Every once in awhile, living in Uncle Wally’s backyard pays off. I had precious little to do this afternoon, so I grabbed the car keys and headed off to see how the Wal-Mart resets were coming along at the various stores around me. I hit up my eight closest Wal-Marts (it’s not really that far, if you have a town of 10k or so, you’re awarded a 24 Supercenter around these parts) and was happy to find DC Classics pegs popping up at quite a few of them.
Most of the pegs were empty, and the ones that did have figures only had the “Best Of” case to clog the pegs before Wave 9 arrives, but I have a feeling Wave 9 (and Wave 10) aren’t going to be an issue – at least in our neck of the woods. I’m a little concerned about the 5pk distribution though, because of the eight Wal-Marts I traveled to five had set pegs for DC Classics, but so far only one had shelfspace for the DCUC 5pk. I lucked out today though, because that one store had the 5pk too.
We had to increase bandwidth due to JoeCon, so we’ve got a couple larger images for you this time around. You can click on the front and back turnarounds for an expanded view of the figures. Also, you can click here for a large shot of the back of the box and the character bios.
At SDCC, it was my understanding this was more of a Christmas 5pk for Wal-Mart. And just this week Mattel posted that it was slated for October release. Obviously, it’s here now. I hope to see more Wal-Marts carrying it (from the net it does sound like it’s around more than Wave 5 ever was already). The other good thing is that the Wal-Marts that do have it, specifically have it on their planogram. Hopefully, we’ll see refreshers throughout the year until everybody gets what they need. In all, it’s looking like a brighter time at Wal-Mart for Mattel with the dedicated pegspace being in more and more Wal-Marts. Hopefully the concern over Wave10 will prove to be just leftover apprehension from Wave 5.
There aren’t many new pieces to be found in this 5pk. I counted nine new pieces and they’re all on Luthor. The Superman, Batman, and Catwoman area all straight repaints of previous releases. Two-Face is 95% the same, but his “monster” hand is gone, being replaced with a Clark Kent hand colored green.
Luthor, meanwhile, is constructed around the buck body, given Booster’s collar, and then sports his new head, chest harness, new gloved forearms, new thighs and calves (w/ peg holes), and finally the little cannisters that go into those peg holes. The biggest features here, for me, are the gloved forearms. I’m excited to have this kind of glove (less flare than Doctor Fate’s), but I would have loved to had them at the beginning of the line for some other characters who ended up with this feature painted on. The thighs and calves with the peg holes could get reused, but I can’t think of anyone at the moment who could use them other than Codename: Assassin. I’m sure someone will think of a few before too long.
The articulation is standard for all the figures except Two-Face who sports the same as Clark Kent and Riddler. I had no joint issues with these, stuck or loose.
I knew going in that some of the figures from this boxset were going to go in the extras bin right away. I had expected Two-Face to be one of them. I’m fond of the black & white animated series look and the previous figure is done well in those colors. As I was setting up the photos though, the classic Two-Face really started to grow on me. I blame the orange half of the suit – it’s snazzy. I can’t say I’m going to put away my black and white one instead, but I think this one is going to have to stay out too.
My only complaint about the figure is the same as it was for his earlier version – no pinstripes on the pants. The figures will always look a touch incomplete without those pinstripes and we know it can be done because Joker’s sporting pinstriped pants in wave ten. Other than that, I’d say that Two-Face ended up being my second favorite out of the set today.
Don’t worry, this Batman isn’t consigned into the extras box just yet. Technically, I prefer a black Batman – all black, that is – and Wave 10 has that for me. I’m still happy enough with this Bats though. I’m into the yellow symbol 100% and the lighter gray and black makes a pretty sweet combo. I know that the symbol on his chest probably shouldn’t be glossy, but I love the look it gives the figure here. I wish they’d glued down his cape, but that must be an easy way to cut costs since most of the multi-pack Classics seem to skip that step. Still, it’s easily fixed with some super glue. There’s not much else to say about this figure. It’s just a third variation on Crimestropper Batman.
Lex knows he’s the reason you’re buying the set. He looks at you smugly from inside the package just enjoying that you have to buy four repaints to get to him. That headsculpt is dead on too. Between the details and the paint, it just says Lex Luthor to me. The back of his head is a little oblong on mine. I didn’t notice until I was sizing the pictures, but it appears to be pulled a little unevenly towards the left. It’s strange, but hard to notice so not a big deal. I did have one more noticeable quality control issue with the Lex though.
There were some round indentations that were in different places on each of the three figures I checked out today. I was lucky and found one where the little hole was on the far back of his right cheek, but the other two had them in the center of the left cheek and above his right ear respectively. I’m not sure what caused it, but since he’s the main reason for purchase, I hope that’s not a widespread problem. Still the headsculpt makes this figure sing and lessens the pain of buying such an expensive five pack to get him.
There’s not much to say about this Superman other than I feel like I keep buying it over and over. This is finally the standard one we’ve been waiting for since the line began, but it’s also the fifth or sixth Superman I’ve bought (not counting DCSH). I like the figure, but I still can’t stand his cape. I wish Mattel would retire it. It juts out too far backward, when I’d rather is just drape down like Batman’s. Again, the top of the cape isn’t glued down, but that’s not a biggie if you have super glue handy. On the plus side for this figure, I think they did a good job of finally nailing the blue color of his costume. Some of the previous versions have had different shades, or at least I think they did. This one finally seems to pop with the right choices for the blue and red. The “S” symbol is also crisp and you can’t see the blue plastic underneath.
I can be quoted on a few message boards complaining about this figure. It’s not so much what she is, but what she could’ve been. I think this was an excellent opportunity to include one more new head in this 5pk, go with the standard female body, and do a Balent Catwoman. I kinda hold that against this figure. And, she’s the first non-continuity DCUC having only appeared in a purple version of her modern costume in the Mortal Kombat video game.
Still, the metallic bits really help this figure. It gives her a nice sheen that shows off her details and keeps her from being bland purple woman no. 5. The black parts are glossy and her face doesn’t have that weird shadow this time. These are all pluses, and it’s too much for me to ignore just because I’d rather have had a Balent Catwoman. She’ll still end up in the back of the shelf with other repaints/variants, but I will keep her out. And please pay no attention to Catwoman’s mismatching colors in the pictures, she looks fine in person. I just didn’t get the light balance as spot-on as I should have.
Overall, the fact that I ended up liking all five figures made the $55 not sting as bad. And technically, $55 is less than I would pay for five figures, but these five also have barely any accessories (Catwoman gets her whip) and no C&C pieces. So they may be slightly cheaper, but I still think the buyer gets the short end of the stick on value here. Some extra accessories would have really helped. Particularly, Two-Face’s tommy gun. Or some Kryptonite. I don’t believe there has ever been a mass market release of any color of kryptonite besides green, ever – why can’t Mattel throw in that piece they have in red/blue/yellow/etc? Even just a tiny chunk for Luthor to hold on to would have been nice here.
Still, if you want to complete your Legion of Doom or if you just really love this version of Lex Luthor, then this set is for you. I can’t say it’s worth the price tag, but I’m paying a lot more than $11 per figure in other places right now, so I can’t get uppity about it either. It helps that the figures are all good and that the Luthor is excellent. If you’re wanting that Superman and Batman – we should be seeing single carded versions of those figures coming up as WGSH’s soon, so don’t feel the need to get this 5pk unless you just have to have the Silver Age Luthor or Two-Face (or inexplicably have always wanted a modern purple Catwoman). This set may be more for the completists among you.