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Watchmen: Club Black Freighter
Doctor Manhattan Review

The thing that does bother me though is the sloppiness of the pieces we did get. There is a front torso piece with nipples, but Mattel didn’t use it. The hands are new – they’re still based on the outstretched sculpt that I often pick on, but they’re new! That would be cool, but they don’t match the forearms; they’re too small. I may sound like I’m magnifying a minor quibble, but it just looks tacky. And did I mention this is a $25 figure?

Similarly, the head sculpt just is not up to par despite being another unique piece. At first, I didn’t like it because it just didn’t have a Gibbons-esque feel. It just looked off. After taking the pictures, I realized that it looks off because it is. The left side of his head features a square jaw and a smooth, rounded skull. The right side of his head has a rounded jaw, and an enlarged, squared off skull. Take a look at this shot below where I’ve used photoshop to mirror the two halves of the face sculpt. This pic slays me because the head on the right (the left side of his head duplicated) looks amazing.

Hey! There’s also new bare feet. Those look sharp!

Articulation is standard for the DC buck. There’s good movement at the neck and no blockages at the ankles for this figure. Paint is similarly sharp on the figure. There’s not much, but the lower torso is molded black and painted blue to match. The colors are a great match. I wouldn’t even notice the paint except for a small blemish on the front.

Dr. Manhattan includes his matching Watchmen stand and that sexy packaging with the slick mailer, book-style blister with “Who Watches the Watchmen” mural, and some original art on a cool coaster that has a bio on the back.

I mentioned that I’m thankful for the painted-on undies earlier. I’m mostly kidding. Now, Mattel (or just about any other company) is never going to make a figure depicting Dr. Manhattan nude even though he spends the vast majority of the time in the book baring all. That’s fine, but now that we’ve seen most of the figures, I’m a little put-off by Mattel’s deco choices. My brother has my Absolute Edition Watchmen right now, but I’m wondering if there’s a timeframe within the book that all the characters would match up. Comedian is old & scarred, Rorschach is (kinda) dirty & crazy, but Dr. Manhattan is in his younger days. I bring it up now because I don’t think it will matter on the final three figures, but it just strikes me as odd to not try and make all the figures from the same time frame. Then again, I suppose the real problem is Dr. Manhattan’s Long Island.

Overall, I don’t know what final score to place on this figure. He serves his purpose. He fills in the sixth spot on the Watchmen shelf. The cheapness he kinda exudes is really mostly acceptable reuse, but Mattel would’ve been better served to do something to combat that cheap feeling. Maybe they counted on the five new pieces being enough, but the hands not matching the forearms and the funky head sculpt undercut those new pieces. In the end, I guess I’m happy that I finally have a comic-based Dr. Manhattan figure, but it’s just a crying shame that the figure didn’t receive the care and attention he deserved in the production stages to make him a great figure befitting a great character.

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22 comments to Watchmen: Club Black Freighter
Doctor Manhattan Review

  • Cade

    Why would mattel start making sure team members match era wise now?

    • LOL That’s true, but I just want to damn them a little here – there’s only six figures!

      I’m just telling myself that the left side of his head is from the era I want…

      • Cade

        that head thing is truly weird.

      • Brainlock

        wasn’t there talk of expanding into a second wave for Watchmen/BF?
        I’m not sure how they would do that, the Minutemen? The DCD movie series covered both eras, and the yellow jumpsuit Comedian and Capt. Metropolis would be nice additions that haven’t been done before.

    • Adam

      *weeps for Changeling and Perez Zatanna*

  • He-Mullet

    The one thing that would make him pop! is the one thing Mattel will NEVER do… Aaand I’m sure we won’t see any “Comic Book Accurate” Doctor Manhattan customs either.

  • Andy

    Wow, when I opened him, I just thought he was rather plain. Now that all these flaws have been pointed out, I’m even more bummed 🙁

  • Freefire

    Ulp, now I’m bobbing my head, playing that song in my head, lol! Classic.

    I am not a huge fan of Watchmen, so I guess Im ok with having passed on this sub. I hope the rest of them are more along the lines of what you are looking for.

  • Bigbot

    I haven’t been impressed with any of the Watchmen figures so far, and it sucks that the figure you got has a misshapen head. However, seeing those blue feet I’m now wondering how they’d look on a MOTU Skeletor to create a Millennium version. They’re probably too small, but if I can get Manhattan on the cheap (hoping for a Black Friday sale) I might pick him up.

  • Brainlock

    wow. that head really sucks. How did they screw that up?

    I was leery about the Black Freighter sub, but went ahead and bought into it…before DR decided I couldn’t change my card. @_@
    (actually, Dan and Laurie are the ones I’m really looking forward to, followed by Comedian.)

    The shorts seem a little too big, as he did wear what was essentially a thong in most of those scenes. Even just leaving the black off the leg, possibly the hip joint would have worked for me. I guess they had to explain the “wrinkled” hip area, tho? As for a “naked” Jon, look at Cap Atom, he’s not wearing ANY clothes, just his alien armor for skin. (You did know the chest sigil, “boots”, and “gloves” were just injected paint, right?)

    also, why are my ears burning?
    😉

  • dayraven

    you know, even a more pearlescent plastic would have been fly here, something to make the guy pop a little. oh, and having skull symmetry, that too. this is what you get the horsemen aren’t doing mattel’s sculpting.

    • dayraven

      oh, one other note, more folks might be commenting on the night at the roxbury photo is you’d included the title of the song “what is love” by haddaway, the line that most folks recognize. one love

      • Bigbot

        I forgot to comment on that pic. Loved it, now I can see three Manhattans in a car just bobbing their heads to the song.

    • Fury

      Sadly, I believe the 4H are sculpting the Watchmen line.

  • Tom

    I knew there wouldn’t be much to Dr. Manhattan, but since Rorschach came with a gun, you’d think they could have slipped some kind of accessory in with him. He had minimal sculpt of new parts, so Mattel is being frugal to probably have more to put towards Nite Owl and The Comedian. Wouldn’t have been cool to have Dr. Manhattan come with a Bubastis? Even as a non-moving figure, he would be there to help complete Ozymandias later in the line.

    • Brainlock

      Bubastis might have been nice, but you also forget, she would be about the same size as the rest of the figures. then people would want the same artic as Battle Cat/Panthor, which would be more tooling costs, esp for the new head. Unless they can find a cheap way to downsize the BC mold, I’m not going to hold my breath.

      • Well, they could get some nice cross-pollination out of such a Bubastis mould, if they made her fully-articulated. I can instantly think of three more toys you could get out of it: Cringer (new head), Panther-Form Catra (new head and armour), and Panther-Form Beast Boy (green Catra parts, no armour).

        And I’m sure there must be other opportunities, with a little imagination. Catwoman and “animal buddy,” for example.

        • TC

          I love these suggestions, man! Matty will never do it (it’s too easy a solution) but still…great ideas!

  • dayraven mentions pearlescent plastic above, but I can’t help but think glow-in-the-dark blue would’ve been the perfect choice for Dr. M.

    • Faugh

      Oh God, that would’ve made it a must-buy for me.

      So it’s probably good that they didn’t.

  • Grazie per il vostro articolo, mi sembra molto utile, proverò senz’altro a sperimentare quanto avete indicato… c’è solo una cosa di cui vorrei parlare più approfonditamente, ho scritto una mail al vostro indirizzo al riguardo.