Monday, September 12, 2011

DC Universe Classic Wave 14 Zatanna!

*Apologies for the long delay between reviews--I've barely had time to take photos though I've written up some reviews I'm excited about sharing--family and a gig I had were beckoning!  But I'm back now with a bigger backlog of toys than ever!  And I say it like it's a bad thing.  Heh.  Well, enjoy this one--I'm gonna attempt to pump out at least two more reviews out by this week!*

Finally!  Finally after more than a year of prowling, stalking, hunting, waiting...

Finally, I find her!  Zatanna is one tough cookie to find and if you do chance upon her, she's a tough one to find for a reasonable price.  So there was no way that I was turning her down for the low, low price of S$30 (US$25 now, lol)!

I'd snagged her at the local Singapore Toys, Games, and Comics Convention about 3 weeks back and on the 3rd day, no less. That's when I expected to find $2 Power of the Force Star Wars Figures going for half-off, not Zatanna in packaging, and sold as a single instead as part of her whole wave, which is what most speciality shops who have her for sale are doing.

My one regret is not being able to get one for my hunting buddy and wingman the Rangerlord, who just returned recently from ranging and scored me a whole buncha Marvel Universe figures and Lego Series 5 minifigs.

At last count I have 57 unopened toys that I really want to get to reviewing.  That number doesn't include the likes of my Superhero Squad stuff (Marvel, TFs, Star Wars, Indy Jones...arrrgh!!!), (old) movie GI Joes, and MOTU 200X figures.  With that, the total easily comes to over 100, 150 toys maybe.  When I told the Rangerlord, he replied, "Tough life."

I just had to laugh.  He has no idea! ;P

But I digress.  On to DCUC Zatanna, who's not one of the many figures that I haven't opened. She just top of the pile I have on my desk right next to the photo studio...

Like: The fishnet stockings!  I know many have said they bunch up at the back/on the inside of her legs, that they also are the reason this figure doesn't have the hinges to go with the swivels of her legs.

But after having a good look at the figure in hand (and that of Black Canary as well), there's no way they could've made the fishnets look good other than with the real thing.  So I'm glad that they've gone this route instead of painting them on or sculpting and then painting them on, because the stockings are a huge part of Z's costume. As for the loss of a PoAs, I believe unlike Canary, Zatanna doesn't need it--I don't think we'll see her kung fu-ing the evil magic users in the funny books any time soon.  More than likely it'll be a wave of the wand, a tip of the hat, and the whisper of a word spoken backwards.  That brings me to the next thing about Zatanna!...

Like: Her wand and hat.  She's by no means decked out like Ultimate Ninja Commando Air-Glider Missile Launcher Anti-tank Anti-aircraft Bulletproof Chuck Norris Essence Snake Eyes, but she's got a decent amount of accessories (for a DCUC figure). More importantly, they are the right accessories.  Batman will always come with a Batarang, Darth Vader with a lightsaber, and Green Lantern with green constructs.  Right?  What? mean they don't always?...Uh...yeah...Anyhoo...

Wand and hat.  Yes.  Best ever accessories for Zatanna.  The wand should come straight but mine has a little bend at the back end because of the time it spent rubber-banded in package.  But I think she holds onto it better than if it were completely straight.

The hat fits nicely on her head at a forward-ish angle. The trick is that it has a little wedge on the front inside-edge that can hook under the front of her hair and make the hat stay put.

No deck?  Steal the Joker's! :)
Other than these, she doesn't really need more "stuff".  But if there was anything I would wish for her it would have to be a couple of bunnies and a deck of cards.  And we know where we can borrow some playing cards from!

Dislike: That in order to make the hat work, they had to give Zatanna a long fringe parted down the middle along with the rest of her hair.  She's usually drawn with fringe like on the button that comes with the figure (see "Value" below).  While might seem like a minor detail and most would let it slide, I think it's like drawing Wonder Woman with short hair or Powergirl with long locks.  It's just out of character.  Granted, Z's been drawn with hair like she has on her figure, but I don't think that's be best look for her.  And there's no reason she shouldn't be made in her best look!

Dislike: The loss of the hinge points of articulation in the legs/hips.  But really, she doesn't need them to look good posing in action shots.  And for some reason those fishnets look way better on her than they do on Black Canary!

