Monday, February 20, 2017

Action Figure Review: Green Arrow from One:12 Collective: DC Universe by Mezco

 Today I'm reviewing the first non-Batman related DC Universe figure from Mezco's One:12 Collective line: Green Arrow! The Green Arrow has had a tremendous surge in popularity over the past few years thanks to the TV series Arrow so it's possible that Mezco wanted to benefit from some of that momentum. Of course, this version of Oliver Queen isn't based on any particular iteration of the character's appearance; instead, it's a melange of elements from various looks over the years. Look closely and you'll see elements from classic, modern, and the Stephen Amell version of the character. This medley of various seems to be the driving aesthetic in both Mezco's Marvel and DC Comics designs and I'm really liking it. It's kind of refreshing and actually feels new and exciting. Let's check out this high-end toy of the Emerald Archer, shall we?

 The Facts:

Height: 6 1/2 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, thigh swivels,  swivel/hinge hips, ball-jointed waist, ball-jointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders w/ "butterfly" joints, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a double ball-jointed head.

Accessories: Bow, arrow, triple arrow, Kryptonite arrow, explosive arrow, grappling hook arrow, arrow cluster, knife, 10 interchangeable hands, display stand, accessory bag, and a posing arm.

Non-Scalper Price: $75

 The Positives:

 * The articulation on the One:12 Collective line is just fantastic and is, quite possibly, the best and sturdiest 1/12th scale articulation on the market. The joints feel designed and crafted to perfection; you'll really be amazed by how sturdy the figure feels and how easy it is to put it in the poses you want to see. The slight bulkiness of Ollie's tunic may inhibit his motion a little, but not by much. He can also hold a fairly legitimate archery pose, too.
 * While the costume takes a lot of cues from modern appearances, the headsculpt is very classic with the Van Dyke beard given to him by comics great Neal Adams. The sculpt is excellent and manages to walk the fine line between being an Errol Flynn tribute and looking like a modern urban vigilante. The paintwork is excellent and the sculpt is incredibly detailed. It's a great looking sculpt that has a very timeless quality to it.

* One of the coolest elements of this figure is the hood. In every picture it seems oversized but, in person, it looks fantastic. The hood is attached to the pleathery tunic (which I'll get to in a minute) and folds up and down neatly thanks to some hidden internal wires. You really can set this hood almost perfectly in a variety of poses, giving you the chance to combine the head and hood articulation for some incredibly expressive poses.

* Here's the tunic I just mentioned. It does have a functional zipper, but it's not really designed to be taken off. Underneath is a black spandex body suit (sorry fans of the shirtless Arrow!). The two shades of green used here look really good together and manage to tastefully blend a superhero vibe with a real-world aesthetic. I love how this tunic sets over the figure's body, capturing a layered look that plastic just couldn't achieve.
 * The harness is not removable, but I'm not sure why you'd want to take it off as it's an excellent piece. It adds to the complexity but still feels like a necessary piece of equipment for Ollie. The paintjob used to give these a leather-like appearance is excellent. I'm not quite sure what the round tubes on the sides are for, though. Anyone know? They look kind of cool. Maybe they hold the arrowheads for the more high-tech arrows?

* Ollie's wearing standard looking gloves and arm wraps and some more heavy duty forearm guards. The paintwork is really cool on these, particularly the attention paid to all of the little dings and scratches something like this would acquire. They don't swivel like most other arm guards in this line, but I haven't experienced any distress because of that. 

 * Ollie's also wearing some cool boots with armored greaves strapped over them. They also are sporting the intricate wear and tear that the arm guards show. Oh, and the soles of the boots have a very cool traction pattern with black and green spots. Maybe these are some sort of specially designed sole for parkour and other free running activities?
 * Green Arrow comes with 10 different hands overall. The first 8 are fairly standard but switch out easily and feature somewhat rubbery fingers to help aid in holding accessories. You get a set of fists (for punchin'!), a set of grips (for grabbin'!), a set of arrow clasping hands (for arrowin'!), a right hand designed to grip a knife (for stabbin'!), and a right hand designed to hold the tip of an arrow when drawing from the quiver (for drawin!).

 * The last pair of hands are pretty cool: They're designed to mimic the hands an archer might make just after releasing an arrow. These really give a lot of personality to a pose and they look great in action.

