#1738: Steve Trevor

STEVE TREVOR

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Last year, Wonder Woman arrived in theaters, and everyone loved it.  Well, not everyone, because I actually didn’t love it.  I didn’t even like it all that much.  I won’t go so far as to say I hated it, but I was certainly disappointed.  So there’s my controversial opinion for the day.  Less controversial?  My review of the following figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Steve Trevor was released as part of the four-figure Wonder Woman assortment of DC Comics Multiverse figures, which hit shelves last year just prior to the movie’s release.  Naturally, he’s based on Chris Pine’s turn as Steve from the movie, specifically in his main out he wears while out on the German front.  It’s rather a departure from how I’d picture a “classic” Steve, and actually looks more like another war comics character of DC’s, Enemy Ace.  But, that’s what happens when you shift Wonder Woman to a different war, I suppose.  Regardless, that’s not actually the fault of the figure, so I’m not gonna harp on it too much here.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  His sculpt is unique to him…which is probably for the best.  Wouldn’t want to risk this thing getting around too much, potentially affecting other figures.  As with the Suicide Squad figures, the sculpt’s implementation makes most of the articulation little more than theoretical.  He’s a little more posable than the Squad figures, but not by much.  He does at least get some range out of the mid-torso joint, but it requires him to look as if he’s been sawed in half to do so.  That’s really not ideal.  Moving past the clumsy and badly-integrated articulation, let’s look at the rest of the clumsy and badly-proportioned sculpt.  He’s…well, he’s simultaneously lanky and pudgy.  I’m not sure how that works.  The arms and legs seem too long, the torso’s too body, and his head is too small for the body, meaning it also sits too high on the neck, which in turn makes that look too long.  The head looks like it might have at one time have a decent Chris Pine likeness, but then somebody back at Mattel HQ sat on it or something, and it wasn’t corrected before the figure went into production.  It’s not great.  Then there’s the paint.  The rather hideous paint.  Once again, not entirely the figure’s fault, I suppose, since it’s a color scheme that comes from the movie, but it’s a bit ugly to look at.  To give them a little credit, I do appreciate the slight weathering they’ve done to accent the leg wraps.  However, since that’s the only accenting on the whole figure, they sort of stand out as oddly defined, and only further highlight the undefined nature of the rest of the figure.  Steve is packed with his Winchester 1897, which is a decent enough weapon.  Of course, Steve can’t really hold it, in part due to his lack of posability, and in part due to the fact that Mattel didn’t see fit to give him a trigger finger.  Gee, thanks Mattel.  Steve is also packed with three pieces to Ares: the head, torso, and sword.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If I didn’t like the movie, and I don’t like Mattel’s product, why did I buy this figure?  Honestly?  It’s because I was at my local Toys R Us on its very last day, and I wanted to buy *something.*  They had about 5 of this guy left, and he was heavily discounted.  I also like Steve Trevor as a character, and this is still his only proper action figure. It’s not a good one, and I’m certainly glad I didn’t pay full price for it, but it’s at least a little special, and ultimately, I feel a little sorry for it.

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#1599: New Frontier Boxed Set

SUPERMAN, BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN, & GREEN LANTERN

DC’s NEW FRONTIER (DC DIRECT)

One of my favorite DC stories is Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier.  It’s a great period piece, with amazing artwork, and a great focus on a few of DC’s lesser followed characters.  It was fortunate enough to get a a whole line of figures focused on it back in the day, which remains one of my favorite products from DC Direct to this day.  I’ll be looking at a few of those figures today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four figures were released as a special boxed set to coincide with the release of the Justice League: New Frontier animated film in 2008.  All four figures had originally seen release in DCD’s New Frontier toyline from 2006, before being re-released (with minor tweaks) here.

SUPERMAN

This figure is essentially unchanged from his single-packed release.  Of course, I never got that one, so he’s new to me.  Cooke’s take on Superman is a nice merging of styles.  He’s the character I think best encapsulates the ‘50s feel of the story, and a lot of that comes from his slightly tweaked version of the classic Superman.  He’s got a definite Fleisher flair to him, which I definitely dig.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  Hardly a super-posable figure, but he can get into some decent standing poses.  His sculpt is definitely one of the best in the line.  The details are sharp, and the line work is very clean.  Cooke’s style has been translated very well here, and Clark looks like he’s been lifted right off the page.  The shaping of things like the hair and the cape, and even the wrinkles where his costume has bunched up in a few places, are just perfect matches for the way Cooke drew his take on Superman.  The figure is slightly preposed in nature, but it’s not super awkward or anything.  It is, instead, a slight off-shifted balance of his weight to one side, which provides quite a naturalistic stance.  The paint work on Superman is pretty solid work.  It’s cleanly applied, and the palette nicely matches the more subtle hues of the book’s colors.  The original Superman included a camera and a rather elaborate display stand.  This release only gets a more simple black display stand.

