Updated: Dec 9, 2018
Review : Malcolm Merlyn DC Collectibles Wave/Series : DCTV (CW) Arrow #12 Released : 2016
Malcolm Merlyn is the 12th figure in DC Collectibles 6.75" scale Arrow-verse figures. It essentially takes the earlier release of the Dark Archer and now adds the John Barrowman head, naming the character as Malcolm Merlyn.
The figure comes in the standard white DCC window box. Being an arrow release the bottom trim is green and the Arrow logo sits above this. The character name is printed in white text on the corner of the box.
Around the back and the design is relatively plain with the Arrow TV logo at the top and under this the three figures released in this "wave". On the alternative spine is a zoomed in image of the figure as under which sits a wider green panel, the arrow logo, character name and the number 12 in an arrow head shaped icon.
The figure is accessed via the top or bottom flap. He slides out in an inner plastic tray that itself sits in a cardboard sleeve with a cityscape printed across the middle third. Merlyn is secured into the tray with twisty ties. A solitary arrow and his bow sit to the side
The likeness to John Barrowman is fleeting at best. The sculpt is very soft with barely any features. It is cast in a skin tone plastic which doesn;t help as there is no shading, and only the lips, eyes and eyebrows are then painted. The hair is similarly "soft" and is painted a dark grey and then has a yellow dry brush in complete contrast?
The body and outfit are much crisper in sculptural detail and painting. The body is essentially a large leather over coat with strapping and padding cross the shoulder and chest. There is a neat belt around the waist too and all buckles and buttons are picked out neatly in silver. The jacket itself is painted brown then has rubbed black in places as though it is worn and used.
Round the back is a black leather quiver, with further silver studding and a cast block of arrows sticking out of the top.
The legs are a plain grey down but with further dry brushing to weather these also. The final element are the ankle boots, which are a plain black but with a crisp golden zip line at the side and a gold line trim just under the toe cap.
Merlyn has 14 points of articulation, pretty standard for a DCC release. That head is ball jointed and can look side to side as well as looking down. You can also feel a ball joint in the waist, but this does not move as it is locked in by the coat section.
The arms start with ball jointed shoulders and then into a single rotating elbow. This is the biggest miss for me on the figure as an archer is always going to need very maneuverable elbows to achieve archery poses. The elbow joint we get doesn;t even bend to 90 degrees so as you can see posing is going to be tough. The wrists are pivot joints so these rotate and also bend pretty well - this is unusual for a DCC release as quite often the wrist pivots are jammed by the paint application.
The legs are ball jointed hips, and these are also locked in place by the coat. The knees are double jointed and there is a rocker type joint at the ankle. Merlyn stands perfectly well on display.
Malcolm's weapon is a very intricate modern hunting bow which is cast in a black plastic. There is plenty of details on the cast, but no paint apps to accentuate them. The string is actually elasticated string which means (with the right articulation) you could pose the figure drawing the bow and being ready to fire. In reality that is harder than it sounds due to those limiting elbow joints.
The bow sits into the left hand, accurate to the show, and the grip and hold is pretty good. The string should then fit in the shaped fingers of the right hand, but that is easier said than done - and with the elbows only bending so far the draw is quite limp and relaxed.
A single arrow is included and I presume the idea is to pose the arrow in the bow ready to fire. Again in principle this sounds OK, but practically it doesn't work. The right hand can't hold the flight of the arrow enough and the best I could get is having the arrow propped on the hand.
This arrow accessory is cast in quite brittle plastic, no doubt to get the thin shift and pointed head, making it prone to snapping. It looks as though it should fit in the quiver down the side of the sculpted block of arrows. Sadly the space left is not enough and if you do put the arrow in the quiver it sits up quite considerably.
All is not lost, and working with what DCC have given us does let you add some character to your Malcolm Merlyn figure. With some tweaking you can get some preparing to fire poses.
At a circa £20 price point for a 6.75" figure, the DCC figures are starting to get a little bit left behind by their competition. While the figures are well sculpted, human faces are still quite soft. Articulation is also falling behind other lines like Marvel Legends.
And yet these DCC figures do hold a kind of charm and a quality feel in their weight and paint job. They do look good once posed and hold there posing really well on display. As an addition to an Arrow-Verse display, or even as a bad guy on your Legends of Tomorrow shelf, Malcolm Merlyn is better than average and I score him 3 out of 5.