McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse Batman Unmasked

“I’m a man who has too much blood on his hands to be called good.”

The Flashpoint Paradox is one of my favorite stories in comics. From the battle between Aquaman and Wonder Woman to the great hidden mystery of Kal-El, this story has some amazing alternate versions of some of DC’s greatest heroes and villains. My favorite character in the whole story is the alternate Batman, who happens to be Thomas Wayne in this universe. I won’t go into much detail as to why Thomas Wayne is Batman and not Bruce, but just know that Martha Wayne has taken on a new persona in this world as well. If you haven’t read the Flashpoint Paradox, I highly recommend checking it out.

When I first learned that McFarlane released a Thomas Wayne Batman in their DC Multiverse line, I became extremely excited. Unfortunately for me I learned about the character too late and those wonderful scalpers already scooped up most of the figures. The asking price was well out of my range, so I decided to play the waiting game. Thankfully I learned that McFarlane would be releasing another version of the Thomas Wayne Batman. This one would be unmasked and a Target Exclusive. I found out the release date and patiently waited to begin my hunt.

To my surprise, I managed to find the figure over the past weekend. He was the only one on the peg and the included sword was slightly bent, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to finally get my hands on a quality figure of my favorite Batman. I scooped him up like an excited child.

When I opened the figure, the first thing that I noticed was its bulk. Much like his comic book counterpart, this Thomas Wayne figure is big, grizzled, and war-weary. The mold looks excellent and just like all of the other figures in this line, it comes with twenty-two points of articulation.

The figure also comes with a simple display base, a collector card, two guns that can be holstered, and the Amazonian sword that Thomas Wayne wields at a climactic moment in the Flashpoint tale. The sword that I purchased was slightly bent but is made of very soft plastic, so with a little bit of motivation I managed to straighten it to a more suitable looking form. It doesn’t sit very well in Batman’s hands. In fact, it’s extremely loose fitting. The guns fit well in their holsters but don’t fit very well at all in Batman’s hands despite the hands being shaped specifically with Thomas’ trigger finger ready to fire on both hands. I wish that the figure had come with at least one other set of hands.

While I love the look of this figure, I can’t really say that it’s one of my favorite McFarlane figures. I don’t like the loose fitting sword or the ill fitting guns. I do like the mold of the figure which features some great details including the crumpled cowl on the top of the cape and the horned shoulders that are a signature design of Thomas Wayne’s costume. If you’re a fan of the character like I am, it’s definitely worth a purchase but if you’d rather have a Bruce Wayne Batman in your collection, save your money for one of those many versions of the character.

Thanks for checking out my post. As much as I love Thomas Wayne’s Batman, this figure is somewhat lacking. If you can find him, Spin Master has a four inch version of the figure (minus the shoulder horns) that looks pretty good and costs about fifteen dollars less at retail price.

Spin Master Bat Cycles

A comparison of two versions of the same vehicle.

Spin Master released an awesome four inch Batman Batcycle set. Part of the Creature Chaos series in the Caped Crusader line, the set featured an exclusive Batman figure and a Clayface figure. There are still a few of these sets left in the wild at brick-and-mortar stores, many of which I’ve seen on clearance, so if you don’t have this set yet, take a chance at a few retailers before ordering it on the web.

I managed to find the Batman vs. Clayface set on clearance at a local Target and scooped it up. About one week later, I managed to snag Spin Master’s 2021 Target Exclusive release of the same bike featuring the Caped Crusader line’s original Joker and an exclusive Batman figure. I picked it up on sale. Both sets feature the same bike with a different paint scheme. Despite this, both bikes are worth picking up as they both look wonderful and the exclusive figures look great as well.

The standout figure in this set is the Batman that comes with Clayface. It features an amazing sculpt and Batman’s mask covers his entire face. The dark colors of the figure set him apart from the rest of Spin Master’s brightly colored line and the fully covered face adds a bit of sinister mystery to the figure and the line as a whole. A close second is the Target Exclusive Batman with a more traditional blue look with silver applications and a bright yellow utility belt.

