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Friday, February 22, 2008

Many Armored Aquamen...

Okay, so I'm a serious Aquaman fan. Please don't ask me to explain - I don't know why. I remember being a kid and loving the Superfriends cartoon and - wait for it - standing poised with my little Kodak camera during the opening of the show to take pictures of the television when Aquaman was on the screen. I'm sure there's something to analyse there but that's a session for another day.

So anyway that's the only explanation I can offer for the fact that I have bought not just one but two Armored Aquamen in the last month or so. I reacted like most others when the Armored Justice Figures and Armory Waves were announced: shaving all the hair from my head and body, putting on sackcloth and ashes and engaging in a suitable period of wailing and gnashing of teeth. I protested loudly along with the rest of you, and yet deep in my heart of hearts I knew that when it came time to pass an Aquaman by, I wouldn't be able to do it. I bought them, just like I'll be the sad guy that buys Aquaman as Betty Boop or Aquaman as the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz in that episode of Superfriends where they all got turned into Oz characters (and yes, that really did go to air).

With that out of the way, here's a rundown on the two. The JUSTICE Armored Aquaman is...... quite green. There is a reasonable amount of detail and all the appropriate Aquaman-ish scales etc. It would have been nice to have an alternate head for this to have a sense of the character being in there, but then the idea of this armour is that it's the Metal Men covering over the JLA (as you do) so I can see the argument for not having that. Overall, more interesting than I thought it was going to be but unlikely to ever become the centrepiece of my Aquaman display.


The Armory Wave Aquaman comes from the "Our Worlds at War" crossover event in which Aquaman "died", but not before donning this fetching gold armor with green chainmail getup. Now I have to say I really like this figure. The helmet is removeable and the head underneath is very well sculpted, presenting one of the most striking Aquaman visages we've seen in an action figure.

The most perplexing this about this figure is the multitude of golden prongs that come in the packet. It's very rare that DCD provides any instructions when assembly is required and this is no exception, and this one required a bit of thinking as they all go in the back of the figure which isn't visible in any of the pics to provide a guide. I assume I got mine right, I found enough holes to stick them in at least - that has to count for something, right?

Anyway these are they. I thought that since it's quite likely that I'm the only person that bought these that I shouprovide the public service of putting pics and some words up to help others out.

Just don't judge me, okay? It's obviously a deep-seeded childhood thing.

And no, I don't take pictures of the TV screen anymore.

That's what DVD screen captures are for, right? :0)

Yours in collecting.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Did I mention I think I have OCD?

Or at least Obsessive Compulsive Collection Completion Syndrome. And that's why even though I have the original 13" Hal Jordan, I imagine I am going to end up buying the new four-headed version so that I can have a Tomar Re. I couldn't really care less about Abin Sur at this scale and have to confess a gap in my GL knowledge in that I don't know who the fish dude is, but Tomar... sigh.

Here's hoping the fact that we didn't get John Stewart or Guy Gardner options here means that we can count on them as individual solicits later down the line.

And I won't even comment on the weirdness that is the fact that you can have a 13" GL Fish Guy in this line before a Black Canary, Hawkman, Zatanna or... a some Amazon chick who I think used to be important in the DCU???

Mmmm..... Teen Bodies............

Just a funny way of saying that the new "Teen Body" for the DCD 13" (or I guess not quite 13"...) line is a winner with me. Of course it could be no one other than Robin to premiere this line, which is certainly very heavy on Batman and his supporting cast and villains!!!

Here's the rundown: The packaging art is the same ho-hum blandish stuff that alot of these boxes seem to have become. I'd really like to see a bit more done with these. Inclusions are fairly basic - the ever useful extra pairs of hands (I often wonder where mine are...), stand, a grappling hook, and two masks, one black and one green. The masks create a couple of gripes for me: firstly with two masks being provided, it would have been nice to have one with white-filled eye slits, which is how I would have preferred to display him. Secondly, Robin's bangs on the right side of his face come down just a fraction too far so that the mask doesn't sit quite straight on his face, creating an ongoing source of irritation for anal-retentive OCD-ish collectors like myself.

