Closer Look – Gold Label Edition: DC Multiverse Blue Beetle


September 25, 2023

It’s an understatement at this point to say there’s a lot of variants for the McFarlane DC Multiverse line. Gold Label madness has taken over the DC Multiverse line – each day it seems yet another Gold Label release is announced.  Which are worth hunting down and which are worth taking a pass on?  Ultimately the decision is up to you, but hopefully with these articles we can help you determine if some various Gold Label releases are collection worthy.

What exactly is a Gold Label?   For those who aren’t familiar:  They are DC Multiverse releases that are generally repainted, occasionally have more or different accessories, and are always store exclusive.  Retail on the majority are in the 19.99 – 21.99 range, which is fair.  The biggest flaw in the system is distribution with some areas stores not stocking various releases and online availability a big hit or miss.  There’s a new twist in the Gold Label game, the limited boxed editions which I’ll be covering in some upcoming Closer Look Gold Label Edition articles.

For now, let’s just stick to the basic McFarlane DC Multiverse Gold Label action figure, and for this article we’ll be checking out the Target exclusive Blue Beetle.  The previous release of Blue Beetle was in a two-pack with Booster Gold and based on the look of the comic Blue and Gold.  The Gold Label Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) is considered “Classic DC” and is closer to the look from the 80’s with a lighter blue color scheme.  They do have different head sculpts and the costume design is slightly different in the area of the beetle pattern.  The Gold Label is tighter while the two-pack release has a wider pattern.  Going from the artwork below from Blue and Gold, the pattern on the Gold Label seems more spot-on than the one they used.

Both releases also come with the same terrible grappling gun accessory but in different color schemes.  I hate when accessories, such as grappling guns, have the grappling line and hook (or beetle) partially sticking out of the gun barrel.  If that is the look you want, make the part removable.  Over time they always end up bent, sagging, and looking terrible sticking out of the gun barrel.  Beyond the grappling gun, the Gold Label also includes two pairs of hands and a scarab that wasn’t included in the two-pack.

The Gold Label head sculpt is better.  The two-pack version was accurate with the look from Blue and Gold, but I prefer this less bug-eyed look.  The head sculpt does still have one problem though, the painted on yellow.  If those areas had yellow transparent plastic it would have looked great.  A small complaint overall though and the head sculpt expression looks great.  I think at least one extra set of hands should come with every Gold Label.  At least.  And the two pairs of hands included with the classic Blue Beetle are awesome.  Various combinations from the three total pairs of hands make for some fun expressive poses.

Now to answer the question:  do you really need a second Blue Beetle in your collection?  In my opinion, the Gold Label release is the release to own.  If Ted Kord as Blue Beetle isn’t a character you care much about, the release from the Blue and Gold two-pack was decent and you probably won’t gain anything by adding another version to your collection.  However, if you love some classic comic looks, this is one to definitely add to your DC Collection.