DC Universe Classics Series 1
Red Tornado, Orion and Element Man

Last week I covered what I'd found so far of the first series of DC Universe Classics - Batman, Penguin and Etrigan.  Tonight, I'm covering the rest, including Orion, Red Tornado and the BAF, Metamor...uh, I mean Element Man aka Rex Mason.

These are popping up at Target and Toys R Us stores right now, and there are actually two variants as well.  There's a modern looking Red Tornado, as well as a variant that I've yet to see a confirmation on.  He's supposed to be a slight paint change on one of the figures...NOT Batman.  Or that's the current theory.

The figures run about $10 a pop at retail stores, or you can pick up a set of six uniquely packed for the online collectors market at many of my sponsors.  The set includes one additional Batman, with one each of the five figures in the assortment.

I'm not quite as thrilled with Red and Orion as I was with the other three, but it's a series of minor gripes, rather than any major issues.  I'm thrilled with the series overall though - bring on series 2!

Packaging - ***1/2
I'm about as happy with this packaging as I can be with the old bubble/cardback style.  Not only are the colors somewhat nostalgic, the graphics are great.  Even better, every cardback is personalized with a bio and stats for that character.  Bravo!  I just might have to keep a carded set...

Since I just reviewed the other three, I didn't include a package photo.  Check out the previous review if you missed it.

Sculpting - Rex ****; Red  ***1/2; Orion ***
The most consistent positive across this series is the exceptional sculpting.  The Four Horsemen out did themselves this time.

The BAF is actually one of the best looking figures in the series, although he's a character I have zero interest in.  That's okay though, because he's essentially free (although not really of course), making him a nice edition to the shelf without having to buy him separately.

He's small for a BAF, being the same 6" scale as the rest of the line.  In fact, Rex seems a little small to me even for the scale, but I can live with that minor issue considering how detailed and gorgeous the sculpt is.  The head sculpt is sharply defined, as is each of the elements around his body.

His hands are fists, but they work nicely with the included accessories and look great on their own.  He stands fine with no outside assistance, always a plus.

Orion has a good head sculpt, but his body is a tad plain.  The helmet is not removable, but is sculpted in such sharp relief from the face that you'd swear it was a separate piece.  It doesn't interfere with the neck articulation at all, and while the body is a bit lacking in texture, you'll probably have him wearing his 'harness' most of the time anyway.

He ended up with the lowest score because of his left foot.  Which appears to be a right foot, or a very poorly sculpted left foot. I think I mentioned a bit of a wonkiness with some of the sculpted legs in the previous review, where the calves don't quite match up with the knee and ankle in a way that allows for a natural pose.  That's part of the issue here with Orion, but that weird foot is really gumming up the works.

Red has a nice, if somewhat basic, sculpt as well.  These two don't have the kind of detail, texturing, or costume to really allow for the sculpt to shine (unlike Etrigan, for example), but the work is solid.

All three are in the 6" scale, and fit in fine with the other DCSH figures.  They all stand great on their own too, and with the exception of Orion's closed fists (which can't hold the harness properly), the hand sculpts work well with the accessories.

Paint - Rex ***1/2; Orion, Red **1/2
Unfortunately, both Red and Orion appear to be exhibiting the dreaded 'mass market paint ops'.  There's more slop here than I saw with the other three figures, with poorly cut lines between the yellow and red on the Tornado's outfit, and bad cuts between the boots and uniform on Orion as well.  There are stray marks, inconsistent coverage, and generally poorer paint work.

Rex is better than the other two though, with clean work on most of the various BAF element parts.  I particularly like the clear ice leg, and the molten right arm.  He has quite a bit more color and a wider palette than any of the other figures in the series, making him one of the more visually interesting figures I've seen in awhile.  There's still a bit too much variation between the neck and the head color, but it's a minor nit to pick.

