Packaging - ***1/2
I like this packaging more every wave. The graphics have a nice retro
feel, the bubbles and cardbacks tend to withstand peg wear well, and I
love the addition of personalized background info for each character.
Mass market packaging is rarely going to be as nice as
market packaging, but these come close.
Sculpting - Deathstroke
****; Green Lantern, Nightwing ***1/2; Robin ***; Sinestro
ago, the guy (or girl) at Mattel that decided to work with the Four
Horsemen hopefully got a promotion. And now, any guy (or
Mattel that suggests they end this relationship should have their head
placed on a pike outside corporate headquarters as a warning to others.
Deathstroke is a
fine example of the beauty that can be had in the DCU series. The
detail work on the 'scaled' areas of his costume is amazing, as are the
small belt pouches. Tiny details that could have been paint
alone, like the buckles or buttons, have been sculpted in.
whenever you can pull off a sculpt that actually makes me interested in
a character that I otherwise couldn't care less about...well, that's
talent. Some folks may find the boot tops too big, but I
they look terrific. Others may not like the size of the
but hey - he's got a big ass sword, and when you have a big ass sword,
you need a big ass scabbard (and all the ladies love ya). Deathstroke
stands (quite nicely on his own) at almost 6 1/4" tall.
favorite is a toss up between Nightwing and Green Lantern.
if these figures use the large superhero chest, and both stand just
over 6 1/4" tall. Both head sculpts are nicely done, but the
sculpts really set them apart. Considering the scale, the detail in the
hair is quite impressive.
Nightwing does have a bit of a
'do, but I think it works well on him, and the figure is a huge overall
improvement over the old DC Superheroes version. His hands
sculpted to hold his weapons but the fit is a little loose. Unlike the
13" version from DC
Direct, the cuffs on his boots and gloves are not ridiculously
oversized, though they do seem a bit high on his arms.
Like the small details on
Deathstroke, the ring on GL
could have simply been painted on, but instead is sculpted on his
finger. His other hand holds the lantern well, and both he and
Nightwing stand great on their own in plenty of poses. The sculpt does
not overtly interfere with the articulation in any way.
not as eye popping as the other three, is Robin.
There's still plenty of detail of course, but there's a few
issues as well.
Robin is a bit of a sticky
wicket. I like the head sculpt, and
the hair is once again very well done. Small details on the
like the buckles and pouches, look terrific, and I like the use of the
much smaller body (he stands just over 5 1/2" tall). But I
had enough issues with him to still be slightly disappointed.
The cape is sculpted
to run all the way up his neck to his jawline. It looks good
design, but in practice that means the ball jointed neck is no longer
usable. It also means that he looks like he has no neck at
his neck is quite short and just as wide as his head. This,
combined with the shorter body and thick chest make him look a tad
Another issue is around the
ankles (and actually the knees too).
these figures use a rather soft plastic, the joints and thinner areas
tend to warp. Robin is the smallest of the bunch, so this issue was the
greatest with him.
his left hand appears bigger than his right. You'd think it would be
the other way around. It actually looks like the left is
down to this new body, but the right is a hand that would be used on
one of the larger scale figures. It's not a huge difference,
but it is Weird, and mildly annoying.
obvious problem with Sinestro that's been beat to death, resuscitated,
and beat to death again, is his height. Clearly, he's too
small. In fact, it's not just that he's short, but that his
entire body, from his chest to his ankles, uses the smaller, thinner
body parts. This is NOT the Robin body, but rather an all new
body that comes in between Robin and the Heroes. Standing with the
other figures, Sinestro looks tiny.
He clocks in at 6 inches tall, but he looks much smaller
his entire body is scaled down.
I understand their desire to
make him a bit smaller than GL. Really,
I do. But perhaps a better idea was to keep a relatively similar height
but slim him down a bit. He does have custom potential (it's always
nice for customizers to get another scale body in any line), but he's
not going to be anyone's favorite out
this line up.
Paint - Deathstroke
***1/2; Nightwing, Sinestro ***; Green Lantern, Robin **1/2
Again leading the pack is Deathstroke, with the others falling in a
The Deathstroke has more
detailing than the majority of the rest of
this wave, and yet he has the least amount of slop. Go
I love the work on his scale material, and even the cut line
his face is pretty clean on extreme closeup. And yes, keep in mind that
the photos to the left are extreme closeups - you won't be able to see
nearly that level of detail in person, nor all the issues that go along
of the issues the other three figures have is around inconsistencies in
the paint or color on various body parts. This is clearly
different parts are made from varying densities of plastic.
harder and softer pieces tend to take the color in different ways.
This is most notable on Robin and Nightwing from the cut
joint down, at least in person, and at least for me.
With Deathstroke, this
isn't an issue.
