DC Bombshells (DC Designer Series): Katana by DC Collectibles

It’s DC Friday again, folks, and after today the regularity of DC Friday may become a little spotty. But I’ll save that little editorial for the end of the review. In the meantime, today I’m checking out the final figure in the second wave of the DC Bombshells line. If you’re not up to date, these are action figures based off of statues, which in turn are based off original designs inspired by 1940’s and 50’s pin-up art, which also in turn has spawned a really good comic series. Phew… that’s a lot of exposition!  Anyway, today’s character is none other then Katana, and I saved her for last because I was pretty excited about her.

There you have the typical DC Designer Series packaging. It’s mostly white, it has a cool window front with one end angled. There’s character art on the side panel, and everything is collector friendly. Katana is also number 8 out of 8 in the series. I really dig Katana in general, and I loved her Bombshell design so much, that I almost picked up her statue, but she was one of the ones that sold out pretty quickly and has since really shot up in price on the secondary market. Maybe they’ll do a Deluxe version of her at some point down the road. Anyway, let’s get this open and check out the figure!

So, straightaway, I think DCC did a great job recreating the look of Katana’s Bombshell costume for the figure. I do, however, think this one is pretty detached from the scope of the Bombshell’s art. I get it, though. Most of the characters are based on western art and fashion in and around World War II, so going to the other side for material might have been a little problematic. Also, the source material has changed and expanded a bit since the line’s original inception. With that having been said, this figure shows off some of the more impressive sculpt and variety of paintwork that we’ve seen in this wave for sure, and possibly the line as a whole.

The dress is primarily maroon and black with gold borders around the black areas. The front part of the lower half of the dress features a gold floral motif and it’s torn off about halfway down, allowing Katana to show more leg and thus continuing the cheesecake factor of this line. The waist features what looks almost like a target pattern and has a big sculpted bow on the back. Her arms are painted to match the maroon of the rest of the dress, and she has a piece of segmented armor on her right shoulder. The silver paint on the armor looks especially nice, and each of the sculpted laces are neatly painted red. I really dig the plastic DCC is using for the flesh tones in this line, as it’s very warm and even. Katana’s lower right leg features an elaborate dragon tattoo and she’s wearing a pair of traditional wooden sandals on her feet. Just about everything that made me fall in love with the statue is recreated here quite well.

I say just about everything, because the one big disappointment for me is the dragon tattoo, which is actually a decal. The decal has a bit of a shine to it, making it really stand out against the matte finish of the plastic, especially around the areas where it’s cut out. Also, the edge near the tip of the dragon’s tail is starting to peel a bit on my figure, right out of the box. I don’t have a lot of hopes for that decal standing the test of time, and I can’t believe they didn’t just tampo the design directly onto the figure. What a shame.

On the plus side, Katana features what I believe is the best portrait this line has produced, and that’s quite a complement, because there have been a lot of great looking head sculpts. She’s absolutely beautiful, she has an appropriately stoic expression and the paint is absolutely fantastic. Her lips and eyes are perfect, and the red Rising Sun against the white makeup looks quite striking. They even did a beautiful job sculpting her hair. I couldn’t be happier with how this turned out.

Katana’s articulation is right in line with the rest of the second wave figures, which includes the absence of thigh swivels. I’ll direct you to any one of the three previous figure reviews if you need to get caught up on the points of articulation. I will say that the ankles on my figure wouldn’t budge, and after having one of Mera’s feet snap off right out of the box, I was pretty apprehensive about trying to get them to work. A little time in front of a space heater eventually did the trick. So long as we’re talking articulation and posing, here’s a good time to point out that Katana’s left hand is sculpted in a pointing position to recreate the pose used for the statue. That would be all well and good if she came with extra hands like the first wave figures. But since she doesn’t, that left hand isn’t all that helpful for many poses. In the end, I just didn’t find Katana as much fun to play around with as her fellow Bombshells in this wave.

The only accessory Katana comes with is her… um, katana. Soultaker is a pretty nice sculpt with bright silver paint on the blade, but it does feel a little undersized and unimpressive for what is supposed to be an epic and enchanted blade. She can technically hold it in either hand, although as already mentioned, the left hand has that pointing finger extended so the sword looks a little funny in that hand. And since I’ve also already touched on her lack of extra hands, here’s where I’ll point out another couple of obvious missed opportunities in the accessory department. If you’re going to be so specific and give her the pointing figure from the statue, why not give her a swap-out foot and the samurai helmet, so you can completely recreate the look of her with one foot arched and resting atop the helmet? The answer, I’m sure is budget cuts.

If it sounds like I’m being extra hard on Katana, it’s because I was really excited to get her open and play around with her. And to be fair, there’s plenty of great stuff going on here. The overall sculpt and paint approach the highest levels this line has offered. But little signs of cutbacks like a cheap decal for the tattoo, and a lack of extras in the box really holds this figure back from being the masterpiece it could have been. And that’s been a running theme for this entire second wave. These are really good figures, but it really shows that DC Collectibles wasn’t willing or able to invest the same level of value into them as they did in the first wave. What a shame. DCC has already cancelled two of the upcoming Bombshells, Bumblebee and Supergirl, although they claim the line is not dead. Although, DCC released their highlights for Toy Fair yesterday, and there is only one release announced for Bombshells in 2018, and that’s a Joker and Harley two-pack. Bummer!

