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DC Classics vs MOTU Classics
Wave 2 Review

I know I was a little harsh on the two DC figures in this wave, but that’s because I had to plop down $60 for two figures I already have to get two repaints. I think it’s safe to say that most collectors are in that same boat with me, buying these 2pks for the MOTU repaint.

Way back in the time lost year of 1982, Stratos was released with blue wings and a red backpack, this was later corrected to the red wings and blue backpack we’ve all come to know and love. And ever since Classics Stratos was released in early 2009, collectors have been asking for this redeco. While it’s not the most exciting change, the MOTU 2pks were definitely a way to get him out to the collectors. Poor guy still needs an accessory though, it’s been nearly thirty years.

I was happy to find that the new Stratos didn’t have his wings glued to his arms this time around. That allowed me to spin them to the front for his proper look. I was unhappy to find that he’d been put in the package with his jet pack smashed up against the insert tray. I’ll have to fix that later…

Finally, Mer-Man. He’s the real centerpiece of wave two. He’s featured here in “comic colors”. I can’t say that I feel a real connection to this particular look because I love the classic green, but he looks great in blue and he finally gives me a nicer way to display the 2 Mer-Man heads. Mer-man includes a new deco on his sword and… yeah, you can probably guess what I’m going to say next… that makes me want to see his trident in a similar deco in a future weapons pak.

There was some sloppy paint on this figure, a little bit of yellow on the otherwise unpainted teeth and some scratches on the jewels on the armor piece. None of the paint issues are that terrible, and likely could’ve been avoided had my TRU complied in getting this new wave in and I could’ve picked these out for myself.

Reading over this, I’m sure I came across as a little harsh to the DC figures. It’s weird because all of these toys have great Four Horsemen sculpts, mostly decent paint, and the MOTU figures are just as fun to have as the originals. It’s just that it’s hard for me to get excited about having to spend $60 ($70 now) on the duplicates.

At $35 each, that’s essentially buying a DC figure and MOTU figure separately – but MOTU figures usually include 3-4 accessories and DC figures have C&C pieces. These two-packs simply don’t have the same value as the separate figures despite being the same price. That really puts a damper on things – especially when the DC figures are going to be duplicates in our collections. At $35 each, future two packs might need more “wow” factor than a gold belt can bring.

For more MOTU reviews, check out our
MOTU Classics Collector’s Guide.
For more DC reviews, check out our
DC Universe Classics Collector’s Guide.

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28 comments to DC Classics vs MOTU Classics
Wave 2 Review

  • Rich

    These managed to show up at a TRU in Ottawa, Canada. (No, we never received wave 1)

    The paint apps were very hit and miss, and it was difficult to find a non-sloppy Stratos with a Hawkman that didn’t have scuff marks or white dots, for example.

    It was easier, like you said, that the DC figs are going in the “for future customs” bin, and I was really only looking for clean paint apps on the MOTU figs, but it was still quite a challenge to find ones I was really happy with.

    My Stratos is ok, but even he had a glop of tan around his mask above his nose…

    • Not worrying about the DC paint jobs is an unexpected bonus. 😀

      There were some paint issues on just about everybody in the set. The biggest problems with these store exclusives 2pks seems to be that everything has to be done more cheaply. Cheaper materials for sure,* sloppier paint, and less stuff for an equal or great price.

      * – If anyone has both Hawkmen, hold them up to the light and check out how much more light comes through the 2pk version.

  • globaldominationmachine

    with every release and subsequent price increase, mattel is coming off more and more as a bunch of complete and total idiots.

    they couldn’t toss in a slight repaint of hawkman? really? so we’re expected to dump $35 on a slightly different stratos?

    this sh*t is going to come to a head very soon and mattel will find out the hard way that just because they made something doesn’t mean someone will buy it.

    • I really think there is a disconnect between what needs to be in the packs and what can be. I really wonder how well the Skeletor set sold because nearly every TRU that received them in the first place still has Skeletor’s on hand. I have to imagine if they’d done something to Luthor to make him needed for DC Collectors then the set would’ve sold better.

    • Brainlock

      I was tempted to get this set for a custom using Hawkman as the base, and Stratos was my first MOTU back in the day, but HELL NO! at $35! I’m sure I can find a decently cheap/loose Hawkman on ebay for that.

      Still [ticks] me off these 2pk sets is the ONLY way i can get Hawkgirl and Gentleman Ghost…withOUT Giganta pieces! gggrrr………

  • Sy Branch

    I finally managed to get my hands on both of these sets, there alright.

  • I see that yours suffers from the same fate as every one I’ve seen here- Aquaman’s biceps are reversed. About 40 minutes of boil-n-pop action cured this for me!

    • Thanks for catching that, Captain! I meant to include that and completely forgot (I should keep notes, oy!). I’ve added it back in and given you the proper shout for making me notice – thank you!

      • Heli

        The reversed biceps were common on the original DCUC2 release of Aquaman, too. I guess it would’ve taken “development” to correct that error for the two pack release.

  • I know it’s a crazy idea, but you could spend $3 on a little bottle of paint instead and just repaint the figures yourselves. Then send me any money you have left over as thanks 😛

  • Clay

    It definitely sucks that more effort wasn’t put into the DC figures – blue Merman’s cool but the cost of getting a set to the UK just for him doesn’t seem worth it – but is this definitely targeted at completist collectors?

