I've been one of the few true blue fans of DC Infinite Heroes from the start. While I've also said from day one that they are over priced, I have defended them as fun toys and have collected quite a few since their debut.
I'm no articulationazi, and having grown up with the classic 5 points or less articulation standard, I've been fine with what DCIH had to offer from day one. I often fall in the "less is more" articulation camp anyways.
Well it seems I'm pretty much alone in this, and Mattel has refurbished their standard DCIH "buck" for some of their newest DCIH releases.
Earth 2 Robin is the first DC Infinite Heroes figure I have gotten since the change-over began.
First off, from a character selection standpoint Earth 2 Robin is a character I really wanted when I heard he was a DCIH release. Dick Grayson has grown to adulthood on Earth 2 but has never left Batman's side nor has he altered his alter ego to become Nightwing. He has changed up his costume a bit though, going with a longer cape and less skin. And ditching the pixie boots. How could a Bat fan like me pass up a guy like this?
The new DCIH packaging is similar to the originals, with the plastic bubble molded to give a 3-D-ish effect; this time pronouncing the big three who are shown on all the new figures. A neat effect if only for the few seconds anyone really dwells on such things.
The new DCIH figures, like the latest DCUC fiugures, also come with a collector's button. I admit I like this add-on, and Earth 2 Robin comes with a great button representing original comic art with Earth 2 Batman and Robin.
The packaging also emphasizes that this line is for the "Adult Collector." Why? I don't get it. I understand that toys are being collected by an older audience, and I understand that kids are not likely to know who Earth 2 Robin is (or at least how he differs from any other Robin they are familiar with,) and I understand more adults are buying these DC lines than kids but why call out the designation at Walmart or K-Mart, especially on a line that has done nothing more than anger 99% of the adult collecting fanbase as it is? Is it to justify the price, the lack of availability, or to convince people they need something they otherwise would have passed on? Who knows, but I think it's dumb.
The back of the card is really nice. Some original Robin artwork here, some minimalist stats, DC's 75th anniversary called to attention (am I supposed to buy them a sterling silver gravy boat?) and the current figure line-up are all her along with all your legal jargon (don't choke!) The line-up image is interesting because it only accurately represents a couple of the figures as they appear on the shelves. The newest Joker is totally different (and an improvement) from the first DCIH Joker represented here, the newest Black Canary release is painted differently (blues instead of blacks,) and the Earth 2 Robin shown in this lineup has the old DCIH body. Green Lantern, Firestorm and Two-Face do look like the ones released; Firestorm getting the full blown new treatment and Two-Face being all old body DCIH all the way. GL I think is a combo of the two but I honestly didn't look too closely at his figure when I saw them in the store, so I may be wrong about that one.
Anyways, back to Robin.
Earth 2 Robin's head is a larger scale than most previous DCIH figures, but seems to be proportionate to the all new body. the sculpt is simple but effective.
The new hands are nice and a big change from the ham fists the original DCIH sport.
The body sculpt works on a human character like Robin, but I can see it being less effective on someone like Martian Manhunter (whom I believe shares the same body sculpt.) Robin is articulated all over the place and now that I own him I must say I like the improvements. Although the solid recast DCIH Batman cape limits his movement (cloth please) Robin's 376 new points of articulation work very well and make sense for a circus trained crime fighter.
Unfortunately the new body style does not fit in well with the older DCIH figures. I know Batman has been released with updated articulation, but his head is still too small to be in scale with Earth 2 Robin. Even Tim Drake looks awkward next to this Dick Grayson.
And as for the cost? These guys are still ranging around $6.99 - $7.99. With Marvel Universe ranging around a buck more in most places, this isn't a bad deal for the all new figures. The addition of the button helps offset the lack of accessories, and lets face it, often an accessory ends up in a drawer anyways unless it makes perfect sense for a character to have it.
I do applaud Mattel for giving the line a second chance, but I question buyers' willingness to stay with a line that has either clogged the pegs with sub par entries or has been readily available at close-out prices, or in DCIH's case...both. I did pay full price for Earth 2 Robin but I have seen and walked away from every single other release since the "new" figures started hitting. And that says more about the unique choice of character than the product itself. It would be different if this were a total line re-boot, but with the mix of old and new bodies and old and new parts, it seems more like a half-assed attempt to make a few more dollars off a half-assed attempt to make a toyline in the first place.
And Ironically, Earth 2 Robin will most likely be the pegwarmer of this release, so I will probably find him for a dollar on clearance inside of six months anyways.
Oh well, I dig him.
"I already told you I work alone, weirdo!"