DC Universe Blue Beetle

DC Universe Blue Beetle action figure by Mattel

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Jonathan Mullins hits us up tonight with a review fo the new Blue Beetle figure from the DC Universe series. Take it away, Jonathan!

Ted Kord, friend and protégé to the original Blue Beetle, Dan Garrett, assumed the hero’s mantle when Garrett was fatally injured in combat with robots commanded by Ted’s uncle Jarvis. Unfortunately Ted did not inherit any of Dan’s superpowers and instead studied a variety of martial arts skills, and invented a multitude of non-lethal weapons, none greater that the “BUG”, his solar-powered, stealthy, crime-fighting vehicle. (Taken from figures card back.)

Blue Beetle first appeared in Captain Atom in 1966 for Charlton Comics. He got his own series in 1986 after certain Charlton characters were bought by DC. It lasted for 24 issues.

He really hit his stride though when he was made a member of the Justice League in the series written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis. He remained a popular character through the five or so years of that run and popped up occasionally afterward. When I was collecting comics, I would always save my copy of Justice  League to read last, because I knew it was always a great read. After my son was born and I quit reading comics on a regular basis, I still kept up with Kord and tried to read everything he popped up in. I was highly disappointed when he was killed off in Countdown to Infinite Crisis, but I have seen rumors around the web that he may be back!
DC Universe Blue Beetle action figure by Mattel

DC Universe Blue Beetle action figure by Mattel
DC Universe Blue Beetle action figure by Mattel
DC Universe Blue Beetle action figure by Mattel
DC Universe Blue Beetle action figure by Mattel

This is the fourth Ted Kord, Blue Beetle, figure (with another one on the way), but it is the first to be fully articulated.

Let’s see how he turned out.

Packaging - ***
As I said before, packaging to me is just a way for to keep the figure safe until I get it home. Having said that, I do like the bright colors of the packaging. The DC Universe figures stand out on the shelf. There is also some personalization about the figure on the back, and it shows each figure in the current wave.

There were two of the clear rubber bands holding the figure in.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpt on Ted is pretty good. His face is a little soft, but I think that has more to do with the paint apps than the sculpt.

There are mold lines on the shoulders, and a small rectangle on his back that has obviously been filled in. At first I thought it might have been for some aborted attempt at an action feature, but then I remembered this line reuses a lot of the same bodies for other figures, so Ted’s torso must have been used for someone with wings or a jetpack.
He is also has places on his right leg where it is starting to split at the mold lines. It isn’t real obvious and hasn’t gotten any bigger since I purchase him. I just need to keep an eye on it. I might be able to put some superglue on it to keep it form splitting more. 

The only other real issue for me, and it is more of a personal issue than a sculpting issue, is that he’s a little too buff across the chest and shoulders. I know that since parts are being reused, some characters won’t look like their comic counterparts, but to me Blue Beetle needs a little less muscle across the top. To me the second Blue Beetle action figure that DC Direct produced has the best body representation so far.

Paint - ***
Blue Beetle only has 5 colors on him and for the most part the colors are good. Let’s start with the face.

I mentioned in the sculpt section that the face is a little soft. I honestly think it is the paint on this and not the sculpt. Why? There is no color variation on the face. Meaning that the nose, lips and chin all blend together. You have to get him in a bright light to pick put the details. A little more color on the lips and nose would have made them stand out. You can just barely see under his goggles that his eyes and the skin around them are painted also. I’m not sure if this is on all Blue Beetles or just mine. There was only one on the shelf when I bought it, so I couldn’t pick the best one. My local Wal-Mart has a backlog of Riddler figures and only puts out one or two new figures a day.
The colors and lines and lines on his arms, legs and lower torso are sharp. The beetle emblem on his chest is not as clean, in fact it is a little fuzzy. The emblem on the back is clean and sharp.

There is a small black beetle on his right wrist. I thought that he had a beetle on each wrist, but I could be remembering wrong.

Articulation - ***1/2
Articulation is good. Since this is my first DC Universe figure, some of the joints are taking me some time to get used to. All the joints are tight. I haven’t had any problems with sticking joints or anything like that.

Since this is my first one DC Universe figure, I assume he has articulation like other figures.

Accessories - ****
Blue Beetle comes with two accessories. His BB gun and the right leg of Atom Smasher.
The BB gun is a good sculpt with more detail than I thought there would be at this size. It is painted silver wit some light blue detailing. It fits in either hand. It might look a little over sized, but the one in the comics was big also. 

There is a soft plastic holster attached to his belt that the gun fits in nicely. The holster looks oversized also, but it needs to be for the gun to fit. The holster is attached to the belt on a post, and it swivels back and forwards. There is a strap that goes over the gun to keep it in.

The other accessory is the right leg of Atom Smasher. If you are into the Collect and Connect figures, then this is an essential accessory. If not, toss it in the toy box.

Fun Factor - ****
It’s Blue Beetle. What’s not to love? I’m glad that the Beetle is finally getting the recognition that he deserves. He is getting another figure from DC Direct in the future, this one based on the artwork of Kevin Maguire. He drew many if the Justice League issues with Blue Beetle. The only thing that would be more fun is if we had a “BUG” to go with him.

Value - **1/2
I’m not real happy with the $12 price tag this had, and from what I’ve seen on the web a lot of others aren’t either. I’m not sure what could have been included to justify the price as Beetle just doesn’t need that many toys, other than the “BUG”.

Knock off $4 or $5 dollars and the price would be better. 

Things to Watch Out For -
Not much. If you have the chance to pick on choose, see if the paint on the face is better.

Overall - ***1/2
I'm a huge Blue Beetle fan. The previous Blue Beetle figures weren’t sold mass market (to the best of my knowledge) so I’m glad he is getting some recognition. Hopefully he will be getting another series too. And a full size “BUG” would be awesome!
Where to Buy -
Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us.

DC Universe Blue Beetle action figure by Mattel

Figure from the collection of Jonathan Mullins.

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