January 6, 2011 02:01 am
This set, one bought online from the MattyCollector site, was a pleasant surprise. I am thoroughly in love with it, even though, going in, I wasn't terribly excited about it.
I was buying it for Kalibak, who was a character introduced to me in the Superman: The Animated Series episode, "Father's Day." In it, Kalibak attacks during (surprise) Fathers Day, and Pa Kent is trapped under a collapsed building. What made me hate the episode was how it was executed. Superman knows his father is on the brink of death, buried under tons of rubble. But yet Superman takes his friggin' sweet time while fighting Kalibak. I'm not talking just about the fighting itself. Whenever Kalibak gets knocked out temporarily, Superman sorta brushes his hands together, turns around, and starts walking as slowly as he can back to where he last saw his dad. Why? Because this episode has 22 minutes to fill, by gum! It was excruciating.
It wasn't the best foot to start out with, regarding Kalibak. I mean, otherwise, he's all right. I mean, he looks nothing like his purported father, Darkseid, but I never really understood the genetics of Apokolips to begin with. And he sounds like I. M. Weasel, just like Worf does! How can you go wrong.
But what brought me around to loving this set were the toys themselves. Kalibak's sculpt is gorgeous. The ones that Mattel takes the time to sculpt uniquely always tend to be, but Kalibak is one of my favorites. I think it's his asymmetrical expression. One side of his mouth is a grin and the other side tucks into a grimace. Facial expressions can make a toy, and this is a great example of that. It's also nice that he's as wide as he is tall. He's a big block of plastic. He's only got shoulder articulation, with both his hips and neck fused into the sculpt, but who the hell cares. He oozes personality just through his face.
When I ordered the set, to me Darkseid was just the guy who came with the character I didn't already have. I have a couple Darkseids already, so while it was nice that this was the Brainiac-infused version from the very last episode, it wasn't a "must have" figure. I mean, hey, if I display this new version of Darkseid, does that mean I have to put away my Brainiac toy? I don't think they can coexist!
But getting him in-hand, my feelings changed abruptly. This Darkseid toy is kick ass. It makes the vanilla Darkseid look stupid and boring. Brainiacked Darkseid has lots of contrast and color vibrancy. The best part, however, are his new sculpted parts. He's got a new shoulderpad piece that fits over his head and torso, plus he has new forearms. The new forearms are what especially tickle me. You see that right hand of his that's sculpted into a "I will crush you" pose? It's fucking awesome. It's the best handsculpt in the world. The neutral open-palmed fist sculpts of the older version are very good, but what replaces them is amazing.
So now I need to figure out if I still get to display Brainiac. I guess it'd kind of help if I didn't, what with all these new army builder figures and space arrangements being what they are, but, let's face it, that's a losing battle.
Also, I discovered a few days later that Darkseid is way better at holding the Matrix than either of the two Transformers it comes with. So enjoy an extra photo I tacked on.