Packaging - ***1/2
Oh my God - mark this date down. I actually really, really like a DC
Direct package! They aren't perfect, but the good outweighs the bad,
and shows real progress.
The packages aren't collector friendly of course, with lots of twisties
and tape. Oh, you could probably fight the figures back into the
package if you really had to, but the effort isn't probably worth the
However, the colors, graphics and text are fantastic. On the back
are various photos of the figures in poses just like the cartoon, and
there's some great, detailed text on the specific episode in question.
On the downside, the package for Sylvester and Daffy lies, never a good
idea. It claims they come with extra arms, and they most certainly do
not. Elmer and Bugs do, but not Daffy and Sylvester. Some of the
photos of Elmer also show him with the legs swapped around, and had they
actually been the other way, posing him on the stand would have been much
Sculpting - Elmer, Sylvester, Daffy ***1/2; Bugs ***
Most kids know who Bugs, Daffy and other Looney Tunes characters are.
The cartoons still run on television, and since they've hit DVD, parents
that group up loving them are sharing them with their children.
But let's not be silly here - they aren't Spongebob, Dora, or Jimmy
Neutron. The cartoon selection that kids have today is amazing, and
cartoons designed for their generation are going to be what they gravitate
towards, especially when it comes to licensed goodies.
That's why Warner Brothers teamed up with DC Direct to go with a smart
idea - develop a specialty market nostalgia line of figures. These
aren't intended for kids, but rather for the millions of adults that loved
these cartoons as kids, and would like to have them displayed on a shelf in
their classic episodes.
The concept is to go with some of the best known, most loved episodes,
and produce the best known figures in beloved costumes. This first
series pairs Daffy and Sylvester from one of my favorites as a kid, The
Scarlet Pumpernickel, and Bugs and Elmer from another golden oldie, What's
I'm not at all surprised with either of these choices. What's Opera
Doc? is considered by many to be the greatest work of animation ever
produced by Warner Brothers, and the high point of Chuck Jones'
career. It also has two very trademark looks for both Elmer and Daffy,
easily recognizable by just about anyone.
While the Scarlet Pumpernickel isn't quite so critically acclaimed, it
did star almost all the series regulars minus Bugs, and was a great vehicle
for both Daffy and Sylvester. It's one of my favorites, since I've
always loved Zorro, Robin Hood, and other hero stories.
Finally, on to the actual sculpts. These are done very pre-posed,
although they have more articulation than you'd expect. All the
sculpts are drawn right from the episodes, and are designed to give you
dynamic, interesting displays.
Sylvester's action pose looks good, and the head sculpt is
excellent. Both his and Daffy's expressions are wonderful, and playing
the pair together looks great. Unfortunately, the length and style of
Daffy's cape interferes with your ability to get him to stand on his own,
and should have been designed with that in mind. You can still manage
it, but it does detract slightly from the overall sculpt.
Elmer is another top notch piece of work, caught in mid-song, early in
the cartoon before he figures out Bugs ain't quite who he says he is.
That makes sense since Bugs is sculpted still in disguise, wearing the head
piece and golden tresses. Again, the expressions are wonderful, with
just the right amount of detail, and great internal proportions. The
sizes of heads to arms to legs to torsos is right on, making them appear
like they just stepped out of the cartoons.
There are a few issues, like seams. On several of the characters,
especially on Daffy's head and Bugs' nose, the seams have gaps, making them
quite apparent. Other seams, like those on the torso's of Elmer and
Sylvester, are a little more obvious than I'd like. Still, the
highlight for me across this entire line is the overall quality of the
The scale of these figures to each other is quite good as well, although
Daffy seems a smidge large. That might just be my perception though,
as these guys tended to vary in size slightly with relation to each other
from cartoon to cartoon. Bugs is the tallest, since he's upright and
Sylvester is not, at 5.5 inches.
Paint - Elmer ***1/2; Bugs ***; Sylvester, Daffy **1/2
DC Direct has paint quality issues on their superhero figures for
years. They've just started to make improvements there over the last
year (although there's still been a set back or two), but they'll need to
focus that same attention on this line for future series.
