generally break up my DCUC reviews into two, just because trying to
cover 7 figures plus a BAF in a single review is simply too much, but
this time around the Gods of distribution didn't give me a choice.
Hopefully I'll be able to snag Mary, Desaad and Copperhead in the next
week and then follow up this review with my second half.
Packaging - ***1/2
Mattel has made a packaging change with this wave, and it's a good one.
taken the best features of the earlier packaging, like the character
bios and personalized information on the back of the cards, and
combined it with some nifty new graphics, updated logo, and eye
catching colors to create an even better bubble/cardback combo.
of the features they've kept is adding in little extras embossed on the
interior tray when appropriate. For example, the Spectre has little
laughing skulls circling him on the inner tray.
They've also added
the 'collector button', and it's inclusion is nicely highlighted on the
front of the package. This makes it not just an accessory, but a
decorative part of the bubble as well.
Sculpting - Iron,
Eclipso ****; Dr. Mid-Night, Spectre ***1/2
The big surprise in this quartet, at least for me, is Iron. I've never
been a big fan of the Metal Men, a group of robots created by Dr.
Magnus using his 'responsometers'.
Iron has his classic
silver age look,
and the sculpting is exceptional. The plates that cover his torso are
textured to appear like wrought iron, hammered into shape. No, the
symbol on his chest and forehead does not mean he's the attendant for
the men's bathroom - it's the symbol for Mars, used for hundreds of
years to denote iron. These symbols aren't just paint or a tampo, they
are sculpted into the plastic.
outer bubble has a sticker that says "diecast parts". The only diecast
metal I see is the chain between the ball and hand piece, which isn't
exactly big news. If other parts are metal, I sure can't tell without
doing something to them I'd regret.
There's just something about the
style and design of this figure that tells you it's a silver age
character, and the Four Horsemen translated this vintage look into the
DCUC format perfectly.
Next up, Eclipso. Eclipso is
Spectre's yin, more of a revenge sort whereas Spectre is all about
vengeance. Putting these two together in the same wave makes perfect
sense, although these revelations of the relationship between Spectre
and Eclipso were written years after this silver age design debuted in
Eclipso has an excellent head
sculpt, with wonderful
detailing on the maniacal grin and insane eyes. Again, we're talking
about the silver age version of this guy, and they've added some great
sculpting details (like the textured pattern in his 'belt') that add
quite a bit of visual interest to the basic DCUC body.
helps that he has very specific hand sculpts, designed just for him. In
his right hand, pinched between his first finger and thumb, is the
black diamond, and yep, they painted it black.
The Spectre is a
bit more mundane, but they still did a terrific job using the base
parts with a few new extras to create a very accurate representation.
sculpted rubbery cape and cowl look terrific, as does the underlying
face. The elf booties are about the right shape and size, and the hand
sculpts work well with a tremendous number of poses. The cowl is also a
separate piece from the cape, which means you can turn the head at
least, even if tilting is out of the question.
Then there's Dr. Mid-Night, the
first blind superhero, pre-dating Daredevil by a couple
decades. We're not talking Silver Age folks, where talking good old
Golden Age JSA here.
Calling him blind is a bit of a
simplification though, since this old school version technically could
see - just in reverse. After a rather bad encounter with a hand
grenade, he found he was able to see in the dark perfectly, but was
blind in the light. He developed some goggles, which are nicely
sculpted on his face, to allow him to see at any time, and used his
'blindness' to his advantage against normal visioned foes.
Iron, whose sculpted plating makes his waist and ab-crunch joints moot,
Mid-Night is designed to have a tunic that does not interfere. That's
accomplished by just painting the torso section of the tunic the proper
colors, and adding the flared tunic tail below the waist as a separate
rubber piece. While the quarter moon symbols could have simply been
painted on, Mattel wen the extra mile and included a sculpted edge as
While none of these four figures
were high on my list of must have DC characters, all four turned out
Paint - Iron ****; Dr. Mid-Night,
Eclipso, Spectre ***1/2
The paint work on Iron is basic, but clean and realistic, adding to the
impression of actual iron. The wash over the metallic blue looks
excellent, and exceeds my expectations for quality even at this higher
doesn't have a particularly complex paint job either, but once again
they used a wash on his body to add depth and detail. The eyes look
great, and most of the cut lines are clean.
Eclipso and Dr. Mid-Night both
have much more complex paint jobs, with plenty of colors
and some tough cuts. Eclipso has his funky eclipse-like coloration
across the right side of his face, but the cut line here isn't quite as
clean as some of the others. His eyes are slightly wonky too, but these
are issues that aren't nearly as easy to see with the human eye as they
are with the camera lens.
Dr. Mid-Night also has a fuzzy
and there, but overall has the kind of quality I expect. His biggest
issues are around the yellow details, but yellow is always a color that
causes fits, especially next to black.
Articulation - ***1/2
There's absolutely nothing surprising here, with all four figures
following the same basic pattern as the previous 11 waves.
There's the ball jointed neck,
ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps and thighs, pin elbows and knees,
cut wrists, cut waist, crunch ab joint, pin ankles, and special hinge
hips that allow for a tremendous number of poses.
