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Toying With DC Collectibles’ New CW Greg Berlanti-verse Action Figures

Welcome to Figures & Speech, Nerdist’s regular column by, for, and about grown-ups who still play with their toys but might want to know more before they buy.

Now that both Mattel and DC Collectibles are doing action figures based on DC’s CW TV shows, you have a choice, separated by about 5 bucks. Mass-produced, more basic paint job, and with part of a larger build-a-figure for around $20, or better detail for around $25? The latter recently put out a new wave featuring several live-action superheroes new to toydom, consisting of Supergirl, Martian Manhunter, Vixen, and John Constantine.


The packaging is your basic DCC-style box, but with colorful, slightly stylized photos of the toys on the side. It was my wife who spotted immediately that they must have been prototypes, as the Supergirl on the side panel has something of a Mona Lisa smile…


…while the figure itself is more serious. Subtle difference, but it’s there.


Vixen’s a bit different too–she looks angry on the box, but just exasperated in person. Maybe because even though she and Constantine have their own animated shorts, and are headliners in their own right, they’re packaged as Arrow characters.


Constantine just looks bemused by it all, though.


Serious Martian is serious.


The figures are in the standard 7-inch DCC scale, but they’re weirdly inconsistent when it comes to articulation. Constantine is the only one with a waist joint, but he’s also the only one without double-knee joints. Martian Manhunter gets a mid-torso joint nobody else has, but his codpiece is flexible to allow for more leg movement, while Vixen’s hips are restricted from a lot of forward motion.


The dudes have ball-jointed elbows, while the women have cut-and-hinge combos. In the case of my Supergirl, this has led to some paint peel.


What they’re missing most, I’d say (apart from waist joints on the women) is more hip articulation. Either a ball hip (rather than the side-side, front-back combo they have now) or an upper thigh cut to allow their feet to turn out in action poses would be a plus. The Bombshells and the Harley Quinns felt more playable in that sense.


Like a lot of DCC figures, they come with interchangeable hands, though in some cases you wonder why. Supergirl’s “jazz hands” look like she’s letting her nail-polish dry, while Martian Manhunter’s fists look proportionately tiny. And then there are the “karate chops” that look not unlike turtle flippers.


Constantine, however, comes with bonus fireball hands, and while they won’t package him smoking, they have conceded a cigarette-lighter hand (yes, I realized afterward I gave him two right hands. He does come with right and left fireball hands).



You might notice also that the neck ball joint allows for some real expressiveness on his part. The ladies are too restricted on that front by their hair.IMG_2009

While these figures may not be as poseable as everyone would like, the details are where they excel. DCC continues to have just about the best paint-jobs in the business, outside of super high-end collectibles. Check out the red stitching on Supergirl’s suit.


Here’s a look from behind…


My wife’s biggest question, and a genuinely confused one, was, “Are these meant to be played with, or kept on a shelf?” I think the latter, but as long as you’re not making them crazy martial artists, they should work okay in any play scenario. I’m generally a pretty big fan of live-action-based renditions, so it’s cool to finally get these (CW Supergirl had a Mattel figure first, but not the others as far as I’m aware). We’re probably not getting Vixen, Martian Manhunter, or Constantine live-action movies any time soon, so if you like “realistic” versions, these will serve you well.


I’m going to try to find a way to hang Supergirl from the ceiling in a flying pose, though. Anything less feels subpar.


Wanna talk toys? Call out the CW figures you’d like to see? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @LYTrules.

Images: Luke Y. Thompson



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