waves in, and I still like the packaging design on this line. They
could stand to trim down a little, considering the lack of accessories
in general, but maybe the next BAF will be a bit hunkier than this one.
do wish they'd show any intended variants on the back, like the Marvel
Legends figures did for awhile. For example, the average person might
like to know that there is both a blue and black suit Superman in the
wave without having to hang out at the action figure boards.
Sculpting - Hawkman
****; Kalibak ***1/2; Captain Marvel **1/2
If you get a Hawkman that is without major quality control issues,
you'll agree that this is easily a figure that will be in the top 5
(and perhaps win) for Best Figure 5" - 11" in the Poppies next year. He
really is that cool.
course, it helps that I'm a big fan of the character. Not the stories
themselves, which have always been rather weak, and often overly
convoluted, but of the basic character and his uber-cool design. To be
fair, I haven't read much Hawkman in the last decade, but in the 80's
and 90's, I got into a huge Hawkman craze...and was generally very
disappointed by the story writing that has followed him since his
introduction in 1940.
But the outfit - damn that's a
And Mattel has done it proud, with lots of small details and a
beautiful feather texture on the wings. The wings are just about the
right size too, impressive when folded out, but not so huge or
unbalanced that poor Carter can't stand.
The wings are also well
designed for maximum articulation. The attachment on his back isn't
overly unattractive or bulky, yet works quite well.
about 6.5 inches tall at the top, fitting in just fine with the rest of
the line. The large wings give him quite a bit of presence on the shelf.
is the son of Darkseid. His mom, Suli, didn't look like a baboon's
butt, so I'm not sure where Kali got his looks. I suspect his dad
actually had a fling with someone a little lower on the primate family
tree, but that's just speculation.
Including Kalibak in the line
is great for your display, since you already have his dad, and his half
brother Orion was in the first wave. Give us Tiggra and Desaad, and
we've got a Jerry Springer episode!
Kalibak's minions, the
Parademons, will be coming along in wave 8 as well, so his inclusion
was a great idea. Making him a BAF works fine for me, even if he isn't
all that huge.
He's stout, but not all that
tall, coming in at about 7 1/4 inches. He fits in pretty well with the
rest of the gang, although
I do wish they'd made Darkseid bigger for this line. That's not
Kalibak's fault, but his presence does make Darkseid's height more of
an issue on the shelf.
The detailing on Kali is great,
the head sculpt. You can't deny that the Four Horsemen are some of the
best designers and sculptors in the business.
And then there's
Captain Marvel. In the spirit of full disclosure, I've never like the
character - way too goody two shoes for me. It also doesn't help that
the character was non-existent to me during my comic book formative
years, the 60's. If you need any further proof of copyright
infringement lawsuits gone bad, look no further than poor Captain
The iconic golden age look of
the character is well
captured here, but I have a couple basic issues. First, the puny head
really stands out to me. Sure, lots of comic book characters tend to
have pinheads, but they've gone with the very square shoulders, and
this extra width across his upper body just accentuates the itty bitty
head. Add in a very thick plastic chain around his neck for the cape,
and you end up with a real proportion problem.
And let's talk
about those shoulders - they too big and square as well. I think that
his trademark 'cape over one shoulder' look ends up making this even
more obvious, since the bare right shoulder screams "look at me, look
at me". I think the regular rounded shoulders would have been just fine
here as well.
If you're a big fan of the
character though, I suspect you'll be much more forgiving of these two
issues than I.
Paint - Hawkman
***1/2; Kalibak ***; Captain Marvel **1/2
Marvel ends up with the short end of the stick once again. Red and
yellow are always tough colors to work with together, and
unfortunately, things didn't go so great on the one I bought.
The work on the head is good
though, with clean lines around the hair, caterpillar eyebrows, and
gold edging on the cape has some slop though, and the application of
the gold is a bit gloppy and inconsistent. The gold arm bands suffer
from some of these same issues.
There's some bleed and over
on the yellow bolt symbol and belt, but the biggest problem is with the
yellow boots. Obviously, the plastic body is cast in red, with the
boots painted on. The coverage is not consistent, and when you're
putting yellow on anything, especially red, it has to be consistent and
even to avoid having the darker color show through. It's not obvious in
photos, but in person the red comes through like crazy, making both the
inside and outside of the ankle very pinkish looking.
Hawkman and Kalibak are much better than Captain Marvel, but neither is
close to perfect. There's slight blips and over spray on the yellow and
red sections of their outfits, and in a number of places the cut lines
are quite uneven.
Hawkman's wings are what manage
to pull him up
a half star higher than his colleague. While he does have some paint
issues, I have to give them props for doing an excellent job with a
wash on the wings to bring out the feathers and texture, without going
Unfortunately, the key take away
here isn't that if
you buy Captain Marvel you're going to get a crappy paint job and if
you buy Hawkman you'll get a great one. No, it's that you could get a
great paint job - or a crappy one - no matter which figure you buy. The
quality of the paint operations on the last couple waves has been
pretty poor, and that shows up as inconsistencies across the figures
and the wave as a whole.
