Saturday, March 19, 2016

Action Figure Review: Ozymandias from Watchmen by Mattel

Today I'm looking at the fourth figure in Mattel's Watchmen line: Mr. Adrian Veidt, AKA Ozymandias. Well, he's the fourth figure I'm reviewing at least. Originally Ozymandias arrived at the end of 2012 and was the last figure in the Club Black Freighter subscription. Before I jump in and talk about this figure, I want to give a few observations the line so far. First, let's just agree that ever since the comic itself teased the idea of "Watchmen" action figures, comic fans have probably been hankering for these figures. Mattel definitely managed to catch this incredible property at the right time and, with MattyCollector, should have had the right distribution avenue in place. Unfortunately, like with Ghostbusters, Voltron, and Back to the Future, Mattel Collector just couldn't go the distance with these figures. I picked these up in a trade, so I'm probably a bit less critical of these, but I think it's clear that Mattel really focused on making these as cheaply as possible. In this interview with former brand manager Scott Neitlich, almost every question seems to focus on how this line was really produced with as many corners cut as possible. Just keep that in mind as we take a closer look at Ozymandias, after the break...

 The Facts:

Height: 6 1/2 inches

Articulation: Hinged ankles, hinged knees, swivel thighs, H-hinged hips, swivel waist, mid-torso hinge, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, and a ball-jointed head.

Accessories: Alternate unmasked head, display stand, and an art print.

Original Retail Price: $25 dollars
 The Positives:

*I will say that one thing that's pretty cool about Ozymandias is that he comes with an alternate unmasked portrait. I'm not sure how necessary this accessory is, but I've got to give credit where credit is do. Of course, I would have much rather had alternate heads for the Comedian or Rorschach. The heads swap pretty easily, which is pretty nice.

* While it has it's problems, I do appreciate that Mattel used an overlay to create Ozymandias' billowy tunic rather than just using a standard body. There's a bit of a dark spray on the robes that attempts to give them some dimension. The gold color used here rocks and really captures the flashy, regal style of Ozymandias. 

* His forearms and boots seem like unique pieces to me. Honestly, Ozymandias might require you to give a long hard look before you realize he's built on a standard DC Universe Classics body.

 * Every figure in this line comes with a display stand, something I'm pretty jazzed about. It's a simple disc and peg stand but the presentation is awesome. The word "Watchmen" is sculpted on the base with a yellow disc behind it. It looks great and functions really well. I wish the DC Universe Signature Collection had come with stands; I'm always in favor of stuff like this.
 * The packaging and included art prints for this series are really pretty cool. I did a pretty extensive rundown of the packaging in my review of the Comedian, so make sure to check that out, but I'll mention the unique elements here:

+ The Ozymandias print is new and features a bio on the other side.

+The Doomsday Clock on the front of the package is set at just minutes until midnight while the side panels feature the sixth part of the "Who Watches the Watchmen?" mural and a an image of an Egyptian eye.

There's not much packaging worth keeping, but this collector friendly packaging is pretty grand and quite fun.
 The Negatives:

* I can admire that Mattel tried to give Ozymandias a unique overlay, although creating a new torso and some new limbs might have been better. As it stands, Veidt has little upper torso articulation.

*The alternate head is OK, but surely a $25 dollar figure should have come with something else. Maybe expecting Bubastis is a bit of a stretch, but surely something else cool could have been included.

 Remember what I said at the beginning about Mattel's odd handling of this line? Take Ozymandias for example: He's a pretty cool figure, but why no accessories? He has an alternate head, but why don't any of the other characters who would make better use of such a feature (the Comedian's leather hood and Rorschach's unmasked face)? Rather than create a unique sculpt, Mattel creates a nice looking overlay, but it hinders his articulation. Veidt here is a Good and a 1/2 figure, but with a property like Watchmen and a $25 per figure asking price? These all should have been superhuman.

I've reviewed three other figures in this series so far: The Comedian, Nite Owl, and Dr. Manhattan. I'm working on reviewing the entire series and should have everything in the action figure review index by the end of the next week.


  1. Huh, his head looks a little small, doesn't it? I like the stand though!

    1. I think the head looks smaller due to the odd way Mattel handled the overlay piece that gives Ozymandias his suited body. It seems comparable to the head size of most other figures.


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