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Apache Chief Week:
DC Classics Samurai Review

Samurai’s simple cartoon look didn’t require a lot of paint detail, but that unfortunately didn’t translate into Samurai being easy to paint. The figure is mostly okay from the neck down, there’s just a bit of green slop on the left knee and the different grades of plastic used for the limbs not matching up with the main trunk of the body, but the head tells a different tale. The skin tone is darker which results in it being a bit mismatched from the body and the paint on the hairline just isn’t as clean as it should be.

The articulation is what we’ve come to expect from the line. Good range on the ball-jointed neck, with ball-joints at the shoulders, swivels at the bicep, wrist, waist, & thighs, hinges at the elbows, knees, & ankles, the ab crunch, and the 4H hips. The tunic is soft enough that it doesn’t block the articulation, but it does bunch up in some poses and may warp a bit if left in a stressed position for too long. And to sound like a broken record, I’m really missing those rocker ankles…

Samurai includes on accessory his classic energy/lightning sword. It’s a cool update of the original piece and I love that it’s translucent this time around. The generic left hand doesn’t hold the sword as well as I’d like, but it’s serviceable. That sort of thing needs to be addressed going forward, I’ll talk more about it when I get to Bronze Tiger. One thing I did lament – to again call on my toy nostalgia – was no karate-choppin’ hand. The line is really in need of a reusable karate hand, but Samurai was given a fist instead.

That said, the fist does have one added benefit. Samurai wields his blade with his right hand in the cartoon, the comics, and the original toy, and yet the Classics figure’s has been sword bumped to his right hand. That allows Samurai to utilize Red Tornado’s tornado attachment. Of course, that would mean more had the figure included one of his own, but it’s neat little feature nonetheless.

Overall, if you’re a Samurai fan like me, this is a figure you’ve been waiting for. There might be a few objectionables like the paint on the head or the lack of a karate-choppin’ hand, but he’s still a great rendition of the classic character and it feels good to finally get the last of the original 34 Super Powers figures on my shelf. It’s crazy how great the character selection has been for this line. It’s been the one thing we could look forward to – despite QC issues, distribution issues, or articulation issues – and it’s a crying shame that character selection is the one aspect being mucked with for next year’s rebranding…

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

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28 comments to Apache Chief Week:
DC Classics Samurai Review

  • Adrian

    Great review, Dan! Samurai looks awesome. I can’t wait for Apache Chief!

  • Benning

    Sorry, Noisy, but this wave is a HUGE WASTE in my eyes. Bronze Tiger is the only figure worth owning.

  • Freefire

    Samurai does look great! Love that panel where he’s split between his two “worlds”!

    Im looking forward to when these release in stores near me in about 7-8 months =P

  • I dunno, it could be fun. I guess I just get confused by the conflicting message of “Super Powers” figures Vs. “Super Friends” Vs. actual DC Comics, as line intent and focus, ya know?

    All I care about for now is Samurai’s tunic gets us one stock part closer to a Paul Kirk Manhunter. 🙂

    • I don’t think there should be lines between those things. The line’s focus is the DC Universe and these guys are all in it in my book, even if we have to go back and call the Super Powers comic Pre-Crisis Earth-SP.

  • Rystar

    Great reviews as always! I’m really looking forward to it!!

  • Jonatan

    I know many people hate this wave, but this is by far one of my favorite ones in DCUC line. I have all Super Powers figures and I waited for years and years to get an updated Samurai as well a Black Vulcan figure, Apache Chief, Toyman and to my big surprise, El Dorado. I would add Brainiac robot in this wave too.
    I really don’t care if the figures are based on cartoon or comics, since they make nice and good looking figures to my shelves and not repainted Batman, Superman and Green Lantern.
    To complete, I would love to see Giganta and Apache Chief in 6″ scale, but I know Mattel will never do that.
    Great review as usual!

  • Bigbot

    I didn’t grow up with Super Powers, and I have no idea who this guy is. A complete waste for me, but kudos to those who want him. I’m sure no one thought we’d get this guy at the beginning of the line.

  • Brainlock

    I managed to find this wave last week up in Fenton WM, and was lucky enough to get a chance to decide between TWO Samurai: one with a bit of orange paint slop on the crotch, or one with a large gap in the sash connection. I took the former.

    Samurai I don’t mind as much sneaking into the line, not just because he managed to make the SP cut, but he’s also had a few random cameos the last few years. I recall seeing him at least once before a 2(?) panel appearance in JSA, helping aid in a tsunami or some other global disaster with Dr. Light (Kimiyo Hoshi) and I think Rising Sun?

    As to who he was supposed to be a composite of in the cartoon, for some reason, I always thought of a cross between Reddy and J’onn, more for the invisibility aspect, I guess?

    part of me now wants to see him in the new Booster-led JLI, seeing as it’s going to be a Global Guardians type of book…allegedly. (I only caved only a minimum of DCnU titles to support my LCS…60 miles away, wayyyy up in St Charles! thankfully, they offer monthly shipping! LOL)

    • I think I completely forgot to mention it, but mine has the green slop on his knee.

      Yeah, he’s has a handful of DC cameos here & there – and good call on J’onn, I hadn’t thought of that.

      I ordered too many of the DCnU titles…

  • orionpax636

    As one of a handful of Asians in all the grade schools I was in, I always felt a kinship with this guy, and thus was also eager to get a figure of him.

    There comes a time when certain aspects of a representation make it stereotypical of a culture. That said, this guy is so far from what I would consider stereotypical ANYTHING that he’s in no danger of that. I’ve never seen any samurai in any artform dress anything like this. He’s just a handsome, half-dressed Asian man with unique fashion sense and a possible commitment to bushido.

    I admit, I could be totally ignorant to the ways of the samurai, and this could have been standard garb in their ranks. Regardless, this is a good figure that I’m happy to have.

    • I think you just wrote his bio. 🙂

      I mention the stereotypes because that seems to be the consensus, but the only one that ever makes me cringe is Apache Chief.

  • I’m a huge fan of the late Japanese acting legend Toshirō Mifune. Samurai reminds me a lot of him as seen in the classic masterpiece “Seven Samurai.” I also respect the character for appearing through the second half of Super Friends’ run, right through the very end. I am looking forward to displaying him on my shelves!

  • you_will_forget

    We didn’t have access to any of the early DCish cartoons over here, so I’ve no nostalgic attachment to this guy, or indeed any of his fellows in this wave. Without any personal attachment to them, they look, well, dull.

    Thankfully, the CnC is likewise of no interest, so this is the first wave I’ve not even umm-ed and ahh-ed about skipping. Captain Boomerang and Bronze Tiger, as genuine characters, are being added to my otherwise complete DCUC collection, but it’s hard not to think of these as “figures that should have been a multi-pack, not taking up precious slots in the main line”

    Great review though, as usual.


  • Rich

    I found he was a little tall, compared the the rest of the Super Powers incarnations in DCUC. He’s standing next to Orion and Mr. Miracle, and he Dwarfs them. Cyborg looks puny in comparison to this guy!

    Still, SO SO glad my Super Powers collection is complete!

  • Wow Super freinds is getting alot of hate! I guess those of us that didnt grow up with it will never understand. The whole wave (capyain boomerang aside) looks great and I cant wait to get my Chief up and running. I didn not read the review as I dotn want it to influence my own review of Samurai later in the week but i’m sure its great as always!

  • […] with Samurai, Black Vulcan was another character added by Hanna-Barbera in 1977 for the sake of diversity, but […]