Vault Review: DC Classics
Monsieur Mallah & The Brain

Between the lack of uniquely sculpted subs figures and the focus on Nu52, it feels like the DC Classics line is wrapping up.  All lines have to at some point, and it was a great run while it lasted.  It’s just sad that there are still so many characters waiting to be made into plastic.

Pretty much everything that came out of the original Doom Patrol books was a great mixture of unique and crazy.  Stories not only focused on battling insane characters like Mr. 103 and the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, but also the teams psychological issues and their difficulty coping with the powers that allow them to save humanity while making them outcasts from it.

As expected, Monsieur Mallah shares the exact same body as Gorilla Grodd.  We did get an entirely new head sculpt, which I’m really happy with.  Grodd had that elongated cranium, which is perfectly accurate for his character.  It just prevents him from looking like a normal gorilla.  But Mallah, with his bushy facial hair and deep set eyes looks like he stepped right out of the jungle (you know, aside from the beret).  I also like that his facial expressing changes slightly depending on the angle.  It really adds a lot to his personality.

Unlike Mallah, Brain is an entirely new figure.  Even though he’s really just a glorified pedestal, the Four Horsemen did a fantastic job of designing him.  The sculpted rings and panel lines help to break up the monotony, while the buttons and doodads add a bit or realism.  The top of the figure has the general shape of a skull, but it is way more subtle than the overboard design of the Crisis figures a few years back.

Brain’s design is pretty perfect, but my favorite part has to be his actual brain.  It’s a slimy looking pink and purple mass that’s covered with a translucent dome.  It definitely makes a nice juxtaposition on Robot Man’s brain, which can be seen if you take off his skull cap. Now Brain can take over Cliff’s body, and no one will be the wiser!

Even though Mallah is nearly the same as Grodd, his paint job goes a long way in making him look different.  The biggest change is that his fur is a dark shade of brown.  Also his hands, feet, chest and face have show off a darker skin color than Grodd’s light gray.  There’s also a little bit of wash to fill in the spaces between his furs.  Continue to page 2…

31 thoughts on “Vault Review: DC Classics
Monsieur Mallah & The Brain

  1. I’ll second that motion. Niles, at the very least, is a must. Mento would be sweet but a far longer shot than, say, …Killer Moth?

    Everything about these two turned out as cool as could be expected. Don’t mess with a French gorilla packing heat if you cross his path.

    1. You mean Killer Moth, the figure that somehow showed up in wave 6 of DCUC? Just goes to show you, in a Mattel figure line, the ability to be assembled out of basic parts is more important than name recognition or a cool design.

  2. You may have to cobble together your own Chief/Caulder figure: a Professor X figure and an unmasked Starman head sorta works!

    But I hate Mento. Hate him so much…

    1. you really just need the wheelchair and a Peck from Ghostbusters.
      altho some have taken a random MM/DCU suit and popped Thom/Starman’s head on it.

      1. I took the Harvey Dent body, Thom head, and X wheelchair and it looks great! A buddy came over and was amazed that the Chief figure was a custom/kit-bash. He would have never guessed it wasn’t a regular part of the line.

        1. That’s what I did. Starman head, Movie Masters Dent body, ML Prof. X wheelchair. I had to cut a slit on the back of the Dent jacket though, so he could completely sit properly in the wheelchair, with his feet in the footrests and everything. It’s not a “true” DCUC Caulder, but damn it looks good with the Doom Patrol.

  3. Looking at the photos of this guy reallly makes me regret not subscribing. Its not the most impresseive Figure(s) to date, but…Something about a Gorilla dressed like Hugo Chavez calls out to me. LOL. Seriously though, This Figure makes me wish i had subscribed.At least I made it on time for the lite.

  4. Why, oh why, does DC do primates so well and Marvel …. eh?

    Even DC’s rodentia are better. B’Dg vs Rocket Raccoon.

    And we’re not even getting into the Super-equestrians! And Bat-Hound!


      1. B’dg made it to retail several times over before RR did.
        (and I think Ch’p made it into one of those DCD GL boxsets? those vinyl-? mini-LPS sets?)

  5. These figures look great, and Mallah’s head-sculpt is so nice it really doesn’t feel like a standard Mattel “cheat” that they reused the Grodd body. That paint job is sweet, too. Now if only the Classics line could last long enough to see Congorilla and Titano figures. Imagine an entire shelf of super-apes! Brain looks good too, but i wish he had some treads to roll around on or something. They couldn’t just pull some off a Hot Wheels tank? Of course they couldn’t. I forgot who we’re dealing with for a second. My bad.
    And yeah, there’s always room for more Doom Patrol: Mento, Negative Woman, Celsius, and Tempest are all on my wish list. And I would love to see what the Horsemen would do with Shrapnel, the villain from the Erik Larsen run from the 80’s. I could care less about the Chief, though. Not sure why everyone wants Mattel to waste plastic on a guy who sits in a wheelchair and acts like a total dick all day. To each his own, I guess. Nice review!