The villains look wonderful as well. I was glad to see the traditional Joker figure in the Target set. I missed him in the original release. Clayface looks awesome and is the second largest figure in the line. Only Bane appears to be larger so far. Both villains are a great addition to anybody’s collection.

If there’s any drawback with these sets, it’s the fact that the claw accessories that are included are pretty lame. If you’ve read any of my other reviews of Spin Master toys, you know that I’m not a fan of most of the included accessories, but I realize that kids will probably love them. They’ll definitely love the bikes and adult collectors will fall for the figures.

Thanks for reading my brief review of both of these sets. The bikes are the exact same molds with different paint, but the figures are what make these sets worth picking up. Let me know what you think about these sets in the comments section!

NECA Defenders of the Earth: The Phantom

“The Beasts Call Him Brother, The Ghost Who Walks!”

I’ve been waiting a long time for a quality figure of The Phantom to hit store shelves. Those who have been following my blog know that I fell in love with the character years ago while reading the comic strips and watching the Billy Zane 90’s film as well as the classic serial featuring Tom Tyler in the iconic role. Unfortunately, finding an action figure of The Phantom that was both reasonably priced and looked good was difficult. Thanks to NECA, my wait for a good figure is over. They recently began releasing their Defenders of the Earth action figure line and while it’s not necessarily the classic version of the character that I love, it’s close enough to please me.

Released in 1986, Defenders of the Earth took three of King Features Syndicate’s most popular characters, The Phantom, Flash Gordon, and Mandrake the Magician, and teamed them up to do battle against Flash’s greatest enemy, Ming The Merciless, in a futuristic vision of 2015. Along for the ride was Lothar, Mandrake’s right hand man, and the children of all of the heroes (because bringing the kids along for battling a power hungry tyrant is sooooo safe).

So far NECA has released The Phantom, Flash Gordon, and Ming the Merciless. Originally available only at Walmart, the figures are now available in wide release. That being said, I’ve only found all three of the figures at one Walmart in my area. I found one lonely Ming figure at another Walmart and haven’t seen any figures at any other locations. Mandrake and Lothar will be released later. The packaging for the figures emulates the classic Galoob line from the 80’s and brought a ton of memories back for me.

I like this figure for the most part. It features over twenty points of articulation (although most of them are extremely stiff) and comes with a ton of accessories. The Phantom’s little sidekick from the cartoon, Zuffy, is included and he features quite a few points of articulation as well. Accessories include a blaster, two blaster “firing” attachments, one ring “power” attachment, three swappable right hands and one left hand. I really wish that there were two right hands and two left hands, but we get three righties instead.

The figure is beautifully sculpted but it does have a few flaws. For starters, the aforementioned stiff articulation makes me a little hesitant to pose the figure too much. I currently have him standing with his right fist in the air and that’s probably how he’ll stay for the time being. Another major flaw is that the figure appears to have been cast in purple plastic and the hands, boots, belt, face, and muscle shading was painted on after the casting. That’s fine, but as soon as I took the figure out of the box, the left hand (you know, the only left hand) had paint chip off at the wrist and the paint on the left ankle POA also chipped giving me two bright purple blemishes on an otherwise perfectly painted figure.

I love the Phantom and really want to love this figure. However, at a retail price of around thirty bucks, I’d hope for better paint and looser articulation. My advice is that if you do buy this figure or any other figure in the line, keep it in the box. I will say that the Flash figure looks great and the Ming figure’s details are simply beautiful. I’ll probably get both of them sooner or later and I can’t wait for Mandrake and Lothar to hit store shelves. These seven inch figures look great, but McFarlane’s current DC Multiverse line is cheaper, just as beautiful, and features easier to move articulation. The Defenders figures are better than most of the Star Wars Black Series line in my opinion.

Thanks for checking out my post. Let me know what you think about this line of figures in the comments section. Do you own any of these figures? How about the McFarlene figures? Drop me a comment!

McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse Superman: Red Son

“Superman is here to rescue them.”