It appears that for him, the slightly unusual color
his costume tends to mask the difference in finish. On the legs, Green
appears to have a coat of matte black added to his upper thighs to make
him look right. This additional paint op is something the
three really needed as well. Too bad this didn't help with
the green of his costume.
I can't really tell that the greens are different on GL in person, but
I suspect this is due largely to my color blindness around green - I
have a tough time telling different shades. I can clearly see
in photos though, where the light brings out the different colors so
well even Stevie Wonder could see it. I doubt GL's
differences will be as obvious
to anyone in person as they are in photos, but I showed the figure to a
couple folks and they could tell the difference.
The weird thing is that in
photos Robin doesn't look bad, but for me in person, he has the biggest
I suspect that's because his arms, torso, and legs have the
yellow background behind them (the interior of the cape), making the
differences in these various body parts that much more clear to the
nekkid eye. Robin's thighs are much darker and shinier than
lower legs, and his torso is also quite different than his arms.
This is quite noticeable in person, and is the kind of thing
screams 'mass market toy'.
Nightwing and Sinestro aren't
bad, probably because the black doesn't make it quite as obvious as the
red. It's still an issue for me, and they really could have
matte coat on their upper thighs, but I'll live.
do have a few slop issues though, although not as bad on mine as I've
seen in photos of other folk's figures. All the Deathstroke's
I've seen look pretty good, but there appears to be way too much
inconsistency in the paint application for the other four.
Articulation - Deathstroke, Green
Lantern, Nightwing ***1/2; Sinestro, Robin ***
If you're a fan of the line, you won't be surprised that they are well
articulated. They haven't gone insane here, but they've got almost
enough joints to be perfect.
sets the bar. He has a good ball jointed neck with a
range of movement, ball jointed shoulders with joints on both sides of
the ball, pin elbows and knees (with fairly sturdy pins), a cut waist,
cut wrists, cut thighs, ab-crunch chest, and even pin ankles.
thighs are an improvement over the double jointed thighs we've seen in
this line from the beginning. They've improved the
that not only do them move outward well, you can also bring the legs
together more closely than in the past. Gone is that goofy
stance we had forced on us with some of the wave 1 figures. Unless you
like that goofy wide stance.
only does he have plenty of joints, I was able to get very natural
looking and feeling poses out of him. The joints are well
engineered, and the boy hangs nicely.
Green Lantern and Nightwing
mirror this articulation as well as my experience with it. I
honestly don't think there's anything Mattel HAS to add,
although a half
foot pin wouldn't be terrible.
Sinestro and Robin suffer a bit
from the thinner joints, particularly at the knees. These pins seem
very soft to me, and I'm concerned with damage over time.
has the added problem of reduced mobility in the neck, which I
five figures would have scored a half star higher in this category, if
not for loose joints. While the amount and design of the
articulation pleases me, there were too many loose knees, ankles,
elbows, etc. to get the top scores.
Deathstroke ***1/2; Robin, Nightwing ***; Sinestro, GL **1/2
All of these figures contain a BAF part to build Solomon Grundy.
I have a separate category for him next, but suffice to say
if you want the Grundy, it's a great addition to each figure.
you don't, then the part doesn't add much to your overall appreciation.
case you were keeping score, Sinestro and GL come with legs, Robin and
Deathstroke come with arms, and Nightwing comes with the huge
For GL and Sinestro, their only
other accessory is
their specific lantern. While they are fairly basic, the
pretty good, the sculpt reasonably accurate, and they fit nicely in
their hands. The handles are also articulated, and turn where
they attach to the lantern body.
For Robin and Nightwing, there's
Nightwing comes with his two batons, and these fit either in
hands or in the holder on his back. The fit in his hands is a
loose, but they work pretty well on his back. Robin has a
as well as two identical batarangs. These are fairly soft
plastic, and I almost tore one taking him out of the package - take
Finally, there's Deathstroke.
He comes well armed,
with a large sword (which fits in his scabbard), a large staff (which
fits in the shoulder strap in back), a handgun (which fits in the
holster), and a machine gun (which can hang around his shoulders on
its strap). It's not just that he has all these goodies that makes me
that they have a home someplace on his person. I'm
impressed with how well the pistol/holster combo works, since in even
much larger scales it's often tough to get good working holsters.
Another point to note is that they could have cheaped out and
given both Robin and Deathstroke the same staff, but did not.
you could also rule the ammo belt/staff holder that wraps around
Deathstroke's shoulders as an accessory, since it's very easy to remove.
All the accessories use
a soft plastic, but it was the most annoying in the
case of the
machine gun. It was heavily warped by the package, and feels
you could rip it in half far too easily.
Grundy - ***1/2
Once you have all five figures, you can pop old Grundy together.
