Friday, May 31, 2013

I'm A Grown Man And I Bought This: Just-Us League Of Stupid Heroes

From DC Direct comes the Just-Us League Of Stupid Heroes line of action figures. Each figure features Alfred E. Neuman, Mad Magazine's long-time cover boy, as a different DC Universe super hero. How could I pass up a concept that weird?

DC Direct actually came out with many of these figures way back in 2002. I wanted to get them back then but was always stymied by the price tag. $18 was just too rich for my blood. Little did I know that in 2013 all action figures would routinely go for $15 - $20 a pop!

I tried to find the original figures on eBay but they were always even more wildly expensive there, so I gave up and figured I'd just never own them. Fortunately this year DC Direct decided to resurrect the line and I was finally able to pick them up. They recently rerelased all the figures from the 2002 line plus several brand new ones.

Each figure is about six inches high but somehow seem bigger. All are very well-sculpted and feature an amazing amount of detail work and excellent paint jobs. I don't have a single complaint in that area!

First up is Alfred as Superman. The sculpt here looks to be the same as the original figure. The only difference is the paint job. He now has black hair as Superman does and his shoes have been changed to solid red to more closely match Supe's boots.

It's ironic that this parody figure's costume looks more traditional and on-model than the one in the upcoming Man Of Steel movie. I don't care what anyone says, Superman needs his red undies and he looks just plain wrong without them!

Whoops! He's missing the yellow "S" shield on his cape.

I'm generally not a fan of cloth capes on action figures of this size. They usually end up looking exactly like what they are-- a tiny square of material. The cloth's just too small to hang like a real cape would. I much prefer plastic sculpted capes.

The figures all have fairly standard articulation, including neck, shoulder, mid-bicep, wrist, hip and knee joints. For some reason none of them are articulated at the waist.

Unfortunately Superman's hands really only work in the "What, Me Worry?" pose and look kind of silly any other way.

Here's Alfred as Green Arrow. The original figure came with a bow, but this new version doesn't. At least the one I got didn't. Maybe I got a defective package? One would think a character who's whole schtick is being an archer oughta come with a bow, but what do I know?

The paint job here is particularly well done. If you look closely you'll see that the skin inside the eye holes of his mask has been painted black, just like Michael Keaton's eyes in the Batman movies. Now that's attention to detail! 

On a totally unrelated note.... I guess in those movies we're to believe that Bruce Wayne spend a few minutes carefully painting the skin around his eyes black before he put on his bat-cowl? Eh, no reason to hurry, Batman. I'm sure taking the time to paint your face won't give the Joker a head start or result in any innocent civilians' deaths.

This isn't just a straight reissue of the old figure, as there are quite a few differences, mainly in the contents of the quiver and his gloves. Both appear to have been resculpted. No idea why they'd do that, as it's generally an expensive thing to do, but I'm not complaining. Maybe they lost parts of the original molds?

Once again the level of detail here is impressive. His quiver is actually a golf bag and it contains several arrows, a golf club, a wrench, what could possibly be the handle of a whip and or course a fish. You never know when you might have to fire a herring at one of your enemies.

Perhaps the most disturbing of the figures is Alfred E. Neuman as Wonder Woman. This is a brand new figure that wasn't included in the 2002 wave and was sculpted just for this new line.

This isn't a sister or some weird female cousin of Alfred's, this is most definitely him dressed in drag. If you need proof just look closely and you'll see he's got a black wig perched crookedly on his head and some of his reddish brown hair is showing underneath.

Yes folks, this is an action figure of a young boy in drag. Believe it or not, this isn't a first; I can think of one other time this has happened, when TriStar made a Klinger figure for its M*A*S*H toy line in the early 1980s. 

That oughta get the One Million Moms' panties in a bunch! Like they need more to complain about.

Here's a shot of the back of Wonder Woman, showing her red rain boots. I will refrain from commenting on Alfred's gams or his firm, taut buttocks.

Here's a closeup showing the incredible details of the costume. They really went all out with this one. Wonder Woman's bullet-deflecting bracelets are actually cans of Alfred-OOs brand pasta, complete with tiny nutrition info table on the back of the cans! It looks like the nutrition info actually says something, but alas it's too minute for my eyes to read, even with a magnifying glass. Still, to go to that much trouble at all is amazing to me.

Wonder Woman's magic lasso is a yellow extension cord and the gold trim on her, er I mean his uniform is police crime tape. If you look closely at his chest, and shame on you for doing so, you'll see he's stuffed his costume full of kleenex. Just like your prom date! And one side is larger than the other! Again, Just like your prom date!

Here's Alfred as Green Lantern, one of my favorite superheroes. Once again this figure appears to be identical to the original one except for the paint job. This time his hair is the proper dark brown color of Hal Jordan (instead of reddish brown) and they've used a metallic green paint on his jumper.

Like the Green Arrow figure they painted the area around the eye holes of his mask black, which again is a nice bit of detail. His power ring is actually sculpted into the Green Lantern symbol too. I've seen many Green Lantern figures that just had a blob of paint on their hand where the ring should be. He also comes with what appears to be a Coleman-type camping lantern to use to recharge his power ring.

He even has Green Lantern symbols on the his Chuck Taylors!

It's a nice looking figure with one big exception-- that giant scrawny turkey neck. I don't know what went wrong here, but his neck is about a quarter inch longer than it oughta be. He shouldn't have any neck showing at all; I think it would look a lot better if his head just rested on the turtleneck collar.

Turkey neck or not, he's still got tons of little details, including the string that holds his mask on which is mashing down his hair! Cool!

Next up is Alfred as the Flash. As near as I can tell this figure is unchanged from the original.

Again there's tons of detail on display here. The texture of his head is different from the rest of his outfit, as he's wearing a wool ski mask! He's also sporting oven mitts on his hands and wearing yellow rain goulashes. The goulashes are even painted with a glossy paint (rather than the matte paint used on the rest of the figure) to simulate rubber!

The bulk of his suit is a pair of red long johns, complete with butt flap in the back.

Last up is Alfred as Aquaman. This is another brand new figure that wasn't available the first time around.

He's got a load of detail as well, including a nose clamp to keep him from sputtering and drowning underwater, inflatable water wings on each arm, a seafood restaurant bib complete with lobster printed on it, and an inflatable duckie inner tube.

He also carries a pitchfork to use as his majestic Atlantean trident. So Aquaman gets a trident but Green Arrow doesn't get a bow? Odd.

That little box by his feet is a can of sardines, which is sure to get lost in the carpet five minutes from now.

He's also got a large crab attached to his leg that's pinching the hell out of his ass.

All in all a fun wave of toys based on a cool concept. I highly recommend them if you're a fan of Mad Magazine or DC Comics, or if you're one of those types who likes to have ironic crap sitting around your apartment.

There's also a Batman, Robin and a Joker figure available, but I didn't yet have them at the time of my little photoshoot. I'll be covering them soon.

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