DC Superheroes 6"
Sculpted By The Four Horsemen
Let's take a look at one of this years most anticipated DC Superheroes figures, Steel.
Here it is 2007 another year of many reissues, repaints, purple colored packaging but most importantly a few really amazing new figures sculpted by none other than The Four Horsemen. Steel was the very first figure I grabbed off of the pegs of many new DC Superheroes available.
DC Superheroes in 2007 are instantly noticeably purple over 2006's orange color scheme. Will Mattel be changing the colors every year? Stay tuned kids. The color looks good with all the glowing lines running up the card, it gives it some life, some dynamic, sorta reminds me, although blue, of the opening sequences to the Superman movies. Diorama included in the blister looks nice in contrast to the card back. The blister bubble that holds the figure is more unique in shape with a star shape molded in over the characters top region giving a bit of blam! look and feel. The left side of the bubble has a paper insert on the inside showing three photos of figures from this series standing in front of their dioramas. Card back looks nice with three heroes on the left side looking ready to begin battle with three villains on the right side. Little numbers next to them and below the photo: "Collect them all:" and the corresponding numbers next to the names. Hmm a little cumbersome but I'll live with it. Most of all it seems that Series 5 and Series 6 are shipping together or just happened to be at the same time. It's very quickly very confusing on who is in what as the card front and back are nearly identical. The six figures on the back are different for series 5 from series 6 of course but it's not as initially noticeable especially to the more casual type.
Sculpt / Design
Wow, sculpt is top-notch from concept to style to execution to final product with articulation, this figure looks phenomenal. Bolts sculpted on Steel's head, shoulders, down the torso, on the plates on his hands and wrist piece are perfect. The sledgehammer doesn't slack either, head to tip, looks perfect. The iconic gigantic "S" on his chest is executed perfectly and the cape tucks into it just as it should and drapes down from Steel's shoulders with a very real look in all the folds and curls. The tubes that run from steel's belt to his boots look great and do not restrict movement in the legs. Every bit of Steel is exceptionally sculpted.
Paint / Color
There isn't a whole lot of a paint app to be done here really. The paints applied are clean, smooth subtle and suitable. I'm not sure if it would dirty things up too much but I believe that a little bit of a wash on the shoulders, belt, wrist pieces and sledgehammer would have benefited the sculpt a bit.
Steel features 28 useful POA (Points of Articulation) and I just love that Mattel and DC are finally embracing the super articulated figure. However, being used to Marvel Legends double jointed elbows and knees, I'm just a tad disappointed when DC Superheroes don't have them even though the single jointed elbows and knees dare I say, look better. Split down the middle, some collectors prefer aesthetics and others prefer articulation, unfortunately it's always a battle between those two aspects and hard to find balance. Hips and upper leg articulation have always been a tough nut to crack in terms of realistic range of movement and realistic look. The long standing traditional T-crotch -which are vertical cuts making for 90 degree rotation (think standing and sitting) - tends to give a more realistic look while ball hip joints like in Marvel Legends figures give an incredible range of motion but with, well-- balls for hips. Mattel has a nice compromise with some of their 6" DC Superheroes figures including Steel here. Steel features a T-crotch and swing out hinges that keep the base of the hip hugged against the crotch. This is probably my favorite hip articulation currently out there. In the end I feel like I can only get about three poses out of Steel. Double jointed elbows would have helped this figure immensely in the way of cool sledgehammer power poses. The head's range of motion is limited in that Steel cannot look up.
Steel's sledgehammer is nice and long as it should be, sculpted details look perfect, a few little chips and cracks out of the hammer head bring a nice sense of realism. The sledgehammer could have benefited from some paint wash to bring out the details and make it look more real. My hammer came out of the package a bit noticeably bent and warped, not wacky, just enough to notice. This accessory fits in Steel's hands perfectly as it isn't too snug and not too loose it won't slide through his hands. These 6" DC Superheroes include dioramas that, for what they are, not bad. Once setup, you display your figure and looks pretty nice actually with their name printed at the raised base. If you have the space on shelves and display a lot of these figures with dioramas together, you would get a lot of oohs and ahhs from visitors I'm sure.
A super-articulated finely sculpted 6" action figure for $10 seems to be about the standard price these days. Of course I'm talking about Hasbro's Marvel Legends. There is one major thing that Marvel Legends figures include that DC Superheroes don't and that is -yep, you guessed it the Build-A-Figure piece. How valuable is that piece? One dollar? Two? Less? More? That depends on you the collector. Ultimately, typically the Build-A-Figure piece means that your chances of buying another figure in that series is that much higher. In the end whether I put a figure together piece by piece or I trade the pieces off, It's more valuable than a pretty piece of cardboard. If I had no base of comparison however, I would still easily tell you that Steel here is worth the $10 and the inclusion of the Diorama is a welcome addition.
Sculpt / Design: 10
Paint / Color: 9
Overall: 49 out of a possible 60
Steel is awesome, simple as that. I have a feeling he's going to be hard to find, so if you see him don't pass him up or you may regret it.