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DC Classics.Com S.T.R.I.P.E. Week
S.T.R.I.P.E. Review

As everyone (hopefully) expected, we’re wrapping up our S.T.R.I.P.E. Week with a look at the big guy. STRIPE & ‘comic accuracy’ don’t belong anywhere near each other in a sentence, but Mattel and the Four Horsemen pulled off a feat, a fantastically inaccurate figure that’s fantastic at the same time.

Before we jump in here with S.T.R.I.P.E., I wanted to give a shout out to all of our readers! We know you guys love the theme weeks because you turn out in droves for them, but we weren’t sure about this go-round because we’re getting to S.T.R.I.P.E. & his wavemates so late in the game. These reviews would’ve been late in December and here we are in late February. Yet you guys were still on board, and we saw the same spike in traffic and comments despite the extremely late reviews. You guys humble us and push us to do more with your patronage. A couple years back when it took a month or more to get what is now a day’s traffic around here, we never thought it would blossom into us talking toys to this many folks on a daily basis. So you’re all due a hearty thank you from the whole gang here at IAT!

Even though S.T.R.I.P.E. wasn’t created until 1999, the man inside the suit (Pat Dugan) is a fair bit older than that, having first appeared in 1941′s Action Comics #40 as Stripesy. Stripesy is a rarity in comics because he somehow ended up being the adult sidekick to a teenager, the Star-Spangled Kid. The wealthy teen and the garage mechanic would initially operate independently as heroes, but when one dude’s got a star theme and the other has a stripe them – well a team-up is just natural, right? (The pair actually had met prior while stopping a riot and then followed parallel paths until they met up again as superheroes, if I recall). I’m not sure how Stripesy ended up the sidekick other than the fact that SSK was filthy rich. Life’s just not fair, y’know?

My first introduction to Stripesy came in the form of a JLA/JSA team-up, courtesy of those oft-mentinted Blue Ribbon Digests. The two teams had to track the time-lost members of the Seven Soldiers of Victory (a team that Mattel has yet to give us a proper figure for…). Hourman, Batman, and Starman travelled to Ancient Egypt to locate Stripesy and return him to the present. He didn’t appear a lot af that until Geoff Johns brought him back to the forefront in 1999′s Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E.. Now, things get a little iffy here – Pat Dugan was a mechanic, in his early 20s at least, in 1941. So, in 1999 when he remarries and ends up with Courtney Whitmore (Stargirl) as his step-daughter, this guy’s gotta be pushing 80! He doesn’t look it in the comics and I don’t recall if Johns ever broached the subject of his age, though it wouldn’t take much. One sentence of blah-blah-blah and his youth is explained away. Heck, his being time-lost could cut decades out right there, but it’s not relly important I suppose.

What does matter is that Courtney found SSK’s old costume among Pat’s things and assumed the mantle to annoy her stepdad, but Pat didn’t miss a beat. Since he was a bit old (ahem) to be galavanting about as Stripesy, Pat built a suit of armor (robotic suit) to accompany Courtney while she was out on patrol. Thus, S.T.R.I.P.E. was born. You really have to admire a 1940s car mechanic that’s still in the game and can build cutting edge robots 50 years later. To my knowledge, the acronym didn’t stand for anything in particular. It was just simply a call back to his old moniker with a robotic flare. Readers suggested “Special Tactics Robotic Integrated Power Enhancer” and it stuck, clunky as it sounds.

So here’s the funny thing about the suit of armor Pat built, it looks nothing like the figure. The comics have featured two primary versions of the armor (a third exists if you count the JLU animated series). The first version (above, bottom right) was a clunky design with a kind of Big Guy and Rusty vibe. The later version (above, bottom left) is a little used, but pretty much direct rip-off of a megadeuce design from Big O.

You can see some elements of each in the final design, but either the Four Horsemen created their own vision for S.T.R.I.P.E. or DC supplied them with some wonky control at that we’ve never seen. Now, earlier this week, I stirred the pot a bit by pointing out that I didn’t care about Atom’s height being accurate because it was a great enough figure. If there’s anyone out there who loves S.T.RI.P.E. in the comics and insists on accuracy, don’t read the next sentence. This design is better than either of the versions used in the comics. Seriously, if S.T.R.I.P.E. shows up in the DCnU, the folks at DC need to just use this design. He’s never looked better.

Now, STRIPE (I’m tired of typing all those periods) does share parts with the C&C Stel, so one might think that’s what dictated some of the figure’s design and that could be partially true, but while Mattel intended to part share between Stel and STRIPE (which resulted in us getting a ridiculously oversized Stel), STRIPE ended up reusing a fewer bits of Stel than I’d expected: the legs, lower torso, shoulders, and upper arms. These pieces are all fine to be reused here. They’re nicely detailed and really add to the sculpt. Being cast in white plastic helps bring out the details even more so than when we saw them on Stel.

