Monday, September 13, 2010

"Wonder Woman" (1999) Justice League Figure: A Decent Wonder Woman Action Figure!

The Good: Generally good sculpt, Decent accessories
The Bad: Mild posability issues, Shoulder joint
The Basics: Wonder Woman appears as a wonderful, classic sculpt with good articulation and decent accessories, making her worth the buy and displaying!

Note: My ignorance to Wonder Woman when I wrote this originally has since been thwarted, as my forthcoming reviews of Wonder Woman graphic novels will attest! This, however, remains one of the best Wonder Woman action figures I have thus found!

I'd ask "Who doesn't love Wonder Woman?" but I'm sure I would stumble then upon an enclave of people who I never new existed who find some fault with the Amazon superhero. Or I'd be forced to discover just how little I know about Wonder Woman. My education in the ways of Wonder Woman come from childhood memories of the various superhero cartoons she was in and the live-action series starring Linda Carter. So, I've no problem admitting I am not a Wonder Woman purist and know nothing really of her comic book presence. I know just enough about her to get by in basic conversation and to be disappointed that Joss Whedon will not be making a Wonder Woman film with Charisma Carpenter in the starring role.

I also know just enough about the superheroine such that when I assembled a shelf of "Strong Women In Science Fiction And Fantasy" action figures, I knew that she would make a great addition to the set. And given that I work with dealers in the toys at various conventions I attend, it was relatively easy for me to come by the Wonder Woman action figure.


The Justice League Wonder Woman figure is a 6 1/8" hard plastic representation of Wonder Woman as she appeared in the comic books. What attracted me to this particular incarnation of Wonder Woman as an action figure was that the outfit was most strongly reminiscent of what I recall as Wonder Woman and the sculpt looked least cartoonish.

In the marketplace, there are at least a dozen Wonder Woman action figures. I tend to like action figures made of one material, so the figures that have part plastic, part cloth outfits do not appeal to me. There are Wonder Woman figures - many, actually - that feature a more classic Wonder Woman appearance when she wore a miniskirt instead of the one-piece bathing-suit like outfit. Many of the figures with the skirt feature a cloth skirt and that, as mentioned loses some of the appeal for me. Moreover, my associations of Wonder Woman have all had her in the one piece outfit from comic book covers and the cartoons in the early '80s from my childhood (not to mention the live-action version).

Moreover, with the current popularity of Cartoon Network Justice League type shows, action figures of the main superheroes, like Wonder Woman seem to be capitalizing on the blockish quality of the animation style of those series'. That, too, has no appeal to me.

This 1999 Justice League Wonder Woman is all curves and muscles and she looks great. The hair, while comprised of the same hard plastic as the body, is voluminous and has a realistic shape for the heroic bearing of the toy. The coloring is consistent throughout the figure and the curve of this Wonder Woman's spine is such that the figure is balanced surprisingly well for a female character who is so well endowed.

This is the iconic Wonder Woman with the boots, bracelets, one-piece outfit and the lariat. The lariat is attached to Wonder Woman's right hip. As a result, the coiled rope cannot be removed and is not technically an accessory. That's fine, though as the lariat is made of a slightly softer (more rubbery) plastic, which allows the toy to move freely without it inhibiting the joints in any way.


The Justice League Wonder Woman comes with a four inch wide plastic stand, a shield and an ax. The base is decent, yet I find I almost never use it to keep Wonder Woman standing. This figure is surprisingly well balanced and as a result does not need the base for standing in most poses. She does, however, have a hole in her right foot to fit the peg on the bass should one choose to use that.

The battle ax is a 2 1/4" which bears a similar insignia to the eagle on Wonder Woman's chest. The ax does not represent a choking hazard simply because it is so wide that it cold not fit into a throat, much less most young mouths. The handle fits easily into the figure's right hand and it is a decent accessory for an action figure.

The shield is a 1 1/2" in diameter plastic disc with clips on the back that allow the shield to be connected to Wonder Woman's arm. While the shield may be connected to either arm, the figure looks somewhat ridiculous holding the ax and having the shield on the right arm, so I tend to have it on the left arm. This, too, is a decent accessory for both play and display posing of the action figure.


The Justice League Wonder Woman makes for a very cool toy for play. With the accessories she is a great toy for kids to play with fighting/defending and she's one of the few female action figures that comes to mind equipped to actually participate in such play combat.

Play is enhanced by the figure's articulation. This Wonder Woman comes with eleven points of articulation: knees, groin socket, wrists, elbows, shoulders and head. The head is attached as a ball and socket joint, which usually allows for greater articulation of the head and a decent range of motion. Unfortunately, on this figure that is somewhat compromised as a result of the solid hair. Thus, the head has only a few degrees of range of motion, though honestly that does not make much of a difference for either play or posing in this case.

The only real problem with the articulation is at the shoulder joint and it's a tough problem to find a solution to. Wonder Woman, being built on a comic book/Hollywood ideal of feminine beauty is not a woman of substance physically. As a result, she has reasonably muscled biceps coming off a ridiculously thin shoulder section. This becomes problematic when one wants to pose Wonder Woman with her accessories held at something other than with her arms straight down. When twisting the arms from the shoulder joint, this leaves a slight flat flap that is unsightly (i.e. the top of the arm, when rotated has a flat portion where the arm connects to the shoulder and that sticks out when the arm is rotated away from having the arms straight up and down). It's a minor quibble, but it does make it a little problematic when it comes to posing and displaying the figure.


This figure seems to be one of the harder ones to find and the price on it does seem to be going up, assuming they are mint in package (mine, of course, is not). This does seem to be a good investment figure as it seems to be a rather popular sculpt and current market value puts it at at least $20 fair market price. And it only seems to be going up.

It's worth it.


I might not be the biggest Wonder Woman fan, but I know what I like and this figure lives up! She certainly is one of the strong women of comics/science fiction and this sculpt is a good one that stands well on its own. Or beside the other strong women immortalized in plastic.

This is much more likely to be appreciated by young adults and adult fans than children.


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

© 2010, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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