This is my favorite of the five Bizarro action figures produced to date. True, it is essentially just a repaint and lacks the monstrous physique of figures like the ones from DC Superheroes or Superman: The Animated Series that I prefer, but it still, overall, the best one yet.
Bizarro was part of DC Direct's Superman Series One,
joined by Superman, Supergirl and Brainiac 13, which was in some ways the beginning of the end for that company: its original focus was figures of lesser-known characters, the kind fans could only ever hope to get through such a direct-market company, produced literally to demand; for the last few years we've suffered countless variations on Batman, Superman and the JLA, a.k.a. popular/marketable characters – but this is a rant for a different time). It brought us the first ever super-articulated DC Universe figures and the Superman from that line has proved so popular it has been repainted and re-released multiple times and will even be straight reproduced/re-released via DCD's first series of Reactivated figures coming Fall 2006. Bizarro is really just the Superman body repainted, with a new head, cape and placard accessory. And yes, these comparably minor differences do offer a unique enough figure for me to deem it a "must have!"
The sculpt, done by master Tim Bruckner, is a just a flat-out perfect Superman body – muscular and "heroic" but not overly so.
The outline of the "S-Shield" logo on the chest is the only sculpted part, allowing for the same molds to be used for both Superman and Bizarro. And a bunch of the later Superman series. We even get a full 24 points of articulation! Bizarro's cape is an all new sculpt (the edges are "blown" backwards as opposed to "forward" on Superman, for those wondering) and what makes this especially cool is that this figure has the Backwards S-Shield actually sculpted, fully, onto the cape – the only Bizarro figure to offer this detail, which is just a great little touch.
Also included is very nifty little "Bizarro #1" placard with real rope "necklace." This piece is virtually just as "crucial" an element of the Bizarro costume as the backwards S, so it is rather surprising that it, too, is only available with this Bizarro figure – no other one, yet, has it!
The most important and noticeable sculpt difference is the head. I feel the look of the head is at least inspired by the art of Ed McGuiness but is "generic-ized" well enough that it easily passes as non-specific figure. It features a wonderful crooked grin, furrowed brow and unkempt hair. Bizarro's head even has better "mobility" on his neck joint than Superman allowing for a better/further back head tilt for a flying pose.
However, it's the paint job and color scheme that really sets this Bizarro apart from the others
and makes it the Bizarro to have. This is the only bizarre figure that offers an out-and-out purple-based color scheme (the current look for Bizarro, which is rather popular among fans). What would be blue on Superman is a nice dull purple on Bizarro and what would be red is here is a vibrant violet. The colors, despite being tones of the same hue, differentiate from and complement each other surprisingly well, and are accented beautifully by the yellow of the S-Shield and belt. Moreover, Bizarro's head and hands are a perfect dull gray, complete with dark grey highlights and a blue-gray base coat on the head and neck that just ad great detail to the skin. The hair is black, obviously, but has dark blue highlights on the tips, too. Bizarro even has red pupils and, get this, black fingernails! Now that is attention to detail!
I really just can not say enough about this figure. It is worth almost whatever price you can find it for. It may lack certain features or aspects you or I may prefer but it overall averages out to put all other Bizarros to shame. If you buy only one Bizarro action figure make it this one – Bizarro from DC Direct's Superman Series One.
Purple or blue? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.