BATMAN

Batman is another figure that was essentially unchanged for this second release.  He is notably distinct from the Designer Series Batman.  That one was based on the ‘40s styled Batman from the first half of the story.  This one goes for the ‘50s styled Batman as he appears in the back half of the book.  I always found this an interesting choice, since a lot of Batman’s role is in that first half, thus making this figure the less prominent design.  The figure is, somewhat frustratingly, taller than Superman.  He’s also a bit bulkier overall, which just looks…strange.  Cooke certainly didn’t draw Batman as the larger of the two, so why DCD went this way is anyone’s guess.  In general, Batman’s sculpt is a bit of a mess.  I mean, there are certainly nice qualities to it.  The head’s pretty strong, and the whole figure still manages to get the style down pretty decently.  The big flaw of this figure is his pre-posed nature.  More specifically, it’s the fact that I’ve never been able to figure out exactly what pose he’s *supposed* to be in.  Absolutely nothing looks natural.  He’s got this sort of a chest-thrust thing going on, but nothing else about him seems to match up with that.  The end result is…less than appealing.  On the plus side, the paint’s pretty decent.  Application is clean, the colors match the comic, and it just generally looks pretty good.  Guess something had to.  As with Superman, Batman’s only accessory is a display stand.

WONDER WOMAN

Darwyn Cooke’s Wonder Woman is my very favorite take on the character, especially in terms of design.  He very deftly merged her classic design with a more battle-ready amazonian look, creating a rather unique design for the character.  All of the important elements remained, of course, and it’s actually a pretty great send-up to the early Wonder Woman illustrations.  This figure marks this set’s first real deviation from the single releases, and it’s perhaps one of the first times that DC Direct ever directly addressed a problem with an initial release.  Wonder Woman gets a new head, which is a slightly more generalized expression, replacing the more intense (and not quite as well implemented) expression of the original figure.  I definitely prefer this one to the original release, though it’s a shame DCD didn’t give another stab at a more intense look.  The rest of the sculpt is straight from the original figure, and it’s actually pretty good.  Like Batman, Wonder Woman goes far more preposed than Superman, but unlike Batman, it doesn’t totally suck.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  The stance is very befitting the battle-happy Wonder Woman of the story.  The details of the sculpt are pretty fantastic, and I especially like the nicks and gashes taken out of her bracelets and shin guards.  Wonder Woman’s paint work is once again pretty decent.  It’s clean, and actually pretty bright, and slightly less subdued than the others in this set, which is appropriate for the character.  The original Wonder Woman release included an extra head, as well as a sword, lasso, and display stand.  This one doesn’t have the extra head, but does still get the sword and lasso, as well as the smaller display stand.

GREEN LANTERN

Hal Jordan is really the closest New Frontier comes to a main character.  You’ll note I said Hal Jordan, and not Green Lantern, since Hal isn’t really GL until the last chapter of the story.  Of course, the costumed look is a bit easier to sell than just Hal in a flight suit, I’d suspect.  This figure is about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 15 points of articulation, the most of any of the figures in the set.  He has my second favorite sculpt in the set, second only to the Superman figure in that regard.  Once again, the line work is simple and clean, and Cooke’s style is expertly recreated here.  The posing to this figure is very subtle, but adds a lot of life to the figure.  I like the friendlier expression seen here, as it definitely fits with Hal’s depiction in the book.  The paint work on GL is the one notable change from the original figure.  The biggest change is giving him the green on his shoulders, meaning this is actually a Hal from later on in his career, presumably sometime after the story.  Technically, this change doesn’t quite match the sculpt, but it’s subtle enough not to really matter too much.  In addition, the green used on this figure has a bit less yellow in it, which makes him look a little cleaner to me.  The original GL figure included an extra unmasked head, as well as his power battery, and the display stand.  This figure only gets a smaller display stand.  It’s a shame his extras got cut.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up a good number of the New Frontier figures when they were originally released, but somehow I managed to miss both Superman and Wonder Woman from the first series.  I remember this set being released, but I passed on it because I already had Batman and GL.  By the time I’d become willing to accept the pair of duplicates, the boxed set and the original releases had both picked up a fairly heft after market value.  As I’ve mentioned a few times in the last few months, Cosmic Comix purchased a rather sizable action figure collection last year.  This set was amongst that purchase, and the guys at CCX were nice enough to sell it to me for quite a markdown from its usual going rate.  I’m happy to finally have Superman and Wonder Woman, and I quite like this variant of GL.  Batman still sucks, but what can you do?

