It’s been a fairly good toy week. I wasn’t even looking hard and found most of DCUC 6 today, and had to really hold myself back from looking at any Targets because i don’t want to stumble across those clearance deals like $3.48 Marvel Legends and $35 Millennium Falcons. I’m trying to scale back, and sales always make me break down like a 6 year old girl in a free pony store. I didn’t see a Shazam!, Black-Suit Superman, or Dr. Impossible. But what I got has made me pleasantly surprised.
First, though, I want to point out that our old friends Shocker Toys has released pictures of the factory production pieces of their first Indie Spotlight wave. I’ve given Shocker a pretty hard time or the years (albeit very well-deserved), but on the flip side I need to point out when they’ve done something right just as much as berate them for doing everything else wrong. These sculpts and paint jobs look pretty good. If I ever see them in a store, there is s light chance I might pick one or two of them up. Considering my attitude toward the company and its product lend themselves to me torching a store carrying their toys, this is a surprise indeed. Heck, I’ll go so far as to say that if Shocker wants to send me a set for review I will go out of my way to be fair.
Back to DCUC: I gave Mattel a hard time just in my last post. Wave 5 was just a mess, and we’ve been hearing about them switching to a new factory and that they’re looking into the problems for so long now, it really sounded like a broken record designed to brush off collectors. I’m happy and amazed, though, that DCUC 6 actually does go a long way toward fixing problems!
To start with, the plastic has a harder durometer than previous waves (although to be fair, wave 5 also was nice and hard). Unlike wave 5, the joints are definitely not frozen on any of these. Someone finally got the memo to make sure every joint was worked good before packaging, because now the problem is that some of them are slightly loose. But I’ll take that any day over potential breakage. Most of the paint is nice and crisp, and the C&C figure, Kalibak, has great snap together joints that seem to fix the "bad leg" problems plaguing earlier figures. In fact, Kalibak’s joints are so tight he can easily stand on one leg while waiting for that last piece! And the paint is not only nice and crisp (only found the one set, and those were all as nice as can be expected) but they are finally starting to get all the colors right. In past waves, there have been many unexplicable shifts from the paint masters to the production figures. I hope this just keeps getting better. Bravo, Mattel!
One complaint, which may be big or minor depending on what you care about: the "paint wash" on these guys is pretty bad. Mainly because its not a wash, but rather a quick once-over with an airbrush, and on only one color on the figure. It makes them look dirty, instead of added depth. And even if they continue this process (my advice would be to save money and drop it is they can’t do it right) they should go with a slightly darker shad of the base color, not this almost black wash. It needs to be subtle, not in your face.
One last complaint: I hate these formed inner bubbles in general, but this wave they are so bad that you have to nearly break the figure to get them out, especially Hawkman and Killer Moth, whose wings have to be cut free. Why can’t we go back to simple carded figures? Is theft really that much of a problem? Speaking of Killer Moth’s wings, mine were put in slightly too high, making them lean forward on his back. But again, a minor complaint when you get a Killer Moth figure to begin with! Now bring on the 60s Batgirl to go with him.