Lead was the last DC figure sold on Mattycollector back in 2012, and has the great distinction of being the final member of the Metal Men! That’s right, Lead rounds out the whole classic team. He’s known as the somewhat slow-witted member of team, but always essential. Being made from lead, he features the same properties as his namesake. In addition to shape shifting and changing size, Lead is able to block harmful radiation and protect his fellow teammates, or civilians, by turning into a large wall or shield. Back when DC Universe Classics was still going at retail, I always wondered why they never made Lead. Platinum and Tin I could understand, since female character action features seem to always be dubious, and Tin is so small. But Lead seemed perfect for it. Well, it took them a while, but they finally got around to making him. And man, was I excited to get him in the mail. So join me as I take a closer look at the DC Universe Signature Collection Lead figure and see if he lives up to the excitement.
|PACKAGING – Lead comes in the standard oversized packaging for the DC Universe Signature Collection. It’s the same style as the normal sized figures, it’s just much larger to accommodate his size. The box is simplistic in design, and completely collector friendly which is a plus. Lead is featured front and center in the blister, with the DCU Signature Collection logo at the top, and the character’s name at the bottom.The back of the box features an all new painting by Mike Thompson, as well as a bio for Lead. I feel that Lead’s character painting is very nicely done. He’s got that ever present grin, but he’s still ready to tackle any evildoers who get in his way. He looks like this massive brute, which is very appropriate.
SCULPT – Lead is built onto the Darkseid Collect and Connect body, utilizing the same torso, pelvis, shoulders, arms, and legs. The new pieces are his lower arms, lower legs, tunic, and head.
I will say that the lower arms and legs look really good, with the appropriate rivets all along the edges of the gloves and boots, and they even blended them in with the figure’s sculpt by adding cracks to the new pieces so at least it’s consistent. The tunic looks fine. It’s smooth, except for the upside-down triangle piece on the front, with the rivets going along all the edges. The back is left exposed though, no doubt to keep from hindering articulation.
The head sculpt is phenomenal, and is a perfect combination of the comic book look and blending in with DC Universe Classics. I really do love it. He’s got the perfect expression that Lead should have, and his head isn’t too cartoonish looking. You can tell that a lot of care went into the head sculpt.
Now, I don’t know why he was made on the darkseid body. In the comics, Lead has always been really short, but very stocky. I guess they didn’t already have a “buck” body that fit that bill, and couldn’t afford a brand new one. Lead can change size in the comics, so it’s easy to rationalize the large size, but the cracks in the arms and legs just make it very apparent that they belong to Darkseid and don’t go with this figure at all. If it wasn’t for the cracks, I’d say it was actually a pretty smart move using the Darkseid body for Lead, but those cracks are so distracting.
PAINT – Lead does feature a great paint job though, and hopefully is devoid of any actual lead. It does say “Made in China”, after all. But seriously, Lead has a great paint job.
He’s mostly this flat gray color, to resemble actual lead. He’s got a wonderful wash applied to his face, arms, and legs that seep into the cracks, and a great dry brushing over the entirety of his arms and legs, and some on the tunic, head, and back as well. It really helps give him a diverse paint job, and helps the sculpt pop.
He’s got just a bit of a shine to him, but not too much. I really like that, as it helps him stand out from the incredibly shiny Platinum and Tin, and he’s also a distinct color from Iron. Definitely good on Mattel for diversifying their paint jobs.
ARTICULATION – Lead has a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, single elbows, glove rotators, ab crunch, waist swivel, ball jointed hips, thigh rotators, single knees, and ankle hinges. All of his articulation works great.
The tunic doesn’t really hinder his ab crunch. It does some if you bend him forward, but not at all if you’re bending him back. The tunic is made from a very soft, rubbery plastic. You can get him into some great fighting poses, so I’ve got no complaints on his articulation.
ACCESSORIES – Lead comes with no accessories at all. Considering most of the figure is reused parts, you’d think he would be able to come with something. A shape shifting construct for his hand, at least one. But no, he gets nothing.
In the comics, he really mostly uses his body as it is normally anyway, albeit changing in size every once and a while. But still, some kind of accessory would have been nice.
FUN – As incorrect as his size is, it’s pretty fun messing around with this big lug. It’s visually interesting have him standing alongside the other Metal Men and being so tall, and his articulation is well done, providing for a lot of great poses. With the other Metal Men, Lead is a ton of fun. However, by himself, he’s just a standard action figure really, albeit a pretty cool looking one.
QUALITY CONTROL/THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR – No QC issues at all with Lead.
OVERALL – If Lead didn’t have reused parts from Darkseid, he’d be a near perfect, if not a perfect figure. His head sculpt is fantastic, his paint job is excellent, and his articulation is great. He could really do with some accessories, but even that could be forgiven if he just didn’t have those Darkseid cracked limbs.
I know his size is a point of contention for some collectors, but it isn’t for me. Truth be told, I actually like his large size. It adds some visual diversity amongst the Metal Men. The cracked skin does bother me though, because I look at his arms and legs and all I can see is Darkseid. Thankfully that head sculpt helps by being so awesome.
All in all, something has to be said for Mattel actually completing the Metal Men. This is a team I never thought we’d see in DC Universe Classics, and when Mattel started them, I never thought we’d see them finished. Lo and behold, they did just that, giving us the remaining three members all in the same month.
For that, Lead is a great end to the DC Universe Signature Collection’s inaugural year. And really, when you look at the Metal Men all together, most of them are the “wrong size” anyway, and some of them don’t even have any accessories.
And unless Mattel makes Dr. Magnus, Copper, and a C&C sized Alloy, I think it’s safe to say the Metal Men are complete, and for that I have to give kudos to Mattel. But if you don’t already have the other Metal Men in your collection, Lead may not be very necessary to you.
FINAL SCORE: 3.5 / 5
Where to buy: Lead was originally sold on Mattycollector.com, and is now sold out there. However, you can still pick him up at the following online retailers: