Video courtesy of my site Comics Now. Used with permission.
We saw Darkseid at Toy Fair, and I’ve been intrigued since he was first announced, because of the unique construction. His body is polystone, a material much more common in statues than figures. The metal portions of his clothing are actually metal, and the Mother Box magnetically fastens to the back of his thick belt. Like I said, unique. After going back and forth for a bit, I finally decided to order my own. Does he live up to the intrigue? If you’ve already watched the video above, then you already know the answer, but if you’d like to read a bit more detail, then read on!
Unlike the (albeit handsome) cardboard boxes typically used to package Mezco’s One:12 figures, Darkseid’s vessel is something special: a hinged-lid, beautifully-designed tin box. See for yourself in the video above—it’s nuts.
Inside that lovely tin vessel are custom foam inserts. There’s a perfectly-square top foam layer to protect the contents, but once you remove that, you can see spare faces, spare hands, and a Mother Box, all nestled snugly in their own custom-cut compartments. At the center of it all, we have a Darkseid-shaped foam insert, and once you remove that, you’re finally face-to-face with the hideously evil Lord of Apokolips himself. But don’t throw your tin away yet (or ever, you fool)! Lift out the foam that held Darkseid and his alternate parts, and the final tier has the display base, posing arm (practically useless for so heavy a figure), cape, and two tiny batteries to power Darkseid’s light-up feature.
Parts and accessories
The swappable parts and doodads are less numerous than what I got with Batman, but it makes total sense. Darkseid is a much simpler being, and this distillation of pure, unbridled villainy does not need much to bring about his plans. Posturing aside, what he has works just fine, and I don’t find myself missing anything in particular. The faces that he comes with are outstanding, and the fact that the red lights powering his eyes also shine through his battle-damaged face plate’s battle damage—that’s just flipping rad. As my youngest son said, it makes it look like meat, and I would hope that, having taken a blast of Superman’s heat vision to his brow, Darkseid would indeed look like meat. Yummy.
The hands are great, too. There are just a few options here, but they’re all very useful options, and I love how girthy and stubby they all look—a definite Kirby-esque sensibility. The only real limitation here, if you want to call it that, is that you only have a left-hand option for holding the Mother Box. So if you’re a Right Supremacist, you might be a bit distressed, but the rest of us will find ways to cope.
I dig the cape a lot. The metal shoulder pads are both a fabulous visual touch, and a very functional feature that keeps the cape planted on Darkseid’s shoulders without the need for any sort of fastening mechanism. Good stuff.
Amazing. Outstanding. Incredible. These are words that mean roughly the same thing.
Okay, they also describe the construction of this figure perfectly. It really is remarkably made. I love the stony look of the polystone body parts, and the costume is just completely rad. I’m told by Batman News editor Sean Aune that the vinyl in his tunic and cape are an “interesting choice,” because vinyl is a historically problematic material in costume-making, so I’ll be keeping my eyes on this to see how it ages. But in terms of how it looks and feels out of the box, it’s just great.
As I allude to in the video, there’s some light bleed at the edge of Darkseid’s face when the light-up feature is activated. This happens with all of the faces, and even if I try very hard to position the face “just so,” it’s noticeable. I don’t find it particularly bothersome, but it’s worth noting. I wouldn’t go so far as to officially designate it a design flaw, but whether accepted tradeoff or legitimate flaw, it’s there, so you should know about it.
I think I’ve mentioned this every time I’ve reviewed a Mezco product, but I love the ball-and-socket connectors that they use for swappable parts. Some manufacturers will use this for heads (I’m thinking of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends figures at the moment), but I’ve never seen another do so for hands. And so instead of having hands with a little post at the bottom and single-axis movement, you have hands with sockets that connect to a ball on the arm, and you get a much larger range of motion. I also have to assume that such construction will last much, much longer than a tiny plastic shaft getting stressed against the arm on all of those other figures.
The metal parts have the benefit of looking metal, which is in itself very nice, but they’re also hefty, and they give Darkseid the premium feel he deserves for the premium price that we’ve been asked to pay for him. Many folks would balk at paying over $100 for 1/12-scale action figure, and I used to be one of them. But all I can say is that this is unlike any other figure that I’ve ever held, and if you’re willing to pay $60-$80 for a normal Mezco, or an SHFiguarts or Medicom, then you should seriously consider what you’re getting for the extra money when you spring for Darkseid.
The articulation is about what you’d expect. Darkseid has the standard joint movement, but he’s a bit limited at the chest and the hips. I tried getting him into the one-knee-on-the-ground pose that I used when Batman fought Nacho Libre, but I was unsuccessful. If you’ve got the cape installed, this further limits his shoulder movement, but that’s to be expected. All-in-all, I think you’ll be satisfied that you can pose Darkseid in poses that make sense for Darkseid.
This is another smash hit for Mezco. At an above-$100 premium, they won’t sell as many of these as they do of their other figures in the One:12 line, and that’s a shame. I’m not sure if there’s anything else like this on the market, from the construction to the thoughtful parts, and the packaging. I love mine, and if you can pony up, I think you’ll love yours, too.
Notice: This item was purchased with personal funds and was not provided by the manufacturer.
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