Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mattel Retro-Action Green Arrow 8" Figure REVIEW

The first action figure from the Mattel "Retro-Action: DC Super Heroes" line debuted as an exclusive on the Mattycollector website. Mattel launched the '70s mego style 8" cloth-type DC superhero figures with Green Arrow on December 15, 2009. You could say Green Arrow is part of wave 1 but he actually came before wave 1. He led the charge as it were.

It is most interesting that Mattel launched the "Retro-Action: DC Super Heroes" line with Green Arrow, of all the superheroes in the DC Universe. Green Arrow isn't even one of the more popular figures in the comics, at least not in my book. Perhaps it all goes back to the past.

In the mid 1970's, when Mego's "World's Greatest Superheroes" were popular, so was the character of Green Arrow in the comics. As a result of Green Arrow's popularity, Mego decided to add him to the Mego toy line. He was also the last 8-inch DC superhero that Mego produced and many fans and collectors contend that the 1975 Green Arrow figure was Mego's best figure in the entire line.

Fast forward to the year 2009 (that's a span of 34 years) - Mattel decided to take on the World's Greatest Superheroes (only the DC versions) and Green Arrow became the first figure of this revived line.

Green Arrow comes in an additional white mailer box (since it's a mail-away piece) with the Retro-Action logo as well as Green Arrow's name on the box. Plain and simple one-color printing job on white box.

Inside the box is the standard figure on card that we've already seen earlier, designed to look just like it did in the 1970s. By right this should be the first figure reviewed in terms of historical chronology but since this is the last figure I got together with Green Lantern (reviewed in the previous post) from DrMego (Paul is the man and you can check out his site), I guess you're only seeing him reviewed here after some of the others. I started out with Wave 2 consisting of Batman, Two-Face, Aquaman and Black Manta before getting Wave 3 - see my earlier post "The Postman Cometh" and then this pair of Green Lantern and Green Arrow (Emerald Allies) 8-inch mego style figures.

The superhero costume worn by Mattel's "Retro-Action: DC Super Heroes" Green Arrow 8-inch figure is most likely based on the same Green Arrow costume designed by Alex Toth for SuperFriends. Green Arrow had appeared in a single episode of the animated series Super Friends in 1973. The Super Friends animated television series ran from 1973 to 1986 on ABC as part of its Saturday morning cartoon lineup. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and was based on the Justice League of America (JLA) and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics.

As mentioned, Green Arrow makes an interesting choice for Mattel's first figure in their "Retro-Action: DC Super Heroes" line. Each series / wave has two pairs of a hero and a villain. Arrow is the exception as he has no villain figure.

Oliver "Ollie" Queen is Green Arrow, an archer who invents trick arrows with various special functions, such as glue arrows, net arrows, explosive arrows, time bomb arrows, grappling arrows, fire extinguishing arrows, flash arrows, tear gas arrows, cryonic arrows, boxing-glove arrows, and even a kryptonite arrow. He is a billionaire and former mayor of fictional Star City who now dresses like Robin Hood (a green Errol Flynn-esque Robin Hood costume) and is a streetwise crusader for the working class and the disadvantaged.

This figure looks a lot like the vintage Mego 8-inch Green Arrow. The face might appear identical to the untrained eye, but the beard has been trimmed down and the eyes re-sculpted.

The Mattel "Retro-Action: DC Super Heroes" Green Arrow 8-inch figure now has large green leather-esque gauntlets, instead of the fabric versions found on the original figure. The gauntlets ride up above the elbow just like the Alex Toth designed Super Friends Green Arrow.

Green Arrow's boots are made of a much denser, hard rubber-like plastic that gives them a bit of a different feel than vintage Mego boots. The vintage Mego boots were a bit slimmer and less chunky looking but the thinner plastic was also prone to splitting at the seams. This newly released Mattel Green Arrow figure with the chunky boots does add to the Mego quirkiness (who can forget the oven mitts on most of the original superheroes; thank goodness they moved away from that approach).

The changes to the Mattel Retro-action Mego styled Green Arrow are very subtle but striking. His beard has been trimmed as have his sideburns and most notably AND most importantly, his pupils have been removed. What a BIG difference that makes!

More close-up shots of the Mattel "Retro-Action: DC Super Heroes" Green Arrow 8-inch figure head sculpt. He does look very Errol Flynn-like.

In addition to the removable belt, shoes, quiver and hat he also has his bow and arrow. The bow has the boxing glove arrow permanently attached to it which looks rather odd if Green Arrow is not holding on to it. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to place the bow across his shoulder like how he carries it when not in use?

Mattel has added the flesh fabric on the arms of this "Retro-Action: DC Super Heroes" Green Arrow figure which is reminiscent of the 1970s Mego style 8-inch figures. In this way, the joints are hidden from view but it still does look strange, as if Green Arrow is wearing arm stockings.

Green Arrow first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 in November 1941. Throughout his first twenty-five years, Green Arrow was not a significant hero. In 1970, he was paired with the more law-and-order-oriented hero Green Lantern in a groundbreaking, socially conscious comic book series. Starting with issue #76, Dennis O'Neil took over scripting duties and Neal Adams took over as artist of the Green Lantern comic. This issue is one of the comics which is considered to have ushered in the Bronze Age of Comic Books. Since then, he has been popular among comic book fans and most writers have taken an urban, gritty approach to the character.

And here are the pair of Mattel "Retro-Action: DC Super Heroes" 8-inch tall Green Lantern and Green Arrow figures posed side-by-side. They certainly look great together as Emerald Allies in the fight for truth, justice and liberty for all! What a fine pair they make :) I never imagined that I would be able to take pictures of these two standing together, especially since Mego only released Green Arrow umpteen years ago and there was no Green Lantern ever released until now.

Related posts including other Mattel Retro-Action DC Super Heroes figures:
Mattel Retro-Action Hal Jordan Green Lantern - FUN!
Mattel Retro-Action Two-Face 8" Figure REVIEW
Mattel Retro-Action DC Super Heroes Batman 8" Figure with cowl and cape removed (pictures HERE)
Mattel Retro-Action DC Super Heroes Batman 8" Figure with cowl and cape (pictures HERE)
The Postman Cometh (Retro-Action DC Super Heroes) - blog post HERE
March of the Penguins - showcase of some of the Penguins a.k.a Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot (super-villain and arch-enemy of Batman) that have been produced and released as a toy and action figure as a result of the movies or TV series (including the animated ones) in which they have appeared over time.
FREE Star Trek Captain Kirk Retro Mego Style Figure from STGCC 2010 posted HERE


John said...

Another beautifully produced figure. I couldn't wait to get this one and was dissappointed it's release was two weeks late. Awesome figure and very close to the original.

Super-Duper ToyBox said...

He's so great- was REALLY sorry to miss this one. release just 9 months or so before i really got started- LOVE IT.

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

thanks guys, I really dig GA too :)

@Colin: I actually got him only recently from DrMego, together with GL. They both arrived on Monday so it's never too late, especially considering the much lower shipping rates you enjoy over there ;p

jedi_randy said...

Though GA usually plays second fiddle in the Green Hero department behind GL, I find his character more interesting. Like Batman, he relies on intelligence, street smarts and human skill rather than alien, mutant or mystical powers. This figure looks great, but it would have been better if bow was working and the arrows were also detachable. Love the post though, very comprehensive and well written. Two thumbs up!

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

thanks Jedi_randy "May the Force be with you!"