#1501: DC Bombshells Wonder Woman

DC BOMBSHELLS WONDER WOMAN

DC DESIGNER SERIES: ANT LUCIA (DC COLLECTIBLES)

Okay, I’m gonna start today’s review by saying this isn’t at all what I was planning to review today.  Today, I had intended to continue my look at DC Icons with Deathstroke.  So, just a few hours ago, I got my photo stage all set-up and ready to take pictures of him, and then…I couldn’t find his accessories.  So that was a no go.  Instead, I guess I’ll take a look at an entry from Icons’ pseudo-sister-line, DC Designer Series: Ant Lucia.  This line takes the work of artist Ant Lucia from his DC Comics Bombshells series and turns them into Icons-styled figures.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at Wonder Woman.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DC Bombshells Wonder Woman is the first figure in the first series of the DC Designer Series: Ant Lucia line.  The figure stands about 6 3/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Despite the Icons styling, the height of this figure actually brings her more in line with the likes of Marvel Legends or even DCC’s earlier output.  That being said, Wonder Woman’s actually a little taller than the rest of the line, so I think they’re just going for a slightly taller take on Wonder Woman.  That being the case, she’s not that horribly out of scale with later Icons figures.  Wonder Woman has an all-new sculpt, based on her Bombshells design.  I’m picky about my Wonder Woman designs, but I’m a pretty big fan of this one.  It’s a departure from the usual, but unlike a number of Bombshells redesigns, it actually outs her in more clothing than she usually wears.  The sculpt does a great job of translating Lucia’s artwork into three dimensions, as well as doing a pretty solid job of integrating the articulation in pretty smoothly.  By far my favorite part of the sculpt is expression on Wonder Woman’s face, which shows her cackling with sheer joy.  There’s just so much life in that expression, and when compared to the likes of the bland expressions seen on most of the Icons figures, it just looks so great.  It’s really fun.  Wonder Woman’s paintwork is all around pretty solid work.  The colors all fit the tone and style of the original art, and everything is very clean.  I quite enjoy the blue highlights in her hair, as it calls back to classic comic art very nicely.  Wonder Woman is packed with three sets of hands (in fists and two different styles of griping), a big wrench, and a cinderblock linked to a big chain (which can even split at the middle loop, making it look like she’s just broken it).  It’s a really fun selection of extras, to be sure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been wanting to get at least one of the DC Bombshells figures since they were announced and released, but I was never quite sure which one I wanted.  I decided to grab one of them during Cosmic Comix’s 26th Annual Annual Sale, and since Wonder Woman was the only one they still had in stock, the choice was made for me.  I’m actually not upset about that at all, because Wonder Woman’s one of DC Collectibles’ best offerings to date.  She’s a ton of fun!

#1459: Justice League Rebirth Set

SUPERMAN, BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN, FLASH, GREEN LANTERN, AQUAMAN, & CYBORG

DC ICONS (DCC)

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another entry in my latest recurring feature…F-DC F-icons Fridays?  Yeah, there’s a name that’s catchy and rolls right off the tongue.  Not content to just review one DC Icons figure a week, I’ve decided to continue my descent into madness and review seven of them in one day.  And you all get to be here for that descent.  Don’t you just feel so special? Without further ado, let’s look at the Justice League!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Cyborg were released in March of this year in the “Justice League Rebirth” boxed set, as part of the DC Icons line.  The set’s actually been in progress since mid-2016, when it was initially shown as a New 52-themed set, before being updated to reflect the characters in their most recent looks (for the most part), and tying it into the DC Rebirth relaunch.

SUPERMAN

This figure’s my primary reason for grabbing this set, since Rebirth actually got me reading Superman and Action again.  This figure actually just saw a single release a few weeks ago, which looks to be identical, apart from the packaging.  The design of this figure comes from the initial Rebirth books, after the older Post-Crisis Clark took over the identity again.  It’s already been replaced by a tweaked design, but it’s not too far off.  I actually quite like this design; it’s not the classic look, but it’s way ahead of the other post-New 52 looks.  It’s still weird to see a Superman without the red shorts, but I think making his boots blue helps to alleviate some of the color imbalances caused by that.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation.  Superman follows the “new” scale for Icons, meaning he’ll fit in best with figures from later in the line’s run.  He’ll also fit with some Marvel Legends depending on how much of a stickler you are for inter-character scaling.  He’s a little smaller than a Legends figure built on the Reaper body (as seen in the comparison pic with Cap).  Since he’s so sized up, he can’t really use any pieces from the first Icons Superman, making this figure an all-new sculpt.  It’s not bad work at all.  The build of the figure seems about right for Supes, and the proportions are all pretty balanced.  Detailing is all pretty clean and bold as well.  The head is pretty solid too; it’s got a nice friendly expression that seems right for Clark.  It feels maybe a touch wide, and perhaps a bit young for the more experienced Clark Kent this figure is meant to represent, but by and large I find myself really liking it.  The cape is made from a soft plastic, and it’s very nicely done.  After years of Mattel capes that have to be attached with a huge brick that utterly ruins the flow, this is a very refreshing piece.  In terms of paint, Superman is decent, if perhaps not fantastic.  The basic colors are all good matches for the source (the blue is a touch dark for my taste, but that’s accurate) and he looks pretty slick overall.  My only real issue is with the face, which just seems a little bit lopsided.  It’s the sort of thing that looks totally fine from most angles, but really goofy if you catch it the wrong way. Still, good work overall.  Superman includes no accessories.  Of course, that’s true of the entire set.  At least Supes doesn’t feel too light without the extras.

