DC Infinite Heroes Two Packs
Two Gotham Cops, Commissioner Gordon, Flash,
Mirror Master and Weather Wizard

Mattel continues to expand their DC Universe, moving to a fourth scale - 3 3/4".  This is a very popular size these days, particularly with the price of raw materials rising exponentially.  Mattel is jumping in to the line (called "Infinite Heroes") with both feet, releasing 9 single packed characters and another 6 in two boxed sets of 3 each.  That's way too many figures to look at in a single review, so tonight I'm starting out with the two boxed sets.

These boxed sets are part of the 'Crisis' series, with Commissioner Gordon and two S.W.A.T. Officers from the GPD in one, and Flash, Mirror Master and Weather Wizard in the second.  These sets retail for around $10 each, and I found them first at Target.

Packaging - ***
I like the overall colors and logo for the DCU lines, although the design is a bit retro.  The boxes themselves are even collector friendly - just cut a couple pieces of tape on the bottom flap, slide out the tray, and pop out the figures, no damage, no fuss, no problems.

The one aspect of the packaging that does puzzle me is the grasping hand in the background, which is also used on the single carded figures.  Yes, it ties in with the marketing catch phrase "An Army of Heroes Within Your Grasp!", but still looks more like some kind of funky giant villain reaching down to crush them.  I'm not sure this is the strongest marketing angle to use, and in fact most kids will probably not even notice.  Not being noticed is not a good thing for a marketing approach.

Sculpting - ***
Early versions of these left me a bit cold, but the production figures are quite nice.

The size is just about 3 3/4" across the line, so they fit in fairly well with other figures in that approximate scale, including some of the new Batman movie figures.  For example, Gordon looks fine with Batman, but the ridiculously oversized Joker Henchmen in the new movie line is too tall period, even for other figures in his own line.  They also look pretty good with Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Hellboy, if you should feel the need for the Flash to hang with Red.

However, these aren't quite as detailed as some of the other lines in this scale.  For example, the new Hellboy figures from Mezco would blow these away in this category, and even Hasbro's lines are a bit more detailed.  But the work here is certainly sufficient, particularly for the costumed characters.

The proportions are all very good, with the exception of the hands.  For some reason, they decided to go with oversized paws on most of these, making them a bit more cartoony than they needed to be.  These same hands hold the accessories well though (the few that are here), so that's a plus.

Other proportions of various areas, like Gordon's glasses and tie, or the Flash's wings, are quite well done, particularly for this small scale.

The sculpt works pretty well with the articulation too, and all of the figures stand fine on their own in limited poses.  And in case you were wondering, yes, the two cops are the identical sculpt.

All that being said, my biggest complaint in this category is the sheer number of visible mold lines.  They tend to stand out on their hands, their legs, their jackets, just about every where.

Paint - Gordon ***1/2; Flash; SWAT; Weather Wizard ***; Mirror Master **1/2
This was the one category where I saw a bit of variety across the line.  Some of the figures came out with almost no slop, like Gordon.  He still has a few wavy cut lines, but for the most part, the applied paint looks very good.

On the opposite side of the mirror is, ironically, Mirror Master.  He has quite a bit of slop, poorly defined cut lines, and even errant paint marks.

In the middle is Flash, the SWAT cops and the Wizard.  The paint work is good for a mass market figure, but not outstanding.  This is probably not character specific, and the issues on mine could show up on any particular character you buy...or not.  It's that type of inconsistency that can drive you nuts.

The cops sport the identical paint job as well.  They are twins all around as far as I can tell.

Articulation - **1/2
All the figures have the exact same articulation - cut neck, ball jointed shoulders (pin/post style), pin elbows, cut waist, pin knees and 'T' hips.

The upper body articulation, including the cut waist, is fairly useful.  Adding in cut wrists and switching to a ball neck would have been nice, and would have added quite a bit of potential, but most folks will be satisfied with what's here.

Below the waist, they're a disappointment.  Your girlfriend knows the feeling all too well.  The pin knees really don't do much with the T hips - you have to have ball jointed hips for them to do much in the way of posing.  This is a great example of adding articulation without doing much for the PP factor, or 'posing potential'.

It's worth noting that all the joints are quite well made with very solid pins.  They should be able to handle rough play, perfect for little fans of B-list DC characters.

Accessories - SWAT **1/2; Gordon, Flash, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard Bupkis
Accessories are clearly not the hallmark of this series.  Most of the single carded and boxed figures come with absolutely nothing, even when something was obvious (like a gun for Gordon).

The only exception here is the two identical SWAT cops, who come with identical accessories - a gun and a baton.  The baton is held in place on their belt in the package with a rubber band, but be careful once it's removed - they fall off extremely easily.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
While these have their share of minor faults, they are actually great toys for kids.  Of course, that's if kids have any idea who they are.  None of the big guns are present in this line - no Supes or Batman or Joker, etc.  The character choices seem more geared to adult collectors, but the style itself can provide plenty of play value.

Value - ***1/2
At $5 each for the single carded figures and just $10 for the three packs, these are about the best value out there right now.  Accessories would be nice, but the price point is even nicer.

Things To Watch Out For
Those paint ops.  You'll probably be able to pick from several of any of these sets and figures, so take your time and get the best you can.

Also, keep track of the cop batons.  They are quite small, and they fall off the belt at the lightest touch.

Overall - ***
If we'd gotten an accessory or two with some of these figures, particularly Gordon, another half star might have very well been possible.  They are certainly fun little toys, and both the sculpts and paint work are much better here than what we've generally seen with the Dark Knight 3 3/4" line.  I'm certainly sucked in, but then I'm a DC kind of guy.

Hasbro has also announced plans for a similarly sized Marvel line, so you might be able to have the Flash face off against Spider-man in the very near future.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - Gordon ***1/2; Flash; SWAT; Weather Wizard ***; Mirror Master **1/2
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - SWAT **1/2; Gordon, Flash, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
You're best bet is Target right now.

Related Links -
If you like this scale, check out:

- this recent review of a couple of the Dark Knight figures, as well as the new Hellboy from Mezco.

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

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Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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