There's lots of bubbles, the outer coating dissolves, and voila, you have a DC Weeble.

I tossed two into a pan of hot water, and got a great, foaming volcano of bubbles, which adds some interest for the average 9 year old. My son thought it was pretty cool...but once the figures are free, not so much. They don't wobble, and the design is very much like something a 2 or 3 year old would like - but they're too small for a child that age.

I will mention that hotter water gives a better reaction (as the chemists and chemical engineers in the crowd would have told you), but only so much is going to dissolve into a set amount of water. I found that it took about 2 - 3 minutes to dissolve the tablet, and that I could do two, maybe three in a fairly large bowl of water before i had to swap it with fresh.

Once they're free of their shell, the fun pretty much dries up. They have one other feature which I forgot to shoot, but which you might find interesting - the heads are swappable. They pop free at the v line of the neck. If these were generic Martians or monsters, that might be interesting, but I don't really have a lot of need to pop Penguin's head on Robin's body.

Value - *
Even if you like the Weeble meets nesting doll design, you're going to be shocked by the price point. Lego is selling their cool little figures for around $3 - $4 right now, depending on where you buy them. I even picked some up at this very same Meijers for just $2 a pack before Christmas. And yet these (with no articulation and no accessories) are $4.50 a piece. That's way too much for what amounts to a bubble gum machine prize.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - **
Maybe if these were a couple bucks each, I'd be more inclined to cut them some slack. The bubbling, dissolving action feature is amusing, but that doesn't last long. And $4.50? Really? I don't expect we'll see these last past one wave at that price point.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - **1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - *
Overall - **

Where to Buy -
I found these first at Meijer, but I'm betting some other mass market retailers - like Toys R Us or Target - will have them soon.

Related Links -
I'm not sure what to say is related...these are really in a class all their own.

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DC Comics Squatz figures


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

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