DC Universe Classics Wave 14: Zatanna by Mattel

I can’t deny it. I love me my DC ladies, so it should be no surprise I’ve been patiently awaiting the inevitable DCUC release of everyone’s favorite sexy magician, Zatanna. Not to be confused with Zartan, Zaranna or Zatarain’s Cajun style foods. Found in your grocer’s freezer section, their New Orleans style dirty rice and beans can’t be beat! Wait, what? Oh, yeah… Zatanna. I’ve spent an awful lot of money lately buying up entire waves of DCUC figures, so I’m cherry picking Wave 14 and just picking up a few figures for now, but Zatanna was one of those must-haves for me in this wave. I’ve already heard an earful of collectors complaining about this figure, so let’s take a look and see what we’ve got.

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Same old DC Universe Classics packaging. You’ll note the “Only At Walmart” sticker, which ensures that I could never find this figure at a retail store. Apparently, none of the Walmarts in my area got the memo saying they have an exclusive deal with Mattel and should therefore actually carry DCUC figures. Still, Zatanna sure looks great in there… all dynamically posed… in the tray… held down by… oh shit! Yeah, Zatanna comes right out of the tray with her lovely legs warped all to hell because Mattel cannot understand that some of us “Adult Collectors” actually open our figures and care less about how they look in the package and more about them not coming out of said package all deformed. When Zatanna came out of the bubble it looked as if Brother Night ran over her legs with an SUV… and then backed up. I was able to get them a bit more presentable, but I’m being doubly cautious since a) I’m afraid I’m going to mess up her fishnets even more, and b) ever since my Raven figure’s leg broke off in my hand, I’m extra gentle with these joints. But let’s try to put the unfortunate packing aside and check out the figure.

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Some early photos of the figure had me worried about the face sculpt, but the figure that I have in hand looks fantastic. The face sculpt is beautiful and the paint apps are immaculate. Naturally, the sculpted hair all but torpedoes her neck articulation, but that’s just something I come to expect from a lot of the DCUC ladies. In this case, however, they needn’t have even bothered putting a neck joint in there. Ah, well. I really like the subtle blue highlights in her hair. Her magician outfit is well done, and for a showgirl, Zatanna shows a lot more class than her fellow female superheroes by buttoning up to the collar and garnishing with a cute little bowtie. Because bowties are cool. Wait, wrong series.

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From the waist down, it’s a bit more of a mixed bag. Yeah, I’m talking about the fishnets. If you own the DCUC Black Canary figure than you know exactly what to expect here, only in the case of my figure it’s a lot worse. The stockings look passable from the front and from the knees up, but they tend to bunch up a lot down by her ankles, and Mattel’s inability to replicate a decent stiletto heel makes Zatanna’s look a bit like granny shoes with support hose bunched up around her ankles. It ain’t pretty. From the back, the fishnets are a mess. Should Mattel have tried this again? I don’t know. I’d say at the very least, they should have done a variant without the fishnets. I’m thinking that with deft use of a razor blade you could get them off, but I’m not about to try it unless I wind up with an extra. They look loads better on Black Canary, just because they end at her boots. Oh, and speaking of shoes, Zatanna has no peg holes in the bottom of her feet, so even a figure stand won’t save her from falling down.

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Zatanna comes with two accessories: Her hat and wand. I am so glad that Mattel made the hat removable, as I really thought that they were going to go for a hat or hatless variant like they did way back with Big Barda. The hat has a little nob inside that catches against her bangs and keeps it on her head pretty well. I may have to go buy myself a little Schleich rabbit for the hat [Actually, wound up getting one with one of my Zenescope Alice in Wonderland figures!] Why yes, I am insane, thanks for asking! Zatanna also comes with the right arm of that damn dirty ape, Ultra Humanite, Wave 14’s Collect & Connect figure.

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In the end Zatanna is a real mixed bag. The sculpt is excellent, but I think a lot of collectors will remain undecided on the fishnets. I would appreciate the attempt more if they hadn’t already tried it on a previous figure with dubious results. Even so, I’d still end up recommending this figure. It took Mattel longer than I thought to get to her, but I’m just glad they finally did. She set me back about $25 including shipping, which is a lot more than I’m used to spending on these figures. But I guess if I can blow $30 on a Masters of the Universe Classics figure, than Zatanna was worth the money.

*This Feature was re-worked and re-shot on 8/18/15. 

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