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Review of Cheetah, Negative Man, Blue Devil, Trigon
DC Universe Classics Action Figures

Mattel
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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DCUC Trigon action figure by Mattel

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Introduction

Just a couple weeks ago I covered the first half of the latest wave (13) of DC Universe Classics. Tonight I'll finish up the set with a look at Cheetah, Negative Man, Blue Devil and the Collect and Connect figure, Trigon. Although he's technically an accessory for the other figures, I'll be covering him as his own man in all the categories.

Cheetah has not one but two variants. There's the more modern look you see in the packaged photo below, and a 'naked' version which is really just the full body paint. This latter version is been pulling a premium on ebay right now, but rumor has it that we'll see a wider release.

Negative Man also has a variant. I'll be reviewing the regular, but you should also keep an eye out for the 'unbandaged' variant.

These figures are running the usual $15 at most retailers, and should be showing up in your neighborhood any day.

DCUC Cheetah action figure by Mattel

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Packaging - ***
I'm docking them this time for more issues with the tray inserts. While it was just Blue Beetle that had trouble in the first four, now both Blue Devil and Negative Man have wonky knees due to the placement of the figures in the trays. I know they are going for action poses to appease the MOCers, but they can't sacrifice the knee pins in the process.

Still, the usual great graphics and personalization is present, and I love how they show off the cool little buttons in the lower corner. Also, they have the wave and figure numbers on the side of the package, making it easy to look through the figures on the pegs. These are the kind of little touches that could make these packages great, if they'd just correct some of the problems with the trays. Or don't let the guy packing the figure in there have a 3 martini lunch.

DCUC Blue Devil action figure by Mattel

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Sculpting - Trigon ****; Blue Devil, Cheetah ***1/2; Negative Man ***
We ended up with two horny guys in this wave, a first...at least as far as we can tell.

Trigon and Blue Devil are both sporting sharp protrusions from the skull, but Trigon's actually appear more like antlers than horns. I don't think he sheds them each year and grows a new pair but it does explain why he stays out of the woods on November 15th.

Coming in at more than 9" tall with his antlers, Trigon is truly impressive. I love the six eyes, and even the open mouthed expression (which is usually very low on my list) works well with this character. There's a ton of detail in the wrinkling around the eyes, the strands of the hair, and even the strap around his chest. With this figure and Darkseid already out and several more to come, it's going to be a tough year to pick the best CnC.

It's not just the horny heads that Blue Devil and Trigon have in common - it's the Spock-like pointed ears. Blue Devil looks the part of the classic character of the underworld AND the classic character of the comic books. While there's less detail here than on Trigon, his sculpt is still extremely well done.

DCUC Trigon action figure by Mattel

It's a testament to just how good the Four Horsemen are that both Blue Devil and Negative Man are on the same base body, and yet look nothing alike. Negative Man has even less detail, since his costume lacks the extra accouterments of Blue Devil's, but the bandaged head, neck and hands look great. He does include  some finely sculpted detailing on the belt.

Some folks don't like the DCUC female body, but I'm not generally one of those. Yes, the proportions are a bit wonky, especially the long thin legs, and on certain characters (like Mary Batson) it hurts the final appearance. But on someone like Cheetah, especially Cheetah in this old school skin tight outfit, I think it works just fine.

It also helps that she has a very pretty face, and it's not just the same pretty face we've seen on other female characters. They've given her a distinct personality, with a rounder shape to the face, button nose, and slightly smaller lips. The expression is just about as perfect as you can get too - sly and cunning, you know she's trouble, but you wouldn't be able to say no.

While the male bodies match up exactly with the previous buff males, Cheetah is on the smaller female body. That means characters like Wonder Woman will be larger than she is, as they should be.

DCUC Cheetah action figure by Mattel

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Paint - Blue Devil, Cheetah ***1/2; Trigon, Negative Man ***
There's a bit more color and detail in some of these, and I'm all for that.

Cheetah looks terrific in this Super Friends style outfit. The spot pattern is random...but not quite, much like the real deal on her cat cousins. There's some shading and shadowing airbrushed in, which adds some nice depth to the otherwise smooth uniform. I'm not sure if I'm sold on the airbrushing around the eyes, where they've darkened her skin, but it's growing on me.

The rest of the work on her face, especially the eyes and lips, is excellent and compliments the attractive head sculpt from the Four Horsemen.

Negative Man displays the most slop of the bunch, although it's not extreme. There's a bit of an issue on the belt, especially around the buckle, but his biggest paint issue is simply that it's boring, particularly when compared to other figures in the line. There's some good sculpt detail in the bandages and belt as I mentioned in the previous section, but the paint application doesn't do much to bring this out.

One nice touch on NM is the eyes and mouth, which are painted a darker color to give them some depth. They could have skimped here and skipped this touch, but thankfully they didn't - in person it really adds a lot to the figure.

Blue Devil might be a bit on the gaudy side, but it's a good look for him. He's in his classic bright colors, including the light blue skin.

He has a ton of detail work, from the horns to his teeth, and there's only a little slop here and there. The eyebrows and beard could have a slightly cleaner edge, but it's only those sort of very minor problems. However, they tried to add some darker color to the yellow areas, probably to break up the naturally toy-ish nature of the color, but it ends up looking like streaks in the paint. It gives it an inconsistent look that doesn't match up with the other areas of the uniform.

There's also a slight difference in the tone of the yellow on the hard plastic color and the softer areas of the body. These are pretty minor issues, and I have to say that of the regular release figures Blue Devil is my overall favorite, largely because of the bright color scheme.