Robin's costume is well-done overall, although something like the scaled effect on Aquaman's top could have been used to get his briefs looking more like what we see in the comics. Nice detailing with hand-stitching on his tunic, and his boots are just great.

Due to Robin's bare legs, I expected the (in my opinion, unnecessary) thigh cuts to really bug me, but they stand out much less in flesh tones that they did on the green of the Martian Manhunter. Of course, it could be because the legs are skinnier - this is the Teen Sculpt after all!!

I am still working towards an enclosed display space so that I can have these on show out of the box, and I can't wait as they really do take on a life of their own once they're free from their little prisons. As soon as I got this guy out of the box he became one of my favourites in the line, and I was sad to have to put him back.



One would assume that the Teen Body Sculpt will be used again - while a SA Aqualad would be my dream, Kid Flash (Wally West SA version) would be my next realistic choice. Bring it on!!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Battlestar Galactica Wave 1


I am a huge fan of the modern Battlestar Galactica series, and was really excited to hear that DST was producing figures from the show, but didn't preorder when I saw the solicits as it just didn't seem that they'd nailed the headsculpts (I'm hedging my bets on the upcoming Heroes line for the same reasons). When DST has done an overall outstanding job with the headsculpts on the Star Trek products it's hard to see why they can't do it elsewhere.


When I saw Apollo and Caprica Six in my LCS I decided to pick them up, as Six in particular looks much better in person than in the solicits. Satisfied with the results, I then decided to chase down the rest of the wave.

I'm going to name Chief Tyrol as my favourite figure in the wave. Probably the best headsculpt. Apollo is a bit of a disappointment in that category as it just doesn't capture the actor.

Apart from Six, each figure comes with a good range of accessories - rifles, handguns. a med kit for Tyrol and helmets for Apollo and Hotdogs which are well constructed and look great when on.
I could take or leave Hotdogs and Sam Anders, but their inclusion the first wave is very promising in terms of the range of characters that are going to be offered in this series. However if we don't get a Roslin and Adama soon I think I'll riot!

My biggest complaint about the BSG figures is that you have to go to the four corners of the earth to get the whole wave, what with multiple company-specific exclusives in one wave. All extra fun when you're doing it from Aussieland! However, this first effort is good enough for me that I'll do the chasing thing again for Wave Two!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Justice Wave 7: The Past Revisited

I thought you might like to see John Stewart and Gorilla Grodd from JUSTICE Series 7 in situ with their counterparts from the series and matched up against earlier figures of the characters.

The John Stewart figure is the Hal Jordan figure with a different head. The whites of his eyes are a bit large, giving him a slightly mad or stunned appearance. This is exaggerated by very black tone of his skin which is much darker than he is displayed in the comics or than the figure was solicited with. Nothing exciting here, and clearly not much put into this one.

When I saw the solicits for the Grodd figure, I thought it looked like the same stance as the original DCD Grodd and assumed we were getting a bigger version as per the slightly larger scale of these figures. Well, it isn't just the same idea; it is from the same mold by all appearances, just with a different, angry head. If I didn't like having multiple versions of characters in different displays (e.g. original DCD Grodd in my Flash display, new Grodd in the JUSTICE display), then I'd be more than a mite cranky about this. On the flipside, for anyone who missed out on the original Grodd or doesn't want to pay the hefty prices he usually goes for on eBay, this is a good chance to pick one up even if you're not in to the Justice figures.

On a side note, I did wonder to myself what Alex Ross thought of the reuse of an old sculpt for this figure, seeing that JUSTICE is all about HIS version of the JLA and their foes.....


Finally, here are the new figures lined up against DCD's original efforts for these two characters. As you can see no major new ground has been broken, and this just highlights the re-use of the original Grodd mold. Have to say it: it seems like DCD was phoning it in on this one. Good to see they seem to have picked up their game for the eighth and apparently final wave of this series.

In the context of the JUSTICE line, I would say that these are very competent additions, and certainly wouldn't complain about the QC, paint apps etc. It does seem a shame, however, that the opportunity to do something new or fresh with the characters wasn't taken.

Naturally, as an Aquaman tragic I also bought the Aquaman Armoured figure, but I'll post pics and review of that alongside the Aquaman from the ARMORY Wave shortly.
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