Packaging - ***
The packaging is starting to look a tad dated, but that's not really a
surprise. After 8 waves and several years, people tend to get a little
too accustomed to the same old same old. I still like it, and I don't
think Mattel should make any major changes (which would normally peeve
the MOCers to no end), but at some point they'll need to revisit it.
Sculpt - Gentlemen Ghost ****; Vigilante,
Hawkgirl, Commander Steel ***
The unique sculpting on Commander Steel and Vigilante is restricted
largely to their heads, since the majority of the rest of their bodies
is a re-use of the standard DCUC superhero.
But both heads are nicely done,
and look enough like the classic comic book counterparts to satisfy
Ghost is my fav of the set, with an extremely detailed sculpt for DCUC.
Oddly enough, he has no 'head', and yet scores better than any that do.
do wish his collar, which has ingeniously been used to hold his hat as
though it's floating above his suit, was a smidge shorter. But that's a
fairly minor nit, and not enough to hurt the category score for me.
also added his trademark monocle, attaching it to the brim of the hat.
The work looks, giving you the impression that there's a ghost hanging
in there someplace. I've reached the age where I need bifocles, and I
keep threatening my wife that I'm going to get a monocle...see how
classy it looks?
Hawkgirl has an excellent head
sculpt, and I love
the size and shape of the helmet. The hair tends to force the head
forward in some poses though, and is more restrictive than I'd like.
wings are also perfection, just like they were on Hawkman. Nice
detailing on the feathers, and a sculpt that works well with the
designed articulation make them a highlight.
body doesn't work quite as well. The standard DCUC female body isn't
bad, but here we get an awful lot of mold lines and flashing,
especially around the shoulders where it is very obvious.
hands are the only ones that don't work particularly well with her
included accessories. The grip of her left hand is too wide to work
with even the sword, which has a fairly thick hilt.
These are all
in the standard 6" scale, with Vigilante and Commander Steel standing
just a bit over 6 1/4". If Hawkgirl weren't wearing her 'ears', she'd
be about 6" tall, and Gentlemen Ghost dwarfs them at almost 7".
Paint - Gentlemen Ghost
****; Commander Steel, Vigilante, Hawkgirl ***1/2;
One aspect of these figures that has been a concern in the past is the
quality of the paint application. Thankfully, this wave shows
improvement over the early waves, and is also part of an upward trend.
is important to keep in mind that these are mass market figures, sold
through major retailers. As such, they tend to skimp a bit when it
comes to paint.
However, the flaws here are
generally only noticeable under magnification. In person, they look
Steel has the most complex palette, with the bright metallic blue set
of by the tricky red and white. Cut lines are generally good, until you
get up close and personal with the camera lens. Even then, the blips
are relatively small.
Hawkgirl has less detail work,
shading on her helmet is excellent, and she has a nice wash over the
wings that brings out the many details.
Vigilante, like Steel, is
a fairly basic character, but his cut lines are also well done, and the
black doesn't show through the white or blue.
The winner here for
me is the figure with the least paint detail - Gentlemen Ghost. The guy
is just white, but they managed to do that with style and quality.
Often when you use a solid color, particularly one that shows
imperfections like white does, there's variation in tone and finish.
that's not the case here, where the white is clean and bright over the
They also used a translucent
and allowed the clear to show through in some areas. Some, like the
edges of the cape, are subtle, while others, like the feet and lower
legs, are quite obvious. The effect really works for me, lending him a
ethereal air. Thankfully, they didn't try to use any sort of wash on
the white, instead allowing natural light to provide the shadows on the
sharply sculpted edges.
Articulation - Commander Steel,
Vigilante ***1/2; Hawkgirl, Gentlemen Ghost ***
The entire line continues to sport similar articulation, so if you've
been collecting them regularly, there aren't any big surprises here.
best news in this category is that I didn't have a single stuck limb
joint on these four. I haven't opened the other three yet, but that's a
huge improvement over past waves.
