Guest Review > The Wonder Twins SDCC Exclusive (DC Universe Classics)

The Wonder Twins should be no strangers to regular viewers of the Super Friends in the mid-to-late ’70s. They were the teenage alien replacement to Wendy and Marvin to the Saturday Morning Cartoon lineup. Unlike the two characters who they replaced, the twins had superpowers that were only activated when they touched each other and uttered the catch phrase “Wonder Twins Powers – Activate!” Zan could transform into any form of water in any of the three phases, while Jayna could morph into any living creature.

The pair, from the planet Exxor, made the leap from the cartoon to the Super Friends comic series, and from there, it was only a hop, skip and jump to the DC Universe, of which they are now an integral part. It’s no wonder then, that Mattel decided to produce these twins as part of their DC Universe Classics line.

The twins were first available as an exclusive at San Diego Comic Con 2009. At the show you could also pick up Gleek, their pet monkey (not a fan of the diabolical Fox show). Everyone knows about the issues with Gleek’s availability, but that’s outside the scope of this review. A few weeks later the Twins, sans Gleek, was made available on Mattycollector.com and they were one of the few DCUC figure sets on Mattycollector that sold out quickly.

Packaging: The packaging for the Wonder Twins was designed specifically for them. They were shipped in an unmarked white mailer box with the standard DC Universe logo on the front, but no text identifying the contents. However, the box is rather distinctive, since the Wonder Twins have been the only two-pack released in this format.

Mattel did away completely with the bubble, instead replacing it with a wraparound sheet of plastic. The sides featured the logos for Zan and Jayna – the same logos that are present on the chest of their costumes, while the bios for both figures are printed onto the back of the wrap-around.

Zan and Jayna are each packaged inside an individual tray connected by a piece of cardboard on the back. Since the bios have already been included on the wrap-around, Mattel put some artwork on the back.

The Twins are posed in the plastic trays inside the box such that when the box is opened, the figures are in the classic “fist bump” pose. The two accessories, Zan’s bucket of water and Jayna’s eagle, are also displayed prominently.

The special thing about the packaging is that Mattel included two battery powered speakers. When the box is opened and the figures bump fists, flashing lights go off in the packaging, and the corny transformation dialogue is played. To be honest, despite the corniness, the nostalgia of listening to these figures’ lines when I open the box has yet to pass.

Design & Sculpt: Zan is made from the standard male buck, while Jayna has the standard female buck, as far as I can tell. The mold line on both figures, particularly on the arms and legs, are more pronounced than usual and detracts from the overall look. The weird thing is that there is a square piece of plastic on the back of both figures, which is not present on the rest of my DCUC figures. The facial sculpts are nicely done and pay homage to the Hanna-Barbera cartoon versions of these characters.

Plastic & Paint: The Wonder Twins are mainly molded from purple and blue plastic, with the yellow highlights painted on. This yellow paint seems to be rather sloppily applied on Zan’s boots and on both figures’ belt buckles. Conversely, the tampo logos on the chest seem to be very clear. The paint on the heads is rather sharp, and there are even blue highlights in the hair of both figures.

The plastic was sufficiently hard enough such that they were not deformed by the pose on the tray.

Articulation: Both figures feature the standard DCUC articulation. Zan’s neck ball joint allows his head to swivel in almost any direction, and the collar does not hinder his ranger of neck movement. However, Jayna’s neck joint only allows left-right movement and not up-down movement. Her cape also does not hinder her neck movement. I do have to point out that since this is my second DCUC female figure, I find Jayna’s arms way too skinny and I’m afraid I’ll break her arms while posing her.

Accessories: Zan comes with his pail of water and Jayna comes with an eagle. The eagle is the same one packaged with Beast Boy, but painted to resemble a bald eagle. The same eagle was reused for Zoar (with Teela) and Screech (with Evil Lyn) in Masters of the Universe Classics. The white paint around the head and tail is sharp, but the black paint around the talons on the feet seems a bit shoddily done. There are four points of articulation on the eagle, at the wings and the legs.

Zan’s pail of water is molded from silver plastic, with translucent blue plastic used for the “water” inside the pail. Zan’s face is sculpted onto the blue plastic to give it the appearance that Zan took in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon. The black paint on the handle seems to be painted on in a hurry. However, the head sculpt appears to be very similar to the head on the figure. The handle of the pail can be moved, just like a real pail – a detail that Mattel could have omitted, but didn’t.

