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DC Universe Classics - Green Lantern Wave 1
Kyle Rayner, Black Hand, and Mongul

Green Lantern Kyle Raynor action figure by Mattel


2011 is looking to be the year of Green Lantern - at least for those of us in the Geek Club. With the movie coming out, there will be all kinds of action figures, toys, games, etc. etc. etc. Jumping in early is Mattel with their line of "DC Universe Classics - Green Lantern". These figures are done in the same style as the usual DC Universe Classics, with a few minor differences, and they are starting back at wave 1 as a separate series.

This first wave has just started shipping, and includes Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern, Mongul, Black Hand (all reviewed tonight), Black Lantern Abin Sur, Manhunter, and in one pack, the Sinestro Corps Low and Maash. They manage that by including two heads and two hands, although you have to buy another figure if you want both on the shelf at the same time.

There's also a Collect and Connect figure of Arkillo. They've already announced a second wave for the spring, and they'll be further exploiting the concept of using multiple heads and hands to give us a wide variety of Corps characters.

These cost around $16 at online retailers, and should be slightly cheaper at mass market stores.
Green Lantern Black Hand action figure by Mattel
Green Lantern Kyle Raynor action figure by Mattel
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Green Lantern Mongul action figure by Mattel
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Green Lantern Kyle Raynor action figure by Mattel
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Green Lantern Black Hand action figure by Mattel
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Green Lantern Mongul action figure by Mattel
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Green Lantern Kyle Raynor action figure by Mattel
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Green Lantern Black Hand action figure by Mattel
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Green Lantern Mongul action figure by Mattel
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Green Lantern action figures by Mattel
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Green Lantern action figures by Mattel

Packaging - ***
The package is quite similar to the current DC Universe Classics bubble/cardback combo, but is slightly taller. Obviously the graphics are Green Lantern themed, but the overall style will fit in well if you're a MOCer that likes to display your collection. I haven't had any issues yet with the interior tray causing warpage of the knees or ankles, a common problem with recent DCUC series.

Sculpting - ***1/2
All three of these look terrific, with very detailed sculpts. These are done in scale with the rest of the DCUC.

This is not the first time we've seen Mongul. We got this exact same figure back in the pre-DCUC days when the line was just called DC Super Heroes, a good three years ago. I will admit that they've made a few very minor detail changes, but these are so incidental that most folks won't notice them. This was a four star outstanding sculpt back in 2007, but let's be honest - we've come to expect this quality in the series. He's still a great sculpt, but he's not quite as impressive the second time around. I feel like I got re-gifted.

Kyle has the fairly standard DCUC body, with a new head sculpt (although this might be the same one as in the 5 pack - I don't have one handy to confirm. Considering all the general re-use through the line, I wouldn't be surprised). It's quite nice, and the detail work in the hair is very well done. His hands are sculpted to work with his accessories as well.

Black Hand has a terrific head sculpt, with mummified skin and deathly expression. There's a ton of detail in the uniform, but the heavy rubbery cape makes standing in some poses a pretty tough sell.

Paint - ***
While I really like the sculpting on these figures, the paint work isn't quite as exemplary.

Kyle is probably the best of the bunch, and the eyes and hair are very clean. There's less slop on his uniform, although there's still some fuzziness to the cut lines between the green and black. He's wearing the more modern outfit with the symbol on the breast instead of in the center of the chest, and I'm not a particular fan of that look. 

I love the blue highlights in the hair, and the metallic green mask looks great...until you realize that none of the rest of the green of the costume is metallic. While I'm all for using different finishes to highlight similar colors, this time the metallic look clashes with the rest of the costume.

Mongul and Black Hand aren't quite as neat. There's a fair share of slop, especially with small details and cut lines. Don't get me wrong - there's nothing atrocious here. It's solid B work, and pretty much in line with other decent mass market releases. But it's not at the level of higher quality collector figures that we've seen from other companies and even Mattel themselves when their on their game.

Articulation - ***1/2
While the bodies and articulation is very similar to the DC Universe Classics line, there is a very notable difference with Black Hand.

Like their cousins, these figures have the ball jointed neck. For the most part though, the sculpt inhibits any tilt action. A little more mobility in this joint would go a long way to improving the overall articulation, especially with Black Hand.

There's also ball jointed shoulders and cut biceps, as well as cut wrists, an ab crunch and cut waist, cut thighs, and pin ankles. Of course, they have the trademark hinge style hips as well. Add in single pin knees and elbows on Kyle and Mongul, and you have figures that are pretty much identical to other DCUC figures.

Black Hand takes a bit of a detour on those two joints though, as he has double pin elbows and knees. This allows for deeper knee and elbow bends, and actually allows Black Hand to take reasonable kneeling poses.

Some of the joints were stuck, most likely because of the paint not quite being dry when they were packed. The pins are a little weak on some of these (especially the knees and ankles), so take some care breaking them free. You can always resort to the old freezer trick if all else fails.

Accessories - Kyle ***; Black Hand, Mongul **
If you're looking to build Arkilla, then the Collect and Connect parts that come with Black Hand and Mongul are critical. If not, then you're getting pretty much a goose egg with these two.

That's not completely true. You do get a pair of 3-D Green Lantern 'glasses' (a little mask) that you can use with the online game. Yea, pretty much a goose egg.

Kyle goes one further by including two solid accessories. First is his actual lantern, done up modern style. He can carry it in his left hand quite easily.

He also has a weapon created from the ring, which is pretty common for any Green Lantern action figure, but this time it's a not quite so common bad ass sword. The green enlarged fist fits over his actual hand, and stays in place pretty well.

Fun Factor - ****
Just like the other DC Universe Classics, these are great action figures. Solid articulation, great sculpts, decent mass market paint - this is how all action figures should be. And with the Green Lantern movie hitting next summer, he's going to become a much better known superhero with the under 12 crowd.

Value - **
Sadly, as much as I like these, I still have a very tough time justifying the $16 or $17 a pop price tag. Once these guys went past $12 or so, we were paying more than we should. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll see a return to those prices any time soon.

Things to Watch Out For -
Take some care when you're first breaking the joints loose. I had a few paint stuck, and the pins are softer here than with something like the Masters of the Universe Classics, and therefore more prone to ripping.

Overall - Kyle ***1/2; Mongul, Black Hand ***
Of these three, Kyle as the Green Lantern is my easy favorite. He's a great looking figure with some useful accessories, and he fits in nicely with the other Green Lantern figures from past DC Universe Classics waves.

I'd like Mongul a lot better if I didn't already have him, and if he wasn't a whopping $16 or so. Same thing for Black Hand, another very well done figure, but with no real accessories, the price point is might hard to swallow.

Next week I'll cover the other three, plus the Collect and Connect Arkillo, who is a mighty fine figure himself.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Kyle ***; Mongul, Black Hand **
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **
Overall - Kyle ***1/2; Mongul, Black Hand ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Mike's Comics N Stuff has them for $16.50 each.

- Big Bad Toy Store has them for $17 each, or $90 for the set of 6.

- Entertainment Earth has them for $17 each.

- Things From Another World has them for $18 each.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered plenty of DCUC figures in the past:

- I haven't started on wave 14 yet (I only have half the wave so far), but I finished off wave 15 in two parts, one here and one here.

- 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.

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Green Lantern action figures by Mattel


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

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