Hawkgirl has the same uber-cool
wings as her husband, and they are articulated in the same way. The
have a joint mid wing that allows them to open up or tuck in, and
there's a hinge joint on the back that allows them to spread out or
fold together. She gets big marks for the wings, but unlike her
husband, they aren't quite as useful, unless you don't really care if
she can remain standing. If the wings are posed back from her at all,
she tends to topple over, and even if they are tight to her body, it
can be quite tricky to keep her upright.
Add to that her rather
limited neck articulation due to the hard sculpted long hair, and she
drops a bit below the other figures in this category.
have all the other joints you'd expect though, including pin/post ball
shoulders, pin elbows, ankles and knees, cut waist, thighs and wrists,
an ab-crunch, and the special DCUC hinged hips. These all work well,
but the heavy wings and restricted neck limit the overall number of
BTW, make sure her shoulders are
turned correctly. As I
mentioned in the Sculpting section, the mold lines already make the
shoulder balls pretty unattractive, but if you have them flipped upside
down, they get even uglier. I included one shot (full body, holding the
spear in both hands) where you can see the left shoulder flipped the
wrong way. If yours looks like this, rotate it around for a slightly
While I didn't have any stuck or
broken joints, poor
Gentlemen Ghost suffers from the opposite problem - loose joints. It's
only his hips that are loose, but it did get a tad annoying when I was
trying to get some better leg poses.
He also has all the body
articulation that you've come to expect from this line, but some of
them are a bit restricted.
no ball neck of course...he doesn't have a neck. But the disc and post
style ball shoulders, cut biceps, wrists and thighs, ab-crunch
mid-section, DCUC hinge hips, and pin elbows and knees all work as
The pin ankles are restricted by
the pants, and
while I'm positive there's supposed to be a cut waist joint, mine is
Both Commander Steel and
Vigilante have all the
aforementioned standard DCUC articulation, with the normal ball jointed
neck. The range of movement on that important joint is excellent with
both of them. Neither had stuck OR loose joints, and both were able to
take some terrific poses.
Accessories - Gentlemen Ghost,
Vigilante ****; Hawkgirl ***1/2; Commander Steel **1/2
With past waves, we were lucky to get one accessory on top of the BAF
piece. With three of these four figures, we get three!
Ghost has a cool flintlock pistol, as well as his traditional walking
cane. These fit in either hand, and the sculpts are quite well done,
especially on the flintlock.
He also comes with a mini
the Atom, giving you another character to add to the shelf. The paint
work is a little weak on him, but he makes a nice addition.
has not one but TWO pieces of Giganta too - her head and her pelvis.
I'll be looking at Giganta early next week, but just let me say here
that she's an exceptionally well done BAF.
Vigilante is also
heavily armed, ready for battle. He has an automatic rifle that can be
held in one or both hands, or worn on his back with the sculpted strap.
He also has an automatic pistol, which can be held in either hand. And
hiding in his holster is a third gun, a more traditional revolver! As
with GG, these weapons fit nicely in his hands, and the holster holds
the six gun surprisingly well. The flap closure also works great,
something that is normally impossible in this scale.
Vigilante includes one very long
and sexy Giganta leg, another critical element to her final
for Hawkgirl, she doesn't have a critical Giganta piece. Nope, she gets
the silly translucent blue stand, which you can pretty much ignore.
she gets three weapons of her own, and they all look terrific. There's
her spear, which can be held in just the right hand or in both at once,
as well as her sword and mace. The mace does not fit in
hand particularly well (which is probably why it ended up cropped out
of the only photo it was in), but the sword can stay in her right hand.
Her left hand grip is too wide to hold any accessory on its own, as I
mentioned in the Sculpt section.
Finally, there's Commander
Steel. I don't know enough about the character to know if there was
something they should have included, but if there is...it's not here.
Instead, he merely comes with his BAF piece. Now, it's the largest BAF
piece, since it's Giganta's entire torso, but if you aren't looking to
build Giganta, then Commander Steel is an easy pass.
