Retro Review: DC Classics
Wave 5 (Metallo)

One of the features we wanted to have since we began was a complete review archive of DC Classics. At the outset, we also conceived the idea of a Retro Review, a feature where we’d spend some time on old toy from yesteryear (wait until you see SilntAngl’s review of the 1987 G.I. Joe Techno-Viper).

Well, the two ideas seemed fairly congruent and we decided that the first batch of Retro Reviews would work backwards from DC Classics Wave 7 until the beginning. That was the plan anyway. Some technical issues have forced us to skip Wave 7 (for now). So, what better than to get the most difficult-to-find, gnashing of teeth wave out of the way first? Yep, our very first retroview will focus on the ire of many a DCUC collector, the Wal-Mart Exclusive Wave 5.

Wave 5 was first sighted in late October, early November of 2008. While many collectors are uneasy with any Wal-Mart exclusive, I don’t think any of us were prepared for what was to come. If you hit up the Wave 5 sightings threads in the archives of various message boards, you see the usual mix of impatience and anticipation. As you follow along from November into December the mood darkens, the eBay prices rise, and fans start to worry they will never find the wave despite Matty’s assurances the wave was still shipping. By January, though, the writing was on the wall and the eBay prices were easily triple the cost of their retail price. Any hope that more were in the pike was dashed.

And in the year since, there’s hasn’t been. A few sightings cropped up in February, but by then Wave 5 had a thing of the past. Many Wal-Marts went the whole season without receiving a single case. What went wrong? We may never know for sure. We can be fairly certain that the wave was vastly under-produced compared to the previous and subsequent waves. Mapping out the sightings can show you that the figures appeared and reappeared consistently in a handful of Wal-Mart locations instead of being widespread. The other irony is that while this wave was considered to be a disaster by fans, Wal-Mart was happy enough with the results to order a second exclusive in 2009 and exclusive 2pks (& possibly a third exclusive wave) in 2010. Luckily, wave ten has seen far larger distribution and hopefully any future exclusives will be released similarly.

But wave five? Two sets sold on eBay this month. A BIN for $350 and another auction was bid up to $275. That’s 4-6 times retail. But are the figures worth it? Is the quality control there to support a price of $50 per figure? Is Metallo the best collect and connect figure you don’t have?


The Atom is the best individual figure from the wave. His costume is easily captured with a buck body – and a belt piece was added at the waist for accuracy (though his belt buckle is conspicuously absent). Aside from the missing buckle, his paint work is fairly solid. Mattel made the odd choice of molding his hands and lower thighs in blue and then having to paint them red to match, but they mostly do (though you can see that blue ring around the peg in the photo above). The figure relies heavily on the head sculpt and it does its job for the most part. The sculpt itself is great – that’s the Atom’s chin, I have no doubt. The paint work is a little sloppy around the eyes, but the clean tampo for his symbol helps to keep the look sharp. A mini-Atom accessory would have been nice, but likely costed out for an exclusive Wal-Mart wave. If you were fortunate enough to find Gentlemen Ghost, a mini-Atom was included with him.


As you’ll see with every figure in this wave, each figure was made with as little new pieces as possible. Amazo is no exception. He’s built from a standard buck. His GL ring is courtesy of him reusing Hal Jordan’s entire hand (gloved features and all) while his head is the one new piece. Again, the 4H head sculpt is well done. Amazo’s trademark ‘vulcan’ ears are present and even his nose seems right for the character. The paint does the rest of the work and the green stripes are surprisingly crisp and straight. The skin tone paint on the chest is a different story, however. It’s a very thick paint that kept many of its brush strokes and doesn’t quite match the molded color of the face or arms. Truthfully, I’m not even sure why they elected to paint it, then to paint the green details over it. I’m not sure what color is molded under there. Amazo comes with no accessories and does not feature Wonder Woman’s lasso as a glued on item either. Continue to Page 2…

21 thoughts on “Retro Review: DC Classics
Wave 5 (Metallo)

  1. Box set on Matty Collector? Hell yes! I still need Eradicator and my Atom’s left hip is broken, so I would definitely pick it up without a second thought. Do you recall where it was that Mattel said this?

  2. i got this set for 140 and i was really happy about that, knowing that it runs near 300 is crazy and makes me feel for those who dont have it. if they re release this set i might pick it up only if they add the changes that the promo picks had, i want the see through goggles and the question marks on the arm.

  3. Unfortunately, eddy, Mattel already said that Eradicator’s glasses will NOT be clear in the rerelease. Given that piece of stubborn and niggardly (look it up) idiocy, I can only Assume that Riddlers sleeves will remain unadorned.

    1. Wait, so Mattel not only confirmed a re-release, but gave specific details on what would and wouldn’t be done with them?

      Where was all this said and how did I miss it?

  4. I’d be glad for a re-release just to add Metallo to my collection. I wish they could have been up front earlier about a re-release though as I would have tried hard to keep on being a completist, but now I’ve missed a chunk of wave 9 (Wildcat, Guardian, and Mantis) and am missing the Dr. Fate variant.

    1. Communication is key.

      It’s similar to Wave 9. They could have mentioned that future all-star assortments would have most of the figures, but left that out while apologizing for the low quantities.

  5. So they’ll rerelease it (maybe) but still not fix the problems? Sounds like Mattel….

    Either way just get that stupid Metallo and Eradicator (who, with the news of Superboy, really needs to return) at decent prices and all will be cool.

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