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Vault Review:
DC Classics Ra’s Al Ghul

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a DC figure from Mattel.  It’s kind of slim pickings with the DC Classics line coming to an end.  We’ve got a few more figures to go, but there is only a couple more I’m really interested in.  We’re dealing with a pretty limited budget at this point, and it seems like it’s starting to take its toll on the figures themselves.

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Ra’s al Ghul is one of those figures I’ve been waiting get in DC Classics style.  Like most people, I’m always for adding more villains onto my Batman Rogues shelf.  Unfortunately I’m just not as happy with this figure as I hoped to be.  There’s no one big reason why I’m dissatisfied.  It’s more like the culmination of a bunch of small nitpicks.

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I’ll start with the sculpt.  We’ve got a very basic figure here.  Ra’s has a new head and cape, while the rest of figure uses the basic suit buck.  Ra’s is a pretty eccentric character.  The suit body doesn’t look bad on him, but it does cut down on extreme poses and gestures.  He’s definitely not going to be winning any swordfights with Batman.  Guess I’ll have to settle with him just bossing other figures around.

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With the reuse of so many pieces, it really falls on the headsculpt to make or break a lot of DCUC figures.  Ra’s headsculpt just doesn’t grab me really.  He’s got this weird expression that’s a mix of unhappy and bored, which don’t really fit together.  I know a lot of sculpts try to keep it neutral, allowing for various posing scenarios.  But Ra’s is a bit crazy, especially after climbing out of one of his pits.  I think it would have been acceptable to get a little of that emotion in this figure.  Continue to page 2…

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11 comments to Vault Review:
DC Classics Ra’s Al Ghul

  • dayraven

    that headsculpt is really “blah” even for dcu… are we sure this is horsemen work? looks like the farm team to me… if this is treadaway, it’s definitely phoned in work. there’s no texturing to the hair, or particularly defined facial features at all.

  • dayraven

    thinking about it, even if this figure is a kind of a dud, IF they had released him in special “lazarus pit” packaging, i bet they’d have doubled their sales.

  • Ra’s is not an easy character to depict in plastic form. Whenever most fans think of him, Neal Adams’ classic duel in the desert likely comes to mind first of all. But I don’t think a figure of a graying, bare chested middle-aged dude would sell any better than the old armored version from the 90’s cartoon.

    His facial expression pretty much says everything regarding the line’s present status. DC Classics is going out on a definitive whimper.

  • Yeah, DC Infinite Earths has pretty much left me cold. As someone who buys almost any Batman villain in the 6 to 7 inch scale, even I have skipped this one. I’ll probably try to trade for him at some point, but I wasn’t going out of my way to pay money for him and to have him shipped via Digital River.

  • I see a little bit of Dan Akroyd in the face. The sculpt certainly isn’t helped by the half-assed painting, that that seems to be a recurring issue with the subscription figures.

  • TC

    Possibly my least favorite figure in the entire DCUC/CIE/whatever line. Another appearance of the over-used suit buck. Bad head sculpt. Just an overall BORING figure. This figure is good as a spec-filler, and that’s about it. A figure with so little effort put into it barely deserves this amount of review space.

  • Brainlock

    yep, the face sculpt is the make or break on this guy and he was definitely a pass for me. I don’t see any Aykroyd, but more bored Brad Garrett.

    As for other looks, I seem to recall the suit vest with pirate/puffy sleeves look. That might have gotten my money over this or the shirtless look, which could double for Sebastian Shaw.

    Also, the extra two figures in your group shot: Azrael from the Arkham games and…not sure where Damien comes from? Has DC “Collectibles” upped their articulation?

  • Russ

    I absolutely love the head sculpt; my room-mate actually referred to it as one of the best jobs he’s ever seen.

    The look just has this “regal” appearance to it. It’s not an insane Ra’s Al Ghul, but one of an elderly manipulative criminal mastermind, and we both really love it.

  • Rod Keith

    I thought they were going for a Hugo Weaving kind of look here.

  • Dr Kain

    This figure is so heart breaking to me. Ra’s is by far my favorite Batman villain. He is also from my favorite era and was created by my favorite Batman writer. As such, I am glad to have Ra’s in his classic looking outfit (and honestly, I did not expect anything more from the buck).

    On the other hand, that face is just so wrong on so many levels. For one thing, he should not have eye brows. Yes, I know there have been various interpretations, but since this was being based off O’Neil’s look, he shouldn’t have any. Secondly, even the freaking artwork on the box shows that he is supposed to have the white sideburns. This truly shows at how lazy Mattel is with this line and how they just don’t care anymore. They have no reason to put any effort into the line, and it is reasons like this why I am glad the series is done.

    In the long wrong, I could deal with the eye brows and wrong type of collar on his cape. I could deal with the bored look in his face. However, not giving him the white in his hair is just insulting. I care more about that than anything else. I’ve seen other people do head swaps, but it isn’t worth me spending $30 just to do a head swap. Nor should I have to. I’m going to paint white in his hair, the first time ever, but again, I shouldn’t have to. I should not have had to pay $32 to have to still paint my own toy. He should look how he is supposed to.

    I wish I had the skills to take off his eyebrows and give him eye liner, as there is a guy that did just that and it make the face looks incredible. But I am not that skilled, and again, I should not have to do anything to something I paid $32 for.