Value - Gentleman
Ghost, Hawkgirl, Vigilante ***; Commander Steel **1/2
You'll be paying the usual $10 - $12 a pop for these, but you're
getting quite a few more accessories than normal. While Commander Steel
only gets the BAF part, something we've come to expect with characters
in past waves, the others all get multiple weapons as well. Let's hope
that this added value is something we see continue with waves 9 and 10.
Fun Factor - Commander Steel,
Vigilante ****; Gentlemen Ghost ***1/2; Hawkgirl ***
Mattel has two truly fun action figure lines on their hands - DCUC and
MOTUC. Unfortunately, the quality of DCUC isn't quite up to the MOTUC
line...yet. It's improving with every wave, but the loose hips on GG,
and Hawkgirl's problems with standing pulled those two down from
perfect scores in this category. Still, kids who know these characters
(and with GG know a regular staple on the terrific cartoon Batman:
Brave and the Bold, more kids know who he is), are going to have a ton
of fun with these figures.
Things To Watch Out For
If you're picking them
out by hand, you'll still want to watch for paint issues, improvements
or not. Also, be careful if you see oddly bent joints in the plastic
tray, as the soft pegs can be damaged that way. It would be a real buzz
kill to pull one out of the tray, only to have it fall apart.
Overall - Gentlemen Ghost ****;
Vigilante ***1/2; Hawkgirl, Commander Steel ***
I think that MOTUC is still Mattel's strongest overall line right now,
DCUC is my favorite. Hey, I'm a big DC fan, what can I say.
continue to crank out cool figures, and they've upped the ante on the
quality over the last couple waves. It's clear they saw the issues and
are working to resolve it, which says a lot considering the size of the
organization compared to the relatively small size and importance of
I suspected early on that
Gentleman Ghost would be one
of my favorites, and he turned out great. I have a few issues with him,
but like Hawkman, he's a standout for this line.
The surprise for
me was Hawkgirl, who I had high hopes for, but who just didn't quite
live up to them. Getting her to simply stand was frustrating, and the
really ugly mold lines on the shoulders and arms were a negative. Of
course, if you compare her to other lines currently on the shelf, she's
quite a bit better, but compared to the rest of the DCUC she's in the
middle of the pack. She'll look great next to her husband on my shelf,
but I don't know that she'll end up in my top five of best Females of
Another surprise was Vigilante.
Yea, he's just a poor
man's Punisher, but the figure turned out great, and the weapons really
add to his value.
Commander Steel has a purty
that's about it. If you're a completist, you'll buy him, and you'll be
happy to know his paint quality is decent. If you're a big fan of the
character (all three of you), you'll buy him, and realize that
sacrificing that small animal on the alter to your God really did work.
But 90% of the people that fork over the cash for him will be doing it
just to get Giganta's torso, but that's not such a bad reason,
considering how well she turned out.
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Gentlemen Ghost ****; Vigilante, Hawkgirl,
Commander Steel ***
Paint - Gentlemen Ghost ****; Commander
Steel, Vigilante, Hawkgirl ***1/2;
Articulation - Commander Steel, Vigilante ***1/2;
Hawkgirl, Gentlemen Ghost ***
Accessories - Gentlemen Ghost, Vigilante ****; Hawkgirl
***1/2; Commander Steel **1/2
Value - Gentleman Ghost, Hawkgirl, Vigilante ***; Commander
Fun Factor - Vigilante, Commander Steel ****; Gentlemen Ghost ***1/2;
Overall - Gentlemen Ghost ****; Vigilante ***1/2; Hawkgirl,
Commander Steel ***
Where to Buy -
I haven't seen these at any mass market retailers yet, but I'm assuming
stores like Target, Toys R Us and Meijers will get them...eventually.
Online options right now include:
- Mike's Comics N'
got them in this week and has them at 13.50 each.
usually has them at $12.50 each, but it looks like they are all
Earth has them for $139 for a case of 10.
- Things From Another World
has them in stock at $15.29 each.
- or there's always ebay.
- the last wave was 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
- 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
- don't forget the 12" version of the
smaller Batman, and the 12"
- 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