The Blue Beetle Action Figure
By Hervé St-Louis
January 12, 2004 - 13:16
Blue Beetle, one of the characters purchased by DC Comics from Charlton comics is one of the nicest and most unexpected action figure from DCDirect. Blue Beetle is not a widely known character, although the modern version is very much a Spider-man knock out. Blue Beetle is also one of the many powerless vigilante adventuring in the DC Universe and his action figure captures that element very well.
This figure is like the Blue Beetle. For fans of Formerly Known as the Justice League and past JLI comics, he even sports a mild smile. He looks much mor in shape than the current character. From the odd goggles down to the weird boots and beetle pattern on his suit, this figure resembles the real thing. His face is a mix of Paris Cullins and Kevin Maguire.
Some have said that the sculpt was a reused Silver Age Flash body. That's not so, unless DCDirect seriously altered the figure. Although mildly muscular, the figure's shape resembles that of many Silver Age DCDirect figures. Since the current Blue Beetle's costume has not changed since his creation, and that he is an acrobat, this is perfect. His arms are too thin though. His calves could be longer too.
The paint job on this figure should serve as an example for all toy makers. It is spotless. All the lines are clean and there is no bleeding. Considering the details on Blue Beetle's gauntlets and belt, this is exceptional. They even colour Blue Beetle's mask under his jaw with the right tones and without spots. Blue Beetle's glossy boots, gloves belt and pocket add to the contrast and realism to the figure.
Blue Beetle is shorter than the second Captain Marvel, Guy Gardner, Metamorpho the Martian Manhunter, Powergirl but taller than the Silver Age Batman and the Birds of Prey Black Canary. He fits well with the Mattel Zip line Batman. He is about the same size as the Silver Age Flash who could pass for the early Wally West. However, the Blue Beetle doesn't look good next to the JLA Flash who towers him.
Blue Beetle often has stability problems. The problem is due to his soles. They are arched and his feet are spread. Although the figure is not top-heavy, making it fall is easy. I had to put him in a stand to fix all problems. Another problem is that his thigh articulations are loose. That may cause the figure to lose balance more than anything. Posing the figure in a shooting pose will not cause too many problems.
Blue Beetle has nine articulations at the neck, the shoulder, the elbows, the hips and the knees. His shoulders, unlike several DCDirect from that era are not ball-jointed. Since the character is an acrobat, that's not very cool. Another problem is that Blue Beetle cannot hold his trapeze with a suction cup properly. Only his right hand can hold an object. Since he comes with two objects to hold, it's a problem.
Blue Beetle contains the same sturdy and stinking plastic that older DCDirect had. This plastic attracts dust a lot and does not smell good when the figures are new. Since Blue Beetle did not have ball-jointed shoulders, there was none of the gooey oil older DCDirect action figures usually have under their armpits.
DCDirect tried, but not enough. They gave fans a cool hook gun and a trapeze with a rope for Blue Beetle to hold. However, he can't use both props simultaneously. The suction cup on the trapeze is not good. You cannot stick your figure to a wall or a board, like a it's possible to do with several Spider-man figures because the suction will not hold more than seconds, unlike the Toy Biz one who can hold on for years.
Blue Beetle came in the standard DCDirect blister pack on a card.
Individual retailers determined Blue Beetle's price because DCDirect did not suggest any price for the figures. This has lead to some weird distortions with some stores selling them for 100% more than others. Although fans have demanded it for years, DCDirect does not seem interested in setting any suggested price for its action figures like it does for other items it sells.
Blue Beetle has sold out from DCDirect and Diamond Comics. You can only buy it in the secondary market such as auction sites and expensive Web stores. If you find a Blue Beetle in a physical store, buy it fast. You will save the shipping. What's odd is that a few years ago, some stores tried to get rid of several DCDirect action figures and now, they are scarce. Although not the first Blue Beetle figure, it is the best.
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