Friday, October 21, 2016

The Essential DC Television Universe Villain Gets A Figure: The Reverse-Flash

The Good: Good sculpt, Accurate coloring (for the most part), Amazing articulation, Good balance
The Bad: Exposed joints, Articulation creates costume issues, Incredibly minor coloring issue
The Basics: The Eobard Thawne as The Reverse-Flash figure from DC Collectibles is an excellent idea with a mediocre execution for fans of The Flash.

When it comes to DC Comics, there are no villains I like more than the Reverse-Flash (actually, Hunter Zolomon's Zoom - the Reverse-Flash from Geoff Johns's run with Wally West as The Flash is my favorite!). So, I'm pretty psyched that the Reverse-Flash has returned to The Flash following "Flashpoint" (reviewed here!) and now Legends Of Tomorrow where he has been revealed as the primary adversary for the second season, starting with "Out Of Time" (reviewed here!). So, when DC Collectibles announced that there was going to be a Reverse-Flash figure from their line of toys based upon The Flash television show, I was super-psyched. Before my wife picked me up the Reverse-Flash figure, the only figure of the character I had was the Flashpoint Zoom exclusive figure (reviewed here!). I was psyched that there would be a figure of the Reverse-Flash that matched the other figures from The Flash line.

Unfortunately, the new Reverse-Flash figure is not as good as one might hope. I am a fan of DC Collectibles figures and I buy them instead of the Mattel DC Universe action figures because the Mattel toy line has long prioritized articulation ahead of any form of fidelity to the character. The massive articulation for the Mattel figures made the toy line just look sloppy. Especially for characters who have a lot of skin showing, the exposed joints just make the Mattel figures look crappy. The Reverse-Flash figure from The Flash line is the first time I've found a DC Collectibles figure to be of such a quality level that it might be on par with its Mattel DC Universe equivalent. There are so many details of the Reverse-Flash figure that DC Collectibles gets right that it is shocking that the articulation is so developed that when one uses the many joints, the figure just looks terrible.

It is The Reverse-Flash in his distinct yellow and black outfit, that is the subject of the DC Collectibles action figure of the character.


The Reverse-Flash figure is a wonderful sculpt of the television character and DC Collectibles manages to cheat the facial sculpt for accuracy and coloring by having The Reverse-Flash with his hood up to obscure much of the details that would define the character as either Matt Letscher or Tom Cavanaugh's Eobard Thawne. Given how round the head sculpt is for the Eobard Thawne figure is fairly round, this is a much better rendition of Letscher's Thwane than Cavanaugh's. The distinct speedster villain stands 6 3/4" tall to the top of the figure's head. The Reverse-Flash figure is available from DC Collectibles, though there is a smaller, more overtly crappy version of the figure from ReAction and a DC Multiverse figure from Mattel on the market now as well.

On the sculpt front, this version of the Reverse-Flash looks perfectly like the CW show version of The Reverse-Flash. This is clearly Eobard Thawne as The Reverse-Flash and the texture to the costume is far richer than figures based upon the comic book version of the character. This version of The Reverse-Flash features red lightningbolts molded to the sides of his hood and the center of the chest. Unlike some versions of The Reverse-Flash, this version of the character is wearing an outfit that is clearly assembled; the shirt is molded with a distinctly different texture than the pants and both have seams mimicking the ones on the costume that clearly imply it was sewn together. The Reverse-Flash's cowl covers most of his face, but DC Collectibles captured the roundness of Matt Letscher's version of Eobard Thawne for the jawline especially!

The Reverse-Flash's costume is a very well detailed for its color variations. The yellow of the cowl and chest shades down into black for the legs and hands of the character. Somewhat interestingly, the front is better detailed than the back of the figure. The front has excellent detailing for things like the red striped lighting bolts on the front of the costume. On the back, though, the red stripes are on the top of the back, but not the torso section of the figure. The fact that DC Collectibles gets the stripes on the torso for the front but not the back is a weird inconsistency. While the exposed flesh is cast in monotones and the lips are not colored, the costume is generally well-colored.


The Reverse-Flash, as rendered for the television incarnation, comes with eight accessories. Noticeably lacking in a stand upon which to put the figure, The Reverse-Flash instead comes with three alternate pairs of hands and an additional left hand with the distinct Reverse-Flash ring molded onto it and colored brassy gold like it is supposed to. This version of Eobard Thawne allows one to pull out the hands it comes with and put in fists or straight (fingers extended for a running look or a vibrate the hand through the chest version!) hands. But the interchangeable hands are a nice touch, with a problematic execution. The hands are not easy to pull out or put in, which means one has to risk breaking the figure just to use the accessory.

The Reverse-Flash also comes with the tachyon collector that fits onto Eobard's chest. The accurately colored silver, black and gold piece is supposed to snap onto the Reverse-Flash's chest. While the center piece is designed to hold to the symbol on the figure's chest, the harness only stays on about half the time. This is an accessory that is an excellent idea with a middling execution.


The DC Collectibles figures were designed more for display than play and this is good, but not great for this figure. On the plus side, the Reverse-Flash has good balance, even when it is placed in outlandish poses. The articulation is so good that the Reverse-Flash may be manipulated into many different poses.

Unfortunately, getting the figure to stand up in weird, cool poses makes the toy look ridiculous by exposing the joints - the unpainted bits below the surface. The Reverse-Flash comes with twenty-one points of articulation, which is exceptional, though it does seem to be standard for a DC Collectibles figure. The Reverse-Flash has joints at the ankles, calves, upper and lower knees, thighs, groin socket, waist, bust, shoulders, elbows, wrists and head. The shoulders, elbows, ankles and wrists are proper ball and socket joints, while the knees are hinge joints. The head is on a ball joint, which allows The Reverse-Flash to look in virtually any direction! Unfortunately, things like the thigh articulation make the figure look ridiculous as the joint bisects the costume's lightningbolt detailing and cuts the lines of the painted-on stripes. Similarly, to use the full range of motion for the groin socket joint exposes the flat portions of the leg inside and the uncolored joint section beneath. The more one uses the figure's articulation, the more like a toy the figure looks, as opposed to the character it is supposed to embody.


The Reverse-Flash is part of the DC Collectibles The Flash Series 2 line which was fairly uncommon as it was usually only distributed through comic book shops and specialty stores like FYE. The Reverse-Flash is the second villain in the The Flash toy line, but DC Collectibles is continuing the quality and style of their Arrow figures with The Reverse-Flash. So, fans of the CW's DC Television Universe can easily collect across the series's and have their figures match for quality. With Eobard Thawne continuing his villainous run on Legends Of Tomorrow, one suspects that the Reverse-Flash figure will appreciate in value as the adversary reaches an even bigger audience than before.


The Reverse-Flash is a great idea with a middling execution; the incredible figure could have been made better by DC Collectibles, but it seems it was rushed to market before truly getting it right.

For other action figures from The Flash toy line, please check out my reviews of:
The Flash
Captain Cold
Heat Wave


For other toy reviews, please check out my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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