Toy News and Reviews
Welcome back once again, toy fans! The Toyman has had all his
wisdom teeth removed, but that canít stop him!
This weeks review is the long-awaited (and anticipated) review of DC Direct's
Kingdom Come Series 1-3. DC Direct made many a fan boy happy with
the first set of figures based on Kingdom Come ó a story often regarded
as one of the greatest works of comic book mastery. Who would have thought
we would have received three fantastic sets?
Should we hope for a fourth? Whereís Norman and the Spectre?
Can I make it through this review before the
pain pills kick in?
Find out now!
The Whole KC Line to Date ó Click for a Larger Image
What would any modern toyline be without an exclusive figure? DC
Direct offered Red Arrow as a mail-in exclusive from Toyfare magazine ó
we'll give him the Toyman's once-over at the end of this installment.
start the review with Series 1:
As a big fan of Ross and Busiekís mega-hit series, I was one of the legions of
fans begging DC Direct for Kingdom Come toys. When the first series was
announced, I couldnít have been happier.
Hawkman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and
Superman were the initial line-up. What a great beginning! Start with the biggest icons of the
series, and do them right. Tim Bruckner, DC Direct's sculptor extraordinaire, pulls
out all the stops and delivers perfect likenesses.
The packaging is great. It showcases each figure nicely and
really stands out on the shelf. The series' cover art is well-used on each
package, and the packages themselves are extremely collector-friendly. The figures could
easily be removed from the package and placed back in them for display.
packaging gets 5 stars out of 5. It looks great, is well-executed, and is
something completely different for the series. The Kingdom Come series gets the royal
treatment that figures like this deserve.
The sculpts are dead-on likenesses of the characters. The
muscle tone is realistic and well-defined. Hawkmanís feathers are intricately
detailed. And everyoneís capes look like they are flapping in the wind.
figures are Alex Rossís art come to life.
There is, however, a problem: Some of
the joint lines donít match up quite right. Apparently it was a big problem,
because the series was delayed repeatedly as DC Direct tried to repair some of
their mistakes. Supermanís neck is the worst joint, but with a little hunting, itís possible to find one that looks good.
The entire series would get 5
stars out of 5, but since somehow DC Direct improved on the next batch (Series
2), Iíll give
Series 1 an across-the-board 4.5.
DC Direct is not known for its articulation. Sure, they
can do it ó and have done it. The first series of Modern Superman
figures proves that. But in a case like this, sculpt is more critical than
Superman and Wonder Woman each have seven basic points
of articulation (hips, shoulders, wrists, and neck); Green Lantern and Hawkman
lose the leg articulation due to their sculpts (although Hawkmanís wings are hinged on
The figures are posed in typical Alex Ross fashion, and the limited
articulation still allows for enough movement to pose them dramatically on the shelf.
4 stars out of 5.
Hawkman has a serious problem leaning forward, and additional
articulation on him would have helped the score.
The figures (like most DC Directs) are painted
flawlessly. The colors are all solid, with no slop. Hawkman has some dryer work
to add texture to his feathers. And everyoneís eyes are straight and level.
only fault to be found is with Green Lantern's armor details. Instead of being
painted on, they are stickers ó stickers that donít stick all that well and usually
need a little adjustment.
Superman, Wonder Woman, and Hawkman get 5 out of 5 for
their paint. Green Lantern Alan Scott gets only 3 points. The stickers
were a truly horrible idea on
The accessories are minimal with all the Kingdom
Come figures. Hawkman has a spear and his medallion; Green Lantern has a sword;
Wonder Woman has her lasso; and Superman comes with nothing. There arenít a lot
of possible accessories to accompany any of these figures, and considering how
massive they are, Iím impressed that any were included at all.
So for accessories,
they get 3 out of 5.
DC Direct figures arenít cheap. They are high-quality toys with limited availability and small production cycles. They average
$15-17 but are well worth it. Where else would we get figures like this?
between the dent they put in your wallet and the smile they put on your face,
the Kingdom Come figures average out to 4 stars out of 5 on price.
These are collectible toys, no doubt about that ó
but they are still toys. Sure, they canít pass the sitting test, but they are
sturdy, well-made toys. Overall, Kingdom Come Series 1 gets a 4.5.
Why not a 5? Youíll see
in a minute ... .
now for Series 2:
A great line continues! DC Direct listened to the
fans and delivered the overlooked candidates from Series One: Shazam
Captain Marvel and Batman! Red Robin and Kid Flash round out the series perfectly, and the
Toyman's Kingdom Come
shelf is looking better already.
The packaging is identical to the first wave, but
features both waves on the back. The packaging still gets 5 out of 5. No need to
change whatís already perfect.
Once again, the sculpts are dead-on.
