Review: Black Canary Barbie doll
Posted by Lindsay
I was patient. I watched the other DC Barbies' numbers dwindle and disappear from the shelves without getting cheap. I should have bitten the bullet and gotten a Wonder Woman when they were still available.
But there were so many Black Canarys at the Times Square Toys'R'Us. I thought if I just waited, they'd have to mark them down. No one was buying these dolls.
Black Canary is the second DC Barbie we've looked at, the first being Supergirl.
As a slightly more obscure character, I'll throw you a link.
Dinah joins Supergirl and The Joker in the surprisingly small list of characters who we actually have in 3 scales: 4 inch, 6/7 inch and 12/13. That list expands quite a bit if you expand the criteria to count the 10 inch JL Figures, though.
She is also my first "Black Label" Barbie, about which I quote: "Sensational dolls designed for the adult collector." The Jazz Baby line I desired but missed out on was Black Label, as is the new Barbie Basics line, and a doll based on Hitchcock's The Birds. In other words, these are dolls Mattel thinks kids wouldn't or shouldn't buy.
For some reason, though, the fishnets that sent her to Black Label didn't save Canary's sales figures, and she went to clearance.
Appearance and Construction: 8/10
Now, I'm not judging the comic's design choices here, just the doll designer's. So Dinah looks... not bad. I really like the face, the eyeshadow and lip liner is dramatic and appropriate.
The fishnets are sturdy, the jacket is cute. Her hair is a nice honey blond. Making the hands black plastic instead of giving her ugly gloves is usually a good choice. The 'metal' bits on her gloves and boots could have been a bit less flashy, but they work. The zipper is real, and zips up a bit, if you want to change the look slightly.
Packaging and Accessories: -1
The box is standard collector fare.
We have a problem, though, when it comes to her one and only accessory: her stand.
Now, it says right on the box, Doll cannot stand alone, and I'm used to that. But collector-grade Barbies come with stands. It's when they come with the wrong stand that we have a problem. It's essentially the reverse of the situation I faced with Uhura. Dinah comes with a straddle stand. Normally I love straddle stands. They're invisible under long dresses, and they support most styles well. Not this one.
The problem, you see, is that the zipper on the front of her costume goes all the way down to her crotch. Why? No idea. But what that does is create a weird ridge right where the stand should support her, which means she won't sit center, and/or it lifts her too high, and she ends up looking like the picture at right:
So I tried a couple different things, and get decent results with a waist-hold stand. This looks fine with this costume, since it hits right under the jacket, but while taking pictures, I found that she's a little top heavy for this one. I'll find a way to display her, but it's ridiculous for her not to come with a stand that works with her outfit.
Play and Display: -1
Similar to Supergirl, Canary has extra (for Barbie) joints at elbows and wrists. Unfortunately, they don't work very well. Her hands are made of a very soft plastic, and I don't know whether it's that or the wrist joints, but she refuses to hold much of a pose at the wrist. Her hands turn, but don't stay at an angle. But she does have the joints, so that would be a wash, points wise.
However, even though I knew this going in, I'm going to have to deduct a point for having a completely non-removable costume. I don't just mean the spots where the layers are stitched together. I mean the gloves and jacket arms are glued to her forearms. The zipper has a stop on it, and will not unzip any further. Forget about mixing and matching her look with anybody else.
I assumed that the problem would mostly be with her stockings, but upon inspection, they appear to be a separate piece with a waistband. So I don't know why she's built like this.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 6/10
I still like having Black Canary, even if I don't think she's a spectacular doll. She'll add a little black and a little sass to the brightly colored superhero display. And hey, I waited till she was cheap, right?
This collector's piece started at $40-45, and then sat at $30 for a long time. We picked her up for $15.
But we could have waited! Because right now there's a sale at Barbiecollector.com, and she was going for $8 plus shipping earlier this week. On the other hand, she sold out one day into the sale, so I guess Mattel finally found the right price point.
More pictures below!
See what Erin said about the "controversy" about this doll long before we had one at The Middle Room. Or perhaps you haven't checked out my homemade Marvel counterparts over at Blue Fairy's Workshop? What are you waiting for?