DC Direct: Planetary Jakita Wagner
NOTE: Today's review is posted in loving memory of KB Toys and Toy Works stores. This particular toy wasn't purchased there, but then, that's part of the tragedy. KB: your deals and sales will be missed, and every mall in America will be poorer without you.
If you are less than a total nerd - say three-fourths nerd or even seven-ninths - the name Jakita Wagner will most likely mean nothing to you. But the full-nerd, the 100% geek, will know the name well: Jakita Wagner is a member of Planetary, a top-secret organization of super-archaeologists dedicated to uncovering the secret history of the world.
This is all, of course, from a comic book series, taking place in the Wildstorm Universe, which is in turn connected (albeit distantly) to the DC Universe we all know and love.
Because Wildstorm is an imprint of DC, it's not all that surprising the action figures are released by DC Direct. In the interest of full disclosure, Jakita Wagner was not purchased for display or collection: my wife picked her up for a customization project.
Jakita is a passable figure, but she lacks any real detail. The sculpting job is fine, and the paint is certainly acceptable, but it's not up to par for DC Direct.
There's something fundamentally blase about the overall design here: the figure is far too simple and far too dull. The figure's face isn't bad, but she looks a little different than I remember her in the comic.
But the paint is clean and the sculpt isn't all bad, so I won't penalize Wagner further than bringing the appearance down to 7.
Packaging and Extras: ----
The packaging is fine, as usual, and I like the trick (used often by DC Direct) of having the base double as the title:
Speaking of a base... it's all you get. That said, this is one nice base. The Planetary logo looks stunning; far more so than the figure, I'm sorry to say.
Play and Display: -1
The figure stands on its base and looks decent enough. She can even stand without it, although she isn't perfectly balanced. That is why this penalty isn't more severe.
The character has a whopping three joints: one on each shoulder; one on the neck. All of these are cut joints, providing only the most basic of movement.
And in this situation, that's simply unacceptable. At the very least we deserve elbows, knees, and hips. The neck and shoulder joints should be ball jointed. And it wouldn't have hurt to add something more - say wrists and ankles.
Articulation is rarely one of DC Direct's strong points, but this is a particularly painful case.
Jakita is a martial artist; her poseability should reflect this. Instead, they've treated her like a statue. At times, that's justified: DC Direct has turned out some great figures with little to no articulation (the Kingdom Come line jumps to mind). This works best with iconic characters or specific moments, and it requires a near-perfect appearance to succeed. This lacks any such justification.
I'm taking a point away for giving us such absurdly inferior articulation. Like I said earlier, this would cost them two if it weren't for that base.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 6/10
Jakita initially cost as much as most DC Direct figures: about $16, depending on the retailer. Is she worth $16? God, no. Is she worth the $8 she was marked down to? Not quite. How about $5.50, since we got her for thirty percent off her marked price? Well, maybe.
Even at this price, I'd never display her (unless I had a Wildstorm display set up). Like I said, we picked Jakita up for spare parts. She's not an awful toy, but she'd be sub par for a mass market toy... let alone the collectible she was marketed as.