Cover Girls of the DC Universe (Series 3): Mera by DC Collectibles

What’s this? An actual DC Friday? Yup! It’s hard to believe I used to have enough material (and time) to do these every week, but if sure feels good to come back to it every now and then for old time’s sake. If you’ve been with me for a while than you may know I was an avid collector of the second series of DC Collectibles’ Cover Girls cold-cast porcelain statues. But when the series rebooted again I decided that in the interest of diminishing display space that I would call it quits. For someone with very little willpower when it comes to buying collectibles, I have remained surprisingly true to that decision. That’s not to say that I haven’t been admiring them from afar. And ultimately, it was a price that I couldn’t refuse on Mera that made me finally dip my toe into this third series. It’s been about two years since I last visited with this line, so I’m more than ready!

The previous line was based on the art of Stanley Artgerm Lau, whereas this time around it’s Joelle Jones’ turn and I dig both artists’ work a lot. The packaging on this line hasn’t changed much since my absence, although this time around they are scaled bigger and the size of the box obviously reflects that. The statue still comes in a fully enclosed box and sandwiched between two Styrofoam trays to keep it safe. I’ve heard one or two horror stories about breakage with this new series, but I was happy to see that mine survived. The only assembly required is pegging Mera’s single foot post into the base. Let’s do that and check her out!

Standing tall and proud, Mera strides across the waves with confident poise and her head held high. It’s an appropriately regal look for the Queen of the Depths. And regal is also the word I would choose to describe her attire. She sports the very familiar form-fitting scaled bodysuit with some stylish gold piping on her arms, torso and boots. I also dig the stylized “M” strategically placed where her belt buckle would be. The bulk of the scales are painted over in a stunning emerald green, as are the boots. The center of her chest and her arms are painted gold, making for a very striking two-tone deco. Every detail on this costume is part of the sculpt and the precision and quality of the paint applications are both excellent.

Moving on to the portrait, and oh boy do I get a major Filmation (as in He-Man/She-Ra) vibe off of this. I’m not sure if it’s from the eyes, but I saw it right away and can’t unsee it. It’s not a bad thing, mind you, just that I find the styles highly similar. Mera’s face is framed by a gold tiara, behind which flows her voluminous red hair. The sculptor really went over the top on her hair and it looks great. The painted facial features match the impecable quality of the rest of the piece. Her eyes are straight and even and the eyebrows and lips are crisp and sharp. No complaints here.

And that brings us to the base. As with the previous Cover Girls Mera, they went with a translucent plastic to simulate water and the effect works beautifully. The splashing water erupts from beneath her feet and curls up at the ends, all set upon a disc-shaped platform. Flip the base over and the bottom is branded with DC Collectibles and shows that the piece is hand-numbered. Mine is 324 of 5000 pieces produced. The previous series produced 5200 of each, so it looks like they shaved a whole 200 off each run.

The previous Cover Girls Mera was one of my favorite statues in that series, so it comes as high praise when I say I like this one almost as much. There are actually some things this one does better, like that superb water effect, and in truth this one has a far more intricate sculpt. Plus the green paint used for her suit looks a bit more premium here. With that having been said, I do really like the way the Artgerm version is balanced, as if defying gravity, and the portrait is less stylized and still absolutely drop dead gorgeous. Did I really need two Meras on my Cover Girl shelf? Nah, but I picked this one up over the holidays for around $40, which was a deal I could not refuse and I’m glad that was the case because she is a very beautiful piece. Does it mean I’m going to dip into any more of this third series? Eh, maybe. I sure have been eyeing that Catwoman, so if you’re interested in that one you may want to keep watching this space.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Harley Quinn (Ver.2) by DC Collectibles

I’m committed to getting completely caught up with DC’s Cover Girls before the next statue ships in a month or so, and to that end I’m finally getting around to this, the second version of Harley Quinn to be released in the current incarnation of the line. The first Harley consisted of her full-on New 52 look, whereas this one returns the character to her more classic look. It’s also worth noting that a third version of Cover Girls Harley has been announced, but I’m pretty sure that one will kick off the third Cover Girls series, which will be under the stewardship of a new artist.

The statue comes in a really big box. Next to Bleez, this is probably the biggest box they’ve had to use for this line. What’s funny, though, is that it weighs so little that I was actually worried that there might not be anything in it. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case and what’s really going on here is that Harley’s a pretty slender gal, but her rather unique pose required the bigger box. Combine those two elements, and you get the deceptive size to weight ratio. With that having been said, the box is bright and snappy with a white, black and red deco. It notes on the bottom that this is a numbered second edition, as the original run did sell out and DC Collectibles put her back into production. As a result, the limitation here is 5,000 as opposed to the usual 5,200. Apart from the disclaimer on the box, that change in limitation is the key to identifying the second edition of the statue.