And now for some words about the future of DC Fridays. I love DC Comics. These days I love DC Comics sooooo much more than any of the garbage books that Marvel is pumping out. But DC is making it hard for me to express that love with my toy/collectible buying dollars. DC Collectibles has killed off the DC Icons figures, it looks like DC Cover Girls is either retiring or slowing to a crawl, and I’ve seen nothing about the DC Essentials line that makes me want to re-invest in a brand new line of figures at $22 a pop just to have it get cancelled again. And with how many collectors no doubt feel the same, that line is going to have an uphill battle. Meanwhile, Mattel’s Multiverse line continues to disappoint, and even if it didn’t, the distribution here is terrible and the figures tend to go for scalper prices on Amazon. What I’m getting at is that DC Friday’s is going to have to switch to some kind of rotation from here on in. I’m tapped out and the supply of incoming has been reduced to a trickle. As I get new DC related items, I’ll push them to the head of the line. I still have some figures and statues on my “To Buy” list. But don’t be surprised to see other things dropping in on Fridays from here on out.

 

 

 

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DC Bombshells (DC Designer Series): Batgirl by DC Collectibles

It’s Friday and this week that makes me sad, because it means my vacation is just about over and it feels like it just began. But it’s also DC Friday and today that means I get to open up another of DC Collectibles’ Bombshells action figures. If you’re just joining me on these, I absolutely loved the first wave, but this second wave has been a little hit-and-miss. There have obviously been some cuts in the articulation and accessories, and Mera broke right out of the box. Hawkgirl was a big improvement, and I’m hoping that Batgirl can continue this line on the path to redemption.

The packaging is that very familiar DCC window box that they’ve been using with all their Designer Series figures. It’s collector friendly, has some great artwork on the side panel and it shows the figure off brilliantly. I’ll confess I was a bit stumped on Batgirl’s design for a while. At first, I thought it was some kind of vintage circus homage, but after actually reading some of the comics, it’s just meant to be an aviator outfit. Oh, yeah, she’s also vampire.

Sculpting and paintwork have never been an issue with this line, and Batgirl carries on that tradition quite nicely. From the waist up, Babs sports a corset-like half-top features a bat-motif, a pair of long gauntlets, and the straps to her parachute pack are sculpted onto the figure. Down below, she’s got a simple pair of purple painted pants, and high laced high-heeled boots. The utility belt got a lot of attention, with a bat-symbol on the belt buckle and various pouches for all her gadgets.

The coloring on the figure is also fabulous. I love the purple they used, and it’s accompanied by some bright yellow for the boots and belt pouches, plus you get some snappy gold paint on her chest and the belt buckle. Even the lacings on the boots are neatly painted and if you look really closely you can see tiny bat symbols on the sides in a slightly darker shade of yellow. There are some inconsistent spots on her pants, which could have been smoothed out, but I can just chalk that up to some weathering from action in the field and still be happy with it. Finally, I really like the plastic they’re using for the skin on these figures. It’s warm and even and looks great.

The headsculpt here is also pretty solid. It has a goofy charm to it, and I particularly like Babs’ wide, beaming smile. This is an example where I actually like the portrait on the figure better than the final production run of the original statue. The printing on the eyes is sharp and bright, and the glossy paint on the lips looks great. In addition to her aviator-style cowl, Batgirl has a scarf tied around her neck, and her trademark red hair blows off to the side in a ponytail.

The goggles are a separate piece, which was a great idea, as she can either wear them up on her cowl, or if you want to mimic the statue, you can slide them down over her eyes. They fit the figure perfectly, and I dare say they look as good if not better than what we got on the statue.

The articulation here is identical to what we saw in the last two figures in this wave. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have rotating hinges in the ankles. The torso features an ab crunch hinge down low in the waist, a ball joint under the chest and there’s also a ball joint in the neck. And yes, I still do miss those thigh swivels.

The parachute pack is a separate piece that pegs into Babs’ back, just like Hawkgirl’s jetpack. I’m not sure why anyone would want to display her without it, but I guess it’s nice to have options. I guess by putting it next to the figure, it looked like an extra accessory. The pack does actually open and you can put her cape on it, and that brings me to a quality control issue. The flap on my figure’s pack was painted shut. I tried heating it up and carefully razoring the edges, but when I finally got it open, the peg that holds it closed snapped off in the hole. Unfortunately, it’s also the peg that passes through the cape and holds it in place. On the bright side, the cape already hooks over the edge of the pack, so it doesn’t need it to hold it in place. It’s nowhere near as big an issue as Mera’s ankle breaking straight out of the package, but it’s still an issue worth noting.

I’ve mentioned how this second wave seems to be really light on the accessories and Batgirl here is rather deceptive about that. The goggles, parachute pack, and cape all fill up the bubble nicely, but they’re also all parts of her outfit, so they don’t go a long way for play value. I’m never going to display her not wearing her goggles or backpack, and I’m probably going to always have her cape on too, so as far as accessories go, they don’t feel much like bonuses. Not that I can think of much more to pack in with her, other than some extra hands.

