Review: DC Universe Classics Wave 6 Killer Moth
I've always wondered about The Riddler. I mean, here's a character who's clearly a Joker knock-off, both on and off the page. You have to figure there are nights when he's just gotten the snot beaten out of him by Batman, he crawls home to his riddle-themed secret headquarters, and he looks in the mirror to see a bunch of ridiculous looking bright green question marks covering his torn-up coat. And he must ask himself the most troubling riddle of all:
"How do I go on?"
I suspect the answer is a simple one: "At least I'm not the Killer Moth."
Yes, were all of Batman's rogues lined up from the most frightening to the most lame, you've got to figure that Calendar Man would be standing at the back of the line laughing at Killer Moth, who's alone, crying in a corner. Sure, there may be some lamer villains who aren't around, but Moth is easily the most ridiculous of the characters who still shows up from time to time.
And, you know something? That makes him kind of awesome. I mean, think about it: Killer Moth endured when other villains faded into obscurity.
Killer Moth wants to be an anti-Batman, paid by criminals to protect their interests, just like the Caped Crusader protects the innocent. It was a good plan, but... well... there's something about moths that fails to inspire the same degree of fear. I mean, come on: his totem is an insect that's on the diet of some bats. To be honest, I don't think he thought this one through.
Mattel, demonstrating why there's no company better suited to produce DC figures, has released a Killer Moth Action figure as part of their DC Universe Classics line.
Do I really need to explain why I needed him?
Killer Moth is a nice figure, but he's not spectacular. The sculpting on his helmet is great, and I have to admit that I love the wings, but there really should be more detail work here. A little shading on the mask and suit would have gone a long way towards making him more impressive.
As it is, he looks more like a toy than a comic book character. The chest symbol looks good, and the pant stripes are clean, but the coloring is too subdued to look right.
Like I said, I'm happy with the wings, though the area where they connect with the back of his suit is a little odd. I'm not sure how they could have improved it, but I bet they could have come up with something a little better.
I also need to mention that mine, at least, has some very obvious mold lines on one of his legs.
I appreciate the balancing act here, where they wanted to make Killer Moth look good enough to stand out, but not so cool as to betray the character. And I do like the figure - really, I do - but it's certainly not one of Mattel's best.
I'm giving him a seven out of ten.
Packaging and Extras: +1
The package is pretty much on par with the rest of the line:
I've mentioned before how impressed I've been with the passages on the back, and this is no exception. In fact, I think this may be my new favorite. Rather than talk up Killer Moth, whoever put this out tells it like it is. Kudos, Mattel.
I'm a little torn right now, actually, because part of me wants the rest of Kalibak. I'm not willing to drop the cash it would take to get the whole line, though. I might, at some point, see about picking up the arms and legs on Ebay, although that can get expensive when you factor in shipping.
Kalibak actually has an accessory, too: his sash is removable, if you're so inclined.
So I'm giving Killer Moth a single bonus point for the build a figure. If Killer Moth's gun had been painted or if he'd come with something, I could have made the leap to two.
Play and Display: +1
Do I need to explain this? All right, here goes: Mattel makes an excellent action figure, and this is no exception. While I do have one notable complaint (we'll get to that in a moment), the articulation is fantastic.
Just like it always is.
As you can probably tell, I had a lot of fun playing with Killer Moth. And, overall, he can be placed in just about any pose you'd want him in.
But, like I said, there's a problem. His wings aren't articulated. Now, I understand there's a bit of a trade-off here. The wings look good, in part, because there's no articulation. But I'm greedy. I want it all.
On the plus side, the fact his wings are solid does open up some opportunities. Say, for instance, you want him falling backwards through the air, flailing: the wing tips will hold up and create that illusion. Pretty cool, huh?
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 9/10
Sometimes we buy things we probably shouldn't. This is one of those situations. I dropped seventeen dollars for Killer Moth, and - lets be honest here - that's too much.
The detail work on Killer Moth doesn't justify this kind of expense. Now, to be fair, I'm buying at a toy store that tends to charge a lot for these guys. If you get these at Walmart you should be paying something closer to $10, which is certainly a more appropriate price. But I'd be impressed if you could actually find these at that price. The Toys R Us I've been going to has gradually been increasing their prices on the DC Universe Classics: I think I saw the last wave going for more than $14 each. You'll have a little more luck online, but, unless you're buying them all, you're liable to get nailed by shipping.
At $12 - $14 dollars, I'd say these are a fair price. If you get one for less than $12, you're getting a good deal. But at $17, I got fleeced.
Sure, he's a great figure: pretty much every figure in this line is great. But he's not the best in the wave. From what I've seen and heard, that honor goes to Hawkman, who I'm also considering picking up. They had both at the store I visited, but I couldn't justify buying them both at that price.
The fact that I went with Killer Moth says, I think, a lot about me as a person.
If I don't end up tracking down the rest of the appendages on Ebay, I might sell my piece of Kalibak there. Depending on how much I get, it might just lessen the pain of dropping this kind of cash.
Killer Moth was a bit of a guilty pleasure, though: I paid more than I should have for a toy that, while good, isn't top notch. But... come on. Mattel, having the entire history of DC characters to choose from, went with Killer Moth.
Clearly, these guys aren't just looking at current trends or popular characters: if they were, they'd just have pumped out another Joker. No, Mattel is paying close attention to the collectors.
And this collector is thrilled to have Killer Moth in his collection. Did I pay too much? Yes. But do I regret the purchase? Not for a second.
For the record, Killer Moth is about to discover that he's out of ammo.