Saturday, 25 January 2014

DC Unlimited Hawkman

Company: Mattel

Series: DC Unlimited

Scale: 7”

Year: 2013

I’ll freely admit that I know very little about Hawkman. A quick scan of his Wikipedia page doesn’t do a lot to clarify his history either. In terms of fame, he’s a second or third stringer, which may explain why his continuity has been allowed to go all over the place since the 1980s. But these issues aside, he’s a very visually striking, cool-looking character, so I keep an eye out for him whenever he pops up in a JLA or crossover book.

A couple of months ago, I was away on holiday in the UK with my wife, and I had the pleasure of visiting Forbidden Planet – which, combined with a hectic time at work and Christmas/New Year is why the blog has been a little quiet the last couple of months – and I spotted this figure in the stores. I’ve seen very few of the DC and Batman Unlimited range in Australia, so I decided I’d pick him up. I’d had my eye on the figure since earlier this year, but hadn’t been able to justify the purchase at the time. So how did he stack up? Read on to find out!


The DC/Batman Unlimited boxes look great, with the figure displayed clearly, cool box art and some nice copy on the back. They’re a little larger than your average action figure box, clearly designed with MOC collectors in mind. However, opening it will destroy it completely – and MOC collectors should be aware that the packages seem quite easy to damage. All the figures I saw in the shop seemed to have quite a bit of shelf wear – not an issue for me, but irritating for those who keep it in the box.
This particular figure is based on Hawkman’s New 52 appearance. I’m yet to read any of the (now cancelled) Savage Hawkman, but I think it’s a pretty good redesign of the older costume. The older design sometimes looked like taxidermy gone wrong, so the more helmet-like approach is a good one. It’s a nice mix of realistic and comic book exaggeration.

This is my first DC Unlimited fig, so I’m pretty vague on what’s new and what’s reused from other figures in the line. His chest and arms look like they could have come straight from the Masters of the Universe Classics line, and apparently his wings are reused from an older DC Universe Classics Hawkman. Speaking of which, his wings look great – definitely the best I’ve come across on an action figure.

Hawkman’s articulation isn’t quite at Marvel Legends level, but it’s still quite good on paper. Here’s what’s featured:
*ball-jointed head

*ball-jointed shoulders
*swivel biceps

*hinged elbows
*cut wrists

*ab crunch
*cut waist


*T-thighs (mimicking a ball joint)
*cut thighs (near the boot tops)

*hinged knees

*rocker ankles

*hinged and foldable wings

An impressive selection on paper, but somewhat lacking in execution. The helmet means he can look down and straight ahead, but can’t really look up. The lower halves of the legs are coloured gold and appear to be moulded in a softer plastic than upper halves. Possibly because of this, the rocker ankles appear to be stuck and the left knee has a very limited range of motion. Additionally, the harness across his chest restricts the cut waist and the ab crunch. The ab crunch is neither here nor there to me, but not being able to move the waist is quite irritating. I stuck him in a freezer for an hour or so, but that doesn’t appear to have fixed any of the articulation issues.

EDIT: Hawkman's ankles now work, and his left knee works much better than it previously did, though it's still not perfect. The ab crunch is still stuck, but it wouldn't be much use under the harness anyway.
Hawkman comes with two accessories – his axe and his shield/claw thing. The detailing on both is nice, but they’re cast in a very soft plastic. My axe was a little warped in the box, but seems to have sprung back into shape after being removed from its packaging.

The paint job could probably best be described as solid but unspectacular. The dominant colour is gold, which looks pretty good – but after seeing it next to the Nightstorm Predator’s gold paint (review to come!), it doesn’t hold up quite as well. Still, this is more a comic-based than “realistic” figure, so flatter colours aren’t a major issue.

There’s a bit of gold slop on his face, around the lines of the mask. The upper thigh hinge has also chipped some green paint off the paints – it seems a little strange that the piece wasn’t just cast in green.
The best part of the paint comes on the wings, though. It’s essentially a simple drybrush that picks out the sculpted detail, but the effect is quite impressive – as I mentioned above, these are definitely the best wings I’ve seen on a figure.

I’m satisfied with Hawkman as a souvenir from a holiday, but I would be much less pleased if I’d bought him on home turf, if that makes sense. Though he’s not a bad figure, he is definitely overpriced.

 At nearly $35 AUD, Hawkman is not offering enough to be an “adult collectable” but is clearly not intended as a toy for children, “Age 4+” labelling notwithstanding. Nor would it stand up to childhood play, with its articulation issues. The average NECA figure costs around $30-35AUD – and I’ve had various articulation issues with them too. But the level of detail in sculpting, paint and overall quality is (generally, though not always) streets ahead of this figure.  I appreciate that a lower production keeps the costs up, but for what is on offer, I don’t think this should be selling for much more than the average Ninja Turtles figure. Get the price point to around $20 and I’d probably buy the whole range – but for the current pricing, I don’t see myself picking up any more of the DC Unlimited figures.
But to finish on a more positive note, his own Egyptian backstory does make him a cool accompaniment for the Nightstorm Predator.

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