Flying in from the pages of Mark Millar’s brilliant Superman: Red Son comes this beautiful McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse version of everybody’s favorite comrade. Superman looks great in his dark-toned suit emblazoned with the hammer and sickle in place of his iconic “S” that fans are so familiar with on the traditional version of the Big Blue Boy Scout. The figure features twenty-two points of articulation, a soft plastic cape, and comes with a collector card and a base that allows you to pose the figure either standing or in flight.

This figure looks great for the most part. Much like the Superman: Action Comics figure that was also recently released and reviewed by myself here, it has a few abrasions on the body of the figure that aren’t noticeable until you take a close look at the figure. His joints appear to be a tad bit stiffer than the Action Comics figure as well.

Thankfully McFarlane used a new sculpt for the figure instead of just using the same mold from the Action Comics version of the figure. Superman comes with two left and two right hands that are swappable. One is a closed fist while the other three are opened to different degrees. One of the hands is almost completely closed, another has a welcoming look to it, and the third one looks like it is poised for flight.

The figure looks great attached to its base. Much like other figures in the line, the base can be a tad wobbly at first, but once the figure is in the position that you want, it’s sturdy enough for display. I currently have him on display at my office with the Action Comics figure.

I’ve included a couple of comparison photos with the Action Comics figure so that you can see the differences in them. The contrasts between the two figures are amazing. One is somewhat dull colored with a slightly smaller cape while the other is bright blue and red with a larger and more flowing cape. It’s great to look at these two figures side by side to see their differences. I’ve also thrown in a few more pics of the figure and its packaging below.

Thank you for reading my post. This figure is a great addition to any collection and a unique take on one of DC Comics’ greatest and best known superheroes. If you love Superman, alternate versions or otherwise, I highly recommend getting this figure.

Spin Master DC Batman Minifigures!

So many to collect!!!

With over twenty figures in both waves, Spin Master yet again put its magic touch on Batman, DC Comics, and toy collecting! As many of you already know, I am in love with Spin Master’s four inch DC and Batman lines of action figures. These two inch minifigures are just as amazing.

The collection has been released in two waves so far: 1) A yellow canister wave that matches up with the four inch Caped Crusader line and 2) a blue canister that matches up with the four inch Bat Tech figures. Both lines feature some deep heroes and villains from DC Comics. Just a glimpse at Spin Master’s website shows us that the figures range from Huntress to Penguin to Killer Moth and Scarecrow! My fledgling collections already features Solomon Grundy, a Silver Batman, Harley Quinn, and Black Lightning!

These figures can be displayed upon their canisters with pegs located in one heel of each character. This comes in handy but isn’t needed, as all of the figures that I have collected so far can stand on their own with the pegs. That being said, the figures do look great on their canisters.

These figures are just as addicting as their four inch counterparts. I also like the fact that you have a better chance of getting varied characters in this line, as a few online sellers have already scooped up many of the prime four inch figures. At least I’ll have a better shot at getting a two inch Mr. Freeze figure than I will trying to find one at Target!

I believe that my favorite figures that I have collected in this line so far have been Solomon Grundy and Robin. I’m also pretty fond of the Joker, too!

Thanks for checking out my post! Let me know in the comments if you’re a fan of this line of figures. Tomorrow I have a special look at the McFarlane Toys DC Mulitverse Red Son Superman! Be on the lookout for it tomorrow evening around 5PM!

DC Comics Cover Art: 350 Of The Greatest Covers In DC’s History

Before You Get To The Story…..

Without a great cover to draw you in, books will simply sit on shelves unread. If the cover works, however, great stories can be discovered and shared with others. This book, DC Cover Art: 350 Of The Greatest Covers In DC’s History, celebrates the nearly one hundred years of DC Comics covers that have drawn in readers of all ages to enjoy the adventures of a mighty stable of interesting characters. The holy trinity is obviously well represented, as works featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are well represented. It’s the other covers, those of the less popular characters that aren’t as well known by the general public, that really shine in this book.

