I’ve always been a Marvel man. Sure, I’ve been a fan of the Batman since Miller’s seminal graphic novel, and I’m apparently one of the only sane people who loves Superman Returns, but I was always much more fond of the Marvel universe than the DC. This can be in part attributed to Bryan Singer’s excellent X-Men films raising the bar for comic book movies back before the 90’s ended, and then in part due to the phenomenal Marvel Legends action figures that redefined the way we collect today. But that line ended, and although Hasbro took the baton from ToyBiz it hasn’t quite been the same.
When Mattel decided to apply DC characters to that same formula the result was a great series of toys, but one that was incredibly hard to collect in Australia; while Marvel Legends were plentiful in Oz across their early run, the DC Universe Classics were barely available, if at all. Fortunately friend Poe was able to help me acquire basically the entire series, and since then I’ve been reading a lot of the great DC arcs, currently knee-deep in Blackest Night. I’m a convert; for all their mistakes and baffling choices, especially with the sad reboot last year, I’d argue DC can rise to the occasion with stories just as strong as Marvel’s.
I jumped at the chance to subscribe to Club Infinite Earths, to continue collecting characters from the DC universe, and I feel like I’ve been rewarded for it: the DC Signature Collection has offered both entirely new, and fan requested, characters, like John Constantine and Saint Walker, as well as excellent new versions of figures that have previously seen toys, like Atrocitus. Metron was an excellent incentive to subscribe – as was previously reviewed on here, he’s an excellent toy and a great centrepiece for your New Gods display. I’m happy to continue subscribing; even though I’ve fallen off the MOTUC wagon courtesy of the $75+ Fearsome Foe Whatsits, CIE’s figures are all interesting to me, even characters I’ve previously never stumbled across like Starman.
From birth, Thom Kallor had the ability to affect the weight of objects by pulling gravitational forces from the stars. As Starman, Kallor went on many adventures throughout time and space as a member of the Legion of Superheroes. He is also a schizophrenic who is able to function normally in his own time due to advanced medicine; but, when he was trapped in the past, lack of medication caused his condition to deteriorate. He sought help at Opal City’s Sunshine Sanitarium, where he was recruited by the Justice Society of America.
Packaging: The packaging for the Club Infinite Earths figures is really quite neat: each comes on display in a nice big window box, with excellent art adorning the side and back of the package alongside a bio. Even though these figures will never be of the same standard of Japanese imports like Figutto, they share similar packaging and look awesome displayed nearby. It’s a vibrant and interesting package that shows off the toy and will appeal to MOC collectors, with the added bonus of being resealable if one was inclined to open their toys, play with them then return them to the package. In the days where clamshells dominate, this is a neat touch, and it’s also cool that the toys all share similar packaging regardless of the size of the action figure.
Sculpt: It’s frustrating to me that Mattel uses the same body for pretty much every DC figure, but the variation on that body is what makes this toy so appealing, despite my lack of familiarity with the character. Starman’s body appears to be moulded from black translucent plastic full of glitter, making it sparkle while giving it a sense of depth. This is excellent as it resembles the star map of the multiverse that Starman’s character has over his body and looks excellent. It clearly took some imagination and creativity to come up with the idea for this figure, and it pays off.
Plastic & Paint: The plastic here is nicely durable and will stand up to some play, and because of the unique construction there’s no problems at all with the “paint.” It all makes for an excellent toy that is the best Mattel could have done with the design.
Articulation: Because Starman shares that standard “small body” Mattel favors, he is incredibly articulated, featuring a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels, single elbows, wrist swivels, ab crunch, waist swivel, t-hinge hips, thigh swivels, single knees, and a pin and disc ankle pivot. It’s worth noting that as with Metron the neck has been improved so the head can move a lot better, giving him more poseability, and that all of the joints are tight so he’ll stay in the pose you want. This is excellent.
Accessories: The only place Starman takes a hit is that he’s very light on accessories, featuring only an unmasked alternative head, and it looks ridiculous, despite its comic accuracy. I’m not sure what else they could have given him, but it’s a bit of a bummer considering the cost plus postage.
Quality Control: Quality control is pretty much superb – there’s no problems at all with my Starman and I haven’t heard of anyone having issues with him.
Value: At the subscription price, perhaps using combined shipping with other subscriptions, Starman isn’t a terrible value, but at the single price of $18 plus shipping it’s pushing it, especially without any accessories. But at this point, Matty fans are prepared to pay for their toys and as the prices for action figures rise in general, you could do a lot worse.
Images courtesy Toyspank.com