Every once in a while a figure comes out that really blows you away, but, at the same time, frustrates the hell out of you. The figure blows you away because of the superior quality, but then frustrates you because you want to see that same level of quality applied to figures of characters that are more deserving.
That’s exactly where I’m at with DC Collectibles newly released Crime Syndicate figures. Each one is highly detailed and well sculpted. Both things are qualities you expect of a DCC product, but the kicker here is that their articulation levels compare very favorably with most other superarticulated lines.
It’s just a head scratcher to me as to why DCC made the choice to give these guys the superarticulation treatment instead of giving it to the Justice League, or maybe some other better known characters. I know the upcoming Greg Capullo-designed Batman line has some upgraded articulation too. So hopefully someday soon DCC will allow the Gentle Giant Studio team who sculpted this line to make figures of the big seven as good as these are. For now, though, these will have to do.
Like Superwoman, who I reviewed last week, Ultraman is part of the Crime Syndicate and comes from an Earth where evil always triumphs over good. Ultraman is Superman’s polar opposite and rules over his Earth as an all-powerful tyrant, instead of protecting it and being its greatest hero. He’s a complete bastard, and one of, if not the, most vile of all of DC’s villains. He’s all bad. This figure, on the other hand, is nothing but good.
This is nothing short of an outstanding figure. This is the Superman figure I’ve waited forever to get. Problem for me is… it’s not Superman. I know that may come off as shortsighted and a bit whiny, but, damn, I want a Superman figure this good. The sculpt is all new and makes for a great base body if DCC wanted to go back and reuse it for some other characters. It is getting reused for Owlman in this same Crime Syndicate line, but I know DCC isn’t usually prone to reusing bodies. This body is done so well that I actually hope they do use it for some other characters.
I love this guy’s head sculpt. I feel like it captures Ultraman’s personality to a tee. He’s scowling with his eyes burning red. You can just imagine him about to burn some poor enemy into a pile of ashes.
As I mentioned before, the overall sculpt of the body is tremendously well done. He’s built like you would picture a superhero would be, but, at the same time, he’s not overly muscle-bound to the point that it looks cartoon-ish. His Ultraman symbol is raised, as are the top of his boots. There are some cloth wrinkles and folds on his wrists and ankles too.
His cape is made of soft plastic, so its hindering his added articulation isn’t a concern. It’s also tattered with some holes in it. The very bottom of the cape is covered in dirt… or possibly blood. There are also some really cool splatters of the same substance on the bottom of the cape. It’s kind of a weird thing for the cape to be tattered, torn, and dirty while the rest if him is clean, but it does give him a more creepy feel, like he keeps it dirty as a trophy of his fallen enemies. At least that’s how I looked at it.
Where this figure really stands out is the articulation. He’s a huge step up from the standard DC Collectibles articulation scheme. He has a ball-jointed neck and shoulders with single elbows, hinged wrists that swivel and can be moved up and down, waist swivel, ab crunch, hinged hips, thigh swivels, double knees, and rocker ankles. Basically just about every point of articulation you would need on the standard superhero body. All of the articulation works well. It definitely allows for some cool “Superman” poses or flying posing.
The flying poses are easily achievable with his superior articulation set up. Poses that most of the previous Superman figures, or even flying characters, were unable to get into with the standard articulation scheme.
The one thing that bugs me on him is that his right knee is upside down. Not really a huge deal, but it definitely is upside down. A simple boil and pop to take the knee out and reverse it should remedy the problem, but I just found it funny that it was like that. Nothing but the fault of the factory who assembled him, and, truthfully, some collectors may not have even noticed or cared enough for it to be a problem. It definitely doesn’t take away anything from the figure enough to be a major red mark on an other wise nearly perfect figure.
As you can see, Ultraman and Superwoman fit right in together. Both figures stand together impressively and menacingly, and it’ll be hard to resist completing the Crime Syndicate for my shelves. Both Ultraman and Superwoman are just so good that I think I may just need to get the entire team. I really hope the standard has been set for DC Collectibles with this series. Their artists have always been able to knock out some superior sculpted figures, but now with the added super articulation, DC Collectibles is moving even further up the action figure company ladder. Now, if the articulation set-up remains standard or not is anyone’s guess. I for one hope it’s here to stay. At the very least, I hope they keep using it for characters who need it, or really deserve it.