Both Mattel and DC Direct had a stellar year squeezing the Green Lanterniverse for all the characters they could crank out in beautiful, shiny plastics. Being an army builder, I too caught the Lantern bug and when I couldn't get enough characters to satiate my great hunger, I created some of my own. The battle raged across my living room and in the end, Eileen succumbed to the Green hunger as well. When last we saw her, she was hitting dollar stores for those 4 inch movie figures screaming "BRING ME YOUR CONSTRUCTS!!!" She'll be fine. Next week she'll be back to hunting tiny flocked unicorns. Perfectly normal once more.
Before we begin, some notes for the uninitiated (ie; the non toy freaks) Mattel's figures tend to be more articulated and available in more locations like Toys R Us where you can just walk in and pluck your goods on a whim, though these days the pickings are slim. DC Direct offers superior sculpting detail and paints for the more hardcore collector, sacrificing some of the posability and at times, the ability to stand on their own without a stand included in the package.Like the mighty Skittles rainbow, Lanterns come in many a color. Some have seen a great deal of love from the plastic gods. Some..not so much. Our journey into Lantern land had Team Idle scouring local comic shops and ebay to round out teams without breaking my bank account. Here's what we turned up...
(Click lead title for lots more pictures from each set!!)
THE BLACK LANTERNS
How can you not instantly love a story line where dead super heroes come back to life and rip out the hearts of other super heroes to create an army of nearly unstoppable zombies? You can't, so stop trying. Unlike Marvel and their fear of having their supers dead on the pegs to frighten children, the great and powerful Warner Brothers noted the popularity of zombies, comics, and zombies in comics and allowed DC direct to dive head first into their slimy waters. Our profile includes...
Earth 2 Superman (DC Direct) : Older, more decaying Superman
Aquaman (DC Direct) : Now he can only summon dead fish..like your x girlfriend!
Hawkman (DC Direct) : The barren wings give this one some extra points
The Black Hand (2 versions from Mattel and DC Direct, respectively)
Abin Sur (Mattel) : who eagle eye fans will point out looks more like his son, Amon Sur, due to a costume kerfuffle
Nekron (DC Direct) : Leader of the zombie hordes with an exposed heart and a twikle in his eye sockets
We are missing Batman (though we got his flaming skull in there!), Deadman, Hal Jordan, Superman & Wonder Woman (who aren't very zombie looking anyway), Firestorm, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, Hawkgirl and Terra (with Scar). All are DC Direct, except Hal. At $16 a pop when new to retail, you can see why rounding up the lot would have had me eating Ramen noodles for weeks. Luckily, a lot of this stuff has since dropped in price, so you can build your zombie army for around 8 bucks a piece if you search hard enough.
THE RED LANTERNS
Feuled by rage, blinded by an unquenchable thirst for vengeance and spitting acid blood across the galaxy, the Red Lanterns make the perfect characters for a plushie kid's toy line, no? Our profile includes...
Atrocitus (DC Direct) : Leader of the team
Mera (DC Direct) : Aquaman's squeeze sporting a killer scaly sculpt you can't pass up
Dex-Starr (DC Direct and Mattel) ..you will soon realize this is a kitty of dooom
Skallox (Mattel) : Horned warrior
Nite-Lik (Mattel) : Freaky Night Breed looking alien cooked up by Mattel & named after one of their own. Skallox & Nite-Lik come as one figure with extra parts to make the other.
Since 5 wasn't enough, we conjured up some more...
Bloedbad (Mattel with a head from SOTA toys) : Blue ape looking humanoid with the cape whose savagery was well suited for the Red Lanterns. CLICK HERE for a mini bio!
Küçük ölüm (Mattel with head and hands from SOTA toys) : Monk-like humanoid with blank eyes. CLICK HERE for a mini bio!
A Red Lantern Guy Gardner was just released that will be mine. Oh, yes...
THE YELLOW LANTERNS / SINESTRO CORPS
Every hero must have an opposite. For Hal Jordan, that nemesis is Sinestro. In the beginning, Sinestro was your text book baddie who flipped on his Green Lantern brethren to embrace a power he felt was more suited for bringing order to the universe....FEAR. These days, Sinestro is painted more like Magneto, with wide gray areas in his thinking...but his palling around with killers doesn't earn him any sympathy points. Our profile includes...
Sinestro (Mattel) : Leader of his own corps, of course. We've got the silly blue and black suit and since Mattel won't do a suitable wide release, in scale Sinestro Corps version, we kit bashed one. You'll also find him in a Green Lantern Corps outfit in an exclusive Walmart 5 pack.
Romat-Ru (Mattel) : Tomar-Re's evil cousin, perhaps? Came in the "Color of Fear" 2 pack.
Karu-Sil (Mattel) : the female half of that same 2 pack
Arkillo (Mattel) : a collect and connect powerhouse
Low (Mattel) : Blue slug-like monstrosity
Maash (Mattel) : 3 faced killer whose third face is an innocent forced to watch the horror!
Despotellis (Mattel) : He looks more like a construct, but we assure you, he's a card carrying, people slaying member!
Mongul (Mattel) :Old school Superman baddie who knows power when he sees it
Cyborg Superman (Mattel) : Go look up the bio on this guy. It's pretty epic.
Manhunter Robot (Mattel) : Not really a Sinestro Corps member but they follow Cyborg Superman, so this was the best place for him.
And my original contribution to the lot...
Vaikne Raev (Mattel with SOTA toys parts) : Consciousless killer missing half his face, courtesy of Lobo! CLICK HERE to read his mini bio!