Harley comes balancing with her left foot on her giant hammer and her right leg stretched out in front of her. Her right hand clutches the handle of the hammer and her left hand sports her over-sized pop-gun. There’s a lot to love about this pose. It’s distinctive and totally Harley. She’s playful and whimsical, and she’s probably going to murder someone with that hammer. On the other hand, the composition here makes for a statue that for me really only has one “sweet spot,” which is basically the angle of the first picture.  The problem with this is that it means her right leg is also protruding forward. My Cover Girls display shelves are getting a little congested, and to put it bluntly, when it comes to taking up space on the shelf, Harley does not play well with others. I’m also a little worried I’m going to knock that leg when passing by and all Joker’s horses and all Joker’s men won’t be able to put Harley back together again.

Looking beyond the composition, I have to say that I love what they did with the sculpt. The costume is appropriately simple, but even the little things like the diamonds on her legs are sculpted and not just painted on. She’s also got little wrinkles around her ankles, the flare of her little boots, and the fringe around her wrists and neck all look fantastic. I’m very happy that they went with a subtle gloss for the costume. The Harley from the first incarnation of Cover Girls always looked way too glossy for me. The paint on the costume is super clean too, the lines are pretty sharp, and the red  is nice and even, and compliments the black and white beautifully. There are, however, a few QC issues on my statue, and to show you, I’m going to have to go in for a butt shot. Sorry, can’t be helped.

So first off, let me get it out of the way. Daaaaaayum, that’s a fine tokus! But what we’re really looking at here is that scattering of what appear to be paint bubbles on her right ass cheek. These are pretty unsightly, but at least they’re in a place where they won’t be normally be seen when she’s on display. Instead, I’m only apt to notice them when I pick her up and scrutinize that fine clown caboose. And how often is that going to be, eh? OK, probably a lot.

The portrait is pretty solid. There are a few very minor blemishes on her face, but you have to get in pretty close to see them. Also, it kind of looks like what you might expect to see on grease paint. What’s crazy is that teeny tiny bit of flesh color that they put around the seam between her collar and her hood. I also like the subtle rumple in her tassels. Unfortunately, the posing here does get in the way a little of really taking in her facial features. With her hand holding the gun up in front of her, you have to come in at an angle.

The base uses the standard oval structure that we’ve seen since the earliest releases in this line. I like how they get around that by having her stand on the hammer. It’s like they wanted to do something special, but still conform to the standard that the line has been using. They really went all out on the wood detail for the mallet, which makes for a nice contrast to the smooth and mostly featureless costume she’s wearing. The red and black deco looks great on the base and the paint here is nice and clean. As always, the statue is hand numbered on the bottom, with mine being 1532 of 5,000.

So, I actually passed on this statue when it was first offered. While I have most of this series of Cover Girls, there have been a select few that I skipped. Most notable was the first version of Wonder Woman, which did nothing for me and had a reputation for some unfortunate QC issues. I would have probably stuck with my inclination to skip Harley here, had I not found this second edition for the irresistible price of $45. How could I go wrong? Yeah, I know what you’re saying… you could get one with ass bubbles, and you did! I’m pretty sure that was just a coincidence as my statue was still sealed and I’ve still seen Ms. Quinn here floating around in the forties through other sellers. She’s a nice piece of work, but not one of my favorite releases in the line. I think a lot of that may come down to just having Classic Harley fatigue. Which would also explain why I still prefer the first release version to this one, as it’s something different.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Starfire by DC Collectibles

The current incarnation of Cover Girls of the DC Universe is running out of time. There are only three more statues due to release before it reboots in favor of a new artist. Conversely, there are only three previously released Cover Girls that I need in order to get all caught up, and I’m opening one of those today. I hope you like Tamaranean T&A, because it’s time to check out the lovely Princess Koriand’r!

I’ve showcased enough of these statues by now that I have precious little left to say about the packaging. Starfire comes in a fully enclosed box and sandwiched between two styrofoam trays. It’s not the snazziest presentation out there, but it’s collector friendly, and I’ve yet to receive one of these pieces damaged, so obviously the packing is doing its job. Starfire requires no assembly. She’s already attached to her base and ready to go.

And WOW! Starfire hovers in mid-flight supported by the toe of her right boot, which dips into the fiery trail left behind by her hair. There are so many things I love about the composition of this piece. The graceful flow of her body, tapering off to her outstretched right hand is absolute poetry and the way her hair arcs alongside her is stunning. It’s not only a great comic statue, but a wonderful study of the female form. The balance (both literal and figurative) of the statue is also fantastic, as Starfire looks like she’s defying gravity. Cover Girls is so often about museum-style posing, but every now and then DCC lets loose and delivers a release like this one. It’s definitely one of the most kinetic statues in the line, and yet she still feels right at home when displayed among her fellow Cover Girls.

The costume is lifted directly from her appearances in Red Hood and the Outlaws, although purple and skimpy has almost always been the order of the day for Koriand’r, so this New 52 look isn’t a huge departure from her more classic appearances. Granted, she covered up a bit more once she got her own book by Amanda Connor, but that’s another statue for another day. It’s perhaps worth noting that there isn’t a lot of sculpted muscle definition here. I only tend to notice it around her abs area where it’s totally smooth. Not a problem for me, but I thought it was an interesting choice on the part of the sculptor and I feel it gives her a slightly more animated appearance.