Like Negative Man, Trigon displays a bit more of the obvious slop. Being a much larger figure, even a small amount of slop tends to stick out more, especially in person. Most of these issues are around the teeth and the upper arm band on his left side. His eyebrows are a slightly different color than his hair as well, which he should discuss with his stylist. His most crucial element - his many eyes - are very clean and straight.

DCUC Negative Man action figure by Mattel

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Articulation - ***1/2
Probably no big surprise here, since these figures are all based off the same basic body design we've seen repeatedly over the last 12 waves.

Cheetah has the usual ball jointed neck, but due to the way the head is cut high in back, it has more tilt action than some other recent releases. That's a huge plus in my book.

She also has the usual pin/disc ball jointed shoulders with the bicep joint, pin elbows ankles and knees, cut wrists, waist and thighs, ab crunch, and hinged hips. Sadly, her tail is not articulated, but all the other joints were tight, well built, and had a good range of movement.

It's also worth noting that the small canister bracelet on her left wrist is a separate piece, which allows it to rotate.

Negative Man and Blue Devil are identical, since as I mentioned in the sculpt section they have the identical base body. Unlike Cheetah though, their neck joints are severely restricted: Negative Man by the extra bandages wrapped around his throat, and Blue Devil by his high funky collar.

All of them stand great on their own, but Negative Man does have that warped left knee due to the package.

DCUC Negative Man action figure by Mattel

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Accessories - Trigon ***1/2; Blue Devil ***; Negative Man , Cheetah **
I'm grading these without the Collect and Connect piece again, since it's easy enough to boost the scores by a half star all around if you (like me) want the Trigon figure.

But if you're just looking to pick up specific characters, than the CnC pieces are pretty useless. Since Cheetah and Negative Man have nothing else but the small button, they get the lowest score.

Even though they only have the pin back style button, I have to admit I really like these things. Each is specific to the character, and I think that if you had 50 of these up on a cork board, it would be a pretty damn cool display. Or all over your SDCC hat, if you prefer.

Blue Devil adds in another accessory, and a fairly large one at that - a staff. At 7 1/2" long it's bigger than average, but not quite up to the 9 incher that Trigon has. Speaking of Trigon's staff (which sounds wrong on so many levels), it has a dragon/gargoyle sort of topper, with a long tail that wraps around the staff much of the way down. 

Both of these are cast in their respective colors - white and gold - but the topper on Negative Man's staff doesn't quite match the color of the shaft. That's probably because of the difference in density and thus the properties of absorption of the hard plastic in the shaft and the softer, rubbery topper. 

Trigon gets a good score here not just because of one accessory, but because he has two. Having any accessory is a big plus for a CnC, so getting two is just plain awesome sauce.

He also has a removable white cape, complete with high plastic collar. The cape looks great, and even includes a wire frame in the outside edge, making it possible to pose! That's a nice touch when we see it in high end sixth scale figures - it's outstanding in a CnC figure.

DCUC Cheetah action figure by Mattel

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DCUC Trigon action figure by Mattel

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Fun Factor - ****
These figures are GREAT toys. Good articulation, great sculpts, cool characters - if you know a kid that's into the DC Universe in a big way, these are perfect for them. While it's a 'collectors line', it hasn't lost sight of its roots.

DCUC Cheetah action figure by Mattel

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Value - **
It's hard to justify a $15 price tag  on a 6 - 7" scale figure, no doubt about it. Even if you're looking to build Trigon, buying the entire wave is a tough sell. I fear that with more and more obscure characters showing up in every wave, Mattel will have a tough time selling enough at this price point to justify the line's existence. I'm hopeful that won't happen before we see some of the heavy hitters that are still missing (Martian Manhunter, anyone?), but it's still a concern.

DCUC Blue Devil action figure by Mattel

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Things to Watch Out For -
If you have the opportunity to pick these off the shelf, always look for the best paint, and also pay extra attention to how the figure is sitting in the tray. If the legs look bent at an odd angle, odds are the knee pins will have issues.

DCUC Trigon action figure by Mattel

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Overall - Trigon, Blue Devil, Cheetah ***1/2; Negative Man ***
I really, really like Trigon, and if it weren't for some minor paint issues he would have pulled four stars. As much as I like Darkseid, Trigon is my top contender right now for best BAF of the year.

Cheetah is also extremely good all around. They could have lightened up a bit on the dark color around the eyes and cheeks, but she has a very beautiful head sculpt, and the body poses quite well. I don't like the modern version as much, but this classic look suits the DCUC style quite well. Or maybe it's just her tail - I've always been a tail man.

I' don't want to be Negative, Man, but he's just a tad boring for me. Not being a big fan of the character in the first place, the Invisible Man style wrappings and rather plain outfit don't speak to me like some of the other B characters in the series. He's not a bad figure, just not an exciting one.

Looking at the entire wave of 7, I have to say that Blue Devil is my favorite of the actual figures. Trigon is better overall, but then again, he's the CnC. Blue Devil pulls off the old school Satanic look perfectly, and with the bright colors he adds quite a bit of pop to the overall DCUC display.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging -***
Sculpting - Trigon ****; Blue Devil, Cheetah ***1/2; Negative Man ***;
Paint - Blue Devil, Cheetah ***1/2; Trigon, Negative Man ***;
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Trigon ***1/2; Blue Devil ***; Negative Man , Cheetah **
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **
Overall - Blue Devil, Trigon, Cheetah ***1/2; Negative Man ***

DCUC Trigon, Negative Man, Blue Devil, Cheetah action figure by Mattel

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Where to Buy 
These are hitting retailers right now. Online options include these site sponsors:

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

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

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

- I hit up the first half of wave 13 a couple weeks ago.

- 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.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page for lots of reviews of earlier figures that are similar to DCUC, and in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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DCUC Trigon action figure by Mattel

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

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