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DC Universe Classics Wave 17 (Part 1)
White Lantern Hal Jordan, Sinestro Corps Scarecrow, Indigo Lantern Atom

Scarecrow DC Universe Classics dcuc wave 17 action figure by Mattel


As I mentioned earlier this week, both wave 17 and wave 18 of the DC Universe Classics are hitting right now. I started my look at wave 18 first, and now I'll switch over to cover the first half of wave 17.

While you could best characterize wave 18 as a Super Friends wave, wave 17 is all about the Blackest Night. If you're tired of the Green Lantern theme, than this is clearly not a wave for you.

The three figures I'll cover tonight are Sinestro Corps Scarecrow, Indigo Lantern Atom, and White Lantern Hal Jordan. That leaves Orange Lantern Lex Luthor, Blue Lantern Flash, and Violet Lantern Wonder Woman. Buy them all and put together the Collect and Connect Anti-Monitor.

As is becoming all too common, these figures run around $18 each. I haven't heard of any mass market retailers putting them out yet, but multiple online retailers have them in stock right now.

While the old school fans are more than familiar with the Green Lanterns, all these psychedelic colors may have you confused. Turns out, it's not just green that provides power to protect the universe, but all seven colors of the rainbow. Each color is part of the Emotional Spectrum, with each color representing a different emotion and power. And if this is starting to sound to you like some sort of New Age self-help book, you're not alone.

Obviously, green is will power, although it's just as obvious that this is a retrofit, since green is normally associated with envy. Indigo is compassion, Red is rage, Yellow is fear, Orange is avarice, Violet is love and Blue is hope.

All of this was explored and exploited in the Blackest Night storyline. These 'themed' waves are an interesting change of pace for Mattel, and are likely an experiment. In the past, they usually spread characters like this out over waves, mixing it up a bit with each series. Obviously, fans of any one theme would complain, since it might takes months or years to complete, if it ever did. But by creating an entire wave themed around a specific show or comic series, they open up the potential that non-fans will skip every figure, hurting the overall sales.
Scarecrow DC Universe Classics dcuc wave 17 action figure by Mattel
Scarecrow DC Universe Classics dcuc wave 17 action figure by Mattel
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White Lantern Hal Jordan DC Universe Classics dcuc wave 17 action figure by Mattel
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Indigo Lantern Atom DC Universe Classics dcuc wave 17 action figure by Mattel
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White Lantern Jordan DC Universe Classics dcuc wave 17 action figure by Mattel
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Scarecrow DC Universe Classics dcuc wave 17 action figure by Mattel
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Indigo Lantern Atom DC Universe Classics dcuc wave 17 action figure by Mattel
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DC Universe Classics dcuc wave 17 action figure by Mattel
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This particular experiment is flawed, however. While the success of these two waves might be a decent indication of whether the idea is good, their failure is probably not a useful indication that the idea is poor. That's because this is wave 17 and 18 of a long running series - there's only so much gas in any tank. Sales have certainly been declining over the last few waves despite the character selection. Add in the extremely high cost of these waves, and you have a whole lot of negative that will skew the experiment.

Packaging - ***
The biggest worry most collectors have with the packaging on the DC Universe Classics is around the inner tray. Since Mattel pre-poses the figures in the package for the MOCers, the legs and arms are always in odd positions. If the inner tray isn't just right, and if the figure isn't placed inside it perfectly, the joints on the limbs can be twisted and damaged. In extreme cases, the softer plastic of the lower limbs can even be warped at odd angles.

I can report that so far I haven't had that issue with either wave 17 or 18. Keep in mind that I'm only half way through opening each wave, but things are looking good at this point.

Sculpting - Scarecrow ***1/2; Atom ***; Hal **1/2
Both the Atom and Scarecrow sport a lot of nice detail work, although in general I'm more a fan of the overall appearance of the master of fear.

Scarecrow's head sculpt is excellent, right down to the garish stitching on the bag mouth. There's even a cloth like texture to both the mask and the hat, adding quite a bit to the overall impression of quality.

He's on the skinny body, and it works just fine for him, particularly since the more defined musculature of the torso is hidden quite a bit by the soft rubber coat.

He also has some very cool hand sculpts. They work with the lantern accessory, but are also great for all kinds of threatening and creepy poses.

The Atom looks good as well, with plenty of detail work on the rather flamboyant costume. He drops slightly in score from the Scarecrow because of the goofy oversized necklace (which makes him look pinheaded, although he's not) and oversized left hand.

The White Lantern Hal is pretty much the same as every other Hal from the neck down, at least in the sculpt department. The head is nicely detailed - and I love how they sculpted the masks on both the Atom and Hal, rather than just painting them on - but he has this awful grimace that isn't working for me no matter what the pose.

