Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hawkman (DC Universe Classics)

Hi, I'm A.J. I'll be posting here on this blog as well. In most instances my reviews won't be as self-flagellating as Action Ranger Timmy's. Anyway, moving on to business . . .

Why did I buy that?

Hmm . . . You know, I can't really say. Action Ranger Timmy called me when he was at a department store and spotted the sixth wave of DC Universe Classics, asking me if I wanted any. Well, I did want the Captain Marvel figure, but my brother was already going to pick that up for me. Swayed by the positive reviews I'd seen over the Internet, I chose Hawkman. Not that I was particularly eager to get a Hawkman figure. I like some of comic appearances and his general aesthetic therein, but the figure from what I had seen seemed a little too bland. Nonetheless, I got Hawkman. He's a dude who flies and smashes people with his mace; it's like if Conan the Barbarian were a superhero. It's a simple yet glorious concept, although DC Comics has a laughingly bad track record at keeping things simple and straightforward when it comes to this character.

Any regrets?

Several notable toy reviewers on the Internet would have you believe this is one of the best figures from Mattel's six-inch scale DC Comics line. Well . . . I wouldn't necessarily agree with that. I have my Green Lantern figure right next to my computer and I enjoy that one a hell of a lot more, which is interesting since both figures share most of the same parts.

In fact, that's my main complaint with the figure, and why I am wary about buying too many DCUC figures: Mattel keeps reusing the same base bodies over and over. I get that they want to save money, but it's pretty easy to cross that line between "clever reuse of base parts" and "cheap bastards". That's why I'm not really into the Justice League Unlimited line (that, and Kenner/Hasbro did a much better job with the Dini/Timm animated series-based figures in the 1990s, but I digress). I own five DCUC figures, and three of them (Hawkman, Green Lantern, and Orion) basically share the same body with different heads, some unique tooling, and different accessories. I really have no compulsive desire to buy essentially the same figure in different colors multiple times, even if Mattel paints it in the most half-assed way possible to resemble my favorite comics characters. Hawkman does have the advantage of having a unique torso (the key difference is the presence of nipples, although it is also wider than the Orion/Green Lantern torso and the rib muscles are set deeper). He also has new tooling for his boots and features raised veins all over his upper body. Still: essentially the same figure. It's like all these figures were drawn by a 1960s DC house artist.

Of course, he has a new head; it's a good sculpt, but he can't look up and the glued-on beak is unslightly up-close. And then there's the wings. They look great folded down in a resting position, but I'm not fond of how they look extended, and something I can't quite figure out bothers me about the articulation (which is funny, since in most case I'd be perfectly satisfied with two wings glued to a figure's back without any posability).

Oh, and his shield is too small. Seriously, it looks ridiculous. It's not even shaped like a shield; for some reason it makes me think of a deep-dish pizza. And the belt on my figure is glued on crooked, so when the sword is in the sheath, the handle impaires the placement of the right arm when it's holding the shield. His mace is fine, though. Except that the figure doesn't have a firm grip on it, and the word "CHINA" is clearly visible on the head of the weapon.

Like all DCUC figures, Hawkman comes with a piece of a Collect-n-Connect figure, in this case the New Gods villain Kalibak. I don't have the accompanying arm anymore, because I gave it to Action Ranger Timmy so he could assemble the figure. Somehow I feel I got the raw end of that deal.

Am I happy with my purchase?

Yeah, I guess. I know that's not the best answer to give when these things cost thirteen dollars. It's just not as great as I was led to believe. I don't hate the figure; it is fun to mess around with and looks decent standing on a shelf. It's just not great.

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