Wednesday, June 18, 2014

DC Designer Series: Nightwing Action Figure Review

Welcome to another HiddenLevel Action Figure Review!  The subject of today's review is DC COMICS DESIGNER SERIES: NIGHTWING ACTION FIGURE from DC Collectibles.  This action figure is based on character designs by the best-selling artist, Greg Capullo.  It was an April-May release and is retail priced at $24.95US.  Other figures from this line include Batman, The Riddler, and Talon.  

Nightwing is a superhero identity assumed by numerous fictional characters in the DC Comics universe. Prior to DC's continuity-altering 1985 limited series, Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Nightwing identity was depicted as an invention of Superman's during a time when he and Jimmy Olsen act as vigilantes in the Kryptonian city of Kandor; Superman draws inspiration from his encounters with Batman and Robin. Post-Crisis, the name is attributed to a historic Kryptonian crimefighter; this hero serves as an inspiration for Dick Grayson when he sheds his Robin identity and assumes the name and a new costume. Grayson was featured in an ongoing Nightwing series between 1996 and 2009, before Grayson took on the identity of Batman. After Grayson's return to the Nightwing identity during DC's 2011 event The New 52, a new Nightwing series was also established. In 2013 Nightwing moves from Gotham, where he had been since the start of the New 52, to Chicago.
I included the above information about Nightwing from his Wikipedia page, but most of it pertains to Nightwing's entire DC history rather than just what this this figure represents, which is the New 52 DC version, specifically from the Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo story lines.  Even so, most of this information should still be applicable to the character.  At least until DC changes it.

Packaging:  The package across this series is very similar.  What you get is a predominately white box with a clear window with a view of most of the figure from the front.  Each figure has a uniquely colored font and graphics along with a character sketch on the side.  The back of the box has photos of each figure in the series.  It is easy enough to take the figure out of the box without damaging the package and then putting it back and have it look as good as new.  The only issue I had was that the tape used to seal the box was really yellowed which stuck out quite a bit against the white background. (Batman is shown in the picture because I have already thrown out Nightwing's box.)

Verdict: 8/10 - A great package if you like to take you figures out to play with then repackage to display.

Sculpt:  This Nightwing figure very true to Greg Capullo's design of the character.  His style can very much be seen in the sculpt of the head.  The suit he is wearing is specific to the New 52 version of the costume.  It consists of a body suit that is armored somewhat at the neck and has a wing-like design that is sculpted (not just painted) across the chest and back, and also extends down the arms. The gauntlets and boots also look to have over-lapping armor. Much like Batman's costume, the bottom of each forearm of the gauntlets has 3 blades, the boots have heavy treaded soles, and the character is also sporting knee pads.

Verdict: 8.5/10 - Great looking artist specific sculpt, but also works a a generic Nightwing.

Scale:  The scale for this figure comes out to be somewhere around 6"(1:12) and 7"(1:10) scale.  The figure is just above 6.5" which means he fits in for the most part with a lot of the newer DC Collectibles figures.  I personally think he is a bit out of scale when compared to the Batman from this series.  In the comic, Nightwing is always drawn as being shorter than Batman, but with these figures he is about the same height if not just a little taller (if you don't could Batman's ears).  The other thing that throws him off is the fact that his head is bigger than Batman's.  I really think he should have been scaled down another 5 to 10%.  He definitely does not work with most Mattel DC Universe figures unless it's some of the odd sized Collect-and-Connect figures, he is just too big.

Verdict: 7/10 - Not a great fit with some of the figures, but not terribly out of whack either.

Paint:  I'm still having some issues with the paint on this line of figures.  The color choices are really good and match the comics perfectly. This figure wasn't as bad as some of the other DC Collectibles figures I've gotten, but I'm still getting some paint rubbing off at the joints.  The edges on the red are also very messy, it just isn't a nice crisp line. It wouldn't be all that noticeable if it wasn't bright red on black.  I will say that it looks a lot more obvious in the photos than in person.  The paint on the head looks alright, but again, the edge of the mask isn't very clean and crisp. The gauntlets, boots, and knee pads are gloss black  where as the rest of the suit is matte black which offers some nice contrast and keeps the black on black from being too boring.

Verdict: 7/10 - The colors are great, application of the paint just needs to be cleaner.

Articulation:  The articulation on the newer DC Collectibles action figures is really what's drawn me to the line.  These are far from the near statues that DC Direct was once producing.  For a figure like Nightwing, articulation is a must.  You can't have an acrobat/street-level superhero just standing around.  Honestly, for this particular character, I would have liked articulation with a little more range so I could really have him show off his circus skills, but I'm still very happy with what is there.

Nightwing has joints in the following locations:

  • Ball-jointed neck
  • Hinge and swivel shoulders
  • Swivel Biceps
  • Hinged elbows
  • Swivel at top of glove
  • Hinge and swivel wrists
  • Hinged torso
  • Swivel waist
  • Double hinged hips
  • Swivel thighs
  • Double hinged knees
  • Hinge and swivel ankles

  • The only issue I have had with my figure is that the waist swivel is stuck, probably due to the paint.  I should be able to work it loose in time, but as with any stuck joint there is always the fear that it might break.

    Verdict: 9/10 - Nightwing plenty of articulation to get him into really great poses.

    Accessories:  Nightwing comes with his weapons of choice, two Eskrima truncheons (batons).  They don't have any real detail to them, they are just two short pieces of plastic rod.  Some sculpted grip or any sort of detail would have been nice, but I guess they look the way they were drawn.  There is also no place to put them when he's not holding them.  It's good to have these accessories, because they would have been missed had they not been include, but they are also not terribly exciting.

    Verdict: 4/10 - A base stand would have been nice, and maybe some other weapons or hands.

    Overall:  For the price these figures are going for, a few more accessories and slightly better paint work would be very welcome.  That being said, this is still a very cool action figure and is a great addition to the Bat-Family. This is my favorite Nightwing figure that I currently own and would recommend his to any Dick Grayson fan.  Now I just need a Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Red Robin in this style.

    Verdict: 8/10 - A great addition to the growing number of well articulated figures coming from DC Collectibles.

    - Brunpuppies

    Click Here for a review of the DC Collectibles Batman action figure.
    Click Here for a review of Talon and other action figures.
    Click Here for a review of the DC Collectibles Bizarro action figure.
    Click Here for a review of the DC Multiverse '89 Batman action figure.
    Click Here for a review of Link from Legend of Zelda.

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