DCClassics.Com: SDCC
Plastic Man & Starro Spores

If asked to name my favorite DC Heroes, Plastic Man makes the cut. He’s been a favorite of mine since I was a wee tot, largely because of his cartoon & Super Powers, but I appreciate the comic character too. I couldn’t wait to see him as a DCUC and I’m ecstatic that he’s finally here.

The first time I remember seeing Plastic Man was in a guest spot in a particularly awful episode of Super Friends. Some numb nuts professor had automated the world successfully until a cartoon mouse crawled in his computer and, presumably lots of people died. Plastic Man showed up for 30 seconds, mangled his arm through the computer components and removed the cartoon mouse which Wendy surely kept as a pet for years. I almost hate admitting it, but that sequence is imprinted on my brain and it got me hooked on Plastic Man. Plas would go on to get his own cartoon as well as a Super Powers figure. The figure is what really brings it home for me as I would’ve had to see all the cartoons in reruns. I’ve had the figure for nearly twenty-five years and it’s still one of my favorite toys.

When I got older and started digging into comics, I didn’t find Plastic Man at first.

He was an older character, created in 1941 by Jack Cole for Quality Comics. Formerly a petty criminal, Eel O’Brian had been shot “on the job”, doused with a strange acid, and abandoned by his cohorts. After being nursed back to health in an oddly-placed monastery, Eel – now with the power to stretch and mold his body into any shape – left his criminal past behind and became the hero Plastic Man.

Like many of the heroes of the 40s and 50s, Plastic Man found his way into DC’s hands and he appeared here and there over the next few decades – with some particularly difficult bits of continuity to reconcile among multiple Earths and multiple versions. It’s not pretty. Post-Crisis, things were cleaned up a bit, but Plas didn’t see heavy use until Grant Morrison added him to the JLA in the late 90s. The character has enjoyed a small renaissance ever since – including his own Eisner Award winning series and numerous guest appearances.

Normally, I don’t bother with packaging in these reviews – I throw it away. Er, recycle it. Yeah. Anyway, I can’t do that this time. I love Plastic Man and his packaging speaks to me because it is Plastic Man! For $20, this figure came boxed with the current DC card art printed on both sides (with PM crashing the party). The real gem is on the inside. Plastic Man comes in a standard package, but all the art is faithful to if he were being the package himself. This includes some chip art hair that covers the top of the package and removable “goggles”. That’s a keeper. I’ll cover the figure pieces in a minute, but the set also included a small D.E.O. case file (someone at DC actually remembers the D.E.O.?). The file contains some images and biographical info on Plastic Man (which replaces the normal bio that would be on a traditional card back). Personally, I’d like to have been getting these the entire time. This figure is $5 more than a standard release and while it has a ton more accessories, I think it’s the packaging that really helps take the edge off.

Plastic Man appears to be a 100% new sculpt. He’s a tall, lean figure – perfect for Sinestro (with a new torso, of course) and other figures that should be tall without the bulk of the PE buck. While I like the buck system – I appreciate the uniformity it gives the line – I’m not always happy with how Mattel administrates it. The Public Enemies buck, perfect for characters of 6′ 6″-6′ 9″ hasn’t been used once in the main line (Blue Devil & Martian Manhunter could have benefitted from it). With more than a few characters using bucks that didn’t quite fit, I’m overjoyed that one of my favorite characters got this treatment. He wouldn’t look right with one of the other bucks, but he looks great this way.

In addition to the reusable pieces, Plastic Man has a unique torso with lacing, his trademark belt, and his head. These raised details knock the figure out of the park – there’s literally nothing missing on him and his head sculpt perfectly captures his character from the comics as well as the Super Powers figure. I couldn’t have asked for a better sculpt on Plas.

The only paint issue I have on mine is the shade of red and that’s not that big an issue in the scheme of things. As you can see in the selection of PM figures above, he’s the odd one out based on costume color. I thought this would bother me, but it really hasn’t. He may look dark in that comparison shot, but on my desk, standing next to Blue Devil, Drift, some Glyos, & Prince Adam (my desk is an odd place) he looks just fine. Other than that, I had no paint issues on Plastic Man. Most of the pieces are molded in the appropriate colors and the lines on his chest and belt are all well done.

On the standard figure, all the articulation we’ve come to expect is present, right down to the lack of range on the neck. I have one complaint on this figure and this is it. He has a unique neck joint because of the removable head and that joint doesn’t allow for up and down movement. The peg itself has some, but the long neck traps it and blocks the range.

