Mr. Rant wants his DC Classics to look up and down…

Well, another “Ask Matty” has come and gone and an important issue to fans has gone unanswered again. The last few waves of DC Universe Classics have had a glaring and consistent problem: they can only look from side-to-side. Though all the parts are there for a working ball-joint, nearly every figure from waves eight through ten have lost the ability to look up or down. Earlier figures in the same toyline had a great range motion with this same joint. They weren’t relegated to left and right. They had full up-and-down motion, some figures could even tilt their head sideways for some truly great poses. When asked if the ball joint was left out by design or by accident of quality control, Mattel’s response was this: “It’s handled on a figure by figure basis”.

Well, that’s unacceptable. Why are these figures relegated to what is effectively a simple swivel joint when nearly every other action figure line on the market has joined the world of the future and given their figures ball-jointed heads? I think that’s what is particularly frustrating. All the parts are there for these heads to work like the fans want them to and they just don’t. When we turn to the company producing them, our questions are either misunderstood or dismissed. The ball-jointed heads aren’t working – to fans, it’s clearly a quality control issue. To Mattel, this simple standard point of articulation is being treated like something they only give when a figure is deemed to “need it”. Even if we jump into that limited viewpoint and accept that the ball-joint isn’t standard in our super-articulated era, it still falls apart. Black Adam is a flying character that won’t be able to look where he’s going. Robotman has a 50ft tall teammate that he won’t be able to look in the face. The excuses are as limited as the ball-jointed head.

In the age of multi-articulated figures, a ball jointed head shouldn’t be an option, it’s a necessity. In extreme poses, it’s the joint that puts on the finishing touch. It conveys the illusion of personality better than any other joint. It’s amazing how the slight cock of a head can portray a quizzical expression. A downward cast head gives the impression of sadness or anger. An upturned head can show a figure looking hopefully into the future or ready to lift off and fly.

But Mattel isn’t hearing us. So, fellow collectors, we need to do and a better job at letting Mattel know how we feel. If fans don’t take a stand and make sure they’re heard, then we will be forever relegated to a shelf of DC heroes, all staring forward. We asked and they answered, but now it’s time to insist.

How do you feel about this issue? Let us know in the comments section below.

15 thoughts on “Mr. Rant wants his DC Classics to look up and down…

  1. I’m still undecided about if Mattel knows this is a problem or not. Do they know and are just trying to cover it up? Or do they really just not understand?

  2. Mattel just ain’t gettin’ it. On Fwoosh, some of the folks with wave 11 are already reporting that the problem is in that wave too.

  3. Agreed wholeheartedly and made a similar post at fwoosh. I think they goofed and aren’t owning up to it. What possible rationale would they have for limiting the neck articulation on a case by case basis?

  4. The answer is an all around bad answer anyway.

    “Neither really” implies they didn’t choose to limit the heads.
    “It’s handled on a figure by figure basis” implies they did choose to limit the heads, but just certain ones.

    I was really hoping for a good answer on that one too. We didn’t ask it again this time around, but we went back-and-forth on going for the threepeat.


    think that’ll get the point across?

  6. They just don’t want to make the effort to fix their F&^$ up!

    Plain and simple. I think if a lot of us bitch and moan they’ll “look into it”
    if it’s an idea that makes money then yeah they are on it! If it requries money spent to fix something like warped legs and arms from dynamic posing or lack of head movement, fagetaboutit!

  7. Matty and the makers of DCUC (Mattel) get a lot of guff here and on other online sites over various insulting remarks and actions, real or perceived. I’ve never thought of the DCUC line as a source of frustration, only joy.

    Until now. This whole taking away one of the most important, expressive points of articulation is bad enough, but these insulting, degrading answers to insistent questions about it is downright nasty. I know their answers are commonly little more than smokescreens, but this is, for once, something I feel is important.

    All I can say is DON’T STOP!! Don’t stop peppering them with questions about this issue. Never let a month go by when this isn’t brought up. Never let them thing that we feel this is ok.

    1. We did skip the issue for our next round of questions, but Mr. Rant and tomorrow’s Amusing Articulation will try to help and raise awareness before we go back to the well on the questions.

  8. Agreed. These “Ask Matty” session are increasingly useless. It reminds me of a teacher asking the opinion of the “dumb” student. Estimating his response, she carries on like it doesn’t even matter. Mattel could care less about our opinion. Rigging these polls with ridiculous character the fans would neeeever vote. Question and Raven win? really? I wouldn’t have guessed. No ball joint? Nope! A certain wave ever showing in a town? No! If you let us ask question, have the decency to answer them, or just stop.

    1. I have to agree. Presumably, the idea with these Q&A sessions is to create goodwill and some kind of a connection with customers, but all it’s done is alienate me, to the extent that I don’t buy any of their collector lines any more and actively avoid Mattel products when shopping for my kids.

  9. Those answers are absurd and make them sound genuinely disinterested! The lack of proper neck articulation is really unfortunate, espeecially on characters that have their heads stuck looking down. Poor Hawkgirl just flies into walls now.

  10. BURN DOWN MATTEL! It just goes to show that they don’t care about the fan bas with their non-committal answers during the Q&A. If anyone ever reads the Hasbro Star Wars questions and answers, the person(s) that answer those questions actually put some thought into the answers! I think Mattel has a fortune teller machine for Q&A only able to give certain answers for all and any questions. It really does peeve me about the head joints. And all the stuck and weak joints as well. Never have I been more frustrated than with Mattel about this issue. I love their figures, I really do, and they have been better about it, but it sure does bug me.

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