When Elasti-Girl arrived at the end of the last month, the first thing I said was, “finally.” If you’d asked me back in 2008 for my “Top Ten Characters that Need to be C&Cs” list, Elasti-Girl would’ve easily been in my top three. Instead, she ended up being what might be the last great oversized figure.
And, yes, I say that knowing that Elasti-Girl is the third-to-last oversized figure, but the next two just don’t seem the same. I am looking forward to both Lead & Mallah, but height is what impresses me when it comes to BAFs & C&Cs. Lead looks sharp, but he’s oversized on that Darkseid buck. Mallah looks fun, but, like Grodd, he won’t be doing much from the shoulders down. So Elasti-Girl is the one that Mattel’s going out on in my eyes. Hopefully, Mattel will figure out a better way to do some new oversized figures in the future, but until then Rita will remain a great example of what Mattel can do.
I didn’t gush as much in my Robotman or Negative Man reviews, but I absolutely love the Doom Patrol. They first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80 back in 1963, but I wouldn’t find them until their stories were reprinted in the early 80s in the old DC Blue Ribbon Digest.*
That Digest reprinted four tales of the classic Doom Patrol and I was hooked! I wanted more, but that’s not how it worked out. I never really ran across them again. I didn’t read the Vertigo title as a kid. I didn’t have any access to the older issues. I sorta just forgot about them until Amalgam Comics X-Patrol awakened my memories of the team (Elasti-Girl had been merged with Wasp & Domino) and then I hunted down reprints and began reading the newer series. And I loved it. The original Haney still hold up. Morrison’s version is still trippy. The Doom Patrol has fallen on hard times since then though. They’ve been “New 52ed” several times in the last decade and I’ve found that I barely cared to read any of it. I don’t believe they’ve been “New 52ed” in the New 52 yet, but it’s only a matter of time until I sadly find myself again not buying a new book of one of my favorite classic teams.
* – Rita appeared on that cover with a long-sleeved red dress and purple gloves that flared out like her boots. That digest made such the impression that I’m probably the only person that would’ve preferred that look compared to the iconic version we received.
In the classic version, Rita Farr was an up-and-coming actress (& Olympic champion!) when she was inadvertently exposed to volcanic gases. Darn the luck, right? Those gases gave her the ability to manipulate her size from shrinking to a few inches tall or growing hundreds of feet tall. Essentially, she was DC’s answer to Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. Initially, she had no ability to control her size changes – which when you think about it, pretty much turns a cool super power into a useless pain in the ass. Dr. Niles Caulder helps her to better control her powers and adds her to the Doom Patrol as Elasti-Girl.*
* – By the way, don’t forget that hyphen! It’s the only thing separating her from The Incredibles Elastigirl. Pixar sought and received permission from DC to use the name, but Rita Farr will always be the true Elasti-Girl, even if she’s surely the second most well-known one now.
While Rita & the Doom Patrol might not be from the most visible corner of the DCU, getting the team in Classics has been something really important to me. While I still feel like Mattel needs to make Dr. Caulder (& Mento and a proper Beast Boy to a lesser extent) to make the team complete, it feels great having the roster together on the shelf! That’s particularly helped by the three figures being some of the best that Mattel & the 4H have done for the line.
Rita continues that trend. While many of us thought she could be easily done with Giganta pieces, Mattel surprisingly gave Rita a lot of new tooling. Mattel did reuse what they could from DCUC8’s Giganta, but that ended up only really being the upper arms, shoulders, and the legs from the waist to the knees.
The figure features an all new upper torso, lower arms, lower legs, and the head sculpt. While that might be expected for the retail line’s C&Cs, I’m grateful it was done for Club Infinite Earths, which has been producing decent figures despite being light on tooling. Continue to Page 2…