Monday, October 2, 2017

LEGION TOYS: Matter Eater Lad (Mattel 12-Pack)

Editor's Note: 
We are ecstatic to welcome our good buddy Derek to the Legion Of Super-Bloggers! Derek is a huuuge action figure fan and was more than happy to pick up the reviewing of the Mattel DC Universe Classic Legion of Super-Heroes 12-Pack where Duo David had left off. 
Derek will try to post a new profile every month until the set is done, and then he plans to get to the DC Direct figures, too! And we couldn't be happier. 
Just don't call him Doll Boy. 
Take it away,  Doll Boy Articulated Lad! 

by Derek William Crabbe
I have a confession to make. I did not always "suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" that was the dreaded Matty Collector website. I came late to the DC Universe Classics game. In fact just when I thought I was out of collecting little plastic toys, I'd say that the Legion of Super Heroes Figures 12-Pack was one of the key things that brought me back in. I was content to live vicariously through other collectors and sit back and look at photos of what a wonderful set of Legionnaires Mattel had made, but I didn't need those, did I? No. I would be just fine looking at photos....

The 12-Pack was officially released in 2011 as an Exclusive item on the Matty Collector website. The website was notorious for being a pain-in-the-you-know-what for ordering items from. Even before I ever even considered getting back into the action figure game, I heard tales of the dreaded "white screen of death."

I would later learn the perils of F5-ing until your fingers bleed first-hand, but by Christmas of 2012, I decided I would treat myself to some DC Universe Classics figures.

Now these all came from various sources, online retailers, ebay, local comic shops, basically every place BUT Matty Collector. My original intention was to have a nice little shelf with the Super-Friends and Legion of Doom, but I quickly turned into Larfleeze, scooping up any affordable lots of waves on ebay and managed to get the Legion of Super Heroes 12-Pack along with the first set of Matty Collector subscription figures from a guy on Craigslist who was unloading his collection for some quick cash. The set I acquired is the second release, which you can identify via the graphic burst on the package stating "Long Live the Legion!"

This brings us to Matter-Eater Lad a.k.a. Tenzil Kem, whose claim to fame is the ability to eat any form of matter. The reason I like him so much, is that I would often cite ol' Tenzil any time there was some kind of X-Men vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes discussion in my circle of friends. I would quickly (and accurately) point out that Matter-Eater Lad would just eat Wolverine's adamantium claws, and that would be the end of that. Bismoll in the hizzy!

Matter-Eater Lad is on what we'll call a "tween" buck. You can see he's at the same height as later figures like Kamandi. Not as tall at the adult heroes, but not as small as Robin or Beast Boy either.

The most unique part of his sculpt is certainly his head. His slicked back, almost '50's greaser hair-style and most obvious, the bulge on the right-hand side of his face designed to simulate the chewing of said matter. This is done quite well, although in today's day and age with multiple swap out heads, I could see where a buyer might want a standard face along with the chewy-face.

There are 24-points of articulation that I count on Matter-Eater Lad. Head moves from left to right, and slightly up and down. Arms can move up and down, as well as rotate in a circular fashion. There are bicep cuts that swivel, joints at the elbow, and the fists can rotate as well. He has an ab-crunch that moves in an approximately 30/70 ratio. He has a waist swivel. His legs move up and he can also do the splits. Swivels are just above the knee. Knee joints and ankle rockers complete the standard articulation.

The paint is well done on my copy of the figure. The blues really bring out the eyes in the sculpt and the eyebrows are surgically applied with great finese. The Greens, Yellows and Blacks are stong, and there isn't a whole lot of paint bleed for a 6 year old action figure. I think maybe frequent use of the joints could result in some additional paint wear-and-tear, escpecially the split joints for example. I could probably also stand to touch up a tiny spot on his hair, but it's pretty subtle and I doubt I will bother.

Tenzil Kem stands out because of his unique head-sculpt, sleek body and bright colors off-set by strong blacks. He may be a tongue-in-cheek Legionnaire (both literally and figuratively), but who else can lay the claim to fame of being able to eat Infinity Stones like they are Jelly Beans?

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