The end is nigh, he said with a sigh, and tear that falls without objection, having a wonderful DC collection.
I really am sad, you guys. We are one Collect and Connect series away from the DC Superheroes/Classics/Multiverse run closing out with Mattel, and man, what a run it has been. I am sure that is open to endless debate, but while it wasn’t always perfect, I have really enjoyed the run, and I have a pretty damned awesome DC Comics action figure collection because of it. The Multiverse execution has been more “pick and choose” for me at times since I am not really into figures based off of TV shows and the like, but this swing back to old toy tributes is a lot of fun. It is nice that, even at the end of all things, there are still some good adds for the collection, and if you were into DC action figures in the early 1990s, these three figures are going to be for you.
I first saw these guys in prototype form at Toy Fair 2019 back in February, and I was really impressed. The hand-painted Four Horsemen models were stunning, especially Ivy, so while there was some fall off from those to the final production pieces, I am still mostly glad to have all three of these in my collection. I think the Joker turned out the best, and the throwback to the styles and accessories from the old figure is really fun for the memorable “acid attack.” Additionally, this figure represents the model for Poison Ivy that was locked in my brain for years, and since I am much more of a fan of this more classic rendering over the green skill look, this style is more for me. Plus, this tribute to the tribute of the seminal Tim Burton Batman costume is something we have been waiting for for a long time in this line.
As I mentioned, Joker is the highlight of this set in my opinion, and I think he came out of the full production cycle with the few/no issues. Obviously, this figure is modeled after the old figure, but I like the cane, and the way they executed the “squirting orchid” via the swappable flowers is a nice touch. I was worried the weight of the acid attachment would be too much for this figure to balance, but the piece is actually quite light and the figure poses nicely giving old Batsy a whiff of the poisonous bloom. The head sculpt is, obviously, very stylized (it’s the Joker for Pete’s sake), but if you had the old gold card “BATMAN” Toy Biz figure, I think you will be pleased with the look and this release in general.
This new Batman pays tribute to the same line as the Joker, but this time featuring the heavy influence from the 1989 movie for the suit, and the “Bat-Rope” accessory reference. So, if you have been getting some of the newer Multiverse figures, especially the SDCC Batman set, you will be mostly familiar with this base body. It has some improved articulation in terms of points from the old DCUC base, but it is a bit more spindly overall. I appreciate the closer attention to detail in the belt, cape (the non-cloth portion), gloves, and boots on this figure. DCUC had an all-black repaint of the basic Batman figure several years ago that was a bit of a tribute as well, but this holds more closely to the original. The head on the figure is too big though, I think, and that is one of the production challenges that, if not present, would make for a great overall figure. The accessory is great though, and the grappling gun is a pretty perfect recreation of the 90s piece. Too bad we couldn’t get a Bob the Goon figure, too.
Finally, Poison Ivy is a version in this style/scale that I have wanted for a long time, and I was over the moon about the prototype shown off at Toy Fair. That piece was a thing of beauty, and the removable vines and classic crossbow nod quickly moved her to the top of the ladder in terms of my anticipation order. That said, even when you expect some level of degradation from prototype to production piece, this Ivy got hit pretty hard. The likeness in the final product looks, to me anyway, completely different, even in terms of sculpt, from the prototype. I don’t think I had my expectations too high in terms of what to typically expect from the start of production to the end, but I do wish the final Ivy turned out a bit better because there was a lot of potential there. I have seen the new Killer Croc C&C figure in pictures online, and he looks extraordinary, so this isn’t some general pitfall, just more isolated to this figure. It’s kind of a bummer, especially here at the final stretch.
Overall, this is a fun series to have, but I wish Bats’s head wasn’t so large, and that Ivy would have come there production better overall. Neither are terrible, but if you have a chance to choose between multiples of these in person, it might be a good idea to take a keen eye and pick the best of the group. Right now, these are showing up at Target, so that is where I would be hunting now.
*Thanks to our friends at Mattel for sending along these figures for feature.