Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Mixed Bag Of The New 52 Justice League Wonder Woman Action Figure

The Good: Great sculpt, Good accessory
The Bad: Articulation issues, Lack of a stand, Paint job issues
The Basics: The Justice League The New 52 Wonder Woman figure feels more like a cashgrab than a quality DC Direct collectible action figure.

The New 52 strategy from DC Direct is already failing and that leaves me in my corner of the universe smirking just a little bit. After all, the strategy might have been an ambitious one, were it not for the fact that the United States is in a recession and trying to coax the hard-earned, diminishing, dollars out of the hands of comic book readers at a rate 52 books per month seemed more greedy and shortsighted than artistically ambitious or a sound business model. I smirk, though, because the whole strategy hinges on a jingle “New 52.” There have already been 63 books in the New 52 and some of those just got axed. In other words, the New 52, are no longer either.

And no character has had a rougher go of it than my beloved Wonder Woman. Fans of Wonder Woman just got her back at the end of Odyssey (reviewed here!) before she was plunged into the altered universe crossover Flashpoint where she was an antagonist. And then she was rebooted completely with the New 52. And I was fully prepared to loathe the new 52 version of Wonder Woman, until I actually read Blood (reviewed here!) and grudgingly had to admit it was not the worst graphic novel I had ever read.

So, I picked up the new Justice League New 52 Wonder Woman action figure to consider her for my collection. The short answer is: I’m not keeping her.

DC Direct has decided to go the way Mattel has gone with their DC Universe action figures for the last several years and prioritize articulation over looks. I can live with that, for the most part, except that the New 52 Wonder Woman action figure has some serious flaws that show a lack of consideration for articulation, collectability, and just plain sensibility. So, while this figure reminded me in many ways of the Mattel The Dark Knight Rises Movie Masters Catwoman action figure (reviewed here!), there were some noticeable defects that made me not want to keep this one around.


The Justice League The New 52 Wonder Woman figure is a 6 1/2" tall hard plastic representation of Wonder Woman as she appeared in the current run of Wonder Woman and Justice League comic books. This Wonder Woman does not look at all like the stylized renditions of Wonder Woman seen on the Cartoon Network or other recent animated movies. She does, however, have harsher lines to her costume than the more realistic, traditional version of Wonder Woman.

The Justice League The New 52 Wonder Woman is very muscular and she looks accurate to the new books, with a more firm jawline and altered costume. The hair, while comprised of the same hard plastic as the body, is wavy and long. This version of Wonder Woman features such accurate sculpting that her collarbones are evident below her neck! Her legs have great muscle definition, without looking overdone, as do her arms. The sculpting is so precise that this version of Princess Diana features molded on fingernails, at least on her left hand! Her right hand is in a fist, but her thumb has an appropriate nail. Even Wonder Woman’s back looks good with some definition around her shoulderblades. This Wonder Woman has her lasso molded onto her right hip in a coil. Her costume is the new, predominately red outfit with fine detail molded into the boning of the bodice to make it look more armored than like a bathing suit. Ironically, on the bottom portion – the blue part – there are also “armor” lines and when the lines are lined up appropriately, there is no possible way to get Wonder Woman to stand erect!

The coloring of the figure is good, but very simple, as if DC Comics (and DC Direct in making the sculpt and coloring accurate to the books) was banking on comic book artists being less sophisticated or competent as they churned out 52 books per month and made Wonder Woman’s outfit accordingly. The white stripe on her blue boots is flat compared to the sparkles in the blue! While Wonder Woman does not feature realistic depth and shading for a character that is human, she perfectly represents the coloring of a comic book character. Even her fingernails are painted, with a darker shade of red than her lips!

This is a very precisely molded and colored version of Wonder Woman that looks like the version in the books. However, more than on any (ANY!) DC Direct action figure I have ever purchased, I found numerous painting defects – scratches, under-painted sections and wear – on the Wonder Woman figure from The New 52.


The Justice League The New 52 Wonder Woman comes with only a sword. The sword is a 2 11/16” long plastic blade cast and painted in bronze and silver-gray plastic. The blade on mine had a noticeable paint wear, a chunk of the paint was missing, making it look terrible. Unfortunately, because the blade only fits in the figure’s left hand (with some finagling), there is no way to hide the defect without reversing the blade, which just looks ridiculous. This is a good accessory for this incarnation of the Amazon warrior.


The Justice League The New 52 Wonder Woman is a very problematic toy on the playability front. First, the figure is not incredibly balanced, at least when one stands her up using the lines molded into the figure. However, adjusted to a standard flatfooted position, this figure stands great when she is flatfooted. It does not matter how her top is posed, when she is flatfooted, she is perfectly stable. Unfortunately, the moment her feet are moved even slightly out of a flatfooted position, she tips. Why DC Direct did not include a stand for her (yet she does have the standard hole in the bottom of her boot’s right heel to accommodate a stand!) is a mystery to me and an unfortunate oversight for DC Direct.

The New 52 Wonder Woman has pretty decent, though not unlimited, articulation. This Wonder Woman comes with eleven points of articulation: knees, groin socket, biceps, 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 barely moves two degrees in any direction! Wonder Woman’s knees and elbows feature hinge joints, but the rest are simple swivel joints. The bicep joints are exceptionally noticeable and obtrusive, which makes it all the more baffling that DC Direct did not articulate the figure’s wrists and include a swivel joint that could easily have been hidden by the figure’s bracelets. Instead, DC Direct went for obvious and somewhat ridiculous looking.


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, though this same Wonder Woman in the new outfit is part of a multipack of DC Direct New 52 Justice League action figures. Given that it has not yet exploded in value now might be the best time to buy one.


DC Direct opted for an odd combination of more articulation in odder places with the New 52 Wonder Woman action figure and it is a disappointing contrast to the company’s prior run of amazingly accurate sculpts. Why the figure does not have waist and wrist articulation remains a mystery. However, the paint chips on the figure and accessory makes it feel like it was a figure rushed to market and not fully considered or executed as well as it ought to have been, regardless of my feelings about the source material.

For other Wonder Woman action figure reviews, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Justice League Classic Icons Wonder Woman
Blackest Night Wave 6 Star Sapphire Wonder Woman
Wonder WomanSeries 1 Diana Prince
Justice Wave 3 Wonder Woman
1999 Justice League Wonder Woman


For more toy reviews, please check out my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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