BATMAN

This guy also saw a single release, at the same time as the Superman figure.  It’s hardly a shock, what with it being Batman and all.  Batman is also sporting his look from Rebirth, but he’s been fortunate enough not to have it already change on him.  It’s another decent design.  It doesn’t speak to me quite as much as the Superman design, but that’s less about any particular element pulling me out, and more about it not being too terribly different from all the other Batman designs in recent years.  I can point out what’s different between this and the New 52 design if put on the spot, but they’re fundamentally the same.  Well, this one has less tactical-tech lines, which is certainly a plus.  The figure is 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Batman’s maybe a smidge taller than Superman, depending on posing.  I generally like for Bruce to be a little shorter, but it’s easy enough to have Clark standing straight and Bruce slightly hunching.  The important thing is that this Batman is taller than the Icons Nightwing, which can’t be said of the first Icons Batman (which is absolutely dwarfed by this release).  The very first prototypes of this set showed Batman using quite a few pieces from the older figure, but this guy ended up as a totally new sculpt.  It has its pluses and minuses, to be sure.  As a whole, I think it’s a strong sculpt, and it does a good job of conveying a modern era Batman.  He’s got a good, solid build, and the details on the costume appear to be more or less accurate to his new design.  The mouth seems ridiculously pouty, but Batman is the king of brood, so I guess that just goes with the territory.  His head is set a little higher on the barbel than other Icons figures, which can look a little off in straight standing poses, but actually affords him a good deal more range on his neck joint, which is pretty nice for a guy who does a lot of hunching.  The figure’s topped off with another nicely rendered cape, which has a flow to it that is just as well-crafted as, but completely unique from, Superman’s.  Paint on Batman is very solid work.  Nothing seems out of place like on Superman, and everything’s very bold and clean.  Perhaps the purple could be a little more noticeably different from the black on the cape, but that’s a very minor complaint.  Batman feels a little more hurt by the lack of extras; at the very least a batarang or something would have been nice.

WONDER WOMAN

This set’s Wonder Woman was actually the first in the line, though her single release wasn’t far behind. Unlike the last two, Wonder Woman’s single release was quite a bit different, leaving this one still exclusive to the larger set.  Wonder Woman was another big motivator for me buying this set since, like Superman, Rebirth got me reading her title again.  She’s sporting her first Rebirth look, which was sort of an update on her classic look, with a dash of the movie design thrown in.  She’s switched to something even more movie inspired since, but as with Superman, I sort of prefer this one.  The figure stands almost 6 3/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Yes, you read that height correctly; Wonder Woman really is almost a half an inch taller than Superman and Batman.  I’m not inherently opposed to her being taller than the other two (my favorite take on Diana is most certainly Darwyn Cooke’s, and he drew her as an inch or so taller than Clark), but this feels like a little much.  I think my issues ultimately stem from how the height is distributed; her proportions are a little out of whack, so her legs, specifically her thighs, end up taking most of the height and looking a bit longer than they should.  There’s a similar issue with the arms, where the forearms and biceps look really long relative to the shoulders and torso.  If you look at the comparison between her and the other two, you can see that despite her pelvis being a good half-inch higher than the other two, the hands all end in the same spot.  It’s not awful, but it does look a little off, at least in comparison to the other figures in the set.  On the plus side, it does make her the one figure in this set that fits in with Legends without any fudging.  Regarding the quality of the sculpt on its own, this figure’s a bit tricky.  Based on photos online and my initial reaction right out of the box, I was all ready to hate on the sculpt.  But then I took her out, and was messing with her for the photos and such and I realized it’s actually not a bad sculpt at all; it’s just an exceptionally hard to photograph one.  This figure looks very different based on the angle you catch her from, and she really doesn’t look great viewed from above.  But, head-on, she actually looks rather nice.  Yes, the proportions are still a little off, there’s no denying that, but I like more about this sculpt than I dislike.  Given the right pose, she actually looks pretty great, and given just how bad a lot of prior Wonder Woman figures have been, that’s very much a compliment. Wonder Woman’s paint work is definitely on the better end of things.  From what I’ve seen, there’s a bit of variance on the face, but mine seems to have turned out alright, and I really dig how bright all the colors are.  I didn’t know colors were allowed to go that bright on a DC figure.  Wonder Woman gets hit pretty hard by this set’s lack of accessories, because it means she loses her defining weapon: a big ol’ sword!  I jest, of course.  Who would ever think her defining weapon was a sword?  That’s just silly.  She’s actually missing her lasso, which is a real staple of the character, and a rather glaring omission.  It would have been nice to at the very least have it coiled up hanging from her belt.

