DC Universe Classics Wave 14 - Part 1
Hourman, Kamandi, Zatanna and Gold

Gold DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel

Wave 14 of the DC Universe Classics figures is a Wal-mart exclusive, and that means that distribution has been widely inconsistent, and wave 15 hit well in advance.

My local store is finally starting to put these out in dribbles (every day I go, I find one or two more), so I'm not quite ready to do the full set, but I thought I'd get started tonight with Gold, Hourman, Zatanna, and Kamandi. Later this week - hopefully - I'll finish up with Tyr, Green Lantern (old school), and Todd Rice, plus a look at the Collect and Connect figure, Ultra-Humanite.

As I said, these are a Walmart exclusive, and run about $15. If you haven't seen them at your local store yet, be patient - mine is only putting out a few here and there because they still have far too many on the peg from previous waves. I've heard of some stores putting out entire end caps, so it looks like production on these is pretty high.
Hourman DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel
Hourman DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel
Kamandi DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel
Gold DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel
Zatanna DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel
Hourman DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel
Gold DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel
Zatanna DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel
Kamandi DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel
DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel
Hourman DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel
DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel

Packaging - ***
Same stuff - different wave. There's enough personalization here to keep it interesting and give you some key background info. The entire wave is pictured on the back, so you know what you're still looking for. With this being a Walmart wave, odds are pretty good you'll only find a few at a time, so the photos can be useful.

I had some trouble with the interior trays damaging the knees or elbows on the last series (actually the next series, numerically speaking), but this time around everyone was fine.

Sculpting - Gold ***1/2; Hourman, Kamandi ***; Zatanna **
Of the four, Gold is the easy winner for me. I'm not a huge fan of the elemental characters in general, but this rendition of Gold looks terrific, and is an excellent example how the standard base body can be used with just about any character with great effect.

His hands are sculpted in fists to allow the included accessories to fit over them. These transformed appendages flow extremely well with the forearm, at least if you're looking from the outer side of the body inward.

The breast plate tends to pooch out a bit at the belly, but this is because he's packed with a bend in his upper torso inside the plastic tray. Once he's out on his own for awhile, it should relax back against his body. If you're impatient, you can always use the hot bath/cold bath technique.

Zatanna is the big disappointment for me. She's simply not a pretty figure - the face is far too masculine, with the large chin and jaw. The hair looks goofy, more like a helmet than a do.

The fishnet stockings are the worst though, far too large and lumpy for this scale. The seam on the back is atrocious, and they tend to sag and bag - two words that are never good when used in reference to a woman.

Kamandi and Hourman are someplace in between. While Hourman is fairly basic, I do like the head sculpt and expression. The inclusion of the hourglass pendant is also a very nice touch, but the thick rubber cape tends to be a bit heavy for him.

Kamandi is not a character I have ever had a fondness for, and this figure doesn't do anything to alter that. The Daisy Dukes, big boots and long locks make him look like he's trying to hard to be June in the "Hunks of the DCU" calender.

The head sculpt and expression are good, but the goofy hair kills it. Again, like Zatanna, it looks like he's wearing a wavy helmet. His hands are sculpted to work with his several weapons, and he does stand great on his own.

Paint - Gold ***1/2; the rest ***
The paint work is pretty consistent across the series, with a little slop on some of the cut lines, but no major stand out issues.

The skin tones on the hands are a little gloppy, but in other areas it's not a problem.

There's a reasonable amount of detail work on some of the characters, like on Kamandi's belt, or Zatanna's buttons, but neither Hourman or Gold have much in the way of detail.

Gold scores slightly above the others because of the clean consistency of the finish on his gold paint. The metallic sparkle is there, and while he might not have much detail, the application of the main color was done exceedingly well.

Articulation - Gold ***1/2; Hourman, Kamandi ***; Zatanna **
No articulation surprises here, as long as you've bought some of the DC Universe Classics in the past.

There's a ball jointed neck, but for three of these four, it's a fairly moot joint. With the long hair on Kamandi and Zatanna, and the high collar on Hourman, none of them can do much beyond basic turning, and even that's a bit restricted. Gold can tilt a bit, which gives him a slight leg up on the others.

