Review: SUPERMAN - THE ANIMATED SERIES Two-Pack, New BATMAN - TAS BATGIRL

DC Collectibles
Credit: Zack Smith (Newsarama)

DC Collectibles has delivered a very thorough collection of Batman: The Animated Series-based figures, including multiple versions of characters as they were redesigned as the series went along. Now, they’re officially moving into Superman: The Animated Series with a new two-pack out this week. Does it hold up against the Bat-Merch? Let’s find out?
 

Credit: DC Collectibles

Superman and Lois Lane Two-Pack

Technically, Supergirl’s animated counterpart beat Superman’s to getting a DC Collectibles figure with the recent “Girls’ Night Out” pack. But this is the first official release branded with Superman: The Animated Series, and it holds the promise of many characters from that series joining their Bat-counterparts.

Credit: Zack Smith (Newsarama)

(Pray they never get into Justice League Unlimited, though. Certain reviewers might still be sweating the amount of money and space expended on their addiction to Bruce Timm-designed obscure DC characters a decade back, hypothetically.)

Superman: The Animated Series holds up pretty well – it doesn’t have as many dark, self-contained episodes as Batman: The Animated Series, but it’s a consistent show that gradually builds an internal mythology, and some episodes, such as the two-parters with Darkseid, have some of the most powerful dramatic moments in any animated series. On that note, how about a Dan Turpin figure down the line? He was even designed to look like Jack Kirby.

Regardless, you can’t have a Superman line without Superman, and Lois Lane was practically the co-lead of the show, with Dana Delany’s no-BS approach providing one of the strongest, most competent versions of the character (a few adult TV critics at the time remarked that Lois should have her own show). So, it’s only appropriate that they’d be released together.

Credit: Zack Smith (Newsarama)

Something seemed slightly off about Superman at first, and going through photos revealed what it was - he has a visible neck. Most of the Kenner toys of animated-style Superman, along with shots from the animated series, emphasized his Dick Tracy-esque square jaw so much that his neck wasn’t visible from a front view. Otherwise, this is a great likeness. The colors are wonderfully bright, his face has a slight smile while still being intimidating, and in a nice touch, the “S” on his chest is a full sculpt instead of just painted on. There’s even an appropriate curl of the hair on his forehead.

There are a few elements that don’t work as well. The 3-D printing style used for many recent DC Collectibles figures has kind of an odd, grainy, pastel tone to the flesh tones - they’re kind of flat. There are also some poseability issues. As with most DC Collectibles figures, there are several alternate sets of hands, including a few open ones for flying - but it’s a little tricky to get Superman into a flying pose. His head doesn’t tilt all the way back, and the waist joint only turns side to side – it requires a little effort to get into something flying-like.

There’s some similar issues with Lois Lane, though overall it’s a very good likeness. She has a nice soft rubber jacket and a coat, and the skirt is sculpted separately from the coat, allowing for a waist joint. Lois is a bit flimsy otherwise - she suffers from the tiny feet problem most female DC Animated Universe figures have, and there’s no ankle joints, meaning there’s not many poses available. Her hair is made of soft rubber, so there’s a good range of motion, though she has an oddly blank expression on her face - it lacks some of the energy the cartoon version had.

Credit: Zack Smith (Newsarama)

Lois comes with some alternate hands like Superman, and both come with some figure stands. DC Collectibles has slightly modified the stands that came with the Batman: The Animated Series figures to date, adding a spring-loaded claw grip. That holds the figures much more securely, though it’s still kind of limiting - it doesn’t move around other than being able to slide up and down the clear plastic arm that comes with the stand, so again, flight poses are tricky. But it’s a step in the right direction.

And yes, to answer the unasked question - it’s possible to do a classic “Superman catches a falling Lois” pose, though it requires an extra dynamic figure stand and a lot of patience. Suffice to say, if it were this difficult for Superman to catch Lois in real life, their relationship would have been very short-lived.

Overall, though, a decent start to this line – hopefully, there’ll be more characters coming up. A Lex Luthor and Mercy Graves two-pack? Darkseid? Metallo? Brainiac? Heck, even Lobo would be good, his animated counterpart was kind of bearable. Oh, and Gilbert Gotfried’s Mr. Mxyzptlk. There are tons of possibilities!

Rating: 6 out of 10

Credit: Zack Smith (Newsarama)
Credit: DC Collectibles

Batman: The Animated Series Batgirl

DC Collectibles also sent us a new figure of Batgirl, based on her look from her first appearances on Batman: The Animated Series, where she was voiced by Melissa Gilbert. There aren’t many figures of the character based off this look, so it’s nice to see her join the ranks of the other Batman: The Animated Series designs in this line.

This version of Batgirl is based in a slightly brighter color scheme than Batman and Robin, contrasting grays with bright blues. Some good touches are that the figure has a two-toned cape - blue on the outside, black on the inside - a similarly two-color cowl, a bright yellow belt and bat-insignia, and an upbeat, smiling face. There’s also the ankle joints missing with Lois Lane, so there’s slightly more poseability in the leg area…but she lacks a waist joint, which still results in some posing limits overall.

Credit: Zack Smith (Newsarama)

Batgirl comes with five pairs of hands total and a Batarang, so there are some accessories, but you’ll have to use pieces from other figures to create more scenes. On a good note, she also comes with the spring-loaded claw grip for her figure stand that Superman and Lois came with - could DC Collectibles issue more of these as stand-alone purchase packs to help previous releases remain upright?

A fun version of the character, and a nice figure. With the “Gotham Jail” pack including many more Batman: The Animated Series designs of characters as figures, it’ll be interesting to see how they continue this part of the line - if they’ll go for more of the alternate designs for characters, or lesser-known characters from the series. How cool would a Rupert Throne figure be?

Rating: 7 out of 10

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