From the neck down, the paint on this piece is quite good, both in terms of quality and application. The metallic purple used for her costume is right on the money and is nicely complimented by the silver borders. Her distinctive orange skin is just the right shade as well as being smooth, warm, and even. There are a few areas on mine where the paint lines don’t quite conform to the sculpted lines, but I really had to scrutinize her carefully to notice them. Needless to say whatever tiny flubs are here, don’t bother me at all.

And as long as we’re doing paint checks… nothing wrong back here!

I like the portrait a lot, but I think there are just a few areas for improvement here. Normally, I wouldn’t bother mentioning them, but since all I’m doing is gushing over this piece, I’ll play devil’s advocate for a bit. The first is just my personal preference that I would have liked to see a little smirk or smile on her face. As it is, it’s a very neutral expression, and that’s fine. There’s so much great stuff going on here, that I’m not immediately drawn to her expression anyway. Secondly concerns the paint application, which is a tad off on the hairline and the lips, both of which are only really an issue if I get in super close and start to scrutinize it. Still, it’s not bad and I’ve seen far worse paint applications on far more expensive “premium” statues.

The base manages to maintain the uniform oval generic theme of this line, while still going above and beyond. For most of the Cover Girls, the bases are just something for the figures to stand on, but here, it’s an integral part of the presentation, as her hair flows down and transitions into the fire effect. It’s beautifully done and genuinely hard to tell where the cold-cast porcelain ends and the translucent plastic begins. The effect is quite similar to what we saw with Bleez’s fire base and Mera’s water base. It’s an effect that could easily make or break the statue, but here it succeeds brilliantly. As always, the limitation is hand numbered on the bottom of the base. Mine is 2,223 of 5,200.

Starfire’s MSRP is right in line with the other Cover Girls at around $100. It’s certainly a fair price for what you’re getting, but I try to do a little bargain hunting when it comes to this line, and was able to pick her up for just under $70. Between the elaborate marrying of hair and base, the vibrant combination of colors, and just the overall beauty of her form, I think this is one piece that really sticks out, even in a display case full of Cover Girls releases. It’s also a piece that makes for a great stand-alone representation of Koriand’r for someone who isn’t collecting the line. And considering that Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo Starfire is now selling for well over $100, this one is a damn good value too.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Power Girl by DC Collectibles

Apologies to DC fans who have missed DC Friday for the last two weeks, but truth be told, I’m almost caught up with opening my DC figures and statues, so I’ve been rotating DC Fridays out in favor of other areas. It’s going to continue to be a little hit-or-miss in the weeks ahead. But I’m bringing it back home today with a look at another DC Cover Girls statue. This time, it’s one of my all time favorites… Power Girl!

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If you’re unfamiliar with this line, these are approximately 9-inch scale, cold cast porcelain statues released in numbered editions. The box she comes in is mostly white with, in this case, a blue swipe running down the the front. You get some photos of the statue and credits to the designer, Stanley Lau, and the sculptor, Jack Matthews. The box is fully enclosed and collector friendly. The collectible comes wrapped in plastic and sandwiched between two hearty styrofoam bricks. The only assembly required is to plug Kara’s feet into the base via the metal posts. It’s a comfortable fit, they go in easy and despite just balancing on one foot, she’s very sturdy.

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Power Girl stands confidently with one knee bent and palming her fist as she prepares for a fight (someone’s about to get the most enjoyable beat-down they’ll ever get in their life!), while a breeze blows her half-cape and short coif of hair off to the side. This is a great pose that not only characterizes the nobility and courage of Power Girl beautifully, but also fits in right at home with her fellow Cover Girl statues. It’s cover-worthy composition with the promise of a little action to come.

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The sculpt does a fantastic job of recreating Power Girl’s timeless outfit. The white one-piece features sculpted seam lines and some slight wrinkles to suggest it’s properly snug in all the right places. Of course, you also get the high collar and her iconic boob window. Hey! Her eyes are up there, mister! Her cape is perfectly sculpted to billow in the breeze and is secured by a sculpted gold painted disc and braided cord. The rest of her costume is rounded out by her blue buccaneer boots and gloves and a blue belt with gold buckle. About the only downside is that her cape obstructs the view of her caboose. Just saying.

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The coloring and quality of paint on this statue are both exceptional. The white is clean with a subtle glossy sheen, the blue is deep and rich, the red is vibrant, and the gold adds that perfect little pop to the whole ensemble. What’s more the flesh tones on her legs and chest are warm, even and clean. When it comes to the figure itself, I have to say I’ve seen far more expensive statues painted with a lot less care than this one.

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The portrait is spot on and absolutely lovely. The shape of her face and the contours of her perfect nose make her a sight to behold. The paint on the eyes, eyebrows, and lips is all crisp, and the sculpting on the wind blown hair is perfect. If I wasn’t already in love with Power Girl, admiring that face would surely push me over the edge.

