Over the last few months I’ve been reviewing some of Diamond Select Toys range of affordable PVC statues of classic comic book superheroes. This week I’m going to take a closer look at the first DC statue I’ve purchased from this range: Aquaman.
Released in 2018, this Aquaman statue forms part of Diamond Select’s Gallery range of PVC statues, a collection that so far numbers over 80 pieces. I’ve already looked at four other statues from the range featuring Marvel superheroes — Doctor Strange, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and The Amazing Spider-Man — all of which have been very impressive, and this one featuring the King of Atlantis Aquaman is no exception.
The statue depicts Aquaman —aka Arthur Curry — leaping out of the ocean brandishing his golden trident above his head, ready to attack. It’s wonderfully dramatic and incredibly eye-catching and, similar to the other PVC statues I’ve reviewed from this range, really captures a perfect split-second of action.
The statue ships in a full-colour cardboard box that features transparent windows at the front and the sides, so you can examine the statue before you purchase it (if you decide to buy in the shop, that is), while the back of the box features of short biography of the classic DC Comics character. Aquaman comes in two pieces: the main statue itself, and the trident which slides into his hands. The statue is encased between two pieces of studded blister packaging which is more than up to the task of protecting the piece (mine arrived completely intact and undamaged). The statue was sculpted by Jean St. Jean, and was based upon a design by Shawn Knapp.
At first glance there are two obvious big-selling points for the statue, although I also have two reservations with it as well (which I’ll get to later). But first, let’s look at the good stuff. There’s can be no doubt that the most visually interesting element to this statue is the semi-translucent wave that Aquaman rests upon. This is incredibly eye-catching and very well done. The effect is reminiscent of the blast-off flames used on the Iron Man statue, and it is no less impressive when realised here. The light catches the wave wonderfully and there are some terrific shades of colour mixed in with the translucent effect.
The second eye-catching part of the statue is Aquaman‘s ubiquitous bronze chainmail shirt, which is incredibly detailed and beautifully coloured. The level of detail in the chainmail is terrific, and it catches the light wonderfully. In fact the paint job on the whole statue is of a very high quality; there is some nice colour shading on both Aquaman‘s legs and hair and the paintwork itself is very accurate. Another positive with this statue is the absence of any obvious seams between the parts that make up the statue. I’d previously mentioned in my review of the Hulk statue that some of the seams (as well as the glue) were visible — thankfully that’s not the case here.
St. Jean, and Knapp have done a really excellent job interpreting Aquaman who, despite the character’s age was, until very recently, viewed as a bit-player in the DC universe. But the recent hit film has cemented the underwater superhero as a major contender in the DC universe, and this statue really does the character justice.
Now for the two things about this statue that I’m not wild about, one of which is a practical concern, while the other is stylistic. From a practical point of view the trident, when inserted into Aquaman‘s hands, only slides down about a third of the way, thanks mainly to the ridges on the staff that catch in his hands. As a result the trident sticks up above his head far more than I suspect it’s supposed to (and indeed far more than is shown on the packaging). I’ve tried pushing the trident down further into his hands but I’d risk damaging to the statue if I pushed any harder. It’s not a serious problem, but it does give the appearance that the trident is a little off balance. On the positive side though it does add to the statue’s height, which when measured from the base to the tip of the trident comes in at a truly impressive 19 inches in height, so it’s really not that much of a problem.
My second complaint is a stylistic one, and one that concerns Aquaman‘s face, which looks a little bland. Considering the action-packed nature of the overall statue Aquaman looks positively bored, particularly when you compare this piece to the Doctor Strange statue, who’s facial expression reflects the drama of that statue. This isn’t a massive problem, and it certainly doesn’t detract from the overall effect of the statue, but it is a bit of a wasted opportunity. Does Aquaman really have to look so disengaged?
As with the other statues in the Diamond Select Toys PVC Gallery range this one retails for a very affordable $45, or about £45, which is amazing value for a statue of this quality. I picked up mine from Amazon for just over 40 quid, and it’s money well spent as far as I’m concerned. Despite it being made from PVC it looks great, and it feels very substantial too, weighing-in at a hefty ¾ kilo.
I’ve mentioned in the past how impressed I’ve been with Diamond Selects Toys Gallery series of statues, and this one of Aquaman is no exception. The wave effect, combined with the bronze chainmail and the statue’s action-packed stance is very effective. Up until recently I’d never really considered myself that big a fan of Aquaman, and if a year ago you’d have told me I’d spend money on a statue featuring the superhero I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s a testament to the quality of Diamond Selects Toys range of PVC statues that this one now sits pride of place on my shelf.