Plastic Man’s true value is in his accessories. His ability to change his shape made him an ideal candidate for an SDCC exclusive. Plas came packaged with six attachments. The first one you notice is the alternate spring lower torso. It attaches at the waist (above the belt) and is a real metal spring coated in plastic. As such, it has no poseability, but it looks great on him and its fun to play with. Continue to More Accessories, the Suitcase, and Starro Spores…

50 thoughts on “DCClassics.Com: SDCC
Plastic Man & Starro Spores

  1. He looks really cool. Great strips this time around too. The one with Iron was my favorite!

    1. You ARE crazy. That was Ricardo Montalban’s voice, clearly.

      Has anyone attempted to spend a IAT/Matty Q&A question to suggest the PE buck re-use? I really think they could get some good use out of it – to not see it for Jemm or Martian Manhandler pains me a bit.

  2. I picked him up at SDCC and he was worth the wait. My only gripe is that the colors don’t match on the long neck. It looks good. Good review, btw.

  3. Agreed on all points Noisy! PM is a great figure and all the bells & whistles are more than worth the price.

    One thing to point out: isn’t that one hand supposed to be a fly-swatter? Or will PM be flipping some giant flap-jacks in a future issue? (He’s done stranger stuff I suppose.) =)

  4. Funny pictures.I really gonna get today Plastic Man he is far much better than Orko/Adam pack I think.This figure is truly worth of your money =)

  5. You’re stoking my fires, Noisy!! Awesome review and awesome pics! Matty better produce today or they’re going to have one angry ‘dog on their hands!

  6. Great review as usual Noisy. I hope I can snag one today. It’s off to eBay if I can’t.

  7. I’m hoping that Orko blows out in three minutes, so the traffic will die off and I can grab Plastic Man before he sells out!


    Really looking forward to receiving him. Matty is really hard to deal with.

    Great review again Noisy cant wait for the wave 14 reviews!

  9. I got also my Plastic Man.He is really marvellous and fantastic character.Perfect addition to mine DCUC collection

  10. Today was the worst Matty day I think I’ve ever had. Over thirty minutes of white screen and timed out order submissions. I have my confirmation e-mail now, but I cursed mightily at the WSOD for quite some time.

  11. Noisy, I have a question. I know you have mad photoshop skills, so I don’t know if you shopped it or what, but how did you Plastic Man out of the package without opening it? Is it open on the bottom?

    1. The pic is not shopped, but I did get lucky. I open the packages with a box knife, cutting right along where the bubble meets the card. I just happened to photograph it in a way that the cut couldn’t be seen. No magic from me. 😉

  12. Man, today was brutal! I was at the order page at 11:55am and completed my order just before 12:30pm. I scored Plastic Man, Undertaker and Orko.

    I have to eat my words after the comments I made here a few months back about having no interst in PM, though! Haha! He’s packed full of awesome!

  13. so the red arms are a soft, stretchy rubber?
    and, of course, I said I could live without that damn suitcase, but you have me second-guessing that! WANT!

    surprised you don’t have the B&B Plas with Starro up there, too.
    which DCD is that, the Justice/Ross? still got my original wobbly hands. (and now wondering if I can swap some hands??)
    and surprised to see SP is taller than TJ/JLA Plas!

    I set the alarm in time to get on at 11, 2x ff = wsod, opened ie about 11.15 = wsod, but was getting the occasional blips on all 3. finally completed on ie about 11.30, confirmed at 11.44 for 2 Plas. thought I could take another nap before work, yeah right.

    now to get either Cap’n Lou or, more likely, (……….that Samoan guy who died not too long ago with all the facial tribal??) for Hula-Hula!
    (we also need an official Woozy and Offspring/Baby Plas!)

  14. Great review! Love the Plastic Man figure too. My only small nit is that both of his hand attachments are a little too similar. I would have liked a hammer fist or plier hands or something besides two paddle shapes. But that is a very minor complaint. He probably forever remain my favorite DCUC fig. At least until they come out with a super-poseable Batman with a decent cape, (and even then…)

    I also have to mention that that 30 second Super Friends cameo of Plastic Man is forever imprinted on my brain as well. It is probably what started my fascination with the character. Man, he really should have been a regular on SF. I loved his solo cartoon, but I don’t know why they replaced Woozy Winks with Hula Hula??? I don’t think I will ever understand the thought processes of TV executives. And as for comic appearances, his 12 issue run in Adventure Comics by Len Wein and Joe Staton was great! The best version of the character next to Jack Cole’s.

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