As he should, Penguin largely reuses the body of the original Penguin from Wave 1. Over the years of my requesting this figure, I insisted that he only need a new head. Luckily though, the 4H/Mattel put a little more investment into him and gave him an all-new, and toy accurate torso so that he would better match the original figure. It’s little details like that the sell the figure.
Atop that torso also rests the much-needed new noggin’. I still lament that the production process requires Oswald’s nose to be a separate piece, but it’s unavoidable. Overall though, the sculpt is true to the original figure while bringing it up to a more detailed level. Some have lamented that the sculpt is too cartoony, but I disagree. It was sculpted as a love letter to the Super Powers figure and I’m receiving it as one and I think they nailed it. He’s a sharp homage.
The articulation is a little different than we’re used to, mostly due to the reuse of the non-standard buck. Most of what I like to see is there: ball-joints at the neck & shoulders, hinges at the elbows, knees, & ankles, and swivels at the biceps, wrists, & waist. The legs try to be more articulated than they functionally are. While the thigh swivels are gone, the hips are still on double hinges – they just don’t work very well. They didn’t on the original either and it seems a tad worse here. There isn’t much back & forth movement and the outward movement is so tight that it makes you doubt there’s a hinge in there.
The paintwork on my Penguin was pretty good. The pinstriping on the pants was sharp except for one small section while the yellow paint on the cummerbund was a tad sloppy. The face paint is sharp though and it makes me really overlook the other two bits.
Penguin included one accessory and it’s the one part of the figure I’m not particularly satisfied with. To be fair, I have way too much affinity for the original. Honestly, if you asked me what my Top Ten figure accessories were, the SP Penguin’s umbrella would make the list. I love the colors. I strangely enjoy spinning it around. I love the telescoping… icepick? Blade? Whatever. It’s cool.
The modern umbrella? Not so much. It’s a shame that wasn’t room for Mattel to spring for a new accessory here. The original Penguin’s umbrella is an okay piece and it definitely looks sharper in the primary colors, but it’s really undersized – about the same size as the SP version despite the noticeable different in scale between the figures. I’ve also never really appreciated the clip-on machine gun part (though it comes handy to keep the umbrella from sliding down into Penguin’s hand). It’s okay. It completes the look, but it’s just not as cool as the original. What I really need to do is track down an in-scale closed umbrella too. Though I’m not sure how I’d paint it…
The undersized umbrella and restricted hips aside, I still love the figure. I love how it looks and I love the feelings that it invokes. The 4H did a great job updating the pieces on the figure that needed updating and the colors are sharp and true to the original overall. I know the original Penguin is also technically a “classic” Penguin, but it just never quite fit for me. This is the Penguin the line needed and this look appeared in so many places that I think it’s a good fit for DC fans that don’t love Super Powers like I do.
More DC Universe Classics Reviews:
For all our DC reviews, check out our
DC Universe Classics Collector’s Guide.