Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Circe: Wonder Woman's Villain Makes A Pretty Cool Action Figure!

The Good: Great sculpt, Decent Accessory, Good articulation.
The Bad: Terrible balance when off stand!
The Basics: The only villain in the Wonder Woman Series 1 figure line, Circe doesn't stand up on her own, but she makes for a cool figure nonetheless!

Who are the villains in the "Wonder Woman" storyline? This was one of the many questions I posed to myself right before I decided to make 2010 my "Wonder Woman" Year. I could only name Cheetah and, frankly, it seemed pretty lame to me that Wonder Woman would just be going round and round with such an unimpressive villain. As it turns out, Cheetah is not even the biggest (arguably) nemesis in the Wonder Woman storyline and since I started reading all of the "Wonder Woman" volumes I could get my hands on, I've learned who several of the other adversaries for Wonder Woman are. One of the most impressive comes from Greek mythology and she is Circe.

Following on the heels of my review of the Agent Diana Prince action figure (click here for review!) comes my review of the Circe figure! Circe plays an integral role in the post-Infinite Crisis reboot of "Wonder Woman." Indeed, Circe is one of the main villains in Who Is Wonder Woman? (click here for a review of that graphic novel), where Circe abducts Donna Troy, who has been posing as Wonder Woman. Circe's plan is to lure out Princess Diana to exact revenge upon her. And, as the story progresses, Circe actually becomes one of Diana's most formidable enemies and she forever alters Diana!


Circe figure is well-detailed, though she comes from a comic book and a little bit of the depth and detail from the outfit from the pages of Who Is Wonder Woman? was neglected in this rendering. The demon demigoddess stands 7 1/8" tall to the top of the figure's flowing hair. Her costume is black with a purple cape and loincloth and Circe wears a headpiece which helps to frame her face. Circe is from DC Direct.

This toy is a fairly impressive sculpt; for a character that has only had two-dimensional references, Circe looks good in all three dimensions. DC Direct did not make the character insanely busty, which is reassuring and she comes with her left hand open and able to hold her sickle. Her right gloved hand is open in a way that suggests she is casting a spell and the figure as a very active look to her. The black bodysuit she wears cuts off at a corset top and the outfit is continued with black gloves which look like they are made of a reptile's skin. The detailing on such things as the gloves and bustier is impressive enough.

The Circe figure is also well-sculpted on her face. Circe has the sharp cheekbones and an angry set to her lips which makes her look like a Fury. Because Circe's eyes are just glowing red orbs (the figure's eyes do not glow), they cannot be expressive, so the sculptors of Circe compensated with severe eyebrows which make Circe look undeniably full of rage. Circe's hair is cast up and to the side, as if it is being blown by a maelstrom. The only part of the costume which does not look quite right are the flowers on Circe's belt. The red, yellow and blue bouquet was not cast with enough detail to make it look like what it is supposed to be. Rightfully, her face has minimal coloring details to it, just a light blush on the cheeks. Because the comic books this character comes from are not photorealistic, there is not a realistic expectation that the figure would have more realism in its coloring.


Circe, vicious Fury that she is, comes with only two accessories. She has her stand and a sickle. The stand is a red disk with the “Wonder Woman” logo and name on it. It is 3 3/4" in diameter and 1/8” tall and it has a single peg which plugs into the hole in Circe’s right foot. She is very stable on her base.

Circe also comes with a sickle which is only able to fit into her left hand. The sickle is a 1 1/2" accessory with a black handle and a silver-gray blade that is curved almost entirely in a circle. The tip of the talon is actually fairly well-pointed, so it is important to keep this away from small children. Even so, it is colored and proportioned correctly for this figure, making it seem like a perfectly menacing weapon!


The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play. Unfortunately, Circe is a bit of a wash on the play and display front. She has decent articulation, but absolutely terrible balance! Because of her heavy, flexible cape, even standing flatfooted, Circe is almost impossible to stand up on her own. In fact, I've only been able to get her to stand when she is on her stand, plugged into her foot peg. Even there, though, she is very unbalanced.

On the plus side, Circe comes with eleven points of articulation, which is pretty standard by today's standards. Circe has joints at the knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows, wrists and head. The shoulders are proper ball and socket joints, while the elbows and knees are both hinge joints. The head is on a ball joint, which allows the villain to nod up and down as well as look left to right, at least in a limited fashion!

The fact Circe's balance is already problematic and that only one foot may be plugged into the foot peg makes the balance a little less stable for outlandish poses.


Circe is part of the DC Direct “Wonder Woman” Series 1 line which was exceptionally rare and usually only distributed through comic book shops. Circe is the only villain in the line, but appears to have been packed with the same frequency as the Agent Diana Prince, so she is fairly common. In other words, fans are not likely to ever find this figure appreciating because it was so common.


As it is, Circe would be a vastly better figure if she actually stood up, but she is pretty cool with an amazing sculpt and decent articulation, making it very easy to recommend!

For other action figures, please check out my reviews of:
The Dark Knight Two-Face doll
1999 Wonder Woman figure
Shadows Of The Empire Dash Rendar's Outrider vehicle toy


For other toy reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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