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Watchmen 13 inch Deluxe
Dr. Manhattan

Dr. Manhattan deluxe action figures by DC Direct

Earlier this week, I looked at the first series of smaller action figures from DC Direct based on the new film Watchmen. The movie opens tomorrow, Friday the 6th, and will be my first IMAX film since The Dark Knight.

The movie has had it's share of controversy, and it has certainly not been an easy trip to the big screen for those involved. It's also an R rated super hero movie, something that's almost as rare as a great super hero movie. But Warner Brothers has a lot of faith in the property, and so far reviews are generally positive.

DC Direct has done three of their 13" Deluxe figures so far based on the film - Dr. Manhattan, Rorschach and the Comedian. All three have already been released, and in fact, you can pick up the Rorschach at your local Toys R Us.

I'm looking at the good doctor tonight, and so far he's the only one I've picked up. Why? Because of the price, of course. The Manhattan and Rorschach SRP's are about $80, and the Comedian is around $110! We're talking high end pricing here, and so far the deluxe figures haven't been high end quality.

Instead of pre-ordering, I bought the Manhattan on ebay for...thirty bucks. Yep, the movie isn't even out yet, and I had no trouble picking him up at that price. I've passed by the Rorschach at my local TRU because I expect I can get it cheaper, and I've already seen the Comedian go as cheap as $75 on ebay with BIN.
Dr. Manhattan deluxe action figures by DC Direct
Dr. Manhattan deluxe action figures by DC Direct
Dr. Manhattan deluxe action figures by DC Direct
Dr. Manhattan deluxe action figures by DC Direct
Dr. Manhattan deluxe action figures by DC Direct
Dr. Manhattan deluxe action figures by DC Direct
Dr. Manhattan deluxe action figures by DC Direct

I'm bringing this up because I don't think it's merely an issue with this line of figures, but rather with the collectibles market in general. Oh, sure, some of it has to do with the property, and it also has to do with the expectations of the deluxe figures. But it's also a greater indication of the greatest threat right now to this particular market (and to our economy in general) - deflation.

Deflation, or the drop in prices, is a bad thing when it starts to spiral. It would be a killer to the collectibles market, where pre-orders keep most companies alive. Consumers recognze a deflationary period, whether or not the realize it. They know that if they wait, the price of something they want is going to go down...and so they hold off spending (or pre-ordering), waiting for the effects of deflation to kick in. By waiting in masse, they actually force the deflation to occur, and as more consumers do it across more products, prices start to spiral down.

I know I'm treating many collectibles this way now, waiting til they are actually released and expecting to pick them up for cheaper prices on ebay. I'm not doing it on all things - for example, I pre-ordered a bunch of Amok Time figures last week - but I am worried that if our market moves to a predominately wait and see attitude, many of the smaller companies that depend on pre-orders to actually get product to market aren't going to survive. It's one more aspect to 2009 that's going to make it a mighty tough year for everyone.

Packaging - ***
The fifth panel boxes look good, and they are generally collector friendly. There's still a fiew annoying twisty ties, and I hate when they are so tight that they wrinkle and muss up the clothing. You'll probably want to iron the jacket, at least, once you have him out of the package.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpting here is fairly basic, but simple doesn't mean easy. They've done a nice job capturing the chiseled features of the blue superhero. The huge DCD deluxe body causes the head to be appear a bit small, but it's not too far out of the norm for a costumed character like this.

The sculpted fists look good too, and the scale is about right. He also has those annoying bendy hands, but you know how I hate those things.

Paint - ***
There's not a ton of paint here either, and there are a few more issues than with the sculpt.

The good areas are the white eyes and funky atomic symbol on his forehead. Most of his blue parts are simply cast in that color, and this leads to quite a bit of variation in color and finish across the body. If you're going to keep him in the suit, it's not much of an issue, but if you plan on stripping him down and displaying him in his birthday suit, you'll certainly notice it.

Stripping him down brings us to the other area where the paint is a bit weak - his skivvies. DCD has gone for his thong look, rather than full on nekkid. I haven't seen the film yet, but from what I'm hearing, his blue willy may get nominated for a Best Supporting Role. I'm fine with the lack of his frank and beans on the figure, but I'm not crazy about the black thong. Not only does it look silly, it's not even done particularly well, with fuzzy cut lines all around. It also doesn't look a whole lot like the pair he wore at one point in the comic, which covered more in front (and had high 'peaks' on the hips) and lot less in back. I suppose had they done it cleanly, more like the series 2 7" figure, it wouldn't be as annoying, but the sloppy paint just worsens the effect.

