Welcome to Part 5 of "DC Direct schools Mattel," a continuing comparison of the ways in which even a company new to the world of toys can outpace the industry's old guard by making good decisions.
DC Direct's first series of "Hush" figures were wildly popular, so they've gone back for a second hit. Since they already had Batman in Series 1, it made sense that they'd move one step down the line of succession and give us Nightwing for Series 2.
Dick Grayson was the first Robin, learning his craft at Batman's side. Soon he graduated to the next level, becoming Nightwing, defender of Blüdhaven!
John G. Mathews' sculpt is very good, a nicely understated piece. You can tell Nightwing's got muscles under that suit, but it's not anything terribly exaggerated - he manages to look lithe and athletic, as he should, but still has enough bulk to really pack a punch. Mattel's Nightwing was just skinny, and his costume looked like he was wearing a garbage bag, with little stretch lines all over. This is much better.
The only thing missing are the utility pouches on Dick's gloves and boots - they're a clever design element of the costume, but this figure is a more streamlined version. The facial sculpt is good, really capturing the square jawline that Jim Lee's heroes tend to have, and his tossled hair is much better than the Mattel version's bowl cut.
Nightwing is 6 1/2" tall, which makes him just a little bit smaller than Batman - a perfect scale. The "Hush" figures are more preposed than most DC Direct figures are, but Nightwing has a very simple pose. Articulation is a little light, with points at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. That's a decent amount, but wrists would have added a lot more play value. And why does DCD never do waists?
Dick's costume is a simple, understated design, a far cry from the gaudy horror he wore when he first took up the name. His only color highlight is the blue stripe that runs across his chest and down his arms, but that doesn't mean that DCD skimped on the paint apps: his body is matte black, while his boots are gloss; the blue stripe is muted, to match the black, but his mask is brighter; even his hair got some highlights painted on.
Nightwing comes with a Bat-logo display base and his escima sticks. The sticks fit very tightly into his hands - so much so, that some folks think they're not removable. Just keep working at them,and they'll come out. Try twisting as you pull. That's what Babs does. The sticks are painted a simple gray, and measure 2" long.
Perhaps the best thing about this "Hush" Nightwing is that you don't have to buy the Mattel two-pack to complete your Bat-family. Though it's taken them a while, DC Direct is finally fleshing out some of the company's biggest characters.
Oracle, Huntress, Starfire, Tarantula, that police chick... Dick sure gets around. Is he a manslut? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.