I found the fact that the pail was designed such that the eagle could grab it by the handle (similar to how it appeared in the cartoon) a big bonus. Jayna could also hold the pail in her hand, but not Zan, which makes sense. Gleek could supposedly–I say supposedly, since I don’t own him–pick up the pail, too.

Quality Control: Aside from the mould lines and the paint work, the quality of the figures are rather good. The joints on both of my figures are rather tight and the figures hold their poses well.

Overall: Despite the less than stellar availability of the figures, these figures are relatively well made, especially when compared with the first few waves of DCUCs. I find that the fact that these figures were based on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon increases the nostalgia value for me. Despite their cartoonish appearance, the figures still fit in with the rest of DCUC thanks to the re-use of sculpts.

However, I do have to knock off a couple ravens for the sloppy paintwork and the visually horrendous mold lines. The cost of the figures is also slightly higher than the average DCUC, thanks to the unique box and (the literal) flashing light and sounds that it contains.

1111/20

Novelty is a huge fan of Lego, particularly the Castle and Space themes, and Masters of the Universe. He opened one toy for each day of 2010, and posted up his thoughts about the toys he’d opened on his blog, Toy A Day. He's doing an encore this year on the blog.

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Comments now closed (15)

  • what no mention of how gleek stacks up?

    oh …wait… you probably didnt get gleek like all the rest of us…..

    other than that i LOVE this set!

    bring on W&M!

  • I can verify that Gleek can defintely hold the bucket.

    (I gladly paid a floor vendor at SDCC an extra $10 for a set that came with Gleek).

  • Phew, I'm glad this is done. This review took 3 hours alone to write up, in addition to the time it took to organise the pictures, etc.

    @Thomas: Nope, didn't get a Gleek, so can't include him in the review. Besides, Gleek will make a nice short review on his own, I'm sure.

  • Sweet! I hope I can get one at this year's SDCC, and that Gleek sure is cool!

  • "…of which they are now an integral part?" What are you smoking?!?!

  • Nice review, still haven't lost sleep over passing on these two, Gleek or no Gleek.

    To me they're just not really part of the DC Universe, we never got Super Friends in the UK so they never really made a dent in our childhood consciousness and I've never seen them in a comic (not doubting that they have appeared, just saying I've never seen them) and lastly, they look so horribly 'Mork and Mindy' that I can happily pass on them.

    Anyway, I'd much rather have an in-scale Lobo any day of the week.

  • I guess you guys have never read Extreme Justice which ran until 1996. The Wonder Twins were part of that team until the title was cancelled. They still make cameos every now and again in crowd scenes in the DCU.

  • @Novelty – NOBODY read Extreme Justice.lol

    Great review though…makes the ones you do for me look like crap. ;) I never had much desire to own this set, but that packaging is very, very cool.

  • Nice review! I like the set. It's a nice addition if your building a Super friends display. The Gleek fiasco still leaves me cold. The box is fantastic!! But for me it store in the closet with the 3D Lobo package. I have a Gleek and he is tugging on Superman's cape. No good will come from this. I wished Matty would tug on Supes cape! That would be fun to watch. :)

  • These still look great a year later, but I'm glad I didn't get them, not at $40. I really only wanted Gleek, and that was cuz he looked so darn cute! I wasn't even a Superfriends Fan!

  • I got these, with gleek in tow (I have some of the greatest, most patient, diligent and relentless friends in the world, and I cannot thank them enough for waiting, and bitching, enough to get me the full set) that said.. it was retarded of mattel to pull that crap, especially when the bucket and eagle would have been perfect to leave out of the package.

    and on another note, Gleek is pretty sweet actually, and can hold the bucket. he is also that perfect midline between cartoon accurate, and yet, able to work with the rest of the dc figures. the horsemen are magic.

    I still hate matty for the pain caused by the gleek fiasco. at least I won’t be pissed if I don’t get the plastic man suitcase

  • I wasn't interested in getting these. They were not my favorite part of the Super Friends. I am glad the went an extra mile with the packaging, shame about Gleek, though. Weren't they included in the JLU show? I believe they don't actually call them the "Wonder Twins" during the series and they don't wear the cheesy costumes, but they are aliens with the same powers.