I’m back with something of a Reader Request Review today. Last month I reviewed the entirety of the final series of DC Universe Classics action figures, Wave 20. At least, I thought I did. Turns out, I forgot to include the Grand Poobah of the series, its Build-A-Figure: Nekron. The leader of the Black Lantern Corps and the main antagonist of the way-too-long-and-huge 2009/2010 “Blackest Night” story arc, Nekron’s powers are off the charts and include craziness like raising the death, killing with a touch, warping reality, and growing to super-size. Clearly, this is not the villain you wanna screw with. Nekron is a Build-A-Figure that you need to buy 7 other figures to get all the parts for, which will run you around $120 if you buy all the figures. Ordinarily I would say I’d spend $120 on a 9″ plastic action figure over my dead body. But Nekron would probably like that, since he could just reanimate me to do his bidding and buy him anyway. And as it turns out, Nekron is a damn good figure and just may be worth his hefty price…
The reason we’re getting Nekron at all is because he won one of Mattel’s “Fan’s Choice” polls for the line, the first-ever one to determine a Build-A-Figure. Nekron was up against some much weaker competition like King Shark and Shaggy Man, especially since the vote was right around the time of Blackest Night, but I appreciate that Mattel does Fan’s Choice polls at all. So though the contest outcome was never really in doubt, that this figure was decided by one period is a big thumbs-up right there.
As you might expect, Nekron is a 100% new tool, as his body is just way too unique and different from the norm to reuse parts from any other Build-A-Figure. I’m extremely pleased about that, as the finished product looks unbelievable since it didn’t have to use any inappropriate re-purposed parts. I’m not sure when or if Matty will ever be able to re-use any of the pieces of Nekron for any other figure, but they are glorious on this action figure and a worthwhile use of the extensive tooling funds that went into the figure.
Nekron has one of the best and most elaborate sculpts of any figure in the DC Universe Classics line ever. The texture of decaying tissue on Nekron’s body is intricately done and looks morbidly authentic, and the open chest cavity with heart showing is utterly horrifying. The real metal chains hanging off of Nekron’s collar and bracelet may be my favorite aspect of the figure’s design, as they add a feeling of high-quality and realism to the figure and really draw your attention to the figure. Even Nekron’s rubbery, tattered robe has lots of holes added to it and a paint wash for extra detail.
Nekron isn’t the kind of villain that gets down into the trenches and brawls in any knockdown, drag-out fights, so he didn’t necessarily need to be loaded with articulation. Obviously Mattel wanted this Nekron to be the ultimate version of the character, however, because they gave him a massive helping of articulation anyway. Nekron has a generous 28 points of articulation including a ball-jointed head, ball-jointed shoulders, swivel biceps, double-jointed elbows, double-jointed wrists, swivel waist, ball-jointed hips, swivel thighs, double-jointed knees, and swivel ankles. Due to the nature of Nekron’s open chest cavity, any kind of upper-torso articulation would have been impossible without ruining the sculpt, so I’m content that Matty left it out. In addition, Nekron’s robe is made of a soft plastic that doesn’t limit the articulation on the figure at all, which is an example that Hasbro could really learn from, as several figures from Marvel Legends Series 1 (particularly Ghost Rider) were seriously hindered by clothing that was too hard and restricting.
The right leg of Nekron came badly warped with White Lantern Flash because of the way Mattel packaged it. The warping hasn’t naturally fixed itself in the month I’ve had Nekron built, so I’m probably going to have to try fixing it by boiling it–but I don’t particularly enjoy taking risks with such an expensive and hard-to-replace piece of figure. I don’t know about anyone else, but personally I prefer a little more care be taken by the packaging department to not do any harm to my $120 action figure.
Mattel first showed us this Nekron figure with a huge freakin’ scythe. It was out-of-this world gigantic, and an amazing accessory. Then Mattel quietly stopped showing the scythe and said nothing about it again until the figures started arriving, at which point early recipients were pissed beyond belief that the scythe was not included and was omitted from the packaging entirely. To this day, I’ve never heard any official response from Mattel about the scythe. It’s Nekron’s signature weapon, we know the Four Horsemen sculpted it since we’ve seen the prototype, and there’s a figure in this series (Metallic Hal Jordan) that comes with no Build-A-Figure part and could have easily come with the scythe. The fact that the first time anyone knew we weren’t getting the scythe was when people started receiving the actual figures is just outrageous, and Mattel’s cowardly lack of communication on the issue is inexcusable. [/rant]
Nekron is the collect & connect Build-A-Figure of Mattel’s DC Universe Classics Wave 20. As such, you’ll need to buy all of the figures except for the Metallic Green Lantern to get all the parts for Nekron, or else look around for someone selling the individual parts that comprise Nekron. As of writing, I have yet to see even a single figure from this wave anywhere but online stores.
Ebay is always the best option for looking for deals on Build-A-Figures, as you can find both completed Build-A-Figures and individual pieces of them there without having to buy the figures the pieces come with. You can check out the current listings for Nekron figures and pieces on ebay by clicking here.
Other online options:
Amazon has the whole DC Universe Classics Wave 20 case in-stock right now from various sellers with free shipping, but prices and availability change rapidly on Amazon so you’ll need to click through for the current specifics.
BigBadToyStore has stocked every single mass-retail DC Universe Classics figure ever, and have the set of 7 figures with all the Nekron parts for $109.99 in-stock as well as every figure available individually.
Overall: Nekron is a truly awesome Build-A-Figure and a real sight to behold. I’ve built most of the DC Universe Classics Build-A-Figures over the years, but Nekron is my favorite one. The sculpting detail is just incredible, with everything from the metal chains to the texture of his body and his beating heart all being phenomenal. I’m pissed Nekron didn’t include his scythe after Mattel showed it to us, and that combined with his super-high pricetag and warped leg holds him back from a perfect grade. Even so, this is a remarkable figure and in my opinion one of the very best that Mattel put out in the DC Universe Classics line. Nekron is absolutely recommended and in my eyes is well worth the hefty investment it is to build him.