    This is the only MOTUC presence in stores – perhaps it’s not really a devilish trick to scam money out of collectors, but primarily an effort to hook potential new collectors that have no idea the line exists? (Course, this only holds up if there’s a mattyc web address on the packs…)

    • You raise some really valid points, Clay.

      I definitely don’t think it’s a devilish trick to scam money out of collectors – I know this review (along w/ Mongul & Buzz-off) might sound like I’m turning a dark corner into Mattel bashing, but I’m really not meaning to. I do take Mattel at their word when they say it’s not in their budget.

      As for who this set is targeted at, I agree with you that it’s for a mix of completists and new buyers (though neither MattyCollector.Com nor their Facebook page is mentioned on the package). I just lament the lack of value on the DC side – theoretically, the packs would sell better if the larger DC pool of buyers were motivated to pick them up. If Hawkman had been different, if Luthor had been different, etc – then the DC collectors who are currently happily skipping these 2pks could be converted to move more pieces. That’s more what I mean to say with this review.

      Mattel is making them cheap to stay on budget and as a result are likely able to sell less than they could otherwise. How much more would it have costed to give Aquaman yellow gloves or to redeco Hawkman in some fashion. I can only armchair quarterback here, but I firmly believe it would be worth it in the long run in terms of sales.

      • Clay

        Your review’s very fair I think – I’m a veteran WSOD Warrior and when I said “completist”, I basically meant “me”, so any and all bitterness in my comment comes from my own irritation with Mattel’s poor choices!

        And since there’s no web address on the package my theory’s void anyway – making it seem like another in a slowly-mounting pile of oddly backwards business decisions…

  • j1h15233

    I would totally buy one of these Aquaman packs if I ever saw one. My original Aquaman has the worst QC of all my DCUC figures and that’s just unacceptable.

    • That stinks! My worst QC is still Sinestro Corps Sinestro (not counting his height, ironically) with Abin Sur a close runner up. I think about replacing Abin, but I never get around to it.

      I haven’t been able to guage the rarity of these packs. I mean, I know that my set is the only one I’ve seen in person, but I’ve only got one TRU too. It sounds like they’re annoyingly hard to get though.

  • Tom-Tom

    If you want to sell your duplicate Luthor, I’ll gladly take him.

    • I’m still in the terrible mindset of keeping one of everything, but keep an eye on the site. If I ever move some stuff, I’ll post about it here.

  • Pictures=hilarious. Poor Aquaman…

  • toygiant

    But I have a gold belt! =)

  • Shadow_Contact

    I am a Huge DCUC fan. DCUC is worse than Meth to me, But you hit the nail on the head about why these packs are just languishing on shelves (I don’t know first hand, nearest TRU is 80 miles away over a snow covered mountain.). The Lex / Skeletor pack I would be going bonkers to get as I like that Skeletor, but what am I going to do with a 3rd Lex? I got the DCSH one which is the best one, the Sueprgirl / Lex set was nice for the Kryptonite but Skele/Lex doesnt hold anything for me to want on the DCUC end. Same with Hawkman / Stratos; Superman / He-Man, I wouldn’t mind either pack (that’s the Stratos I have had since 83) but Its the same Hawkman and what the 5th time Supes has been released I already have them. I think as you mentioned just some slight paint change and I could rationalize adding them into my collection and paying the 15 a pop for the figures. Right now the only must have is the Aquaman / Mer-Man pack and that’s only because like a lot of people I never saw an Aquaman on the shelves.

  • One TRU near me received a few of these packs back in November, and two out of three of them had a misassembled figure. I don’t have a normal colored Aquaman, so I was considering buying it and just swapping the arms, but I’m glad I realized before I got in line that he also had two right calves. Very lame. I was also disappointed to see that his shirt was a different orange than the wave 2 release (it reminds me of He-man’s belt from his 2-pack).
    Thanks for the review. I really wanted the Aquaman/Merman 2-pack when it was announced, but with the QC issues, and the $5 price bump I’m going to stop looking for these.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    The Mer-Man is kinda cool, but really, at the price these sets are an easy pass for me.

    And yeah, it bears repeating about the sucky packaging art, with (among other shoddy things) Mer-Man in the completely wrong color scheme and Stratos glorious displaying his now-banned former “hyper anime detail” costume bits.

  • PrfktTear

    haha…, “but I have a gold belt.”

  • MegaGearX

    Yeah, Mattel could have included the Light blue Superman or naked Cheetah for these 2 packs. There are plenty of repaints that they could have done for the DCUC side to make these move off the shelf alot faster.

    That point about how some packs will have NO repainting scares me. The DC character in those packs better be Brainiac, Two Face, Cassandra Cain or Mr. Freeze–some super rare DCSH figure.

  • LOL @ the Big Bang Theory reference at the end! Or am I mistaken?…

    Thanks for the review–I certainly am less keen on a toothless Merman and am now aware of where all these loose shiny orange Aquamen in my area are coming from. I definitely agreee with the lack of accessories on these guys. It’s great that there are (partial) repaints, but bad that you’ve had to pay for a duplicate, and in this case more than before!