Aquaman is here, and with it comes the first on-screen interpretation of Arthur’s Curry’s most infamous nemesis, Black Manta. The film does an excellent job with both aesthetics and characterization, and Diamond Select Toys are commemorating this occasion with a GameStop-exclusive Gallery PVC statue. They sent one to Batman News for review, so let’s take a look.
What’s in a helmet?
Without question, that big helmet is the most prominent design feature in any take on Manta. If you get the helmet wrong, all is lost. I think the costume design in the film is excellent, and Diamond sculptor Rocco Tartamella translates it perfectly here. The eyes and shape look just as they should, and while I’ve only seen the movie once so far, the rest of the helmet looks like what I recall, as well. The paint is applied very well, too—definitely better than the average piece in this price point.
The body sculpt may be less meaningful to your average Fanta, but they nailed it here. It looks just like it did in the film, and all of those details that they show Manta constructing are represented. The paint here is excellent, too. All of the lines are clean, and the rim overpainting that you typically find on garment edges in this line is nowhere to be found. A lot of care clearly went into this.
The bases are usually quite good on the Gallery line, and this one certainly is, too. I wouldn’t say it’s the most impressive one they’ve produced, but it captures the scenery of Manta’s big battle, and from across the room, you can’t tell it’s not made of a more premium material. The paint is flawless here, too.
Lastly, this is the first box I’m thinking of keeping. It’s a beautiful package, and I especially like the flap covering the front window. I can still open it, peek at some Ivan Reis artwork, and see what’s inside, but the presentation is cleaner with the flap closed, and I’m actually trying to figure out a way to display it behind or under the statue.
I’ve got a book case full of Diamond’s Gallery statues, and I’ve got a few in particular that I prize above the rest. But I think there’s a new king on the shelf. If you’re a fan of the character or the film or both, you need to get this from GameStop while you can—I predict a brutal eBay market in the future.
DISCLAIMER: Diamond Select Toys provided us with that statue for the purposes of this review.