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DCClassics.Com:
Three Cheetahs Review

Simply put, the hips are too soft and poorly designed. The figures have internal hip joints with a soft plastic peg being used to hold them to the lower torso. GrownNerd posted a tutorial over at the Fwoosh about what he found when he cracked open his Donna Troy. On his figure, the problem appears to be that the interior of the peg is not round, but instead has a flat top and bottom. Now, my Donna’s left hip can turn freely while the right hip is the one refusing to turn more than a few degrees. My two classic Cheetah’s are the same way. Now, GN says that Cheetah’s lower torso (a different piece due to the tail feature) doesn’t have the same blockage, but I’m getting the same problem across all three figures. The soft plastic is opting to stretch (and ultimately tear) instead of gliding against the harder torso plastic. This could be the “neck issue” of 2010, though it wonโ€™t be as widespread. I haven’t tried to unstick the joints yet. If I have success with that, I’ll mention it in my Donna Troy review.

The tail is another missed opportunity. It does have one articulation point, about a half inch from the torso that lets it swivel. The missed opportunity, though, is at the base. This tail firmly points downward instead of using where it attaches to the body as a common sense swivel joint.

Paint is an area I’m happy with. The most important thing – the spots – has been done fantastically across all the figures, with different patterns between the two versions. The dark shading is also a nice tone throughout. The face paint on all three is similarly well done. Classic Cheetah’s sculpt is brought out by the paint while the fine spot detailing on the modern Cheetahs are sharp too. All the nails have great paint as well.

The only issue with the paint here is the existence of the modern Cheetah. As you can see from the pic on the previous page, this tracksuit is, at best, an approximation of her current costume. It’s particularly inaccurate in a toy line that tends to get it right. In the comics, it’s a one-piece jumpsuit. The midriff, like the inner thighs, is cheetah print and not exposed skin. There’s also some paneling on the black parts of the outfit that isn’t reflected on the figure. And finally, the current costume has normal feet, heels in fact. All told, we’ll never know why Mattel made this change. I’m just glad that whatever mistake caused this “naked version” to be released to a couple online sources happened, so that we weren’t stuck with the inaccurate tracksuit version as our only option.

Cheetah’s button hails from Super Friends #1. This comic was made to tie-in to the show and gives me an opportunity to talk about the weirdness contained therein. This comic featured a group of super-villains (Toyman, Penguin, Cheetah, Poison Ivy, and the Human Flying Fish – do I smell a Most Requested?) finding themselves jealous of the Super Friends’ relationship with Wendy & Marvin. This motivates them to each adopt young wards to train in their nefarious methods. Thus, we are given our only (I believe) appearances of Toyboy, Chick, Kitten, Honeysuckle, & Sardine. Honeysuckle & Kitten are of particular note since the artist was happy to clad the two underage girls in a form-fitting cat suit and leafy pasties, underwear, and ankle cuffs.

Overall, Cheetah is one of those maddening figures where you have to decide what’s important to you and that will determine her level of acceptability. If you’re a completist or a casual DC collector that’s just going to add a vanilla-posed Cheetah into the middle of your shelves, then the 4H sculpt on this figure is going to do just fine for you. She’s a tad frail, but sheโ€™s DCUC and that’s how the near two-dozen women look.

If you’re a big Cheetah fan and were hoping for a home run figure, the hips are going to drive you crazy. There’s still enough good here to add her to your collection though. I’m still hoping there’s room in the line for a Debbie Domaine version, of course, and hopefully that one will be free of these issues. And while we’re at it, we need to get to some more villains in the line. With over 150 characters so far, we’ve only managed 4 Wonder Woman villains – and that makes her Rogues Gallery well represented comparatively.

For more DCUC reviews, check out our DC Classics Collector’s Guide.

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33 comments to DCClassics.Com:
Three Cheetahs Review

  • Cade

    I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE JUMPED ON NAKED MODERN CHEETAH!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cade

    Per GrownNerd’s tutorial, Cheetah doesn’t have the Donna problem.

    BTW, Cheetah from the same wave doesn’t have this problem, but it’s not because her peg is different, it’s the same as Donna’s. The interior structure of her crotch is what’s different. It has enough clearance for the peg to turn. So on her the peg has room above and below when the leg is in down position. When raised the width of the peg ends up fitting snugly in the vertical space.

    • That is correct. I’ve gone back and clarified what I meant in that paragraph. I left out my experience with Donna and how’s she behaving exactly the same way as my Cheetahs.

      One thing I did learn from my efforts to get the necks fixed is that not all the figures have identical internal structures. (i.e. not all DCUC9-10 figures had triple barbells, even in the same character, etc). So, at best, I can only speculate about the interiors of these girls crotches without examining them myself. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • dayraven

    WTF? why are these not being made w/ the same interior structures? isn’t this the fundamental of the buck, one body, more savings? are the interior structures completely manufactured apart from the outer shell?