Articulation - Kalibak ***1/2;
Captain Marvel **1/2; Hawkman SHOULD be **** but ends up **1/2
For a BAF, Kalibak is very well articulated. He has all the trademark
DCUC joints, including the nifty swivel pseudo ball jointed hips that
work extremely well. The quick rundown is ball jointed neck, ball
jointed shoulders with joints on both sides of the ball, pin elbows and
knees, ab crunch, cut thigh, wrists and waist, swivel hips, and pin
wish his neck wasn't quite so restricted by the beard and hair, but
that's not something you could reasonable expect. He has cut wrists,
and pins would have allowed more hand poses, but I think I can live
with what's available. I've heard some complaints that his limbs tend
to fall off, but this seems to be an issue of making sure you get them
ALL the way in. When I first assembled him, I had some trouble with the
arms and legs staying popped in with some poses, but I reinserted them
until I got the loud 'click', and didn't have any issues afterwards.
Marvel has a good ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, swivel
hips, pin elbows, knees and ankles, cut wrists, thighs and waist, and
ab crunch. While the elbows and knees on the DCUC figures are only
single pin, they've been designed well enough to allow for a good range
I'd have scored Marvel higher,
except for the
permanently stuck right shoulder. I am going to give the freezer and
some hot water both a try eventually, but for now, that right shoulder
is glued in place straight from the factory - it doesn't even budge.
notice that on Hawkman, I say he SHOULD be a four star figure in this
category. Here's why. First, his ball jointed neck works great. All his
other standard joints - ball jointed shoulders, swivel hips, pin
elbows, knees and ankles, cut thighs, waist and wrists, and ab crunch -
work great. In fact, I've noticed even further improvements in the
swivel hips with this series, and you can get the feet very close
together. In the past, you were forced to stick with wider stances, but
that's been corrected as well.
Hawkman has all that terrific
standard articulation, and then he gets extra points for his well
designed wings. The wings can swivel on his back, moving outward from
him, or coming in very close to him. There's also a single pin joint at
the top edge of each wing, allowing them to fan out wide behind him,
which looks quite impressive. The wings don't cause him to topple over
backwards in normal stances, implying that the center of gravity for
the figure was taken into consideration when designing it (or they got
pretty damn lucky). With all that extra goodness, Hawkman SHOULD be
getting four stars here.
And yet, he's not. Why? Because
right thigh broke! It didn't even feel stuck. Nope, it seemed to be
turning fine, and you can usually tell when it's stuck and can tear, or
when it's turning on the peg. It felt fine to me, and than all of a
sudden - rip! - there goes the pin. Now my favorite figure from the
line is laying here in pieces. I'm not pleased, since now I'll have to
hunt up a new one at the store and return this one. *sigh*
not the only one, either. I've heard lots of reports of broken joints
on this wave, as well as other recent waves. Mattel has GOT to get this
quality control problem under, well, control.
Accessories - Hawkman ***1/2;
Kalibak ***; Captain Marvel **
There's quite a bit a variation in this category when it comes to these
Hawkman does it up right, and
that's great to see. He comes with his most critical extras, including
his shield, mace and sword.
mace looks great, and is about the right size, but both the shield and
sword are on the small side. Both also include some battle damage,
which isn't unusual for a shield accessory, but is very unique for a
sword. This extra detail in the sculpt helps me forgive it's
shrimpyness, and the inclusion of a loop sheath for it on the back of
his belt makes me even happier.
Hawkman's weapons fit nicely in
his hands (or on his arm, in the case of the shield), even if they are
a bit small. However, as I mentioned in the sculpt section, only his
left hand can hold a weapon, so he can only brandish the mace
sword at one time.
Hawkman also has his Kalibak
piece (an arm), necessary to complete the sixth figure.
gets a whopping three stars for having only one accessory, but the fact
that he's an accessory himself - he's the BAF! - is what makes this so
unusual. For a BAF (or "CNC" - Collect and Connect - as Mattel likes to
call them) to have any accessory is really unique and worthy of extra
Power Mace is his most recognizable weapon, and he
pretty much never leaves home without it, so it made perfect sense to
include it here. It can fit in either his left hand, or in a slot on
his belt. I suppose the belt itself could also be considered an
accessory, since it is removable, particularly prior to putting the
Then there's Captain Marvel. He
comes with his Kalibak
part (a leg), and that's it. If you're looking to build Kalibak, that's
pretty critical - if you're not, you'll feel pretty ripped.
Fun Factor - ***
thing holding these back from being four star fun for kids (other than
the obvious lack of character recognition with some) is the joint
issues. The online only, collector aimed, specialty market MOTUC
figures have great joints that could stand up to sand box abuse any
day. The mass market MOTUC line, sold right next to other kid's lines,
have joints that break with simple posing. Not good.
Value - **1/2
At around $12 each, these are going for what amounts to a pretty
average mass market retail price right now.
Things To Watch Out For
Breakage issues are plaguing this line right now, and the weak joints
are going to have to be addressed by Mattel. You'll want to watch for
the best paint possible as well, since the quality of the paint ops
seems to be very inconsistent.
Overall - Hawkman
***1/2; Kalibak *** Captain Marvel **1/2
I love the DCUC line, but it's kind of like loving a super model who's
also a consecrated virgin and just happens to have brittle bone
disease. Sure, she's sexy and hot, but if you aren't getting any,
what's the point? And if you do get any, the odds are good her leg will
love the concept of DCUC. I love the sculpts. I even love the character
selection. But the quality of the joints and paint, along with the
distribution issues that continue to plague collectors, are not to be
Hawkman might have a few paint
issues, but if I can find
one that doesn't end up in pieces, I can easily see him being in my top
3 for best figure of the year come next December. I can't wait for
Kalibak is a
solid, well done BAF. And even Captain Marvel, while not my favorite
character, is a good iconic representation. In fact, if not for the
paint issues and joint issues, all three of these figures would have
scored another half star higher.