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DCClassics.Com Retro
Review: Wave 3 – Solomon Grundy

Quality Control


The “you’re contaminated” joke might have not made sense until you see the above picture and no, that’s not just dust. Mattel has had some serious quality control problems with the line over the years. In my opinion, the two biggest where the stuck/tearing hip joints on DCUC5 and the early 2pks and the low grade plastic used on this wave. You can’t see it in all my pictures, but the soft plastic parts all of my Wave 3 figures are decaying in some fashion. I chose Deathstroke for the close-up because he’s the worst, but this same white powder can be found on the knees, elbows, and upper hips of nearly every figure in this wave. Mattel switched factories, so you should only be affected if you bought the figures early on, like I did. My two variants are not affected (thus, Slade’s quarantine of his non-variant self up there), so what makes them different? Well, everyone at IAT pooled their wave three figures and we found a common theme in the footstamps. None of the figures ending in “CL” have any white powder on them, but all of the figures ending in “OB” do. Now, this is just based off our relatively small sample and if you have a CL figure exhibiting the white dust, write in and let us know.

There are some good figures in this wave, buy honestly, my recommendation is to pick up a secondhand Grundy from another collector or eBay and grab the All-Star releases of these characters. Hal, Nightwing, and Robin have all been reissued. There are “CL” versions of these guys, but with the paint issues, the All-Stars are simply a more attractive option if you’re trying to play catch up. Ideally, there will be a Sinestro apology figure and that will leave Deathstroke as the one figure Mattel needs to reissue. If you just can’t wait or don’t have hope that will happen, there are “CL” Deathstroke’s out there – Vault has one. You can’t see the footstamps in package, but you could always buy loose and choose wisely.

Solomon Grundy

Golden Age Golem. Silver Age Zombie Hitman. Modern Age Mess. Grundy was originally a guy that died in a swamp and over time was reanimated into a swampy golem that ran afoul of the GA Green Lantern. He would die and get reanimated, so Alan Scott just got in the habit of leaving him on the moon after he caused trouble. Fun. In modern times, his origin has been tweaked endlessly. He’s been a failed Swamp Thing. He’s been a pedophile chased into the swamp by a mob and beaten. Geoff Johns decided to make him a suicide. Also, sometimes he’s a cold, calculating dude and other times he’s a mindless zombie. Basically, he’s a lower tier villain that writer’s use without doing much research. Oh, and he was born on a Monday…


Solomon Grundy wants pants too. At least that’s how Adult Swim forever ruined the character for me (in a good way). Grundy is an all-original sculpt that is, in my opinion, a little too big. I like that he’s massive, and if you have him hunker down, it’s not as bad, but I don’t think he should be that much taller than the regular figures. He’s likely been depicted that big a couple times because comic books are funny like that.

The sculpt is great with tons of little detail throughout – the buttons, shoelaces, tears, flaps, etc. The Four Horsemen really outdid themselves on this one and, even better, the paint lives up to their sculpt. He’s a great figure and if you like him big, you should be perfectly happy with him. Despite being a unique figure, Grundy has the standard articulation and everything is in good working order. His-ab crunch doesn’t really do much under the plastic coat, but it’s there.

In Conclusion…

Overall, I’m glad I stayed in the line even if Wave 3 is kicking my ass and making me want/need to re-buy the figures as All-Stars later even though I’ve yet to do it. The Four Horsemen’s underlying sculpts are excellent and if I’d bought the reissues of the three available so far, they’d all probably pass with flying colors (well, maybe not shorty Robin). The paint work is sloppy, but the cheap plastic is what really puts the final nail in this wave’s coffin. Thankfully, Grundy appears to be immune – his softer plastic parts are free of the fine white dust even two years later. That’s great, because he’d be the hardest to replace and would probably further sour me on this wave. Mattel did okay with DCUC3 and they’re willingness to switch factories helped keep the line in fan’s good graces, but we still need that apology Sinestro figure.

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37 comments to DCClassics.Com Retro
Review: Wave 3 – Solomon Grundy

  • TomB68

    This new pages format is really messing with my head.

    Good review for some old figures I hadn’t thought about in awhile. I don’t agree with all your comic book assessments, but some of them were hilarious. 😛

    • TomB68

      Oh, and I’m off to check the feet of wave three. It never even occurred to me that the figures I was having the white dust issues with were from the same wave. Duh.

    • LOL. Our articles are getting longer and longer, so we waned to break ’em in. We’ll keep adding the continues until folks get used to it.

      And, yeah, my comic tastes are eclectic. I should avoid hero comics, but I like their potential…

  • PlayMonkey

    This is still hands down my favorite way. Green Lantern, Sinestro, Nightwing, and Deathstroke? Hells yeah.

