Monday, March 20, 2017

Toy Review – One:12 Collective DC Comics Flash from Mezco Toys


By Phantom Troublemaker
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Wally West is my Flash.

I know that Geoff Johns Rebirthed Barry Allen however long ago that was now, but I first started liking the Scarlet Speedster on Justice League. As with many DC characters, I didn’t truly appreciate Flash until his depiction in the DC Animated Universe, where the combination of brilliant writing and Michael Rosenbaum’s natural charm made Wally West one of the best characters on the show.


Since then I have read a bunch of Wally comics and a bunch of Barry comics. I’ve watched Barry on the live action The Flash TV show. While Grant Gustin is awesome, his Barry Allen is one of the dumbest characters on television and seems to constantly be the source of the problems he has to handle. That’s on the showrunners and not on Gustin, but it’s just another element leading to my preference of Wally. Heck, even Wally 2.0 on the show is a more compelling and sympathetic character at this point.

My point here is that I wasn’t all that interested in this figure when it was initially shown because the Alex Ross-looking Barry head put me off. But then they showed the other head that had a signature Wally West smirk (whether it’s actually supposed to be Wally or not) and a much more comic book style likeness. It sold me on the whole deal.

The other concern I had was about how Mezco would handle Flash’s costume. The was the first neck-to-ankles one piece costume that didn’t have any real texture differences or flair to break it up. Some of the production pics looked more Mego than Mezco, which is totally awesome and fine for a thrity dollar action figure but not so much for an eighty dollar one. The One:12 team had their work cut out for them fitting this bodysuit to look just right on this figure. But I liked the looks of it enough to give it a shot.

FIRST GLANCE

I mentioned in my review of the One:12 Daredevil figure that managed to bring enough detail and extras into that costume to keep it from looking like a guy in his long johns, but that they seemed to use a different aesthetic for Flash. A long john (Geoff Johns?) aesthetic. As soon as I opened the front panel of the box, I knew it had worked.

It does leave me wondering if Mezco has different goals or directives between their DC and Marvel figures. So far the Marvel releases seem to be taking a lot more liberties with character design than the DC figures. Time will tell, I suppose. The amazing thing is that both approaches to design are successful.

PACKAGING

This is the same gorgeous style of box as Captain America’s and Daredevil’s, making it the first DC release I own that didn’t have a plastic slipcover. I wonder if this is a recycling thing. The paper slipcover has various elements printed on it - the front sports a glossy Flash symbol along with the standard branding stuff.

The back of the box features several full color images of the figure in action, along with some detail shots. All of this is on the interior box, as well. The slipcover seems to be there mostly just to keep the box closed. I think the clear plastic looks much nicer, but since these boxes are all just going into storage anyway, it doesn’t matter.


The front panel opens to reveal the figure and a very cool minimalist graphic of Flash in action. There are two magnets in the panel that wraps around the side to keep it closed.


The box opens easily. Inside there are two plastic trays, each with their own cover. These separate easily and are not taped together, which I liked. The bottom tray holds the arm and armature for the display stand and a storage bag. Everything else in is in the top tray. The figure itself had a plastic piece around it to protect against scratching. There were a couple of pieces of film on various accessories to preserve the paint and keep them in place.

This is a fantastic box. It’s a perfect combination of everything that collector packaging should be – it has a beautiful design, it’s easy to open and remove the figure, and it’s also completely resealable with no sign of damage; not even tape marks. Mezco put together a box that is utilitarian and attractive. I didn’t have even a second of difficulty removing any piece of the toy from the box, and that’s significant.

LOOKS

I don’t like the default head, but that doesn’t mean it is bad. It’s my opinion that it looks way too much like an Alex Ross Flash and that it doesn’t fit the aesthetics of the One:12 line. But it is an immaculately crafted piece. The detail on the mask looks very good, particularly the sculpt of the facial openings. They’re stylized without straying too far from what we’re used to. The “ears” are separate pieces permanently attached and they loom so much better than what’s on most Flash figures I have. I do recommend extreme caution when handling the heads, though. These pieces are fairly sturdy, but during posing and especially head-swapping I think it might be easy to inadvertently break them.

My issue isn’t the mask; it’s the face underneath. It looks too old, I think. I can’t quite put my finger on it. The sculpt and paint are excellent, just not what I want in a Flash figure.


Flash’s costume is a red one piece from neck to ankles. It’s Mezco’s magical stretchy material and it looks great. The seams are strategically placed and, like all One:12 releases, carefully managed to stay in scale with the figure. These are not the huge, clumsy seams of so many smaller scale soft goods toys. The pictures are not doing this spandex-clad speedster justice. In person, the suit is much more form-fitting and sleek than it appears here.


