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Martian Manhunter Review

J’Onn features the same articulation that you find on most figures – ball head (with good range) and shoulders, swivels at the bicep, wrists, waist, thighs, hinges at the elbow, torso, knees, and ankles, and the Mattel hip. He also features two extra articulation points – boot swivels, courtesy of the new upper and lower calf pieces. All the joints have good range and help to make J’Onn a really nicely articulated figure.

One thing I skipped over in my not-so-quick biography on J’Onn was that his usual appearance is not his natural form. He adopted it to be better accepted on Earth. His native Martian form is generally taller, lankier, a little spikier – generally more alien. Mattel, like DC Direct before them, decided that just changing his head was a sufficient rendering of that look. I find it really sad and if I didn’t have DCClassics.Com, I probably wouldn’t have bought this variant.

Don’t get me wrong, the head sculpt is excellent – but it just makes me wish I had a whole figure of it. Ironically, Mattel is the only company to give us J’Onn in his Martian form (in their JLU line – and that was back when they weren’t doing unique sculpts of anything). J’Onn also features a giant scythe hand reminiscent of Plastic Man or one of the Metal Men. He can use his powers in this fashion, but I don’t think of them being used that way. He generally uses them to assume other identities.

I don’t mean to be so hard on this particular variant, but I just look at DCUC15 and see other opportunities. An all-white Raven would’ve cost Mattel less or the new head/hand combo put on a clear blue body could have made the modern OMAC a variant of the Kirby version. An all-clear J’Onn would’ve been cool, or a more properly Martian J’Onn would’ve been aces. I try not to think of “what could’ve been” because it serves no positive purpose, but every once in awhile I falter. Of course, there is another reason I’m not happy with my variant J’Onn…

I documented my initial quality control problems with DCUC15 a couple weeks ago in an Amusing Articulation. And those problems were quickly corrected by BBTS’ Customer Service Department. This is one of a handful that I didn’t notice until this weekend when I finally had time to open the figures. I had a fair share of warped limbs – check out regular J’Onn’s left leg in the pictures. Plus, I found a litany of other little problems and J’Onn’s here has one of the assembly errors – two left forearms. Sigh.

Further-Sigh? I’ve created the “QC Spotlight” for DCUC15 because you’re not going to see an IAT review for this wave that won’t need to use it. I haven’t been happy with the factory Mattel switched to this year (their previous work on Public Enemies was similarly subpar) and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Mattel will ultimately switch back to the much more capable factory used in 2009.

It may not sound like it looking back over the review, but I do like this figure. I think it’s because the wave as a whole is sloppy and I think that’s affecting my POV on the good and bad figures alike. Martian Manhunter is somewhere in the middle of good and bad. He looks sharp and his height works great when he’s on display. But I’m going to have to reshape the legs a bit and I may need to try turning that harness. Combine that with my mis-forearmed variant and that may spell trouble if you’re only finding one or two of these guys on the shelf. Luckily, the paint shouldn’t be an issue because of the low number of apps. And the variant is okay, but it could be even better – perhaps by not existing so a different figure could’ve had a variant.

No matter what, the biggest name on the MIA list has been crossed off with his release. I’m not sure who the “next” most needed figure will be – Ivy? Elongated Man? Ambush Bug? That’ll sort itself out, but for now we’ve got the original Justice League lineup complete and let me tell you, that feels good.

For more DCUC reviews, check out our DC Classics Collector’s Guide.

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33 comments to DCClassics.Com:
Martian Manhunter Review

  • For the record, you would think that one bag of Oreos is enough to make a 1:12 scale cookie throne.

    It isn’t.

  • Eric

    Is something wrong with his legs? They look all skewed and bent.

  • dean

    My MIA list…top 3 edition

    1. Mike Grell Classic Warlord
    2. Ambush Bug with Continuity Cop and Cheeks pack-ins (please toy gods, please)
    3. CNC Doomsday

    Okay, top four list…Maybe a Scabbard figure to go with Ambush Bug, just for giggles.

  • OK, I think I get it. the blade hand and the ‘normal’ right hand are part of the same mold. That’s why the right hand is lighter then the left.

    Man, I surely would love to see some pictures of the tooling for one of these figures and see how the parts are broken down. I suspect many of the answers about QC issues revolve around what parts are shot in which group. In other words, there’s probably one mold just for left hands, maybe 6 to a tree so they haul it out and shoot a few thousand in green for J’onn. Right hand, new tool, to keep all the variant parts together they slug in like 4 ‘standard’ right hands and 2 ‘variant’ hands, then shoot it. Something like that.

    Repeat for any and all ‘buck’ parts.

    I dunno. I fear the QC issues with the upcoming Legion of Super Heroes pack. And they need to sked a second set with more of the ladies. Cripes, no Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel? bogus. Bogus I say!

    • You’re probably right on the mold layouts. I wish Mattel would just be upfront with things like that.

