Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Two Very Statuesque Action Figures From Kingdom Come: The Spectre And Norman McCay Two-Pack Is All Right!

The Good: Great sculpts, Amazing coloring detail, Great balance.
The Bad: Both could use more articulation.
The Basics: The Kingdom Come The Spectre and Norman McCay action figure set might not be the most popular two-pack ever, but the figures are distinctive for fans of Kingdom Come!

Before I read Justice (reviewed here!), I first read Kingdom Come (reviewed here!), and for some time, I considered it potentially the greatest graphic novel of all time. But, Justice usurped it for me (it is one of those books that when I open the cover just to look at the artwork, I end up falling in love with the prose and reading the whole work each time!) and I have been very slow to pick up any Kingdom Come merchandise. But, just because I fell for Justice does not mean that Kingdom Come suddenly became less in my mind. So, when I had the opportunity to pick up the two-pack of the Spectre and Norman McCay from Kingdom Come for a song, I leaped on that chance.

If the names do not mean anything to you, it might not be a surprise. Norman McCay is unique to Kingdom Come and The Spectre is usually reserved for DC Comics titles that are intended for mature readers. In Kingdom Come, it is Norman McCay who encounters the Spectre and narrates much of the book.

To be sure, a figure of a frail old man and another of an almost immobile being that sits in judgment as an instrument of god is a pretty hard sell for toy enthusiasts. But, for fans of Kingdom Come, these might be two of the three truly indispensible figures as they have such a presence in the volume.


The Spectre and Norman McCay figures are incredibly detailed, especially the Norman McCay one. The artwork of Alex Ross translates amazingly into the Norman McCay figure as he looks just like the paintins in Kingdom Come and the reference photo the artist used to create the character! The two figures are 6 1/2” and 7” for Norman McCay and The Spectre, respectively. They only come together from DC Direct.

Norman McCay is a perfect sculpt with absolutely incredible coloring to his flesh tones. The sculpt is immaculate as the figure has buttons on his shirt, fingernails and even his pen and glasses case molded into his shirt pocket! His eyes are intense and his hair looks like actual hair, as opposed to some weird helmet. Even his ears and shoes are molded with incredible sculpted details. The coloring is also incredible. Usually, I rail against problems with getting flesh tones accurate, but Norman McCay looks like a 6 1/2” person!

By contrast, the Spectre looks like a malevolent spirit. Cut and muscular, the green-cloaked hero looks like a superhuman being and his colorless eyes have an intensity of their own. The Spectre in this action figure incarnation, is rendered with its hood up and the rubbery plastic cloak sweeping around him, as if he only needed his one first to dispense justice!


As observers, the only accessories The Spectre and Norman McCay come with are their stands. Norman McCay’s stand is a simple black oval 2” by 1 1/2“ and it has a peg that fits into the hole in the bottom of McCay’s right foot. From there, Norman McCay stands perfectly upright. The Spectre’s stand is also an oval. It is 1 3/4”by 1 1/4” and it raises the figure a full inch above the surface the figure is placed on. The main platform that the Spectre stands upon features two grips, like sandal ties, that allow the Spectre to stand firmly on the main platform. The stand remains stable because of the 1 3/4” round base below the platform the Spectre stands upon.


These DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play. Fortunately, both Norm McCay and The Spectre have incredible balance both on and off their stands.

What they lack is anything remotely like good articulation. The Spectre is articulated at the right shoulder and head, though the head does not turn much and the cloak inhibits the arm from going back much. Norm McCay turns his head with a full range of motion and has simple swivel joints at his shoulders. Both could stand a lot more articulation, but no one is making more figures of Norm McCay!


As noted, the Spectre and Norman McCay are figures with exceptionally limited appeal. With articulation reminiscent of the recent Watchmen figures like the Limited Edition Rorschach Unmasked, many toy enthusiasts are not exactly rushing out to pick this two-pack up. As a result, the value continues to depress and it is doubtful even the republishing of Absolute Kingdom Come will cause a bounce in the value of these figures.


No matter how cool these figures look, the lack of articulation makes them more like glorified statues than fully-realized action figures. That said, the level of quality in the sculpt and coloring is uncommon for figures based on graphic novels or comic books, so fans of Kingdom Come will likely want to pick up the Spectre and Norman McCay two-pack to display the obscure characters well!

For other DC Universe action figures, please check out my reviews of:
Justice Wave 1 Cheetah
Blackest Night Nekron
Wonder Woman Wave 1 Circe


For other toy reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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