There's enough slop to be annoying and obvious, in places like the band
on Sylvester's hat, and there was some of the most inconsistency in colors
here that I've seen in some time. The blue of Sylvester's tunic, the
dark blue of Daffy's tunic, the colors of their hats, and several other
areas had very inconsistent colors, with some splotchiness and even thicker
areas of paint.
Elmer had the fewest issues in my set, and his face looks extremely even
and clean. Bugs was pretty good too, especially with the wider variety
of colors. It was really Sylvester and Daffy that had the most
trouble, but if this is anything like DC Direct's earlier issues with paint,
it's going to be inconsistent across the entire run.
Articulation - **1/2
These are really intended to create scenes, and don't have a ton of
articulation. However, they aren't just straight statues either, and
the amount they have might surprise you.
Sylvester has a waist joint, cut ankles, cut wrists, cut neck, and ball
jointed shoulders. The arm articulation is the most helpful for
posing, but the waist and feet joints are critical to get him to stand on
his own, especially in the hat. Oops - and let's not forget the cut
tail! It actually helps to turn it upward to push the cape out of the
way if you plan on having him wear the scabbard.
Daffy has a cut neck, cut wrists, cut waist, T crotch, cut ankles, and ball jointed
shoulders with limited movement. He's not going to take a lot of
poses, and just getting him to stand is a real trick.
Bugs has a ball jointed neck, with a pretty good range of movement.
That's nice, since those seductive head tilts were so important to this
cross dressing rabbit. He also has ball jointed shoulders, cut wrists,
a cut waist and a T crotch. Since he comes with a second set of arms,
they pop off at the ends of the sleeves, but these aren't articulation
points. They use sorta square pegs to hold them in place, so the arm
can't turn at that point.
The same is true for Elmer, who has swappable arms. He has a cut
neck, cut waist, T crotch, cut ankles and ball jointed shoulders. To
bring his hands together in front and actually claps the hands requires
putting a lot of strain on the arm pegs, but it can be done.
Of the four, Elmer stands the best on his own. Once you find the
exact spot to get his feet, legs and torso, he'll stay standing without any
trouble. Sylvester is next, but you really need to twist his legs to
the left to get his center of gravity over the front leg, especially if you
plan on having him wear the hat. Check out the last photo for an
example. Both Daffy and Bugs can stand, but you'll have to get things
*just* right, and then don't bump the shelf.
Be careful with many of the joints. Mine were painted tight on just
about every figure, especially wrists and ankles. I managed to free
them all but one ankle on Sylvester, which snapped and had to be glued.
Accessories - Bugs, Daffy ***1/2; Elmer, Sylvester ***
There's a nice healthy assortment of accessories, but there were a couple
minor issues in the execution.
Bugs comes with the display base, with an attachable backdrop and lounge
chair. All the bases come with the cardboard backdrop, with two scenes
from the cartoon printed on it, one on either side. The backdrops fit
nicely, and the one for Bugs works particularly well. All the figures
also come with a small easel, and the title card from their specific
episode. In the case of Bugs and Elmer, it's What's Opera Doc?, and in
the case of Daffy and Sylvester, it's the Scarlet Pumpernickel.
Bugs also has swappable arms, which work fairly well. It gives him
four pretty distinct looks, and they go on and off easily without being
All four bases have peg holes, as does one foot of each character.
However, there are no pegs included. I'm not sure if they just forgot,
but you'll have to dig up some of your extras from other DC Direct
figures. They really do need them to stay stable.
EDIT: I've just heard from a reader that he found clear plastic
pegs inside his package, taped to the inner tray. I sure couldn't find
any, but keep a very careful eye out for them!
Elmer also has the backdrop/display base, and his has two peg holes to
place Elmer. One is down on the grass, while the other is up on the
rock. You'll need to dig up one of those extra pegs to get the high
ground location to work.