Articulation - Rex ****; Red ***1/2; Orion ***
These aren't as articulated as Marvel Legends or Legendary Comic Book Heroes.  Then again, the articulation isn't as obvious either.  What is here is the most important joints to provide for the widest range of poses without getting ridiculous.

All have a ball jointed neck, and it works particularly well on Rex and Orion.  Red's cape takes away a bit of it's usefulness, what with that super far out high top collar, but that was the style back in the day for funky fresh superheroes.

All of them also have ball jointed shoulders (jointed on both sides of the ball), pin elbows and knees, pin chest, cut waist, cut wrists, pin ankles, cut thighs, and the unusual T hips that also allow the legs to move out to the side at 90 degrees.

These guys can sit, stand, take deep stances, get into fighting poses, or just stand there, looking good.  The neck joint helps add oompf to any pose, but the range of movement on the entire body is well above average.  Every joint here works well, and while they COULD have added more, they didn't actually have to.

I did notice that a couple of the pins seemed weaker on these figures than the other three.  Again, let's not hope that's a trend, but rather a fluke.

Accessories - ***
Both Red and Orion come with additional pieces to complete Rex.  Orion has the pile o' crap attachment for his crap leg (okay, it's mud, but that's not as funny), and Red has the metal to ice leg.

Red also comes with a nifty attachment for his hands (it can fit on either fist with a little work) that appears to be a spinning tornado of power.  The translucent red/orange plastic looks great, and it's one of those sensible accessories considering the character.

Orion comes with his 'harness', which has an amazing amount of detail sculpting and a great paint job.  While it's easy enough to remove, you'll probably keep him wearing it most of the time.

Rex is a combination of accessories himself, so it's odd to say he has accessories as well - but he does.  After you've popped together the five parts of his body, you can add three additional elemental hunks - the metallic hammer for his left hand, the lava right hand, or the crap...uh, mud...left foot.  They pop on and off with only a little effort, and blend in pretty seamlessly.

Fun Factor - ****
If all you collect is Nerd Hummels, then these guys won't be for you.  But if you collect toys - you know, those things that kids can actually PLAY with - then you'll probably like these a whole lot more.  Now, there's nothing wrong with collecting Nerd Hummels (since I do as well, that would be a bit hypocritical), but you have to be able to recognize not only the difference, but the strengths and weaknesses of each.  Here, the strength is in the FUN, and these offer plenty of that.

Value - ***
At ten bucks a pop, these would normally only get **1/2 stars.  That's a pretty normal mass market price these days.  However, considering that you aren't getting more - and in many cases, not as much - as what DCD gives you for $15 or more, these get the extra boost.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not a thing.  The figures were sturdy, can handle normal play, and other than being sure to get the best paint application you can find, you're good to go.

Overall - Rex ***1/2; Red, Orion ***
Red Tornado and Orion don't carve my turkey quite like Batman, Penguin and Etrigan did...but they're still above average mass market figures.  Rex turned out great, although I'm betting more than a few folks will be less than enthused with the character selected.  But getting some of the 'B' characters is what the BAF is likely to be all about over the long haul, and the more unusual and unique DC figures I can get, the happier I'll be.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - Rex ****; Red  ***1/2; Orion ***
Paint - Rex ***1/2; Orion, Red **1/2
Articulation - Rex ****; Red ***1/2; Orion ***
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***
Overall - Rex ***1/2; Red, Orion ***

Where to Buy -
Toys R Us is getting them in, but online sponsors might be your best bet considering the spotty distribution that we've seen from Mattel on past lines:

- CornerStoreComics and Amazing Toyz has a set of 6 (and that means one of each of the 5 unique figures plus an extra Batman) for $60.  They also have waves 2 and 3 on pre-order.

- Or you can check out the Ebay action by using to help you find them.

- Related Links -
I've covered quite a few of the DCSH figures:

- just a few days ago, I covered the other three figures in this series, Batman, Etrigan and Penguin.

- 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.

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Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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