DCU Classics - GOTHAM CITY 5
New Wal-Mart exclusive worth new Lex Luthor?
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2009 has been an incredible year for DC fans as Mattel continues to deliver figures that canít be turned down, no matter how many variations you have of it. Wal-Mart, who hasnít been too friendly to the DC Universe in the beginning has been singing to a different tune as of late, first with their very own exclusive "Metallo" wave (with another wave featuring "Imperiex" just now hitting) and an exclusive 5-pack randomly dubbed GOTHAM CITY 5. Itís more like the Gotham City 3 + Metropolis 2, but oh well.
Long time collectors will quickly notice that four of the five figures - Superman, Batman, Two-Face, Catwoman - are repaints from the DC Superheroes and DC Universe Classics lines, but the fifth figure is all new: Lex Luthor. Only one previous Lex Luthor figure in his battle armor was made prior, but this figure packaged here is all-new.
PACKAGING: All five figures are packed visibly in an attractive box with the ďexclusiveĒ Lex Luthor in the dead center with the Gotham villains on the bottom and our heroes on the top.
The sides of the box have portraits of each character within and youíll find the usual photo and biography on the back. The whole look of it falls in line with the rest of the series thus far and I think it does the job well.
SCULPT: The Four Horsemen have sculpted four of these figures previously and the only new sculpt here is Lex Luthor, who is fantastic by the way. Itís an all new sculpt and though he reminds me a tad of Billy Zane, itís not a bad thing. The main body is familiar but with small tweaks here and there such as his collar and the many pockets on his legs. His straps on his chest are a separate piece but arenít removable. Lexís left hand comes in a fist but his right hand is ready to hold whatever it is you want to give him.
Superman is the basic version we all know and love and without the mullet. If you already have one it might be a nuisance but thereís plenty of folks who are still in need of the most basic Superman figure there is.
Batman is the same old Batman. Still a solid figure.
Two-Face and Catwoman are both oldies from the DC Superheroes line and since they were part of the later waves, incredibly difficult to come by. The sculpts still hold up fairly well even now.
PAINT: For mass market toys, Mattel does a very nice job. These figures for the most part are painted very well but there are small samplings of slop and unclean lines here and there. The lines that bother me the most are of course when you have a character that dons a mask: Batman and Catwoman. Catwomanís hood is meant to be painted underneath the chin as there is a sculpted line for the fabric. Instead, itís now part of the chin giving her a very awkward looking chin. Batman mask edges could just use a tad more black paint.
Now getting to the colors of the variants, the villains are all sporting something purple. Catwoman is purple. Lex Luthor has a purple shirt and boots. Half of Two-Faceís suit is purple. Thankfully Superman and Batman didnít get the memo.
Two-Face not only received a new suit thatís orange and purple (instead of black and white), he also got half a face lift thatís green instead of... purple. I actually like this new color combination better for the head sculpt but definitely prefer the older releaseís suit. They skimped out on giving him a multicolor tie as well.
And speaking of Batman, heís ready to do battle in his black and gray costume rather than the Series 1 light blue and gray.
ARTICULATION: DC Universe Classics have been pretty consistent with their points of articulation. Each figure usually has roughly 22-24 points of articulation which gives a decent amount of poseability. The trick is finding figures with good sturdy joints. Lately Mattel has been great in this department but this set has given me problems with some joints. Batmanís left wrist is just about ready to break. Some of the other figures needed some care and attention but were able to get unstuck. Batmanís wrist might be a lost cause.
ACCESSORIES: This is where it gets a bit disappointing since only one figure comes with an accessory: Catwomanís whip. Her original release also gave her a neat little backpack. Two-Face also comes empty handed, and certainly in need of something.
VALUE: At $54.88 at your local Wal-Mart store, that comes out to $11 a figure, which actually is a pretty good deal right now since many retailers have started to charge $14+ for each DC figure. But of course if youíre in it just for Lex Luthor, itís a hefty price to pay.
OVERALL: In the end, Iím a fan of this set. I definitely needed a regular Superman and Lex Luthor. I also didnít mind a repaint of Batman and or Two-Face. Catwoman is the only figure in the set that I prefer the original to, but if you never were able to find her, this is a decent substitute.
I did have some minor issues with paint on the masks so definitely take a good look at the store before you take it home. I also had an issue with some of the joints getting stuck but letís hope that doesnít happen to any of you.
The Gotham City 5 has its heart in the right place and is a great starter set for those new to DC Universe Classics as well.
For even more images of the Gothan 5 DCU set, CLICK HERE!
Review and Photos by David Yeh
Review Sample Courtesy of Mattel