Marvel Gallery: The Wasp by Diamond Select

Try as I might, I continue to find Diamond’s Marvel and DC Gallery statues to be mostly irresistible, especially when they go on sale and dip below the $30 mark. As I showed in one of my Toy Tours, I’ve found a spot to display these in their boxes up on a high shelf in my Comic Office and so I can’t really use lack of space as an excuse to take a pass anymore. Still, I do try to be more selective in which ones I buy. I’ve had my eye on The Wasp here for a little while, and when she hit that magic price point, I went ahead and picked her up.

This is a pretty big package for a fairly cheap statue. As always, the goods come in a collector friendly box with the statue surrounded on four sides by generously sized windows: Top, front, and sides to let in plenty of light and show off the figure inside. It’s a good deal if you’re buying it at your local comic shop, so you can check out the paint quality. Alas, I’ve never seen these in a store and I get all my DST Gallery statues online. Fortunately, I haven’t had too many issues with the paint. The back of the box has a little blurb about The Wasp and calls out that this piece was sculpted by the great Jean St. Jean. Unlike most of these figures, Wasp does require just a bit of assembly. Her wings come separated from her body and you have to peg them into slots. They go in easy and she’s all ready for display!

Hands down, what I like about this statue the most is the choice to go with the classic costume and the wonderful way it’s been sculpted and painted. Janet has had a number of wardrobe changes over the years, and truth be told, I do like most of them, but the retro-stylings here will probably always be my favorite. The red dress features flared shoulders, a very short skirt, and a neckline that plunges all the way to her belt, but since it’s worn over a black bodysuit it manages to titilate and be modest at the same time. The red boots and gloves are also sculpted with some nice detail, as is the blue “W” situated just above her chest. The dress, boots, and gloves all have a glossy finish, which contrasts quite nicely with the matte finish of the black suit. You get some very nice sculpted wrinkles in the dress, as well as some rather well defined contours of her body showing through.

Unfortunately, the portrait is pretty average. I’m not going to say it’s bad for a statue in this price range, but I will say it falls short of what we got with a lot of the previous ladies in this series. It’s a little too full-faced for me, as I tend to like Janet a bit more on the pixie side, as it suits her alter ego. I’d say she’s more of a handsome woman, than a pretty one, and that’s what’s known as a backhanded compliment. Oops, I probably shouldn’t say backhand around Janet. Still, when it comes to the portrait, I may be letting her more modern interpretations color my view of what is clearly a very classic version of the character. The paint is overall OK, but her left eye is drifting a bit. I’ve certainly seen worse on far more expensive pieces. I do like her blue headphones and microphone, and her antenna are a little on the chunky side to keep them from being too fragile.

The wings are cast in tinted clear plastic and feature a rather pretty gradation from clear to green to blue at the tips, and with black spots near the top edges. You also get some sculpted membrane running throughout. Like the antenna, they’re a little thick, but that’s obviously to make them less fragile, and I think they look great.

As for the pose, well it’s a homerun! Wasp is captured in mid flight with her left leg drawn up and her right foot just grazing the base. Her body arches as she turns to face an unseen adversary, while she powers up her Wasp Sting with her right hand. The effect is a translucent yellow sphere with some crackling energy around it, and I think it looks pretty convincing. This is a perfect pose for showing off the character with a lot of excitement and energy.

The base is pretty elaborate and very nicely detailed. One of my nitpicks with this series has been the fact that DST calls these dioramas, but most of them just have generic bases. I’ve always thought that was just a licensing thing, but here the figure actually lives up to the name with a pretty cool base that tells a story. The ground is shattered, a street signpost hangs at an angle, water and smoke rise up between the cracks in the pavement. It’s all exceptionally well done and speaks of a desparate battle being waged. My only gripe is that it doesn’t really take advantage of Wasp’s diminished size. Indeed, the scaling actually makes her look bigger than a normal person. It seems like a rather large (no pun intended) oversight or a missed opportunity, but it’s not enough to ruin the statue for me.

As much as I dig The Wasp, the character is only represented in my collection by a handful of Hasbro and Toy Biz figures, so it’s nice to have something a little more substantial and waspy to enjoy. At one point I waffled on getting one of Sideshow’s statues of her, but the decision was made for me when that particular piece sold out. Even at the MSRP of about $45, I think this is a pretty well-executed piece. The portrait is definitely not as nice as the original solicitation photos, but the only reason I make a point of that again is because the female portraits in this line have been generally exceptional. That’s especially the case when you look back at Rogue, Emma Frost, or Madelyne Pryor. But I have certainly passed on far pricier statues that have looked worse. I grabbed Ms. Van Dyne for $25 on Amazon and I’m mighty happy with that deal. She’s big and beautiful and generates a big buzz for a little money.

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