We get to look at iconic covers featuring Swamp Thing, The Phantom Stranger, Sandman, Johnny Thunder, and other wonderful characters. Each cover is given a brief description, sometimes focusing on the artist, sometimes the character, or another tidbit of historical information. Nick Jones, who compiled this collection of covers, does a wonderful job of giving readers just enough information to drive them to learn more about each artist, cover, and character. In fact, Jones does a great job of making me want to hit the local comic book shop to find a few of these covers.

Booster Gold #32 (2010) by Kevin Maguire.

The eighty-plus years of DC Comics are broken down into five ages: Golden, Silver, Bronze, Steel, and Modern. Within each age there is a focus on certain artists who are given short biographies. Some of the many talented artists included in the book are Alex Ross, George Perez, Amanda Conner, Joe Shuster, Jenny Frison, Neal Adams, and Creig Flessel. I’m a massive fan of many of these artists, especially Perez and Ross, and love looking at their brilliant covers.

The iconic The New Teen Titans #1 cover by George Perez, one of my favorite artists.

Ultimately this is a coffee table styled book that one can leaf through at their leisure. It contains an amazing amount of historical information about DC Comics and the artists that brought so many of their characters to life, but it works just as well as a picture book. I’m amazed at the varied styles that each artist brings to the covers of DC Comics. It’s also fun to compare the different styles of the artists, especially from the Golden Age and the Modern Age.

Lois Lane #1 (2019 variant cover) by Jenny Frison.

Fans of DC Comics will definitely appreciate this collection, but those that appreciate art in general will love it as well. There’s a cover for everyone in this book (actually, quite a few covers), and I can’t wait to see which covers from future DC Comics will be added to this collection in the coming decades.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this review. Thank you for taking the time to check it out. Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite artist or cover. This book covers a number of brilliant artists, too many to list here, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you get the chance!

Note: This review is an enhanced and expanded review that I originally posted on Amazon. I’ve added a few more sentences and paragraphs and photos as well.

Mega Construx MOTU Set: Trap Jaw w/Laser Cannon

It’s All In Skeletor’s Head!

If you’ve read any of my previous Mega Construx Masters of the Universe set reviews, you know that I am entirely in love with them. So far I have only been reviewing larger sets, most of which come with multiple figures. I also have a figure set that I will eventually review as well, but it’s packed away in my Hurricane Laura storage building and I’m not sure exactly where it is at the moment.

The Trap Jaw set that I am reviewing today is fun from the word go. It’s a simple build with only seventy-six pieces, but it’s a great little build that adds to the growing Mega Construx MOTU line. What I love best about this build is the container. It’s literally a small Skeletor head that’s jam-packed with all of the pieces for the build. There are three Skeletor heads in the line so far, with one being the traditional head with a purple hood, a second head that has a purple hood with a glow-in-the-dark face, and a final head that features a black hood and a golden Skeletor face. Each set features a different figure: Trap Jaw, Fisto, and He-Man.

The instructions are standard for Mega Construx sets and easily guide builders of all ages to completion. The Trap Jaw figure can be a bit of a pain as his jaw is a separate piece that can easily be lost (I almost lost the piece in my set). He also comes with four arm attachments that can be swapped out on his robotic arm. The four attachments are a claw, a hook, a fly swatter, and a laser gun.

The set also includes a laser turret cannon and a control center complete with a monitor. The cannon can turn side to side and be angled up or down. It features a firing laser with two laser bolts. The control center’s monitor includes a view of a planetary system. The turret cannon can be placed on the purple display platform along with Trap Jaw and the control center tucks nicely into the back of Skeletor’s head.

You can break down the cannon and control center and store them inside Skeletor’s head along with the Trap Jaw figure. You can also set the head on your desk at work if you want to impress your friends! I’m tempted to pick up the other two sets in this series, as all three Skeletor heads are pretty impressive.

If you have any other sets in this line, you already know how much fun they are to build. This small set is a nice build that looks wonderful and doesn’t take that long to build. Thanks for checking out my quick review, I’ll see you again real soon!