‘Suicide Squad’ King Shark Build-a-Fig: McFarlane Toys product review
WASHINGTON — McFarlane Toys pays homage to Warner Bros. and DC Films’ latest live-action movie “The Suicide Squad” with its select line of 7-inch-tall, super-articulated action figures. As part of its popular DC Multiverse collection, the lineup includes Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Polka-Dot Man, and a “Build-a-Fig” (figure) of the cinematic edition of that fierce (but not too bright) predator demigod of the land and sea known as the mighty King Shark.
Paraphrased from the McFarlane Toys’ website: “The enormous King Shark, aka Nanaue, is half-human and half-shark, with a childlike naivëté that belies the teeth beneath. Add to that a bite that far outcries his bark in this genetic experiment gone way awry, [he] is far more brawn than brains and always in the mood for his next meal, no matter who is on the menu … nom nom.”
With its spin-off Suicide Squad action figures, McFarlane Toys offers some well-needed competition against Hasbro’s Marvel Legends’ Build-A-Figure line. Their new line offers collectors a chance to go on a hunt for specific figures. The current mission: to assemble a key character from the DC Comics’ sequential art and movie universes.
The catch? In this case, collectors will need to purchase all four Suicide Squad action figures to assemble the bulky and weighty villainous masterpiece known as King Shark.
Each figure’s package contains some of the seven pieces needed to assemble a 9-inch-tall, humanoid version of a Great White shark. He (or it) comes complete with webbed hands, arms, legs with webbed feet, a back fin, and wearing a pair of textured but slightly tattered blue swimming trunks.
Collectors who manage to gather all the pieces can put King Shark together in less than five minutes. Fully assembled, the action figure features a grey body with a lighter chest and belly shade than the “real” King Shark. Plus a shark skin texture with a hint of gills, back ribs, and spine.
More on the King Shark action figure
Though larger than life, King Shark remains in-scale with the line’s other Suicide Squad movie figures. The head showcases King Shark’s two beady black eyes, sharky nostrils, and a mouth that actually opens. In so doing, the King reveals his pink palate and sharp teeth, including two wicked rows in the lower jaw. Better yet, this action figure offers 22 points of articulation. Its manipulability extends right down to a torso that can twist at two separate joints. And as an added plus, flexible webbed toes.
One negative note. It seems nearly impossible to keep King Shark’s head-on in the midst of an exciting team adventure. The joint never snapped in place. So any twisting loosens that formidable noggin, allowing an enthusiastic fan to easily pull it off.
Second drawback: Of course, as already noted, to own this ferocious beast, collectors need to buy the entire set of Suicide Squad action figures. That’s something of a consumer bug, but it’s definitely a marketing feature. And admittedly, it adds some extra fun as fans (particularly kids) acquire each action character while adding another King Shark component.
Since true collectors will find it irresistible to acquire all the characters in this Suicide Squad set, we offer a concise breakdown of each of McFarlane Toys’ Suicide Squad teams. Each figure offers at least 22 points of articulation, a display base, and a full-color trading card.
Here we go.
This 7-inch-tall version of the machismo-slathered, brawny and unrepentant peace-loving killing machine comes dressed in a colorful, movie-accurate costume. It features a textured red-and-blue top, bare arms, blue gloves, gold chest logo, beige pants, blue belt, and black boots.
He wears a silver helmet that covers all of his head and down to his cheeks. But the figure still reveals a nose and jawline that looks just enough like actor John Cena. As fans already know, sometimes WWE wrestling star plays Peacemaker in the movie.
Although the DC Multiverse considers this misunderstood, Judge Dread-style villain as a world-class marksman, McFarlane only included a metallic broadsword for him to wield in battle in its current figure.
Note: You can find an alternate version of this action figure as a Target exclusive. It features a helmetless head sculpt that looks like a more cartoony version of Mr. Cena.
Bloodsport (two-part torso):
This famed mercenary wears a film-specific, high-tech suit of blue body armor. The armor features orange highlights (in the movie, it’s more bronze), black boots, and a full-over-the-head helmet that has a very Xenomorph vibe to it. Especially those orange-painted teeth.