THE FLASH

Flash is one of the two figures in this set who I’ve looked at an Icons figure of before.  I was overall impressed by the Series 2 figure, so I wasn’t really in the market for another, especially not one based on his super line-y New 52/Rebirth design.  And yet, here we are.  Flash’s design was essentially unchanged for Rebirth; the only noticeable difference here is the lack of chin strap, but a quick Google search shows that totally varies from artist to artist.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  Flash’s sculpt is all-new to this figure, but looks to have used the prior figure as a starting point at the very least; the musculature and sizing are all about the same, but the specifics of the costume have changed.  All of the yellow lines are etched into place, and there’s added details on the boots.  The head is a completely original piece, totally different from the Series 2 figure.  Since the head was the only part of that figure I had an issue with, I was intrigued by this one.  I’m happy to say, I find this one to be a serious improvement over the original.  The yellow lines aren’t etched into the head, so there’s a part of me that’s tempted to try and remove them so I can put this head on the old body, because I like it that much.  The paint work on Flash is mostly good, aside from one glaring issue:  he’s got a big spot of missing paint on the right side of his chin.  It’s a pretty noticeable flaw, and I’m definitely going to have to break out my paints to fix it.  Not the sort of thing I like having to do right out of the box, but I feel confident this is a one-off.  The lack of accessories for Flash is a bit less of an issue, but I do wish his default hands were flat running hands instead of fists.

GREEN LANTERN

GL is the other character for whom I’ve already reviewed an Icons release, and this figure’s even less different than Flash.  At first glance, this is a straight re-release of the deluxe Hal Jordan figure from Series 2.  However, that’s not quite the case.  You see, that figure was 6 inches tall, but this one is 6 1/4.  He’s also got tweaked hips to add the drop-hips that the rest of the set feature, so my first thought was that they’d simply sculpted new thighs with added height. Upon closer examination, I found that the entire figure has actually been ever so slightly enlarged, in order to bring him into scale with the rest of the set.  What’s more, the details of this figure’s sculpt are a lot crisper than those of the earlier figure, and the green has been changed to a more metallic sheen.  I loved this figure the first time I got it, and I still love it here.  Of course, I’m also frustrated by it, because it’s just different enough that it’s not a straight duplicate, so now I have to keep it.

AQUAMAN

You know the old saying: “if an Aquaman figure is released without a trident, does he make a sound?”  …Maybe that’s not quite it.  Regardless, here’s this Aquaman figure.  He’s based on the Rebirth design, which isn’t that much different from his classic look, apart from the gold around the collar and the lack of black shorts.  This figure stands about the same height as all of the other figures in the set, and has 29 points of articulation.  He’s really just a reworking of the single-release Aquaman, though, like with GL, he seems to have been scaled up ever so slightly.  The real difference between the two Aquamen is the head.  I can’t say I’m much of a fan of this one.  It looks fine on the prototype and all, but something was definitely lost in translation, leaving him looking rather goony.  It’s possible it’s just the paint making it look that way, though.  The rest of the sculpt is pretty top-notch.  The build is appropriate for him, and I really like the detailing on the scales of his shirt.  His paint is fairly decent; the colors are bright, and, apart from the odd placement of his eyes and a little bit of bleed over from his belt, it’s fairly well applied.  Aquaman’s lack of accessories here means that he doesn’t include his trident.  And I’m okay with that, because despite what pretty much every Aquaman figure ever would have you believe, he doesn’t really use a trident all that often.

