Friday, January 17, 2014

Action Figures from planet Tamaran

Well action figures of Tamaraneans but close enough.  Review of old figures under the cut.

I don't have a huge collection of action figures, I try not to be one of those collectors that runs out of space. So if a better figure comes along I sell it unless it's one of my favorites (I have a couple Boosters.) But I also like to collect not just action figures of characters I like but the whole family. I have the bats and if there was a decent Talia and Ra's I'd have them too.

When I finally found a Starfire figure this lead to me getting a Blackfire and a Nightstar. Looking at them I thought I should compare the figures to show how different the Tamaraneans came out.

This is based off of Starfires' first costume pre-Flashpoint although the hair isn't as big as it used to be. While there was another comic based figure done by DC Direct this one was made by Mattel during their DC Classics run. The idea was to put her in a two-pack with Adam Strange since her outfit might be considered too risqué for retail. (Yet they released a figure of a teenage boy wearing nothing but boots and Daisy Dukes.) At first glance it's a decent figure but once you look at it close up the flaws start to stick out. This was another cost effective piece that hardly has any new sculpting added on. The body is too tiny and even if her character wasn't supposed to be taller it looks off. The head sculpt was done during the earlier days of the line, which was long before we got styles like the current Fire and Ice. When looking at the face it's pretty but not symmetrical, that pops out at you once you look at the eye line.

The painting doesn't fair much better with the detail of the red jewel on her pelvis. The top half of the costume (minus the neck piece) wasn't sculpted but rather painted on giving it a cheap look. This is made worse by the boots which also lack the sculpted detail. While they can get away with not using the paint to bring out the armored sections more they gave her yellow eyes instead of green. Perhaps a minor thing but there's not much to this figure in the first place.
In general the figure may have the most points of articulation of the bunch but she looks pretty flimsy and frail. Starfire should look stronger than this but she's the tiniest of the bunch.

The older sister of Princess Koriand'r, Komand'r rules as Queen on Tamaran after their parents deaths. This was based on Geoff Johns Teen Titan line. I don't have any of the other figures from that line but she doesn't look as well crafted as the others. I don't think the body has any parts that are reissued/repainted but it's still too thin. While Starfire has a more orange hued skin tone Blackfires' is more yellowish. Her skin/hair matches the coloring in the TT book at the time but doesn't look very good compared to the Starfire's. But besides the thinness problem the most notable flaw is the long thick neck. If you want to pose these their need stands, pegs or something to keep them up. Carefully balancing them is a feat of it's own.

To Blackfires' credit the paint job is far more detained and the sculpted parts, such as the boots and wrist guards, make it pop more than Starfire. The cape looks good but it feels very thin compared to other cape molds.

In some respects DC Directs' Blackfire is better than Mattels' Starfire but in others Mattels' wins out. Just like the comics the pair is evenly matched in flaws and their strengths. Both could stand to get better figures. 


From the Alex Ross line is the Kingdom Come character Nightstar, daughter of Starfire and Nightwing. The difference between Nightstar and the rest is pretty damn obvious. The weight of the figure is more solid than the other two for one thing although there's still an issue of balancing. The proportions are much better although Mar'i here often looks like she's too big around most DC Direct and Mattel figures. I'm thinking that Nightstar might fit in better with the DC Collectable lines since they seem slightly bigger but I don't have any of those figures yet. Nightstar has the least amount of articulation of the bunch and can't really pose much. While Blackfire and Starfire don't have matching skin tones/hair thanks to artist interpretations this figure has a paler look for a good reason. She's only half  Tamaranean thanks to her father Dick Grayson and while she has her mothers' eyes she still has his hair.

While Nightstar looks better than the others on her own she seems like the odd one out in the group. Although I don't think you'd guess any of them were supposed to be related based on the picture. I still like having them on display.

More so when I can pose them in the middle of an awkward family moment.

Blackfire: Really sister? You had a spawn with an earthling and that mewling brat is supposed to be your son-in-law?
Starfire: You have no right to speak of my choices nor my family!
Nightstar: Uh, I'm from another timeline so this doesn't really--
Nightwing: Come on Damian, let's go home.
Robin: No! I wish to see this supposed future bride of mine! I will not be trapped in some arranged marriage with the result of your sordid affair!
Nightwing: Are we sure he's not supposed to marry Blackfire?


  1. That Nightstar figure is rather gorgeous. And the Blackfire one isn't too bad. But poor Starfire looks just...dreadful.

  2. It really is, Nightstar was better than I expected since I kept hearing bad things about the Kingdom Come line. Mainly that they fell apart. But so far I've had no problems with the figure. Too bad we never got a Lian Harper.

    I'd like Blackfire more if her body wasn't so thin, the proportions look off to me. Otherwise she looks better than Starfire. I'm hoping with the Arsenal figure Kori gets a new figure because this one is the best comic based figure available for Starfire.

    Weird thought but Ryand'r is the only one of the siblings without an action figure.