Captain Marvel looks
ready to kick butt and take names, Batman is amazingly menacing, and even Red
Robin and Kid Flash manage to look interesting.
DC Direct continues to impress. I am beginning to wonder when Tim Bruckner gets to sleep, though. All are well-sculpted, and DC Direct continues
delivering innovative sculpts by combining multiple
types of plastics. In this case, they've managed near-perfect recreations
of Alex Rossís paintings. 5 out of 5 just for
Batmanís perfect smirk.
This batch is even more articulated than the
first. Not much
more, but they are better.
Shazam clocks in at nine points of articulation, as
does Batman (11 if you count his wings). Red Robin has seven, but Kid Flash has
the basic five. Since the line has improved with Series 2, and mostly due to the perfect pose that can
be achieved with Shazam, this wave earns 5 out of 5 for articulation.
still arenít Marvel Legends, but let's not compare apples and oranges just yet.
Another flawless batch of painted figures. Still
no slop, and everything that should be straight is.
5 stars out of 5.
Something had to go wrong from Series 1 to Series
Somehow Series 1 had more accessories. Kid Flash has a base (necessary to get
her to stand up), and Batman comes with his gauntlet ó but that's it for Series
For this oversight, Series 2 gets 2 stars out of 5.
Same as Series 1, although with two somewhat
smaller figures, they almost seem a little pricy. Still canít go wrong, though,
so they get the same 4 out of 5.
Still collectible toys, but even more
entertaining as the recreated Kingdom Come Universe grows larger.
never have the entire KC Universe, but with another wave to go, weíre getting
Series 2 gets 4.75 out of 5. So close to perfection; can
Series 3 do it?
finally, Series 3:
Can it get any better? Finally
we have Magog, Flash, and Deadman.
We also have another Wonder Woman. Why?
was nothing wrong with the last one, and yet this one looks ten times better.
The packaging still hasnít changed with Series 3. It still perfectly
accentuates the figures and still receives 5 stars out of 5.
Another perfect batch of sculpts.
Magog is fantastic. From the scar on
his eye to the curl of his horns to the popping veins in his arm, he couldnít
be any better.
How does someone sculpt a figure of a character
who doesnít hold
still? DC Direct has the answer with the Flash. His sculpt is dead-on, and the
look they achieved by casting him in translucent plastic is extraordinary.
Deadman looks ultra-delicate, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Woman looks ready to deliver a beating and almost makes buying the Series 1 Wonder Woman unnecessary. (Almost, but not quite.)
Series 3 gets another perfect
score of 5 out of 5.
Still no big surprises in the articulation department.
Flash has five points of articulation; Magog and Wonder Woman have
seven each; and Deadman has five ó no, wait, six! Thereís the surprise: Deadmanís jaw is hinged! This delicate-looking sculpt has the perfect
Just for Deadman's jaw, Series 3 gets the full 5 stars.
Still flawless, Series 3 has everything the first two had.
great. His skin looks organic; his metalwork looks like metallic. Deadman looks
like bone, and his deep cavities look hollow even if they are not. And while
only the Flashís helmet is painted, his appearance is perfect. Even Wonder
Womanís armor is more than one gold color.
5 out of 5 once again!
No surprises here either. Magog has his spear; Wonder Woman
has her shield and spear. Thatís it. Deadman has a base, but that doesnít make
up for anything.
Still canít go higher than 3 out of 5 here.
Priced similarly to Series 1 and 2, Series 3 seems like a better
bargain, just for character selection. They get the same 4 out of 5.
Now that the Kingdom Come shelf is full, what more could we
ask for? Series 3 gets 5 out of 5 stars, just for being better than the last two
Can we hope for a fourth series? Of course we can! But like anything
else, until we hear it from DC Direct, any rumors of more figures are just that,
rumors. Iíve got my fingers crossed for Norman McKay, the Spectre, and a half-dozen other
of my favorite characters.
now for the bonus review ó
Exclusive Red Arrow from the Kingdom Come line:
Red Arrow was released between Series 1 and
Series 2 and is a straight repaint of DC Directís Green Arrow figure. And for a simple
repaint, heís perfect! Articulated more than the rest of the line, Red Arrow has
11 points of articulation. He also comes with his bow ó certainly not one of DC Directís better bows, but suitable. Heís well-painted, but there is a little slop
on some edges. (It is a lot harder to find a good paint job on mail-away
figures.) He is packaged in the same manner as the rest of the line and is a
fine representation of the character. Heís a great addition to the line if you
can find him.
4.5 stars out of 5.
Thatís all for this week, kiddies. Itís been a
slow news week, and Iím off to bed to continue recuperating.
Iím still looking for more questions to start a
Q&A section in my column, so feel free to
send your questions,
request reviews, or
just spread toy talk.
See you next week!
Feel free to ask questions, suggest a
review, or share toy news with the Toyman!
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