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Review of El Dorado, Black Vulcan, Captain Boomerang, Apache Chief
DC Universe Classics Wave 18 action figures

Mattel
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.25 out of 4

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DCUC Wave 18 action figures by Mattel

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Introduction

Last week, I covered the first half of the DC Universe Classics wave 18, and tonight I'm wrapping it up with a look at Black Vulcan, El Dorado, Captain Boomerang, and the Collect and Connect figure of Apache Chief.

While people have oft complained that comics are not ethnically diverse enough, they can't say that about this wave. That is because the old Super Friends cartoon added quite a few characters for the specific purpose of bringing a bit more racial diversity to the show. Since this wave is a largely a Super Friends wave, that same situation is reflected here.

If you don't recognize Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, or El Dorado, then you aren't a Super Friends fan. All three were characters on the show, and Apache Chief regularly battled Giganta, a character that has already gotten the DCUC treatment.

Captain Boomerang is another of the Suicide Squad, the perfect match for the Bronze Tiger also in this wave.

These are just hitting retail, and you'll find them at online retailers first. You can find them in the $16 - $20 range, depending on the seller. Wave 18 is also hitting, making it a very expensive time right now for fans of the line.

DCUC Wave 18 action figures by Mattel

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Packaging - ***
These are the same packages as we've seen with the last couple waves, but I had less trouble with the inner trays causing warpage in the joints. The only figure to have any issue was Black Vulcan. The 'action pose' inside the tray caused some issues with one ankle, but a little hot water/ cold water bath fixed him up.

DCUC Wave 18 action figures by Mattel

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Sculpting - Black Vulcan ***; the rest ***1/2
These are the sort of figures that fans of the specific characters will love - and non-fans will find baffling.

For me, the best looking of this bunch is Captain Boomerang, but that's because of the excellent detail work on his face, including the textured beard. He also has a great cocky expression, just right for the character. The soft rubber coat doesn't interfere with the articulation as much as you might expect, and the hands hold the boomerang fairly well.

On the other end is Black Vulcan, a pretty boring figure, at least in terms of sculpt. From the neck down, he's just the standard smooth body with painted details. The head sculpt is fairly generic, and the cowl 'ears' are very soft.

In the middle is Apache Chief and El Dorado. Both have some nice sculpting detail on their costumes, and the head sculpts are very unique. The strands of hair are finely defined on both, and I like the strong but not extreme expressions.

Everyone stands great on their own of course, and they all have appropriate hand sculpts. Apache Chief comes in at 9", which is a little small for a Collect and Connect figure. But since Apache Chief can be any size he wants, it's hard to argue with the choice.

DCUC Wave 18 action figures by Mattel

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Paint - Black Vulcan **1/2; the rest ***1/2
The quality of the paint work on 3 of the 4 figures here is well above average, and once again my favorite is Captain Boomerang. His eyes aren't quite perfect (the pupils are a tad large), and there's a blurry line here and there, but the facial hair looks terrific, and I love the use of the high gloss black on the gloves and boots.

Apache Chief and El Dorado are also quite nice, with clean cut lines and consistent colors. There's not as much small detail work as on the good Captain, but what is here is quite clean.

Poor Black Vulcan gets the short end of the stick again, and it's due largely to the sloppy, fuzzy lines of his costume.Yellow, black and red are always tough colors to work with, but that doesn't excuse the less than stellar quality.

DCUC Wave 18 action figures by Mattel

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Articulation - ***1/2
All of these figures have 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. The necks have pretty good tilt and lean action, and the costumes don't restrict the posing too much.

These bodies flow naturally, much more so than most mass market figures in this scale. It's not the sheer number of joints, but the design that allows it.

DCUC Wave 18 action figures by Mattel

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Accessories - Black Vulcan ***; Captain Boomerang, El Dorado **1/2; Apache Chief Bupkis
Each of these comes with a Collect and Connect piece to build the Apache Chief - arms, legs, head, torso...the usual. The only figure that comes with nothing is the Chief himself, but that's not a surprise. Since his parts are accessories, I wasn't expecting any additional accessories for him, although it wouldn't be unprecedented.

El Dorado only has the Collect and Connect figure, which is always a disappointment for me. But the dear Captain has one boomerang, and yet gets the same disappointing score...that's because this is the wimpiest piece of plastic I've ever seen. Seriously, it's like paper. As cheap as this thing is, the least they could have done is throw in a second one.

Black Vulcan actually gets the best score here, and it's not like he has the greatest goodies. He has two energy flames that fit nicely around his hands, and the fiery translucent plastic looks great. Appropriate, but not exceptionally exciting.

DCUC Wave 18 action figures by Mattel

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
Great articulation combined with great sculpts and largely great paint make these fun toys. I can only imagine what it would be like if a big budget licensed line - like Captain America or Thor - got this good of treatment in this scale.

DCUC Wave 18 action figures by Mattel

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Value - **
With a dearth of accessories on these 4, the value is definitely weak. The higher price has been a killer in general, but without many extras, it's even tougher to take.

DCUC Wave 18 action figures by Mattel

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - Captain Boomerang, Apache Chief ***1/2; El Dorado, Black Vulcan ***
Captain Boomerang is my favorite of this set of four, largely due to his nifty head sculpt and paint job. I'm going to have to find a better boomerang, but sticking him with the rest of the Suicide Squad is going to be great.

Apache Chief is excellent as well, just not quite as personally exciting. But if you're a Super Friends fan, you'll be very happy to have him.

El Dorado and Black Vulcan are important to help round out the Super Friends display, and while they have their minor issues, they are both reasonable in quality.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting -  Black Vulcan ***; the rest ***1/2
Paint - Black Vulcan **1/2; the rest ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Black Vulcan ***; Captain Boomerang, El Dorado **1/2; Apache Chief Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - Captain Boomerang, Apache Chief ***1/2; El Dorado, Black Vulcan ***

DCUC Wave 18 action figures by Mattel

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has the set of 6 for $100, or the singles for $17.

- Entertainment Earth has the singles for $18.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

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

- Last week I covered part 1 of this series as well as part 1 of wave 17.

- 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.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page for the many other DCUC reviews before that and in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

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

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DCUC Wave 18 action figures 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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