Sometimes it’s hard doing a review because I seem to review the same characters over and over again. I know I’ve done at least two other John Stewart reviews. I won’t even mention how many times I’ve reviewed War Machine and his many incarnations. But sometimes a new line of figures deserves to be recognized even when it includes some of the same characters.
Mattel has recently released their new 6 inch line called “Total Heroes”, their replacement to their previous DC Universe Classics line. This line is intended to be the go between the kid-friendly crowd and the collectors. And even though I was pretty adamant about not liking this line, I have to admit, I have picked up a few. I see them fly off the shelves at retailers…they look nice, they look fun, and they are priced right. So how does this appeal to the collector crowd? Well, Mattel in all of their wise ways, has decided to release a Total Heroes Ultra edition exclusively online. So now, you can get your basic Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman figures at retailers, but if you want to get some of the more obscure characters, you have to make your way to MattyCollector.com to have your way.
This time out we have the Green Lantern Corps featuring John Stewart. Let’s take a look and see how he stacks up with the rest of the competition…
There’s nothing special about the packaging. The action figure itself is shipped in a pretty boring and basic Mattel white box. We’ve seen this box on other Mattel exclusive figures.
Opening the white box, we get the standard action figure on a card and bubble – meaning if you meant to collect this and not take it out, I hope you ordered two or more. I open most of my figures, so I take a knife to the packaging and work my way in. I usually save the card but the plastic bubble is a done deal.
The card itself is pretty nice. Great layout and artwork on the front. I’m a little mad that they didn’t use John Stewart’s name directly, but I guess since this figure has interchangeable heads (making this an interchangeable character action figure), I guess “Green Lantern Corps” is accurate, even if it’s a little generic. I like the back of the card as well. Great showcasing of the action figure with the three different heads and bio-blurbs on all three characters.
Nothing too special here, but then again I see it could potentially catch my eye if I’m going down the toy aisle. The problem with this? We will most likely never see this figure hanging on a peg (outside specialty comic book shops) because Mattel has no confidence that this will do well sitting side by side their main staple of characters.
Packaging Score: 6.25 out of 10
You definitely get what you pay for. While a normal figure in this line is usually found between $10-$13, for a little more you get a deluxe figure (the “Ultra” in Total Heroes Ultra) with tons of accessories.
In this case, we get a ring effect and three ring constructs including a buzz saw, a claw, and a fist. The constructs plug into the ring effect (on the far left in the picture) and the ring effect slips over the figure’s right arm. The only problem with this? You have now made this figure completely top heavy and it is nearly impossible to pose the figure while this is placed on his arm. I’ve tried several times, and my best attempt is on the right.
While it’s a great effect, I think the reason for this accessory is more for playtime rather than display-time. Meaning that I believe the reason for this line is to make a kid-friendly action figure that could also appeal to adults. The intention is nice, but the execution is completely wrong. As I mentioned before, you won’t find this figure unless you’re shopping online or at specialty shops. So the play factor is lost because your consumer base will be mostly collectors.
The other accessories include four different interchangeable hands and the aforementioned two interchangeable heads. The hands are okay but I’m good with the standard that the figure came with. The heads are okay, but I’m not chomping at the bit to have a Tomar-Re or Green Man Green Lantern figures. Maybe if I was trying to build out the corps, but I’m not so I’m okay with my John Stewart standing next to my Hal Jordan.
Accessories Score: 7.5 out of10
I’m kind of split on this category, so I’ll make this statement. This is good stylized version of John Stewart Green Lantern. It’s definitely based off of the comic book version as opposed to the animated version (like in Justice League Unlimited). The problem being that the figures almost “cartoony” features makes it hard for me to place it in general population. This is where Mattel has gone wrong. They have created figures that collectors may want to pick up, but don’t have room for it to be displayed outside of their mainstream collection. And I believe this is the downfall of this line if they continue in this direction.
The paint apps are okay, but a little flat. There are no paint washes, so the outfit is just straight green, black and white. A nice paint wash would have added some depth to the figure. I do like the paint application on the facial features. I like the fact that he has green eyes like he does on Justice League Unlimited. Like the ring is so powerful, it changed the color of his eyes.
Speaking of the ring, pretty generic, even for a generic figure. It is a green circle on his hand. I don’t think it would have been that hard to make this shape into a lantern. I’ve seen 3.75″ figures with more definition on the rings on their hands.
So good stylized sculpting with pretty generic paint applications.
Sculpt/Likeness Score: 7 out of10
I’ve been reviewing so many Hot Toys lately that I feel out of practice with actually counting the points of articulation (POA).
This figure has about 20 POA, which is good for about any basic figure. Some room for improvement includes maybe a thigh/boot swivel which would have improved stance. Also, while his head does tilt back more than usual, it would be nice if it tilted all the way back like the recent Marvel Legends figures have included. This would make flying poses a little better.
Articulation Score: 7.5 out of 10
I’m not really down on this line, but I’m also not that excited. I see that the line has potential, but as I mentioned before it’s hard to fit this figure into a current collection. I have about 3 other John Stewart figures so I may fit him in there but there is no other place for it.
Again, I can see kids playing with this figure, but it has not been made widely available to them. One day, I would really love to hear Mattel’s true intentions for this line. Until then, I’ll keep my eyes out for some good figures. I already have Black Manta cued up to review and I know they will be coming out with a Cyborg and Firestorm sometime down the line.