Hourman, Gold and Kamandi all have the standard male bodies with the usual articulation - ball jointed shoulders, hinged hips, cut biceps and thighs, pin elbows, knees and ankles, cut waist and wrists, and the ab-crunch chest. Zatanna has the usual female articulation, including the ball jointed shoulders, pin elbows, ankles and knees, biceps that turn, cut wrists and waist, ab-crunch, and hips.

The bodies pose well, with the exception of Zatanna. I couldn't get her to look right no matter what I tried, and the goofy stockings didn't help any. In this case it's not so much the number of joints, but my frustration in getting her to stand with any natural flow.

Accessories - Gold ***1/2; Kamandi; Zatanna ***; Hourman **1/2
All four figures come with two standard accessories - the little character pinback button, and the Ultra-Humanite part.

The buttons are cute, and I find them collectible in their own right, but I know some folks find them annoying. For me, there a huge improvement over any sort of paper extra, but not as good as an actual accessory for the figure.

The Ultra Humanite is a damn fine Collect and Connect figure, but I'll give a full review on him when I cover the final three figures. If you're looking to build him, then you'll need to buy all four of these.

That's it for Hourman, but the other three add in some additional goodies. Zatanna has her hat and wand. The wand is rubber banded into her left hand, and I decided to keep it that way. The hat brim can fit inside the specific right hand sculpt, but it isn't designed to fit on her head. Either she's holding it like Bullwinkle, ready to pull a rabbit out, or it's left in the accessory bag.

Kamandi comes with three different guns, and all of them can be held in his hands. There's a small pistol that can also fit inside the holster on his side, plus a futuristic looking blaster and a larger rifle. The plastic they've used is a bit soft, the paint is a bit lacking, but the number of accessories is at least reasonable.

Gold fairs best, although he only has two additional items. He has a right hand attachment shaped like a saw, complete with spinning blade, and a left hand attachment shaped like a large pick ax. Both of these are designed to fit over his sculpted hands and look like he has transformed his appendages into weapons, but the left one has a bit of a tendency to fall off. Still, they look terrific, and add quite a bit to his appearance on the shelf.

Fun Factor - ****
This is a great line when it comes to defining the term 'action figure'. Great sculpts, solid articulation, and a few good accessories add up to plenty of play potential. It still amazes me that Mattel can produce such excellent action figures in their collector's lines like DCUC and MOTUC, and yet such weak ones in the majority of their mass market kid's lines.

Value - **1/2
These are at $15 each at Walmart. Unfortunately, this is a pretty common price point right now in this scale, especially for a store exclusive.

Things to Watch Out For -
As always, you'll want to take care when breaking free any stuck joints. But for the most part, these are sturdy and well made, and can hold up to most play and posing.

Overall - Gold ***1/2; Hourman, Kamandi ***; Zatanna **1/2
To be honest, I'm picking up this wave largely to assemble Ultra-Humanite. None of these four do much for me as characters, although Gold is going to make a nice, colorful, bright addition to the shelf. And out of the other three, it's really only the old school Green Lantern that I'm looking forward to.

Still, this line is one of those situations where having them all together, standing side by side, is far more interesting and impressive than just having one here and one there. It's the depth and breadth of the series, along with the visual consistencies of the designs, that make this such a cool line to have, and to that end I'm glad I picked up the full series.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Gold ***1/2; Hourman, Kamandi ***; Zatanna **
Paint - ***
Articulation - Gold ***1/2; Hourman, Kamandi ***; Zatanna **
Accessories - Gold ***1/2; Kamandi, Zatanna ***; Hourman **1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - Gold ***1/2; Hourman, Kamandi ***; Zatanna **1/2

Where to Buy -
This wave is a Wal-mart exclusive, and they've been putting them out pretty regularly in some areas of the country. If you strike out at your local store, you can always search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I'll finish up this series later this week - hopefully. I still need to find Tyr and Todd Rice. Other DCUC figures include:

- I started the new GL wave 1 set with part 1 here, and part 2 coming later this week.

- 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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Hourman DC Universe Classics wave 14 action figure from Mattel

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

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