Paint - Atom ***1/2; Scarecrow, Hal ***
Both the Scarecrow and Hal come in at a pretty average place when it comes to the paint quality. There's some weak cut lines (like the tops of Scarecrow's yellow boots) and some places where color is slopped around a bit too freely (check out Hal's hair line, where the skin tone is riding up into the hair), but in general the work is about average.

The Atom has fewer problems that I could find, and he has the more complex (and colorful) outfit. Even the silver, traditionally a tough color to do consistently, looks great.

Articulation - ***1/2
Once again, there's all the usual articulation - ball jointed neck and shoulders, pin elbows, knees, and ankles, cut wrists, biceps, waist and thighs, hinged hips, and an ab-crunch. All the joints have a reasonable range of movement, but the necks are a little more restricted this time around. 

You can get some nice, natural poses though, and all the joints are tight and solid. I didn't have any weak pins, and nothing was warped out of the package.

The only variation to the standard articulation is on Scarecrow. Like Toyman, Scarecrow has the elongated body with the double pin elbows, but unlike Toyman, they went with double pin knees as well.

Accessories - Atom, Scarecrow ***; Hal **1/2
None of these three are heavily armed, but they do have a couple extras.

As you'd expect, there's the Collect and Connect piece for the Anti-Monitor. You know the drill by now - if you're looking to build the figure, great, if not, the dog has a new toy.

It's worth mentioning that the Hal is the figure that comes with the head and pelvis. That's usually the toughest figure to get any any series - since you need all the parts, I have no idea why the head is more difficult to come by than any other, but that does tend to be the case. Another factor might be that it seems Mattel likes to pick that figure for their variant, and that's the case again here. There's a black and a white lantern Hal, which means completists will be buying two of this figure, versus one of the others.

The Anti-Monitor parts are it for Hal, resulting in the lower score. Both Scarecrow and the Atom have one additional item.

The Atom comes with his Power Staff, which looks great in one or both hands. It's a fairly basic sculpt, but it matches up well with the comic counterpart.

The Scarecrow has his yellow lantern of course, nicely sculpted but fairly basic. It fits in either hand as well, and he can use it to full advantage in any number of poses.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Every DCUC figure is great fun - they are some of the best action figures on the market. The character selection may not always appeal to kids, but this wave has funky colors going for it, something that appeals to parents. Why? Because they don't pay attention to the actual characters, and instead make a split second decision based on appearance at the store. If little Johnny asks his mom for the White or Black Lightning Hal, her first reaction won't be "but you already have that one".

Value - **
I've said it several times now, and I'll be saying it several more in the next week - these are too expensive. $18 each is going to break this line, but it doesn't look like there's anyway Mattel is going to be able to avoid going off that cliff.

Things to Watch Out For -
I didn't have any issues with this set of three.

Overall - Scarecrow ***1/2; Atom ***; Hal **1/2
I think the winner of this whole wave, at least for me, is going to be the Sinestro Corps Scarecrow. I love the head sculpt, and the inclusion of the Lantern theme doesn't seem as awkward.

Atom is a eye catching character if nothing else. The huge funky necklace does tend to muck up his look a bit, but the Indian from the Village People would have killed for those boots and loincloth.

Finally, there's Hal, the stinker of the wave - at least for me. It's not like we haven't already gotten our share of Hal figures, and this one has the traditional "What smells?" head sculpt. Obviously you'll have to get him if you want to complete the Anti-Monitor, but he's not the pick of the litter.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Scarecrow ***1/2; Atom ***; Hal **1/2
Paint - Atom ***1/2; Scarecrow, Hal ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Atom, Scarecrow ***; Hal **1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - Scarecrow ***1/2; Atom ***; Hal **1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Mike's Comics N Stuff is where I snagged my set, where you can get the full set of 7 for $103, or the individuals for $17.

- Big Bad Toy Store has the set of 7 for $105, or the singles for $17.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
There's been a metric ton of DCUC figures over the last few years:

- just last week I started my look at wave 18.

- other recent reviews covered the new Green Lantern waves: wave 2 part 2 and part 1, and wave 1 part 2 and part 1.

- Series 16 was split up too, into part 1 and part 2.

- I finished off wave 15 in two parts, one here and one here.

- and wave 14 was also in part 1 and part 2.

- the SDCC Plastic Man was the previous review.

- I split the wave 13 up into two sections, part 1 and part 2.

- I covered half of wave 12, but it took awhile to pick up the second half.

- 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:
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Indigo Lantern Atom DC Universe Classics dcuc wave 17 action figure by Mattel


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

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