SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


DC Universe Classics Wave 13
Superboy, Donna Troy, Blue Beetle and Cyclotron

Blue Beetle DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel


Mattel's distribution woes with the DC Universe Classics continue to haunt them, or maybe it's just me they haunt. Before I found all of Wave 12 I found all of Wave 13, although I still have a couple variants to come up with to complete the set. And Blue Devil of course, since he's the one I want the most.

This series includes Superboy, Cyclotron, Donna Troy, Blue Beetle (all reviewed tonight), Cheetah, Blue Devil, and Negative Man. The two variants are on Cheetah (modern and classic) and Negative Man (black vs classic).

Pick up the set, and you can build an eighth character - Trigon. Pure evil and all powerful, this demon from another dimension destroyed an entire planet when he was six. Eat that humble pie, Emperor Palpatine! He might not be the most recognizable DC character, but he's a great design.

You know Superboy of course, and this version is right out of the 90's. Donna Troy is a true classic, making her first appearance back in the 60's, but this look is very modern. This series ended up with two teenagers, and with one male and one female, you can only assume the hormonal situation this will cause on the shelf. It doesn't help that Donna clearly has a drug problem - more on that later.

Blue Beetle is a classic too - but we've already gotten this character in this series in his retro outfit. This time we get a more modern look (often referred to as Blue Beetle III), and it's much appreciated by fans of the character.
Cheetah DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
Superboy DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Donna Troy DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyclotron DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Blue Beetle DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cycloton DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Superboy DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Donna Troy DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Blue Beetle DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyclotron DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel

Finally (at least for tonight) there's Cyclotron. This is a figure that's divided the fans of DCUC, because technically, he's not. While there is both a golden age and modern age version, neither was particularly substantial in the universe, and certainly not 'classic'. This figure is actually a call back to the Super Powers action figure of the character, both in design and origins. Some fans were disappointed that he was included, but those that love the old Super Powers line were ecstatic. I'm in the later camp and was thrilled to get him, but if you're one that's less than excited about his release, you'll be happy to know he doesn't come with a Trigon part. You can abandon him on the pegs for another collector and still build the CnC figure.

These should start hitting mass market retailers any day, and some online stores have already gotten their allotments. Expect to pay around $13 - $15 a pop for them, depending on the retailer.

Packaging - Blue Beetle **; the rest ***1/2
To be honest, the style and design of the cardbacks for this series is getting a bit long in the tooth. By the time you hit the mid-teens for any series, things can get a little dull - think of it as the seven year itch of packaging.

However, there's something to be said for consistency, especially if you're a MOCer. While the openers might be getting a tad bored with the repetitive colors and graphics, the MOCer appreciates having all those cool looking and matching cardbacks lined up on the wall.

These have also been updated slightly over the last couple waves, including the 75th anniversary logo and the inclusion of the 'button' on the front right corner. The best features are still here too, like the wave and figure numbers printed on the insert on the side of the bubble, making it easier to find them on the pegs.

Blue Beetle takes a hit here from me because they tried to give him an action pose in the interior tray. No problem there - except they bent his leg at an odd angle and damaged the knee joint. It's very loose and soft now, something that he'll take a hit for in the articulation section. Hopefully mine was merely packed poorly, and you'll not have the same issue.

Sculpting - Cyclotron, Blue Beetle ***1/2; Superboy ***; Donna Troy **1/2
Blue Beetle is probably the standout of this wave, at least in this category. The sculpt is all new, and the ribbing and texturing of the costume and mask is much appreciated. They could have merely painted the various details on, but by sculpting them they gave the figure depth and detail.

The large wings are detachable, allowing you to pose him popped up or tucked away. The hands are designed for posing more than grabbing, and since there's no accessories for him to hold, that makes the most sense. The body is also slightly smaller and thinner than the usual DCUC superhero, fitting in well scale-wise with the rest of the series.

While a lot of folks may find Cyclotron uninteresting, I think he's the big surprise for me in this wave. He turned out great, and has almost as much detail as Beetle. There's also a great surprise - you can pop off his 'face' and chest, showing his mechanical parts underneath! This ability to go Doctor Doom on you is a terrific feature. The face and chest covers snap in tightly, so that there's no problems with them dropping off under normal handling and posing.

