DC Essentials are in the building, and we are taking a look at the first two releases in the all new DC Collectibles action figure line. Essentials are a return to familiar form for DC Collectibles, the 6.75 Inch scale. Prior to DC Icons and the Animated series figures, most releases for DCC were in the 6.75 Inch scale. They moved down for Icons, but the line didn’t click with fans and they rebooted into what we have here today, DC Essentials. The line is meant to be an ongoing, all encompassing line, similar to Marvel Legends. Different eras, costumes and looks getting attention while keeping a uniform size and style.
The first wave consists of Batman, Deathstroke, Flash and Reverse Flash. We’ll take a look at the Speedsters tomorrow. Read on to check out our thoughts on Batman and Deathstroke, plus first impressions on the line overall courtesy of Entertainment Earth.
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DC Essentials Batman and Deathstroke
Great clean paint head to toe
Mold is sharp
Works well with prior DCC figures
Almost every point of articulation is addressed
Arms are abnormally out of proportion (too long)
Figures have balance issues
Legs are loose / have give at: hip, knee and ankle joints
Ankle rocker tech requires two hands and forethought to achieve position
Only one set of hands, which are different from each other
Ok, where to begin. I’m torn. There are good and bad things going on here. On quick glance, these are really solid, big modern representations of core DC characters. They pop in perfectly with the DCC figures of years past, specifically New 52 forward (N52, Arkham, Designer Series, etc). After you get them in hand, and want to pose them up we have some issues though.
First things first, what the heck is going on with these arms? I saw them in the promo shots and was hoping it was just the prototype / angle of pics, but nope. These guys have some long ass arms. Maybe someone based in anatomy can argue they are anatomically correct, but bottom line – on an action figure they look off. And they ALL have it going on, through at least wave 3 and the Watchmen waves. The first one to not pop out at me as off is the Joker they just showed off at SDCC, which is a new mold.
If this line is going to survive, this needs to be addressed. I’ll take some monkey figs for a bit as they work things out, but it needs to be acknowledged and fixed moving forward.
Next biggie – the legs.
Start at the top – Hips. They are angled outward, so you need to really focus to get a straight up stance. Not as bad as some prior DCC figs, but it’s still happening. And that hip joint is loose, so if you do get him posed up, any jolt can trigger them to slide out and then you got dominoes.
Knees – also loose. Not super floppy spaghetti knees, but loose enough that if you get a pose right, set him down, they shift and throw the weight balance off. Again, dominoes.
Ankles – loose/give one way and too hard to move the other. So, these guys do have ankle rock tech, allowing for a flat foot on the ground when dynamically posed. Technically. They have a ratcheted ball joint forward and backward. You can then spin that ball , and twist the foot to stay flat. However, you can’t really do that while the foot is on the ground. You need to pick him up, get the foot where you think it needs to be, set it down, and hope the other foot is good. Coupled with the loose knees and slide-y hips, this is a nightmare. The cut at the boot does help, but it’s still a two handed operation.
Any multi angle ankle on these figs (DCC and others) need to be adjusted while the foot stays planted on the ground, with 1 or no hands. Putting pressure on the body downward as you pose other parts should allow the ankle to move around, and then stay put. If you have to pick it up and scientifically guess on what angle foot 1 and foot 2 should be and then adjust that with 2 hands to handle the rest of the pose – fail.
Also with the ankles, the ratchets are too spaced out. Let’s say you do get it all perfectly placed, angled, twisted, on both feet. You plop him down. One foot is slightly raised off the floor. Just click it forward a bit, right? Well, that might as well be a 45 degree angle with what’s going on here. A click forward/backward will throw balance off big time. Those should be doubled or tripled and made with more resistance.
But, really, what would be best – get some form of pressure based 360 system for the ankles, tighten up the knees and hips. With the foot flat and planted, I should be able to spin this guy around like I’m churning butter.
We’ve been itching for DCC to have full articulation points since New 52 dropped (at least), and on paper, these figures have it. But right now the execution is off, making almost all posing you could do with it a super big pain in the ass, with lots of tips and flops and dominoes.
Next up – mold. All 4 figures here are using the same exact mold head to toe, with different heads and some overlays like belts and capes. Some look slightly taller or shorter, but that could be due to leg positioning or head height etc. I’m ok with that in general, but it seems like 3 more waves are doing the same thing. DC Icons suffered from this as well. I think all lines utilize this in some form, Frankenstein-ing parts from different figures together. DCC seems to just flat out re-use the same mold from day one for a year+ before we get new parts in the mix. It gets a bit boring after a while. Height, build could use some variation.
Accessories – I’m ok with it being minimal. Most just sit in a ziplock back after day 1. However, I would prefer 2 sets of hands. Or at very least, always give me two fists. Having a power stance on the shelf with an open hand sucks.
Now, for some good things. The paint application on all are great. Even Flash and Zoom have painted bodies when they easily could have molded them in colored plastic. And it’s a thin matte paint, so all the details are there from the sculpt and joints move well. Paint is super important to me these days, and having minimal to no raw plastic showing is a big plus to me. In fact, the paint is so good I can’t 100 percent tell it’s paint. It may be plastic dulled down and textured with mold blasting, I’ve looked thoroughly and can’t 100% tell. Either way, it’s damn good.
I think the sculpts overall are great aside from proportions. Sharp, muscular. Realism somewhere between comics and movies. A little thinner, streamlined from prior offerings but I’m ok with that. Variance in height, build would be nice though.
Articulation – on paper fantastic. Executed poorly with gives and tolerances here, but the cuts and move points are all there. Rotating neck, full swing on shoulders, double jointed elbows, wrists with a front-back joint and swivel, ab-crunch, waist twist, NON T-crotch with rotation range at the hips, upper thigh cut, double jointed knees, boot cuts, ankle rockers. Sounds like a dream. If they refine the tolerances and fix those ankles, it’s golden.
People are speaking on price, but we’ve gotten all this tech, larger scale, and paint head to toe for 23-25 bucks. Assuming the figures were mechanically sound, the price would be fine with me. Like I said earlier tho, two fists + 1 weapon holder minimum would be ideal.
Good, but needs work. I WANT these to be good. I WANT an ongoing, all era, never ending DC line that is a notch above mass production Target toys. If they fix execution issues and shorten those arms, I’m in long term.
Check out Deathstroke and Batman below and judge for yourselves!