CYBORG

This figure’s presence in this set frustrates me, because it sort of continues a persistent problem I’ve had with DC for several years now.  They keep shoving Cyborg into the Justice League, and it just upsets me.  I like Cyborg.  I like the Justice League.  I don’t really like Cyborg in the Justice League.  Especially when it’s at the cost of Martian Manhunter as a member, which it almost always is.  And that’s what the case is here.  In a seven figure Justice League set, I kind of expect a Martian Manhunter.  But noooooo.  No, in this set, we got Cyborg.  Cyborg who also got a single release with accessories.  Instead of Martian Manhunter, who was completely left out of the line, leaving my Icons Justice League sadly incomplete.  And of course, now I have a Cyborg, but not Titans to go with him, meaning that’s another incomplete team.  Bleh.  I’m sorry, all that ranting is largely to do with the fact that I *actually like* this figure.  Quite a bit, in fact.  His sculpt, even though it’s based on a more modern Cyborg than I tend to go for, is top-notch.  It’s sleek, well put together, and just plain cool looking.  He’s got 31 points of articulation, and it all works really, really well.  The joints are smooth, and the mobility is pretty sound.  He’s probably one of the best in the set, posability-wise.  Perhaps the only drawback to the figure proper is his lack of extras, since his forearms have clearly been designed to swap out for other arm attachments.  Just one of those would have been really cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After picking up Nightwing and Supergirl, and finding out that just about everything I wanted from Icons was cancelled, I was admittedly a little bummed.  That being said, I recalled that this set had been released, and I had checked it out a few times, before ultimately deciding it was a little bit on the pricey side for me.  I still really wanted that Superman, though, so I was excited to hear he was getting a single release.  I was less excited to hear that he was going to run me almost $30 and feature no additional accessories.  It was around this time that I discovered that Barnes & Noble’s website had marked this set down to half of it’s original value, and were also offering free shipping and $5 off orders over $25.  The final cost was $45, which is $6.43 a figure.  And that’s an amazing deal.  Superman’s awesome, as is Batman.  Wonder Woman’s better than I expected, if not perfect.  Flash isn’t my ideal costume choice, and has that one annoying paint flaw, but is a very good figure.  Green Lantern’s not the total repeat I expected, and fixes a few minor issues with the original.  Aquaman’s head sucks, but the single release has a spare head I can toss on the otherwise solid figure.  And I ranted a bit about Cyborg’s spot in the set, but he’s still a very, very well crafted figure.  If you want to give Icons a chance, I heartily recommend this set, and feel obligated to inform all of my readers that it’s still available at the discounted price on barnesandnoble.com.

#1226: Wonder Woman

WONDER WOMAN

DC SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

wonderwomansp1

No matter how great they may be, pretty much every DC Comics toyline from now until the end of time will always be measured to the standard set by one of the earliest DC lines out there, Kenner’s DC Super Powers.  There’s something about the line that just made for the perfect mix of fun, character, and faithfulness to the comics.  Sure, not every figure in the line was top-grade, but it gave us some of the greatest plastic versions of all of the mainstay members of the Justice League of America.  Perhaps the one major drawback of the line was its notable lack of female characters.  In a line of 34, only one of them was female (though, designs discovered in 2004 show that there were another two planned, had the line continued).  That figure was Wonder Woman, and it’s the figure I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

wonderwomansp2Wonder Woman was released in Series 1 of DC Super Powers.  She was based on Wonder Woman’s then-current Bronze Age era look, as seen in the 1982 DC Style Guide.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation (although her hair restricts most of the movement on the neck joint).  Super Powers is notable in that every figure in the line had their own unique sculpt (which wouldn’t have been the case had the line continued).  Wonder Woman’s sculpt is pretty good, especially for the time.  She’s not as rail-thin as she tended to be portrayed in the comics and Super Friends, but that’s actually not totally out of place for the line, which gave more realistic proportions to most of the figures.  She’s definitely a good depiction of what someone with Diana’s powers should look like, all things considered.   Her costume captures all of the important elements from the comics and while she’s still sporting heels, they look to be a slightly more sensible design than those seen on a lot of female action figures (and she can actually stand!  Hooray!).  There are some slight issues that crop up due to assembly, with the lines on her thighs being one of the more standout issues.  That being said, they actually don’t look quite as bad in person as they do in the photos; you won’t really notice them.  Diana’s paint work is nice, clean, and bright, all the things it should be.  There’s a bit of slop here and there, particularly around the edges of the white parts of the boots.  That being said, the stars on her shorts are impeccably detailed, and done with an amazing consistency, which you likely wouldn’t see these days.  Wonder Woman was originally packed with her lasso of truth, which was really just a bit of golden thread, and easy to lose, so mine didn’t have it when I got her.  Like every Super Powers figure, Wonder Woman has a special “power” of her own.  Her’s is actually one of the more cleaver ones: when you squeeze her legs, both arms raise and cross in front of her face, replicating her oft used maneuver of deflecting bullets with her bracelets.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Wonder Woman comes from right around the mid-point of my Super Powers collecting.  At that point,  it was pretty much an assumed thing that I’d get a pair of Super Powers figures every year for Christmas from my parents.  I’d gotten Green Lantern the year before, so I knew I wanted a Green Arrow to go with him.  As it turns out, the most economical way of getting me GA was to buy me a big lot of figures, which ended up giving my collection quite the jumpstart.  Wonder Woman was amongst those figures, and I have to say, she’s one of those figures that you have to see in person to truly appreciate.  She’s the figure that set the standard for female action figures, and rightfully so.  As someone who started collecting in the ‘90s, a female figure like this was a serious breath of fresh air as a kid, and she remains my favorite Wonder Woman figure to date.

