DC’s New Wave of Essentials Action Figures Is Practically Perfect

Worst. Hokey-pokey. Ever. (Image: S.W. Sondheimer)

We all know by now that action figures aren’t just for kids. Well, okay, maybe some of you still think that but if you do, you’re probably on the wrong website. We’re big fans of collectibles and firm believers that those made of plastic with articulation aren’t meant to be left in boxes on shelves.

Especially not those of us who have younger children.

DCEssentials DC Collectibles
3:1? I like those odds. (Image: S.W. Sondheimer)

Needless to say, the new wave of DC Essentials Collectibles – Wonder Woman (14), Cheetah (15), Supergirl (16), and Cyborg Superman (17) – was torn open immediately upon arrival.

I have no concerns about their survival.

The DC Essentials line is really well made. The plastic is tough and the colors are holding up to being tossed around, slept with, and taken into the shower (if your child is completely obsessed with them like my friend Shiri’s is). The torsos and thighs of each figure are flexible, which means less stress on the hips and shoulder, and they provide the joints with extra stability.

Superman, Wondy, Supergirl, and Cheetah all have pins at the elbows and knees, allowing for realistic range of motion. Wonder Woman has pins at the ankles, while the others have hinges – which means both flexion and extension without stress on the structure or the plastic.

All of these characters have gone through a lot of costume changes over the years and I’ll admit to being a sucker for the classic looks. I’m glad to see them make a comeback here, though of course Shiri’s kids were quick to notice that Cheetah was “naked” (hey, butts are funny) and that both Wonder Woman and Supergirl’s skirts lift enough to reveal undergarments. You can’t argue with grade school humor (mostly because it’s an impenetrable haze of “logic” but I digress).

Cheetah-vs-Wondy New DC Collectibles
There’s a reason I’m hiding behind this leaf (Image: S.W. Sondheimer)

Cheetah isn’t in any way inappropriate and the other two ladies are both wearing underwear; their legs wouldn’t be as flexible without the range of motion provided by looser clothes so I can’t fault the designers for the choice. I’m also a fan of the brighter color palette chosen for this line. The DCU was leaning dark for a while but the reds and blues are much more fun.

The details are almost as carefully attended to as on DC’s higher-end collectibles. Cheetah’s eyebrows are comics accurate, Kara’s skirt is properly pleated, Diana’s armor is striped – even on the back of the boots – and the hoses and screws of Kal’s cyborg bits are molded in.

These guys will look lovely next to your Gotham City Garage collection.

I’m also thrilled by the gender balance of this wave: 3 ladies to 1 dude. Among the women, there’s a range of body types as well. Wondy is super buff while Cheetah is leaner, though still muscular and strong, and Kara falls somewhere in between. No one has scary thigh gap or an obscenely delicate neck, waists are pretty much proportional, and if the busts are a little too perfectly shaped, at least they’re not as overemphasized as the busts of comic-adjacent products are typically wont to be.

The only issue is keeping Cheetah’s tail on: it’s removable rather than simply articulated. When angled up, it stays on fine. When angled down, it tends to fall out. Best practice? Remove it while she’s being used so as to keep it from being lost, though if you’re collecting for display, that won’t be an issue.

Whether you’re looking to collect or play, this DC Essentials wave is definitely worth investigating and I think, once you see them, you’ll be adding them to your collection. If you want to keep them pristine, grab two; it’ll be hard to leave them in the box once you see what they can do.

(Disclosure: DC Collectibles provided us with these figures for review. All opinions remain our own.)

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