DC Superheroes 6"
Sculpted By The Four Horsemen
Let's take a look at Mongul from Mattel's DC Superheroes.
After swimming through the onslaught of repainted Superman figures, you may be lucky enough to find a gem here and there and Mongul is a gem that is at the top of just about everybody's list, so let's see what he's like in and out of the package.
2007 gives us new purple carded DC Superheroes with full color Dioramas included. Mongul here comes with a diorama in which the background looks like an exploding glowing green planet (Krypton?). The card back, diorama and bubble all look good. Mongul is so big he barely fits the bubble, kinda cool, in a way feels like he's even larger, makes you feel that much better about the purchase. The back is a nicely laid out mock fight sequence with bad guys on one side versus good guys on the other side on an alien terrain, however the whole matching numbers to names on the bottom system is a bit confusing and inconvenient. The paper slip insert in the front of the bubble was a little bent at the bottom and left the big "S" emblem in front very crooked.
Sculpt / Design
The attention to all the little details all along the costume from head to toe is nothing short of amazing here. Mongul's costume is pretty damn intricate with sections of the torso, arms and legs divided by piping which on the other side yields an entirely different sculpt and/or texture and/or paint scheme than the former side. Not to mention that brilliant sylized charming touch that the Four Horseman have applied to these figures time and time again. Unfortunately one little setback to such a beatifully sculpted design as that certain articulation is hindered by the sculpt/design. Particularly when rotating the shoulders, you'll notice that you're actually scraping off some of the piping along the shoulders and/or biceps. The ab crunch does the same to the piping in Mongul's lower back. I believe that each figure may differ slightly on the amount of wear the sculpt takes due to working the articulation. You could say this is an issue that should go under the articulation category but I'm putting it under design overall.
Paint / Color
I'm not very familiar with the character so I can't talk about how accurate the color is but I can tell you that what I see in front of me looks fantastic! Mongul's head and hands were cast in a dark tan color and drybrushed with a much lighter tan color which really bring out those details including the pours on the top of the head and along the jaw, the creases at the brow and even crows feet out of the corners of the eyes, not to mention all the little creases in the figners and veins on the hands. I should have put these wonderful details under sculpt but they would have been all but lost if it wasn't for a great paint job which some competitor's figures have been lacking as of late (nudge nudge). Back to paint, the teeth are a slightly grimy white and even the bottom corners of the mouth revealing the gums have a touch of red painted in. One bad point about my particular Mongul is his right eye's inner red color pours over significantly onto the outer black color. It's unfortunate but we have all seen it numerous times over the years on quite a lot of figures, the eye is a tough job to paint. The design on the eyes however is a good one, a glossy red inside with a black outline. The neck piece of the costume is painted with a light purple highlighted with a very faint drybrushed violet color, such a slight application that can provide this much of an accent is masterful at worst. All of the black piping dividing parts of the costume is painted nice and clean black and every little bolt is painted on and there are a lot there to do. The inside of the legs, painted a grayish-blue color and again faintly drybrushed with a much lighter gray provide the accent necessary to give more depth and realism. There are so many textures and so much dynamic to this figure attributed by paint. You have the molded plastic which comes out a shiny glossy and then a somewhat flat paint next to that with an occasional metallic right alongside. If I went into detail about every little part, it would take you as long to read this as it would have to have painted it, which let me tell you would not be a short amount of time. you have to give Mongul props for wearing big shiny metallic pink boots! The only draw back in this category is the slight miss-match of color of the light blue color on the outer legs. This is something you likely wouldn't notice unless you were writing a lengthy review. The legs from mid quad down are cast in a light blue with a dash of purple color. The legs from the mid quad up where it cuts for swivel articulation are cast in the torso's prominent violet color, thus they had to paint the outer light blue with a dash of purple color and due to the paint vs. cast colors, the colors vary a little bit leaving the lower half of the outer leg a bit darker and more purple toned than the top half which is a bit lighter and more blue toned.
Mongul features 24 POA (Points of Articulation) which is 4 points less than my previously reviewed "Steel" figure in comparison. You basically have 2 poses from Mongul menacing and menacing with arms up a little bit. This figure is technically still super-articulated I suppose. Mongul's POA is actually more cool than useful. It's hard to get him to sit down due to the belt getting in the way. As mentioned earlier the ab hinge and shoulders/biceps are going to rub down on the costume piping a bit. There are a lot of great POA there, but you just can't use a lot of it to it's full extent. That and Mongul is just a bulky guy in general so some parts just don't have as full a range of motion as you would have on Batman or Superman. In terms of articulation, Mongul as well as all of the other 6" DC Superheroes far
surpass that of the smaller animated style DC Superheroes as well as the larger scale DC Direct figures. 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.
A great attention to deal in design, sculpt and paint applications make Mongul shine. No accessories, but were they really necessary anyway? Nice free Diorama that looks nice on display after opening is included. Still no Build-A-Figure pieces in DC lines though. A pretty big figure, more volume in plastic than Steel or Superman as an example.
Sculpt / Design: 9
Paint / Color: 9
Overall: 38 out of a possible 50
Mongul is very well executed, if you're lucky enough to find him among the many many Superman and Bizarro repaints, snatch him up, you won't be disappointed.