Flash is built on a smaller body, about the same as Daredevil. It’s perfect for a Speedster.
The Flash symbol is hard plastic that is affixed to the figure through the bodysuit. It’s pretty sturdy, but I’d be careful about the ends of the lightning bolt. The paint is bright and precisely applied. The Lightning Belt (get it?) is attached to the figure at the back and is otherwise independent of the suit, which allows it to stay in the correct position while the suit moves underneath it. It’s an ingenious design.


Rather than trying to incorporate the hands and forearm bolts into the suit, the designers decided to just give Flash gloves. It works nicely. The bolts are well-defined and are bright yellow to match the other highlights on the figure. The hands are smooth rather than featuring seams and creases like some of the other figures. I think this somewhat addresses my curiosity about Flash’s design versus the others – Flash needs to be sleek and slick. 
Seams and detail don’t look aerodynamic and would take away from the suggestion of someone that moves faster than light. The people that designed Ezra Miller’s Flash movie suit would do well to consider that. That thing is a hideous eyesore.


If you are, however, running at light speed, you’re going to need some fancy footwear. Flash’s boots match the sleekness of the rest of the figure (aside from the absurd but necessary bolts on the ankles), but with some nice utilitarian touches. You’ve got to have traction to go fast, and the soles of the boots have cool, tire-like treads on them. I might have liked for these to be a little taller, but they’re fine as-is.

ACCESSORIES

Flash comes with a stand, a posing armature, an extra head, four extra hands, four Speed Force effects, a hand tornado effect, and a storage bag.


For some reason Flash’s hands are a little harder to swap out than any of the other One:12 figures I own. But they do stay put and all of them look great. I’m so glad I finally have a great Flash with karate hands (running hands). The other set are sort of “NOOOOOOOOOO” hands, if you know what I mean. They’re fine, but I might have preferred regular relaxed hands.


The tornado thing plugs into Flash’s wrist peg. This would have been way too heavy and a complete fail for most twelfth scale figures, but thanks to Flash’s tight and plentiful articulation (and the armature on the stand, if needed) you can get a lot of poses with this thing installed. It looks awesome.


It takes a little effort to figure out how to best attach the Speed Force effects. There seem to be a lot of different ways to do it. I honestly didn’t mess with them too much because it was getting really late when I was taking these pictures, but they all look cool. I love the color gradation in the translucent pieces. 



These are some of my favorite One:12 accessories so far and they make me eager to see what Mezco does with a Green Lantern figure. 
Personally, I’m hoping for Jon Stewart first, but we’ll see.


Flash’s alternate head is perfection. This is exactly the face I see in my head when I picture the character. I prefer the covered eyes because it seems insane to me that Flash wouldn’t cover his eyes. And that smirk is just priceless. It says “I am the fastest man alive”.

It takes a little more care to swap out Flash’s heads than the other One:12s. It isn’t difficult, but you definitely have to account for the bolts. At least they won’t stab holes in your fingers like that jerk Batman.


The base is super shiny and will scratch easily, so be careful. There’s a removable peg so that you can simply stand the figure on it, but there is also two an armature if you want more extravagant poses. It holds the figure in various jumping or kicking positions; aerial stuff.
The bag is plastic and has a zipper seal on it. There is a spot to presumably write the figure’s name. I won’t be doing that. I do store the extra parts in there in a drawer, though. If I put everything back in the box I’d never pull the parts out and use them.

FUN

I don’t know if it’s because I mostly only wanted him to be running, but Flash’s articulation seems to be the most satisfying of the One:12 figures so far. All of the joints work quite nicely with each other and even the ankles seem to have a little deeper bend than other recent releases.

The articulation on these figures is always tremendous, even when the odd joint is more limited than you expect. The head can do pretty much whatever you want, the shoulders have a huge range, the knees and elbows are double-jointed with super deep bends, and the torso has two highly functional joints. Aside from a deep squat, this figure can do just about anything a human could do and more. I played around with various running and motion poses for quite a while and I can see this guy staying on my desk basically until a more exciting figure comes along. And that could be a while.

The accessories are fantastic. Short of the Cosmic Treadmill, I can’t think of much better to go with this guy. And unmasked head would, of course, be great, but wasn;t really necessary.

OVERALL

I wasn't sure if I would end up liking this figure and I certainly didn’t expect him to be my favorite, but it happened. I can’t decide exactly what it is, but something about Flash just seems perfect to me. There are a couple of things I might have done differently, like the height of the boots, but just looking at this guy makes me happy. Mezco absolutely nailed it with this one. So much so that I’m going to have to get Zoom, who I definitely didn’t intend on buying.

5 out of 5

Mezco rejected my request to join their affiliate program and get a discount on their products for my reviews, so if you want to help Needless Things pay the bills buy this Flash (or anything else) from Amazon!:


Or, if you enjoy Flash, toys, or Needless Things, you might enjoy SupportPhantom.com.

2 comments:

  1. yeah, the alternate head just changes it- goes from "nice presentation" to "it's the Flash!". funny, huh?

    ReplyDelete