Elmer is one of two of the figures - the other being Sylvester - in which
the base is simply too small for both him AND the background card. You
can finagle it if you try hard enough, but the horns of his helmet are
always going to hit it, and in 99% of the positions will make it impossible
for him to stand on the base. Again, with lots of adjusting of the
waist and legs, you can manage it, but the execution on the bases just
wasn't as good as the concept. This inability to really use the bases
as intended hurts their two scores the most in this category.
Elmer also has his spear and his lightening bolt, which eventually struck
Bugs dead from the skies. The bolt doesn't really fit in his hands,
but the spear does. It's a tight fit, and you'll want to slide it in
slowly to avoid snapping it, but it does fit. A little soapy water
will help get it in place if it feels too tight.
There's a little reuse when it comes to Daffy and Sylvester, but since
it's sensible to the particular episode, it's forgivable. Both have
the same sword (and these fit easily in their hands), the same candle, and
both have identical bases of course. Both sides of their cards are
printed to match up, but are not identical. They also both have the
same title card and easel.
Sylvester also comes with a knife for his other hand, a scabbard
for his sword which fits in a hole on the left side of his hip, his very
cool hat, and his
little buddy, Henery Hawk. The chicken hawk comes with his own hat, a quill
pen that fits in his right hand, and his roll of paper that can fit in his
left hand, but not particularly well. I had to carve out the excess
paint to get it to work, and even then it's pretty iffy. Henery Hawk is articulated at the shoulders and neck, but he has a very
tough time standing up. If I used the extra long right arm to support
him, he stands (even with the hat), but if you place that arm in the air at
all, you'll have to lean him against something.
I mentioned that Sylvester's hat was cool - that's because the feather is
flocked with a soft red material. It gives is a feather like
appearance while remaining solid.
While both Daffy and Sylvester lack the extra arms advertised on their
packages, Daffy has something not mentioned. He comes with the 'ye
little Olympic high jumper'. This is a pin inside a yellow box.
The pin is a separate removable piece, and is a great little touch.
Daffy also comes with his hat, and the heroin of the story, Melissa. Like
she's articulated at the shoulders, but lacks the hawk's neck joint. The arms can either be up in a scream pose, or
down on the hips in any angry pose.
Daffy's hat fits nicely on his head, as does Sylvester's, and doesn't
through him off balance quite as much.
It's worth noting that all the bases open up. I thought they just
might not have been glued in the case of Bugs', Daffy and Sylvester, and it
was a happy coincidence, until I noticed that there's a tray engineered into
the base of Elmer as well. It's handy for storing the extra accessories.
Fun Factor - **1/2
These aren't intended as toys, and the various issues I had (not standing up
well, weak joints, easy to break accessories) will just be frustrating for
But for the 'big kids' that fondly remember these toons, they make a
great shelf piece.
Value - ***
I bought the full set and only paid $10 for these, which even with the
issues is a solid price. Great toys with lots of accessories on the
specialty market for a ten spot are getting few and far between. If
you pay $12 or more each though, drop another half star here.
Things to watch out for -
Far too many, I'm afraid. Watch out for those tight ankles and
wrists, because you can easily break the peg when twisting them. Be
careful fitting the spear into Elmer's hand, because the plastic is stiff
enough to snap on you. And make sure you have the pegs lined up
correctly on the swappable arms to avoid damaging the pegs. You
shouldn't have to force them!
EDIT: As mentioned earlier, a sharp eyed reader found some clear
plastic pegs taped to the inside tray. Watch for them!
Overall - Elmer ***1/2; Bugs, Sylvester, Daffy ***
In the package, I was almost sure they'd be four star figures.
Once I had them out though, some disappointment set in.
I love the poses, and I love the show selections, and the sculpting is
mighty fine. There's more articulation than I expected, and the
accessories stack up nicely.
That being said, shooting these was an exercise in frustration.
Without the foot pegs (I did dig up some extras eventually, but I can't
believe they forgot to include them), they topple over at the slightest
move. The mismatch of size between Sylvester and Elmer and their bases
was frustrating. And minor quality issues like the gap on Bugs' nose
or the sloppy paint work peeved me off. These could have been
fantastic, but ended up just good.