Not as good as the GameStop-exclusive Manta, but still excellent. If you don’t feel like watching the video, check the transcript and photos below.
The Aquaman film is a smash success, and looks to be bringing in even more in the days ahead. Before the holidays, I looked at Diamond Select’s amazing GameStop-exclusive Black Manta Gallery, and today, it’s Arthur Curry’s turn.
I praised Manta’s box for its cover flap and the comic art inside of it, but Aquaman comes in the standard DST three-window box. It’s not a bad package by any means, but if I had to choose, I’d rather see the Manta treatment for everything.
Aquaman is 10.25-inches tall from the base to the top of his head. From some angles, the tip of the trident might appear a bit higher, but it’s not. If you have 10.25-inches clearance, you’ll be good. He’s 8.5-inches from starboard to port, and 9.25-inches from bow to stern. Like Manta, Aquaman was sculpted by Rocco Tartamella, from Aquaman concept artist Mark Wong’s design.
Manta was perfect, and a difficult act to follow. And while Aquaman isn’t perfect, he’s still excellent. The face isn’t a flawless likeness for Momoa, but it’s more than close enough, and the beard and hair are well-sculpted and painted. There are some neat details, too, like the hair gap in Momoa’s left eyebrow, and the neck tattoos peeking out from the suit. The suit itself looks outstanding, with nice scaly sculpting and subtle variation in the paint application to make the metallic armor look metallic. The belt is nicely molded, but it looks decidedly more plastic than anything else on the statue, which is a little disappointing.
The pants also feature color variation, though even more subtly than in the shirt. The boots and gloves are some of the nicest pieces on the figure, and remind me of how much I like the film’s take on these elements of the classic Aquaman costume.
Arthur’s trident is two pieces, so that you can put the bottom half in the bottom of his right hand, and the top half in the top. With a little patience, it’s easy enough to to. The trident looks pretty good, too. It’s still more plastic-looking than the body, but it’s more convincing than the belt.
The base is not film-accurate, because Arthur didn’t have this suit at this point, but I don’t care. If you’ve seen Aquaman, then you recognize the aesthetic of the Italian ruins where Arthur and Manta first faced off. If you’re especially observant—or you’ve seen the film three times like I have—then you may even recognize the broken base of the statue of the Roman general Scipio. It’s a super-cool detail. And the reason I don’t care about the license taken with the base is that it allows you to display Arthur and Manta opposite one another with complimentary bases. I think this was an excellent choice by Diamond.
The biggest negative for this statue is also the most common issue with the Gallery line: there’s some paint overspray in places. Some are harder to spot, such as some creeping green where the glove meets the armor, but others are more obvious, such as the two quasi-circular hip pieces and the gold pieces on the backs of his biceps. The overspray isn’t noticeable once you’re a few feet away, so it’s not a huge deal, but it’s there, so you should be aware of it before you buy.
Overall, though, this is an outstanding piece, and at 45 bucks, it’s a very attainable, very attractive piece for fans of the film, or just of the character in general. Combine it with the Black Manta Gallery and you can create an awesome visual that the rest of the world won’t see until the next film: classic-suit Aquaman squaring off against his most infamous foe.