Toy Review Showdown: Movie Masters Kilowog vs. DC Universe Swamp Thing


Although I picked up Movie Masters Green Man, I've been avoiding the rest of the Green Lantern 6"-scale figures for one reason: Kilowog. Since he was going to be a SDCC exclusive, with limited distribution on MattyCollector.com after the convention, I didn't want to get too far into collecting the line without being guaranteed to get a character whose absence would make a Green Lantern Corps incomplete. As you can tell, I did manage to score a Movie Masters Kilowog, but I also splurged on a DC Universe Swamp Thing. Although I'm not a Swamp Thing fan by any means, I always thought the character looked cool and this figure could be great for my DC display. But this town ain't big enough for both of these green giants, so for this Toy Review Showdown we pit Movie Masters Kilowog against DC Universe Swamp Thing. Draw, you varmints!


Stats

Company: Mattel
Size: Kilowog- 9"; Swamp Thing- 9 1/2"
Price: Kilowog- $25; Swamp Thing- $30 (at MattyCollector.com)
Packaging: Boxed (If I was grading packaging, Swamp Thing would have scored a perfect 5 pacs. He comes in a box that's neat in and of itself, but it opens up to reveal a pulpy-paper Swamp Thing mask in which the figure is stored. It's pretty awesome, and certainly worth keeping.)



Appearance: Kilowog
Swamp Thing


The most eye-popping aspect of the Green Lantern Movie Masters figures is their awesome green metallic sheen. They all have that sheen... except Kilowog. Maybe they thought that giving Kilowog's costume more of a matte finish would make him more accurate to the movie since there are some (but not all) shots in which Kilowog's costume doesn't glow. The sculpt is almost perfect and the paint apps are sharp, but the lack of that metallic sheen dulls the figure, especially when he's on display with other members of the Corps. Still, that's one grumpy-looking dude.


Swamp Thing looks amazing. The sculpt is incredible with lots of swampy detailing and texture, and his face sculpt perfectly captures the attitude of the character. And that attitude is...

GET OFF MY LAWN!

The figure has a layer of rubberized skin over an articulated endoskeleton. The skin hides most of the joint seams, making Swamp Thing look more like a high-end statue than a toy. And unlike vintage TMNT figures, each of the sculpted details (flowers, vines and mushrooms) are all painted.

I'd hate to have Swampy's back acne.


Articulation: Kilowog
Swamp Thing


Kilowog moves quite well:
  • Ball-socket neck (of particular interest is the fact that he can look skyward, as if he was beaming his ring into space)
  • Swivel-hinge shoulders
  • Hinge elbows
  • Swivel wrists (they look like they might be ball-socket, but I haven't had the gumption to force the issue to find out)
  • Swivel waist
  • Swivel-hinge hips
  • Swivel-hinge knees
  • Hinge ankles

The joint that is most lacking is the chest joint, which could have been easily incorporated into the folds of his skin.

Swampy does a pretty good Bigfoot impression.

Swamp Thing starts off well with a pretty good number of joints:
  • Ball-socket neck
  • Swivel-hinge shoulders
  • Hinge elbows
  • Hinge waist
  • Swivel-hinge hips
  • Hinge knees
  • Hinge ankles

But the rubber skin hinders most of the joints to such an extent that they have a very limited range of movement. 


Accessories: Kilowog
Swamp Thing

Kilowog comes without any sort of accessory. That means no power battery and no construct. How great it would have been for him to come with a construct of a star, like the one in that training scene with Hal? His hands are too big to fit the constructs of the smaller figures so you don't even have that as a consolation prize.


Swamp Thing comes with an awesome stand that further makes the figure seem like a high-end statue. (As nifty as it is, I wouldn't consider the pulpy mask to be an accessory because it doesn't interact with the figure.) I would have preferred the SDCC-exclusive Un-Men to be included. There's nothing as sweet as buddy figure accessories.



Value: Kilowog
Swamp Thing


Kilowog clocks in at a respectable $25. Considering MOTUC figures run $20, and Kilowog is substantially larger, that's not too bad a deal. Especially since Kilowog has all-new tooling, unlike the constantly reused parts of MOTUC. An accessory or two would sweeten the deal even more. Like Green Man, Kilowog is constructed of a hard plastic that feels very hollow.


Swamp Thing is roughly the same size as Kilowog (which also makes him significantly larger than both the standard MOTUC and DCUC figures) and comes with a stand. You get a bit more, but he costs a bit more, too. The big question mark with this figure is, "How long will that rubbery skin last?" The rubber is pretty thin so that it can accomodate the articulation. If it ever rips, it's game over for Swampy. Some collectors are optimistic that the skin will be perfectly fine in the long run. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them. The only way I see this figure standing the test of time is if he is 1) posed in a neutral stance that doesn't stretch the rubber at all, and 2) stored in a temperature/humidity controlled environment (which is what collectors should be doing with their figures anyway... if you don't, then for shame). Even then, I can see Swampy getting sticky and nasty in a decade or less. This type of soft rubber just doesn't age well. I can't detract his score for something that might happen in the future, but something tells me I should appreciate Swampy before he turns into Armus!


Coolness: Kilowog
Swamp Thing


Kilowog scores lots of coolness points for being a well-sculpted representation of the coolest character in my favorite movie of the summer. He's not quite as cool as he could have been, though: I can think of countless constructs that could have been included with him, and some sort of "special effect" for his costume (metallic green paint, areas of clear green plastic, glow-in-the-dark highlights, etc) would have been awesome.

Papa? ...  Son?

Despite concerns about Swamp Thing's weird rubbery skin, its tactile quality is amazing. The soft rubber feels like disgusting swamp slime, a perfect "special effect" to drive home Swampy's coolness. This is the type of idiosyncratic bonus that Kilowog needed.


Overall: Kilowog 
Swamp Thing

When I ordered these figures, I never thought I would have ended up liking Swamp Thing more than Kilowog. But Swamp Thing has better paint washes; he comes with a creepy stand; and his rubbery skin, however ephemeral it may be, is so weirdly fun. This figure is so cool that he makes me want to look for Swamp Thing graphic novels at the Baltimore Comic Con tomorrow.

It's notable that I scored the 4"-scale Kilowog higher than the Movie Masters figure, a fact that many collectors would find unforgivingly abhorrent. But before you delete your Dork Dimension bookmark, consider that the 4" Kilowog is a third of the price, comes with an accessory that makes him compatible with a number of other constructs, and doesn't look out-of-place in a display with the rest of the figures from his wave. Movie Masters Kilowog isn't bad, but a collector as fanatic about Kilowog as myself needs a figure much cooler than this.


DISCLAIMER: All items reviewed on Dork Dimension were purchased by the reviewer unless otherwise noted. The opinions expressed on Dork Dimension are solely those of the author and are presented for entertainment purposes only.