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The base is the standard oval that we’ve been seeing throughout most of this line. It’s painted white with blue edges and you get her trademark “P” at the cardinal points. The base is also the only place on this piece where the quality of paint application stumbles a bit. It’s not terrible, but the lines are certainly not as straight and even as they could have been. Nonetheless, if the paint has to take a hit somewhere, I’d much rather it be down on the base than on the figure itself. As always, the limitation is hand numbered on the bottom of the base. Mine is 2,722 of 5,200.

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The suggested retail here is around $99, but a little patience and hunting netted me this one for $66 shipped and it’s hard to beat that! Most people who know me are surprised that I didn’t jump on this one the moment it was released. The truth is that most of the official photos gave me pause. Even the shots on the box don’t do the finished product justice at all. When she arrived and I opened her, I was practically bracing myself for disappointment. And in fairness, my love of Power Girl means that I often hold her merch up to especially high standards. But, as it turned out, I couldn’t possibly have been more delighted with the way this statue turned out. I have just a few more DC Cover Girls to get caught up on and then there’s three more yet to be released this year before DC Collectibles reboots this line again with a new artist. Will I still be on board after the reboot? Most likely.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Mera by DC Collectibles

I’m just about done going back and picking up all the older Cover Girls that I needed to fill out my collection. In fact, Mera here was one of the last. There are a couple recent releases I still need to grab, Raven and Power Girl, but what the future holds for this line is still uncertain. The only Cover Girls solicit I’ve seen for 2017 so far is Hawkgirl, so it could be that DCC is wrapping this one up. And that would make sense, what with the shakeup from New 52 to ReBirth this year. But I’d best not get ahead of myself, let’s live in the moment and have a look at the lovely Mera!

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After looking at over a dozen of these ladies, there isn’t much new to report about the packaging. Mera comes in a fully enclosed box with some pictures of the statue on the front and side panels. The back panel advertises the Katana statue that I’ve already looked at here, and Starfire, which I’ll be getting around to eventually. As usual, the statue comes wrapped in plastic and encased in a styrofoam brick. The base comes separate from the figure, so you need to do some assembly that is minor, but no less harrowing. I’ll come back to that when I talk about the base.

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Once set up, Mera makes for both a majestic and gorgeous display piece. All of these statues are executed in roughly a 9-inch scale, but Mera’s a bit bigger since she’s elevated. She rises from the waves with her back arched and her right arm reaching out to the unseen object that has captured her gaze. For a line that has gotten by with mostly static and almost museum-style poses, Mera here really breaks tradition with a composition full of grace and energy. Just the engineering of the balance here is impressive as she appears to defy gravity.

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Mera is clad in her fish-scaled green bodysuit that covers from the tips of her toes all the way up to her shoulders, allowing for a deep and revealing plunging chest cut-out and ending with long sleeves. Apart from the individually sculpted scales, the only other detail and paint variation on the bodysuit itself comes from the gold shell patterns on the cuffs of her sleeves. The green paint used for the suit features an appropriate sheen and the flesh tone used for her hands and exposed neck and cleavage is soft, warm and evenly applied. The paint and quality of application here is some of the best I’ve seen in this line.

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Mera’s portrait also ranks up pretty high on my list. Previously, my favorite was the other green costumed redhead, Poison Ivy, but I think Mera is giving her a run for her money. The sculpt is beautiful and the paint applications, from her lips to her eyes, are neat and precise. The subtle green eye shadow is a nice touch as are the gold hoop earrings. She has a gold tiara and her red hair spills out the back, with some stray strands snaking around her neck. Oh yeah… and bewbs! Mera is not too modest to show off her goodies.

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As a rule, I don’t have a lot to say about the bases on these statues, but Mera’s is an exception. She manages to retain the familiar and uniform oval style with her emblem positioned at the four cardinal points. However, this time instead of a mere painted platform, we get a sculpted transparent blue wave of water that cradles her feet and ankles. It’s a similar flourish that we saw with Bleez’s firery base and it looks just as magnificent here.
What’s also magnificent, and a little scary, is the fact that Mera does not have any actual pegs or posts to support her connection to the base. Instead, the waves are sculpted so that they grab her ankles and provide a slot for her right toes. There are no instructions, and it took me a while to get the figure positioned correctly in the base. And all the while, I was worrying about scratching her paint. Fortunately, the plastic waves are soft, and when you do make the connection, it’s secure enough that you can pick her up from the figure and that base isn’t going anywhere. That having been said, if I ever need to re-box this lady, I’m not looking forward to trying to get the two apart again.

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As always, the bottom of the base is hand numbered. Mine is 2,561 of 5,200.

