hrm. AFi First Look – Mattel’s The Watchmen Rorschach
January 10, 2013

How do you pass the Rorschach test? It’s simple… don’t be a criminal. If you just can’t help yourself, this complicated crime-fighter will dispense his special brand of justice. The masked vigilante from the world of Watchmen is rendered for the first time ever as a 6” fully articulated figure in comic-book style. Rorschach comes in unique book-type packaging, with grappling gun and yellow base with black Watchmen logo. Also includes an original Watchmen “over-sized” trading card with all-new art and character bio.

WatchRorBox1One of the biggest surprises at Comic Con last summer was Mattel’s announcement that they would be doing comic book versions of the full team from Alan Moore’s “The Watchmen.”  We were cruelly teased with action figures of the comic versions of the team almost 10 years ago from DC Direct.   Because of a disagreement with Mr. Moore those figures never went into production and fans had all but given up hope.  That is why it was such a shock when Mattel announced their “Club Black Freighter” subscription, featuring 6″ Watchmen figures, sculpted by the Four Horsemen and in scale with our existing DC Universe Mattel figures.

Mattel has designed all new packaging for this line, including the outer mailer boxes.  Instead of being all white with black letters as we have seen on Mattel’s other subscription lines, the Watchmen mailer boxes are black, yellow and red.  On the front and back of the mailer boxes is the traditional clock face.  On Rorschach’s box the clock is set to 11:41… I’ll be curious to see if the mailer boxes for the rest of the line count down to midnight.  One of the side panels has Rorschach patterns, the other has a part of the “Who Watches the Watchmen” brick wall that will most likely fit together with future releases.

The actual figure packaging is new and is unlike anything we have seen before from Mattel.  It’s kind of like those old Disney VHS cases with a printed cardboard interior and a plastic interior, but it’s meant to look like a book.  There are even grooves in the plastic to look like pages.  It’s design is also very much like DC’s “Ultimate” hardback editions.   The front has the familiar smiley-face button eye with the blood on it from the first issue and some of the trade paper back releases.  The side panel has a black and yellow line art picture of the character, and the back panel looks like it will fit together with the other boxes to spell out “Watchmen.”

Inside the figure is held in by vacuformed plastic, with only one rubber band around the legs.  The stand is behind the figure and the gun is also just set into the plastic.  The figure pops in and out easily and still looks great with the front panel open.  On the opposite facing interior panel is a card (standard card stock thickness) with color line art of the character.  This is just taped in, and on the back is the bio for Rorschach.

The figure himself is in scale with the other DCUC and DC Signature 6″ figures and shares quite a few parts (legs, feet, upper arms) with the DCUC Question figure… which makes sense, as Rorschach was originally based on The Question since Alan Moore was not allowed to use the Charlton comics characters.  He has the standard DCUC articulation and even has the ab-crunch joint under the trench-coat.

Mattel didn’t skimp on the sculpt and reuse too many parts.  They really paid attention to the details on the costume including the missing button and broken epaulet on his trench-coat.  Even the broken belt thing on his sleeve is there and that would have been an easy part to reuse from The Question, but wouldn’t have been as accurate, so kudos to the team for that.  The paint on the sample I received is sharp and clean and there’s a nice “shadow” wash on the trench coat.  I think it would be a cool idea if Mattel had done 3 different face patterns on the figure’s mask that were all randomly inserted (or maybe one for the subscribers and a different one for day of sales) but not told anyone and just let collectors find that “Easter egg” on their own.

Rorschach comes with his grapple-gun and a Watchmen stand.

It’s been a LONG journey to get these figures and if Rorschach is any indication Mattel worked really hard to get them right.  I’m sure some fans will wish that he was a bit shorter than the other characters, but we know that reusing as many “buck” parts as possible is the only way to get most 6″ figures made these days.

Rorschach will be available to buy on on Jan. 15th.

Here’s a quick and dirty video turn-around of the figure so you can get a better sense of it:

This sample was provided by Mattel.

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on,, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post,,,, Boing-Boing,, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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