The SANDMAN ABSOLUTE EDITION is the newest addition to DC Direct’s line of realistically proportioned, superheroic 1:6 scale figures, and the first in a line of 1:6 scale figures inspired by DC Comics’ ABSOLUTE EDITIONS publishing program! Fully poseable with 28 points of articulation, this first Vertigo deluxe collector figure features The King of Dreams in his signature black cloak and an array of character-specific accessories including a ruby necklace, the Helm of Dreams, the Key to Hell, Goldie the Gargoyle, and Matthew the Raven! The figure also comes with a display stand. [Inner box backing.]
Product Line: The Sandman Absolute Edition
Company: DC Direct
Released: March 2009
Packaging: Window box inside a hard slipcase
Where to Buy: SuperHeroStuff.com, specialty stores, some toy stores
Price: US $125.00
Height: 1:6 scale
Oh my goodness, I cried tears of joy when I learned this was coming my way from SuperHeroStuff.com. I love Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, and I have a bit of a fictional crush on the dark and brooding Morpheus (though I realize that, given the character, it’s not a particularly healthy crush). It’s hard to express my joy at receiving this in the mail, and the excitement I felt opening up the box. I was not disappointed.
Sculpt and Paint: Almost perfect. It’s hard to pin down a single image of Morpheus when he has been drawn by so many amazing artists over his published life, but the sculpt here captures him quite well. There is muscle detail sculpted into his arms, legs, and torso, his cheeks are finely chiseled, his cheekbones prominent, and his dark eyes are sunken. There are even veins and wrinkles on his hands and (toe) bones on the tops of his feet (though I don’t recommend removing his shoes, as they’re difficult to get back on). His hair, made of hard plastic, is sufficiently tussled looking, but it could stand to “poof” out from his head a little bit more. It’s layered and has height, but it’s not as frazzled looking as Morpheus’s hair tends to be in the comics. His body is entirely white plastic, with the only color on his hair, lips, and eyes. His hair is jet black, as are his eyebrows. His lips are a light grey, and the shadows around his eyes are a slightly darker grey. His eyes are a shiny black, which gives them some depth in the right light, but I would have been even more thrilled if there were actually small stars painted in the center (though again, in the right lighting, they sort of appear on their own, which is a nice effect anyway). There is a teeny tiny amount of paint bleed around his hair line, and his left ear isn’t quite sculpted properly, but otherwise, it’s all perfect.
Morpheus is wearing his characteristic gray shirt and black pants, which are both made of realistic cloth. He even has a black belt around his waist, and five pockets sewn into the pants. Unfortunately, the shirt on mine appears to be slightly dirty on the back, and while I was trying to fit Morpheus into his display stand, I seem to have torn the top part of one of his belt loops loose, but that can be easily fixed. I believe you could remove the clothes entirely, if you so desired. The belt looks like it will come undone, and the pants have a small snap where the button would be. His shoes, which are a vinyl plastic, are a shiny black pair of ankle boots. As I mentioned before, you can remove them, but they are a little difficult to put back on.
Accessories: Morpheus comes with a slew of accessories, mostly tiny, so take care not to lose them. He comes with a lined, black, 4-panel tattered cloth cloak, which arrived it its own plastic bag beneath the plastic form holding Morpheus. The cloak is held on by a small hook and eye closure, which unfortunately unhooks quite easily. A snap, button, or even a small bit of velcro would have worked better. It’s tattered and frayed at the bottom, which looks cool, but also means it can unravel easily, so take care when handling it. Morpheus comes with three pairs of hands than can be switched out – fully open, closed fist, and partially closed (for holding objects). The hands pop on and off at the wrist very easily, but have no problem staying on. He also comes with two heads, his normal head, and the Helm of Dreams. The head takes a little more work to pop off, but don’t worry about harming the figure; Morpheus is very durable. The set also includes a tiny red felt bag (that holds the Dream Sand in the comics), the Key to Hell that Lucifer tricked Morpheus into taking, and the ruby necklace that houses the King of Dream’s power. Two of Morpheus’s companions are also included – Matthew the Raven, who sits upon a skull, and Goldie the Gargoyle (well, technically he is Cain and Abel’s pet). There is also a basic, plastic black stand included, with height adjustment, that has the words “The Absolute Sandman” painted on top of the base.
The helmet, Morpheus’s head and hands, Matthew, and Goldie are all very durable. The key is made of hard plastic, but it’s tiny and thin, and rough handling would likely damage it. The felt bag is like a miniature dice bag, so as long as you don’t manhandle it, it should last just fine. The one delicate piece of the set is the ruby necklace, which is a tiny piece of plastic hanging on a thin piece of twine. The only real complaint I have is that Matthew is stuck to his skull. He can’t really do anything other than sit there (his balance is perfect, so don’t worry about him toppling over). I would have loved being able to perch Matthew on Morpheus’s shoulder. Goldie, while adorable, has little balance to speak of. He can sit up, but he’ll topple over easily. All of the accessories have excellent detail, from Matthew’s feathers to the vertebrae on the Helm of Dreams. The ruby necklace could be better made, as it looks like a cheap piece of plastic; which it may very well be, but it shouldn’t appear as such.
Durability: Morpheus is made of hard plastic, as are most of the accessories he comes with. As already mentioned, the accessories are mostly durable, which a couple of exceptions – the delicate ruby necklace and the tiny key. And really, unless you’re rough with them, they’ll be fine. The clasp on the cloak is sewn on well, but rough handling could tear it off, and may cause damage to the cloak. The rule of thumb is, of course, to treat it gently, like you would any figure. $125 is not the price of a children’s toy, so don’t expect it to stand up to rough treatment.
Poseability: With 28 points of articulation, Morpheus has plenty of poseability. His arms have a wide range of motion, his head turns fully around (but does not have much up and down motion), he bends forward at the chest (though not backward), twists at the waist, bends at the hips, has rotating ankles, two knee joints (one at the knee, and another just below), and the joints aren’t hideous. In fact, they’re done quite well. His hands can look a bit odd, as there is no bending at the wrist, but they can turn around on the ball joint they snap onto. While Morpheus comes with a stand, he is capable of standing on his own. It takes some careful balancing, but it’s doable.
What’s Awesome: It’s Dream! He looks great, he comes with a good range of accessories, and he comes in some fantastic packaging. He was so well packaged that I didn’t have to worry about any little pieces falling out while I was trying to untie Morpheus. And I also almost broke a nail or two trying to get everything out. I rather wish the necklace had come inside a small plastic bag, as it was taped across the twine onto the packaging with scotch tape, which could have damaged the twine upon removal.
What Sucks: Nothing really, except a couple of small disappointments, like not being able to perch Matthew on Morpheus’s head or something. I was a little surprised the set came with Goldie, as he is a figure in Cain and Abel’s life, and doesn’t really have much presence in Morpheus’s. The set does include The Helm, The Bag, and The Ruby, the three artifacts that hold Morpheus’s power, so it’s really hard to complain about the accessories. I just think something other than Goldie would have been better (though I can’t personally think of something at the moment, so my right to complain is flimsy). Perhaps something to connect him to his sister, Death. Or a tiny version of the first Absolute Sandman book. Also, while the sculpt is incredibly detailed, I wouldn’t have minded a little shadowing or definition with some (very) light paint.
Overall: The Sandman: Absolution Edition Morpheus figure gets a solid 4.5/5. I just had a couple of tiny complaints about the construction of some items, but overall I am thrilled to add this figure to my collection.