Despite some minor gripes and another unfortunate QC issue, I think Batgirl here is another plus for this wave. She’s a great looking figure on every level, and I’m still delighted to see these designs getting their due in action figure form. Some extra hands would have gone a long way to adding to the fun, but even as she is, I had a good time posing and messing around with her. This wave still isn’t reaching the heights of the initial one, but I’m increasingly happy that I bought it. Next week, I’ll finish off the wave with a look at Katana!

FigureFan’s Favorites 2017, Part 1

Welcome, Toyhounds, to the first part of my Favorites from 2017 and I’m not really here. In fact, I’m probably out on my patio smoking a cigar and getting caught up on my stack of comics. If you’re confused about why you’re reading some kind of canned bullshit and not an actual review, I’ll refer you back to yesterday’s post where I explain everything. If you’re up to speed, then we’re going to dive right in to my first five favorite additions to my collection from 2017. These are in no particular order, so let’s go…

DC “Designer Series” Frank Cho Wonder Woman Sixth-Scale Statue by DC Collectibles: There was never any doubt that I’d have a statue from DC Collectibles on my Favorites list this year, because I picked up some great ones. But which one to choose? I waited a long time to get a version of Adam Hughes Wonder Woman in my collection and she turned out great. Likewise both the Babs Tarr Batgirl and the Deluxe Harley Quinn Bombshell were superb releases. In the end, I went with Frank Cho’s Wonder Woman because it’s just such a wonderful representation of the character, and it is executed flawlessly. I love the costume design, the paintwork is nearly perfect, and I really dig the materials DCC is using for flesh tones on these pieces. Cho’s Wonder Woman is not only my favorite DC Statue pick up in 2017, she may very well be my favorite statue of all my collection.

Transformers “Titans Return” Jumpstarters by Hasbro: This is only the second item on my list, and I’m already cheating by giving one slot to two figures. But that’s OK, because I couldn’t break up the Titans Return Jumpstarters by showing preferential treatment to one and ignore the other. If I wanted to really cheat, I could have taken up a lot more spots on my Favorites List just from Titans Return alone, so getting me down to just two was quite the achievement of willpower. It’s no secret that I loved this line, and there were a lot of figures that could have landed on this list, but in the end I had to go with Topspin and Twin Twist as my favorites. Not only are these great figures, not only are they superb updates to their G1 toys, but the fact that we got official Jumpstarters from Hasbro still boggles my mind. These are so good, that I ended up selling off my far more expensive third party Jumpstarters.

Ghostbusters Firehouse by Playmobil: If you had told me a few years ago that we’d be getting a Ghostbusters Firehouse playset in 2017, I’d have called you a raving lunatic and poked out one of your eyes as a lesson not to f*ck with me. And yet here it is! What’s even more baffling is the fact that it came from Playmobil. Now, I may be a little biased, because PlaymoSpace and Playmobil Pirates were my jam growing up, but even if I wasn’t already sold on the brand, I probably would have jumped at this. With their track record for going nuts on parts and accessories, and their easy to customize figure buck, Playmobil turned out to be the perfect fit in this otherwise unthinkable union. Yes, I could have just as easily listed the Ecto-1 here, but c’mon… this is the freaking Firehouse! And Playmobil did a beautiful job with it. It’s almost a pity this set didn’t come out closer to Christmas, because it would have been a perfect review for Christmas Morning!

Epic Marvel Quarter Scale Deadpool by NECA: I’ve been trying to stay away from NECA’s Quarter Scale figures. They’re amazing figures and very reasonably priced, but I really don’t have the space for them. Nonetheless, there are some releases that are no-brainers, and when they first revealed Deadpool, I knew I had to make an exception. And I’m glad I did! This figure truly lives up to the name Epic. The sculpt is phenomenal, the accessory count is over-the-top, and despite being such a big figure, he is loads of fun to play with. NECA absolutely surpassed themselves with this figure and it is some of the best work I’ve seen out of anyone all year long.

Star Wars Rogue One TIE Striker by Hasbro: I’m probably as surprised as you are to see this on the list, but this toy just impressed the hell out of me. I wasn’t expecting much, and I didn’t even buy it until it hit deep clearance. Star Wars vehicles aren’t what they used to be, but this one feels like it belongs among the best of them. Sure, I could have done without the Nerf gimmick, but apart from that this is a quality toy and a cool design from what has become one of my favorite Star Wars movies of all time.

And that’s it for my First Five Favorites of 2017. Come on back tomorrow and I’ll wrap up my list of the good stuff!

DC Bombshells (DC Designer Series): Mera by DC Collectibles

Welcome to the last review of 2017! Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What happened to the rest of the DC Multiverse Justice League Wave that you started last week?” I’ll come back to it, don’t worry. But I wanted to squeeze at least one of the new wave of DC Bombshells figures in before the end of the year, so I decided to take a detour. Also, I loved the first wave of these figures so much, I couldn’t wait any longer before opening one of these ladies. And since last week was all about Aquaman and Mera, let’s keep the ball rolling with Bombshells Mera!

If you’ve purchased any DC Collectibles figures in the last year or so, this packaging should be familiar. It’s more or less the same style used for the first wave of Bombshells, as well as the DCTV figures, and the other Designer Series releases. It’s not the most exciting presentation out there, but I do like it a lot. The large wrap-around window offers a great look at the figure inside and the design is clean, simple, and the box is collector friendly. It also features character art on the side panel so you can line them up on a shelf and each character is numbered, with Mera being #7 in the series. Let’s get her out of her aquarium and check her out!