I'd like to pick up the DC Direct Sinestro Corps Sinestro at some point. His larger head makes him more alien, so he'll stand out better. The detailing is miles better as well. Mattel has also put out a Yellow Lantern Scarecrow and Batman, for those who want the WHOLE CREW even though these two were only involved for half a second, if at all. DC Direct also released a mind blowing Kryb figure! I'm still hunting this one but the prices are psycho at the moment.
THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS
Called from hundreds of planets to vanquish evil, protect the innocent and keep order in turbulent times, the Green Lantern Corps will fight to the very last soldier. A handful of humans are counted among their ranks (ya know..because we're special) providing ample opportunity to tell storied we can relate to, even if the cast is filled with crazy looking aliens. It may be those same crazy alien designs that have kept the number of action figures made to moderate numbers, but between DC Direct and Mattel (and bolstered by popular comics and a little movie) have done a fine job of filling out our ranks! Our profile includes...
The Movie Crew, whose alien designs are often so different from the comic source, you can put movie and comic versions together in the same team.
Hal Jordan (Mattel)
G-Hu (Mattel) : the dreadlocked looking alien
Rot Lop Fan (Mattel) : the sluggy, poo looking alien with the Taco Bell symbol on his chest
Naut Ke Loi (Mattel) : A brilliantly colored, bendy parts fish figure!
Tomar-Re (Mattel) : Is he a fish? A bird? It's craaaazzzyyy!!
Missing from my movie squad is Morro, Bzzd (who is actually a wasp-like accessory that comes with a maskless Hal), Green Man, Isamot Kol and Galilus Zed..mostly because stores stopped carrying them. They are currently in route to dollar stores. Normally, I'd be shocked that a company made so many aliens, but I'm positive we have Geoff Johns to thank for that! Each 6 inch figure came with a piece of Parallax, which is a complete mess. Honestly this has to be the worse build a figure in creation. Very sad..but it's not like the movie version looked much better. It is also worth mentioning that the 4 inch movie figures came with constructs that work fairly well with 6 inch comic figures! SCOOORE.
The comic figures...
Hal Jordan (Mattel) : This one comes with or without the white stripe in his hair and a third version with a metallic costume. We stuck with the older looking one.
John Stewart (Mattel) : He comes single packed in his standard uniform or part of a 5 pack exclusive to Walmart, redeco'd, which is the version we focused on to keep some diversity in design.
Guy Gardner (Mattel) : Not very fond of the face sculpt of this figure you'll only find in the Walmart 5 pack
Kyle Rayner (Mattel) : Great looking figure that actually came with his own construct!
Tomar-Re (Mattel) : They just popped a new head on a standard GL body to make this figure you could only get in the Walmart exclusive 5 pack.
Sodam Yat (Mattel) : This same body is used for this human looking alien
Nautkeloi (Mattel) : Another fish alien! This one came in a Green Lantern Classics wave. Just a new head and new feet on a standard body, but we luvs him anyway.
Medphyll (Mattel) : Broccoli can be brave too! Medphyll shares a body with Nautkeloi, as each comes with parts to transform the figure into the other.
Katma Tui (Mattel) : A very underwhelming female action figure, especially when u compare her to...
Budika (DC Direct) : Killer sculpt..translucent parts..how can you say no?
Arisia (DC Direct) : Leave it to DC to take the young lady of the squad and make her slutty looking. This figure's downfall is scale. She towers over the 6 inch figures..mainly because she is 7 inches.
G'Nort (DC Direct) : He's the puppy avenger and you can bet cash money Mattel will nevvvvvver make him!
B'dg (Mattel) : Hell, if you can have a acid spitting kitty, why not a squirrel hero? B'dg comes in a 3 pack with Dex-Starr and Despotellis.
Stel (Mattel) : A collect and connect robot you can build from Green Lantern series 2 bits
Kilowog (Mattel) : Another collect and connect piece, this time from DC Universe Classics wave 11. It is the scale of these bigger guys that makes the whole team look excellent. DIVERSITY IN SCALE PEOPLE!!!
Alan Scott (Mattel) : The original Green Lantern
Star Sapphire (Mattel) : Technically, she's not a Lantern, thought the Star Sapphires carry violet power rings. They do it all with the power of LOVE!! No, they can not care bear stare.
And my creations...
Carioca of 1 (Mattel with Hasbro and McFarlane parts) : From a robotic race with a hive social structure and an urge to learn. CLICK HERE to read his mini bio!
Mandeep Mahtab (Mattel and a head from Toybiz) : Energy based life form. CLICK HERE to read his mini bio!
Ubril (Mattel and a head from Mcfarlane) : From a dragon-like race. CLICK HERE to read his mini bio!
Latvany (Mattel with robes from Toy Vault) : I found this being with the giant eye in the background of a massive shot of GL's taking off. I haven't been able to find his name anywhere, so I gave him one! He is someone else's creation, so I didn't write a bio.
I am also missing Salaak, an alien from DC Direct that is a little pricey for me at the moment, and the recent release of Arkkis Chummuck, from DC Direct as well. At some point I'll also pick up a DC Direct Guy Gardner because that Mattel version is just...ugly as sin.
Honorable mention goes to the sole Orange Lantern member Larfleeze, whose DC Direct figure still alludes me..and costs too damn much. DC DIRECT!! RE-RELEASES PLEASE!! Hope you have as much fun pouring over these images as we did making them! Special thanks to Mattel for the movie figures and Eileen for help in hunting down some of the pieces we needed for the shoots.
CLICK HERE for an overview of the first releases from the 4 inch movie line!
CLICK HERE for our look at Green Lantern Justice League Unlimited offerings!