Summer is upon us again and yet again it is time for some interesting action figure lines. One thing I really love about action figures and summer movies is the chance to expand my roster of characters. Last year I got the A-Team, Last Airbender, and other notables and in previous years have been treated to Wolverine, Avatar, Indiana Jones and honey bunches of others who have made my roster expand exponentially. So yeah, when I heard we were getting a line in support of Green Lantern I got excited. First off GL is my favorite DC Hero and I am very excited for the movie given the cool previews we have seen. Second, hopes were given a bit of higher expectations when Mattel said this line was going to replace DC Infinite Heroes. While the early stabs by DCIH were less than stellar, I thought many of the later figures were pretty great. Thus I figured that, at the least, we would have figures up to par with the end run of DCIH and hopefully they would have improved that female mold as well (and maybe we would get a good Star Sapphire as well). Then came NY Toyfair, or rather the leaked pictures just before, and my heart sank.
What the crap was this, 5 or 6 points of articulation? "Oh these are for kids" Matty said. Oh please, these are cheap and half arsed. OK so I calmed down and tried to be cool thinking maybe there were redeemable qualities to these figures. I mean maybe the paint or the molds were dynamic or something and would at least in part make up for the lacking articulation. With that in mind I bought a few figures from the line during K-Mart's sale for the line (so at least I got off cheaper) and what you are about to read is one of biggest regrets of my collecting ever. I will go with the individual figures to explain my point of view.
Abin is of course the GL that crashes on Earth and gives his ring over to Hal. I purposely bought him instead of Hal just because I wanted a figure of some one I didn't actually have. Honestly he gets his Half star for character alone. This is bad, really bad. His mold looks like a take off of the Crysis 2 figure of the Nanotech armor, only not as dynamic. It's loaded with ridges and such that defy explanation.
Scale wise, the figure is fair and his height is comparable to others, an argument can be made that the average GL isn't as tall as say Captain America. Still they are a bit short even by the most discerning standards (well the big guys aren't but anyway).
The paint on this figure doesn't help. Abin's face looks like he is caught in a surprise, maybe that is on purpose given his character but on a figure it looks weird. I am not sure at all about the costume though. I haven't done a comparison to Abin Sur's movie appearance but I don't think it matches up. Then again I could be way off. But this figure could be so much more even without articulation. As he stands his costume look very weird in color. Then of course is the articulation or lack there of. His arms can go up and down in rock-m-sock-m robot style as well as side ways, but a bit of a surprise was the lack of anything besides t-crotch hips even though press pics showed the figures having DCU style hips. I suppose that is reserved for Hal only. Whatever the case there are constructs in this line that have more articulation than the figures, and that is very sad.
But the biggest gripe is the SMRP on these things, $7.99. This is actually MORE than DCIH at the end of their run. Adding to the price frustration is the fact that some discount stores have already gotten 2 packs at $10 (meaning $5 a piece) or the fact that there are 4 packs with the exact same figures and paint jobs for $20, again cheaper. What does this say, well it appears that the price on these figures is flat out arbitrary to what Mattel thinks they will sell for. They can't even get it consistent within the line and it matches the price tags of the much better quality figures such as Thor and Captain America lines. Even at it's worse, Star Wars: Clone Wars shows more quality than this line.
I am going to say the same thing for all of these, but WAIT FOR CLEARANCE! At this point there is no excuse for Mattel to try to sell us such crap. The Na'vi from Avatar shows that Mattel has the capability to do something worthwhile in 1:18th scale. This is not it. Abin appears to be pretty standard to most of the humanoids of the line so I think he is a good bar to measure the line with. It's a shame cause despite so little being known of Abin Sur I have always liked him, he deserves better.
The other guy I had to get was Kilowog, oh boy-
So he gets a full star, part of his character and a bit more for his size. Yes he is a huge figure but that doesn't help him any more than it did the original MU Hulk.
But the MU Hulk has the articulation of a Microman figure in comparison to Kilowog. He pretty well has the same level as Abin Sur, but at this point that is to be expected, however there is one point of articulation that is vastly different.
His hunched back actually makes his neck articulation totally useless. If he does try to turn all you can get is a sideways glance. Thus you can't even get the side view cool pose you can get out of Abin Sur. Very disappointing to say the least. While I get the hunch back design is part to blame, at this point in toy tech there are ways to make such articulation and design work much better and Kilowog becomes much more lazy looking.
Paint is relatively the same, the better paint job is reserved for Kilowog's deluxe figure which I might have wanted if it weren't for the fact the figure itself is so crappy. The feet are a point I kind of scratch my head about, it appears he is wearing sort of a sandal design but it is painted up like the rest of the figure. This ends up looking lazy on the part of the design team. Not sure what needs to be there but this is in very sharp contrast to the moon boots Kilowog is known for.
Weak is pretty well beyond what I can say here. I can't believe Mattel is passing off these overpriced Happy Meal toys off as "for kids." Something more honest would be to say "We screw over our customer base no matter what the age."
Oh but the horror, the worst is yet to come...
To be totally honest I gave Hannu a half a star just so that people wouldn't think I didn't rate him. I got him, with all his expected flaws cause I thought he would make a cool background character. He still will but this figure brings the cheapness of the GL line to a new low. Up front I will say the mold is good, but that is it. The rock body has different sized rocks making him look like he was jumbled together, which isn't a bad look for him at all. But one of the biggest flaws of the mold is the most unexpected.
That's right, all that detail and they forgot to mold his ring on his hand as they had done with the other figures, WTF. Instead, just to make the figure look cheaper (I suppose because he had too much quality in the mold already) Mattel just painted the ring on which makes it look like he was never intended to be a Green Lantern at all. But that is just the beginning of the disappointment I have with this figure.
Unlike the other figures of the line, Hannu's arms only go back and forth (just like 1977 Star Wars figures) and even worse, his head has NO articulation (it appears to if you just look at the figure, but there is no movement at all in it). Waist articulation is non-existent as well. In other words he is a figure that has all the potential for greatness but because of design (or lack there of) he just plain sucks. Detail is great but it's crap if you can't do anything with it.
Yeah, avoid at all costs.
But no there is one more thing to talk about, the constructs these figures come with, or should I say "constructs"
The only real construct of these three is from Abin Sur. He comes with a spiked mace. The other two have the flaming nipple which is intended to be an adaptor for the smaller constructs. This is a nice little play feature that allows the Lantern's to switch out constructs even with those with larger hands. Still a major problem is the shear weight of the constructs is problematic. Even the adaptors cannot be held out straight from the figure without the figure toppling over. Some of the constructs appear to have moving parts which is great but begs the question why movement is given to the constructs and not the figures themselves. They are all basically translucent plastic that I am pretty sure customizes who know a thing or two about molding could do quite easily. In other words they are neat but nothing special.
In summation, these are bad. I could only see someone who ONLY displays figures getting a great deal of use out of them. These are nearly statues that mold wise are nothing more special than anything done before. Honestly compare this to a vintage Han Solo and the level of detail isn't that spectacular. The likenesses are better than old school Star Wars but really that is only a selling point if you just display the figures. Also, screw that crap about "kids don't care about articulation." In looking for the Captain America figures I have heard kids say "WOW, these don't even move, they suck" more than a few times. Granted that isn't the largest sample possible but saying crap like "kids don't care" is nothing but dismissive to the fact that these figures are drastically overpriced and are not worthy of the space they are given on the shelf. In a few months these will be pegwarming WORSE than the first wave of Iron Man and will probably be clearanced at shockingly low prices (at which point I will probably get the better looking Kilowog most likely).