Monday, May 12, 2008

DCUC 2: The Thrills, the Chills and the Freaky-Fugly........

"Trials and travails" has never been more appropriate than when it comes to tracking down DCUC in Australia. While Australian collectors site Ozfigurama reports a couple of random sightings of DCUC 1, there's been nothing happening in my neck of the woods. While there has been a promise that Aussie store Casefresh is going to stock DCUC in the future, I've had to resort to online purchase from the US, which is fraught which challenges in the shipping department. Some sites were asking more to ship to Australia than for the case - I think not! I have to give a shout out to Cornerstore Comics for their consistently reasonable overseas shipping charges - thanks!

With all this behind me I picked up my case of DCUC 2 from the post office with a great sense of relief. First off, I was pleased to get the figures I wanted: classic Aquaman and Firestorm plus one each of Blue and Red Superman. I'll find a MA Firestorm eventually, but I don't get the "Modern Age" Aquaman at all - what Aquaman does he look like exactly? Pass.

Now to the toys:

The best: Aquaman is not only the best figure in this wave, I'd go so far as to say he's the best Aquaman figure ever, and that's in spite of the chest joint which is something I just don't get in these figures. The headsculpt is one of the best versions of Arthur we've seen.

Apart from the scale issues, I've always been a fan of the DCD JLA Firestorm from a few years back. The DCUC Ronnie is a good in-scale alternative, but doesn't capture his face as distinctively as the DCD version did.. I like the nuclear wrist thingies though!

Grodd also goes in the "best" category for me - this is the Grodd I've been waiting for! I thought I'd want to take the weird electrodes off, but I actually don't mind them - they're kind of cool, so I left them on. Mattel also get extra props for limiting the C & C to five pieces and not forcing you to buy the variants to collect the entire figure.

The almost best: Black Manta is excellent - I like the shape of his head and his groovy gun. The Justice Manta has a hand up on this one because of the removable helmet, and personally I like the "wet" look as opposed to the matte look used here. I like the inclusion of a trident for Manta - nice touch.
Blue & Red Superman are fun, and the different headsculpts are appreciated. Even though they were minor players, they help to flesh out my Morrison JLA, so they're winners with me. The only gripe is not being able to take the red/blue flame / electricity thingies off of their backs - that's a bit weird.

The bad: crickets, nothing to see here, skip straight to:

The Freakish. Sorry, but this Harley Quinn goes straight in the "storage / sell / feed to dog" pile for me. It's not just about the blue face, but what's with the blue face??? Harley's a Smurf now is she? Ewww. Beyond that, her joints are loose and her hands won't hold either accessory properly (won't hold the mallet at all and the gun only loosely). Overall in this line Mattel is doing a great job of creating toys that look and feel expensive. Harley looks and feels like a dimestore bauble. Yuck and double yuck.

Overall QC: Paint apps overall are good,with a bit of sloppiness on Harley's wrist being the only noticeable blotch. Apart from Harley's trick hips (hey, maybe that's not so bad after all.....), Red Superman's joints are also strangely loose to the point where standing is precarious. On the flipside, I'm glad I had a backup left Grodd arm from the second Superman, because the left arm from Blue Superman was totally locked at the joint. At first I was too afraid of breaking it to push hard, but when I realised I had a second, working arm, I still couldn't budge it.

The Wrap-up: While I've been tough on DCUC for some aspects of upcoming waves, this is a winner for me. With Aquaman being my all time favourite character it couldn't help but please, but he's well supported by the rest of the wave - if you pretend like I am going to that Harley doesn't exist. (Hey, if the writers can retcon, why can't we??) The accessories are great (again ignoring Harley's which she can't hold..) and the overall QC is excellent.

Thanks DCUC and thanks for reading! As always your comments are most welcome!


Anonymous said...

Very fair review Andy.

I really like Aquaman the best too. This wave disappointed me a little bit in regard to character selection, I could have easily passed on Harley and both Supes. Still, I admire the work Mattel is doing in this line.

Anonymous said...

That was me with the last comment.

-Mr. Sinister

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