    • The buck system is what the sculptors work from to insure that the new parts work with existing pieces, the “buck” is not actually part of the final product. As for the internals, Donna and Cheetah use two different pelvis pieces due to Cheetah’s tail so the internals may have had to be different between the two to allow for the attachment of the tail. Without seeing them it’s hard to say.

      • That’s how GN explains it, that the tail causes changes.

        The bucks are only identical on the Mattel/Four Horsemen end. The interior is up to someone else, someone not always adept at it.

  • 3B

    Cool review. I picked up the Classic Cheetah and she has the gummy hip problem. The hands look, and feel, ridiculous. I can’t say I’m totally disappointed, I wasn’t excited about the wave overall, but this was the perfect chance to make a beautiful figure and they screwed it up.

    She’s still 10x better than Donna Troy. I’ve passed on her three times already. I’ve looked for any excuse to buy, but she just looks crappy.

    And Starfire is really underrated! Cut her some slack, maybe uni-boobs are common on her planet, ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I do like that I can lace the figures, but that’s just a small plus to poor material choices.

      Donna… I need to review her soon and get her off my desk! I noticed that I like the wave a lot more today now that Cheetahs have gone from the desk to the join the rest of the DCUCs. LOL

      After years of studying Starfire closely, I can definitely say Tamaraneans do not have uniboobs. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Jam! Balaya

    This wave took real step backwards in quality control. The softer plastic is generally gummier than in prior waves, the paint is sloppier, and frozen joints have returned. If Mattel used a new factory like you say they need to switch back because if the next waves are like this, that’s gonna suck.

    • Frozen joints bothers me the most. I don’t know how I feel about the wave. I was hohum about it, so maybe it’s good that it’s a bad one since no figure I really treasured got mistreated. On the other hand, this lineup really needed good QC.

  • Blambert

    This new shorter girl buck is just an awkward mess. What Mattel and the 4H should have done is sculpted a new larger female buck that wasn’t anorexic and use it for the superhero woman and taken the old buck, shortened the limbs and called that the teen girl buck.

    As it is, Mattel/4H have just all but signaled that they’re going to ruin the Legion.

  • Nicholai

    I’ve got two of them, but I haven’t seen naked Cheetah in stores.

  • I wouldn’t worry about not getting all the Cheetah’s, DC is dumping WWs entire history for a ret-con today:

    http://comicnewsi.com/article.php/index.php?catid=144&itemid=13106

    • LOL I saw that. It’s DC, wait 5 minutes. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Truthfully, I think this would’ve been an exciting short endeavor from Gail Simone, but not from Stracynski.

  • dayraven

    no comparison photo w/ the ML tigra? i would think that would have been a prime opportunity to showcase the differences between hasbro’s current approach to figure craft vs mattel’s.

  • Adrian

    Interesting review. Much more tempered than fun. Would you have not bought these had then not been part of a set?

  • Bettes

    It’s a shame they didn’t get textured bodies. That would’ve helped ease the sting.

  • Akatsuki

    Great review!

    Just an FYI, but you’re Ares’ arms are reversed. It happened to most Ares figures I saw. You just need to swap the biceps and then swap the forearms.

    • LOL I know, I’m just lazy. I have two Ares (I built two Desperos, I was so close anyway) and the other one is fine, so I haven’t bothered to fix this one.

      The other one has slits in his skirt to increase the articulation too, but he’s somewhere in a box.

  • wesitron

    Damn I hope they get the teen body fixed before they start making too many more. You know Mattel, they’ll deny there’s even a problem or that a change was made for months until someone shows them a picture and won’t recall a damned one even though they’re pretty much broken. I think they’ve realized that as collectors we’re so revanous for these things we’ll buy them whether they work or not. Dang, I was going to pick up a Donna this weekend. Anybody had any that weren’t crap?

    • I’m hoping that this factory won’t be used for future waves. It looks to be the same factory that made Public Enemies and the bad DCUC12 figures I ended up with. I hope the 2009 factory hasn’t closed or changed the arragement with Mattel. They were doing well by the end of the year.

      As for Donna, her hips are just one component of why I don’t like her. I might do her next to get her out of the way…

  • douglashawk

    I actually like my Donna Troy and she’s probably my favoite in the line. The thing that irritates me the most is Cheetah’s size. She should be on par with WW not Troia. Blue Beetle’s knee joint is bent so I am trying to straighten it out so he can stand. I really hope they don’t start over-articulating. My other concern is the second half of this wave. Blue Devil, Negative Man, and Cyclotron all have bum right thigh match ups. The lower thigh does not line up… Besides that (and it’s a doozy with me) I really like them, especially the Cyclotron. If I had to remove a point of articulation it would be the thigh joint. Wonder Woman looks like an amputee because of them.

  • Scissors

    I have been whining about the 4H’s female proportions (and facial designs) since they were doing MOTU 200X line. As talented as they are, the 4H really need to step up and improve their female designs to they are on par with the men.