League Aquaman Maquette
DC Direct has done many things, but my personal
favorite, at least to this point in time, are the Justice League Maquettes.
Based on the animated style of the show, there have been eight produced - Batman,
Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder
Woman, Martian Manhunter, Flash,
Hawkgirl and now Aquaman.
Maquettes are intended to work as 3-D
references for animators. They are therefore in a relatively static
pose, but that's part of the beauty of the style. When the Warner
Brothers stores were still around, we were treated to similar (although
larger) maquettes of the Batman Animated world, but I think this size and
price point are right on target.
You'll be able to find old hook hand at your
local comic shops, or at many on-line retailers. He just shipped last
week, so he should be easy enough to find now, but these maquettes have been
selling well, and with a run of 4500 I don't expect him to hang around for
months. The SRP is $90, although you can find them at much lower
prices if you shop around.
Packaging - **
These boxes are fairly plain and straightforward. Unlike the nifty
Palisades boxes which allow you to see the Alien busts, or the nifty
Sideshow boxes that let you view (or even display!) the Muppets busts, these
boxes are meant to simply hold the statue and get it to you in one
piece. There's no way to see what your buying without opening it
up. There's also no COA, but the figures are numbered on the bottom of
Sculpting - ***1/2
These aren't complex sculpts, and to expect tons of detail would be
incorrect. That wouldn't be true to the source material.
Instead, these capture the
simplicity and the beauty of the basic, angular, animated style. The
sculpt isn't soft, and does have the appropriate amount of detail and
The only thing you may find
distracting are the nipples. Thank goodness they aren't painted a
different color. It's not that he shouldn't have nipples, it's just
that it seems to clash with the rest of the design.
Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops are good, although there is a itsy bit of slop around the
gold bands and belt. Considering the price point, the paint
application should be dead on.
Design - ****
I love the animated style, so I'm going to have some bias here. But
this particular size - around 9" depending on the figure in the series
- also seems to be a perfect fit. At this scale you get enough detail
and mass to feel as though you're getting your money's worth, but they
aren't so huge as to cause display or storage issues. Let's face it,
when you have eight of them lined up they could take up quite a bit of space
in a 12" or larger format.
DC Direct will also be doing a smaller version of these,
about half the size and about half the price. I'm not sure that this
will work as well, since at that size I suspect people will feel that the
price point - even when it is reduced proportionally - will be too
much. I'm not going to be interested in that scale, if for no other
reason than I have no need for two of the exact same maquette, simply in
I also want to mention that the very solid base design works
great, and even though he (and the other males in the line) are very top
heavy, there's no fear of having him actually topple over short of a major
Quality - ***1/2
I continue to be impressed with the quality of the series, and Aquaman
is no exception. He's very solid, with decent heft and few extremely
thin or easy to break areas. Even his hook has a nice thickness to it,
and as long as you excersize a little care you should find that basic
handling will pose no risk.
Value - **1/2
As the popularity of these has increased, so has the price. While
earlier maquettes had an SRP of around $75, you could easily find them at
comic shops for as low as $60. Finding this guy at least than $80
might be tricky, and at that price point the value is taking a hit.
While they look sharp, most of the run sizes (4k-5k) are high enough that
the price isn't really warranted.
Overall - ***1/2
While I wish they were cheaper, I can't complain about the quality or
the design. For the big Justice League fan, these are fantastic, and I
can dream what it would have been like if someone had been producing a
series of these back during the heyday of Batman the Animated Series.
There was a missed opportunity!
Where to Buy:
Your local comic shops should be getting this in. On-line:
Boise River Collectibles has him for $81 plus shipping.
Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.