Packaging - ***1/2
If you picked up series one, you've seen this packaging before. It's very
attractive, with a nice retro feel, that captures the atmosphere of the
books. It's not particularly sturdy though, and it's likely to get
smooshed easily. It's slightly collector friendly, if you can ignore the
million twist ties.
Sculpting - Shazam ****; Red Robin ***1/2; Batman ***; Kid Flash **1/2
Not surprisingly, the line has a real winner, and a dog. Okay, she's
not a complete dog, but she's not nearly as nice as the rest of the line.
Shazam - aka Captain Marvel - looks fantastic. The sculpt on the body
and head is excellent, and I love how they captured the age in his face, but you
still know just who it is. The expression is pure Marvel, and he reminds
me of the Golden Age of comics.
His pose is also dynamic without being excessive, and of the entire set he's
clearly my favorite.
On the opposite end of the scale is Kid Flash. I have to admit that the
character design was pretty dull to begin with, and the work here has done
anything to improve on it. She's in another of the female "can't
stand without a base" poses, with her jacket slipping off her right
shoulder. Is she getting home after a long day, or impressing us with how
fast she can take her clothes off? Her expression is, well, fairly
expressionless, and overall it's a bland looking figure.
In between are Red Robin and Batman. I don't particularly like the
Batman design from the comics either - the only one of the big guns that I
didn't like - but I have to admit that they did a great job with it. It
has plenty of detail, and its only real problem is with standing on his
own. You'll have to play around a bit with the limited articulation to
find the sweet spot. Perhaps if they hadn't sculpted the legs in such a
wide, silly, lock kneed stance...
Red Robin is my second favorite character of the series, and his sculpt looks
terrific. While the character design is fairly basic, they've capture the
look, and added a realism that's pretty amazing. The determined look, the
set of the hands, and the straight pose, all work extremely well together.
Scale-wise, things seem okay, if not quite perfect. Supes is bigger
than Bats, about the same size as Marvel. Wonder Woman towers over Kid
Flash, and Red Robin is somewhere in between.
Paint - Kid Flash ***; the rest ***1/2
The best news is that the paint problems seem to be in the past. Maybe I
just got lucky, but I didn't work to pick these out - just took what the comic
shop guy handed me - and all four look much, much better than the previous set.
They still aren't perfect though. Kid Flash has some issues between the
yellow of her cowl, the red of her mask, and the flesh color of her lower
face. The gold on Red Robin's belt is a little sloppy. And Batman's
silver belt and backpack wasn't perfectly consistent. But overall it's a
vast improvement over the previous line, and certainly much better than average.
Articulation - Kid Flash **; Red Robin **1/2; Batman ***; Shazam ***1/2
The line isn't known for its articulation, but there's enough to avoid
getting slapped around too hard over it.
Kid Flash is the big disappointment again. She has neck, shoulders, and
hips. The jacket pose restricts the right shoulder a bit (although you can
pop it free from the jacket), and the leg pose makes the hips fairly useless.
Batman has a fair amount of articulation, with neck, shoulders, cut elbows,
wrists, hips, and one at mid-wing on both sides. He has that nagging issue
with standing though, and he has to lean back a bit to stay upright. The
wings work extremely well though, and are unlikely to break easily.
Red Robin has fairly average articulation, with neck, shoulders, hips and cut
elbows. It's enough to do some posing with the arms, and keep him standing
fine, but not enough to get an above average score.
Shazam is the big winner again, with neck, shoulders, cut elbows, hips and
cuts at the top of the boots. That's nothing amazing of course, but it
does give him some basic variety in his poses, and actually works the best with
his overall design.
Accessories - Batman, Shazam, Kid Flash **1/2; Red Robin Bupkis
Batman, Kid Flash and Shazam each have one accessory. Unfortunately
for Kid, hers is a lot less appealing than the other two. She comes with a
basic oval stand, necessary to keep her standing.
Batman comes with his long, pointy sharp thing. I don't remember if it
has a name, but you wouldn't want to find yourself on the wrong end. It
fits nicely in his right hand, and looks fine in basic black.
The white and gold cape of Shazam is removable, so I'm counting it as an
accessory. Considering it's also the most attractive and cool of the
paltry few accessories, it was important to give the line a boost.
Value - **
Fifteen bucks for a figure with basic articulation and really no accessories
is more than just a tad steep. These shouldn't be more than $8 - $10 each,
but I'm sure the low runs and limited distribution is the excuse. Still,
that means their value score takes the biggest hit.
Overall - Shazam ***1/2; Batman, Red Robin ***; Kid Flash **1/2
Perhaps if Shazam had been closer to ten bucks, he would have been a four
star figure. But at this price point, I couldn't find a way to justify
it. Red Robin is my second favorite of the set, and even Batman is better
work than the Green Lantern or Wonder Woman we were subjected to in the first
series (my WW has given up all hopes of standing any more, even with the
stand). Kid Flash does little for me, and if you're a fan but looking to
save cash, she's the one to skip.
Where to Buy -
I bought these from my local comic shop. He charged me about $13.50 each,
but that was because he was feeling generous. The normal price is $15. On-line options include:
- Alter Ego Comics has them for
only $12.50 each, and they are in stock. And if the DC Direct figures are
your thing, they have the new Batman: Hush figures still available for pre-order
for just $10 each! That's a darn good deal, but it is only open until
- If you missed out on the Kingdom Come Red Arrow figure, Killer
Toys has it in stock for $16 each.