 * This is a pretty modern looking bow which goes well with the rest of Ollie's costume. It's nothing insanely fancy but it definitely seems better than what your average street archer might carry. And no, I have no idea what an average street archer is. The bow has a nice paintjob and comes pre-strung with a pretty tight string.

 * To carry his arrows around, the Green Arrow is toting a pretty heavy duty quiver. This looks like a custom piece rather than something "bought off the rack" and it also looks nicely armored. It's also covered in dents and scratches, showing off Ollie's numerous brushes with danger.

* Want to know what the Green Arrow fires at that bad guys? Why arrows of course. Green arrows, in fact. Yes, the green arrow does come with a green arrow for his bow. It's actually kind of sharp on the end, too.

* Need to take out more than two but less than four guys at the same time? Why not try this cool set of three arrows. They're all attached at the bottom (it's tough to tell) and give Ollie the chance to be displayed as if he's lining a particularly difficult trick show.

* Preparing to take down a whole mess of guys? You're going to need to fill that quiver! This piece is actually just a "prop" that fits in Ollie's quiver to give the illusion that it's filled with arrows. After putting it in, there's still room for the single arrow and some of the trick arrows.

 * When things need to escalate a bit, Ollie has to break out the big guns. This arrow is listed on Mezco's website as a PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate) explosive arrow. Seems like a pretty wicked little guy, doesn't it? The sculpt and texture on this one are really nice.

* Need help getting around? Ollie's also packing a grappling hook arrow. Be careful with this one, as it seems like it could be a bit fragile (don't really hang your figure from this) but it looks really cool.

* The last cool arrow is a Kryptonite tipped arrow, just like the one Batman created for Green Arrow to use in The Dark Knight Returns. The tip is actually translucent green.

* When an arrow just won't do, Ollie's also packing a combat knife for close quarters. It's got a really nice grip and a serrated edge along the top of the blade for making more random arrows on the fly.

* The combat knife slides neatly into a small sheathe on the back of Green Arrow's belt.

* To carry all of the little accessories and extra hands when not in use, Mezco also gives you a cool branded bag. It's just a simple plastic bag with a Ziploc styled bag, but it's appreciated.

 * Like the other One:12 Collective figures, the Green Arrow features a round display base featuring a logo. The Green Arrow is emblazoned on the base and an off-centered peg helps to keep the figure nice and secure.

 *  There is also an articulated display arm that can be inserted where the peg is (you just have to remove the peg). You can get some great, secure poses here as the joints are very nice and tight on the display bar. It can absolutely support the figure's weight if you want to depict Ollie leaping in the air while firing off some wild trick shots.
 The Negatives:

* Like with Captain America, the ankle joints don't have a lot of pivot to them. The hinge works OK, but I'd really like to be able to have some lateral movement. Mezco just addressed this at their pre-Toy Fair 2017 event, so hopefully we'll see some change soon.

 * It's a pretty small issue, but there is a little bit of loose string on the back of my figure. Scissors should take of this quickly. I guess this is bound to happen whenever working with real soft goods, right?

* A real issue I have with the figure is that the string on the bow really doesn't have much give to it. Look at this picture from Mezco: It's clear they have a different string on this. I actually would have liked to have seen either two different strings (maybe one a preposed thin wire) or two different poses (one sculpted as if it were being pulled back) to give the figure better shooting options.


* I wonder why Green Arrow is the only figure thus far (other than Armored Batman) to not include an alternate portrait? It seems kind of odd considering everyone else has one. I would have loved to have seen a smiling or smirking face, or maybe even a face with smeared eyepaint rather than the classic domino mask.

   Green Arrow isn't a perfect figure, but he's still really, really good. My biggest complaint is that while the figure is perfectly capable of holding a bow properly due to his exceptional articulation, the bow isn't really capable of being drawn properly. I would have loved to have seen Mezco do something really unique here. Still, the general look and feel of this piece is perfect. Green Arrow is a Great 1/2 figure and a very, very solid release in this line.

If you're looking for more Green Arrow figures, the only other one I've reviewed is The Arrow from Mattel's DC Comics Multiverse line. For more One:12 Collective reviews, check out the following:

One:12 Collective DC Universe (2015)
Armored Batman: Batman V. Superman (Convention Exclusive)
Batman: Batman V. Superman 
Batman and Mutant Leader (SDCC Exclusive)
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (PX Previews Exclusive)

One:12 Collective Marvel Universe by Mezco (2016)
Captain America  


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