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If you've been wondering where my Watchmen figure reviews have been, wonder no more. I was waiting til we got a tad closer to the film's opening, but with it hitting
this Friday the 6th, I figured it was time.
I'm looking at two of the series 1 figures here - Ozymandias and Silk Spectre (the modern version) - with the other two (Rorschach and Nite Owl) over at Quick Stop.
The second series of figures, including Dr. Manhattan, the classic versions of Silk Spectre and Nite Owl, and the Comedian, are also at stores, including Toys R Us. There are three additional variants, including the translucent Dr. Manhattan, old school Comedian, and the unmasked Rorschach.
The movie has been well represented when it comes to collectibles. There's busts, sixth scale figures, several prop replicas, and this line of 7" action figures from DC Direct.
I'll be covering more of the figures, including at least one (if not more) of the sixth scale releases.
The figures are often $17 or $18 each, even at mass market retailers like Toys R Us. You might manage to find them as cheap as $15 a pop at some online retailers, and I have some excellent suggestions at the end of the review.
Packaging - Silk Spectre ***1/2; Ozy ***
I like boxes, although I always like them better when they don't also have J hooks on the top. Still, these store well for the MIBers, and they look terrific.
In fact, Oz would get another half star here, just like SS, if he was as collector friendly. Rorschach and SS have the interior plastic tray designed to hold the small stand in back, loose, but the Ozy and Nite Owl have the stand blister sealed to the interior cardboard tray. That means you'll have to destroy that tray to get them out in their entirety.
Sculpting - ***1/2
For DC Direct, sculpting is usually not the issue. That's even more true these days than perhaps at some previous periods, because of the addition of a number of highly skilled artists over the last couple years.
Both Oz and SS look terrific from a pure sculpt perspective. Whether they look perfectly like their on screen counterparts is still tough to tell, since all we have to compare so far is a handful of movie stills and a couple trailers, but from the current images, they are certainly decent if not perfect.
Both do look a little more generic than the poster shots of their on screen counterparts, and the face sculpts could use a bit more detail. Oz's hair is a bit soft, as are the facial features on SS. Even with the minor issues though, they are certainly recognizable.
The body work on both is better than the face work. The detail work on both costumes is excellent, and the use of sculpted edges on various aspects of both outfits really adds a nice layered effect.
And yes, SS has nipples. She could put an eye out with those things.
Both figures stand great on their own, even with the limited leg articulation. That was particularly surprising with SS, since she has on a killer pair of heels. I don't know how she could possible run in those things, but I'm sure she could whip them off and stab a bad guy to death. If she didn't want to kill him with her nipples, that is.
Speaking of SS' body, it is an amazingly nice sculpt. Rather than the usual totally ridiculous superhero female body, we get something closer to reality...although if women in reality had legs like these, fantasy would be out of a job.
SS stands about 6 3/8 inches tall, while Ozy comes in at about 6 3/4"". The line is supposedly 7", but nobody is that tall. Instead it's one of those situations where they aren't quite big enough to be 7", and they are too large to fit in with other 6" scaled figures.
Paint - Oz ***; SS **
The general quality of the paint work is adequate for a specialty market action figure, but not outstanding. There's a little slop here and there, most noticeably on the cut lines of the uniform pieces. The sculpted edges, while giving the outfit that layered look, can also make it tough to get a clean paint line.
The work on Ozy's hair and face is also a little sloppy, again suffering a bit around the sculpted edges of the mask.
The paint work on SS' face is great though, with very clean lips and well done (if a bit mannequin-ish) eyes. No, the big problem that pulled her score down a whole star below Ozy is her zipper.
Now, you could actually bring this up in the sculpt section as well, since the zipper is sculpted too. But since the paint is what makes it so obvious an issue, I figured I'd ding her here.