  • Adrian

    That Deathstroke is gross. Mattel needs to reissue him for sure. Do you even keep him with your other figures? I’ve got some JLU that have done that and I’m always afraid it’s contagious and I quarantine them. It’s just gross.

    Also, I’m with you on the lanterns. There’s something just not right about them.

  • I got GL and Deathstroke from that wave–and I blame Poe Ghostal for Deathstroke, since he did some pictures that sold me on him–but skipped the rest. (Hell, I just finished Grodd last week!)

  • Lay Ze-Man

    I think the only one that was affected for me was my Hal.
    I’m pretty sure most of my other DCUC3’s are fine.

    Oh, and as you probably already know, slightly disagree about good paint on Grundy.

    Not a fan of the Clockwork Orange black lines on his face.
    Normally I might look for excuses to repaint stuff, but that one was begging for it! 😀

    • Doh. I left the figures in the studio and had to review on memory. It’s okay on figs you’ve had for two years, right?

      But you’re right, I forgot about Grundy’s Tytus lines. Again, depth doesn’t need to be implied.

  • el mariachi

    i only have Deathstroke and Grundy from that wave, but they’re both, thusfar, dust free. and i love both!

  • el mariachi

    oh, and on another note, maybe the pages thing would be easier to negotiate if the buttons were a tad larger… the font size on them is small, so it is a tad easy to glide right past them while reading, even though they’re blue. i missed them until i read that top comment.

  • RageTreb

    Some nitpicks:

    The infamous “pants” joke came from regular old Cartoon Network, not Adult Swim (it aired before Adult Swim was around, even).

    Solomon Grundy does not use the word “am” in such a way. You’re getting him confused with Bizarro.

    • You are, of course correct. Been awhile on those spots. (Evil Sponge!)

      For Grundy, I will simply maintain this is his latest incarnation after being killed by Bizarro in that awful Blackest Night tie-in. He picked up a few things!! 😛

  • Snowglare

    Weird. My OB Deathstroke and Robin have no “dust” issues. They have other QC flaws, like a giant fist and sloppy paint apps, but nothing as glaring as that. My unopened Hal from the same case has grey biceps, so I guess he has a touch of the plague. I can’t find anything elsewhere, including Hal’s legs.

    • Plague is a good word. Are your “clean” ones CLs?

      I may have come across to fanatical, but my entire wave is afflicted. My bad if I did.

      We’ve also considered some environmental factors too. The low grade plastic may be more susceptible to degradation at certain temps or humidities.

      • Snowglare

        No, they’re all from the same case. I can’t see Hal’s foot, but I assume he’s an OB since the others are. Would be funny if my one dirty figure had a CL, though.

  • Mecnia

    Great review!

  • Man, your Deathstroke has the infection bad. The only two figures I have from this wave both have the problem, but my GL is the worst, Deathstroke I’ve only had to clean off once and his seems to have calmed down. So I think Wade is in remission, but not so sure about Hal, he may be replaced soon.

  • Hitchesn

    Great review. This was the wave that got me into the line. It’s a fun line, but I don’t have that many completed C&Cs.

    • I wonder how many collectors out there still have incomplete C&Cs. I tend to get them all at once, but it can be really frustrating to have incomplete ones.

  • orionpax636

    Thank you for going ahead and doing this review. As you discovered in the metallic Hal review (not to be confused with Shallow Hal…damn, I’m sick of Jack Black), I’ve only recently discovered DCUC 3 “dust” syndrome. This review will clue in folks like me that are late to the horrible truth and will realize that their collections need some attention. (And also, to alert parents to get these dust-infected critters away from any children, as my buddy realized.)

    One nitpicky note: Are Nightwing’s “batons” actually eskrima sticks? I’m no DC authority, but as a former practitioner it would be cool if that were true. I know that they seem to be batons because of the grip texture in the middle, but I’m thinking that Dick is an eskrimador (or I’m actually just hoping he is…though some eskrimadors call their sticks batons too).

    • Snowglare

      You are correct, sir. As Wikipedia says, “Dick carried a pair of Escrima truncheons made from an unbreakable polymer.”

      • Good eye! And thanks Snowglare.

        I don’t know if you’re reading any of the Batman comics, but Batman whipped these out in Batman 700 and it was pretty cool. He even made note that he used be using them more often.

  • rob7274

    Great review! Hope they rerelease waves 2 and 3 like there doing with 5. I started late and I just cant bring myself to pay the money wanted. It makes it harder living in the UK. I feel Solomon Grundy is too big but you can’t fault that sculpt.
    I WANT DEATHSTROKE!!!!

  • AllMindsAboutEverything

    This was one of my favorite waves!