Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Toy Review – DC Universe Classics Series 16 - The Creeper By Mattel

Of the three DC Universe Series 16 figures I ordered, The Creeper is the one I was most excited about.
The first Creeper story I ever read was the one from The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told collection. I liked the idea of sort of an anti-Joker and he certainly had a memorable look. The Creeper might have popped up now and again in the intervening years, but my next major memory of him was his appearance on The Batman & Robin Adventures. We got a figure thanks to that episode and I still have it on my Batman Animated shelf. Even though the cartoon deviated from the comic book origin, I think it was the best characterization of The Creeper.

He showed up again in the Justice League animated series and was last seen helping to keep an eye on Thomas Elliot in Streets of Gotham. Hopefully we’ll get some new Creeper stories soon. Until then, we’ve got this swanky new figure to tide us over.
First Glance: Creeper, sweetheart – you’re all skin and bones. But I guess he should be. He’s not exactly one of the bulky super-muscle guys. His colors are not quite as vibrant as I would like, but I think they are more accurate to the comics.
Sculpt: Creeper has all kinds of new parts. Mattel really went all out to make him very Spider-Man like in his flexibility. It worked – for the most part. He has double-jointed elbows and knees and even has ball joint analog wrists (like the best of Hasbro’s Clone Troopers – with the hinge). The rest of Mr. Creeper has the standard DCUC mobility. The only real problem is that the sculpted fur around his knees restricts how far you can bend them, so the double joint is almost rendered pointless. His hips do have a slightly different sculpt to give them a wider range of motion than normal DCUC figures, but that may have more to do with how skinny the Creeper is. The head sculpt is Ditko all the way. He definitely looks more creepy than zany, as other figures have looked. His big fur collar is a separate piece that is attached to the figure, a fact I was glad of. I thought it would end up being a completely separate piece that would be a pain in the ass to keep on. But it looks very good and dynamic. At this scale I think it would have been neat to try soft goods (!) for the fur parts. I might even try it myself if I find another one at retail.
Design: The Creeper’s yellows, reds and greens are a bit more subdued than I might have chosen (yeah, seriously), but I think that’s really more in line with the character’s original look in the comics. With any luck we might get a brighter Creeper in some kind of future 2-pack. As this one stands, it looks very good. The paint is tight and accurate and mine has no spotting or bleeding. I might have liked an app on the fur collar to make it look a little more exciting, but what are you gonna do? The only real paint issue is that the head paint doesn't quite match the plastic the body was molded in, but that's so common as to be acceptable. Almost.
Accessories: Nada. I find your lack of accessories disturbing. The guy could have come with a bottle of seltzer water or something.
Packaging: Same old DCUC packaging. A warning, though – do not order from Amazon if you keep things in the packaging. All of the figures that came in this shipment had bent cardbacks or some other minor damage. I don’t care because I opened everything, but you might.
Overall: I like this figure, but I do feel he could have been a bit better. A little more thought given to the fur around the knees could have allowed for more flexibility and the more I think about it, the more I really would have preferred brighter colors.
3 out of 5
He’s good, don’t get me wrong – I just think he could have been great with just a little more effort. This was a figure I wanted a lot out of, and Mattel almost delivered. If you’re a big fan of the character or have to have a giant Bane, get him. Otherwise you might want to pass and see if something better doesn’t come along in the future. I’m not too sure we’ll ever get another Creeper in this line, but stranger things have happened.

Until next time, stay creepy

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