The Good: Decently detailed sculpt, Very cool accessory, Good coloring, Good balance
The Bad: Limited articulation of some joints, A few noticeable seams
The Basics: The DC Direct Amazons And Adversaries Cheetah figure captures one of the least-merchandised villains in a particularly awesome and functional way!
When a company creates such a massive collection of franchises as DC Comics, it is hard to keep everyone happy, especially when it comes to collectors. As a simple marketing tactic, DC Comics collectibles tend to be biased toward mainstream heroes - Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman - and instantly recognizable, iconic villains, like The Joker. But when it comes to collectibles, it is hard not to notice just how neglected the Wonder Woman corner of the DC Comics Universe is. Ironically, it took until I actually sat down to review Injustice: Gods Among Us (reviewed here!) for me to realize that the game, which includes such obscure characters as Raven, Killer Frost, Shazam and his primary antagonist, Black Adam, did not include a single villain from the Wonder Woman comic book! So, to cap off my week of DC Comics-themed reviews, I figured I should review something Wonder Woman and what better than the Amazons And Adversaries Cheetah action figure from DC Direct?
Cheetah is probably the most iconic and recognizable villain faced by Wonder Woman, arguably because she made it into various incarnations of cartoons, like the Super Friends in order to give Wonder Woman someone to fight (I guess in the 1970s, it was still taboo to have women smacking around men and vice versa, even in a superhero context?). There are several Cheetah action figures on the market, both from DC Direct and Mattel, but the Amazons And Adversaries version is arguably the most animalistic and dynamic-looking.
The Barbara Minerva transformed into the Cheetah figure is incredibly rendered, doing justice to even the most detailed artwork upon which it is based. This version of Cheetah is basically a naked, furry-looking humanoid cheetah with a mane, much like a lion's (Minerva's human hair remained on her head). She has a long tail that sweeps down from her spine and twirls around one leg and DC Direct got the detailing absolutely right. The transformed scientist stands 7 1/4" tall, which keeps her in proportion to others in the DC Direct 6" figure collection.
This toy is a completely accurate sculpt, especially for a character that has only had two-dimensional references, Cheetah looks good in all three dimensions. DC Direct made the character impressively muscled and sculpted to look like she is covered in fur by surprisingly fine etching in the plastic. The figure's fingernails look absolutely lethal, which is appropriate for the character. That DC Direct paid similar attention to the toes is pretty incredible. Even Cheetah's fangs are sculpted to look deadly.
On the coloring front, Cheetah is similarly immaculate in the detailing. Covered in spots and brown accents to imply the fur has depth, the Cheetah figure looks amazing. The detailing for the spots and lines around Cheetah's eyes are impressive and not a single spot looks like it was sloppily painted on. This is a great figure in terms of sculpt and coloring.
Cheetah, the animalistic adversary of Princess Diana, comes with a single accessory, a base that allows her to look like she is creeping deftly over a shattered stump. The 4 1/2" long by 3" wide and 4 1/2" tall base looks like a tree that has been blasted apart and has similar color depth to the action figure, so it fits her perfectly. Near the stump is a footprint with a peg that fits into the hole in Cheetah's right foot. Attached to the base, Cheetah is poseable in an incredible number of action poses!
The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play, but this Cheetah is awesome for both. She has decent articulation and balance that is good enough that she can stand in most poses. Flatfooted, she is able to stand well-enough that she can be posed looking dynamic, which is good for the sculpt! With the stand, there are several poses that she can be put in that are a little more extravagant than a simple standing pose.
Cheetah comes with nine points of articulation, most of which are simple swivel joints. Cheetah has joints at the knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows and head. The elbows and knees are both hinge joints; all the rest are simple swivel joints, which does limit the figure’s articulation and poseability. The head, however, is inhibited by the hair. Sure, it is on a ball joint, but it cannot be turned.
The only real strike on the playability front is that the tail is not overly flexible and the head has only a few degrees of movement.
Cheetah is part of the DC Direct “Wonder Woman” Amazons And Adversaries line which was only distributed through comic book shops and specialty toy stores. The Cheetah figure was a wonderfully sculpted figure and given how few Cheetah figures there are, it seems like it is generally maintaining its value; at least it is not losing value. Given how different this sculpt is from so many other versions of the character, one suspects it will at least maintain its value in coming years!
Cheetah is a compelling villain in Wonder Woman and for those collecting Wonder Woman collectibles, this remains one of the best figures for those who play with or pose their toys!
For other Wonder Woman toy reviews, please check out my takes on:
Amazons And Adversaries Ares
Donna Troy As Wonder Woman
Blackest Night Black Lantern Wonder Woman
For other comic book toy reviews, please check out my Comic Book Action Figure Review Index Page!
© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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