Having reviewed Blue Beetle last week, it’s only natural to review Ted’s bromance buddy next.
While the Ted Kord incarnation of Blue Beetle was created by Steve Ditko back in the 1960s for Charlton Comics and Booster Gold was created for DC Comics by Dan Jurgens twenty years later, the two became famed best friends in the pages of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’s Justice League International in the late 1980s.
Since then, Booster Gold’s popularity has waxed, waned and waxed again among DC fans. He’s currently starring in his own series, wearing the modern outfit shown in this figure. There’s also a variant “classic” Booster, featuring a slightly different paint scheme, a disco collar and non-opening Skeets (if you don’t know what that means, see below).
While working security for the Space Museum in the 25th Century, Michael Jon Carter used Rip Hunter’s time machine to visit different eras, stealing security robot Skeets, a Legion of Super Heroes flight ring, and Braniac 5’s force field belt. With these, he traveled to the 20th century to reinvent himself as a hero, Booster Gold. Currently, Booster patrols the time stream preventing villains from altering the past in order to change the present and future.
Sculpt: Booster Gold uses the “buff male” body, the same one used for Batman and Superman. The only new sculpting is the head, forearms, and gloves.
I’m not 100% sold on the head sculpt, if only because it looks a bit goofy–the features are a bit smooth and outsized. I think this may partially be due to the way the head came out of the mold, but Blue Beetle’s head looks better. And his eyes are just swimming behind those goggles.
Plastic & Paint: The paint on the head is a bit sloppy. It’s definitely not as sharp as Blue Beetle’s.
Metallic paint can be very hit-or-miss, but fortunately, Booster appears to be a direct hit. The gold paint actually looks golden, and has a nice sheen to it, making Booster Gold one of the best-looking DCUC figures to date.
There’s one other issue. Modern Booster Gold should have blue gloves, not gold ones like the classic variant (and oddly enough, some of the early production figures of modern Booster did have blue gloves). Unfortunately, this appears to be another factory QC error. The gold gloves don’t look too bad, and since more fans seem to prefer the classic Booster, it’s perhaps not that big a deal, but as someone who usually prefers the modern versions of characters it’s annoying (particularly since we have photographic evidence that correct versions were made).
Articulation: Booster features standard DCUC articulation: a ball jointed head, ball jointed shoulders, hinges at the elbows, knees, ankles and abdomen, swivels at the biceps, wrists, lower thighs and waist, and H-hinges at the hips for ball joint-like movement. The ankles have a good range of rocker motion as well (I still can’t figure out why some figures have great rocker ankle range and some have none at all).
Accessories: Aside from his Atom Smasher part, Booster comes with his robot pal, Skeets. To give the impression of floating, Skeets is attached to a yellow translucent peg that plugs into Booster’s back.
There appear to be two major differences between the Skeets that comes with the classic Booster and the one that comes with the modern one. For whatever reason, the Skeets on the classic version appears to be firmly glued into Booster’s back, while the modern version comes in and out easily. [Never mind–apparently whether or not Skeets is glued in is completely random. My Skeets can be popped in and out, for the record.]
Unlike the classic Booster’s Skeets, the modern Skeets can be opened to reveal Mr. Mind, Captain Marvel‘s arch-nemesis. This is a reference to DC’s 52 storyline, in which Mr. Mind took over Skeets for a time. It’s a neat little bonus, although Mr. Mind’s paint applications could certainly be better–mass market paint applications on tiny characters like this are often pretty difficult to do well.
Quality Control: Aside from the golden gloves, there is one other QC issue. The peg holding up Skeets is made from soft plastic, causing it to droop over time. Eventually one of the little wings touches Booster’s shoulder, and this seems to halt the progression.
While the gold gloves and “Skeets droop” are annoying, the figure’s overall paint applications, with their metallic sheen, are so well executed that I can’t help but give him a half-point above average.