Well, after seeing them on clearance for a few weeks, I eventually got to buy one of the “Deluxe” figures from Mattel’s Green Lantern 4-inch action figure line. Only they are not really Deluxe, neither in name nor value.
Tomar-Re was released as part of the first wave of figures in the Battle Shifters assortment, while the single carded version appeared in the second wave of basic figures. In the Battle Shifter format, you get one action figure and one big transforming accessory instead of an energy projection and a plastic Green Lantern ring.
Tomar-Re is nicely sculpted, with a fairly unique physique and a lot of textures in the body. The figure isn’t quite as alien as it appeared in the movie because the body proportions are a bit too close to what one would expect from seeing a guy in a costume, but this interpretation of the character is certainly much more interesting to look at than, say, the DCUC approach of just sticking an alien head over a regular human body and call it a day.
There are a few key differences between this figure and the single carded version. The more obvious is the color scheme, as this Tomar-Re has a bright orange/ dark green gradient going from the top of his head to the middle of his chest. The rest of the costume seems to be painted the same as in the basic release, although Mattel used glossy paints instead of relying on the underlying plastic color.
The other aspect where this figure differs from the single carded one is the articulation. The Tomar-Re Battle Shifter has:
• Swivel shoulders.
• Swivel hips.
On a positive note, all of the joints (5) work just fine and the figure has good stability, but I was really annoyed by the shoulder joints, mostly because in the package they look like pegged hinges, which in retrospect might have set too high my expectation at the time I picked up this figure.
I hoped that the big accessory included would help to assuage my annoyance but unfortunately that’s not the case. The Battle Shifthing thing is a jumble of translucent and opaque green plastic panels connected by hinges and springs. In it’s compact mode it is supposed to be some sort of shield but I think it looks just like a really awkward luggage cart.
In it’s extended mode, the thing is meant to be a scorpion-like creature but the end result is extremely disappointing to look at. Not even the deploy mechanism is any fun at all.
First, you have to get it into the compact configuration, folding the panels inwards and securing them in place with a fairly loose plastic flange that protrudes from the “head” piece. To deploy, you press on top of the accessory and hope that it extends the legs and pincers to the sides, but it will not woks as intended about half of the time.
I know that I have been generally positive about these Green Lantern toys because of the clearance pricing, but these Battle Shifters are really not worth getting for more than a dollar in the best of cases. And even then, only if there is no way to get the single carded version of Tomar-Re.