Superboy is...well, he's Superboy. The way a lot of folks are likely to feel about Cyclotron is how I feel about Superboy - bored. The sculpt is technically fine, but I don't like the stiff plastic coat, since it's designed to stick out in front, which looks goofy.

The big disappointment for me is Donna. None of the DCUC female bodies are exactly attractive, but I think the basic design works fine for the adult Wonder Woman, who is more athletic. This smaller, teen version is lanky and oddly proportioned, with an ugly bowlegged stance. Ugh.

Usually the head sculpts save the female DCUC figures, but that doesn't work out this time. She's pretty enough I suppose, but the thick stiff hair kills it for me. There's also the paint job, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Paint - Beetle ***1/2; Superboy, Cyclotron ***; Donna Troy **1/2
Since I left you with a cliffhanger on Donna's paint in the last category, I'll start this one with her - I don't want to keep you in suspense.

I know she's a teen, but did they have to give her a stoned appearance? The look isn't even blank...it's dazed. Even if there is a pretty head sculpt under there, you'll never notice it behind the glassy eyed expression.

That's not her only problem though. The outfit has sloppy lines along the red edge, and the yellow belt and rope blend in together with a clump edge between.

The others all exhibit solid if not perfect work. Cyclotron's yellow has fairly clean edges, but the coverage over the green below is inconsistent at best. There's some sloppy lines on Superboy too, but nothing too out of the ordinary for a mass market toy.

Blue Beetle gets the best score in this category, with much cleaner lines and a better color combo than the rest. I particularly like the work on the mask, with the blue and black are nicely offset.

Articulation - Cyclotron ***1/2; Superboy ***; Donna, Beetle **1/2
With high marks in both sculpt and paint, I was hoping the Beetle would do well across the board. From photos I'd seen on line, I was really looking forward to this figure. Unfortunately, like many of us men getting a bit older, his knees are his downfall.

The plastic disc used with the double pin joint is fairly soft, and the deformation caused by the interior tray is irreversible. The weakness makes it difficult to keep him standing, and the deformed calf and knee make it tough to get too many poses out of the legs.

The articulation on the other two males is the usual great stuff, and Cyclotron and Superboy have the same sort of joint system. Ball jointed necks, shoulders, pin elbows, pin wrists, pin ankles, cut waist, ab crunch, hinge hips...everything is here that you've become accustomed to.

It was a little tough to get Cyc's arms all the way into his body, but with a little work I managed it. I found that Cyclotron was a little easier to work with than Superboy, hence the slightly better score. Both of these boys stand great on their own.

Donna has that funky body, and the joints were a little weak here as well. The bowlegged look is almost impossible to avoid, and the hair restricts most if not all of the neck articulation.

Accessories - Beetle **1/2; the rest **
It's always tough to properly evaluate this category when there's a CnC or BAF involved. If you want the parts to the additional figure, the score is high - if you don't, then the pieces are a waste.

I'm grading these without the CnC piece, and if you (like me) are looking forward to building Trigon, you can simply add an extra 1/2 star to score for Beetle, Donna and Superboy. Cyclotron doesn't get a boost, since he doesn't have a piece to Trigon.

In fact, all he has is the little pin back button, and a Super Powers themed display stand. I love seeing the old logo on the bright blue plastic, but let's be honest - it's a display stand for a figure that doesn't really need one.

The buttons are a better addition than I ever expected, and are specific to each character. They look great, and are actually something I could see collecting together on a hat or bandoleer, Boy Scout style. How nerdy would that be?

Add in a CnC part for Donna and Superboy, and that's the sum total of their extras. Considering the price point, that's awful light to me.

Blue Beetle actually gets a weapon that can be worn on his arm...sort of. Sadly, the connector doesn't fit properly over his forearm (or even bicep), and falls off at the lightest touch. Had this not been an issue, he would have scored an additional star.

Fun Factor - ****
While Donna has some personal issues, the wave overall is terrific fun. Great articulation, great sculpts, cool characters - these are excellent toys. Even if your 9 year old has never heard of Trigon (and unless he's a total DC savant, that's pretty much a given), he's going to think that's one cool character. The bad guys always get the best designs.

