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First Look DC Retro-Action Series 3

Big Six!

Keeping with our turn to the throw-back, we now have our First Look at more Retro-Action figures, this time with a DC twist. The DC R-A line keeps chugging along reaching series three of their four figure sets and with this assortment, we get quite a bit of important entries into the both the DC pantheon and R-A assemblage. Heavy-hitters abound here and for the first time in this format, we have female figures.

Of all of the Retro-Action executions Mattel has offered, I think that DC works the best. So much of this style is built on nostalgia to the 70s design, and as they wanted to achieve, it is almost like the World’s Greatest Superheroes line is still chugging along. In the first two series we got several heavy-hitters as well as a nice mix of characters that never saw the light of day in this fashion over 30 years ago. Series three most certainly continues that thread and fans of the Scarlet Speedster have been waiting a long time for this series.

Leonard Snart, Barry Allen, Diana Prince and Priscilla Rich

The Flash seems like such a no-brainer of a figure for any toy line that is built around the DC Universe. However, somehow like his Emerald Knight brother, the Flash never found his way into the WGSH line so long ago. Weird, right? Well Flash fans, decades later and with a completely different company, penance has been made. For the figure itself, the costume design of the Flash lends itself so well to a figure that is actually clad in spandex. The new pieces on this figure are, obviously, the head sculpt and the boots. The head is pretty non-descript to me but I am not sure if there is something that is pronounced about Barry Allen’s haed/face when masked aside from his blue eyes. To me it feels a little squat too. I do really like the boots though and the requisite wings are nice while fitting into the style and the boot treads for the Flash are always appreciated. I am glad to have the Flash in this format and we are now just a Manhunter away from the Big Seven of the JLA. Barry is a serviceable figure, but to me he is overshadowed by his long time rival and series mate…

Flash Close Up

Run, Barry! Run!

Captain Cold! Now, I make no bones about Len here being my favorite of the Rogues, but even if he wasn’t, he would still be my favorite Retro-Action figure to date. His costume, colors, even the materials used on the figure all work very well to make what I consider the shining example of what this line and style hopes to accomplish. He has a lot of unique parts and his boots and belt are very, very nice. They are very true to the source material and I especially like the detailing on the boots. He also has his required Cold Gun that is cast in a solid magenta plastic which the figure can hold just fine. His head sculpt is very true to Snart as well and they captured his sneer very well. For a character that never had an original WGSH figure, I cannot imagine Captain Cold being represented better in this style. His nylon costume even gives him a different literal feel from all of the rest of the figure in this line and, as I said, this is the best R-A figure yet. But we will see what Darkseid will bring in series four.

Captain Cold Close Up

Pew pew pew!

For the final two figures of this assortment, the Retro-Action style delves into entirely new territory that transcends simple character choice – we now have female figures. The first requirement of this is a new female R-A body and it makes its debut with Wonder Woman (duh) and Cheetah (again, duh). For the body itself, it is appropriately very much like the male body in terms of construction and articulation. It does have an addition POA with an under-boob joint (no nude pictures here), but I am pretty sure all of the rest of the points match the male counterparts.

Then there are the limbs. They are cast right into the spotlight with this assortment because Wonder Woman has bare arms AND legs, so there is no hiding behind a fabric costume. I think the arms look fine and are of appropriate build, but the legs are a little too skinny for me, especially on Wondy. I would have hoped for more shapely legs but as they are, they are a bit stick-ish. Now, obviously, they look better under fabric and I am sure they were designed with this primarily in mind as most of the time they will be covered. But I have to wonder why if they went in this direction they did not do the “nude suit” cloth for bare skin like Mego did so many years ago.

The Big Three

That said though, Wonder Woman is actually a pretty fun figure on her own merits and I think that fans of Diana specifically will dig her. This figure offers a few things that most WW figures do not and in the history of the Wondy, some of these things have proven to be important. Let’s face it, WW is the most recognizable female superhero of all time. Thus, she gathers a lot of fans from both genders and if you harken back to the time period where the Retro-Action style was the norm, there was always a push to get WW toys and dolls to appeal to girls on their own merits. This is where this figure strikes even more nostalgia than its male counterparts. It is serviceable as an updated Mego WGSH figure, but also holds true to the Wondy dolls from the 1970s.

For the first time in awhile we have a Wonder Woman with a cloth costume, rooted hair and a real string lasso. Again, these were the norm in the 1970s, but have become rare birds over the past couple of decades. I think Mattel did a nice job of representing all of these things, especially the costume. The lasso is easy so we can skip over that while noting it is nice that WW can actually HOLD her iconic weapon. The costume does have a very vintage toy feel to it and I like the spandex material used for all of the colors. It has clear straps in the back to help hold up the halter and the lasso holder is Velcro. Her blue armbands can snap on and off too.

Wonder Woman Close Up

Here, kitty kitty kitty!

Finally, I have to admit that I was scared to death of how this figure might turn out for one reason – the hair. Rooted hair can be a NIGHTMARE and I absolutely despise it on my main action figure scale (1:12). However, there was really no way a Mego-esque Wonder Woman could be made WITHOUT rooted hair, so Mattel had their work cut out for them. I guess it is a relief that the house that Barbie built also holds floor space with the Action Play group because if any toy company knows how to do rooted hair, it is Mattel. And really, for what it is, it turned out great. It has a shape to it and is not mess or all over the place. This is accomplished by a rather smart use of a hair net. Yes, Diana has a hair net. It is invisible while it is on and it keeps everything looking prim. Now, you can remove the hair net and I suspect her hair will fall lower and look longer than what is in the pictures, but I am going to keep mine in the net simply to ensure it stays as it. I do want to hand it to the designers here, I am now longer fearful of rooted hair and I hope they continue to make some ladies. Zatanna feels like a good fit here.

Big Six!
Bad Doods!

Last but not least, Cheetah is the villain figure to compliment Wondy. As you can imagine, she is basically the sam figure as WW with a new outfit, head and boots. I have to admit I really like the costume itself and all of the cheetah spots look very nice. It fits snugly and the legs and arms actually look more shapely covered in cloth. She also has her tail which is spandex and stuffed with a soft material. Mine is a little wild right now, but I think over time it will hang a more naturally. This is obviously Pricilla Rich, which is fine, she is the most recognizable Cheetah (to me), but since these figures are a throw back to the 1970s, it would have been fun to get the Bronze Age Debbie Domaine character here, just to add some variety. Oh, and hand sculpts actually lend themselves quite well to Cheetah – they look like they are ready to claw.

Cheetah Close Up

Mrrrrrrrrrrrow!

As I said, the R-A DC series three brings a lot to the table in this young line and it seems like things are really chugging along nicely now. I think you are either on board with this style or you are not. If you like it, you will dig these, if not… moving right along. I am really looking forward to seeing Martian Manhunter and Darkseid in series four, and I hope we get to see some more obscure characters like Deathstroke and Blue Beetle make their way into the line. Same for the women, now that we have a female base, I hope the gender gap can close up a little bit soon. Look for these guys to start hitting soon and if you only pick up one figure from this assortment, make it Captain Cold – he is a lot of fun.

*A retro shout to Toy Guru for making this possible, up next we are going back to Eternia!

In Spanish, this is Hal y Barry. Poor Hal and Barry.

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