Thursday, April 1, 2010

DC Universe Classics Captain Atom

I think it speaks volumes when we look at a toy from from an older wave in a line or series we like and think that it's better than the newer stuff.  Well, Captain Atom from Wave 4 is just like that.

In fact, the loose one I got from my constant hunting companion, the Rangerlord, is probably a factory reject from China--And it's still better than whatever you can get from the current waves now (like 9 through 11.  I haven't had the chance to crack open my Mary Marvel from Wave 12 yet. ;])

Yes, the newer waves offer better paint and sculpts, while also ensuring the quality control is there for packaged figures.  And this old dude does have his paint issues and joint problems, but he does have his upsides compared to the newer figures.

Just what might they be, you ask?  Well click on the link to make the jump!

Like: First thing's first: his head has a full range of motion.  I mean full.  Like looking up, down, left, right--this guy beats the pants off any of the new "swivel" heads.

Dislike: That he's practically a bobblehead because the neck joint is soooo loose.  That's easily remedied with nail polish after removing his head, so no biggie.

Like: His silver paint.  It's pretty consistent all over his body and his head.  The yellow paint and black outline for his eyes are pretty nice.

Dislike: That it's flaked off at the shoulder hinges.  Also, his left shoulder looks like it's lost a sizable chunk/slice off the top, like the arms have been raised too high and the shoulder got sloughed off as it went into the torso.  Good thing I guess is the increased range of motion? The bad thing is that he literally has a huge chip on his shoulder. Har.

Like:  His general articulation, especially the chest hinge, which is not too tight nor too loose and has great range.  But I guess I'm digging it only because it's been a while since I've played with and reviewed a DCUC figure.

Dislike:  The red paint used for his gloves and the off-centredness of his chest symbol.  The gloves look a tad faded, as if they used the wrong shade of paint for 'em.  These, along with the bobble headed-ness, could be why the figure didn't make it past QC.


Aesthetics: 6/10 - I also forgot to mention his head sculpt, which is a repaint of mullet Superman's head with the hair chopped off.  The hair's simply too long and wavy for a captain in the US Army.  On the other and, the colours are right despite the gloves being a little faded, and chest symbol being off centre slightly.

Poseability: 8/10 - The fantastic range of the head and the chest pivot allow for flying poses.  Along with the standard 23 points of articulation that work the way they are supposed to, it adds up to an easily poseable figure.

Fun: 8/10 - Flying characters are always fun because they add a whole repertoire of poses that a grounded character wouldn't otherwise have. The good Captain here also fires energy bolts from his hands so he'll be a fun guy to make comics with.  He'll also look great alongside Major Force and the rest of the DCUC Public Enemies figures.

Value: 7/10 - I got him real cheap, like around S$12 (US$ 8.50), I think.  That more than S$20 off retail here.  Even with the amount of flaws he has and the touch ups I'll need to do if I want him looking spiffy, I thin he's not bad value for money.  If only he also cam with some accessories, an energy bolt, anything!

Overall: 7.25/10 - I would've really preferred a square top or shorter haircut for Cap Atom, but he's the only version in 6" scale we've got right now, so I'll deal.  I like this figure enough that I'm willing to try and fix him up better.  If you're looking for a solid figure to add to your collection from the older waves, someone who also has a pretty distinct character (who can forget that fight he had with Superman in Cadmus in JLU Animated?), then you could go for Captain Atom here.  He should be reasonably cheap, especially when loose, and has lots of play value despite the lack of accessories.


  1. After reading a lot of the Justice League International recently I have been thinking of getting a Captain Atom to be the slightly dopey sidekick he is.

  2. Yeah, I've heard great things about the JLI series. I didn't know Cap Atom was part of it but I can see how he'd make for a dopey sidekick! :)

  3. "The gloves look a tad faded, as if they used the wrong shade of paint for 'em. These, along with the bobble headed-ness, could be why the figure didn't make it past QC."

    Ha ha ha, you're kidding, right? DCUC figures with WAY worse problems than those have been admitted for packaging without so much as a second glance. ;)

    Anyway, fun review! Now that I actually have a Superman, I kinda wish I hadn't passed on this figure -- that JLU fight was indeed awesome and memorable. If I ever get a DCUC Question and Huntress (if they ever make one), I'll feel the Captain's absence even more strongly.

  4. Actually I'm serious, but I guess I've been luck not to have had any worse issues than these. ;) Oh, I do have a Superman Blue in package with a huge gash across his chest--the seller was nice enough to include a loose one that was fine when I bought it from him. 2 for the price of 1. :) Sometimes I think when the QC dudes in the factories are switching shifts, they let a few figures slip by them on the conveyor belt. ;P

    Well Wes, I think you're gonna feel that loss you mentioned because Huntress has been announce for one of the upcoming waves! Hasn't she?... :P

  5. Ha ha, I dunno! I don't follow DCUC info as closely as I once did since it's a miracle if I ever see the figures I want in stores anymore... and when I do, I generally balk at the price and leave them right there on the shelves.

    I've had plenty of problem DCUC figures, but the worst was that Riddler dripping mold grease. Ugh. If they'd put that slimy thing in a package, I wouldn't think some faded paint would faze them in the least!

  6. Oh wow, the horror stories about some figures just continue to amaze me! And on a Riddler, to boot! I hope the store took that back and gave you the entire Wave 5 in exchange for selling you a ptotential chemical weapon (ok maybe not quite...)

    Pity you don't buy DCUC anymore. Agree that the pricing's getting out of hand. Anyway, I've always been picky about getting characters that I only really want. Those and the one I'm lukewarm anout and are on clearance. Ha!

  7. The only figure I have had a real problem with so far, barring warping from packaging, was from Deathstroke whose joints all felt welded shut. The sucky thing was that I tried lightly twisting one of his arms back and forth trying to loosen it and it twisted OFF. I was not happy.

  8. This is not the only 6" Cap Atom out there, there's also the DCD Public Enemies Cap in McGuiness style. It's true that this is the best, since the other one is built that he must be on steroids. And don't forget this one had a gold variant.

    I learned to like Captain Atom during JLI too. He also got to be the leader of Justice League Europe.

  9. Ah, yes. I stand corrected. I totally forgot about the gold variant. And of course DC Direct. Agree that it's the best out there right now! :)


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