Dr. Mid-Night is the only one
with anything extra, as he has cut joints at the calves, right below
the boot tops.
have ball jointed necks that do much more than turn, although you can
get a little forward/backward tilt out of Eclipso's. I really wish we
could get some proper posing out of these neck joints.
joints were relatively tight, and all had very good quality pegs. The
joints and pegs aren't quite as high quality as what we see with the
Masters of the Universe Classics, but thankfully these figures are
still $5 a pop less than those.
Accessories - Iron ***; Dr.
Mid-Night **1/2; Eclipso, Spectre *
All four of these figures come with a key piece (one of the limbs) for
the Darkseid CnC figure. If you're building him, you can add another
half star at least...maybe a full...to these scores. Trust me, he's
going to be a great BAF, but more on him in the next review.
the figures also come with the new 'collector button'. They are all
different, at least in this wave, and they are actual
back buttons! The quality is much better than I expected, but they
still probably aren't something that's going to drive you to buy a
character you were otherwise uninterested in.
Iron and Dr. Mid-Night both get
extras above and beyond these basics. Dr. Mid-Night
comes with his owl, Hooty. Yea, the doc wasn't so imaginative when it
came to naming his sidekick. This owl is a new sculpt, and fits
perfectly perched on his forearm. The paint work is also quite good,
and he's even got a cut joint at the neck.
Iron gets not one but
two extras, both designed to appear as though he has transformed his
malleable limbs into weapons. There's a large mace-like ball and chain
that can be attached to his right hand, and a funky wrench for his
left. I don't think a wrench would be in my top ten weapons to form out
of my hand, but maybe his toilet is backed up. I'm betting we see a
figuretoon over at It'sAllTrue.net
covering that exact situation...in any event, the sculpt and paint work
on the tool is great, and you can even turn the screw mechanism to
tighten or loose the jaws.
I did have a little trouble
the wrench in place on his hand, but the ball and chain fit tightly.
Both sculpts approximate the appearance that his hands have actually
turned into these weapons quite well.
Fun Factor - ****
If you find a kid that actually knows who these classic characters are
(at least Iron will see some time on Batman Brave and the Bold), then
they'll have a great time with these articulated versions. Some of the
designs lend themselves better to play - like Copperhead, for example -
but the truth is that most of these will end up in the hands of
collectors. I've said it before but it's worth repeating: the best
action figures coming out of Mattel today are theoretically for
collectors. It even says 'adult collector' right on the front of the
package. Too bad the kids can't get this same level of quality and cool
in the lines aimed at them.
Value - **
Sorry, but at $15 a pop, these are getting to be a weaker value. I'm
not sure that 10 mass market 6" action figures are worth the same as
one high end Hot Toys figure, at least not to me. They did add in the
buttons to try to make the price increase less painful, but it didn't
Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing - everything was sturdy and solid through out this set.
Overall - Iron ****;
Spectre, Dr. Mid-Night, Eclipso ***1/2
I don't pay a lot of attention to the announcements of upcoming DCUC
waves, largely because I like being at least a little surprised. While
I'd seen some early photos of these, I wasn't expecting much, which
resulted in me being quite happy with the results.
don't know that the other three in this wave are going to be able to
keep up this level of quality, but it looks like the BAF of Darkseid is
going to be excellent, once I manage to snag all the pieces.
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - Iron, Eclipso ****; Dr.
Mid-Night, Spectre ***1/2
Paint - Iron ****; Dr. Mid-Night, Eclipso, Spectre ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Iron ***; Dr. Mid-Night **1/2; Eclipso, Spectre *
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **
Overall - Iron ****; Spectre, Dr. Mid-Night, Eclipso ***1/2
Where to Buy -
These are just starting to hit mass market retailers, so keep your eyes
peeled there first.
I have LOTS of past reviews on these series:
- of course the most recent was part 1 and part 2 of wave 11.
- big surprise, wave 10 was
before that, with some here
and some here.
- you can find wave 9 part 1 here, and part 2 over here.
- I split wave 8 up into two
parts, one here
and one here.
- prior to that was wave 7
(duh), which I covered here.
- I broke wave six into two
reviews, one here
and one here.
- no, I never reviewed wave 5,
but prior to that was wave 4 which I also broke into this review, and this
- of course, prior to that was wave 3.
- I covered wave 1 in two parts, one here
and one at here.
It took me so freakin' long to find them, I never did review wave 2,
but if you're looking for one, Kastor's
Korner has a great review.
- last up in the DCSH figures
were the Clayface and Bruce
to Bats figures.
- before that was Mongul, who is also one
of the best figures this year and Parasite
- don't forget the 12" version of the
smaller Batman, and the 12"
- in this smaller line, the
fourth series was Superman themed, with Brainiac
and Darkseid. There's also the Batgirl and Superman
from the two packs.
- there's the guest review of series 3 Batman
- a guest review of series 2 Doomsday, and another of
the series 2 Superman.
- my review of the series 2 Bizarro and Supergirl.
- my review of the Batman and Killer Croc
from wave 1.
- and finally, my review of Bane
and Scarecrow that were released internationally as part of
the old Mattel line, and then re-released with wave 1 of the DCSH.
- and while the aren't
technically DCUC, the new Public Enemies figures are close enough for
most of us. I split the review into part
1 and part 2.
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