#1040: Wonder Woman

WONDER WOMAN

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

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Oh, DC Universe Classics, how you confuse me.  The line had a lot of promise. Heck, it had a lot of success. After all, 20 series at retail is nothing to sneeze at. Unfortunately, the whole line was plagued with issues with distribution, strange character choices, and the latter half was really hit by odd design choices for long-awaited characters. Still, early on, the figures really seemed to be really on point. If nothing else, the line gave us some pretty definitive versions of DC’s biggest characters, including today’s focus figure, Wonder Woman.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

WonderWomanDCUC2Wonder Woman was released in Series 4 of DC Universe Classics. She served as the series’ “anchor figure,” which seems pretty sensible, what with her being one of DC’s top three characters and all. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and she has 25 points of articulation. Wonder Woman is based on the look introduced in the late ‘70s-early ‘80s. It’s the look that the character had for a good 20 years or so, so it’s definitely a good choice. It’s also the same costume used by the Super Powers figure, which fits with DCUC’s theme of recreating SP. The figure had a new sculpt at the time, which was meant to serve as a starting point for future female figures. It’s not bad, though it hasn’t aged quite as well as some of the other sculpts from the time. Like the male bucks from the line, there’s the whole shoulder thing, where they just sort of…jut out. At least the line is internally consistent, I guess. The shoulders wouldn’t quite so much of an issue if her arms weren’t as skinny as they are. They aren’t horrid, but they really should be a bit thicker, especially for an Amazon. The waist is also pretty tiny, especially when compared to later figures in the line. On the plus side, the head sculpt is really strong on this particular figure, especially the hair, which has a nice weight and flow about it. Wonder Woman’s paintwork is pretty decent. While she’s not breaking any records or setting the bar, she’s pretty solid. The colors are nice and bold, and everything’s pretty clean. As far as accessories go, Wonder Woman’s a little. The obvious choice is the lasso, but that’s permanently attached. Instead, she gets an axe and a shield, which are fine, but they mean that her hands are in this odd loose grip, instead of a more preferable fist pose. She also included the left leg of Despero, the Collect-N-Connect for Series 4.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Series 4 of DCUC was the first series that I didn’t have much trouble finding at retail. I actually found all but one of the figures at KB Toys just before they went out of business. Which was cool, since they were 60% off and all, but also really sad, since, you know, KB Toys was closing and all. Ultimately, Wonder Woman isn’t one of the strongest figures in the line, she’s still a pretty solid figure, and a pretty good rendition of the character.

#0867: Wonder Woman

WONDER WOMAN

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

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March 25th will see the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. March 25th will also see me avoiding movie theatres like the plague, because I have no desire to see the movie (my scathing hatred of Man of Steel is the main reason, but there are a few others). For the most part, I’m also steering clear of the associated toys that go with said movie due to them a) being based on designs I’m not super thrilled by, and b) made by Mattel, who happen to be one of my least favorite toy makers. However, I’m a firm believer that a cool toy is a cool toy regardless of its source material or manufacturer. And that, dear readers, is why I’m reviewing today’s figure, Wonder Woman.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

