DC Mages, Mystics & Magicians: Zatanna by DC Direct

Who’s up for a bonus Saturday feature, eh? Yesterday, I checked out DC Direct’s recent New 52 release of Zatanna and I realized that I had another Zatanna figure still hanging on my Toy Closet wall that was just begging to be opened, so I thought I’d make it a Zatanna double feature. I picked up this figure many months ago in a comic shop. They had a tote on the floor full of carded figures, and while I was super excited when I started digging, this was literally the only thing that I found that was even remotely interesting. I had hoped the whole MM&M series was in there, but no such luck. It would have been nice to have scored a Dr. Fate.

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I can’t say I’m all that fond of the packaging. It’s a HUGE bland gray card and about the only things that stand out for me is the rather nice logo they used for Zatanna’s name and the fact that the window shows off the figure so well. Still, there’s no reason for the card to be so bloody big and have so much empty space in that bubble, especially when you aren’t going to invest in some nice artwork. Despite being from 2000, the back of this package is soooo dated. Yeah, I realize it was fifteen years ago, I just don’t want to admit it. You do get a nice little blurb about Zatanna and some shots of other DC Direct figures from that time. Holy shit, check out that Starfire! She looks crazy! I may have to hunt that one down. Anyway, this is one instance where I don’t mind shredding a 15 year old sealed package to get at a figure. Ah, who am I kidding, I hardly ever feel bad about opening toys.

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Besides my general love for Zatanna, what caught my eye about this figure was her costume. This is definitely 60’s era Zatanna, which was a fun and crazy time for her, at least according to the few encounters I’ve had with her from that era. She’s still all about coat tails and fishnets, but her top hat and coat are blue instead of black, she sports a white blouse and bowtie, a yellow vest and gray skirt. I’ve got to say for an earlier DC Direct figure, the paintwork on this figure is pretty damn good. There’s not much in the way of slop or bleeding. The fishnets are real fishnets and while things get a little f’ugly when viewed from behind, I think they’re executed a hell of a lot better than Mattel’s DCUC Zatanna.

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The portrait here is passable. Again, it’s very 60’s stylized from the hair to the makeup. The paint is solid work and her top hat is sculpted as part of the head so you can’t remove it.

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The package claims this is a “fully poseable action figure” to which Zatanna would say: “TIHSLLUB!” I know, this is DC Direct and I shouldn’t expect much, but then don’t put it on the package. As is often the case most of the useful articulation is above the waist where she has rotating cuts in her shoulders, hinges in her elbows, and swivels in the wrists. The legs have swivels at the thighs but with the way they’re cut, they’re completely useless. Also, because of the way her legs are sculpted, it’s pretty tough to get her to stand.

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Fortunately, she does come with a figure stand, and it’s pretty spiffy. It’s a compact little black oval base with an actual name plate on the front that reads, “Zatanna Mistress of Magic.” I love this thing, it’s like a mini base from a Hot Toys stand. On the downside, I had to dig out the peg hole in her right foot to get it to go in.

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I like this figure a lot. In fact, I’m actually surprised at how much I like it. The articulation is a bummer, but it’s not unexpected considering who made her and when she was made. Still, I’m stoked to have an example of Zatanna in this costume for my shelf and all in all the sculpt and paintwork here are not bad at all. Hell, Mattel could have even learned a thing or two about how they did the fishnets. Speaking of which, while I had the gals out, I also re-shot two of my previous Zatanna Features, so feel free to check out Mattel’s DCUC version as well as another DC Direct release, this time from the Identity Crisis comic book.

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2 comments on “DC Mages, Mystics & Magicians: Zatanna by DC Direct

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