We’ve had some hectic weeks since our first State recap, so let’s jump right into the business, shall we?
I love this event (and its summer variant) but this one was a mixed bag. I know we share the spotlight with other licenses, and there was some great stuff there -the Demon Slayer releases are fire for all of us anime fans- and some not so great -please point me to the weirdos who got excited about the Movie Maniacs selection-, but eventually, we got to the ones we actually like, DC!
I don’t think that I’m alone when I say that THIS is the Tim Drake version of Robin we’ve been waiting for, even if it’s just a simple retool, repainting some stuff here and there, but adding a much-improved face sculpt really makes it pop, and it probably will be the base for many modders to use as their go-to Boy Wonder.
Then comes another classic-looking character, a Batman straight from the 90s, to complete the Knightfall releases. I’m a sucker for the blue and gray suit, so this is a must. It seems that it’s also an upgrade of sorts from the Year 2/ 3 Jokers Bat-sculpt: color palette, bat symbol, and head included! I know that a lot of you loved the new Hush release, but for me, this early in the year, this one takes the crown as the best Batsy of 2023.
After those, it was time to give some Super-love! Steel was always a very cool-looking character and Todd delivers on this front, and although he’s labeled as part of the Reign of the Supermen, I know quite a lot of people who are actually putting him in the “Death of Superman” shelf along Superboy and Eradicator. Cyborg Superman must be just around the corner and then a PAF staffer will be the happiest collector of the block *cough* Tony *cough*
As for Hush’s Superman, I kept repeating this over the Rumor Roundup until I thought it was just not happening, but alas, a regular variant… that’s kinda lame. We’ve seen this body used and reused a looooot by now, but after the super-expressive sculpt of raging Clark’s face from the Gold Label, this one just looks totally blank and boring.
THE FLASH MOVIE WAVE
Teased briefly during the Winter Showcase, we only had to wait a couple of days to get details about this wave, and it hit us hard like lightning to Barry. First of all, I believe there wasn’t a single leak about this wave that wasn’t correct down to the last detail, and the hype was huge with those already!
The Flash is getting some different releases, including the main 7” figure, a 12” posed one, and even a DC Direct deluxe resin statue, and sadly each and every one of those had a very difficult job adapting into plastic a suit that’s heavily CGI’ed in the movie, or at least shines the most with all the lighting effect. Some extra paint could fix some things, but even the likeness to Ezra Miller is very off. Which is funny because the resemblance is there with the other Barry, the “Batman Suit” one, but I do think that the “homemade” suit is going to be an acquired taste for some (I know that I cannot look at it without cringing).
Then there’s a Batman for all tastes, figures, statues, masked, unmasked. Although I would have preferred a less glossy finish on the Michael Keaton ones, the suit is a really cool upgrade from the classic ‘92 panther suit, and at least the masked version shares a great resemblance with the actor. The unmasked one is a different deal for the community (I’ve seen comparisons going from Matt Damon to any Hollywood dude but Keaton). I kind of disagree there with the rest of the collectors, I think at least is good enough next to that “other” Batman… I mean, are they spoiling the new DC movie universe casting? Because that guy is anybody BUT Ben Affleck; which baffles me, given that they already had a pretty decent mold from the Justice League release. Even the rest of the suit, the paint app, and overall look seem like a serious downgrade from the aforementioned figure, that’s TWO YEARS older than this! It’s something that really rubs me wrong, considering that this is probably the last figure of Batfleck we’re going to get.
Dark Flash has some very lazy design, but that’s on Andy Muschietti’s team; then again, he may actually look great on the screen with full CGI and all, and it’s just like The Flash, a though thing to do in figure form. Supergirl though, must be the biggest loser of the wave. The body is pretty good actually, but that headsculpt… Let’s just leave it there, that face says more in a picture than whatever I could say.
And then, on the opposite side, we have the absolute winners of the year. I’m pretty sure that they’re even early contenders for TOTY awards already. Not only that, but they’ve put to shame every other toy maker out there, and I’m looking at you: HasLab $350 Ghost Rider car, Super7’s TMNT Turtlemobile, and even Thundercat’s Thundertank.
I mean, look at this thing… The super leaked, super hyped 1989 Michael Keaton Batmobile, in all its 7” scale glory, with very nice paint details, sculpt, movement, and even a cool box: FOR $60 BUCKS! Todd McFarlane is an absolute madman, and everybody in the industry should tremble before him.
But did he stop there? Noooo… because bam! Batwing, also in 7” scale, is huge, incredible, and even ready to be wall mounted. And he was a clever SOB too, making it a Gold Label exclusive for HIS online store. I’m super excited about that particular decision because it should be a serious blow for the scalper scene if he can keep the stock open (by the time of this article it’s still available! But hey, I know that not everybody can bank the $250 even if it looks quite reasonable).
Closing the vehicle triumvirate there’s the latest Batcycle, and I just can’t stress enough how good they’ve gotten with bikes. I have every single one of them so far, even if I don’t have the figure to mix with it. They’re that good.
THE RETURN OF PLATINUM EDITIONS
I’ve talked a bit about this in my previous article, but Platinum Editions are starting to show its face again, with a bit of a retooled formula, that so far, looks like a win to me: rather than simple random variations these seem to be “paint-homages” to certain versions of the characters.
Mr. Freeze is sporting the color palette of the Super Powers vintage release from the Kenner era, certainly, it’s not for everybody, but it’s a very nice nostalgia-induced touch. Jay Garrick looks super dope with its variant, which I’d have to say takes the darker colors from his appearance in The CW’s Flash tv show (I could be wrong with this one though). And then there’s Catwoman sporting her classic grey and black looks from Batman: The Animated Series, how cool is that?
All in all, we’ve had a couple of busy weeks, and it’s just the first third of our year! Let us know what you look forward to the most for the rest of 2023!