Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Toy Review – Green Lantern Classics Series 2 Sodam Yat By Mattel

I didn’t become a fan of the whole Green Lantern thing until a few years ago.
I’ve never really gotten into any of the more cosmic-oriented space opera stuff from comic books. Despite my love of most things Star Wars and Trek I prefer my superheroes be more concerned with terrestrial matters. I’m sure that’s something I could spend an article investigating, but for now let’s just say the only time I didn’t love Claremont’s run on X-Men was when they were in space. And most people cite that stuff as their favorite. Once comic book storylines exited our upper atmosphere I tended to lose interest.
But then DC Comics started making a big ol’ stink about this “Blackest Night” thing they were doing. I had been hearing about the event’s architect – Geoff Johns – for a little while at that point. My wife – who is about as jaded a comic book aficionado as you’re going to find – had raved about his work on The Flash and several friends had been recommending his Green Lantern work. Which apparently was leading directly into “Blackest Night” and had been for a couple of years. And I am an absolute sucker for years of build-up.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time you know that if I am going to get into something, then I am going to dive in head-first. I went to my local comic shop – Odin’s Cosmic Bookshelf – and ordered every trade available of Johns’ work on Green Lantern, starting with “Rebirth”. It was all just as fantastic as everybody had said and I added all things “Blackest Night” to my pull list after getting through the third trade collection (I think that’s all that was out at that point because DC Comics absolutely fucking sucks at collecting their books in a timely manner).
The reason that you’re reading yet another overly-long intro to a toy review (at least I hope you are) is that it was during this time that I got introduced to my new favorite Green Lantern – Sodam Yat.
I may not have followed the GL titles, but I did know my Lanterns for the most part. I knew Hal was Earth’s first cosmic Lantern and I sort of knew about Alan Scott. I knew Guy from some of the Justice League comics and of course John Stewart should be familiar to any fan of cartoons. But for one reason or another I had always liked Kyle Rayner the best. He had the snazziest costume, I knew from his appearances that he was a creative type; and he also had an awesome Total Justice figure.
I didn’t get introduced to Sodam Yat until reading Peter Tomasi’s Green Lantern Corps work, but I immediately liked the guy. He had such strong character and compassion and like Rayner had a distinctive and – dare I say it – neat-o costume. Suffice it to say I was relatively horrified when he – SPOILER ALERT! – flew into a sun to sacrifice himself for the good of his home planet. But hey, that’s just Sodam being Sodam.
So anyway, as excited as I was to get Lantern Rayner a couple of weeks ago, I was even more stoked when Sodam Yat arrived from BigBadToyStore.com the other day – along with the rest of Mattel’s second series of Green Lantern Classics.

First Glance: Yat isn’t quite as exciting to look at in the package as Rayner was. I chalk it up to the lack of GIANT FUCKING SWORD. Still, he looks good and does include a construct.
Sculpt: I was a little surprised to see that Lantern Yat doesn’t have any of the new articulation. Still, he looks solid and has a run-of-the-mill DCUC body. More articulation doesn’t always mean better and it certainly won’t impact my scoring.
There are two noteworthy things about this figure, though. His head looks just great. The face is another outstanding job from Mattel’s sculpt team. It has an intense and determined look that suits Yat. The hair also looks very good – lots of texture and detail.
The second very cool feature is Sodam Yat’s right hand. Or hands. He comes with two right hands; one regular fist with his ring and one with a construct projecting directly from the ring. While I might have preferred some sort of weapon to the Lantern signal that is projecting from the ring, what Mattel did does look pretty neat and is different from any other ring constructs. And at least he has one.
Design: Yat’s uniform looks excellent. The dark colors of the uniform itself combined with the multiple hues on his Lantern insignia give the figure a unique look that still fits in with the rest of the Lanterns. Normally I have a problem when members of the same Corps are different shades, but the darker green on Lantern Yat looks very nice. I like the color they used on his ring, too. It makes it stand out from the other green parts of his uniform.
His head looks great and doesn’t have any sloppy bits. The skin tone is nice and dark and his eyes look really cool. The only problem is Yat's neck. The place where the pieces come together on either side aren't painted quite right and it looks bad. It doesn't make me hate the figure, but it's another one of those things that Mattel does that there's no way they should be doing in a collector line.
Accessories: Yat includes two right fists. I’m going to consider the one with the Lantern projection the accessory. It is a neat idea and quite well done. The translucent green looks good and the paint on the fist portion matches the rest of the figure so well that you’d never know it was translucent underneath. Initially I would have preferred a weapon, but the projection looks so neat and keeps this figure different from the rest of the Lanterns (something Mattel seemed to focus on with this release) that I dig it.
Packaging: I like the GLC packaging quite a bit. Not only is it a nice break from the yellow DCUC look, The blisters themselves have a new and interesting shape. Not to mention the holes punched in the side that allow you a nice pre-purchase whiff of that sweet, sweet New Toy Smell.
Overall: I’m still not convinced it’s reasonable to pay more than $12.99 for these figures, but apparently I am an unreasonable person because I keep buying them. Either way, if you’re buying this series or just collecting Green Lanterns you’ll be happy with this one. I can’t think of anything I would do differently aside from not fucking up his neck.
4 out of 5

Until next time, stay creepy
-Phantom

2 comments:

  1. Nice review! I'm glad you've recieved your because that means my entire Wave 2 order is on the way!

    I always thought the Green Lantern projection was a laser beam, but I guess not! Don't mind the regular DC male body so much--just that they should give him a eter accessory, like Kyle Rayner's perhaps.

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  2. Glad you enjoyed it - stay tuned, the rest are coming!

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