my Flash review earlier this week, the Mattel DC Universe line has been in the doghouse with me for a while now. But I can't resist getting some of my favorite superheroes in plastic. So I willingly plunked down the cash for Dr. Fate and Hawkgirl.
Flash was a good figure but the reuse of parts and lack of differentiation in the sculpt bothered me. Do Doc and Hawkgirl have the same problems?
Price: $13 (from Corner Store Comics)
Looks: Dr. Fate - ; Hawkgirl -
To answer the question above, yes. The Looks category covers not only sculpt and paint apps, but also just how good the figure looks overall. And a lot of a good-looking figure is that the figure has definite differences that make it pop on the shelf. Unfortunately, there just isn't much all that interesting happening with either figure's sculpt to differentiate them from others in the line.
Dr. Fate has many parts that appear to be swiped from other figures (or at least not substantially different), so if you have an extensive DC Universe collection you won't find anything particularly new here. That said, Doc's sculpt is saved from total obscurity on the toy shelf with a cool helmet and some interesting costume details like the amulet/collar and gloves.
Similarly, much of Hawkgirl's sculpt is taken from Wonder Woman (parts of the arms, legs, and torso) and Hawkman (wings). But the new sculpting is pretty nice, particularly the head... EXCEPT the fact that the most egregious flaw in the figure is that the head is sculpted so that she's looking downward. You can't really pose the figure so that you'll see the whites of her eyes without having her on a shelf above you, which really limits how cool she'll look on display.
Paint apps for both are acceptable. Dr. Fate's coloring seems a bit flat, especially the yellow detailing, but the apps are clean. Hawkgirl has a bit of slop around the earrings, but everything else looks sharp (especially the eyes and lips, which can be very easy to screw up).
Articulation: Dr. Fate - ; Hawkgirl -
Dr. Fate moves just as well as other figures in the line: ball-socket neck, ball-hinge shoulders, swivel upper arms, hinge elbows, swivel wrists, hinge torso, swivel waist, swivel-hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinge knees, and hinge ankles. The sculpt of his head limits neck movement and his waist is way too loose, but it's great articulation nonetheless.
Hawkgirl has the same points of articulation as Doc, but also has many more limitations: the neck is restricted by the hair, the torso by the wings, the waist by the hawk belt buckle, and the hips by the sculpt of the... er... hip area. The articulation in the wings is a nice addition, but the restrictions really limit the figure's movement.
Accessories: Dr. Fate - ; Hawkgirl -
Doc comes with a build-a-figure part that is absolutely worthless if you don't buy the whole wave... which I didn't. But he also comes with a nifty magic energy ankh, which is pretty cool. Hawkgirl comes with a veritable arsenal of weapons: a spear, a dagger, and her signature club. Not only that, but she also comes with a stand! Very nice.
Value: Both -
The $13 price tag is the best you'll probably find on the 'Net. It's an acceptable price; it's not cheap enough to make you think you got a great deal, but not expensive enough to make you feel ripped-off.
Coolness: Dr. Fate - ; Hawkgirl -
I've always loved Dr. Fate's costume. The primary colors are fun and the cape and shoulder guards are dynamic... but let's face it, the helmet is what sells this guy. The helmet is simplified but with a cool ancient Greek influence. This figure captures the coolness of Dr. Fate pretty well. The only thing that brings Doc down a notch is the fact that he uses magic. I hate magic and I hate magical superheroes even more. But there's nothing stopping me from giving Doc a most decidedly unmagical display.
I also love Hawkgirl's costume. I always thought that her mask was cooler than even Hawkman's. But her perpetual downward-looking head sculpt really destroys her coolness by eliminating any capacity for display that is below your eye level. She'll look great hanging from the ceiling, but that's about it.
Overall: Dr. Fate - ; Hawkgirl -
Dr. Fate is a solid figure, but nothing particularly distinctive. Much like The Flash, I feel like Doc is pretty much the same as every other figure in the line. Still, the cool costume and the fun colors make this figure a good buy.
As for Hawkgirl, it's interesting that one little flaw, namely the head position, ruins an otherwise good figure. Other points of articulation are problematic and limited by the wings and the sculpt, but it's the downtrodden personality of the head's pose that really bothers me. That, and she's basically Wonder Woman with wings.
I realize that it's a bit hypocritical to blast DCU figures for reusing parts while giving MOTUC glowing reviews. Part of my reasoning is that I don't have very many MOTUC figures, so I haven't gotten tired of the format yet. Another part is that the MOTUC figures have armor and other detailing that really make each figure distinctive... at least, the ones that I own. I would definitely have blasted Zodac for lacking distinction, if I bought him. I suppose I'll tire of the reuse of parts with the MOTUC figures eventually as well.