Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Taste the Rainbow

Today Mattel revealed wave 17 of DC Universe Classics, confirming the widespread rumor of it consisting of the Lantern deputies. In the comic crossover Blackest Night a group of established heroes and villains receive power rings from the various Lantern Corps. There's Blue Lantern Flash, Star Sapphire Wonder Woman, Sinestro Corp Scarecrow, Indigo Tribe Atom, Orange Lantern Lex Luthor and variants of Hal Jordan as a Black Lantern and a White Lantern. This is the first true themed wave of DCUC. It's a controversial decision (or at least as controversial as a wave of action figures could be) since not everyone is into Blackest Night. Plus DC Direct is still in the process of releasing versions of these characters. Usually Mattel and DC Direct go in different directions.

I'm not sure Mattel needed to make another Hal Jordan figure, much less two. He's giving Batman a run for his money in terms of amount of action figure, and it's only going to get worse when the movie hits. Since Hal was a living Black Lantern he doesn't even have the cool zombie thing gong for him. The problem with the Hal figures is that they took the place of Red Lantern Mera. Mera, if you're not familar with her, is Aquaman's wife. Unlike any of these other characters, Mattel has yet to make any Mera figures. And she's gotten a huge profile jump because of her prominence in Blackest Night and Brightest Day.

While I'm sorry there's still no DCUC Mera figure, I understand why they included the Hal(s). He's basically the existing Hal figure with new head sculpts, which must have been easy on the budget. I think Blue Lantern Flash might be a straight repaint. Indigo Tribe Atom looks pretty elaborate. It does suffer from the Indigo Tribe's terrible fashion sense. Oddly enough he'll end up being way easier to find than the regular Atom. I'm sure Star Sapphire Wonder Woman shares some parts with the upcoming Star Sapphire Carol Ferris, but her design is different enough that she has a lot of unique parts.

The Orange Lantern Lex Luthor is a modified version of the DC Superheroes Lex Luthor. The obvious difference is it's translucent orange. I can't tell if the head is a new sculpt or just a new paintjob. It has a new skirt and a new upper torso. The collar and chest plate are separate pieces, unlike the DCSH Luthor. I think this is so they can swap the chest piece with the Orange Lantern symbol with one accurate to the Super Powers Lex Luthor. I think a new Super Powers inspired Luthor is likely.

I do wonder if Mattel will release a new regular Scarecrow. I love the head sculpt on Sinestro Corp Scarecrow. And I've loved the idea of Scarecrow in a trenchcoat on account of his excellent New Batman Adventures design. But in order to turn SC Scarecrow into a normal version he'd need an entirely new body and forearms. Mattel might try to cobble one together with the DC Superheroes Scarecrow. I should probably just learn to live with this new one.

The Collect 'N Connect figure is the Anti-Monitor. Mattel went with modern version seen in Brightest Day, instead of his classic Crisis on Infinite Earths look. That's another thing that likely miffed some collectors. I don't really care much either way but I think this Anti-Monitor looks cool enough. I guess that's my whole outlook on this wave. They look good (Scarecrow looks great) and I don't dislike them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fan base (couple thousand people between the official Mattycollector forums and sites like Fwoosh and Actionfigureinsider) seems to have mixed opinions on this. A third of them don't like them but a lot of people accept them. They seem to love the Green Lantern mythos thanks to the comics' resurgence in the past 2 years and the upcoming movie.

Personally, I don't care for them. This is like a 3rd Wave of Green Lantern Classics and then there's the DC Universe Classics Wave 20 featuring Nekron that has several more Green Lantern characters mixed. Add in the GL movie themed stuff and possibly new figures in a different scale for the upcoming animated series you have a lot of Green Lantern toys from Mattel coming in 2011. Almost 95% of it is related to the theme!

I wonder how much stuff they'll throw out that is Batman/Superman related in 2012? It seems you'll be hit with a lot of DC movie themed merchandise from Mattel until the movie releases slow down. And then there still won't any room to make figures of characters from other series.

Also there's only 4 female figures coming in 2011 as aopposed to 2010 and 2009 for DC Universe Classics. Star Sapphire Wonder Woman, Star Sapphire Carol Ferris, a rumored Stargirl figure and a rumored Arisia figure. Really sucks.