Watchmen: Club Black
Freighter: Nite Owl II Review

The paint work was mostly good. The goggles look great. The striped detailing on the head and the cape is fantastic. But the face is just too sloppy to completely overlook. The paint mask got the shape right so it blends out when viewed from a distance, but up close the uneven line and the gap between the paint and the sculpted edge where the paint should go is distracting.

One other bright spot for Nite-Owl was accessories! The line has been woefully lacking on accessories. It’s a shame because there are so many great prop accessories this line should’ve included. But so far, all we’ve gotten is a giant, oversized grapple gun for Rorschach. Nite Owl upped the ante with one good accessory, three kinda useless one, but still that’s four overall! There are now as many accessories as figures.

The three relatively useless ones are his, uh, owl-arangs? They’re cool pieces on their own and getting three of them is cool, but he can only marginally hold them. A grasping hand would’ve gone a long way here. The good accessory is the grappling gun – it looks great and he holds it well. Much better than ol’ Rorschach’s!

Overall, this is one of those times where I feel like I’m picking on a perfectly fine figure. Aesthetically, he’s fantastic. There’s new tooling where we needed it. Four accessories. I’m just having a hard time mustering up much excitement for him. I’ve read that some consider the best Watchmen figure so far – it’s still Rorschach for me, but by the numbers, Nite Owl does makes a good case. Am I feeling meh just because I can’t move his arms? Or am I being a bad reviewer and dredging up a false comparison to how much cooler the movie one was? I’m not sure.

I will laugh at myself for being hypocritical though. As I’ve contemplated the line being able to continue past Ozymandias (it doesn’t), I do think it would be funny to get a Snow Suit Nite Owl. And if you know anything about that costume. It would be even less articulated than this. Maybe just two ball-jointed elbows. I’d love that though. Toys are funny like that.

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17 thoughts on “Watchmen: Club Black
Freighter: Nite Owl II Review

  1. I do wonder if the grappling hook gun Rorschach came with was deliberately oversized as an homage to the grappling hook gun the Rorschach action figure is shown holding in the original Watchmen comics (you can see it in the “backmatter” portion of Chapter 10). Also, has any toy blogger written at length about the absolute irony of the existence of Watchmen toys?

    1. to my knowledge, no, no one has noticed the seeming irony of watchmen action figures, just as most miss the fact that the third atlas shrugged movie is turning to kickstarter to get made… the comedian had it right. 🙂

    2. I’ll tell you this: Watchmen action figures make a helluva lot more sense than the slick, sexy-cool action movie acraptation we got with its lovingly crafted scenes of violence.

      Yet fanboys didn’t really seem to care much about that…

    1. I think a better solution than soft goods would have been two capes. This one, and then a second one that was pulled back.

      Kind of like how the SW Black Darth Maul has two heads, one with the hood and one without. Sure, they could have just made the cowl removable, but then it probably would have floated above Maul’s head like every other cowl does. That’s the kind of detail I wish Mattel had put into these figures.

  2. Noisy, I don’t think it was so much that the movie *character* was cooler as much as I think the movie *costume* was cooler. Therein lies my disappointment with the figure.

    As for the owl-arangs, I like that we got accessories with him, I don’t like that there really is no point for packing three with him because he can’t hold them all at once and there’s no place on the figure to store them.

    1. The lady who designed the movie costumes is married to the former head of props on Heroes, James Clark (@JamesProps), and when he posted on twitter about her work, he got mad when I reminded him she was working off existing designs by Gibbons. Dude, credit where credit is due, right? I never said they were bad or disliked them (I do like them), just that they weren’t completely original designs, even for that story.

  3. Forgot… Just opened my Comedian and I think he’s the winner of the line. Tons of personality in the face sculpt and the new bits just make him perfect. Only complaints are the lack of a second gimp-masked head, the bloody smiley, the flesh colored shoulder disks and the lack of his cigar (which now that the 66 Penguin includes his cigarette holder is all the more maddening).

  4. Great review. I have mixed feelings about the cape. I do like that it looks like he stepped right of the page, but it would have been nice for the cape to be a little more open. Owlman pulls it off pretty well, and a similar design would have been nice for Nite Owl.

    I also really like the new torso. When I first got Nite Owl, I was really hoping we’d see this re-used on some other characters. Aside from customs, it seems like that’s not going to happen though.

  5. So the rubber cape is too thick? Why didn’t they use the same type they used for CSA Owlman’s cape? sigh….
    I like JayT’s idea about two capes, but if they did, I’m sure a lot of buyers would then demand the second be his “Arctic Owl” cape.

    I have to wonder if the torso wasn’t also used for ’66 Batman? Adam wasn’t in the best shape there, either, or at least, what we think of as “best shape”, post-80s exercise boom. Neither were the steroid-ripped 6-pack abs associated with “in shape” these days.
    (I now have to wonder if Adam’s paunch wasn’t an influence on Dan’s design?)

    Otherwise, I’d say they did a pretty decent adaptation of the character, cape aside. He’s one that was going to be tough to get, regardless, and they could have really fubar’d him worse than just the restrictive cape.

    I saw the Comedian this past wkd at Project:ComicCon up here and thought he was pretty good. can’t wait to see his review. ($50?? LOL NOT.)

  6. There is quite the contrast between this figure and the Marvel Select Wolverine. The Wolverine is larger, has slightly more articulation, three heads, is cheaper, and is actually poseable. It’s no wonder Mattel is quickly becoming a non-factor in the action figure market.

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