    • Brainlock

      Having briefly worked with injection molding (albeit essentially flat and black items), it’s more likely that each part has it’s own mold, so no “4 standard hands, 2 variant hands” mold, it’s all one piece and dropped into a box/bin for the assembly line. and with all the trouble we had stamping on those flats, I can only imagine how bad some of these toys look that we DON’T see, especially for the ultra-detailed tampos (wrestling tats/complex multi-color designs). I’m always impressed with how most of them turn out, esp the complex ones. then again, they probably have better guides to hold their pieces in place besides an “L” and tape. @_@

  • Nicholai

    Mattel has really bungled this release of waves 14 and 15. 14 is still MIA and who knows when it’ll come out and it has been so long since the last wave that my stores are all filled with peg-warmers.

    • My Target is really primed for new product! And with KMart early birding 15 and WM getting 14… I want them to get nothing!!

      It’s still WM, so I hope it’ll show up in force, but I’m sick of waiting for 14.

  • Gildeft

    What happened to wave 14?Really when we gonna see it?Just blame stupid Walmart for that.

  • toygiant

    I only cared to find 2 figures from this assorment and found them saturday. I found Golden Pharoah and MM (I found 3 yellow Lantern Batmans too, what a horrible figure!). After opening MM I noticed the peg on his right shoulder that connects to his bicep is severely warped, so his right arm cocks out from his body when his arm should look prone. I tried the heat trick to no avail. Then after reading the review I took a closer look at his biceps and they are both the smaller, veinless versions, which actually make his arms look short compared to his longer legs. I know it says “call customer care for any issues” on the packaging, but a replacemt policy almost never applies to exclusives. At that point it’s out of the hands of Mattel and it’s the exclusive distributor’s problem (K-Mart).

    Something else I noticed is that MMs PVC parts are a lot softer. I can pop his head on & off without any problem. Makes me think that they could have just included the variant head & hand with all of the MMs instead of making all those extra unused Validus heads & waists.

    So Noisy, if you need a good home for that MM variant (even without the head and right hand), I’ll gladly take him off your hands. =)

    • My “all in” policy requires that I keep all the variants, even dumb ones. 🙂

      I forgot to mention that in the review – there is evidence in the pic where the cape is moved behind the head – but the heads do come off really easy. It’s kinda nice. I love me some interchangeable toys…

    • Brainlock

      I got my two J’onns from Amazon yesterday (waiting on rest of w15, except Jack = $$$$) and his head does pop off fairly easily. I checked the right hand, and it does have a little give, but I’m not going to play with popping it off in case the peg does break like Romat’s neck popping off as I pulled him out of the package!

      I did try to put Validus’ head onto the Kilowog torso, but either the neck peg isn’t the right size or there is too much neck for it to sit properly. Kil’s lleft leg does fit into the Val crotch, tho. I tried to mix & match for a new GL, but it didn’t quite work. :/

  • FakeEyes22

    Getting the wrong forearm on the side that’s morphing into a blade is like winning the lottery as far as bad QC. Still a bad mistake, but at least it’s on the one arm in the whole wave that doesn’t ruin the figure, right? Kinda? Maybe its more like stepping in dry dog crap rather than the messier kind.

    Speaking of which, I haven’t gotten this wave yet, but it seems like a real step backwards with all the reports of QC so far. Even Roboto from MOTUC seems affected by sloppy apps in addition to backwards and mixed shoulders. It’s odd since the last couple of DCUC waves and the last few MOTUC releases seemed to be improving. Crap in a hat.

    Good review though, thanks! I hope to see the wave soon. Hopefully I’ll have a few to pick through for errors.

    • I do have to admit having it on that MM is not so bad.

      The dumb thing is the QC of MOTUC and DCUC shouldn’t be related – they were made at the same time, though it should have been in two different factories.

  • 3B

    Oh, boy… I ordered this guy from Amazon back in June and he’ll be shipping this week. I have no idea which one I’m getting because it did not specify, but I’m hoping for the regular version. That blade hand doesn’t do it for me.

  • Fire King Xi

    MIA lists Ambush Bug!!!! Are you kidding me?!?! DC is better off letting that waste of ink fade into obscurity.

    Oh Yeah. Nice review. MM has been a long time favorite of mine. Seeing MM make blade hands does seem odd. It’s like seeing Mystique take the shape of a chair or turn paper thin.

  • I think my J’onn didn’t have the veiny biceps. Still, not bad. The Fwoosh DCUC15 forum had a Kmart coupon, that convinced me to buy the rest of this wave. Just have to find Raven and Jack Knight now.

  • manekochan

    AMBUSH BUG!!!! XD You mentioned Ambush Bug!!!
    Sorry. Er… Distracted by that last paragraph.
    You were harder on his review because he is your favorite. That’s my take.

  • 3B

    Sweet Christmas! The QC on this wave really is terrible! I just got my SC Batman in from Amazon and before I even opened him up, I noticed a missed paint application! Of all things they forgot to paint his SC ring! WTF?!

  • Yso

    “Martian Female Attacked by Crazed Alien Ghost with Two Different Sized Limbs, Film at 11”

  • FakeEyes22

    In total, there were probably 10 Martain Manhunters, variants, and Jemms at the K-Mart I found this set in. All had different combos
    of veined shoulders, big and small biceps. None correct. All but one had one large and one small. At least 2 smaller arms doesn’t look deformed. I had to buy an extra and swap arms.