Sunday, June 20, 2010

DCUC Wave 13: Saved by a BAF

With rumours of the imminent arrival of DC Universe Classics Wave 14 to Wal-Marts nowhere (well, not here anyway...), I thought I'd best get my review for Wave 13 up and running before it's overtaken. As the title of the post suggests, this is a wave that is very much carried by an amazing Collect & Connect figure which mostly overcomes some of the weaker points of the DCUC line. Let's look at the individual figures first:

Blue Beetle III is the standout figure of the wave. I've always been fond of DC Direct's version of Jaime Reyes, and was wondering if Mattel could top that with their version. This one well and truly bests the previous figure through the use of extra articulation new to the DCUC line which makes the Beetle extremely poseable. This is backed up by very solid sculpting and paintwork, and topped off with a fantastic set of wings. I couldn't get the DCD version off the shelf fast enough to put this beauty in pride of place! I hate to rank Negative Man second, as he's definitely the "Oh wow!" character of the wave for me, but BB's detailing and articulation win out. I think this is one character that could make use of a slightly thinner, less buff buck without going to the Shrimpestro extreme, but this is still very fun and well executed, and I'm delighted to have the figure to fill out the Doom Patrol ranks. I passed on the exposed skeletal face variant of Larry, disappointed that we didn't get a Negative Form variant which would have been a highlight of the whole line for me. Someday, perhaps!

I'd rank Blue Devil as my next favourite figure of the wave. While I'm disappointed overall with DCD's History of the DCU line, the over-bulkiness suits Blue Devil, but the headsculpt really let the figure down. While this one needs a slightly bigger bulk, the headsculpt makes it a winner in my book. Cyclotron, despite my lack of interest in the character, is well done in terms of execution and presentation of the character. He also has the groovy removable face a la the original Super Powers figure.

This version of Superboy is another figure I'm not overly fussed about owning, but I am pleased to see that he's not been done with the way too small "teen buck" that has been one of the lowlights of the line so far. We really need a boxed set of characters like Kid Flash and Beast Boy redone in this buck to make up for their teeny-weeny first appearances in the line. Nice points for Superboy: his jacket is well sculpted and his glasses are removable. Let's hope for a similarly scaled Impulse and Robin for the Young Justice fans!

The ladies of the wave automatically fall to the bottom of the rankings because of the limitations of the female DCUC buck, which I won't repeat my frustrations over again. The Golden Age Cheetah comes off the best of the bunch, although I think she needed a lighter yellow to really recapture her look in both the comics and the Superfriends cartoon to which we doubtless owe her presence in the line. It's the same tone as the "skin" of the modern Cheetah, that is what can be seen under her modern costume which was been painted on. I have managed to pick up the "animal skin" version (not pictured) and I really don't get the reason behind the last minute change to add the black outfit, as all that the plain black does is accentuate the faults of the bulk in the legs.

The bottom dweller of the wave, very sadly, is poor old Donna Troy. The only thing more mixed up than Donna's origin is this figure. The wonky paint application on the eyes is just a killer. Add to that the lack of any sculpting for the halter top, the especially chunky thighs and the slightly different shades of red on the legs, and you have a figure that Mattel should have killed that got murdered instead. Big shame.

And finally, to the piece (or pieces) that greatly lift the overall standard of the wave: the Trigon Collect and Connect figure. This big red guy is all kinds of wow. It's great to see a totally different buck in use, and the use of some really intricate pieces like his collar and loincloth. The inclusion of a cloth cape and his staff are also big wins, and this has to be up there as one of the best CnCs in the line to date. The only thing I'd improve is to make his horns a bit bigger, but that's by the by. He's awesome.

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this post to enter the June AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Until next time!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's Magic: Kotobukiya Scarlet Witch Bishoujo Statue

At long last, I've managed to get ahold of the most recently released statue from the Kotobukiya Marvel Bishoujo Statue Series - the lovely Scarlet Witch. This one has definitely been worth the wait!

