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Toy Review - DC Collectibles' Crime Syndicate Action Figures

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

Ever since DC got into the action figure business...and I don't mean licensing their characters to Kenner/Hasbro or Mattel, I mean making their own, first as DC Direct and now as DC Collectibles...well, they've more often than not looked great but articulation, if any, was always a mixed bag. This was fine in their early days, since we're talking 1998 here. You had the basics: neck, shoulders, elbows (mostly), legs (usually a t-crotch) and knees (again, mostly). Other points of articulation would either be added or removed due to the character or the sculpt, but it was a good start.

Unfortunately for DC Direct, mass-market retail means progress gets made while toys from Hasbro and Mattel started upping the articulation in the new century, DC continued to lag behind. Even as recently as last year, when given my choice between two figures of the same character, even though DC's was taller, better sculpted and more detailed, I'd still opt for Mattel's due to the mostly-universal articulation. changing.

If these new Crime Syndicate figures are any indication of how DC Collectibles plans to move forward, then I need to kiss 3 things goodbye...Mattel, my money and my shelf space!

Each of these figures has a ball-jointed neck, ball shoulders, bicept swivels, elbows, hinged wrists with cuts (and not in the emo way either), ab crunch, waist (except Superwoman), ball hips, thigh cuts, DOUBLE knees and rocker ankles. I won't say the posing possibilities are endless, but damned if they didn't blow the door wide open! The biggest question this ultimately raises is "Why didn't they do this 5 years ago?!?" Sure, I picked an arbitrary time frame there, but looking back at how long both Marvel Legends (both Toy Biz and Hasbro versions) and DC Superheroes/Universe Classics (Mattel) have run, hell, even Diamond's Marvel Select line...the question is very very valid. It's kinda like when you set up a meeting with an old childhood friend and he or she ends up being about a half-hour late. Each minute they don't show up, your anger just grows and grows...but when they finally get there, you're DAMN GLAD to see 'em. For me, it's the same thing here. It was almost infuriating to see DC Collectibles come out with these great sculpts over the years, producing characters and variations so niche that you knew Mattel would never get to matter how many years, lines or subscriptions they offered. Yet the articulation was almost always sub-par or at the very least lacking in comparison.

Now they're here. Now they've caught up.

Are these figures perfect? No. Paint getting into the joints can cause some nervousness and breakage. The ball jointed hips seem to be connected via a bar of transparent plastic running through the crotch...and if there's one hard hard lesson I've learned from DC's Injustice line of 3 3/4" figures is that transparent plastic for joints disintegrates faster than my willpower at a comic-con. Those flaws aside, these figures are a great first step in what could be a fantastic revival.

Nice to see you finally got here buddy. What kept ya???

Now head over to the Toys section to see some pics! And come back here to comment away!

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