Toy Review - DC Icons Justice League Giftset
Let’s take a break from the bombardment of Transformers reviews for a bit and take a look at another toyline we highlight here, DC Collectibles’ DC Icons action figures. They just released a Justice League 7-pack, and more than likely, you’re wondering if it’s worth your cash…especially since Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Flash and Aquaman are already available with a deluxe Cyborg release on the way. Even though the price for the set is only $100 (and thus $14.29 per figure…when retail for individual figures in climbing up into the $25 to $30 range) you are getting 5 repeats…or are you?
Well, in typical DC Icons fashion, whether or not to recommend this set is a rather confounding and difficult question to answer because as always, there are some great pluses to this set…but each one of those comes with a corresponding minus. Prime example? Remember in our Wave 4 and 4.5 review, we noted that DC had added a new joint in the hips that would allow for the legs to be pulled down before moving them forward, thus providing better range of motion from that point of articulation? With John Stewart and Firestorm, they got this just right…and when you open this boxed set, you’ll see that each League member has this new joint. Sure, that’s cause for celebration right there…or so you’d think. The thing is, the legs on every figure in this set don’t move down as far as the Wave 4/4.5 figures that DO feature this joint…and as such, the improvement to the legs’ range of motion is pretty minimal which really kinda defeats the point of this new articulation.
With this new point of articulation, albeit limited, does this merit having 5 duplicate heroes? Mostly. Superman and Batman are the stand outs here, as they’re taller than their previous appearances in the line and reflect their current Rebirth costumes. [Actually, Superman’s action figure costume was rendered out of date a week before this set came out. – Ed.] They also just feel a bit…beefier. Just real quick…since we’re talking about the Bat…be careful with that new hip articulation, it tends to make my copy of Batman’s leg pop off. Since it’s a ball joint, it’s easy enough to pop back on…but still. Flash is wearing his New-52 costume and thus has some molded differences from the more classic appearance of the previous figure. In addition, the reds of each suit match close enough where any previous Flash accessories can be used on this new figure as well (including the running hands!). Also in the swappable accessories department comes Green Lantern who is pretty much IDENTICAL to the previous figure. So, the good news is you’re getting that new point of articulation. The bad news is that aside from that, you’ve just bought the same figure twice now. Aquaman has a new head that strangely seems a bit more Schwarzenegger-esque and slight new touches to the costume but overall is pretty meh. Another downside to the figure is that the shades of green on his and the previous release’s gloves don’t match…and since this new Aquaman only comes with fists, he won’t be holding his trident any time soon. I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried to pop the head off in order to see if the telepathic-summoning head fits on him or not.
We’ve already touched upon this a bit in mentioning accessories, but it does need to be said, this set comes with nothing…no extras, no extra hands, no weapons…nada. This is likely how they kept the price of the giftset so low, but still…let’s use Batman as an example. Given the first figure was in a more classic blue and gray suit and the Rebirth costume has black gloves, there go any extra hands. And with this Batman having only fists, that means no grapple-gun and no batarangs…and that’s really not cool. Look, I might have Bat-fatigue but still, you give the man his tools, gadgets, weapons and so forth…because as the only mere mortal in the arena of the gods, dude needs all the help he can get! So, yeah, if you’re looking for cool accessories to help your poses…they’re not here. While it would seem like a cheap double-dipping tactic, since the DC Icons line is producing Accessory Packs, it would be amazing on DC’s part to release one to compliment this set…but I haven’t seen anything in that vein announced just yet.
Wonder Woman gets her own paragraph…because she is everything that is right and wrong with this set. She’s a great figure and I love the fact that they made her in line with Darwyn Cooke’s thoughts that she SHOULD be the tallest of them…after all, she’s an Amazon. And she does, she stands about one-half to three-quarters of a head taller than Batman and Superman…that’s just awesome. I absolutely love it. The sculpt of the figure brilliantly captures how Liam Sharp has been drawing the Amazon Princess ever since Rebirth kicked off. It really is a great figure…it’s just such a goddamn shame that this is Diana’s first appearance in the line as her single release will be in the same wave as Cyborg [Which is due out in April…so it’s not like you’re waiting an eternity. Thanks internet research! – Ed.] Still, comparing what I can between this figure and the upcoming single release, it seems like Lady Di here kinda ends up falling in line with what happened with Batman and Superman. The single release figure looks smaller and the accessories that come with it look like they won’t be compatible with this giftset figure. Ugh. So all this Wonder Woman has are her bracelets, her fists and her smile. [Which, some would argue, is all Wonder Woman needs. Oh, and her cleavage. – Ed.] Nearly forgot, one slight negative with this figure…the skin color on her arms and at the elbow joint is painted on…so movement is going to wear some of that away…which unfortunately is already occurring on my figure.
Given the mixed heights and new sculpt vs mold reuse this set has, it’s not going to help any in addressing DC Icons’ problem with scale that was first brought up when Blue Beetle ended up being taller than nearly everyone (except Darkseid, obviously). I’m okay with the height increases to the Trinity…but Cyborg seems a little small (even though he is in line with most of the DC Icons molds). And even with the height increase, these figures still stand shorter than any of Mattel’s DC Universe offerings, so once again DC Icons is forced to stand on its own. The exception to this MIGHT be Wonder Woman. I didn’t look at this when first doing the photoshoot…so will try to include a picture comparing the two offerings when I post this review.
This is how I break down the set: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are votes for buying it, Green Lantern and Aquaman are strong votes against it. Even though he’ll be coming out soon (hopefully…provided the usual DC Icons Delay doesn’t happen…Static Shock anyone?), this is our first chance to grab Cyborg…and Flash is just different enough and compatible with the previous Flash’s accessories…so these two really are solid middle-ground figures. Looking at those stats clearly, we’ve got 3 strong ‘yes’ votes, 2 ‘meh’s and 2 ‘no’s. I think maybe the best way to recommend it is that if you’re someone that’s been thinking of diving into this line, this giftset is probably the perfect place to start so that you can get a feel for the style of figures. Conversely, if you’ve been collecting Icons because of the wealth of accessories each figure usually comes with, this set will be an easy pass. As for me, I think the strength of the Trinity molds and the added hip articulation in every figure, no matter how minimal, makes this set worth picking up…but your mileage may vary.