As I said when I reviewed the Rogue statue from this series, I like the anime styled superheroines in the Bishoujo line better than DC Direct's Ame-Comi series for two reasons - one because the character's original look is kept more intact in the Bishoujo line than Ame-Comi's "reimagined" characters, and secondly because of the scale - the Ame-Comi's larger figures and very wide bases take up too much room on the shelf for what the figure merits. .

One thing I like about this statue in comparison to the previous edition, Rogue, is the way that the base is incorporated into the design via Wanda's flowing cape as opposed to the more contrived and plain steps that Rogue stands on. One thing I don't like is the cutesy pose of the finger to the mouth, but I realise that's the genre. I just like my Marvel ladies powerful-like.

Pose issue aside, this is an excellent statue. Wanda's traditional costume is well executed, and the paintwork is excellent in colour choice in execution. Despite appearing like it could topple easily, the base is stable. Plus - it's just plain fun. Definitely something I'm glad to have in my collection.

My fabulous LCS owner has been ordering these in specially for me as apparently she can't order them through Previews due to some issue with the Kotobukiya license in Australia. I'm going to need to find a cheaper way to get these if I want to collect them all. I'm getting best deal my LCS can get me but it's dear for what the product is. With Koto starting a DC Bishoujo line in addition to the Marvel pieces this could become a pricey habit!

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this post to enter the AFB June Comment of the Month Contest.

Until next time!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Power of Shazam!

Gary Frank's run on the Heroes of the DC Universe Bust series continues with Shazam - or as I like to call him, the artist formerly known as Captain Marvel. (Don't get me started on that whole silliness). While Shazam / CM isn't particularly one of my favourite DC Heroes, I have to say that this is one of my favourite busts in this line so far.

For starters on a basic level, it's nice to see that Gary Frank isn't afraid to draw eyes, unlike all the squinty Carlos Pacheo versions. Shazam definitely needs to be looking at the world with his innocent and hopeful eyes wide open, and Frank's sketch certainly captures that. That's essentially what I like about this bust - it captures the character so well.

Paint is solidly done, and I love this design - the flow of his cape, his sash, and the fold in his collar all make for a dynamic sculpt. Overall - a great piece.

It's great to have the original Captain Marvel in my collection, but the future of the Heroes of the DCU Bust line is a bit uncertain. We have some villains to look forward to, and an amazing looking Etrigan bust, but then it looks like the label is going to be taken by Blackest Night busts in 2011, which are a fine idea on their own, but I'd hate to see that supplant the main line and the opportunity to get a wider range of characters in bust form much like the opportunities that the Women of the DCU Bust line is providing us.

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this post to enter the June AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Until next time!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The AFB Comment of the Month Contest for June 2010!

First off, thanks to everyone who commented on last month’s blog posts. Congratulations to "chrismandesign" for being our randomly selected winner! Please get in touch with me – probably easiest to do so through the AFB Forum – just log in and message me (“Andy”). Once we hear from chrisman, his choice of either the Blackest Night Wonder Woman or DCUC Wave 13 Donna Troy will be on the way when available from Mike’s Comics N’ Stuff.

Now to June’s Contest: on offer are two great prizes, either the Marvel Select Abomination from DST or the Jonah Hex Movie Figure from NECA. Two great prizes, both of which I'm looking forward to adding to my own collection!

A few bits and pieces:

  • every genuine comment on a post from the calendar month will be eligible for receiving the prize. I’m going to stick to my own time zone and call it at 23:59:59 Australian Eastern Standard Time – best to comment often and comment early!

if my super scientific randomizer comment selector system chooses an Anonymous comment, I’ll skip it and go again – you need to leave a name, a link, your AFB Forum username or email addy so that I can contact you if you are the winner. Blogger comments allows you to do this, as long as your profile is not set to private – check your settings.

you will be given a choice of one of the two figures on offer from the month’s contest – figures will be in their original packaging.

figures will be sent by first class mail within the US (Mike is sending them, remember) and first class international to any overseas winner. An overseas winner can elect to chip in for Priority Mail or Insurance, but otherwise we can’t take any responsibility for a parcel that doesn’t arrive – after all this is coming out of AFB’s not dreadfully deep pockets!

Once again, thanks to Mike for making this all possible for us, and here’s to another happy month of commenting!

Until next time!

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