THE AFJ REVIEW: DC ICONS!
By Jarrett Kruse
DC COLLECTIBLES is the Mercedes of toy companies for your favorite characters from the world of DC comics and film. They had an impressive showing at this year's international Toy Fair in NYC where AFJ was treated to a walk-through of some of the coolest stuff we are going to see from DCC in 2016. These are not your average J-Card figures hanging on the pegs. No, no, these are the figures found in your local comic shop or online retailers that deal in the boutique style toys for the savvy Junkie. These are figures that are Pre-Ordered by Junkies in advance, usually from a source like PREVIEWS, whose value continually increases on the secondary market. A DC character that you may not think much of, or consider to be "B-list," can go from zero to hero in one click.
Although Batman VS Superman did not do colossal numbers at the box office, the products still sold incredibly well among Junkies. And some of the aces up DCC's sleeve are pretty damn nice. I assure you, the premium format figures in 6-inch form are a sight to see. Although they are hovering around $44.99 per, rest easy that you know where that extra is going--into meticulous and dynamite detail, articulation, packaging & brilliant sculpts. With that being said, DCC has entered into the market for figures above say, the MULTIVERSE line which can be found at most big box chains. I would love to see the DC ICONS in more of the larger chain stores because you can find really great deals on these on Amazon and other online retailers where some of them are priced UNDER $20. Now that's a steal for these beauties.
The DC ICONS stand at around 6 & 1/2 to 7-inches tall and pack quite a punch for the price point. The goodie box that DC COLLECTIBLES sent to AFJ Headquarters consisted of DEADMAN, GREEN ARROW & THE FLASH. Thankfully I already had BATMAN so I had an idea of what the line would be like. Still, these were a real treat for me to shoot and dissect so lets begin figure by figure. First here is a graph that I love showing all of the details of the DC ICONS figures and how each figure is broken down.
It is hard to believe that DEADMAN is almost 50 years old! The former trapeze artist turned spectre, in the search for the man who killed him is still a fascinating origin story. Boston Brand did not intend to become a ghost but Hook made that the stark reality for the circus star. After his murder, Brand became empowered to possess anyone, a power given to him by a Hindu God. While there has been plenty of talk about DEADMAN getting his own TV series or film, nothing has materialized just yet. But after dissecting this excellent figure, I am thinking that this is the reboot that the character needed.
Designed by DC veteran Ivan Reis and sculpted by Dave Cortes, the DC ICONS iteration is quite stunning. DEADMAN is given the jacked up physique of his former self as a trapeze artist and it is in full display here. This is not a character to challenge to a lifting contest. The broad shoulders and musculature make Brand look like a first round NFL draft pick--he is a specimen not to be trifled with by the living or the dead. The figure is not overwhelming with articulation and I like that a lot because sometimes, Junkies think that the more articulation, the better the figure which is a complete misnomer. Here though it absolute works and of the three figures I was sent to review, this one was the most fluid and easiest to pose. I did not expect to be that wowed by what most would call a second-tier, B-list type character from the DC canon but this turned out to be my favorite. DEADMAN comes with a spare set of hands and a plastic spectral form plastic hood that was kind of difficult for me to get on his head unless I compromised the figure. So instead I just took a picture of the ethereal extra. Still though, a real winner.
Although I am about two seasons behind on The CW's ARROW, I have always been a fan of Oliver Queen. I was obsessed as a kid with a bow and arrow as a weapon so GREEN ARROW & HAWKEYE from MARVEL were always two of my favorites to collect. It was always fun pitting the two of them against each other in my own personal comic book crossover. With the DC ICONS figure, collectors are given a real treat in an excellent updated version of Ollie capturing both the old school and newer streamlined features that the Arrow sports.
I loved that this piece has a removable cowl or you have the option of leaving it on for it to lay should you want to put it back on in a pinch. Designed by Ivan Reis and sculpted by Sam Greenwell, I really dug the sculpt on this figure and the way they managed to include two looks for the figure was a clever idea. Just like with the aforementioned DEADMAN, I like bonuses on my figures like the spectral mask. Queen is lean and lithe and he almost seems to be more malleable than some of the other DC ICONS. I like that they gave him a long bow and I have to say it is the best bow and arrow set on a 6"-7" figure because you can actually fire the arrows! He even comes with a bonus set of hands should you want to exchange the "bow hands" which are shaped in a way that is perfect to pull back on the tensile strength of the bow.
I am a huge FLASH fan, even more so since The CW's live action show became must see TV. Here we get the Barry Allen FLASH from the 1980's Crisis on Infinite Earths, required reading for any Junkie worth their salt. Their has been a bit of FLASH renaissance since the Grant Gustin show became a Tuesday night hit. Despite Ezra Miller appearing briefly in a blink and you missed it cameo and dream sequence in Batman VS Superman, I think that the TV FLASH is going to wind up being better than movie FLASH. Still, I love this figure and am hoping that one lucky Junkie will win it in our DCC giveaway.
I love the way sculptor Amos Hemsley was able to capture the bright palette of colors on this figure which clearly is the CRISIS version of The Scarlet Speedster. He comes with a Speed Force treadmill as an extra along with an extra set of hands but the superhuman exercise piece did not really do it for me. However, the rest of the figure is dead on. I do miss the old days of SUPER POWERS and squeezing the arms of the figure to get those legs moving. Maybe someday! The paint apps are really solid on this piece and the attention to detail by designer Ivan Reis, right down to the wings on FLASH's boots and cowl, makes this a must have for any resident of Central City, the Multiverse or Junkie-verse.
THE FINAL WORD
Really solid across the board for AFJ's first foray into the world of DC COLLECTIBLES. The more I tooled around with these pieces, the more I liked them. Then when I factored in the affordability on them as compared with the DC MULTIVERSE line, I would pick the ICONS 10 out of 10 times.