DCUC Martian Manhunter
I’m not really a big DC fan.
I was grew up on X-Men and the Hulk and only knew of the broad strokes of the competition’s canon. It wasn’t until Bruce Timm began to build up the DC Animated Universe (DCAU) that I really began paying attention. Now the DC superheroes didn’t seem like such dweebs to me. I could finally relate to all those hardcore geeks who held up Superman as the paragon of the comic book protagonist.
Batman: The Animated Series was what got me hooked to the DCAU, and by the time Justice League was airing in 2001, I was addicted and couldn’t get enough. Naturally, when I first started collecting DC Universe Classics my goal was to complete the original seven founders of the DCAU League; Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Green Lantern, Flash, and Martian Manhunter. DCUC put the other members out pretty fast (though I’m still waiting for a bald John Stewart with a goatee), but we’ve had to wait until Wave Fifteen to get old old J'onn J'onzz.
DCUC 15 consists of 8 figures (2 of them variants). I’m kind of glad I didn’t bother to get the rest of the figures as I’m not familiar with any with the exception of the Collect ‘n’ Connect figure Validus from Legion of Super-Heroes and Batman (though I never read Blackest Night). I kind of wish Mattel would stick to a theme when preparing these waves, but I guess at 15, you can’t really be choosy.
I got the Martian loose from a re-seller in Greenhills for Php 800.00 (around $18 US). It didn’t come with the CNC part, but again I wasn’t really interested in completing it anyway.
First thing you need to know about the DCUC line is that it’s one of the most expensive to collect. If you were to by the line at retail, you’d need to pay Php 1,300.00 for EACH figure. With 8 figures per wave (or 6 if you’re not a completist) things get pretty ugly fast. You can try and cherry pick at stores that sell loose overrun figures like this one, but it’s gotten harder and harder to beat the re-sellers that camp out in Quiapo waiting for new shipments from the Chinese factories. Even the importers have gotten wise and now sell the overruns for higher prices since they now know how much Bankee’s (Mattel’s local distributor) suggested retail price is locally.
The price issue really is the deal breaker here. At Php 800.00 I still think this is worth it. The Four Horsemen really did a great job on the DCUC bucks and the proportions and articulation really are something that makes the line something to talk about. But asking Php 1,300.00 for figures that don't even have any accessories (CNC parts don't count) is way too much. I'm still sore from the fact that Marvel Legends are now Php 1,000.00 each!
I picked up the one with the more human looking features since he only seemed to assume his alien form when someone jumped him anyway. I do hate that they decided to release a variant rather than just including the weapon hand and alien head in the package like any normal toy company would do. This is not like the Jack and Ted figures that sport completely different costumes and they eventually did it for the Low and Maash figure in the Green Lantern Classics line. Really, Mattel, what’s up with that?
Still, it’s not like I’d have paid another Php 500 to get those accessories anyhow.
On its own, I really like how the figure came out. The plastic they cast him in is pretty light, so it has that toy-ish quality to it that many collectors hate. I personally like how it’s a bit translucent since it catches the light very nicely when displayed. Paint is relatively good, too, with the red and blue loud enough to fight off the green and give you that garish comic book superhero look. There are some fuzzy lines along the pants of mine, but I’m not so particular with paint anyway.
I recently realized that the thigh cut of DCUC figures are a little too blatant. If you've seen the recent 6" Thundercats line from Bandai, they've come up with a neat way of covering the front of the cut-joint with the top part of the rectus femoris muscle. I kind of wish they'd done that here since the Martian's leg is pretty naked, making the swivel joint all the more obvious.
Though Johnny boy disappeared from the re-seller stores in Greenhills almost as fast as the Knightfall Batman figure, he still shows up at Toy Kingdom and Toys ‘R’ Us so you still have a chance to get him. It’s up to you to decide if he’s worth the asking price.
Me, I’m happy with him. Now all I need is a custom John Stewart and I’m done with my JLA. Yay!