Review: McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse Comic and TV Figures

While the animated-style figures in McFarlane Toys‘ initial DC offerings all sport a unified style, the same cannot be said for the non-animated. Rather than opting for a generic comic-book look, the company chooses specific comics and artist styles to emulate. Or, in the case of live-action inspired toys, specific movies/TV seasons. So far, however, they’ve put out only one realistic figure: Green Arrow, from Arrow. McFarlane Toys sent us a sampling, which included Nightwing, Green Arrow, and Batman.

The clear winner in the group is Nightwing. Most toy companies would have used this character as an opportunity to create a generic “hero” body ripe for repaints, but McFarlane’s is very sculpt-specific. Holsters on his back hold the nightsticks, and the costume itself features seams not unlike those in Henry Cavill’s Superman movie suit. It looks like a tight costume, as opposed to a naked body painted in clothing colors.

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There’s just one small flaw. At Nightwing’s knee joints, the “L” and “R” letters used to indicate to factory workers assembling the figure which is for the left or right leg, is quite visible. Maybe next time, find a place that will be fully hidden in the final assembly. It’s only a problem in certain poses, but Nightwing is insanely poseable, thanks to his minimalist costume with no cape, shoulder pads, tunic or anything like that blocking articulation. As with most McFarlane figures these days, he has the same 22-point articulation as the Mortal Kombat Spawn figure.

Nightwing is ostensibly based on his appearance on the cover of Nightwing #1, but the sculptors have taken license, adding more costume details. The figure is also one of three to come with one third of a toy Batmobile: the middle part, which makes it a passable Batmissile. Todd McFarlane’s original plan  included a large fleet of buildable mini-Batmobiles, but feedback and his recent comments suggest he’ll make a buildable figure next time instead. That’s a good call. Figure collectors aren’t necessarily interested in smaller-scale toy cars. The Batmobile part ups the figure cost by about $5 over the rest, which makes the final assembled version a $15 car.

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The sculpt takes license in the opposite direction for Batman. Loosely based on the cover of Detective Comics #1000, the figure feels more like an animation stylized version of the artwork. And his head looks about half the size of Nightwing’s. Like with the animated figures, the cowl and neck allows him to look up a bit as he fires the included grapple gun, and his Batarang looks like the Ben Affleck movie version. Also like the animated figures, the ball wrists and ankles are a touch conspicuous, but again, this is something of a Japanese toy aesthetic. The cape is classic McFarlane, not too dissimilar in style (if not full size) to that of the new Kickstarter Spawn. He has a style all his own, but won’t fit in with others as easily as the comic-based Superman.

Green Arrow looks great, as one hopes a McFarlane live-action inspired figure would. But a couple of issues make him less great overall than he could be. For one thing, his torso articulation is confined underneath a stiff tunic and practically useless. (Ditto his neck, under a stiff hood; look at a Mattel WWE AJ Styles figure to see this done better.) The arrows in the quiver are all one piece that’s left to loosely rattle around. And the bow is stuck in pulled back position; an extra neutral one for him to carry, or use as a melee weapon, would be nice. Leg and arm articulation allows for some variety of pose. But on the whole, this figure might have been cooler as an old-school pre-posed McFarlane figure from the ’90s.

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The Stephen Amell likeness is decent, and looks like it used digital faceprinting. However, since DC Collectibles made a ton of Arrow figures in this scale already, it’s an odd choice for the kickoff line.

Trading cards and figure stands come with each figure, and the cards, as mentioned in a previous review, are nicer than most such toy inserts. Stands are the usual McFarlane circles, this time with a DC logo. They work best to assist with crouches and dynamic posing.

Check out the full gallery below to see more details and poses. Then let us know what you think in the comments.