WWDoJ2Wonder Woman is part of the first assortment of the Dawn of Justice series of DC Comics Multiverse. Multiverse has previously been a 3 ¾ inch line, but starting in 2016, Mattel is bumping the line back up to the more familiar 6-inch scale. Also, it should be noted that there are currently two different case pack-outs for this line, and Wonder Woman is only in one of them. That said, she doesn’t look to be all that hard to find right now. The figure stands just shy of 6 ½ inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. The articulation is overall fairly decent, but it seems a bit rudimentary when compared to, say, one of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends. The lack of any real movement on the head is a bit frustrating, but excusable. The height (well, the whole scale, really) of the figure is definitely a bit off; she’s the tallest of the four figures in the series, despite Gal Godot being the shortest of the three leads. She’s more scaled with something like a NECA figure than she is her fellow Multiverse figures. Her sculpt is all-new, and it’s generally pretty good. There’s definitely some oddities, such are the somewhat obvious joints in the arms and legs, or the strangely geometrical upper legs, but the overall proportions of the figure are surprisingly well done. She’s easily one of the most realistic female figures Mattel has ever produced. The details of the costume seem to pretty close to what we’ve seen of the movie’s design, and there’s some decent texture work. The head is pretty decent, if not amazing. I don’t immediately see Gadot’s likeness when looking at the figure, but it’s hard to say how much of that’s the sculpt and how much is paint. Speaking of paint, that’s where this figure takes a slight dive. On a whole, I actually like it, especially the choice to go a bit brighter with the colors than what we’ve seen from the film. However, the application is a bit spotty. The two biggest areas of issue WWDoJ3are the face and the boots. The face is at least fairly clean, if perhaps a bit thick and in need of some accent work. The boots seem like the painter just got confused by all those sculpted lines and gave their best approximation; they’re quite sloppy, and the flesh toned ankle joint breaks them up in kind of an odd way. Wonder Woman is packed with a sword and shield (which appears to be the Aegis, aka the shield given to Perseus by Athena). The shield is an amazingly sculpted piece, and by far my favorite part of this whole figure, though it can be a bit difficult for Diana to hold it. The sword is generally pretty nice, though the rather obvious “CHINA” stamp on one side makes it look like Wonder Woman has had to make due with a repro of her actual sword. Wonder Woman is also packed with what has to be the lamest build-a-thing piece I’ve ever gotten; it’s the supporting column to the display base for the Batman Grapnel replica. Seriously, it’s lame.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I saw the various Dawn of Justice merchandise in the store, I was prepared to totally overlook it. But, I saw Wonder Woman, and was genuinely surprised by how much I liked her. No, she’s not a perfect figure, but she’s really not bad, either. And, with the size that she is, she actually fits in pretty nicely with the recent Adam West Batman and Christopher Reeve Superman from NECA, making for a pretty cool trinity display (though I’d happily replace this figure with a Linda Carter Wonder Woman, should NECA ever get the rights…). I’ve certainly gotten worse figures from Mattel.

#0293: Wonder Woman

WONDER WOMAN

JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR (DC COLLECTIBLES)

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Justice League: War is far from one of the greatest pieces of animation DC has produced. That being said, it’s also far from the worst (I’m looking at you Flashpoint Paradox…), and I felt it even managed to improve upon the source material a fair bit. The animation proved to be nice a smooth and the design work wasn’t too bad. If they can manage to get some slightly better stories, then perhaps they might get back to where they used to be in animation. Wouldn’t that be nice?

I felt that one of the better aspects of the movie was its handling of Wonder Woman. She’s a character that DC seems to have a lot of trouble getting. War provided a strong and likeable version of the character, which shows that maybe they might have a chance of getting the character the recognition she deserves some day. When I decided to pick up a few of the figures from DC Collectibles’ tie-in toyline for the movie, I knew I wanted Green Lantern right off the bat, but the film’s take on WW convinced me I should get her too. Let’s find out if that was a good move!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

WonderWomanWarWilsonWonder Woman is part of the first series of Justice League: War by DC Collectibles. She’s based on the character’s design from the movie of the same name. The design draws some interpretation from Wonder Woman’s current costume in the comics, but they’ve taken more liberties on her than they did on Green Lantern. The costume features higher sitting boots, pseudo-sleeves, and actual covering on the collar area. The figure stands about 6 ½ inches tall and features 13 points of articulation. They’ve removed the bicep swivels that were present on GL, which limits the movement, but does look better from an aesthetic standpoint. Wonder Woman’s sculpt is completely unique to her. This is most likely due to her being the only female in the line. Still, I’d be curious to see if DCC would re-use the body for any later females, given her Amazonian stature. The sculpt is pretty good, and does a fair job of translating the movie’s design into three dimensions. The figure is about two-thirds legs, which seems a bit more stylized than she was in the movie. She almost looks as if her legs and the rest of her go to two different figures. Still, she’s better than a lot of female figures, and a lot of it can be written off as keeping with the movie’s style. WonderWomanWar2The paint on Wonder Woman is pretty good. Her paint job is a bit more intricate than GL, so there’s a bit more room for error. She suffers from some fuzzy lines on the edges of her boots and sleeves, but they aren’t too noticeable, and they’re certainly better than Hal. Her eyes have been given a red-ish hue, which almost makes it look like she’s been crying. Not sure what they were going for there, but it doesn’t seem to have worked. Also, her skin tone seems to be a bit light compared to what she had in the movie, which is a shame, because it added some nice diversity to the group. I suspect this was done so that they could use the same skin-tone plastic on all of the figures. Wonder Woman includes her lasso of truth, which is glued to her waist, and a sword, which seems oddly short.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Wonder Woman and GL from Amazon a few weeks ago. My review probably seems a little down on the figure, but in actuality I quite like her, perhaps even more than Green Lantern. I’m a huge Green Lantern fan, so that’s saying something. Justice League: War presented perhaps one of my favorite Wonder Woman designs, so getting a figure of it is a plus. This figure has a few issues, but as a whole, I think it turned out pretty well. If you’re a Wonder Woman fan, I’d certainly recommend it. Heck, I’m only a moderate Wonder Woman fan and I think it’s pretty darn cool!

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