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In a line that seldom disappoints me, Mera shines all the more brighter. One of the things that has impressed me the most about the Cover Girls line is the work that DCC puts into some of the backbench characters. Statues like Mera, Katana, Bleez, and Vixen have all turned out fantastic and certainly rival some of the A-listers in terms of overall sculpt and composition. And maybe I just have a thing for busty red heads in tight green costumes, but Mera and Poison Ivy are among my favorites in this collection. As always, these statues carry an MSRP of about $100, but are easy to find a lot less. Indeed, Mera is currently being clearanced out at a number of online retailers and I was able to pick her up for the sweet price of $65.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Wonder Woman (Ver. 2) by DC Collectibles

Back when Cover Girls got rebooted, Wonder Woman was one of the first statues out of the gate. That initial release remains one of the very few of these ladies that I don’t own. It’s nothing against that particular statue, I just never got around to going back and picking her up. Well, now DCC has done a second version of her, and it’s spectacular, I doubt I’ll have any desire to revisit the first.

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There’s nothing new to say about the packaging. It’s the same fully enclosed box that houses a brick of styrofoam with the statue inside. The back of the box has photos of Bleez and the second version of Harley Quinn. Wonder Woman comes wrapped in plastic and measures at just around 9 1/2-inches tall. All you need to do is plug her into the base via a pair of metal rods and she’s all ready for display.

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There’s so much I love about this piece, I’m not sure where to begin. Yes, it’s a very conservative and conventional pose. Diana is standing with her left hip to the side and her hand resting on it. She holds her golden lasso in her right hand and her right foot is behind her with the toe of her boot touching the back of the base. It’s not action packed. It’s not even all that original. But, I think the composition here just captures the character so well. It’s heroic, it’s noble, and perhaps most of all it’s confident. And those are all qualities that I associate with this Amazon goddess.

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The costume here is most definitely the New 52 look and I’ve never had a problem with it. It pays respects to her traditional look with just a little extra oompf. Her one piece features the red segmented middle with the reinforced silver border on the top, an integral silver “belt” and finishes at the bottom with the blue “undies” with white stars. She has her simple blue boots with the white border at the top that points in the front, her silver arm bracers and the silver band on her left bicep. The muscle tone in her arms is particularly well done and she’s certainly packing some assets up front.

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As good as everything is from the neck down, the portrait is even better. In fact, I’d say this is one of the best since the line rebooted. Not only is Diana beautiful, but I’m in love with her eyes and her little grinning smirk. Again, she just exudes confidence. She looks like she’s about to get into the fray and is thinking, “this is going to be fun.” The fine details on her choker and tiara are fantastic and I just love what they did with her hair as it cascades down and behind her right shoulder. She’s just plain dreamy.

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I’ve had a few slight issues with paint on a couple of my recent Cover Girls, but where they fumbled, Wonder Woman grabs the ball and goes the distance. In fact, I might as well start by pointing out the only issue on the whole piece and that’s a tiny stroke of stray silver paint near her left elbow. The rest of this piece is meticulously painted with sharp edges and barely a brush mark to speak of. The red and blue are both rich and the silver is bright and beautiful. I also love her skin tone. It’s soft, warm, and appropriately tanned.

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So, if I had to pick something to gripe about, I’ll go with the translucent yellow plastic they used for her coiled lasso. I get what they were going for here, I don’t think it looks bad, but I think it would have looked better had they just painted it with a nice gold leaf paint, like the kind they used on the base.

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Speaking of which, the base is the standard Cover Girls oval with a gold surface and accents and the edges painted white. There are tiny WW emblems at the cardinal points, all painted gold. As usual, these statues are limited to 5,200 pieces and hand numbered on the bottom of the base. Mine is 2,504.

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I was looking forward to getting Wonder Woman on my Cover Girls shelf ever since they revealed this second version and I’m happy to say she did not disappoint. In fact, she’s instantly become one of my favorite pieces in this line. Everything about this piece just comes together so beautifully and the quality of craftsmanship on display here should be the standard they look to. To make things even better, I got a ridiculously great deal on her. While I would have been perfectly happy paying the MSRP of a hundred bucks, I was able to pick her up for $60. Not too shabby at all.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Catwoman (Ver. 2) by DC Collectibles

I’ve been running up to Halloween with some looks at horror figures, but with today being DC Friday, the best I could do was a certain black (suited) cat lady. Also appropriate because yesterday was Black Cat Day. Yeah, I’m going with that…

On the last DC Friday, I took a look at Diamond Select’s Catwoman statue from their DC Animated Series and today I’m going to keep the Selena love going with a look at her second statue from the Cover Girls of the DC Universe. Catwoman was my first foray into this line since it re-launched and with a dozen or so of these statues on my shelf, I’ve now come full circle.

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As always, the statue comes in a fully enclosed box with pictures of the piece on the front and side panels. You get an adorable cat head logo on the top and the back panel teases two of the statues that I’ve already looked at: Bleez and Black Canary. Catwoman is packed snugly between two styrofoam bricks and wrapped in plastic. The only assembly required is inserting the metal pegs on her feet into the base.

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This new version of Catwoman features a pretty conventional pose for this line. She’s standing with her weight on her left foot and her right leg slightly bent and her heel off the base. She toss her left hip to the side ever so slightly and has her whip seductively coiled around her shoulders and is holding it from each end. It’s not the most original composition out there, but I still like it. It suits the character and it conforms more closely with the direction this line has taken since the release of the original Catwoman statue.

