REVIEW: DC Collectibles INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US 3 ¾ Inch Two Packs
Video Game Match Ups Make For Great Figures...
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By Scott Rubin
DC Collectibles is best known for its 6 inch figures, but over the last year they’ve made a name for themselves in the 3 ¾ inch market first with Green Lantern-related “Super-Heroes” and more recently with Injustice two-packs. Released earlier this year by Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios, Injustice: Gods Among Us brings the classic fighting game format to the DC Comics universe like never before, pitting heroes and villains alike against each other in story mode, challenges, PvP, and more. Not only does the game provide hours of entertainment with tons of great characters, but it also presents them in brand new costumes and distinctive looks. DC Collectibles is leading the charge to bring these fantastic designs to fans in the form of action figures (and more), with the Injustice: Gods Among Us 3 ¾ inch two packs cranking out the most characters in rapid succession. Today we’ll be taking a look at three of those packs featuring the Flash vs. Raven, Superman vs. Nightwing, and Aquaman vs. Black Adam!
Packaging for the Injustice figures follows the same format we’ve seen thus far on the Super-Heroes, a mostly white box with colored graphics. The front panel of each box has a big window that shows off the figures (and their accessories where included), revealed on the right side under the DC “peel” logo. The peel is colored differently on each box, and in the bottom-right corner displays the name of the game and the two characters in their respective boxes.
One side of each box has a close up photo of the figures looking tough and mean, while the opposite side shows them off and names their sculptors (a neat detail for collectors). The Injustice two pack box back panel has a brief description of the game, logos for the companies involved, and photos of other available figures. Inside each box is the plastic tray holding the figures, and behind that is a cardboard backdrop depicting locations from the game like Metropolis and Themiscyra.
I confess that I have not played much of Injustice, though all of my gamer friends can’t get enough of it. That being said, DC Collectibles is doing a very interesting job of character selection for these two packs. It’s a mixture of the most famous, currently popular, and interesting niche characters. Between these and the other sets released thus far you’ve got two-thirds of the DC Trinity in Superman and Wonder Woman, but no Batman yet. More Justice Leaguers include Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman, but no Green Lantern. Other heroes like Green Arrow, Raven, Catwoman, and Nightwing round out the bunch and contend on your shelves with villains like Black Adam, Deathstroke, Harley Quinn, Doomsday, and Solomon Grundy. The pairings are even more interesting with some thematic (like Green Arrow vs. Deathstroke) and most others less so.
As I’ve noted in my reviews of the exclusive Super-Heroes sets, DC Collectibles is doing a fantastic job with these figures combining top notch sculpts (something DC has been known for since the Direct days) with far and away the best articulation we’ve ever seen in DC figures of this scale. The sculpts on the six figures here are solid and show a nice range of body styles, costume elements, textures, and more. While a lot of superheroes in the comics have pretty slick bodysuits, Injustice added tons of unique elements to make the costumes stand out, and those are recreated in the figures. Superman for example has detailed musculature plus subtle patterning and lines on his costume and boots, in addition of course to his prominent chest shield, complex belt, and flowing plastic cape. Raven’s look from the game is fantastic, with a new take on her traditional hooded and cloaked preference; her figure nicely mixes smooth skin with wrinkled clothing, bark-like textures on her boots, segmented armor on her forearms, swirling cloak, and more. Flash, Nightwing, and Black Adam all have really well sculpted and textured bodies with their unique armored elements, but the highlight here has to be Aquaman. Elevating him above the standard scalloped torso armor appearance the Injustice Arthur Curry rocks a much more complex outfit with rough, crustacean-like surfaces, lots of ornamental flairs, and nice strong lines between layers. All of the figures have good to excellent head sculpts that capture the characters’ essence and transcend them beyond mere “video game toys.”
Highlighting and complementing the excellent sculpts are very good paint applications. Again, the range of characters means lots of unique looks and plenty of colors from the somber black and blue of Nightwing and Raven to more splashy combinations on Superman and Aquaman (with Flash and Black Adam in between). Look closely at figures like Nightwing to see all of the details; he’s not just solid black and blue, but there are sections of gray in between and details like the logos on his shoulders. Likewise Superman has varying shades of blue on his costume that help draw the eye toward his chest. Raven has just as many different colors and painting techniques as she does sculpted elements, and there’s a nice contrast between the matte colors on her torso and the metallic hues of her accessories, dirty and shaded boots, etc. Flash is very cool too with a nice dark red suit crisscrossed by gold. My favorites include both members of the final pack, Aquaman and Black Adam. The dark reflection of Shazam has a great color palette of black and bright gold, with some interesting added elements of brown leather at his hands and feet. Aquaman, meanwhile, has a very bold and dynamic look with a riot of colors that somehow work together. Similarly, while all of the figures have very well painted faces the duo of Aquaman and Black Adam show off just how well the paint can accent good sculpts.
Unlike some other DC Comics 3 ¾ inch figures we’ve seen before (and shall remain nameless), the Injustice and Super-Heroes figures have very good articulation for pretty extreme posing. All of the figures have ball-jointed necks, ball-jointed shoulders, biceps, elbows, forearms or wrists, torso, ab crunch, ball-jointed hips, double-jointed knees, a calf joint, and ankles! The specifics vary concerning the lower arm and leg joints depending on the individual figure, its shape, and its costume. For instance, Superman has wrist joints while Raven is articulated beneath her long armored gloves. The articulation scheme on these figures allows for lots of posing options while still remaining relatively stable and sturdy. I did have some balance issues with Raven especially because of her high heels, but in most cases (and thanks to the solid leg articulation) I could get the figures posed how I wanted with just a modicum of fiddling. Accessories are included with some of the figures in this series, but not all, and that’s appropriate. Better to keep the cost at a decent level than give Superman silly eye blasts or the like. Among these sets Aquaman has a pretty badass trident and Nightwing comes with his Escrima sticks.
As a big DC fan and 3 ¾ inch collector I’m very impressed with this figure series and can’t wait to get more of them. They’re light years ahead of any modern DC lineup in that scale and look great posed on the shelf or alongside the current convention exclusive Super-Heroes. If you’re like me, and/or a fan of the game itself, you should definitely check out these guys and add them to your collection. All of these sets are currently available at your local comic book store or on ShopDCEntertainment.com for about $30 per pack. They’re not the cheapest 3 ¾ inch figures on the market but it’s a solid deal for the quality of the figures and if a set happens to have two characters you like it’s a no brainer. In addition to these three you can also find Green Arrow vs. Deathstroke, Cyborg vs. Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman vs., Solomon Grundy, and Catwoman vs. Doomsday.
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of DC Collectibles