Value - **
The price point on these figures has hit $15 a pop at most retailers, and considering what you're getting - and that these are supposed to be mass market, not a specialty line - that's at least $3 too much. Remember, most collectors are going to pick up the entire wave, including variants, and when you're spending more than a hundred bucks on a wave, it better be a damn good wave.

Things to Watch Out For -
Hopefully you'll have better luck with your Beetle than I did. There's nothing really here to worry about though, once you have the figures out of their packages.

Overall - Cyclotron ***1/2; Superboy, Blue Beetle ***; Donna Troy **1/2
I mentioned early on that I was looking forward to this Cyclotron, being the big Super Powers geek. But I still hadn't expected to like him this much, and it was really the removable pieces that set him apart.

Superboy was just what I expected - and bored me just like I expected. If you're a big fan of the character, then you'll be happy with him, but he's never done a whole lot for me. Even wearing a leather jacket and shades.

Donna Troy is the worst of these four, but that wasn't really a surprise. You can tell from any of the photos online that she didn't fair well. Given the funky body, she already had one strike, but with the goofy expression and lack of accessories, she's out at home.

The disappointment here was Blue Beetle, who I expected to love. Take away the damage caused by the package (which was worsened by the soft plastic used in the knee joints), and you get back at least a half star, maybe even a full one. I'm hoping that I'm the exception here, and that most folks don't have issues.

I'll be looking at Cheetah, Negative Man, Trigon and Blue Devil...as soon as I find Blue Devil. I suspect he's going to be the popular figure in this set, and I know he's the one I wanted the most as well.

Score Recap:
Packaging - Blue Beetle ***; the rest ***1/2
Sculpting - Cyclotron, Blue Beetle ***1/2; Superboy ***; Donna Troy **1/2
Paint - Cyclotron, Superboy, Beetle ***1/2; Donna Troy **1/2
Articulation - Cyclotron ***1/2; Superboy ***; Donna, Beetle **1/2
Accessories - Beetle **1/2; the rest **
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **
Overall - Cyclotron ***1/2; Superboy, Blue Beetle ***; Donna Troy **1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

-Big Bad Toy Store has the set for $130. Remember, getting the variants is a crap shoot.

-Urban Collector has the set of 7 for $130 as well.

- or you can hit ebay if your local retailers aren't cutting the mustard.

Related Links -
I've covered much of the DC Universe Classics line. Reviews include:

- I only covered half of wave 12, but the second half is coming soon. Yep, I finally finished the set, although I'm still looking for the White Mary.

- prior to that was part 1 and part 2 of wave 11.

- big surprise, wave 10 was before that, with some here and some here.

- you can find wave 9 part 1 here, and part 2 over here.

- I split wave 8 up into two parts, one here and one here.

- prior to that was wave 7 (duh), which I covered here.

- I broke wave six into two reviews, one here and one here.

- no, I never reviewed wave 5, but prior to that was wave 4 which I also broke into this review, and this one.

- of course, prior to that was wave 3.

- I covered wave 1 in two parts, one here and one at here. It took me so freakin' long to find them, I never did review wave 2, but if you're looking for one, Kastor's Korner has a great review.

- last up in the DCSH figures were the Clayface and Bruce to Bats figures.

- before that was Mongul, who is also one of the best figures this year and Parasite and Steel

- don't forget the 12" version of the smaller Batman, and the 12" Cyborg Superman.

- in this smaller line, the fourth series was Superman themed, with Brainiac and Darkseid. There's also the Batgirl and Superman from the two packs. 

- there's the guest review of series 3 Batman and Azrael.

- a guest review of series 2 Doomsday, and another of the series 2 Superman.

- my review of the series 2 Bizarro and Supergirl.

- my review of the Batman and Killer Croc from wave 1.

- and finally, my review of Bane and Scarecrow that were released internationally as part of the old Mattel line, and then re-released with wave 1 of the DCSH.

- and while the aren't technically DCUC, the new Public Enemies figures are close enough for most of us. I split the review into part 1 and part 2.

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

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR MORE PHOTOS!


Share this review with others! 
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!      Reddit

Cyclotron DC Universe Classics DCUC wave 13 action figures by Mattel


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2010, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions! Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com