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Wonder Woman

DC Multiverse Signature Collection
by yo go re

"Heroes fight for the right thing..."

Lynda Carter portrays Wonder Woman in the 1970s TV series, a strong and intelligent Amazon Princess. She takes down enemies employing her indestructible bracelets, boomerang tiara and Lasso of Truth. In her quest for peace and justice, she travels the world in her invisible jet.

That was actually the second attempt at a live-action Wonder Woman: the first, in 1974, was a backdoor pilot for a TV series that never got picked up (in part because its version of WW was a blonde lady in a jumpsuit and she had no super powers); but when that fizzled out ABC chose not to give up, instead shooting another pilot film, The New Original Wonder Woman; despite the confusing title, this one was much truer to the source, and also got better ratings. Funny the way that works.

The costume was designed by Donald Lee Feld, an award-winning costumier who went by the mononym "Donfeld." While Diana consistently wore a "red top, blue shorts" look that came straight from the comics, it did go through some changes between seasons. This toy opts for the look seen after Season 1, with just a few white stars on her shorts, instead of an all-over pattern, and an "eagle" on her chest that looks more like a golden palm tree than a majestic bird of war. Frankly, Mattel picked the wrong costume to create as a toy; and you can tell even they agree, because the pictures on the sides of the packaging are of the Season 1 look, with its embroidered eagle front and center.

But, Mattel being Mattel, you know things are goint to be mediocre at best. Remember their Suicide Squad Harley Quinn, and how amateurish it looked next to a good one? Same kind of deal. It's not like full-body promotional shots from the Wonder Woman show are hard to find, so we can really appreciate how bad a job Matty did with the figure's proportions. She's weirdly bow-legged, yet somehow they're also too straight? You can't tell the front of her upper arms from the backs, and the articulation means you can spin those sections around 180°. Wonderful!

At least the likeness is good? Well, good by Mattel standards. This isn't NECA or Hasbro or even McFarlane. Or DST. Or Mezco. Or Jazwares. They're not the best, is our point. But darn it, they try! Considering that Matty didn't have a digital paint process like Hasbro uses on its live-action figures, this still looks quite a lot like Lynda Carter, with the paint supporting the sculpt rather than just laying on top of it.

The articulation is on par with the increases DC Multiverse brought to the line. She has swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips. swivel waist, hinged torso, swivel/hinges in the wrists, elbows, and shoulders, swivel biceps, and a balljointed head. You may think that having bicep joints is unnecessary when you've got swivel/hinge elbows, but that's giving Mattel too much credit: for whatever reason, they put the swivel part of the elbow in the forearm, instead of the upper arm, so all they can do is twist in place, not move to the side. That was foolish in the short window where NECA did it, and it's foolish today.

You'd expect a figure of Wonder Woman to include her golden lasso, right? Especially since it's called out in the bio text? Well, she does... as a molded plastic piece permanently attached to her belt. Wow, thanks a ton, Matty. Other than that she's got the same display base and badly designed plastic support stand the other figures in this live-action sub-line have had, plus a pair of "gripping" hands that presumably are intended to let her swing her gigantic cape around. The star-spangled cape is something she wore a few times on the show, apparently, but it's made from the thinnest, crappiest vinyl you can imagine, and makes the toy look worse than it already did.

The biggest point in this figure's favor is that it exists at all, that you can finally put a Wonder Woman in your "what if" imaginary 1980s Justice League movie display. In fact, about the only good thing we can really say about her that she does, in fact, exist in a physical form. The execution of it is just lacking in nearly every way. This feels really weird to say, but we almost hope McFarlane Toys takes a crack at doing a TV Wonder Woman figure - theirs would at least be in scale with NECA's handful of live-action DC heroes, and it certainly couldn't be any worse than this, could it?

-- 03/18/20

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