After many weeks of statues, it’s time for me to get back to action figures on DC Friday, at least for a while. And while I’m setting my sites on Wave 2 of the DC Icons Series, I’m going to make a stop on the way this week to take a look at Mattel’s newest line of action figures… for girls!
There’s been a lot of stir over the last year or so about toys and gender roles: From Target re-branding its toy aisles with gender neutral colors to Kickstarters like IAmElemental introducing empowering action figures aimed at girls. And now Mattel enters the fray with their DC Super Hero Girls. Now, a good part of this line consists of traditional dolls that seem to capitalize on Mattel’s stupendously popular Monster High formula only with DC super heroes instead of freaky girl-monsters. But it’s the 6-inch action figures that got me to sit up and take notice. These figures are exclusive to Target right now, but due to see a wider release later this Summer. Let’s check out Wonder Woman…
The packaging here is colorful and stands out, even in an aisle full of other toy packages. The figure comes on a custom card with character art in the upper left corner and a large bubble that shows off the entire figure quite nicely. I don’t really plan on consuming any of the media surrounding this line, but the blurb on the back suggest that these versions of our favorite DC ladies are adolescents going to Super Hero High. Hmm… based on that, I’m not so sure this is quite the empowering, gender-busting concept that I thought it was going to be, but…
Wonder Woman sports a fresh take on her iconic costume and I really dig what they did with it. Here she’s got a red top with a gold belt and a cool “WW” collar that extends out to form flared shoulders. The costume is rounded out with blue pants, complete with stars running up the sides, red boots with white wings, white short sleeves, and her trusty bullet deflecting bracelets. In this case, maybe they only deflect spitballs.
The coloring on the figure is bright and satisfying, but the plastic quality isn’t the best. It’s a little on the mushy side, and her ankles are a little warped from being in the tray. That last bit is rather ironic since the back of the package actually says, “Action figures stand on their own” and that’s a bit of a stretch with this one. The combination of soft plastic and tiny feet make standing Wonder Woman to be a chore half the time.
The head sculpt features a youthful, wide-eyed, hyper cute take on the character. The tampos used for the eyes are nice and clean and she has her iconic tiara. The purple hair is a little odd, but it’s so dark that it almost looks black. The whole thing had a definite Disney Princess vibe going on and indeed, I’d be surprised if Disney doesn’t jump on this train with young, cute Disney-fied versions of their Marvel gals. I can see it now… super cute, teenage Black Widow sporting her twin Glocks… hmm, maybe not.
Articulation is not bad. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and hips. The knees are hinged and you get swivels in the wrists and boots. There’s no torso articulation, but the neck is ball jointed.
Wonder Woman comes with one accessory and that’s her golden lasso. It looked like string in the package, but it’s actually soft molded plastic. The coiled end has a tab to attach it to her belt. It makes for a decent looking display piece for a limited number of poses, but I’m a little bummed that it isn’t more versatile. I think string might have been better. At the very least they should have included a fully coiled one that she can wear all the time.
While the quality and articulation isn’t up to most action figures in the boys aisles, it’s worth remembering that this is a 6-inch figure priced at $9.99. That in itself is a bit of a miracle in this day and age. Granted, I’m a bit let down by the fact that these figures are wrapped in the same sort of pedantic school drama as Monster High or Ever After High or Whatever-the-hell-other-High. Then again, having not sipped from the cup of DC Super Hero Girls fiction, it could emphasize the adventure and crime fighting just as much, and I hope that’s the case. Without getting tied up in semantics, it’s safe to say that this is still a legit action figure aimed at girls and I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw something like this in the toy aisle. In the end, she’s a fun little figure, and I’ll definitely be picking up some more of these.