Like: The excellent sculpt of the coat.  It doesn't get in the way of her ab crunch, legs or arms.  And I like that the coat tails aren't straight behind her so that there's some implied motion.

Dislike: The flatness of her head from the side.  Yes, the head and not her face.  I really think the face looks great.  This is an old complaint going back to Powergirl in Wave 10 and all the females that use face sculpt, which is like practically all of them.  Her face looks great front-on but from the side her it looks flat because the head is a little squashed from front to back, leading to all our disgruntlement about the face.

I put this down to the lack of body in the hair sculpt.  It just needs to be slightly, just slightly fuller.

Like: Having said that about Z's head, I think her face has been painted superbly.  The raised left eyebrow, the red lips, the blue eyes with white highlights.  Heck, she's even got eyelashes!  I also like that they took the effort to sculpt and paint the silver buttons of her shirt and the gold ones on her molded yellow vest, which has some darker yellow spray-shading.  And areas you'd wanna watch out for if you find her though is the white on her shirt.  I've had the chance to get Zatanna loose with either her hat or and but not both.  And I would've gladly paid the S$12 for her, except that on most all the figures the white paint on the front of her, ahem, bosom, tended to have paint rub.

Like: That she balances quite well despite her long, thin legs and her heels. And I believe this is down to her lack of having hinges in her leg joints.  This makes the legs less loose since they move along on only a single plane.  The downside is that once the point of balance/center of gravity is passed, Zatanna won't balance at all.  (And of course, you don't get the super wide stances.)  But before that, she can handle standing fully on one foot and the toes of the other.  Not bad for a figure with such a small base to balance with.


Aesthetics: 8/10 - Great sculpt (aside from the flat head and non-fringe-y hair), great paint (aside from the paint rub on her assets), and great fishnets (except for the unavoidable bunching).  Zatanna looks great and will be part of my Justice League display alongside the other females, who by the way look real kickass next to each other--even more so than the guys! (Because the just look like a bunch of dudes...Lol.)

Poseability: 8/10 - Much better than I expected and due in no small part to the very suitable accessories. Sure, her long hair hinders the upward motion of her head and she's got no leg hinges, but she's got all the other PoAs that make DCUC great.  Also, she's got two open hands which is great--her hands will always be busy!  Al she has to do is ad a dramatic stance to whatever she's doing with her hands and there you go: magic.  ;)

Fun: 8/10 - Whatever the setting, magicians are always fun.  And in a modern day, superhero setting, magicians like Zatanna retain their mystical quality while all the other guys and gals are running around with modified/alien genes, gadgets and gizmos, and mutant superpowers.  All Zat has is magic in her blood.  Heck, magic is even her job, her "costume" actually her work clothes.  Next to the other spandex clad superheroes, her costume really pops.

Z and the Flash's crotch.
And as far as accessories goes, she may just have a wand and a hat (which she can wear) but she's got two great gripping hands to hold most anything with--swords, shields, staves, cards, fish--the works.  I bet she can even dual wield a couple of wands.  I just have to find some of those Harry Potter accessories and steal them wands...

Value: 7.5/10 - A fancy-schmancy wand, a wearable top hat, a 75th anniversary button of herself, a CnC part with an accessory of its own.--Zatanna is one of the more value-for-money DCUC figures.  Z's also got a nicely sculpted jacket, sculpted bow-tie, high-heels and of course, her fishnets!

Overall: 8/10 - It's a keeper!  Despite not being the look I'd like for her, this Zatanna figure shines in every department.  She looks great, poses and plays well, and she comes with two great accessories for her.  And this is even before we consider that she's comes with the Ultra-Humanite's right hand and the mind control remote device in it.  In finding Zatanna, I managed to not only get a very sought after figure for a reasonable price, but also bagged my Ultra-Humanite the accessory he was missing. (I bought him loose and cheap, see.)

I also realize now that I probably would've paid more for her because she's that kind of figure that's consistently good all around.

And if you're not into Collecting 'n' Connecting the Ultra H, you can probably recover some of the figure's cost by selling it off--I'm sure the Ultra Humanite's right arm will fetch a pretty enough penny. :)


  1. Why is she saying "ananab eithooms" while staring at Humanite's crotch? Wrong on so many levels!

    Great posing, though dude. The fishnets look better in your photos than in the packaging and you managed to get the horrible mess behind the legs neatly squared away out of the shots - nice! Cool tip with the cards too - they're such a handy accessory and they also go with Marvel Select Gambit. But yes, bunnies!