While Stel’s pieces being a great level of detail to STRIPE’s usually smooth look, the newly tooled pieces blend in nicely. I love the big, clunky feet in particular, but the armored forearms/hands, the new torso, and the new head all look sharp on the final figure. I especially love the head sculpt – yes, it’s not like any of the comic versions, but it does have a great look to it. Some softer plastic pieces are also new here, one to cover the crotch and the make the figure a little less lean through the middle and the large “football pads” that cover his shoulders and upper chest. They both finish off the look and don’t block the articulation, so win-win there. Continue to Page 2…

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49 comments to DC Classics.Com S.T.R.I.P.E. Week
S.T.R.I.P.E. Review

  • Clutch

    Love those pics with Ultie and Wes. Now, I want Star-Spangled Kid & Stripesy to go into Club Infinite Earths. They are way too important to be overlooked! Thanks for a great week of reviews on my favorite toy review site around!

  • j1h15233

    I agree, great week of reviews. It was a terribly boring week at work for me and these reviews were a bright spot every morning. Good job everyone!

  • Lemmy

    Totally in agreeance there! Wonderful week of reviews! It says a lot that, even though I’ve had these guys lined up on my shelves for a little while now, I still find myself excited to come here and read what you guys have to say about them. Truly interesting and informative write-ups, as always! Thank you a ton!

    I thought I read somewhere that the design for S.T.R.I.P.E. was based on an upcoming redesign in the books. Don’t know how accurate that is. Either way, I love the design of him! He’s definatly up there for me as one of the more enjoyable CnC’s. If the over-sized club figs turn out this nice, I’ll be one happy collector!

    Thanks again for this wonderful week of reviews, and for all the other reviews you’ve done in the past! Great stuff! (though I hold you guys to blame for my new obsession with the Ori-figs toys)

    • Thanks, Lemmy! I remember reading that about STRIPE too. If it was a pre-nu design, we may never know! Hopefully, he’ll show up in the DCnU somewhere soon and I’d be happy to see this design (with a little more color).

  • Brainlock

    Talking about the differences in looks, I could almost swear the final eps of JLU had modified the STRIPE armor again? I know they showed Pat taking off the helmet and even climbing out of the chest shell at one point, which was noted in the JLU figure by a swappable Pat head and STRIPE helmet. (I’m guessing you don’t have one for comparison for the review?)

    Overall, it’s a better figure than expected, especially as the Stel came off as more Transformer than basic alien robot. (and they HAD to work his “upgrade’ into the GLC storyline! LOL) The light blue wash was a nice touch and really does bring out the details you might otherwise miss in the sculpt. I’ve got mine displayed holding Courtney, but she does have her left hand holding onto the collar to make sure she doesn’t fall down (and cause an avalanche of figures!).

    The whole wave was pulled off better as a theme, opposed to the other recent waves, even after we were told they were “rethinking” the idea right before this one was announced. Three classic JSA team members, three modern members, and a villain isn’t too bad. There could have been some bad choices, and everyone could have their own ideas for a “perfect” line-up. (-Magog, +Savage! MidNite simply needs a new head/cape for the Owlman body! MORE A-SS!)

    • I’ll have to check out my JLU eps for a second design.

      Definitely a great wave for the year. I had a hard time dividing the reviews with Vault! R

      • The first episode of JLU and the one where Galatea and the Ulitmen attack the satellite show STRIPE as huge with Pat riding in his chest (he’s shown out of armor and climbing in in the attack episode). The armor was destroyed by the Ultimen (if I’m remembering correctly) and when STRIPE showed up next he was wearing human-sized armor (the Warlord and Seven Soldiers episodes).

  • Chase G.

    You know, you’re right. This and the Green Arrow are the only SSoV figures we have for the Golden Age team- and neither are accurate. Consulting a big list of teams you can build in DCUC scale I made, we’ve got those two for Golden Age. Batgirl, Adam Strange, Metamorpho and Deadman give us 4/7s of the Silver Age team, with only Adam Strange inaccurate. Zatanna is by her lonesome for the Morrison teams.

    Interestingly, you can use STRIPE, Stargirl and the Green Arrow in a mostly accurate DCAU version. Well, 3/7s of it.

    Basically, what I’m saying is, Matty needs to give us a Vigilante and a Shining Knight. Those would be really useful. =P

    • Vigilante & Shining Knight would make awesome figures. I hope to see ‘em in the subscription…

      • You’re not the only one! Both are most of the way there between using parts from Aquaman, Copperhead and Lord Naga at least 2/3 or Shining Knight is there. Jonah Hex and Starman Jack could provide somewhere around 3/4 or more of Vigilante. And, of course, Swift Wind can provide a whole helluvalot of Winged Victory!

