Toys & Merch

Toy Review: Retro-Action Goodness

When Mattel unveiled their Retro-Action DC Super Heroes line at Comic-Con back in July, my inner child squealed with glee! Unfortunately, he used my vocal cords to do it, bringing the whole presentation to an uncomfortable and awkward halt. (Again, my apologies to Mattel and the people of San Diego.) So, of course I was going to buy this line. I never had any Mego figures as a kid, but I coveted them with a ferocity my team of childhood psychologists documented as “rabid” and “dangerously sociopathic.”

The first offering in the line is Green Arrow. I ordered him the moment he became available, chose ground shipping, then was shocked to receive him the next day! Clearly, Mattel’s heart grew three sizes just prior to Christmas and they didn’t want me to have to wait 6-8 weeks for delivery. But here’s the thing. I only ordered one, thinking I would just rip him open and play. But once I saw the awesome packaging, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. But he’s so tantalizingly playable looking. I’m really torn. Do I get another one and break my resolution to stop buying multiples I have no more room for? I still haven’t decided, so these pics are all of Oliver Queen in his little plastic bubble prison.


The whole point of this line is nostalgia, but unlike the Masters of the Universe Classics line, the Retro-Action figures aren’t trying to sneak in a lot of detail and articulation in their design. Green Arrow twists at the waist, wrist, ankle and neck and bends at the knee and elbow. He comes with removable “leather” gauntlets, his bow (with a “punching” arrow built in), as well as a quiver of arrows that attach to his back via a shoulder and waist strap. He also comes with his trademark jaunty hat, which is removable. The paint application is what it is. There are no gradations or highlights. Just green mask, white eyes and yellow beard and hair.

I’m definitely going to continue to collect this line. I suppose I love this style of figure, not only because of the nostalgia factor, but because the simplicity of its design and presentation hearken back to a time when a hell of a lot of imagination was required to infuse “action” figures with life and adventure. Back in my day, we were lucky to have even one point of articulation (which inevitably broke) and a piece of string tied to a stick to represent Superman. Then I would catch the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time…

P.S. For such a simply designed and executed figure, Green Arrow has some nice bulge action going on. Here’s hoping Mattel doesn’t freak out and file that down for future releases.