    1. You just made me realize that a wheelchair would actually have reuse potential. I’ve been wanting an Oracle figure for years, so a wheelchair could both help fill out a Doom Patrol collection and a Birds of Prey collection.

      Not that Mattel would really do an Oracle figure, though, since she’s a character who’s very popular with comic fans but wouldn’t have much mass market appeal. That’s not at all the type of thing this figure line exists for (actually, at this point, the biggest hurdle might be getting DC to sign off on it, since restoring Barbara to being Batgirl was one of the bigger hot-button issues of the reboot. Then again, they must’ve okayed that Wally West figure, even if Mattel ended up doing the figure wrong).

      1. I’ve still got my DCD Birds of Prey set, with Oracle (glued to her chair, all four poa! six if you count the wheels.) and “wetsuit” Canary, and (pre-Hush/full body suit) Huntress.

  6. Cool looking figure on his own, and the new head sculpt is great, but they should’ve done much more to differentiate from Grodd.

    The two side by side just makes Mallah look extra cheap.

  7. Why are my ears burning? 😉

    seriously, I have mixed feeling about this one.
    on the one hand, I already have a couple Grodds (DCD and DCUC) and the DCIH Brain, so this wasn’t a “Need!” set.

    Sure, the body is re-used Grodd, which we all expected, but the head alone almost makes him worth getting. Is the beret sculpted separately and attached or part of the head sculpt?
    (trying very hard (!) not to make a UNIT joke here, esp after the insinuations of Torchwood’s “Reset” episode. [pours one out for I-candy])

    Brain? hmm… Whether you consider him an “accessory”, partner, or what, he’s pretty useless without Mallah. the “pedestal” description is pretty accurate. Sure, as one of the review links previously posted compares him to Brainiac in appearance, we know he’s a unique and older character in this appearance. otoh, at least the DCIH version does have that cool “chomping” feature and a better “face”, imo.
    (that review also mentioned the box artist apparently made up his own design, unaware of the finished product, which looks way cooler with the electric blue highlights!)

    Do we really need the rest of the DP team? Sure, I would love to see a DP 5pk set with:
    -Caulder (Thom’s head on MM/DCU suit body, wheelchair could be re-used for Oracle),
    -6″ ElastiGirl,
    -Mento (Neg.Man body, new head),
    -“Negative” Man (transparent black body, re: Thom/Starman),
    -Changeling (BB in his NTT red/white deco).
    Will this ever happen? not without a DP movie, I don’t think.

    1. Nah, mandrills have REALLY long, dog-like snouts. (Rather like baboons, only puffier.) Gorillas have quite a bit of facial variation, if you spend enough time looking at them and comparing. This guy’s just a bit on the dolichocephalic side.

      I don’t collect comic book characters, nor do I know much about them, but this is one excellent-looking ape, I gotta say. The Horsemen know their way around a primate.

      And now I can’t get that damn Warner Brothers cartoon theme tune out of my head . . . .

  8. Sorry, it makes no sense but all I could think of was this:

    Love, exciting and new
    Come Aboard. We’re expecting you.
    Love, life’s sweetest reward.
    Let it flow, it floats back to you.

    Love Boat soon will be making another run
    The Love Boat promises something for everyone
    Set a course for adventure,
    Your mind on a new romance.

    Love won’t hurt anymore
    It’s an open smile on a friendly shore.

    Love Boat soon will be making another run
    The Love Boat promises something for everyone
    Set a course for adventure,
    Your mind on a new romance.

    Love won’t hurt anymore
    It’s an open smile on a friendly shore.
    It’s the Love Boat-ah! It’s the Love Boat-ah!

    The Love Boat theme lyrics courtesy lyricsondemand .com 🙂

    Good times, ah, good times.

    1. is this what you sing to your homemade Jeff Winger Real Doll[tm] every night?

  9. I’m still trying to figure out why the Negative Man figure didn’t come with some sort of representation of the Negative Man… you know, the black wraith that shoots out of Larry Trainor’s body, it could have been an attachment to his back or a separate stand-up piece… flat, translucent black plastic… you can’t tell me they couldn’t have found the budget…

    anyway… I love having Mallah and the Brain… they fill a big hole

  10. Man that really is a neat fig pair. Just I still have to finish the doom patrol. Mallah and the Brain (boy that soundsblike a tv show) woulda been nice, actually all the figs this year but, couldn’t do this year. Though my villian shelf is very tiny and needs more.

    The comparison shot does show a new head does make a new fig but man some little extra joints woulda helped a bit. I never finished Grodd though. Harley love made me buy.

    1. Need all his limbs and basiclly own everybody via other means. The Aqua 2pack and the reissue Firelord.

      1. I think the part that came with Harley might have been the only part I got with the figure (and that was only because almost a year after wave 2 never showed up in my area, every Target around me seemed to have gotten a solid case of just Harley). Every other part I just bought off of eBay.

  11. “Love can be found in many different ways. Even between a Gorilla and a brain in a jar. Wait WHAT?!?!?”

    Had to throw that in.

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