Wow, this figure looks great! But before I start gushing, I’ve got to report that her left foot broke off at the ankle just from being taken out of the tray. What the hell, DC Collectibles? You’ve been doing a lot better with this kind of QC stuff, but clearly you haven’t slain all your demons yet. I was easily able to glue it back on, but obviously at a cost to that ankle’s articulation. Of all the places the figure could break, that was probably the best scenario, but it’s still unacceptable to have it happen simply by removing the figure from the tray. We’re not off to a good start, but let’s see if Mera can redeem herself.

The Bombshell makeover puts Mera in a vintage style sailor outfit, which is very appropriate for this Chickie of the Sea. Her cut-off top is sculpted to resemble the scale armor she’s often depicted as wearing, and painted with a beautiful metallic green. She also has a sailor pearlescent white sailor scarf with a green stripe and a golden anchor pendant hanging around her neck by a string. I thought that was a really nice touch.

Below her exposed midriff, she sports a pair of pearlescent white flared slacks with green scaled stripes and a gold belt, as well as a pair of shoes sculpted and painted to match her top with the same green scales. The outfit is rounded out with a pair of gold wrist bracers and a chic white sailor’s cap with a gold “M” on the front. Both the sculpt and coloring on the outfit are top notch, making this one great looking figure. You also get some really nice subtle paint applications like the gold on her shoes and the red nail polish on her fingers and toes.

The portrait is no slouch either. Mera sports a pretty face with some clean paint apps for the eyes and mouth. She also has a copious coif of red hair done up in vintage 40’s style. I’ll note here that I really like the matte plastic that DCC uses for the skin tones on these figures. It looks appropriately warm and soft and much better than the usual paint we sometimes see on some of the other companies’ 6-inch scale figures.

The articulation here is good, but not as good as what we saw in the first wave. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have rotating hinges in the ankles. Well, my figure now only has a rotating hinge in the one ankle. The torso features a ball joint under the chest and there’s also a ball joint in the neck. What’s missing? The thigh swivels have unfortunately been cut from this second wave and I really do miss them.

And you know what else is missing? Almost all the extras. The first wave of figures all came with multiple pairs of hands and in most cases multiple accessories, which really added to the fun factor. Mera comes with no extra hands and just one accessory: Her trident. Cutting the extra hands here is particularly egregious because the ones she comes with don’t really hold her trident well at all. I would have really liked some fists, relaxed hands, maybe a saluting hand. It sucks when a company sets expectations for an initial wave of figures and then lowers the bar for the follow up. And while I won’t swear by it, I’m pretty sure the promo images for this wave showed extra hands.

The trident is a welcome accessory, although it is fairly simple though. It’s cast in a rich gold plastic.

With how amazing the first wave of Bombshells figures was, I did not expect Wave 2 to begin with disappointment, but that’s the word that best comes to mind. Now, to be clear: Mera is a beautiful figure with a terrific sculpt and some great paintwork, but with breakage right out of the box and cutbacks in both the articulation and the accessories, I’m sad to see this line is not dedicated to living up to the standards set by the initial four offerings. Am I sorry I picked up the second wave? Nope. I love these designs, and I’m happy to get the opportunity to add them to my collection as action figures. But that doesn’t change the bitter feeling of the cutbacks. The irony is that I actually picked this figure to review today because I wanted to end the year with a sure thing, and it kind of backfired on me. Granted, it’s possible that the only way DC Collectibles could go through with a second wave of Bombshells figures was to cut costs, but from what I’ve seen the first wave seemed to have sold rather well.

And that’s a wrap for me and 2017! Next week will be gobbled up by the canned content of my Annual Favorites & Disappointments lists, which I’ll be wrapping up and scheduling over the weekend. FFZ will then go on autopilot, but I’ll most definitely be around to reply to comments. Thanks, Toyhounds! I’ll see you on the other side!

 

DC Designer Series: Wonder Woman (Frank Cho) Sixth-Scale Statue by DC Collectibles

DC Collectibles has been throwing some serious love to everyone’s favorite Amazon Princess with not one, but two Designer Series statues released within about a month of each other. In September we got the magnificent revamp of the Adam Hughes Cover Girls Statue, and now we’ve got a new release based on a stunning piece of art by Frank Cho.

If you’ve picked up any of DC Collectible’s statues than you have a pretty good idea about what to expect from the packaging. This piece comes in a fully enclosed box, mostly white, featuring plenty of shots of the statue. Diana comes encased in two halves of a styrofoam brick and requires very little assembly. Just peg her foot into the base via the metal rods and peg her sword into her hand and she’s all ready to go. The statue is limited to a production run of 5,000 numbered pieces and there’s a piece of tape on the flap with the individual number.

Great Hera! Just one look at the solicitation shots for this statue had me mashing the pre-order button. Yes, it helps that I adore Frank Cho’s work in general, but there was something specific to this piece that called out to me. Measuring in at about 12-inches tall, the pose has Diana standing poised to engage in battle. She has one foot on the base with sword and shield in hand and a determined gaze as her hair blows in the wind. There’s so much I love about this figure I hardly know where to begin. I think one of the things that struck me early on was how powerful she looks and that’s something very faithful to Cho’s art and credit also has to go to sculptor Jonathan Matthews. This Amazonian Princess has some muscle on her, particularly in those thighs and I just love the muscle definition sculpted into her back. I’ll also note how much I appreciate that the shield is being held in a manner so as not to diminish the figure itself by obscuring it from view. Even if you’re viewing her from dead on, it’s still off to the side just enough.

