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DC Direct Wonder Woman Series 1
Secret Agent Diana Prince and Circe

   

"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

J. Himebaugh is checking in tonight with a DC Direct review - Take it away, J!

J. Himebaugh here. Thought Iíd try something a little different tonight. Most of my reviews have been Star Wars related, or Sigma 6, but tonight we get to another of my collecting passions: Superheroes. Or rather, Superheroines.
I recently acquired two of the figures from DC Directs Wonder Woman (WW) Series 1, and fell in love with them immediately. Letís first get something straight. Iíve never been a huge fan of WW, mostly because of her costume. It was just too contradictory to her character that she would dress like that.

These two figures are from the 2006 re-launch, in which Diana has given up her role as WW (it was taken up by her sister, Donna Troy [another figure in Series 1]), and become a secret agent with the Department of Metahuman Affairs, under the alias Diana Prince.

When Circe uses her godlike powers of sorcery to exact revenge on WW by augmenting the powers of some of her most dangerous foes, and kidnap Donna, Diana once again takes up the mantle of WW.

The fourth figure in the series is Diana as WW in her classic costume.

So, now you have some background (thank you wikipedia), lets see how the figures are. Tonight Iíll be covering Agent Diana Prince and Circe. Later Iíll review Donna Troy and WW (if I can ever find them). 






Packaging: ***
The packaging is a standard bubble and cardback affair. The graphics are very sharp, with a very nice illustration of Diana as WW with a personalized nameplate in the upper right corner. The Back has some nice background character text, but it has all four figures on the back, with a large group shot of all four. Thatís actually a pretty neat selling point and cost cutting measure, since you can get an idea of who some of these unfamiliar characters are before you start hunting everywhere for them.

Unfortunately, to free the figures, you pretty much have to destroy the packaging. This especially true for Circe as her display base is attached to the back of the card. Circe also has one annoying twisty-tie holding her hair, though the vaccu-formed bubble is so tight, itís not moving anyway. Itís that Asian Twisty-Tie Cartel again.

Sculpt: ****
Sculpting has always been one of the strong selling points of DCD figures, and these do not disappoint.

The body sculpt on Diana is pretty basic, but here is some nice detail on the belts, pouches, and small details.

Circe does well, with her body suit sporting some nice detail work, and the armor on her bustier being very well done. The cape also has a nice flowing sculpt, and the direction matches the hair as well.

The head sculpts are really the outstanding part of both figures. Circe is definitely a very beautiful woman, but her expression belies the malevolence underneath, making a very striking figure. Another great feature is the bangs are sculpted separately form the head, so they stick out appropriately.

Diana is the clear winner of the two her. She is simply put, beautiful. The expression is stoic and determined, without being overly dramatic. The hair sculpt is phenomenal, also with separately sculpted bangs. The best part though is the sunglasses. They are permanently attached to the head, but are a separate sculpt.

Paint: Diana ***; Circe *** Ĺ
The paintwork these two is great. Michael always points out that a good sculpt can be made great by a good paint app, and a great sculpt can be made bad by a poor paint app. On theses two the paintwork compliments the sculpting nicely.

Diana starts with a very nice ivory body suit, with an appropriate sheen, like nylon or neoprene, with patches of light blue. The bodywork is very good, with just a bit of slop here and there, but there is a spot or two, where the blue had chipped off right out of the package. Itís not much, but enough to bug me. The paintwork on the face is great, with appropriate skin tones. And her eyes are fully painted (blue; their proper color) under the sunglasses. The sunglasses are the best Iíve ever seen in this scale. They are cast in a very clear red plastic, and then painted, with excellent cuts, so you can see her eyes underneath. Itís very hard to get good glasses in this scale. My second favorite are Jim Gordonís from the Dark Victory series; but those were painted a light blue, and permanently attached to his face. It matched the source material nicely, which is why I like them. The reason for the lower score is the hairline is off, thereís too much skin behind the ears, though the hair is sculpted, and itís very noticeable, at least to me, and it bugs the crap out of me. Fortunately, when sheís up on the shelf itís not very noticeable, but I still know itís there.

Circe starts with a very shiny black body suit, like a very shiny leather. The silver on her bodice has little to no slop. The purple capes are all cast in their color. The bad? The pendant on her belt. The paint is a series of daubs that looks out of place on the figure. While it matches the source material pretty well, as far as I can tell, it looks weird. Though the color does help to break up the consistent nature of the rest of her outfit.

Fortunately for Circe, the good, is really good. The paintwork on her face is incredible. The eyes are one solid color, adding to her mystique, the eyebrows are very well done, as are the cuts around her head wrap. The hair has some nice detailing, and different colors, and looks very natural, for someone with bright pink hair anyway. What really sells her paint app is the use of the gold eye shadowing above her eyes. It gives it the face that little extra punch it needs to be outstanding.

