Ever since the wave was announced in ToyFare complete with pictures, there were only two figures I really wanted: Zatanna and ol' Monkeybrains here. Ok, and maybe Alan Scott. It seemed like it was going to be a tall order to get a build-a-figure without getting the figures themselves but what could one do?
Well, just a couple of Sundays back, I ventured down to the local weekly toy "flee" market after missing it for various reasons over the past month or so. And guess what? He was right there. And only for S$50! (That's a low, low US$39!) That's right, just the CnC itself, no other figures that I didn't want attached.
Yet, I didn't get him initially because he was the only one left and had pretty bad paint splash on the back of his leather costume. So this weekend, I paid a visit to the market once more and what did I find? My regular seller Dave (from the reputable Dave's Toylet, no less) had a couple more pieces on hand. He told me one was scuffed pretty badly on the back his uniform so he'd only charge $45. But thank goodness the other Humanite he had was in good condition and still gave me a further S$2 discount on that. So US$37+ for one of the latest CnCs? Hell, Yeah!
So the remaining question would be: where did these figures come from, and so cheap at that?
I can only think of one place: China. Straight out of the quality control reject bin. And while it's still a great figure, you'll see why it might have failed QC as we look at the ultimate smart-monkey himself (the Ultra-Humanite, not me) right after the jump!
Like: The highly detailed face. Eyes, teeth, fur, sneer--it all says Epic Evil Mastermind!
Like: His proportions, especially those of his arms to legs. It's very ape-like (duh, cuz he's a monkey, after all). But he's also a genius, down to his uppity accent, so he's also got a very human posture. Having said that, his long arms combined with his articulation allow him to look ape-ish or human-ish, depending if the situation requires more brute force or evil genius.
And these ball joints are the best kind--no alignments of hinges necessary before movement--ya just move 'em whichever way you feel like!
The "skirt", of course, also protects his modesty when he's doing all that monkeying around!
Dislike: The little QC failings--but I can't complain though, because he's probably a factory QC failed figure, and I'll never ever find him loose for this cheap anywhere else!
Among his flaws:
-Minor paint splash here and there from his yellow spikes onto his harness.
-Left bicep post can't fully plug into the shoulder (It's kinda stuck 3/4 of the way, as you can see.)
-Lower half of his upper torso isn't properly glued together.
Dislike: The one main flaw: The super loose waist-to-lower-torso joint. The lower half of him dangles. But the upside is that the figure is bulky and stable enough that he can still balancing on his own.
Like: His large size! This is key because the Ultra-Humanite should be larger than most. He's not as big as Kilowog and definitely not Chemo, but he's still a monster. And this is key because larger figures are usually more stable and thus have better play/pose value.
Like: The semi-open hands. These allow him to grip super heroes, "hold" guns, kinda point at things, even! I wish they'd given him either open or closed fists though, because it's kinda tough to make him look like he's not trying to slap someone instead of punch them.
Dislike: His swivel/hinge wrists. Most of his other flaws have been problems that shouldn't exist on a QC passed, fresh from package CnC figure. But this problem will be inherent of a mint figure too--that while his wrists swivel fully, they can't fully utilize their hinges because of the forearm fur sculpt. It's a real pity, because the intended ass-kickin' wrist articulation would go some way into giving Ultra-Humanite the ape-like flexibility that the character is capable of.
Aesthetics: 8.5/10 - I gotta give to the Four Horseman--they really now how to sculpt that hell out of a large monkey figure. Off the top of my head I'm also thinking of MOTU Classics Gygor and DCUC Gorilla Grodd from Wave 2. Both of them look awesome and Ultra-Humanite does not disappoint either.
They really managed to capture the essence of the character, especially in his face. It's: 1) Evil. 2) Genius. 3) Feral. And they even added a sneer! Just look at those sharp teeth and that ice-cold stare and tell me it doesn't look like he's thinking of 276 ways of doing evil things to you!
The one down side to the figure I got though is the paint. As you can see in the photos, there's bit of it splashed here and there, mostly the yellow from his spikes. It's on his harness, in his "beard," you name it. He's also got a couple of plastic stress marks on the front of his vest.
Then there's his head, which is a ball-on-hinge setup not unlike Kilowog but the motion is also limited by the sculpted fur. It's really a pity because he's got great hip/leg movement. Though he could also use double hinged elbows, it isn't a must.
The star PoAs of this figure by far though are the ball-jointed hips/legs. Really, these are the true ball joints of legend (no pun intended) that don't get stuck when the hinge track and the direction you're bending the joint aren't aligned. It really requires no thought at all to move--all of the thinking has been done in the design process by Mattel. So bravo, Matty! More CnCs should have these!
While on the one hand I'm really happy that they chose to give UH here the best possible articulation, it's a pity that some of it ended up being rather a little useless.
Fun: 9/10 - He's a CnC that's large (and furry), has a sinister look of greed and deception, is a monkey, and has scary brain veins. Bottom line is this: he's simply too much fun!
He's also the first large evil CnC I really wanted because he naturally looks great posed fighting the Justice League or even scheming alone. He's also a brand new figure of a recognizable villain, especially if you're a follower of the Justice League/JLU Animated series. Heck, if you've followed any of the main DC superheroes, you'll know of him because I think he's appeared to fight against each of them at some time or other.
Value: 9/10 - S$48 (US$37) for an exclusive Walmart Wave CnC all at once? Heck yeah! So I may have to fix him up here and there, but I guess it's part of the fun, isn't it? It's kinda why we don't throw way our toys of they break here or bend there--there's a sort of sense of accomplishment you get by "nursing" them back to health. I guess it's why customizers customize and why toys like Legos are such a huge hit. It's a pride thing. So yeah, I'm thrilled to have found UH at a great price and in a good enough condition that I can effect some minor repairs to make him as good as new. :)
Basically, he's a good toy and a great CnC which doesn't lack the one thing that makes the (good) regular figures great: articulation. Yes, some joints are limited but it sure beats not having the PoAs at all. Wave 9's Chemo (head, legs) comes to mind, as does Public Enemies' Brimstone (same great sculpt as Kilowog, but lacks a head, literally.)
And hey, he's the Ultra-Humanite! ;)