Articulation - ***
If you've bought a DCD Deluxe figure before, you know what you're getting. Ball jointed neck, hips, and shoulders all work well, with pin elbows, knees and ankles. Add in cut wrists, cut waist, cut thighs, cut biceps, and an ab crunch joint, the basic articulation is reasonably good.

But this is a figure competing with other sixth scale figures, where the overall articulation is much better. I'm actually cutting him a bit more slack here than I usually do, since I was able to get some natural stances, and because without a tight fitting body suit the cut biceps and thighs aren't as noticeable. But the silly cut wrists are still a huge negative.

Accessories - *1/2
If you consider the price point on this figure - at least the SRP - you might be pretty surprised to find out that he comes with almost nothing additional.

There's the usual display stand, which is nice to have with a figure this large but isn't actually necessary since he stands great on his own.

He also has an extra set of bendy hands. Any regular reader knows how much I despise the bendy hands. That hasn't changed. It is worth noting though that Rorschach has three sets of hands - the fists, the bendy hands AND a set of sculpted hands designed to hold his gun. When (and if) I pick up the Rorschach, this inclusion will be a plus.

But for Dr. Manhattan, that's it. Perhaps the lack of accessories is what allowed them to spend the money on the next category...

Outfit - ***1/2
The surprise here is how outstanding the suit is. Some of this suit is going to look familiar from their Two Face

In fact, I think the shoes are the same, although I didn't pull out Two Face to be absolutely sure. They have a black patent leather look, nice and shiny, and real laces! The only downside here is that you'll have to untie them to get them off, so swapping him from clothes to none is not a quick task.

He doesn't have socks, but the pants are very well tailored to the superhero legs. The shirt, vest and jacket end up bulking him up even more than the body already is, and he has that weird look that most football players have when they dress up in suits. But tailoring the bottom of the double breasted suit tight around the waist was a smart move, accentuating his torso.

The tie is also interesting - it's actually tied! Not quite like the real thing, because one side is knotted around the other (rather than both forming the knot), so you can easily loosen it and remove it over his head, but the knot looks much better than what we usually get with sixth scale suit ties.

The material they've used for all the pieces of clothing is very high quality, and very thin. The stitching is well done, the snaps are fairly small and work well, and the overall in person appearance is one of top quality materials and workmanship.

Fun Factor - **1/2
The best feature of this figure is the suit - which is going to be the least interesting to kids. They might like his big blue self, but without seeing the film, it's unlikely that their interest will last.

Value - *1/2
The last release I picked up was the re-issued Green Lantern that had a TON of extras, and you could pick it up on pre-order most places for around $85. That's about the same price this guy is going for at most retailers, with no additional accessories at all. Is it a surprise that the value score drops?

Things To Watch Out For
The fists are very hard plastic, much like the body, so when you're removing them it's possible to damage the pegs. The bendy hands will come off much easier...too easily in fact.

Overall - **1/2
The best thing about this figure is the suit, although considering the character, I'm not sure that's going to be a huge selling point for a lot of people. Dr. Manhattan isn't exactly known for walking around in a suit, and without the suit, this isn't that great looking of a figure. The variations in finish on the blue plastic is fairly obvious in person, and the poorly painted black thong just ruins the look for me.

I'm grading this figure at the standard price of $80 - $85 that most places are currently charging. Pick him up at an extreme discount like I did, and you can add another half star easy.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these great sponsors:

- Urban Collector has him at $78.

- Corner Store Comics has him for $85.

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $85 as well.

- Things From Another World has him at $90.

- Entertainment Earth has him at $110.

- if you're in the U.K., Forbidden Planet has him for 58 GBP.

- or you can search ebay using sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
Other DCD Deluxe figures:

- my last DCD deluxe figure was the very nicely done Green Lantern.

- before that was the Joker, done up in a classic style, along with his main squeeze, Harley Quinn.

- two of my favorites are the Dark Knight movie based Batman and Joker.

- before that, we had Bizarro, Green ArrowRobin, two versions of Batgirl, as well as Batman himself in the old school 70's outfit, Nightwing, a guest review of Catwoman, and my reviews of the Martian Manhunter, Two Face, Batman Begins and classic Batman. *whew*

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 3.4

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Dr. Manhattan deluxe action figures by DC Direct



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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