Review: DC Universe Classics, Wave 3:
This is the third of six reviews for the third wave of DC Universe Classics. These are basically an attempt by DC Comics and Mattel to challenge the Marvel Legends figures put out by their respective nemesi: Marvel and Hasbro.
And so far, they're doing a good job. They've fixed the largest problem with the Marvel Legends figures - the hip joints - and given their figures top-notch sculpts and paint.
The first two figures in this wave scored well: Nightwing received a 10 out of 10, and Robin - remarkably - did even better. How does Green Lantern measure up? Lets find out.
Looking in the package, I never thought this would score so high. In the package, GL looked like a cheap piece of plastic. But then I opened the package and something magical happened: he turned into Green Lantern.
I'm not sure why there's such a difference. I think, mainly, it's his pose in the pack. He's kind of hunched over in an awkward position, and it's easy to think it's a defect in the figure. Well, it's not. Adjust his pose, and the problem's solved. Suddenly, he looks awesome. But not perfect.
The face has the same problems everyone in this wave has: a lack of paint. And, once again, all costume detail is painted on rather than sculpted.
The one exception is his ring, which is sculpted, painted, and beautiful. His head sculpt is also spot on. The paint lines are crisp and clear.
There's a sort of minimalism to the figure that works well for the character. It's greatly accentuated by the articulation as well... but we'll talk more on that later.
Eight out of ten for the figure's appearance.
Packaging and Extras: +1
The packaging is still good, and I still like the little blurb on the back.
But who cares?
Green Lantern comes with two things: a leg and a lantern. The leg doesn't really belong to Green Lantern: it goes with the Solomon Grundy figure you put together after you've bought everything in this wave. The lantern goes with GL.
Like GL, the accessory is far nicer out of the box than in. Mainly this is due to its articulation. You see the handle? I was sure it was molded in place until I got it out. It twists, allowing you additional options for posing. What's more... it's just kind of cool. I mean, I wish they'd painted it, given it some detail or something, but it looks nice as it is.
Now, it would have been nice to receive something extra; say a green energy blast or something, but that would be asking a lot. I also wish, as I've mentioned before, that they would consider including bases, but there's no need to dwell.
Between the lantern and piece o' Grundy, I'm adding a point to GL's total score.
SPECIAL DEDUCTION: PAINT IN JOINTS: -2
I'm sorry to do this, but I just don't have a choice. Remember how happy I was crack Green Lantern open? Well, there's another side to that. When I opened him up, several of his joints were stuck. I got a few working easy enough by applying a little pressure, but one on his arm wasn't budging. Rather than risk breaking him, I handed him over to an expert: my wife. She took a close look, reached for her exacto knife, and, a few slices later, she had everything working like it was supposed to with minimal scratching.
Here's the problem. GL was cast in white, then painted over in black paint, joints and all. This means several of those joints are likely to come out painted solid. Most you'll be able to work free, but be careful: plastic isn't the hardest substance on Earth. And I don't know what to tell you if you find yourself with a joint that won't come free. Apparently an exacto knife works well enough, but take care not to scrape the figure too much: there's white plastic beneath the black paint.
I happen to be married to a master toy customizer. Not everyone is as lucky. The articulation worked fine once it was fixed (more on that below), but this is a pretty serious issue.
I'm deducting two points for the flaw.
Play and Display: +2
Well, that was unpleasant. Now onto other things. Once I had all the joints working on GL, I was in for a nice surprise. The articulation is basically the same as Nighwing's and most other DC Universe Classics. What's different isn't entirely tangible: it's just that Green Lantern gets more out of his articulation.
The benefit seems to be due, at least in part, to the character's simple design. While Nighwing is better suited to more martial arts poses, Green Lantern looks better staring up at the sky. He's intended for heroic, rigid poses, and his articulation gives you your pick.
The lantern only increases your options. You can set it at his side, he can hold it to his ring as he recites his oath, or he can hoist it overhead to light the way through the darkness. Take your pick: he's got the range and the balance to make it happen.
I'm giving Lantern two additional points for articulation, posability, and balance. This is one of those ideal cases where a figure's articulation enhances an already great sculpt and paint job.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 9
Green Lantern will set you back 'x' dollars, where 'x' is the number on his price tag. Apparently, 'x' is supposed to be around '11', but the lowest I've seen so far is $14, which is what I paid.
And he's worth it. He's not an amazing deal, but he's a great figure. If you like the character, do yourself a favor and pick one up. If you have easier access to larger retailers than I do, you might even get one for a more reasonable price.
Honestly, I wasn't certain if I was even going to buy Green Lantern. I've always preferred Jon Stewart to Hal Jordan, to tell the truth, and it just didn't look that great to me at first. I'm glad I changed my mind, though: this is a phenomenal figure. I still like Robin better, but I suspect that's more reflective of my character preference than it is the toys themselves.
The biggest issue to be aware of is the joints: take care when you pull Green Lantern - or any action figure, for that matter - out of their package. If it weren't for this problem, his score would have tied Robin's.
Three down, three to go. Next time we'll take a look at another Green Lantern. Well, a former Green Lantern, anyway.
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