Once again, despite Xenomorph’s efficiency with a variety of firearms, McFarlane decided to give him a pair of katanas to wield instead in lieu of heavy-duty firepower.
I guess guns are politically incorrect these days. But I fondly remember when the action figure company was popular for accessories overload. That was doubly true for its 2003 T-850 Terminator figure that included a coffin full of high-caliber armaments. Apparently, such things are too non-PC for 2021.
Also, worth noting. When I tried to pose this figure in a more crouched position, its left leg popped off. Fortunately, it proved easy to reconnect, with no loss of durability.
Fans can obtain an alternate version of this action figure as a Walmart exclusive. This one features a helmetless head sculpt that looks nothing like actor Idris Alba who plays him in the movie.
Polka-Dot Man (head and waist):
Perhaps one of the saddest and strangest villains in the DC Comics universe (first appearing in Detective Comics back in 1962) actually makes for one cool action figure. Abner Krill has the power to deploy the multicolored dots that form on his body as toxic projectiles he wields his opponents.
Dressed in a full beige jumpsuit covered in yellow, red, blue, and green dots, yellow boots, and silver gauntlets, he also wears an aviator-style helmet. The helmet does not cover a head sculpt that kind of sort of looks like actor David Dastmalchian who plays Abner.
Abner comes with a pair of removable goggles with translucent red lenses. Other useful additions: an extra rubbery gauntlet and a stream of blue, red, and yellow dots that can attach to a gauntlet and give the appearance of shooting from his hand.
Harley Quinn (legs):
Harley Quinn is easily the most recognizable and popular of The Suicide Squad members. The former romantic interest of The Joker comes to life here in a 6-inch-tall figure wearing a red, rubbery, frilly carnival dress and black boots.
Details include multiple tattoos on her bare leg, arms, and upper chest. The figure even boasts a “Property of the Joker” tat on her back along with stringy long yellow hair dyed red and black at the two ponytails. The only miscue is the head sculpt that looks more like actress Emily Blunt than Margot Robbie who has defined the character in cinema since 2016.
Still, it’s much more accurate than Mattel’s 6-inch version of Miss Robbie as Harley released back in 2016.
Worthy of note:
Each figure’s packaging presents a veritable minefield of potential sorrow when extracting the characters from it. Be very careful of the plastic strapping. When pulling out Bloodsport, I almost snapped a wrist joint when I failed to notice a binding holding the arm in place.
$99.96 retail. As noted, accessing the full King Shark figure requires the purchase of six figures at $24.99 each.
Read all about it:
DC Comics offers “The Suicide Squad: Case Files, Volume 1” ($12.99). It features some of the memorable appearances of the members in sequential art.
The compilation includes Detective Comics No. 300; The Fury of Firestorm No. 38; Suicide Squad Vol. 4 No. 25; Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller No. 1; Superman Vol. 2 No. 4 and No. 170; Vigilante No. 36 and the first appearance of King Shark in Superboy No. 9 from 1994.
What’s it worth:
Despite the “R” rating for the movie and although the action figure packaging comes clearly marked as suitable for owners 12 years and older, King Shark does set up a quandary for any parent whose young offspring might see the collection and its pieces in a store.
Specifically, the assembled figure is just too darn cute to not want to bring home, build and play with. Good luck with that, mom and pop. Again, great marketing by McFarlane.
For the older collector, McFarlane delivers a set largely faithful to the film as promised. However, it could have used better facial sculpting. But this set certainly offers a great way to pose and present The Suicide Squad core team in a display case or office cubicle (for those still working, fully masked of course, in an office).
I’m looking forward to a potential second series of Suicide Squad characters. Hopefully, McFarlane will include TDK, Weasel, the Thinker, Savant, Mongal, and Captain Boomerang. All of them would look great in an action-figure format.
• This story originally appeared in The Washington Times.
• This story originally appeared in The Washington Times.