Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hunting for Plastic People - Green Lantern Classics: Wave 1

After a long hiatus from posting due to the craziness of adapting to the new addition to our family that is Princess Victoria (AKA Lady Chubbington, the Duchess of Droolsbury and the Baroness von Chubbsly), I’m back with a full review of Mattel’s Green Lantern Classics Wave 1 action figures. Click below for more:

There is nothing better as a comic geek and action figure collector than the following scenario. While half-asleep and driving my wife and daughter to work and day-care respectively, my lovely wife turns to me and says out of the blue: “I want to get you a present. Why don’t you go ahead and order that set of figures you wanted.” The set of figures she was referring to is Mattel’s DC Universe Classics off-shoot Green Lantern Classics Wave 1. Needless to say, before even taking off my coat when I got home, I jumped online and ordered a complete case (8 figures) from Game City through A few days and some expedited shipping later and this is what I came home to:

Nothing like a big box marked toys, right?

Now, I am an action figure hunter. I honestly do enjoy the process of going out and trying to find these figures but will order them as a last resort online occasionally. I have it pretty easy in the hunting though, since many stores in my area are very good at keeping the DCUC figures in stock and updated, as well as having a few friends who keep a look out for figures for me. Also, it’s rare that I have the cash available to just order a whole set in one shot, but it is tax return time so there is some extra cash right now :-)

Anyway, on to the figures. All in all, this is a really nice set with a few figures that I’ve been eagerly anticipating.

Let’s begin with the lone hero among an entire case of villainy: artist, ladies man and Green Lantern….Kyle Rayner. Kyle is the last of the Earth-based GLs to be released so now I have a complete set from Sector 2814.

The figure is based on Kyle’s current modern look, although I would have loved a variant with his 90’s “dog-collar” costume, which is my favorite. The figure is a basic sculpt and the head is really well done. Kyle’s strange mask even looks good, which is a tough thing to interpret properly. He comes with one of the cooler ring constructs, a medieval gauntlet wielding a huge sword that attaches to his ring hand. It stays on pretty well and stays balanced on display unlike some of the other constructs.

No real issues with this figure, and I’m very happy to have him finally released and added to my collection.

Next up we have the predecesssors to the Green Lantern Corps, the Manhunters. The case that I ordered contained two of these guys but that’s cool because they are sort of an army-builder anyway. The figures are based on the newer re-design of the Manhunters that showed up early in the new GL run after Hal returns in Rebirth. The newer design includes more pronounced boots and gauntlets that are sculpted very well and give them a sleek modern look.

The main downer in the Manhunters are that the articulation is very limited by the large gauntlets from the modern Manhunter re-design and the shoulder pieces. Also, the heads don’t move around at all, but are kind of loose which gives them a bobble-head like action when you move the figures around. A simple side to side head rotation would have been nice.

Another feature that I found missing from the Manhunters was a removable or flip-up faceplate to show the power-battery skull underneath. Even something similar to the way Cyclotron’s face can be removed would have been awesome, especially since many people will get multiple Manhunters so you could display one with a face and one without. Anyway, not a huge deal, maybe they’ll do it in a re-release someday.

Next we have classic low-level GL villain turned modern uber-villain Black Hand. I bought the DC Direct Black Hand back before Blackest Night ramped up and I was just comparing the two side by side. Honestly the Mattel GL Classics version blows the DC Direct one out of the water. The Mattel version has the new double-jointed arms and legs which allows for some better posing options and the sculpt is impressively detailed.

My only concern with the double-jointed limbs is whether they will hold up over time. There has been some issues with joints becoming loose on regular figures (I’m looking at you John Stewart), therefore causing display issues but I guess time will tell.

To keep Black Hand company in death, the last figure we’ll look at today is Black Lantern Abin Sur. Abin Sur has the double-jointed arms but not legs, and he has jointed wrists which I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen on these figures before. The jointed wrists allow you to do some creepy posing for Hal’s dead predecessor.

Check back in a day or two for Part 2 of this review where we look at the Sinestro Corps additions Low, Maash, Mongul and the very scary Arkillo figure which my daughter seems to find cuddly.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in a few days!

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