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The costume is a very simple black body suit. Apart from some seams on the legs and some more running up the front and back, the only real detail to be found is in the rumples and wrinkles. It’s enough to make the suit look realistic without interrupting the beautiful contours of her body. She also has the ring zipper pull in the middle of her chest so… um… Batman can have easy access? Traditionally, I remember this pull usually being silver, but here it looks more gold. The boots each have three sets of belts securing them and her gauntlets flare out to points as they approach her elbows.

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The paint finish on the body suit, gloves, and boots is all done in a satin finish black, which is a pretty stark contrast to the ultra high glossy suit that the first version of Cover Girls Catwoman wore. I kind of dig this change, since there are so many different interpretations of her costume in the comics. Sometimes it looks like a rubber suit, sometimes it looks like cloth. In terms of painted details to the costume, this is probably the simplest deco since Platinum came out and she was literally all one color. I’m not really complaining, the paint on the costume looks great, in fact, it’s practically flawless, but there just isn’t a whole lot of variety to it. Ironically, she tends to be a magnet for cat hair, as you can probably see a stray white kitty hair or two in the pictures.

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As great as everything is from the neck down, the portrait is easily my favorite thing about this figure. The tight hood is beautifully executed with the sculpted goggles down over her eyes. The lenses are tinted yellow, very clear, and offer a great view of her perfectly painted eyes, which glance off to her left. She has a slight, mischievous smile and the paint on her lips is just about flawless. In fact, the only complaint I have over the paint on this piece are a few tiny spots on her skin. There’s a little area of bleed on the left edge of the unzipped portion of her suit where it meets her chest. There’s also what looks like a tiny air pocket in the paint in her cleavage. I wasn’t looking, I swear… I just sort of noticed it! Both issues would be so minor they wouldn’t be worth mentioning if they weren’t in such a prominent area. I think they’re mostly annoying because the rest of the paintwork on this piece is just so good.

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Last time we saw Cover Girls Catwoman she was on a rather elaborate diorama style base. Here she’s been made to conform to the classic oval style base the line has been using for a while now. It’s painted silver around the edges, with a black cat icon at the cardinal points, and black on the surface. The limitation is hand numbered on the bottom. Mine is #1,918 of 5,200.

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So, now that I’ve got two Selenas on my Cover Girls shelf, which one do I like better? Well, from a technical standpoint, I think this new one is more polished. The paint on the costume is flawless, the portrait is pretty, and she’s about as solid a statue as they come in this price range. The original has much more dynamic composition, a lot more personality, and the glossy paint on the suit really catches the eye. On the other hand, the paint on the earlier piece isn’t quite as sharp, the skin tone is rather flat, and the portrait isn’t quite as good. It’s still a solid piece, but I think I’ll be pulling her as well as the first versions of Harley and Poison Ivy to make up their own little display vignette on another shelf and that’ll make room for some more of the oval-based Cover Girls. They just feel more like a unified line.

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Originally, I wasn’t going to double dip on Catwoman, at least not until I got caught up on the other characters I needed in this line. As it so happens, someone was offering her for a price I couldn’t refuse and I just had to do it. These ladies retail for $99, and while I think that’s most often a fair price for what you’re getting, the truth is most e-tailers seem to knock twenty to thirty percent off the price to be competitive. I was able to pick up Selina for $63 shipped and I’ve certainly got no regrets at adopting this kitty cat.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Bleez by DC Collectibles

A few weeks ago, I remember lamenting the fact that Cover Girls was already awarding second versions of statues to A-listers like Wonder Woman and Catwoman when there were still so many lesser known characters that hadn’t been done at all. Well, behold the counter-argument: Red Lantern Bleez! With a tragic history and muddled allegiances, I best came to know Bleez in the pages of New Guardians. She’s a delightfully odd choice for a slot in the Cover Girls line, and you know what’s even odder? She’s quite possibly the best statue this line has produced.

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This box is huge! It dwarfs even the largest Cover Girls box I have in my storage. Aside from that, there isn’t a whole lot else to say about it. It’s fully enclosed and houses a brick of styrofoam that protects the statue inside. The only assembly required is to peg the figure into the base, and this was a little trickier than usual. It was a tight fit and single metal peg did not want to go all the way in. Eventually, I settled for getting it most of the way in. For all I know, that’s as far as it’s meant to go and at least the statue feels perfectly stable.

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All set up, Bleez is an impressive sight to behold. While she’s still scaled with the other Cover Girls releases, her elevated pose clocks her in at almost 11 1/2-inches as opposed to the 9 to 10-inch average of the rest of the line. She floats above a sea of flames with one knee drawn up in front of the other and the grizzly vestiges of her once magnificent wings fanned out behind her. She dons her own seductive take on the Red Lantern uniform with long black leggings connected to her one-piece with sculpted straps. The paint on this piece is stunning, both in quality and application. The matte black is coupled with a sumptuous metallic crimson on her gloves, breast cross-straps, and pointed shoulders and it contrasts nicely with the soft blue of her skin. The Red Lantern Corps emblem is sculpted into the center of her chest and flawlessly painted. There’s some great muscle definition sculpted into her abs and, well let’s just say that the rest of the tight costume leaves little to the imagination, despite covering most of her up pretty well.