    BTW, the fringe of hair on the forehead that should have been part of Z's hairstyle - bangs. Ask your wife. Sadly, because of the wrong hairstyle, she looks like Big Barda decked out to enhance Mr Miracle's marital experience. Z looks better with the hat on.

    Thanks for the review.

    The RangerLord

  2. Never realized she was so hard to find i have seen her at a few places in my toy travels priced at 12 to 15 bucks. Congrats on finally getting her.

  3. Dude... as a fellow collector and fan of your poses... awesome job!!!

  4. @3B - ;)

    @The Rangerlord - Yes, bangs! It slipped my mind because of all the banana smoothie in there. :P

    "she looks like Big Barda decked out to enhance Mr Miracle's marital experience."

    I hadn't even noticed that! Yes, the un-helmeted Big Barda looks almost exactly like Zatanna, from what I can remember of her. Great observation! And as always, you're welcome! ;)

    @jboypacman - Oh, really? You're not a Z fan, though? Heh. Thanks dude!

    @Major Awesome - You're too kind. Thanks for reading! ;)

  5. @The Rangerlord - Oh and I didn't realize she was staring at Ultra Humanite's crotch until after I took the shot and was adding the text and speech bubbles. So then adding the extra reversed "banana smoothie" came naturally. Some things can turn out better than you can plan for! Haha. :P

  6. Not to make anyone jealous or anything, but there are 3 of her at my wal-mart on the clearance shelf for $5.00 each. (I'm in the US though..) I didn't realize she was HTF.

  7. Oh i like Z alright i wish i could get my wife to dress like her or power girl for me lol.

  8. yah, she looks way better than i thought. Damn it, what other marvel figures u got????

  9. @Anonymous - We are jealous anyway. Lol. she's HTF here in Asia and mainly due to stores wanting to sell her as "part of a wave" only. That and the department stores here move DCUC very, very slowly.

    @jboypacman - naughty, naughty. Lol.

    @Cavalock - Heheh. Marvel figures? Just managed to get Apocalypse, Cyclops and Falcon! ;)

  10. I found Apocalypse way back in May. On the shelf, he's got Wolverine by the throat.

  11. @Ridureyu - Yeah, I still haven't seen him on a shelf or peg! Thanks godness for the Rangerlord and Malaysia! ;P

  12. siht saw a taerg weiver! ;) (Just read it backwards.)

  13. @Soundwave - Sknaht! I figured it out after reading your opening word as a misspelled "shit." Lol.

  14. Wait...Zatanna is hard to find? I keep on seeing two of them at the neighborhood mall's toy section. They've been there for two months (I think) and nobody seems to be paying attention to them...or Black Hand...or Golden Pharaoh...or Orange Lantern Luthor...or OMAC...or Sinestro Corps Batman...or, well, the other DC Universe figures for sale.

    The only reasons I never bought Zatanna are: 1) I recently bought a loose Halo Reach Carter figure from a collector who was selling it for less than half the normal price (no accessories) and 2) the salesladies might look at me funny for buying a female action figure dressed in fishnets (go figure, pun not intended...sort of).

  15. @Wayward Knave - Yes, in Singapore she is--mainly because all the shops who have her want to sell her as part of a complete wave. And that's maybe 3 or 4 places I can think of.

    What can I say? Singaporean fanboys must like their women in fishnet stockings and not mind stares from salesladies. Lol.

  16. We like our women in fishnet stockings too! In fact, just recently there was an FHM party--oh, wait. Different story. Heh-heh.

    Somebody finally bought Zatanna...but left Sinestro Corps Batman behind for some reason.

  17. Haha, well Sinestro Bats isn't as popular down here. He's kinda, ya know, half Sinestro Corp half crazy. Heheh.

  18. I've had a crush on Zatanna for forever (actually the "This Little Piggy" episode of Justice League Unlimited). I found her loose at China Square quite a while back, no wand but with hat (albeit glued to her head). And I envy your tough life! :D

    1. Ah yes, so you must've bought it from Dave? I usually buy from him too must skipped Zat because she had no wand and of course that hat wouldn't come off. Heh.

      I love that JLU episode too! But then again, I love all of them. Ha. And yes, life is sure tough! :P


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