Chris Uminga's art invokes the cute and the scary, as this image of horror icons in elementary school epitomizes. Cute wins out slightly, with a Funko-ish aesthetic that nonetheless looks like it draws from influences like Tim Burton and Jhonen Vasquez.
As part of its new "Artists Alley" line, inspired by street art and distinctive takes on iconic characters, DC Collectibles is kicking off with Uminga's take on the core three, sculpted by Joe Menna: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. There are multiple variant versions, with Hot Topic getting zombie color schemes, Gamestop getting villain versions (Joker in Batsuit, Cheetah in Amazon armor, and Super-Luthor), Box Lunch getting glow-in-the-dark variants, black-and-white variants everywhere, and three different Batman variants at Entertainment Earth's Comic-Con booth. Sets were shipped out to toy reviewers at random, and I got the standard edition, which is probably the set your casual consumer will want most anyway.
The packaging presentation is nice: the boxes feature the foil 20th anniversary logos for DC Collectibles, and the boxes have a wraparound flap on the front held in place with magnets, so you can easily open them into display positions.
It's a somewhat collector-friendly design, slightly marred by two minor details. The first is that if you want to get that picture card out, you have to tear off a thin plastic strip, and it's very easy to tear the cardboard when you do.
The cards probably look better in the box sleeve anyway, but they come with an extra blank, presumably for anyone who wants to draw their own on official DC stationery.
The second is that Wonder Woman and Batman are held in place by plastic bands which you'll have to break to get them out. Superman is not, so you can take him in and out of package as often as you desire.
While these are cartoon style, small details like the crease in the costume as black artists' lines make these really feel like comics come to life.
Batman's slightly peeved expression says a lot using very little. He also works the best with pupil-less eyes; Superman can maybe claim X-ray vision mode, but Wonder Woman does come off the most Chris Uminga-creepy in this regard.
While the figures are fairly solid and hard, smaller details like the lasso, Batman's glove fins, and Supes' cape have a little flex/give so they don't feel like they'll snap off. You can have fun with them.
As for scale, here's a group shot alongside some popular 6-inch figures and a Funko Pop. (Poe Dameron's kinda small, huh.)
At $40 apiece, these feel like a good value. They're individually numbered as well, with the standard editions limited to a run of 3,000, and the variants significantly less.
They certainly won't look out of place among similarly collectible characters.
Kids might not find them super-interesting to play with, but as display pieces their childlike appearances may appeal to young 'uns who want to see themselves as superheroes. Adults are more likely to just appreciate a casual, fun take on the classics.
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Images: Luke Y. Thompson