I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: one of the greatest assets that McFarlane Toys has with their DC Multiverse figures is the variety of characters and properties they represent. More than that, they pull from all sorts of entertainment mediums, from comics to video games to movies and television shows. It seems like there’s hardly a bottom to the well they go to for inspiration, and this week we have some great new figures from multiple different sources. Read on to see what we think about their latest video game, television, and movie offerings.
I just realized something: McFarlane have made a lot of Jason Todd figures. We’ve covered something like four or five at least up to this point, and now we can check off another Jason figure with the Arkham Knight here.
Oh. Spoilers for a seven-year-old video game. Jason Todd is the Arkham Knight.
And the Arkham Knight is a pretty sweet action figure to boot. The sculpt and paint job are both incredibly accurate, capturing the look of the video game’s antagonist. Despite having a largely dark gray color scheme, the different pieces of his outfit look like different materials. The armor plating on his arms and chest look smooth and solid, where his pants have folds like you’d expect from fabric. It’s work that isn’t surprising coming from McFarlane, but nice to see just the same.
For a fairly bulky figure, Arkham Knight is well balanced and stands up on his own pretty well, though the chunkier arms and legs mean that his range of motion is kind of limited. He can’t be set in as many different poses as some other figures, but considering Arkham Knight is all about the intimidation and vibes it makes sense.
He comes with three accessories: two smoke grenades and a grappling gun. All three fit in each hand pretty well, though the thin pull tab on the grenades feels pretty fragile so I had to be careful not to misshape or even snap them. Even still, they’re solid accessories for an incredibly solid action figure.
Available from Entertainment Earth.
Batgirl (Gotham Knights)
Following with the video game theme, we have the first of two figures from the Gotham Knights game that is due out later this year. I’ve already reviewed Red Hood and Nightwing, so first up in this batch is Barbara Gordon herself, that Dominoed Daredoll Batgirl.
Of the four figures in the line, Batgirl has the costume that’s closest to one of her comics looks, and I really appreciate that. There’s some extra armoring and piping here and there, but it doesn’t look too busy or extreme. Instead, it looks like a faithful update to her Burnside suit.
The sculpting is really good, and I love the way the purple and yellow colors pop against the black accents on her legs and arms. Her hair in particular looks fantastic, with lots of volume and a bit of tussled messiness with some stray strands here and there. She has that weird “side-eye” look going on, which is becoming almost standard operating procedure with most McFarlane figures, but if it bothers you too much and you’re good with a brush it should be a pretty easy fix.
While the figure looks great, and is quite posable, she’s really thin and doesn’t have much of a center of gravity. That, along with her small feet, make it pretty difficult to get her to stand on her own, so use of the included base is almost a must. To be fair, both Nightwing and the next figure in this review have the same problem, so it’s not just a Batgirl thing.
She’s accessorized with a riot baton, which is kind of cool looking but a bit too big to comfortably fit in either of her hands. There were times when I thought I was warping her fingers, and had to patiently wiggle the handle into her hand to get some of these shots. Those drawbacks keep the figure from true greatness, but even still she’s really good.
Robin (Gotham Knights)
Now we have my guy Tim Drake, with one of Gotham Knights‘ most drastic redesigns. While I would posit that you really can’t improve on either of his suits from his first ongoing (the original and the “One Year Later” red and black outfit), I… actually kind of dig this?
I’m not sure what it is either, because at first glance I didn’t think it would work. I love a Robin suit with a tunic, but here it’s been reimagined as a sort of hoodie, with long front flaps extending down his legs past the waist. The hood is a nice touch, but that’s broken up by a solid red cape that almost wrecks the look, because it just looks like too much.
And yet… I still like it. No, I don’t want him to adopt something like this in the comics (though it does look better than any outfit he’s had in the past ten years, and that’s including his current suit), yet it grew on me the more I took photos of it. The tunic-hoodie in particular looks great on closer inspection, what with his classic R symbol and a neat interpretation of the yellow “stitching.” The black blocking on his arms and legs breaks up the red and green, respectively, without looking busy or distracting, and his gauntlets look solid without being too bulky.