I've always thought Grundy was a cool villain, but then it's
probably his more zombie-like tendencies that attract me to him.
Grundy is awfully nice, although I do have two major issues.
sculpt is gorgeous, especially the work on the head and face, but he is
too large. GL is supposed to be about 6' 2" tall, and in a
inch scale this version is almost perfect at about 6 1/4".
is supposed to be a few inches over 8 feet tall, so in the same 6"
scale, he should be a bit over 8" tall, right around 8 1/4" in fact.
Instead, this Grundy is almost 9" tall, with all the bulk and
volume that goes with a figure that big. He dwarfs the other
figures, and would actually look much more at home with the DCD 7"
But if I'm given a choice
between too big and too
small, I'll pick too big any day. I'd include a male genitalia joke
here, but I've already used up my quota.
The other issue that is actually
of a problem for me is the paint work. Like the smaller
Mattel mixed and matched body parts that are dyed plastic vs painted
plastic. For example, Grundy's upper thighs and lower pant
are painted with brownish color to simulate dirt. But the
of his pants between the thigh cut and the knee joint is not, leaving
it much shinier and cleaner. Similar issues exist on the arms and torso
as well. These inconsistencies adversely effect what would otherwise be
a four star build-a-figure.
Fun Factor - ***1/2
If you have kids looking for fun action figures, these are them.
Figures like Deathstroke and Robin are perfect for kids (even
they have no idea who DS is), and Grundy makes a great villain in any
The only reason they didn't get
four stars is because of some of the slightly loose joints and weak
Deathstroke ***; Robin, Nightwing **1/2; GL, Sinestro **
At $11 each, they aren't cheap any more. And with figures like GL and
Sinestro, where the only add ins are the BAF parts and the lanterns,
you really are getting a weak value.
Robin and Nightwing add in a couple more accessories each, making them
at least an average value on today's market. Best of all,
Deathstroke has not one or two but FOUR weapons of personal
destruction, along with his BAF piece. How often do you get that many
accessories with a superhero (villain) these days at this price?
Things To Watch Out For
You'll always want the
best paint you can find of course, which might be tricky considering a)
Mattel's troubles with distribution and b) the wild inconsistency in
Once you manage to find them,
take some care as you're pulling them out of the trays, due to the soft
plastic of the accessories and
some of the knees.
Overall - Deathstroke
****; Nightwing ***1/2; Robin, Green
Lantern ***; Sinestro **1/2
This wave is a bit of a mixed bag, with one amazing figure bookended by
a couple pretty mediocre attempts.
is easily my favorite, although the character means almost nothing to
me. For that to happen, they really had to produce a winner,
from sculpt to articulation to accessories, I think they did.
Nightwing is damn close too.
Robin and GL would have ended up in this same
league had it not been for the inconsistencies in the suit colors and
weird right hand,
and if that's not something that bothers you, your overall appreciation
of these two is likely to be higher than mine.
poor Sinestro. Just like Deathstroke, he's not a character I
particularly excited about. But unlike Deathstroke, Mattel
nothing with the figure to change that attitude. I waffled
around a lot on Sinestro, but in the end he's likely to be the one most
folks end up passing on.
it's a solid wave, with one fantastic figure, a couple solid figures,
and a couple on the fence. At $11 a pop, Mattel needs to work
getting the QC issues eradicated.
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - Deathstroke
****; Green Lantern, Nightwing ***1/2; Robin ***; Sinestro
Paint - Deathstroke ***1/2; Nightwing, Sinestro ***; Green
Lantern, Robin **1/2
Articulation - Deathstroke, Green Lantern, Nightwing ***1/2;
Sinestro, Robin ***
Grundy - ***1/2
Accessories - Deathstroke ***1/2; Robin, Nightwing ***;
Sinestro, GL **1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - Deathstroke ***; Robin, Nightwing **1/2; GL, Sinestro
Overall - Deathstroke ****; Nightwing ***1/2;
Robin, Green Lantern ***; Sinestro **1/2
Where to Buy -
I found my set at Target, but some online retailers are carrying them
has the singles for pre-order at $17 each, and the variants at $20.
sells cases of 6 for $60.
- You can also use the
to search ebay.
Related Links -
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 what you're looking for. If you're
looking for reviews of some of the other
figures in the earlier series of DC Superheroes:
- 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
There's also the Batgirl and
Superman from the two packs.
- there's the guest review of series 3 Batman
- 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.
Want to chat about this review? Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be
Here's your chance to weigh in! Select your rating for this figure(s)
to the right. Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system
like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far. You
can only rate once from any particular IP. It's a little
tougher to do a straight comparison here with one overall score, since
figures scored in a wider range, but if I were forced to grade this
wave as a single entity, I'd go *** out of **** overall, so for
comparison, my Overall Score adjusted to a five star system would
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