Review: DC Universe Classics Wave 4 Wonder Woman
Batman and Superman have long competed for the title of the most famous DC superhero. Everyone has their opinion about who should be first and who should be second.
But there's no debate as to who owns third place.
Wonder Woman is a complicated character. The history of her creation is fascinating: she was created by a psychologist in the early days of comics in an attempt to use the medium to enlighten and educate the young. This may, incidentally, represent the first time a respected thinker approached comics in a serious manner.
The character and her stories were layered in symbolism - crude jokes about her lasso are close to the mark, actually, though they miss the point entirely. If you have a chance, look up William Moulton Marston, inventor of the polygraph test and Wonder Woman. Some of his theories are a little... out there... but that's part of the fun. The background is fascinating... and a lot funnier than any 'magic lasso' joke you've ever heard.
I already own Batman and Superman figures in Mattel's DC Universe Classics line, but I've been waiting for a Wonder Woman. I'm happy to report that the wait is over: wave 4 contains Wonder Woman, as well as some related figures.
I've already looked at Batman Beyond, but don't expect the whole wave this time: these are the two I wanted, and (unless I catch the others on clearance) this is all I'm buying.
Appearance: 9 out of 10
Wonder Woman's head is just about perfect. Actually, the entire figure is just about perfect, but the head is the high point. The sculpt is exceptional and the paint doesn't disappoint. The clothing and armor is sculpted; the skin tone looks to be painted on. The problems with wave 3 have apparently been sorted out, because this figure looks awesome.
Except for the shoulders. They're not too bad, but they definitely remind you you're looking at a toy. I'm only pulling off one point for this, because it's easy to overlook.
I also want to address another point: the overall design. The figure looks good - better than good, in fact - though it should be noted that she doesn't entirely match the look of some earlier figures. She is far more stylized than some of the older figures, like the DC Superheroes Superman and Batman, who appear as realistic as comic book characters can.
Is this a problem? Depends how much you care about the figures matching. As far as I'm concerned, the scale's right and the toys look good: no problem. But I know a lot of collectors want their displays to match up. And this time it's a little different.
In the end, this is a nearly perfect figure which loses one point for the shoulders.
Packaging and Extras: +1
The packaging is consistent from the previous waves. I've mentioned my fondness for the character info before, but this time they've really gone above and beyond. Check out her biography:
"Occupation: Ambassador of Peace." Hilarious. And yet, accurate.
Open the package, and you get three extras: a leg and two accessories. The leg belongs to Despero. The rest of him is broken up and packaged with the other figures in this line. I'm not planning on finishing Despero, but it's the thought that counts.
Wonder Woman comes with a shield and a battle axe. Both retain the look of the character, both are well sculpted and well painted, and both are completely useless.
Play and Display: -----
I think this is the first DC Universe Classics figure I've reviewed that doesn't get a bonus in this category. Lets talk about why....
First of all, Wonder Woman is missing the 'hip joint' that lets her turn. As is often the case, this is a trade off: you're getting a great sculpted costume in exchange. I'm not going to say it isn't worth it, but this time, you'll miss not having the joint.
Other than that, one of her shoulders is loose. It can hold some positions well enough, but others not at all.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 10 out of 10
I ended up dropping $15 on Wonder Woman, which is a little more than I wanted to spend (but oddly enough, less than I was willing). Is she really worth this kind of money? Maybe not. I'm glad I bought her, but I really wanted a Wonder Woman for my DC Universe display. But if you can find her closer to ten bucks - or even twelve or thirteen - it would seem a bit more appropriate.
Wonder Woman is an odd figure: there's a lot about her that's wrong, but a lot more that's right. Her accessories bring her score up to a ten, but this is misleading if you're not interested in the shield, axe, or building Despero (I, for one, have no interest in any of that).
What's more, she has some of the most serious articulation and posability issues in this entire line.
But she also has some of the best sculpt and paint work we've seen on these. And, given the high quality we're already used to, that's really saying something.
Note: Sword on loan from Deathstroke
As always, any comments can be left in The Middle Room.