The zipper runs from the neck of her outfit to the silver belt around her waist. But her upper and lower torso are actually two different pieces, assembled just below those amazing breasts. While the edges of the black straps over each breast line up almost perfectly, the zipper doesn't even come close. I don't know how they managed to goof this up this badly, and I've only seen mine so far in person, so I don't know if it's consistent across the release, but it's really distracting on an otherwise beautiful figure.
Now, I've had some readers comment that in reality, the outfit is two piece. And yes, in the film it is, and there are two separate zippers for the top and bottom - no problem. And yes, that does mean there's the potential for the zippers to be out of alignment...but that's not the preferred look. It's possible for her thong to be riding up one side of her ass too, but I don't think they should make the static figure look that way. So yea, I'm not cutting them any slack on this one.
Articulation - **1/2
For DC Direct figures, these are fairly articulated. That's not to say they're articulated compared to other companies, but at least for DCD, there's some decent work here.
Both SS and Ozy have ball jointed necks that work quite well. Even the long hair of SS doesn't get in the way too much, although because the neck, head and hair are really sculpted to look best with her face pointed slightly upward, the hair tends to look a little odd in any other pose.
These two also both have ball jointed shoulders which work well, and don't hurt the appearance of their sculpts. There's pin elbows on both, but only Ozy has cut wrists. He also has T hips, whereas SS only has cut joints at her thighs.
That's it for SS, but Ozy also has pin knees. The articulation really isn't enough to get too wild with any posing, but you can add a little personality, especially with the ball jointed necks. Better yet, the legs have just enough articulation to allow you to find that sweet spot of balance, so they can both stand easily without the bases.
Accessories - *1/2
These two only have the base as their accessory, which is mighty light at this price point. The bases are used over and over again across the line, and while they look nice, they aren't exactly a great addition. In fact, neither of these two figures (yes, even SS in her high heels) require the base to actually stand.
The base does come with two removable foot pegs that can be placed in any of three holes. Unfortunately, none of the three holes are particularly well placed. They are spaced evenly across the center, with one hole in the very center and two close to the edge. If you use them, the figures won't actually be centered on the stand.
Fun Factor - **
My son is hooked on owls right now - don't ask me why, but he's gaa gaa over them. So I gave him Nite Owl (a pretty good representation of the figures in general) since I figured he'd think an owl based hero was pretty cool. He did like the concept, but the lack of articulation and clunkiness of the figure meant he goofed with it for about 30 seconds. Good thing this line isn't geared for kids, cuz it's unlikely to appeal to them.
Value - *1/2
Yep, things are getting more expensive. But these figures are actually selling at a mass market retailer - Toys R Us - and still costing almost $20. With limited articulation and almost no accessories, that's more than I expect the market will be able to bear.
Things to Watch Out For -
You'll want to try to pick out the best paint of course, since DCD has been notorious in the past for having consistency issues when it comes to the quality of their paint operations. I didn't have any other issues on these two, but I did have a frozen wrist joint on Rorschach, so you'll want to watch for that across the line. If you encounter one, opt to use hot water to free it up (or the old freezer trick) before you snap the soft pegs.
Overall - Ozy ***; Silk Spectre **1/2
I'm really torn on this line. I suspect I'll pick up the whole series, but I have to admit that the lack of articulation is disappointing. Not surprising, considering this is DC Direct, but that doesn't mean it isn't disappointing.
Silk Spectre would score the same as Ozy here, if not for that goofed up zipper. It's way too obvious, being positioned right there between her girls. Other than this glaring error, I love her sculpt, if not her articulation, accessories, and price.
Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - Ozy ***; SS **
Articulation - **
Accessories - *1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - *1/2
Overall - Ozy ***; SS **1/2
Where to Buy
These have been popping up at some Toys R Us stores, but at $18 a pop they aren't cheap. Online options, even with shipping, may be your better bet:
- or you can search ebay for a deal.
Related Links -
I have a review up today of the other half of wave 1, Rorschach and Nite Owl, over at Quick Stop.
You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.
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