Articulation - ***
Now I am a bona-fide Marvel Legends Articulation-Junky, and while these are DCD figures, and there are less joints so as to interfere with the sculpt less, there is plenty here to keep even me happy.

Both figures have ball-jointed shoulders, swivel hips and pin knees and elbows. As well as ball jointed necks. Circe also sports swivel wrists.

While I would have liked a swivel waist, especially on Circe where it could be easily hidden in the sculpt, itís not crucial.

What really keeps up the score in this category is the excellent range of motion provided by the ball-jointed necks, even on Circe, which is a surprise as long dynamic hair sculpts usually hinder movement. Not so here. The hair is sculpted in such a way as to look great and not interfere with the motion of the neck too much. There are very few poses I was unable to get. Obviously, with the high, tight hairstyle on Diana, there are no problems there either.

Accessories: Diana *; Circe *1/2
Ouch, this category hurts.
Both Figures come with the same round logo display base. One problem is the peg is slightly too small for the hole in Circeís foot. Both figures stand fairly well on their own, though Circe could use the long-term assistance more than Diana, mostly due to that heavy cape. Some of the more extreme poses require a base of some sort. A few of the pictures I took use the base, though you canít see it since itís out of frame.

Diana comes with two identical ďmetalĒ rods; of which, she can only hold one at a time. These are particularly useful if she wants to hit some one already within arms reach. Iíll admit, Iím not very familiar with this story arc, so they could be ďSuper-Magic-RodsĒ that can destroy even Superman with just a touch, but I highly doubt that.

Circe comes with a scythe, which is actually a better accessory, since it matches up well with the scythe she uses in the comics, and itís actually a dangerous looking weapon.

Fun Factor: Diana **; Circe **1/2
Okay, so I highly doubt many people, besides die-hard DC fans will know who Agent Diana Prince is. I had to look her up, since I do like to know who my figures are. Looking at this category from a 12 year-oldís perspective, Iíd gauge that a kid might have fun with Diana as a secret agent type character (should they enjoy James Bond type play.) 
Circe fairs slightly better, since not only does her outfit scream ďVillainness!Ē she does have a mean looking scythe.
For the collector/superhero fan, they are some more unique characters, and you might have fun trying to figure out how to add them to the display.

Value: ***
Well, I got these for $10 each, and that was a heck of a deal. Thatís the same price as the DCUC line, and the current Marvel Legends are going for. And these are both much better figures, so youíre getting some decent bang for your buck; even if they are a little light in the accessories category.

Iíve seen these go as high as $15 a pop at stores like FYE, however. And at that price, Iíd drop about half a star, theyíre nice, but I donít know that theyíre $15 nice. $13, maybe.

Things to Watch Out For:
Other than making sure you use the display base for more extreme poses on Circe, not a thing. My major gripe with the paint apps on Diana Prince is something that canít be seen in the package, so watching out for it is pointless.
I suppose you should also be aware of the fact that the accessories for both figures are pretty tiny, so make sure you donít loose them.

Overall: ***
Despite being light in the accessories, the paint sculpt, and articulation make up for it. Iím always looking for more villains to add to the shelf. And, Circe and Hercules had a lot of interaction; both in Greek Mythology and the Comic-Book world; so I think Circe will go well with my Marvel Legends Hasbro Series 1 Hercules.

Believe it or not, I donít have any figures of Wonder Woman yet. I have yet to find one in a version that satisfies me, but there was a very nice version revealed at ToyFair this February for the DCUC Wave 4. Agent Diana prince, was a figure I was only so-so about (mostly due to character) and I mainly got her, because I was after Circe. But after opening her, posing her and taking pictures; and discovering just how photogenic the figure is; I fell in love with it.

Overall, any WW fan could do worse than adding these two figures to their collection. These two, along with Donna Troy and Classic WW, make a very solid first wave for the WW Series.

Score Recap:
Packaging: ***
Sculpting: ****
Paint: Diana ***; Circe *** Ĺ
Articulation: ***
Accessories: Diana *; Circe *1/2
Value: ***
Fun Factor: Diana **; Circe **1/2
Overall: ***

Where to buy-
These are hitting both the Sam Goody Family of Stores (Sam Goody, FYE, Suncoast) and your LCS (Local Comic Shop.) There are also several online retailers carrying the WW Series 1 right now.

Good Hunting.

Corner Store has these for $12 each, or a full set of four for $44.

Amazing Toyz als has them for $12 each or $44 for the set, but not all are available.

- Things from Another World has all of them in stock right now for $15 each.

- YouBuyNow has some of them in stock at $13 - $15 each.

Forbiddenplanet.co.uk has them for the UK readers as well. 

- or you can try searching ebay with the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.


Figure from the collection of J. Himebaugh

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