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The skeletal wings are a huge draw for this piece. While the bulk of the statue is the typical cold cast porcelain we’ve seen in this line, the wings feel like resin. Obviously this was a good choice. I don’t know if it’s even possible to produce something like these bones in porcelain, but this way they’re far less likely to snap and help to alleviate some weight from the back. What’s here feels fairly sturdy and the coloring is just perfect.

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I particularly like how they sculpted the seams in the backs of her boots and leggings and… nah, just kidding. This is really just a gratuitous butt shot.

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And then you have the magnificent portrait. Bleez offers a broad smile and flashes her yellow eyes, with her face partially framed by the crimson high collar of her costume. The hood and mask are beautifully sculpted and feature some very sharp paint lines. She also has a pair of bat wings on her head that would make Capcom’s Morrigan and Lilith jealous. Did I mention the paint? Well, let’s bring it up again because it is absolutely superb and definitely some of the best I’ve seen in this line to date.

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The base features the same standard oval style that we’ve been seeing for a while now, but it’s cast in a beautiful translucent red plastic with the flames licking up around her feet. The metal post is just barely visible from the back of the statue if you get in close, so the levitating effect is pretty cool. You still get the limitation hand numbered on the bottom of the base. Mine is 1,413 of 5,200.

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This iteration of the Cover Girls line has been solid, and I really enjoy collecting it, but few of these ladies have really blown me away like this one has. Everything about this statue shines, from the sculpt, to the paint, to those amazing wings. I was grinning ear to ear from the moment I took her out of the package and set her up. With over a dozen of these ladies on my shelves, this is without a doubt one of the best. The only shame here is that some collectors may pass up this lovely piece because the character is undervalued or perhaps just not well known. And if that’s the case, I’d say Green Lantern: New Guardians is worth a read.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Black Canary by DC Collectibles

It’s DC Friday again and I’m giving the action figures a rest this week to check out another statue. I’ve actually got a few DC statues waiting on deck for the spotlight, but since I’m getting a little backlogged on the lovely Cover Girls of the DC Universe, let’s go with Black Canary, a relatively recent release from that line!

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There isn’t much to say about the packaging that I haven’t said a dozen times over. The goods come in a fully enclosed box with some shots of the statue and adverts for Catwoman v2 and Power Girl on the back. Inside, the statue is sandwiched between two styrofoam bricks and the only assembly required is to peg the feet into the base. If this is your first time checking out one of these statues with me, they’re cold cast porcelain and generally about 9 to 10-inches tall, depending on the pose.

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And in this case, Dinah is standing tall and proud, right leg slightly bent, left hand resting on hip, and with a shattered megaphone in the other. She’s totally mugging for the camera, and those are the poses that I tend to enjoy most in this line.

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Her costume is definitely New 52 inspired, but I don’t recognize the exact appearance. It has some similarities to her Birds of Prey costume, but this one is sleeveless. My guess is that this is from her solo book, which I never got around to reading. I’ll be honest, it’s not my favorite look for the character. I’m happy to defend a lot of the New 52 costume designs when I think it’s warranted. In this case, I dig the costume, but it just doesn’t scream Black Canary to me. See what I did there? Her one-piece features some nice sculpted wrinkles, textures, and stitching. All the decorative accents in the boots are also part of the sculpt and the same is true for her gloves.

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The stockings are actually string fishnets, which is the first real time I’ve seen mixed media on these statues, unless you count Catwoman v1’s whip. This could have been a risky move, considering the mixed results we’ve seen with stockings in DC action figures, but I’m happy to say they look fantastic here. The seams are fairly well concealed down the inner legs and the stockings convincingly disappear into the boots and one-piece.

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The portrait here is solid. She’s pretty, but I don’t know that I would recognize her from just a head shot. The hair sculpt is a little chunky, but that’s often an issue with these porcelain statues. I’m not a big fan of how the hair seems to levitate a bit above the shoulders, but again, I’ll blame the media. I definitely like the muscle definition in her biceps. The skin tones are also pretty good, but my statue has a rather annoying light scratch across her left shoulder.

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Which is a good segue into the paint. I’ve been overall very pleased with the paint quality in this line, and I now own about a dozen of them. Paint can so often make or break a statue, and that’s especially the case when you’re looking at pieces in the lower-middle price range like these Cover Girls. Unfortunately, Black Canary’s paint isn’t up to par with the rest of my DC ladies. The quality of the paint itself is fine. I like the metallic sheen to the blue and it looks great when contrasted with the bright yellow. The problem here is in the care of application. There’s no single glaring paint defect that made me think I could do better if I exchanged it for another, but the lines could and should have been a lot cleaner and there are just too many gloppy brush marks for my liking. Maybe it’s a case of the yellow paint being more susceptible to problems against the blue. This is a piece that looks fine when viewed casually on the shelf, but begins to break down a bit when you get in really close.