        (BTW, another great review, love the foot race pic!)

        • Thanks, Jim!

          I hadn’t really thought about the reuse (other than Swift Wind), but you’re right. All the more reason Mattel should get them done soon.

  • dayraven

    i can’t wait to complete this guy. now that things are settling down for me, snagging up the right arm becomes much more feasible. but come on, i know nothing of this character except that he’s a big robot dude… but what more do you need really? he’s a cool giant robot dude!

    • He’s a cool giant robot dude that gets satellite TV and has a built in micro-fridge?

      • dayraven

        plus, he’s a vital scale variance… i find i like having scale variance, which is in part why i’m so attracted to the MU masterworks figs too, cuz they blow up the diversity of my shelf!

        eyeballing fisto today and i can’t help but think how cool he’ll look leaping off the imaginarium pirate island into the face of a giant rubber t rex (the boys’ stuff, but hey, they school for 6 1/2 hrs a day ;) ) but then that’s a big fall, and it would be nice for his robot cohort to save him from a nasty fall… and by that, i mean STRIPE!

  • Freefire

    Its kinda funny that the review is late from your guys’ perspectives but I just got wave 18 in the stores around me here in Chicago.

    The whole wave is a keeper for sure, no hesitation about any of them!

    • I was thinking about that, 19 came and went at Target here a few months back, but distribution seemed to have gone completely wonky for the 2011 waves. Almost random as to when and which stores.

      • Brainlock

        Target up here got w18 beginning of January, then w20 on 7th, with Atom and Lex still hanging on.

        (no idea where the Booster, Beetle, and Dr. Imp went to after near two years?)

  • bjpalm1994

    Awesome review!! I love your theme weeks! I am definitely gonna have to pick up this wave now. STRIPE is just too cool and I never got to complete Stel. I keep seeing Kobra & Magog at the stroe I work at and keep passing them by. I will be purchasing those and looking for the rest :) Keep up the good work!

  • Ismail Kaddoum

    When should we see Wave 20? The End of DCUC, you should call it!
    Great review!! :)

    • Now that I’ve actually finished this wave, I can ship Nekron from my Pile of Loot.

      But the Hot Toys Batman should be soon… I might wait a little longer to save on shipping.

  • Dungeon64

    I always appreciate the right-ups here because I know next to nothing about these characters besides your reviews and the back of the box. STRIPE sounds pretty cool, but he looks a lot cooler. A great figure for sure.

  • TomB68

    Great reviews as always guys! Love the theme weeks! The Nekron wave will be bittersweet in more ways than one.

  • JamesLynch

    I really want a STRIPE, but I’ve only seen this wave get stocked twice at a single Target near me, never any other store, and I’ve never seen the entire wave. The first time, all they had left when I got there was a Hawkman and a Magog (I took the Magog). The next time, they had a few more, but I got sniped by a woman who’d entered the aisle about 5-10 seconds before me and piled all of the figures into her basket, then called her boyfriend to see if he needed any of them for his collection (he did). I did manage to get a Stargirl, but I’ve never even seen Lord Naga with my own eyes, in someone else’s shopping basket or otherwise.

    That was about 2-3 months ago, and I’ve not seen any wave 19 figures since. Every store in my area that sells DCUC seems flooded with rainbow Lanterns. Yes, somehow wave 17 hit around here after wave 19, and wave 18 has yet to surface. I did find a set of DCUC Hawk and Dove at one Target (wave 20, for those counting), but even they still had plenty of wave 17.

    • Waves 17-19 were all pretty scarce here. A big turnaround from years previous.

      I’m not sure what cases to even expect stores to fill their pegs with coming up.

  • Great Job on STripe Week Guys!!!

  • TwoFisted

    I was fortunate enough to pick up almost all of this wave at my local Target. I have not seen AND new DCUC at in my area since maybe the Power Girl wave. All of my local stores need to seriously reset their toy aisles. Its getting annoying. I had to pick up Kobra from Amazon. Its just pointless to hunt for toys in my area. The rest of the wave i picked up in one stop. It also looked like they only put out one case…..cuz i cleaned them out.

    I love the design of STRIPE and i seriously wish if he shows up in DCnU that he’ll have this look. If he dosent thats ok too. Like Iron Man, why cant STRIPE constantly tweak and redesign his armor too?

  • Shadow_Contact

    Did anyone find the photoshopped picture of S.T.R.I.P.E.? I completely agree with Noisy in that the legs need some colour.

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  • Snowglare

    Great, now I want S.T.R.I.P.E.

    And Ultra Humanite. Something I never found out about him… how’s the range of motion in his hips? Can he sit down?