And then there’s the costume, which exhibits some magnificent sculpting and paintwork. The gold eagle and WW Belt look as if they are actually layered over the red corset, despite all being sculpted from one piece. The corset and bracers include sharp cut lines and the skirt is textured to look like leather with sculpted stars and border edges. The boots include sculpted creases where her ankle flexes as well as shin and knee armor with nicks and scrapes from battle. The deep crimson, lustrous gold leaf, and deep blue paints are masterfully applied with virtually no slop or missteps to be seen. And all of the colors contrast beautifully with her warm, soft skin tones.

The portrait is a classical beauty and her blue eyes are hauntingly bright. I love the attention given to her clavicle. The paint on the face is nice and clean, and the skin tone looks incredibly lifelike. The only place where the paint on this statue fumbles a bit is the star on her tiara. It’s not something I notice when admiring the statue on the shelf, but when I get in closer with the camera, I can see it needed to be a little sharper. They did a particularly nice job with the wind-blown hair.

Diana’s gear includes her sword, shield, and golden lasso.  The bottom part of the hilt is sculpted as part of her hand, while the blade and crossguard are one separate piece that pegs in through the top of the hand and holds together quite securely. The golden hilt features a sculpted, ribbed grip and a simple pommel and crossguard. The double-edged blade has a deep fuller running through the center and tapers rather quickly to a sharp point.

The shield is a striking piece of work on its own right. The face in adorned with a bird sculpted to look like hammered bronze, and a segmented border that looks like it might be meant to simulate a rope pattern. There are some stray scrapes in the surface to show the shield has seen some action. The reverse of the shield featured sculpted straps sculpted and painted to look like calfskin and are detailed down to the faux rivets that hold them into place. It’s also painted in bronze finish, which distinguishes it nicely from the gold paint on her costume. I’ve always loved her depicted as an actual warrior and while she’s strong and skilled enough to best most foes with her bare hands, she just looks so much more bad ass with her sword and shield in hand.

The golden lasso is attached to her right hip. The vibrant lasso is made of a strong rigid wire-like material and fashioned to resemble braided rope. It’s secured to her belt with a sculpted “leather” buttoned loop.

The base is pretty standard stuff. In fact, it’s identical to the one DCC used for the Adam Hughes Designer Statue. It’s a thick black disk with the familiar WW logo sculpted into it and painted in gold leaf. I really dig the way she’s only got the one foot on the base and the other on the ground beside it. It not only accommodates her action stance by allowing that one knee bend, but the fact that she’s only half on the base gives the whole composition that extra little dynamic kick to it. The limitation is noted on the bottom of the base. In this case, mine is #1,024 of 5,000.

After having the Adam Hughes Wonder Woman for only a few weeks, I never thought my head could be turned by another statue treatment of the character so quickly. That’s not to knock the Hughes Wonder Woman, because it’s a fantastic piece. Indeed, the two of these statues compliment each other perfectly. The Hughes statue has a smoother and less complex costume, emphasizing the more classic blue starfield panties, whereas this one features Diana as the grittier warrior princess. Despite being in the same Designer Series line, this statue was a smidgen pricier than the Hughes statue, but only by about ten bucks. Either way, she was well worth it.

DC Designer Series: Wonder Woman (Adam Hughes) Sixth-Scale Statue by DC Collectibles

The last bunch of DC Fridays haven’t been terribly cheery ones, as I’ve been slugging my way through a wave of Mattel’s subpar DC Multiverse series. As a result, I’m extremely pleased to be able to take a look at something of quality for a change. Anyone who’s been kicking around my blog for a while, should know that I’m a big fan of the latest run of DC Cover Girls statues, but I confess that I often feel bad that I didn’t jump on board with the original Adam Hughes run. A lot of those statues are difficult to come by for reasonable prices these days, so I’ve dismissed any prospects of ever going back and collecting them now. Fortunately, DC Collectibles has decided to take one of the best pieces in that line and give it a remake in an up-scaled sixth-scale format. Let’s check out the new DC Designer Series Adam Hughes Wonder Woman statue!

This Amazon Goddess comes in your typical fully enclosed DC Collectibles statue box and is limited to 5,000 pieces. The box is mostly white, has a blue side panel, and features several photos of the statue inside. It also has a logo celebrating Wonder Woman’s 75th Anniversary. The packaging is totally collector friendly and the statue itself comes sandwiched between two styrofoam bricks with the stand stored in a separate compartment on the outside of one of those trays. Once you get her unwrapped, all you have to do is plug her foot posts into the stand (the posts on mine went in easily, but are not quite flush with the base) and she’s good to go. I will pause here for a moment to say while this statue was billed as a cold cast porcelain piece (much like the Cover Girls statues, there are parts of it that look and feel more like resin, so I’m not entirely sure about the materials we’re dealing with here.

