GREEN LANTERN Basic Movie Figures
Seeing green in the toy aisles...
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With the film’s release date fast approaching, Green Lantern toys are flooding the aisles in toy stores near you. Mattel is putting out quite a bevy of products, but the main focus is on two lines: Movie Masters for the adult collectors and a smaller line of figures aimed at younger fans. It’s the latter we’ll look at today. As a collector of 3 ¾ inch figures, I was very happy to get my hands on figures from the first two waves of these basic figures and finally add some new Green Lanterns to my collection! I’ve previously reviewed the Early Bird Hal Jordan (read it HERE) and the Guardians of the Universe Hal & Baris two-pack (HERE). Let’s dig into the ever-expanding Corps!
It’s not hard to find the Green Lantern section at the store, seeing as how it’s a sea of green! For these basic figures, Mattel went with a pretty cool package design that’s functional and attractive. It’s a standard bubble and card layout, with the cardboard in the general shape of the Green Lantern symbol. There’s lots of green with a dark border around the whole thing, a band including the GL oath around the bubble, and the GL symbol on white behind the bubble. The movie logo appears at the top of the card, and an illustration of Hal Jordan flies out of the bottom, his fist connecting with the included GL ring in the bubble (a nice touch). At the very bottom-left corner is the number and name of the specific figure who can be seen in the central bubble along with his/her/its accessories.
The back of the cards is interesting too; they all have the same layout but with different details. At the top is a band including the figure’s name and a brief bio, below which is an illustration of the character in action. On the right-hand side is a narrow column that either shows the figure with its accessory and other available toys OR specific instructions (for instance, Kilowog’s shows you how to use the “adaptor”). Overall it’s a good looking package that catches the eye and provides a good look at the toy and plenty of art and text.
For the uninitiated out there, the Green Lantern Corps consists of thousands of space cops patrolling the universe. Each one is armed with a Green Lantern ring that can create solid light constructs and grants the user flight, protection, access to information, and much more. One of the really cool things about the comic series is that the writers and artists were free to come up with all sorts of interesting alien Green Lanterns; thankfully, the film is doing the same. Just in the few trailers we’ve seen so far and the promo images we’ve seen dozens of aliens including some that aren’t even humanoid! The basic toy line will see a bunch of these Lanterns. Obviously Hal Jordan will appear multiple times (3 versions in the first 10 figures), but beyond him we’re getting lots of cool characters like Kilowog, Sinestro, Green Man, Abin Sur, Hannu, Stel, Isamot Kol, and more.
While the Mattel press info calls these figures “4 inch,” they’re really in the 3 ¾ scale. Stel is the tallest of this new series with antennae reaching over 5 inches, with Kilowog right at 5, Green Man at 4, Hal/Abin/Sinestro about 3 ¾, and Isamot just over 3 inches. Each little Green Lantern wears his unique film-inspired uniform or some sort of variant (thus far none are based on comic book appearances).
They all have unique sculpts except for the Jordans; they share the same body (the same as Early Bird, the two-pack, figure 01, and a bunch more) although the Solar Saw has a different, “angry” face sculpt. The uniforms are nicely sculpted with all sorts of lines and patterns, most noticeably on Sinestro and Abin Sur. The more “monstrous” Lanterns have skin textures like Kilowog’s lumpy flesh and Isamot’s scales and spines, while Stel is chock full of robot elements. Just like on the Movie Masters figures, the uniforms are skin-tight to reveal the different physiques of the aliens with their toes, tails, etc. A lot of attention was paid to the head sculpts and almost across the board they’re very good for 3 ¾ inch figures.
For mass market figures, these GLs have good, solid paint jobs. Of course, you’re going to see a lot of green, but interestingly there’s a nice variety of shades and hues used on the different figures. Guys like Isamot and Sinestro have vivid comic-style green, while Kilowog has a darker swampy green and Green Man blends in his yellowish skin tone. Black is the next dominant color after green (main body/legs), followed up by white (accents and logo background). Each figure has some unique body coloration, whether it’s Stel’s gray metal, Sinestro’s pink, or Abin Sur’s purple. Both of the Hal Jordans looked at here have translucent body parts; Max Charge Hal is entirely translucent green, while Solar Saw Hal has a body made of translucent black with multi-colored reflective bits. All of the Lanterns also have sculpted rings painted a bright metallic green.
While they look good, the Green Lanterns aren’t stellar when it comes to articulation. As noted previously, most of these figures are just above basic in this department with joints at the neck, ball-jointed shoulders, waist, and hips. The lizard-like Isamot trades in the waist joint for one in his tail, Green Man has only shoulders, a hinged torso, and hips, and Stel has but shoulders and hips. To be honest, the lack of articulation is pretty frustrating as the figures look good and would really benefit from even a couple more joints (knees, elbows, wrists, ankles). It’s interesting that none of these have the forward/back-side/side hips like the Early Bird figure had, although those didn’t really do wonders for poseability anyway.
Mattel could have gone a couple different ways with accessories for these Green Lantern figures, and their solution is going to make a lot of collectors happy. Each figure comes with an honest to goodness GL construct taking the form of a wide variety of weapons. Made of translucent light green plastic, the constructs include swords, a spiked mace, saw blade, “beast trap,” plasma gun, and more. Each one ends in a socket designed for a Green Lantern’s fist, and for the most part they’re usable by a variety of the figures. Larger figs like Kilowog come with an “Energy Blast Adaptor” instead; this oversized piece can be used by itself as a blast effect or it can connect to any regular-sized construct. As others have noted, the way these constructs fit over fists small and large enable them to work with other toy lines as well, so try them on all of your Green Lanterns!
Finally, every single figure in this line comes with a Green Lantern ring that you can wear! Well, those of you who have very slender fingers, that is. When I heard that rings would come with all figures I figured they would be pretty junky, just like the old ones that came with some DC Direct toys. Instead, these are big and beefy, with lots of detail and cool translucent green plastic over a solid gray core. The “face” of the ring is even bigger than that on the half die-cast one that came with the Early Bird figure! Unfortunately for us adult collectors, these plastic rings have a shockingly tiny opening for your finger. Just plan on spreading the joy and giving yours to budding young Green Lantern fans.
Being a huge Green Lantern fan and a collector of 3 ¾ inch figures, these toys are right up my alley. They’re varied with lots of cool aliens, there are multiple versions of my favorite character (Hal Jordan), and thus far they’re not too expensive and they’re decently available (I found mine at Toys R Us and Walmart). There are two more figures in the initial two waves, and Mattel is planning a total of 20 figures! Note that there are also more of these guys in other lines like the Battle Shifters, Vehicles, the Final Battle pack, and several store exclusives like the Guardians two-packs. As long as you know what you’re getting into with the limited articulation, you’ll enjoy these small additions to your Green Lantern collection.
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin