Monday, September 3, 2018

LEGION TOYS: Validus (DC Universe Classics Series 15)

by Derek William Crabbe
The first instance that I can recall where I personally "discovered" the awesome wonder of Fatal Five member extraordinaire, Validus, was on the epic all-villain cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #9. Here's my attempt to re-create that Crisis cover on a toy shelf. This Collect and Connect figure came as part of DC Universe Classics Series 15.

Reading Crisis on Infinite Earths led me to read Who's Who The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe. This led to reading the entries on the Servants of Darkness inside the pages of Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes, which led me to seek out the Great Darkness Saga - - which ultimately led me to get Annual #2 of the Baxter Series and the shocking revelation that Validus was in fact one of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl's twin sons, Garridan!

While Validus is on the large scale 9-1/2 inch  "Collect-and-Connect" buck, the body type for this buck is much wider than Colossal Boy and has more in common with his fellow "buck-brothers" Kilowog, Arkillo, or Brimstone. It probably goes without saying, but like Colossal Boy and pretty much most of the Mattel Collect And Connect figures, Validus could stand to be a bit taller, but we won't hold that against him too much.

The three-fingered hands that are slightly reminiscent of the Martian hands from the 1953 War of the Worlds Martians, along with the two-pronged clawed feet are uniquely sculpted for Validus. The tubing that goes from his shoulders to the raised armbands on the  biceps are also unique to Validus' sculpt. Lastly, we come to the stand-out portion of the sculpting, the head. It's such an abnormal and eerie look that is wonderfully captured in plastic form. From the roaring jaw to the nose-less and eye-less face squints - - never mind the exposed brain, which can been seen through a clear plastic overlay (which looks to have it's own sculpting accentuation as well), it is a thing of beauty. Of course, your idea of beauty probably needs to be the effects work done in films like the Re-Animator or the Chatterer Xenobite from the Hellraiser franchise.

There are 22-points of articulation that I count on Validus. 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 (however the tubes that join the shoulder to the bicep do hinder the full 360 degree rotation on most DC Universe Classics joints), 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 also has a waist swivel. His legs move up and he can also do the splits. He is missing the standard swivel cuts just above the knee. Knee joints and ankle rockers complete the standard articulation.

There is some barely noticeable sliver bleed-over on the silver bicep armbands, however the paint applications are pretty much 99% on the money. The light purples and chalky grey-whites have clear delineation between the blacks on the abdomen, crotch, forearms and lower legs. The musty yellow on the teeth is a nice touch among the hollow black hole of the mouth. The pink on the brain patterns is great and while I'm not sure if it's just the sculpted plastic working in tandem with the brain patterns, there may be some kind of a wash as in certain lighting they almost look silver.


There are so many great villain Collect and Connects, but Validus is certainly one of the stand-outs among them. My only regret is that we never got to team-build the rest of his compatriots in the Fatal Five. For Validus, One really is the loneliest number that he'll ever do.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know why Mattel didn't include the other four Fatal Five members and maybe Mordru, Tyr, and the Time Trapper in their Classic Series Group 15 figures. I and many other Legion fans would have bought the hell out of that set. As it is, I didn't buy any of them. "Golden Pharaoh"? WTF?!