But whatever materials are used here, Diana is absolutely gorgeous! This iconic pose comes from the cover of Wonder Woman V2, Issue #150, which is itself a stunning piece of art, and I’ve got to say that the sculptor, Jack Mathews, has pulled it off perfectly in 3D. Her arms are stretched above her with each hand holding on to her golden lasso as the gilded magical rope coils and dances around her. The composition here is bold, majestic, noble, and bespeaks everything there is to be said about the Princess of the Amazons. And while this is a sixth-scale statue, the fact that she’s on a base and has her arms stretched upward, she actually measures in at just under 15 inches tall.

The outfit is both classic and simple, consisting of her iconic one-piece. The front features the wide golden wing border over her chest and the very large gold belt around her waist. Both areas are painted in a lush gold leaf paint that gives off a brushed metal look when viewed in the right lighting. Both the chest and waist pieces are sculpted as well as painted and the lines between them and the red middle are fairly clean. I had to get in pretty close and view it from a low angle to really see any minor deviations in the line. Diana’s blue “undies” are painted with a very vibrant shade of blue and speckled with razor sharp white stars. Lastly, her boots are red with white stripes running down the centers and white borders circling the tops. They also feature a very cool texture to make them look and feel like leather.

I’m extremely happy with the way the portrait came out as well. Her chin is lifted slightly upward, but no so much that it interferes with viewing the statue from dead on. Diana features soft, but well-defined facial features and crisply painted lips, eyes, and eyebrows. Her hair blows backwards and off her shoulders, and her gold tiara can be seen on her forehead, peeking out from her hair. If there’s one gripe I have, it’s that the ears didn’t receive quite the same level of detail as the rest, but they’re mostly obscured by her hair anyway. Now’s also a good time to come back to the question of materials, because I’m pretty sure that all the exposed skin is resin. It definitely isn’t flesh paint over porcelain. Whatever the case, I love what they did here. It gives her skin an extra warm and more realistic look, which contrasts beautifully with the matte paint used for much of the outfit.

And speaking of materials, the golden lasso is made of a springy wire, which is perfect in that it allows it to hold its intended shape, while not being brittle and prone to breaking. It’s even patterned to look like actual rope. I anticipated having to go through a lot of fussing and bother to get her lasso to look the way it’s supposed to, but it turns out that none of that was necessary. The statue actually comes out of the box with the lasso in it’s intended position, and that fact by itself is pretty damn impressive to me.

The base is a simple black disc, but it is extremely heavy. The figure is no slouch either, but in this case, the base clearly makes up most of the weight. That means you don’t have to worry about this lady toppling over, probably not even if you bump her. The stand includes Diana’s sculpted Wonder Woman emblem, which is also painted in the same lush gold leaf paint used for her costume. The bottom of the base features the statue’s hand numbered limitation. Mine is 3064 of 5000.

I can’t even express how happy I am that DC Collectibles decided to give this beautiful statue a new lease on life.  She’s an absolutely gorgeous update to the original piece and displays a level of quality and craftsmanship that actually feels like it exceeds the cost of the piece. And at just a smidge over $100, she actually clocks in at considerably less than you’re apt to find the smaller, original release. I own a lot of DC Comics Statutes, but this one is going to get a place of honor somewhere in my display. Previously, my favorite Wonder Woman statue was the first Wonder Woman Bishoujo statue by Kotobukiya, but this piece may usurp that one. Now, the only question is can the next DC Designer Series Wonder Woman (by Frank Cho and set to release next month) possibly upstage this one? I’m excited to find out.

DC Bombshells (DC Designer Series): Poison Ivy by DC Collectibles

After a little mid-wave sabbatical last week, I’m back on target to work on finishing off this amazing assortment of action figures based on the DC Bombshells art and statues. The third figure up on deck is Poison Ivy!

If you’ve been on board since the beginning of the wave, then you already know all there is to know about the packaging. It shows off the figure wonderfully and it is totally collector friendly. You also get some nice character art on the side panel so you can identify who is who when the boxes are lined up on a shelf. I have to be honest, Ivy was probably my least anticipated figure of this wave, so let’s see how she ranks among some pretty stiff competition.

Batwoman was aimed at America’s Greatest Pastime, Wonder Woman referenced WWII Posters, and Poison Ivy here is squarely targeting the cheesecake pin-up style of the 1940’s. As such she comes wearing not much at all, just her chlorophyll-infused skivvies: Bra, panties, stockings, and high heels. All of her outfit is integrated into the sculpt, so the only thing on this figure that’s achieved by paint alone are her amazingly cool tattoos and the vine patterns on her legs, which I assume are supposed to be part of the stockings, but this is Poison Ivy, so you never know! Particularly nice touches include the sculpted bow in the center of her bra and her garter belts. I’ll also note that this is one of the few times I can remember where a figure in this scale had high heeled shoes that didn’t come out looking like granny shoes. Ivy comes out of the box with a pair of fists, which I don’t find a lot of use for with this figure. Luckily, she does have two other pairs of hands to choose from.

The portrait definitely has the whole pin-up style down pat. I don’t think they were going for any specific actress, but the hair style feels influenced by the famous pin-up artwork by Alberto Vargas. The paint applications for the eyes and lips is quite good, and the sculpted rose in her hair is a very nice touch. This shot also provides a better look at her lovely tats… and by that I mean tattoos!