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And that brings me to the megaphone. I’ve actually waffled back and forth on my feelings about it. On the one hand, it’s a visual and somewhat humorous, way to reference her canary cry and the way it’s blown out looks cool enough. On the other hand, it’s a little obvious and perhaps an unnecessary prop. I mean, I’m laying down eighty to a hundred bucks for a statue of Black Canary. It’s safe to say that I’m aware of her signature power without needing a visual aide. It kind of feels like the type of gimmick from the Bombshells statue line. In the end, I guess I’m OK with it.

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The base is the same type of oval platform that this line has been using since it changed over from the diorama style bases. Dinah’s has a little canary emblem at the cardinal points. The yellow surface paint is clean and even, but my statue had some scuff marks on the black paint along the edges. They all rubbed out very easily with a damp Q-tip, but it begs the question, who’s checking these before they get boxed.

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As always, the bottom of the base is hand numbered with the limitation. Mine is 2798 of 5200.

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These gals tend to retail at about $99, but can usually be had for less soon after they hit the shelves. Canary set me back about $70 shipped. If this was your first time with me looking at a Cover Girls statue, you shouldn’t take this one as par for the course. As I said earlier, all of my Cover Girls are great looking ladies for the money. Even Black Canary here isn’t terrible. There are some strange choices here, but in the end she looks great on the shelf next to Katana and Poison Ivy. Truth be told, I’ve seen similar paint issues on far more expensive statues, particularly in the waning days of Bowen Designs. That doesn’t mean, however, it should be acceptable. The paint quality is so important on pieces like these and the standards really need to be high. My hope is that this is only a hiccup in quality and not a trend. We’ll find out in a couple of weeks when I swing back to this line to check out one of the Cover Girls’ oddest character choices yet, Red Lantern Bleeze!

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Vixen by DC Collectibles

As many of you know by now, Cover Girls is a line that I love to collect, but it often has to take a backseat to other priorities. It’s a gamble, because sometimes they get discounted and other times they sell quickly and skyrocket in price. Getting backlogged on this line can be a scary prospect. Most recently, I was torn between picking up Vixen or the second version of Catwoman next, but then I figured I already have the first Catwoman release, so why not expand the family? And besides, Vixen is awesome.

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It’s been a few months since I last visited with this line. The boxes haven’t changed. They’re simple, and collector friendly, and they show a number of shots of the collectible inside. The back of the box has images for Starfire and a new version of Harley Quinn. Vixen has been getting a little love in the DCTV media lately, with both animated and live action appearances. And seeing as how DC Collectibles is already producing second versions of some of the A-Listers in this line, it’s nice to see that they aren’t completely ignoring some of the B-Listers. No offense, Mari. Anyway, getting Vixen set up is easy, you just peg her into the base and she’s good to go, so let’s do that and check her out!

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Grrr, baby… Grrrrr! If you’re a newcomer to this line, these ladies tend to be approximately 9 to 10″ in scale. Vixen stands with legs apart and her arms held out, as if she’s ready to pounce right off her base. The Cover Girls line has offered a reasonable compromise between action and museum style composition, and I think Vixen is another good example of that. In this case, what we get really captures the character nicely. This is just such a simple and elegant pose.

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Vixen sports her rather simple body suit with sculpted cut-outs to resemble animal stripes, and long sleek gloves. You also get some sculpted seams, boot lines, and whatever that strategically placed silver fixture is right above her you-know-where. The paint on the costume is almost entirely… ochre? Is that what you’d call that? Yeah, let’s go with ochre… with a hint of metallic sheen to it. There’s also a low plunging neckline for those of you who like a little sumthin-sumthin with your lady statues.

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The portrait here is among my favorites that this line has done in its current series. Mari’s got a beautiful face with a stern expression that shows she means business. The skin tone is warm and soft and the paint lines around her tribal necklace are pretty nice and sharp. In fact, all the paint on her facial features are equally sharp and precise. I especially like her yellow eyes and the sheen on her lipstick. There’s a little spray around her hairline, but I’m thinking that is intentional. Speaking of the hair, it’s sculpted beautifullly, and I dig the way it trails down around her high collar and over her right shoulder.

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This line continues to use simple and standardized oval bases, in this case personalized with an animal head cut out at the cardinal points. It features a silver top and stripe and the edges are painted to match her costume. The limitation is hand numbered on the bottom of the base. Mine is 874 of 5,200.

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As beautiful a piece as this is, I’m guessing that Vixen isn’t selling all that well, because she’s available everywhere and at pretty deep discounts. That’s a shame for two reasons. One, at this price point, you’re getting a stunning statue of a great character. Two, a lot of people complain that these lines stick to the safe A-listers, which brings me back to my earlier point. Doing lesser known characters is a gamble for these companies and if it doesn’t pay off, they won’t keep doing it. And honestly, Vixen isn’t exactly obscure. It’s something to keep in mind when we’re seeing the second versions of Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Wonder Woman, and still haven’t seen a Zatanna, Jessica Cruz, Fire, Ice, Stargirl, Star Sapphire… I could go on and on…