Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fleshing Out The Villains Of The DC Universe With A Lot Of Flesh, The Justice Poison Ivy Figure Is Very Fleshy!

The Good: Great sculpt, Amazing coloring detail.
The Bad: Poor balance when off stand
The Basics: The Justice Poison Ivy action figure leaves few places to hide joints, so is mainly brought down by poor balance.

As someone who has just started to collect some of the action figures from the DC comic book universe, it is worth being up front and admitting that I have a very clear preference for the figures made from DC Direct. Usually, the coloring and sculpts are superior to those from Mattel’s DC Universe toy line, which definitely has an advantage when it comes to figure articulation. But because DC action figures are for display and décor purposes, I am not so finicky on the articulation on them. It is, however, why balance is so important to me. I’ve been discovering that the DC Direct figure lines have a lot of recasts of the main heroes, but few of the villains. So, despite the fact that I was less impressed with the Justice Cheetah figure (reviewed here!) that I picked up late last year, when a complete set of the Series 3 Justice action figures came up at auction for a comparative steal of a price, I could not resist encouraging my wife to pick it up so she’d have many great gifts for the future. The first one she gifted to me, for Valentine’s Day (what a sweetie!) is Poison Ivy.

For those unfamiliar with Poison Ivy, in Justice (reviewed here!), she is characterized as an ecological extremist who wants to let plants run wild and overtake the world of Man. Teamed with Lex Luthor, Black Manta and Priscilla Rich (Cheetah), she is part of the public face of “villains” who reform to try to save humanity.

It is Poison Ivy naked save the ivy growing around her body, that is the subject of the Justice Poison Ivy action figure.


The Poison Ivy figure is exceptionally well-detailed and is a very cool sculpt. The artwork of Alex Ross translates nicely into the Poison Ivy figure as this Poison Ivy has depth and sculpted detailing for every little leaf and vine! The enchanting environmentalist stands 7" tall to the top of the figure's head. Her skin is very visible with vines of green ivy wrapping around her strategically. Poison Ivy is from DC Direct.

This toy is a truly great sculpt; for a character that has only had two-dimensional references, Poison Ivy looks good in all three dimensions. DC Direct did not make the character insanely busty; in fact she is one of the less endowed superhero figures I have ever seen, which makes some sense given how thin she is. DC Direct cast Poison Ivy in hard plastic, but then added soft plastic accents to the vines. As a result, there are four vines – two on her right leg, one on her right shoulder and one descending from her hair – that are made of soft plastic and are more flexible than the others! This helps her appear more three-dimensional and is a good touch. The figure is so detailed in the sculpt that the figure has fingernails and toenails that are visible!

This Poison Ivy figure has great coloring details as well. Poison Ivy's eyes are a haunting green that matches well the leaves and ivy around her body. As for that, Poison Ivy’s costume is not monotonal; each leaf has a vein, depth and shading! DC Direct offset the green of Poison Ivy’s vines with shocking red hair that looks awesome. DC Direct also got the coloring right on Poison Ivy’s skin tones, which is saying something because Poison Ivy is very pale and looks almost undead, but she is not just the precisely same shade of pink all over!


Poison Ivy, dangerous ecoterrorist who only uses her feminine wiles that she is, comes with only her stand. The stand is a black and silver square that looks like a piece of flooring. It is 6" by 4.5” and 1/2” tall and it has a pair of peg holes spaced 2” apart. The pegs come with the figure and plug into the base and then into the hole in Poison Ivy’s right heel. Why there are two holes/pegs for a figure with only one foot hole I do not know. She is perfectly stable on her base.


The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play. Unfortunately, Poison Ivy is a bit of a wash on the play front and the display front for anywhere but her stand. She has less articulation than most figures, but I like it in this case; she looks better than a near-naked woman who looks segmented from the various joints. What is worse is that her balance is absolutely terrible off her stand! Because of her sculpt with the legs close together, but with one foot raised as if taking a step, there is only one way to get Poison Ivy to stand flatfooted. Standing that way, on her own, Poison Ivy is almost impossible to keep standing. On her stand with her foot plugged into the base, she is perfectly stable.

Poison Ivy comes with only nine points of articulation, most of which are simple swivel joints. Poison Ivy has joints at the knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows and head. The elbows and knees are both hinge joints, but the rest are swivel joints, save the head joint. The head is on a ball and socket joint, but because the hair is so spread out behind her, there is almost no movement from the head joint allowed. She can nod about twenty degrees and turn her head side to side about ten. This is not the most robustly articulated figure DC Direct has ever made, but on its stand, she still looks pretty incredible!


Poison Ivy is part of the DC Direct Justice Series 3 line which was fairly uncommon, largely because it was mostly distributed through comic book shops. Poison Ivy was one of only two villains in the series and she might have been bought up at the time, but has not retained her value at all. Originally available in the $15 - $20 range, she is easily found in the $13 range now. This surprised me because in a toy line that contained yet another Green Lantern figure and a figure of Plastic Man, the fact that Poison Ivy (near naked woman!) would be the pegwarmer is absolutely astonishing to me. I’d hold my breath on this becoming a good investment figure, despite the fact that Wonder Woman and the Joker are the two figures in this set that seemingly everyone wants.


Poison Ivy looks great, though she has limited poseability and balance options. Still, the Justice Poison Ivy remains the best Poison Ivy to hit the market yet, which should thrill Batman, Justice and Alex Ross fans enough to be worth the buy!

For other DC Universe action figures, please check out my reviews of:
Blackest Night Blue Lantern The Flash
Justice League Classic Icons Wonder Woman
Kingdom Come The Spectre and Norm McCay


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

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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