Updated: Dec 9, 2018
I am a bit of a late arrival to the DC world. Although a fan of the classic Batman and Superman films, I had stayed away from the newer DC stuff - particularly Smallville and later Arrow & Flash. It was Gotham that piqued my interest, and my curiosity of whether DC would now try and emulate Marvel with a linked TV and Cinematic Universe. That brought me rather recently to Arrow and I have just finished Season 1 and started on Season 2. Within a few episodes my collectors instincts kicked in and I decided that I needed some Arrow characters in the collection. The first Arrow figure was released in a 2-pack with Deathstroke and is now commanding a price of over £100 on the secondary market. This figure of Arrow is from Season 2 and is the first of a new wave of Arrow figures which also contain Black Canary, shirtless Oliver Queen and Deathstroke. Having had a good look at the S1 version, there is very little difference between the two figures apart from the face. On S1 the eyes are covered in the green face paint, by S2 this has been replaced by a mask. Arrow is sculpted by Gentle Giant and comes packed in a cardboard box with clear window, similar in ways to that used by Hasbro's Star Wars Black Series. The box also borrows elements from Marvel Select with a lovely side panel depicting Arrow from the show. The rear doesn't give any details of the figure but instead shows the other figures in the range Out of the box and Arrow himself stands a shade under 7" tall, that puts him comparable more to the Neca & DST figures than the 6" Hasbro product - I have dropped in some comparison pictures in the gallery. Arrow comes packed with a very spectacular looking bow, a group of arrows and 2 single arrow.s Starting with the sculpt, and its the usual quality you would expect from Gentle Giant. The face is always crucial and they do capture Stephen Amell in the head sculpt. Down to the outfit and its pretty standard stuff, although once you look closer you will find zips and pockets sculpted onto the jacket and then more prominent details like the wrist arrows, belt and knee straps and the detailing on the boots. Onto paint and that lets down the sculpt a little. The whole figure is pretty much one flat green colour with a touch of wash to bring out the clothing details. The face is OK, but the eyes are too painted too bright and too wide - it looks like you have just surprised Arrow. The lighter green trim on the back of the figure and the legs is well done and pretty neat, and I haven't found any areas of paint bleed. The bow is very nicely done and even includes an elasticated string - more on this shortly. It's painted a bit flat in green and black but fits in with the look of the rest of the figure. The arrows are also well sculpted and painted to a decent standard, particularly with different colours on the flights - one yellow, two green. The arrows sit neatly into a rear quiver, although I am sure they stick up too high and could do with dropping another 20mm or so into the quiver Articulation was always going to be key for Arrow. He is an Archer and therefore the first thing anyone is going to try and do is get him in a shooting position. Try is the operative word here, the arms dont have enough in them into a shooting pose. The bow arm is jointed to stick out at 90 degrees to the figure, but you can't get the other arm into a position to notch the arrow. It is a shame really as the elbow just needed a bit more movement. Having said all that even if the elbow had been fixed the other issue is the head, which can move but moves under the hood - not with it. Therefore Arrow can only look straight ahead with a tiny bit of up & down / side to side movement within the confines of the hood. There is a chest joint to give a bit of side to side movement to the torso but there is no waist articulation. The hips are jointed but when moved out to the side they leave a hideous joint gap. There is a standard back & forth knee joint and same for the ankles (none of my preffered ankle rocker) but saying that Arrow stands pretty well. Overall I am pleased with my latest acquisition and look forward to adding a few more DC Direct figures to the collection (particularly Flash and Deathstroke). Side by side with similar figures from DST then Arrow does the job and is comparable, it is just a shame that archer pose wasn't a number one factor when designing the figure. Arrow is a mid table figure, solid enough but doesnt quite give enough. I have scored Arrow 3 out of 5, but it is a high 3 and a bit more articulation would have pushed it to a 4.