Wednesday 21 January 2015

Toybox REVIEW: DC Collectibles New 52 Huntress & Power Girl Set

DC Collectibles Huntress & Power Girl 2-pack

It's not an area of discussion that comes up on this blog very often, but I like to consider myself a pretty big Western comics fan. I've got love and time for both Marvel and DC, but if I had to pick a side it'd most likely be with DC Comics - they're the ones with my favourite heroes and the company I regularly buy comics from. With the advent of the New 52 a few years back I've bought a select few titles every month - one of which was World's Finest starring Huntress and Power Girl - the Robin and Supergirl of Earth 2 trapped on a parallel world (which also happens to be the "main" DC universe).

The comic ended its run starring those characters in August 2014, with the title itself facing cancellation in May. Elsewhere, DC Collectibles have produced a rather spiffy two-pack figure set of Huntress and Power Girl which I just couldn't say no to.

Box Front

Box BackInsert Tray

There are occasions where some of the best packaging is incredibly simple in design, but in those instances there's also plenty of reasons to say why it works so well. DCC's packaging for this 2-pack is simple to the point of there being absolutely nothing to it. The entire box is solid white combined with purple/black for the spines, side and inner tray, completed with the 'World's Finest' comic logo adorning the top flap. The back features two relatively small pictures of the figures inside, along with small windows advertising a further two Justice League themed 2-packs. There's no bios, no "figure features x number of joints", no...anything really. The most exciting part of it is the spine, which has some really nice purple close ups and the comic logo suitably placed in-between.

World's Finest

Huntress frontHuntress back

Power Girl frontPower Girl back

DC Collectibles have picked up a rather mixed reputation over the years for a number of reasons, so I was a bit cautious on what exactly to expect from them. The sculpts however are definitely commendable. Both figures have been produced in their most iconic suits from the comic (well, Huntress only has the one suit but Power Girl is done in her traditional "boob-window" costume rather than the ill-received alternate one she began the run with), and DCC have really nailed the look of both of them. Plastic capes definitely win over cloth here. The face sculpts are equally impressive, with some really nice paintwork behind them. Personally I feel Power Girl could have benefitted from a cocky smirk rather than a more neutral expression, but that's just me.

Articulation and posing is where some of the faults in this set begin to show, and by the sounds of it an area DC Collectibles need to improve on in general. It isn't that these figures don't have a rather impressive array of articulation - there's rotating hinge shoulders, ball jointed hips, hinged elbows, knees and ankles, as well as cuts in the forearms/legs. But without any sort of waist joint to speak of, the figures' ability to pull off really cool action poses is seriously impeded. DC Collectibles are definitely going in the right direction, but are obviously afraid to compromise the "complete" look of the torso with a joint. Such a shame, because such a joint could definitely be pulled off without ruining the sculpt.

Huntress up close

Leaping into actionMore Huntress posingMore Huntress posing

What's a Huntress without her crossbow?

Neither of the figures are without their individual problems either, although Huntress is definitely the better of the two. My only real complaint when it comes to Helena is the black plastic that covers pretty much all of the figure. The shade is perfect for the costume, but the fact it has an almost glitter-like quality from the brush sheen isn't just ill-fitting - it's downright bizarre. Naturally this texture applies to the purple and white as well, but in these places it doesn't look anywhere near as off-putting.

The sole accessory included in this set also belongs to Huntress, of course being her signature crossbow weapon. This nicely detailed piece is moulded in solid grey plastic, and completes Huntress' signature look perfectly. And with both hands being moulded in a "grabby grabby" pose, she can also hold it in either one without any real problem.

Power Girl posingReady for actionBoob window

More flight posing

Meanwhile Power Girl's flaws are bit more noticeable, probably due to her costume showing considerably more skin (as well as her other *ahem* assets). The skin tone DCC have used for the figure is pretty spot-on, but the plastic itself has a particular shine to it that makes Power Girl look and feel like a cheap doll in certain light. The white paint also has its problems, being prone to rather noticeable scuffs and marks straight out of the packaging. Power Girl was also where I experienced first-hand the kind of problematic joints DC Collectibles figures have become infamous for. The left leg on my figure was ridiculously stiff, but rather than force it and have it break on me I attempted to slowly work the joint until it could move properly. What I ended up with though was an incredibly loose leg, to the point that the cap piece on the side completely fell out! A little glue fixed things up, but the leg is still a lot looser than it should be.

Kara also lacks the leg swivels present on Huntress, taking a bite into her already spotty poseability. With no way to move the direction of her feet, any standing action pose looks completely unnatural. If you have some sort of stand handy air-based poses fare considerably better, even if the stereotypical flying one isn't one of the better ones. 

Back to back

Kicking ass togetherBest team up

When going from Japanese-made figures to Western ones there's most likely going to be some dip in quality, so when I opened this set I tried not to have any overestimations of how they looked or what they were capable of. On the sculpt side of things I'm certainly impressed with both Huntress and Power Girl, but the main thing that strikes me was just how un-dynamic they are. I'm drawn to action figures over statues due to the articulation and the ability to pose a figure how I like, so the last thing they should be is rigid. It's a damn shame because there is a decent range of joints on both figures, they're just missing a few spots in one or two areas and (more crucially) a waist joint. Seriously, it's amazing how far a simple waist would go on these.

It feels like I've focused a lot more on the negatives in this review, but this World's Finest two-pack is a fairly decent set that's likely to satisfy Huntress/Power Girls fans looking to get their favourite heroes as display pieces. Display pieces that'll be a bit vanilla in the pose department, but good-looking nonetheless.

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