Monday, June 2, 2014

Toy Review – Batman: Arkham Origins Deadshot from DC Collectibles

The other night we downloaded the new “Cold, Cold Heart” level for Batman: Arkham Origins. It’s pretty fun, though it has the same lazy design as the main game. Rather than creating innovative and thoughtful challenges they just throw a bunch of generic, too-powerful bad guys at you. It’s still fun, but there’s just that feeling of cheap difficulty rather than genuine challenge so far.

The new designs in the game, however, are fantastic. There’s a new Batsuit and a new (old) Mr. Freeze design that demand the action figure treatment. They are both dynamic and intricate designs that will look great in plastic.

As opposed to today’s puffy-jacketed, generic villain.

I mentioned in my review of Anarky that a lot of the villains in Arkham Origins pretty much look the same. I realize that it’s because it is winter in Gotham City, but I still feel that was a poor choice because you feel even more like you’re just fighting the same couple of guys over and over. The shame of it is that there are actually a pretty good variety of character models, but they’re all wearing cargo pants and puffy jackets.

If Deadshot weren’t one of my favorite DC villains I probably would have passed on this figure. It barely slides by as even being recognizable as Floyd Lawton. But that’s not DC Collectibles’ fault, it’s the game designers. So let’s see how successful the figure is.

FIRST GLANCE

I described this Deadshot as generic, but that’s really only in the context of the game. Taken on its own, this design has a lot of different elements and a pretty good profile. Not necessarily as Deadshot, but if it were some kind of military specialist in something else it might be cool. As far as the sculpt itself goes, the figure is full of detail. No complaints there.

PACKAGING

DCC’s new “easy open” clamshell, which is easier to open but could still slice you down to the bone if you’re not careful. I dig the shape of the package and the raised logo, but I think it could possibly be shortened a bit. With larger figures like Bane and Killer Croc getting their own style of packaging, I don’t see why the regular figures need boxes this big.
There are no individual bios on DC Collectibles figures. I wish there were.

LOOKS

I have to address the character design, even though the purpose of this review is to look at how well the figure captures that design; not to critique the design itself. I can’t help it. Because when I see something as weird as Deadshot’s wrist guns just sitting on top of his puffy jacket sleeves without pressing down on them at all, it bugs the crap out of me:

How the heck does that work? Does he have Popeye forearms?

So I’ll be mentioning some things about the design throughout the review. Because if I haven’t made it clear by now, I really don’t care for this design.

The head actually looks a whole lot more like Deadshot than the Arkham City Deadshot. The balaclava has sculpted seams and the gear has a ton of detail. Normally I wouldn’t be a fan of the added headphones or whatever it is that’s going on there, but it actually makes a lot more sense than a standalone eyepiece. One thing I do appreciate about pretty much all of the Arkham redesigns is the attempt to make things a little more grounded without losing the fantastical comic book elements. This franchise succeeds everywhere that Nolan’s movies failed.

The paint is precise and there’s no slop anywhere or portions where colors have bled into the wrong areas. The one exposed eye is clean and precise, with the iris and cornea perfectly centered – no derp!

Deadshot’s jacket is complicated and somewhat confusing. There is a lot going on. It almost looks like he’s wearing a ribbed corset and an armored bolero jacket. Which is, of course, something you would only see at Dragon Con.

DCC captured the detail on this thing amazingly well. Not just the various seams and panels and zippers, but the creases and folds in the fabric; as well as the various textures. In the case of the latter it isn’t so much the sculpt as it is the paint, but each of the elements looks like a different fabric. The articulation is worked into the sculpt nicely, though the design abdominal rocker joint is what creates such a drastic separation in the profile of the jacket. The bullets on the right shoulder look cool but don’t really make any sense. They are a separately sculpted piece and look the better for it. They are distinct from the jacket and do at least look like more than just decoration. The belt at the bottom of the jacket looks great. The clasp and clips are sculpted and painted precisely.

The wrist guns look good. As much as it shouldn’t be necessary with Deadshot’s signature eyepiece, I like the addition of the scopes. I also dig the design with the mount plate and the double straps going around the forearms. Both of the figures hands are gloved fists, which is how they should be. He’d look goofy shooting his wrist guns with flat hands.

Deadshot has what is absolutely not a fanny pack. It has an excellent thickness, sculpt, and paint job. The belt it is attached to is part of the figure, but is so defined I had to look closely to see that. As you guys should know by now, I am totally down with pouches on characters. People should have places to carry their stuff.

The trousers are basic but sculpted with folds and wrinkles, so they look good aside from the hideous cut joints on the thighs. Man. Those are bad. The knee pads are cool even if they do look like they’re from Home Depot. 
 
Deadshot’s crazy boots get their own paragraph. They look amazing. The treads, layers, buckles, laces, straps – it’s all very realistic and give these things the most personality of any footwear on any other figure I own. Okay, maybe not that much, but they look great and have a thickness that clearly identifies them as cold weather gear. Even the gap at the top where the trousers are tucked in adds so much to the profile of the figure.

That’s one thing this figure is totally successful at – there’s no doubting this Deadshot is an Arctic Action variation. He needs a snowboard.

ACCESSORIES

Sadly, he does not come with a snowboard or anything else (that segue just happened, people – I couldn’t have planned something that perfect). It’s not actually sad because there’s nothing he should have come with. Deadshot is a self-contained murder machine.

FUN

You can’t tell just by looking at him (which is a good thing), but Deadshot has a ton of useful articulation. Almost all of his joints have a greater range than what I was expecting. The shoulders look like they’re too large to move too much, but they can achieve fairly wide movements. The elbows swivel and pivot, though not too deeply. The wrists also swivel and pivot so that they can be moved down for firing action.

I was particularly impressed with the ankles on this guy. After Firefly’s unarticulated ankles, I assumed Deadshot’s big honkin’ boots would be static. But they have swivel pivot joints similar to what Hasbro is using on their 6” scale figures. They don’t have the best range, but they do support the rest of the leg articulation fairly well.

What does not support leg movement is that fanny pack pouch. It pretty much keeps the right leg from doing anything. Despite that, this figure still enjoys a pretty good range of flexibility.

The only thing really hurting this guy’s play value is the lack of anything to interact with, but like I said – Deadshot doesn’t need anything else.

OVERALL

I may not be crazy about the design, but DCC nailed that design and even managed to make a pretty fun figure. I can’t imagine a better figure being released that managed such a good profile and amount of detail. This is one of the instances where DCC got the most they possibly could out of one of their interpretations.

5 out of 5

I can’t call this a must-have by any means, but if you want a cold weather gear assassin, go by one from Amazon and help out Needless Things!:


2 comments:

  1. Another awesome review! Something that's always bugged me though: why do several of these Arkham characters (Deadshot, Deathstroke) have that weird line of bullets on their shoulders? If they actually needed to use 'em, they'd have to reach to the back of their shoulder ('cause most bullets have a wider bottom so they couldn't pull from the front) pull the bullet out, and load it one at a time. For Deadshot, I suppose they could be sniper bullets, but I thought Deathstroke had shotgun slugs on his shoulder pad. Either way it just seems inconvenient, but maybe I'm wrong, haha.

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    1. Those shoulder bullets are definitely just for show. I can accept them as just neat design choices to make the profile more interesting.

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