The articulation here is right in line with what we saw for the last two figures and as such it’s some of the best pose-ability I’ve seen in any of DC Collectibles’ lines. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with swivels in the thighs, and double hinges in the elbows. The hips are ball jointed, but also seem to have a sort of hinged dog-bone up in there, that allow for even more range of motion. Further down we get swivels at the tops of the stockings, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s an ab crunch hinge and a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is ball jointed. My figure’s left bicep swivel was stuck, but a little warm water fixed that. I should also note that while those heels look great, Ivy is a difficult figure to keep standing!

If Poison Ivy stumbles a bit where the others excelled, it would be in the area of accessories. Now, don’t get me wrong, the accessories she comes with are definitely on point for the character, but by their nature, I didn’t have quite as much fun using them with the figure as I did with the previous two releases. It might also have something to do with the fact that the other figures were kitted out more for action, whereas Ivy is in her underwear. I wouldn’t call these complaints, she just has a different feel to her in that sense. With that having been said, the first accessory is a simple rose.

The other accessory is a little more interesting and also a tad frustrating. It’s a coil of vine with a snapping head on the end. I like it. It’s a cool looking piece, but it’s hard to figure out exactly what she’s meant to do with it. None of the official photos of the figure that I’ve seen have her interacting with hit. I managed to come up with some OK things for her to do with it, but I still feel like I’m missing out on exactly what was intended here.

I feel as if I’m more critical of this figure than the others and I’m not sure why. The truth is she’s a fantastic sculpt with some beautiful coloring, and a superb level of articulation. It’s true that Ivy is my least favorite figure of the three I’ve opened so far, but in this assortment of figures, that’s not something she should be ashamed about. On the next DC Friday, I’ll wrap up the wave with a look at Harley Quinn. Was I saving the best for last? The worst for last? Come on back and find out!

DC Designer Series: Batgirl (Babs Tarr) Statue by DC Collectibles

I’m taking a mid-wave break from reviewing the excellent DC Bombshells action figures to check out a statue that’s been long overdue for my collection. It’s rare that I court a statue for as long as I longed after this one. Sure, sometimes I’ll waffle a bit and other times I’ll wait for a deal, but this Babs Tarr Designer Series Batgirl Statue is one that I started eyeballing way back when the teaser art was first introduced. Then it was revealed to be part of the B&W Series. I loved the art direction, loved the sculpt, but wasn’t keen on it being a B&W piece and it was too small to really fit in with my mostly 9-inch or 12-inch scale statue collection. But, as if in answer to all my reservations, DC Collectibles re-worked the statue back in 2015 as a full color sixth-scale piece. I was in love again, but there were so many reports of QC issues and statues arriving broken, despite being new in sealed boxes. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when my infatuation finally won the day, and I decided to roll the dice and risk disappointment or else forever regret what might have been.

While this is my first DC Designer Series statue, the packaging is very similar to my beloved Cover Girls line. It’s a fully enclosed and collector friendly box with a brick of styrofoam inside that houses the statue. The box on mine is a little beat up and there’s some heavy rubbing on the sides. Oh, man. I can’t tell you how nervous I was as I sliced the tape and prepared to reveal the statue inside. The Interwebs are littered with pictures of this statue with pieces broken off of it, I was terrified mine was going to be a mess, and this distressed box isn’t helping to calm my fears. Nevertheless, I came this far, and I just had to see how my luck turned out…

Well, it turned out pretty freaking great, thank you very much! Not only did the statue arrive without any breakage, but the paint quality and overall coloring on this piece are both superb. Setting her up simply requires that you peg her foot into the base with the metal rod and she’s all ready to go. Before getting started, I will mention that while this figure is billed as being cold-cast porcelain, there’s definitely some mixed media going on, namely the plastic used for her the skin tone of her face, and I’m pretty sure the hands and some other fixtures are resin. That’s not a complaint, mind you, as the results are fantastic, but just an observation. And the statue still has a remarkable heft to it, especially as I’m used to the smaller Cover Girls.

Where to begin the love fest? Well, for starters I think the pose really captures this iteration of the character perfectly. She’s got one foot kicking back behind the other, a little playful lean on her right hip, and her left hand fiddling with the pouch on her utility belt. They did such a great job bringing this costume to life. There’s just enough detail to keep things interesting, but it still manages to capture that rather simple animated art style of the book. And she’s so damn colorful! Granted, a big part of that comes from this costume design, but credit has to be given to the team of artists at DC Collectibles for translating it so perfectly into this piece. The purple and black matte finish on the suit is smooth and practically flawless and it contrasts so beautifully with the bright and glossy yellow used on her big, chunky boots, gloves, bat symbol and utility belt. Some silver paint on her zippers and black lacings on her boots round out the costume beautifully.

The portrait is just plain adorable. I love the way her head tilts down to the left while she glances up to the right with her big green eyes. And that smile says it all! Her cowl appears to be sculpted separately from the face, which gives the head some welcome depth, even more so than if there were just sculpted lines. The reddish-orange hair swirls around her neck and drapes down her left shoulder. There’s so much personality in this portrait, and like the pose I think it just captures Babs Tarr’s Batgirl perfectly.

