The other new piece is the important one. Jay Garrick features one of the best head sculpts in the line. The 4H captured Jay perfectly. The slight smirk conveys not just character, but Jay’s character. He’s the super-hero that enjoys doing the work. He’s been around and seen it all and the sculpt conveys that. He looks like he’s just had a long day, but he’s run across some new super-villain that thinks he can take out the old Flash. Jay knows different and thanks to the great sculpt, so do we.
On top of that great sculpt is Jay’s classic hat. It’s done well, to specification really, and it really pops with the vacuum metallization. I was initially hesitant about Mattel opting to do that when it’s not present anywhere else in the line, but it looks fantastic to me. There is a seam running down the middle of the helmet that has bothered some collectors, but it’s not that noticeable to me. I see it, but like most flash lines, it just doesn’t really motivate me to get upset about it.
The paint work on Jay is remarkably sharp. I had some concerns about the paint because of my experience with the retail line, but both Jays that we received here at IAT were pretty good. The yellow paint on the lightning bolt is a little thin in places, but it’s hard to tell in person. I’m mostly just mentioning it here because it showed up more prominently in the pictures. The well-painted face and the little tampo on the belt really sell the figure.
Jay features the standard articulation we’ve come to expect over recent years. The ball-joints at the neck and shoulders, the swivel cuts at the biceps, wrists, waist, and thighs, single-hinged elbows, knees, and ankles, the ab crunch, and the 4H hips. The only issue here is the lack of rocker ankles. In general, not having them sucks, but it really hurts on the speedsters because rocker ankles are crucial for great running poses. I know Mattel can’t afford to bring them back full-on, but if we ever get to Wally, Impulse, Max Mercury, Dark Flash, etc. I implore Mattel to bring back the rocker ankles for runners the way they employ ball-jointed wrists for archers.
Jay Garrick sports no accessories, not even a removable helmet for him to throw or an (admittedly costly) second, younger head. A younger head would’ve been particularly nice as most of the Golden Age figures were done young while Jay & Alan were given slightly older head sculpts. It’s not a big deal, but it is slightly odd in group shots.
Anyway, the lack of something to compensate Mattel stripping the C&C part while maintaining the $15 price ($18 if you didn’t subscribe) has been a sticking point for many DC collectors. I’m not sure how the move to online or the lack of ideal subscribers has affected the cost per unit, but it would’ve been nice to see Jay come with a little “more”. That said, figures placed later in the subscription, figures possibly not scalped from waves like Jay, appear to be receiving that extra “oomph”. Mattel has me more excited for Mirror Master and Black Mask largely because of their accessory complement. I have hope that future figures will continue to get better.
The important thing today though is that we finally have Jay Garrick on our DCUC shelves! The main 8 JSA is complete! The extended GA roster is painfully close to completion. My Flash section is still woefully light (really, Mattel, get on that!), but having Jay fills a big void there too. More important than any of his associations is that we have a Jay Garrick figure in-it-of-itself. I’ve mentioned that I recently had to store most of my DCUC collection in anticipation of a move. As a result, most of Wave 20 went straight to that giant container (and some CIE figures will too), but that’s not the case with Jay. Jay demands to be out on the shelf. That’s partially because he’s a great character, a favorite character for me, but it’s also because he got a great figure. It’s been awhile since I got a DCUC that I had to put on the front of the shelf. Hopefully, it won’t be too long until that happens again.
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DC Universe Classics Collector’s Guide.