DC Universe Classics Wave 16 Articulation Review

DC Universe Classics Wave 16 is starting to find its way into the hands of collectors, so it’s time to take a look at how the updated articulation is working. We had gotten a preview with the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle from the Trigon wave, but with wave 16, we’re seeing the new articulation schemes with basic human forms.

DC Universe Classics Wave 16 Articulation - Robin.jpg

We’ll start with Robin, as he’s the best in the bunch. He’s got an impressive amount of new articulation, allowing a lot more dynamic poses.

  • Double-jointed elbows
  • Wrist hinges
  • Double-jointed knees
  • Ball-swivel hinged ankles

From the new elbows, Robin gets an impressive range of motion in his arms – they are hindered just a little bit because of the size of his biceps (arguably too large for him). The wrist hinges allow for some more nuanced poses. The knees get the full range, and I found that I can really crank the ankle hinges much more than I initially expected – so full on crouches will work for the Boy Wonder. The ball-joint in the ankles also allows you to swivel the foot at the ankle.

Pretty much the only thing that’s missing is the rocker motion to allow some wider stances. Mattel could get more side to side tilt if they increased the size of the ball in the foot and widened the peg hole a bit, and that would make the articulation on Robin practically perfect.

Robokillah's modified Creeper

I wish that the Creeper had turned out as successfully as Robin, but he’s arguably the worst in the wave for articulation improvements. He comes with nearly the same added articulation as Robin except for the ankles – those are just like the recent ankle disks with no rocker motion. But don’t be fooled by the picture – that’s what Creeper can do if you’re willing to fix him up a bit.

Creeper’s problem is primarily in his legs. First, the fur on the back of his calves severely limit the range of his knees. They get about as much as a standard DCUC single-jointed knee. And there’s no clearance either on the shin or the foot for the ankle disk to get much motion. The elbows actually get more range of motion than Robin, but if the Creeper can’t squat, well, he’s just not quite the Creeper.

Here’s a link to more pictures of the Robokillah Creeper mod, plus some tips on how to get it done.

DC Universe Classics Wave 16 Articulation - Mercury.jpg

Mercury gets the same articulation updates as Creeper, and you can see how the knees work on him without the Creeper fur – pretty well, in fact. However, like Creeper, he’s a little hampered in the ankle department, just not as much.

DC Universe Classics Wave 16 Articulation - Black Hand.jpg

DC Universe Classics Wave 16 Articulation - Abin Sur.jpg

For Abin Sur and Black Hand, you might be asking yourself, why bother? On Abin Sur, they made the odd choice of giving him the double-jointed elbows and wrist hinges, but below the waist it’s old-style joints. Sure, you can put him in some pretty expressive poses by taking advantage of the wrist hinges, but it’s an odd choice, to spend money on tooling up those arms… unless they’re planning to reuse those arms for an update to the Sinestro Corps version of Sinestro. Could it happen?

And while Black Hand gets the double-joint treatment for elbows and knees, I think back on the Q&As about articulation and wonder how it makes sense for this character. And unlike Abin Sur, I can’t come up with a reasonable character who would reuse parts from the Black Hand. I don’t particularly mind that he has some of the new articulation, but I wonder if that tooling money could have gone to another character.

Here are some other things I think Mattel should start to look at, from an articulation perspective:

  • Knee and ankle stability – I notice all the time how easy it is to get DC Universe Classics figures standing up, compared to Marvel Legends, for example. I did notice on Black Hand in particular that the knees are a bit looser than the single-jointed ones. Couple that with his weak ankles and I’m guessing you’ll see him topple quite frequently.
  • Rocker ankles – Mattel needs to bring these back.
  • Hip design – DCUC hips look great in vanilla poses, but check out those spread-legged poses in these pictures. If they want hips done right, they need look no further than their WWE Elite / Legends lines. Those hips are incredible!
  • Finally, fix the necks! Older DCUCs could look up and down, and that’s essential for most of the DCU.

DC Universe Classics Wave 16 Articulation - vanilla pose.jpg

And for you vanilla posers out there, don’t hate on the new articulation! The new guys will fit in with the old just fine.

Let me know what you guys think of the new DCUC articulation – leave a comment below.

12 thoughts on “DC Universe Classics Wave 16 Articulation Review”

  1. I don’t know how well the wwe elite hips work, especially for crouching poses, but the dcuc hips can rotate 360 when the hip hinges are completely horizontal. When in the position I have him in the pic I could rotate him on down until his chin touches the floor. I only went that far so he could still be facing forward. True they are ugly when splayed like that, and it doesn’t help with getting the knees up into the chest, but I can’t see it working any other way for that low of a crouch.

  2. Good review, but every one of these look like shiny plastic marionettes…….
    And since I’m a grown man who doesn’t “play” with toys, articulation to this degree just comes off ruining the product.
    They may die, but DCD still remain unmatched. For Adults.

  3. I think it’s a trade-off with the DCUC thigh cuts being mid-thigh – I think it’s more jarring of a cut than at the top of the hip, where you can hide it with the bottom of the trunks (which so many DCU characters have). in action poses you get less of that “chunk missing out of the inner thighs” with the WWE hips. but you lose the extreme crouches because the DCUC hinge allows for the legs to spread wider, and the thickness of the WWE upper thigh may impede the swivel.

  4. Haha, nice. Schooled on what adults should collect. Thanks but I’d rather be an immature man-child than a pretentious old fart.

    I can agree about the mid-thigh cut Ron. I like the shorts line as an alternative, or even right above the knee. Anywhere the leg is rounder, causing a less pronounced break when the joint is twisted. And I can’t deny the Elite hips look cleaner overall.

  5. I agree with anonymous. The articulation is at a point where it has ruined the look/sculpt of the toy for me.

  6. Creeper is looking a lot better with that mod. So much so, that I think I’ll break my personal rule of not modifying my DCUC figs.

  7. Yes the articulation on this wave is a pretty mixed bag, but what I found was quality issues.

    Robin’s leg and foot broke off right out of the box, as did Mercury’s right hand. Jonah Hex had a stuck hip.

    Also what has happened to the head articulation??

  8. I like the new addition of articulation, this is a action figure after all not some poseable statue. I do agree with what you wrote that some charaters don’t need the added articulation like the Black Hand, but I can see that body mold being used for Red Robin & others that can’t fly.

  9. I wish the neck joints could be improved upon without getting stuck with more bobble heads, but other than that, I like the looks of the new articulation as it doesn’t affect the figures from an aesthetic pov. Excellent review and pics.

  10. “…but I wonder if that tooling money could have gone to another character.”

    You mean like the Kyle Rayner figure that was suppose to come with the added articulation?!?!?! O_o Mattel never misses an opportunity for a WTF moment…

    And as far as making a declaration about one’s own maturity(age) while still referring to the toys he or she buys, now that just seems wrong somehow O_o
    If you want statues, collect statues. If you collect “ACTION” figures, expect them to have a bit of the dynamic flare to them. The more hyper articulated the better, I say.

    Great review…keep em coming! The new articulation is a step in the very right direction. Just needs a bit of tweaking and for the love if gawd, Mattel, please use the same factory that produces the WWE for DCUC. Cause the QC on those looks fantastic!!!!! DCUC’s QC…not so much.

  11. Awesome review!!! The sculpt and articulation are excellent!! These are the toys I wish I had when I was young!! But better late than never!!! I am enjoying my classic Robin and since I still play with my figures I can say without any doubt that these are EXCELLENT TOYS!!!

    Keep ’em coming!!!

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