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Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman
by yo go re

Let's hear it for a quick turnaround!

Warrior princess, trained on the secret Amazon island. She travels to Man's World to defeat the evil Ares and put an end to war.

Well, guess we know who the villain of the movie is, now. It's not just Dr. Poison (though she's been evident from the first trailers). Though to be fair, making a Wonder Woman movie without Ares would be like making a Dr. Strange movie without Dormammu, so it probably shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that he's in there. What is surprising is that Mattel seems to have very swiftly learned its lessons from the failures of the recent DC-movie toylines: rather than splitting the line into two waves, one of which would almost certainly never be seen, they've kept things small - just four figures - and released them all at once. Of course, that could be because "girls don't sell."

*audible sound of eye rolling*

But that's not the only improvement. One of the complaints about Suicide Squad (other than the Joker looking like a Technicolor Babadook) was that to complete the Killer Croc BAF, you had to buy a Batman figure that was functionally identical to one that was still clogging shelves from BvS. And while this figure shares the majority of her molds with the BvS Wonder Woman figure, 1) that figure was part of the second wave, and therefore almost impossible to find, and B) this figure, the main "plain" Wonder Woman in the line, is wearing a massive black cape with a hood and some sort of fur trim. So while the bulk of the body is reused, the arms are entirely new. Yes, even the forearms: since this movie is set in WWI, Diana's bracelets don't have as many scrapes and scratches.

The head is new, too, which is good since the last one wasn't so great. This one... isn't either. I'm trying to decide if she looks more like Edge or Christian. There are some angles from which it looks like Gal Gadot (low angles, mostly, the kind from which you almost never view an action figure), but as in so many other areas, Hasbro has spoiled us.

The hood is molded as part of the head, so it turns when she looks around. Hey, this Wonder Woman is already better than the last one! She also has swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, and hinged ankles. Obviously the cape is going to limit a lot of the movement, but it's at least a little bit flexible. The forearms seem slightly too long, but that may be an illusion based on the position of the elbow joints.

Her paint is on par with the previous release. It's still vibrant colors, not muted brown, and this time Mattel actually bothered to paint the front of her ankles, though now there's a bit on the side that's clearly meant to be part of her shoe, but is painted pink. Her golden armor - breastplate, belt, boots, tiara - no longer has any silver accents, however, making it slightly less impressive.

Wonder Woman is armed only with a sword. It's not the same one as before, and is one of only several she uses throughout the film. This one has a crossguard of two horse heads, suggesting that, rather than ancient Greece, Themyscria is a cultural offshoot of Rohan. Pull her cape aside, and you'll see her golden lasso in a functional loop on her right hip.

WW comes with two pieces of the series' BAF Ares. Mattel has opted to do something in this case we've never seen before: she comes with the left arm and leg. Not both arms, not both legs, one arm and one leg. Way to unexpectedly change things up, Matty! Not sure what the reasoning is, but you caught us off-guard there for a second, and that's not easy to do. Not for you, at least.

Supposedly, the Wonder Woman toys aren't supposed to be on sale until April 1; but why, then, did I manage to find them yesterday? You've got to give Mattel credit for keeping this line lean and not making us double-dip on a figure we already had (Star-Lord, Drax, we're looking at you), and while she's definitely better than the Batman v. Superman toy, she's still got some niggling flaws.

-- 03/30/17

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