The beast of a base is a simple black disc, which is a heavy slab that all but ensures Batgirl won’t be taking any dives off the shelf. It has a bat symbol cut deeply into it, and I really dig the way they outlined the cut lines with purple paint. It makes for quite a striking statement. The bottom of the base features the hand-numbered limitation. Mine is 1,990 of 5,200.

It’s always a tricky thing, pining after something on your want list for so long. Can it possibly live up to the anticipation and expectations? Well, in this case, Batgirl certainly did. I was in love with this statue when I first saw it, and I’m just as much now that it’s in hand. It’s been so long since this statue debuted, I don’t even remember it’s original MSRP. I’m guessing it was somewhere in the $100-125 ballpark. I picked up mine from a comic shop on Ebay for about $85 shipped and I am so damned happy to finally have this gal on my shelf. Every little thing about this piece works for me. The colors are gorgeous, the pose is so perfect, and I actually set her on the shelf beside my desk, at least temporarily, so I can admire her every now and then, before retiring her to the display case in the spare room. I’m looking forward to picking up some more statues in this series, and I’m pretty sure my next one will be the Amanda Connor Starfire.

DC Bombshells (DC Designer Series): Batwoman by DC Collectibles

If you are at all attuned to the collectible comic statue market, then you’ve probably seen the DC Bombshells line. They’re DC gals (and a few dudes) re-imagined as WWII-era nose art. Or at least that’s how it started. It’s since grown into a wider scope, embracing the DC characters depicted in 40’s-era style in general. The statue designs have been pretty cool and while I’ve come close to picking up a couple, I’ve managed to resist so far, mainly because I’m already struggling to find space to display my DC Cover Girls. Although, I just miiiight have one Bombshell statue on pre-order. Enter the DC Bombshells figures. You get the same re-imaginings of the characters in action figure form and at a fraction of the price. Now you’re talking! I picked up the whole first wave and I’m kicking things off today with a look at Batwoman.

The packaging should look readily familiar if you’ve picked up any DC Collectibles figures these days. They use this same style for the Designer Series, the Icons Series, the DCTV Series… just about all the Serieseses. And why not? This is clean, collector friendly packaging that show off the figures beautifully and really lets you get a solid look at not only the figure, but all the accessories you’re getting. DCC is actually releasing the Bombshells under their Designer Series, celebrating the wonderful art of Ant Lucia. Batwoman is inspired by what else? America’s greatest pastime, Baseball! Get it? Bat-Woman? Oh, you did get it. OK then, let’s check her out.

Batwoman dons a somewhat non-traditional, but quite yummy, skirted baseball uniform, which includes a low cut top, sculpted belt, high socks, dainty gloves, and glossy cleats. Naturally, the deco is inspired by her crime-fighting costume in the comics, featuring a snappy mix of black and crimson. The paintwork here is super sharp, from the silver buckle on her belt to the piping around her collar and the black stripes at the tops of her socks. Best of all, you get a glossy bat symbol across her chest. This is a great piece of inspiration and an all-around great looking figure.

A quick view from the back reveals the lettering on her uniform top: “Gotham Knights 52” I love it!

The portrait here is pretty stellar as well. She features wide green eyes, perfectly painted lips, and a flowing coif of crimson hair that spills out from her distinctive baseball cap, which features both her bat symbol and a pair of adorable little pointy bat ears. She also has just a hint of grease paint around her eyes, suggestive of her mask. All the skin tones are achieved through nekkid plastic and the stuff they used looks great.

DCC went above and beyond with the articulation here. It’s something I really didn’t expect from a line of figures based off of conceptualized statues, and yet here we have it. This is quite frankly even better articulation than we’ve been getting out of DC Icons. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows, and hinged pegs in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint in the chest and another in the neck. The jointing feels excellent, with no gummy hinges or stuck joints. I can’t even tell you how much fun I’ve had playing around with this figure, but hopefully the pictures will convey a little bit of it.

Accessories include three pairs of hands: Fists, bat-holding hands, and ball-holding hands. She also comes with a catcher’s mitt, a baseball, and a bat. The mitt is just another hand that can be swapped out and it’s sculpted to hold the ball perfectly so you can recreate some amazing catches. Batwoman doesn’t let anything get past her… not even those pop flys!

If there’s anything in this package that’s disappointing, it would have to be the bat. It pains me to say that, because it’s an excellent sculpt with a very realistic wood-grain finish. It even has her name engraved on it and a tiny bat emblem on the tip. So what’s the problem? It just feels too small. Maybe I’m off base (HA!) on this. I dig baseball a whole lot, but I’m no expert. Nonetheless, I just get a sense that the bat isn’t regulation and that it’s under-scaled for the figure. Make no mistake, it’s not enough to tarnish my love for this gal, but worth mentioning nonetheless. Besides, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have anything negative to say here at all.

Am I gushing? I’ve been gushing, haven’t I? Well, truth be told, I was really looking forward to getting this first wave of Bombshells figures in hand, and I gotta tell ya, after opening up Batwoman, this gal does not disappoint. Everything about this figure, from the sculpt to the paint to the super fun articulation is just about perfect. I love the spirit behind these designs and I am suitably impressed at how this figure manages to capture the look of the statue while delivering all the fun that goes along with a fun action figure. I’m chomping at the bit to open up another, but sadly, that’ll have to wait until the next DC Friday.