Tim comes with a bo staff, as he should, and it’s solidly constructed and fits well in one or both hands. Though sculpted to be smaller than Nightwing, he’s bigger than Batgirl and has better balance too. That makes it easier to get him in some cool poses, but I still ended up having to use the base more often than not to ensure that he stayed upright.
Even if DC doesn’t know what to do with Tim Drake, I know what to do with this Tim figure: put him in comical poses next to my other Drake pieces.
The Flash (TV Series)
Even if you don’t watch the show, you have to give The Flash some credit: over its nine seasons (the final of which will air next year) it has delved into some truly bizarre and obscure corners of the DC Universe, which I love and respect. The series’ lead Grant Gustin has also grown into the role over the years, nailing the bland dorkiness that defines Barry Allen.
Not so bland or dorky? This figure, based on the look from the TV series. While my timeline is a little fuzzy, I’m going to place the look of the suit as somewhere in the sixth or seventh seasons, as it looks more refined than the earlier seasons but lacks the gold boots he recently adopted. No matter where its from in the show’s tenure, it’s a great-looking piece, and about on par with other Flash figures I’ve reviewed.
The red of the suit is a bit more muted than those based on comics or cartoons, which is pretty accurate to the show. The gold accents of his belt, around his torso, and at the tops of his boots and gloves break up the color quite nicely, and his logo looks particularly great against the white background. He has a decent likeness to Gustin too, which is impressive considering the mask covers a good portion of his head and face.
Flash comes packaged with three lightning bolt and energy accessories, which are pretty fun. Yeah, the idea that he could harness speed into a lightning lightsaber was beyond silly, but who cares? This is comics TV, and I am here for it. Both bolts fit in his hands quite well, and can be used as either melee-style weapons or speed effects when in a running pose. The third energy crackle accessory fits around his shoulders to add a pretty neat effect, too.
Of the five figures in this review, Flash stands on his own without the need of a support base the best, save for the upcoming final figure. Still, he has the advantage of posability, so you can get some great shots of the Flash running without too much trouble.
King Shark (The Suicide Squad)
I love this figure so, so much. As much as I loved The Suicide Squad and all of its characters, Nanaue the King Shark definitely stole the show, thanks to his simultaneously fun and terrifying personality and the great vocal performance of Sylvester “should have won the Oscar for his performance in Creed” Stallone.
This mega-sized figure is as awesome and lovable as his onscreen counterpart, for obvious reasons. I mean, he’s a giant shark-man. How can you not love that?
He’s quite large, standing quite a few heads taller than most other figures but still shorter than Swamp Thing, and has quite a bit of heft and girth.
In other words: he’s heavy.
That doesn’t limit the posability and playability factors, though, as even with limited articulation the figure has a ton of personality. That’s mostly thanks to his hinged jaw, allowing you to open and close his mouth. He can show just his bottom row of teeth for a welcoming, goofy smile, or you can open his mouth all the way to reveal his top row of teeth, which makes Shark look quite sinister and menacing. Hilariously (and grotesquely), he comes with a severed arm and leg accessories, perfect for intimidation and nom-noms alike. There’s also a gold foil trading card atop a gold base, which was kind of neat.
Nothing else I say or show you should have to be said or shown to convince you of the greatness of this figure. Even if it’s the only The Suicide Squad figure you pick up, it’s well worth having King Shark as part of your collection.
Say bye Nanaue!
What a champ.
Overall: A varied group of figures based on popular characters from across different mediums, there’s something here for everyone. Whether you want a beloved hero, a menacing villain, or a walking, talking shark man voiced by John Spartan himself, you can’t go wrong with any of these pieces.
Disclaimer: McFarlane Toys provided each figure for the purposes of this review.
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