Review : Detective Jim Gordon Gotham Select (Diamond Select Toys) Wave/Series : Series 1 Released : November 2015
£19.99 - £22.99
Diamond's Gotham Select figures debuted in November 2015 as the show itself started it's second season. The first series of figures was made up of three characters as seen in season 1; Penguin, Selina Kyle and the figure we are looking at here, Detective Jim Gordon.
The future commissioner of Gotham arrives in the familiar Select packaging. For those unfamiliar, the select boxes are huge and that is so the team at Diamond can expand up to larger characters if needed (think Hulk from Marvel) and pack in some significant scenery/diorama pieces.
The majority of the front of the packaging is a giant blister which shows off the figure really well. To the left is a wrap around card side piece which has the Gotham logo, and underneath this the tag line "Before the Legend". The character name is then placed in a triangular insert to the left of the blister and sat behind the character name is an image of the character from the show.
Spin the packaging round to view the left side, and as is usual form for Select figures the whole side piece is made up of an image of the character from the series. This allows for MIB collectors to present these figures side on like a book with this gorgeous side panels on view. Being Gotham, this side piece is quite dark compared to say the Marvel Select figures and the dark theme is prominent round into the card back. The card back leads at the top with a further Gotham, before the legend header. And to the right of the card is an image of the figure itself. Overlaid onto this image to the left is a white text bio of the character. At the bottom is an also available section showing the other two figures in the wave, and to the right of this is smaller image showing the completed diorama piece - the Gordon and Selina sections combine to create a larger piece, more on this later.
Once opened, Gordon is strapped into an inner tray and behind this is a further tray containing the two piece background display. Unusually for an action figure, Gordon comes with his revolver already in hand rather than packed in a separate segment as an accessory.
Out of the box and Jim stands dead on 7" tall and a tad taller, and beefier, than the Penguin. Facially, it isn't a bad representation of actor Benjamin McKenzie but is certainly not a perfect likeness. The biggest problem with the overall likeness seems to be the lack of a neck, and the head sits too squat to the shoulders.
The rest of the body is a fairly boring suit and tie affair. By there nature, suits have very little detail, but there is a degree of fabric folds built into the sculpt and the seams, collars and pockets are all picked out. The tie is done as a separate piece to the torso, and with it being a softer rubber it can be moved out from the body if you really want to.
Diamond figures are usually well painted, albeit sometimes lacking more in-depth weathering or depth. In Gordon's case the face is neat and the eyes particularly neat and realistic. There is some definition in the skin tone, I think this is more a lighter tone on the prominent parts like the forehead, chin and nose. The hands have a similar finish and that picks out the veins and tendons in the back of the hand where Gordon is gripping. The hair is a dirty blonde, with a lighter blonde dry-brush. It isn't great up very close, but at a distance it does the job.
The suit coat, arms and trousers are all a drab grey and this is a flat colour all over with no wash or highlights and to be honest it doesn't need it. The shirt likewise is a flat blue, and the tie a flat black with neatly applied stripes on top. Gordon's only accessory is his gun, which is a pretty decent sculpt but simply cast in black plastic, some touches of gun metal would have brought out the detail nicely.
Articulation, as fans of DST will know, is improving and has taken a big leap forward in last 2-3 years particularly on their more recent Marvel Cinematic figures, and that has been carried forward into Gordon. The head is ball jointed and can be rotated fully round, whilst also looking up and down. Had he had more of a neck this would have allowed more defined up and down motion.
The shoulders are ball-jointed and move both fully around the rotation of the shoulder, and outward away from the body to almost 90 degrees. There is no clash with the coat sculpt as the shoulders slot neatly away into the torso as they raise upwards, but that does mean a small visible gap when you view the shoulder from the side. Elbows are a pinned bend and also rotate. The wrists rotate also, all of which allows Gordon to handle his gun into most one handed poses including firing out to the side with arm straight.
The torso has a joint, a trait again carried forward from most Marvel Movie figures, but as this is behind the coat it doesn't really add to much movement, and against the light blue shirt does spoil the looks. Gordon has also inherited the loose feeling hips from the Marvel Select range, but thankfully the coat tails do stop the hips sliding the figure into unnaturally wide stances. The coat is however flexible enough to allow Gordon to sit down, and with the double jointed knees you can also achieve some kneeling positions.The final articulation is the ankle rockers, a valuable asset on such a heavy feeling figure to allow you to plant the feet flatly and keep Gordon stood on display.
Moving to the diorama now, and this arrives in two pieces. The first is the base which includes two moulded dustbins and a damaged cardboard box. Into this slots a grey bricked wall piece. There is no instructions on how to do this, and with the wall having pegs on both sides you need to be careful you are lining it up the right way. It will still need forcing into place and once clicked I suspect you won't get it back apart.
The base is nicely sculpted and really well painted. The floor is suitably grimy with its very own suspicious puddle of "something". The brick wall section is a darker grey, but still painted to include a depth on the bricks via a darker wash into the mortar. There is one peg on the left hand side of the base into which Jim slots fairly firmly.
Unlike Penguin, who has a stand alone diorama base, Jim's base is designed to link up to the piece that comes with Selina Kyle. I will be reviewing Selina very soon, but I will talk briefly about the combined piece.
With Selina you get a five piece affair which is made up of a further section of wall, a balcony, two support struts and a ladder. I will talk about these in more detail when we review Selina. Once the whole thing is assembled you end up with a two story affair where you would assume you can pose Jim in the alley way with Selina on the balcony. Sadly it's too small, with Jim's head banging on the overhead balcony when stood directly underneath. Another inch or so and it would have been much more effective.
Diamond are a personal favourite of mine and with new licences, like Gotham and the upcoming Ghostbusters and X-Files ranges, they look like they will have a strong 2016. You know what you are getting with DST, a solid well built figure - albeit with potentially weak hips - a neat paint job and a decent sculpt. Human head sculpts remain their Achilles heel, and Gordon is no different, but they have come a hell of a long way since sculpts like their first Wolverine. For a 7" figure with a pretty massive diorama accessory they also present good value for money, and are a bit different in terms of presentation for MIB collectors.
Some will argue Gordon is a little plain, but that is what the show is all about. There is no latex suits or super powers as yet, it's gritty and dirty and plain and Jim's figure represents that. He isn't perfect and my frustrations include the neck and the badly thought out diorama. I am going to score Jim the same as Penguin, a standard 3 out of 5. Gotham wave 2 is on they way, and like most wave 2's it should see a step up in quality - after that then I guess it will all be down to sales and fan reaction.