The DC Universe keeps expanding with Series 2. This run's "Collect and Connect" (build a figure) features Gorilla Grodd. Each figure in the series comes with a piece necessary to build the evil telepathic simian. You can go that route, or you can just pick up your favorites, and there are several to choose from. There's Harley Quinn, from BTAS, Manta Ray and Aquaman, Firestorm, and a Red Superman, with a chase variant Blue Superman (or vice versa). He's not a simple repaint either, they have different head sculpts.
What I Love The first thing about the DC Universe series on the whole, is that the packaging is dynamic. You could leave the figure in the plastic, and still have a dynamic display. Aquaman is posed as if he's swimming, Harley Quinn is taunting, and Firestorm is eyeing up the situation. The blister pack is designed in such a way that it lets in light from all sides, so the collector is clearly the target audience. And with the lighting in your basement, the more open the packaging, the better.
But these figures are super articulated as well, so you gotta bust them out. Speaking of busting out, there are more joints just in their butt, than I have ever seen. I love how, specifically on the Superm(e)n, you can point their toes down for flying position. And not to trash on other ultra-articulated figures of a similar scale but of a different universe, these are all very solidly built, and stand on their own without too much trouble. I will make an easy joke [Ed note: nooo... you?] and say that Harley Quinn is pretty loose (oh jeez), and it took a little bit more attention to make each pose, but it doesn't feel like she'll fall apart in my hands. I just never had that effect on women. Maybe it's my breath? The twisty bicep on each figure is very clean, and all of the joints are intentional. They don't break up the sculpt too much either. Harley maintains her feminine angles, but she's also very flexible. Meow.
You can tell that the Four Horsemen were all over this series. The sculpts are clean and fluid, yet true to the character. Aquaman's trident is full of detail (such as these barnacles near the base) and each scale on his shirt is sculpted. I like the flowing head of hair he has too. But look at Firestorm, he's clearly a super hero from the 70s, and the lines are a bit more crisp, and his get up is certainly a "costume." His atomic shaped hand blasts are easy to remove and pop back on, which is a great touch. Speaking of those however, the Superman hand fire (ok ok yes, you may e-mail me and correct me on that one) is a little loose and doesn't stay on with out a little bit of finagling. I also have to mention that the hoses on both Black Manta and Gorilla Grodd are both very flexible, but very sturdy, and they incorporate into the figure without danger of popping out, or breaking.
What I Didn't Love I just mentioned that the fire on Supes' hands doesn't stay on all that well, and I had some difficulty getting the figures to hold their accessories on the first try. I guess I'm spoiled by the MOTU (also by the Horsemen) whose hands were perfect, they looked great holding a sword or blaster, or empty. And they held everything. I also play with playmobil a lot, so you gotta understand where my expectations come from.
Gorilla Grodd Grodd is a great character, he's got presence, his overall design is powerful, but simple. We reviewed his JLU animated style figure last year. The sculpt on this Grodd is pretty sweet. He's got a grimace on his face, you know he's up to something. I guess I was expecting just a little bit more in the build-a-figure arena... after you play with LCBH's PITT, with articulated fingersGrodd comes up a little short. He's got neck, shoulder, bicep, elbow, wrist, hip (to move into sitting position) and ankle articulation. However, without knees, the ankles aren't all that helpful. It's a nice figure, a good one to havehoweverit felt like they had this amazing action figure (PITT or the Sentinel), and it was just simply too big to sell in a blister pack, so they divided it up for free! no less. So I guess I wanted Grodd to be a little bigger? Or maybe have waist and knee articulation? It's a beautiful sculpt, and it goes great with the line, but it's not going to be remembered as an amazing figure in five years.
To Top It Off If you've been waiting for nicely articulated Black Manta or Firestorm, you're in luck. If you were a fan of BTAS (or DC women in general) and you like Harley Quinn, you're in luck, this is one of the better female action figures out there. If you're a Superman completist, you're in luck. If you like Aquaman... um, well, first off I'm sorry, but hey, you're in luck! These are great figures. Between the MOTU line, and this series, you get a great sculpt, yet nice durability. If these were to take a header off your shelf, or end up in the hands of an infant, they'll survive pretty well. And this line has articulation I have never seen from a mass produced action figure. It feels like they went as far as they could (before sacrificing aesthetics) with the design, and really delivered. I'm looking forward to the next line.