DC Collectibles, who have also now been disbanded, was formerly known as DC Direct between 1998 and 2012, released a variety of action figures based on various popular characters for more than two decades.
Today I will be reviewing the Series 1 action figures that were released on March 17, 1999. There was not a wide variety of figures in the series, but the characters featured were popular with kids and collectors.
All came on traditional backing cars with the figures protected in a plastic bubble. The figure the characters had basic builds with good articulation. Generally, the artists at DC Direct did a fine job painting the figures, but some lacked a little on detail on their sculpts.
At the very top of the front-facing backing-card "DC Direct Action Figures" was written across in yellow fonts on a gold strip. Beneath it is a DC Comics logo to the left, and the character's name is written in large fonts at the center. The figures stood in a see-through blister pack, with their accessories to their side. The variant figures have a sticker that indicated they were a variant. The front-facing cards also had an image of a landscape from the character's back story.
On the reverse, the yellow DC direct was also at the top of the card and an image of the action figure took up almost a quarter of the card, a short backstory or bio of the character next to it and instructions for using the accessories or features.
Beneath these were small images of the other characters that were available from DC Direct. The figures and variations in this series were:
● Golden Age Sandman (Wesley Dodds) (regular version)
● Golden Age Sandman (Wesley Dodds) (JSA variant)
● Wonder Woman (regular version)
● Wonder Woman (armored variant)
● Swamp Thing (regular version)
● Swamp Thing (glow-in-the-dark variant)
Wesley Dodds, AKA the Sandman, is a colorful crime fighter and a very talented detective who finds himself compelled by strange, disturbing dreams to stand against evil. Armed with a mysterious gas mask and a pistol that fires sleeping gas, the vigilante hero relentlessly pursues his mission,
This action figure is dressed in a green suit, grey trench coat, brown fedora, black gloves and a striped blue and black tie. His grey trench coat is sculpted on top of his suite in a permanent flapping motion.
The sculpting and detail on this figure is very good, in fact if you look closely you can see that one of the buttons on his shirt is undone.
The figure had articulation on the hips, shoulders, knees, and elbows with a swivel head. He came with four accessories: a green gas mask, sunglasses, a sleeping gas pistol, and a fedora hat. The green gas mask had white googles, and it easily fitted over the Sandman’s face. The glasses also fitted perfectly. The sleeping gas pistol was a shade of purple and had a tube attached to the base of its handle. Likewise, the dark Fedora fitted around the Sandman's head. One of the problems with the figure was that his large hands were out of scale hands.
The variant figure had a bright green suit with a blue trench coat, brown shoes, a brown fedora, and orange gloves. Instead of the purple sleeping gas gun, he was armed with a bronze-colored gun. His gas mask was also bronze with green rather than white googles, and there were blue filters on the chin area, and green ear pads.
Although the Sandman's comic series has been one of the most critically acclaimed series by DC Comics, the action figure did not gain as enthusiastic a response.
As a result, both toys are not easy to track down, but the original version of the action figure is more sort after and is rarer because of its unique gas mask.
MOC (Regular): $25-53
Loose (Regular): $12-35
MOC (Variant): $15-47
Loose (Variant): $10-22
Princess Diana, queen of the Amazons and daughter of Hippolyta, was born with extraordinary power and immortality. As Wonder Woman, she uses her gifts as an emissary from the island of Themyscira to the outside world, taking on injustice head-on.
She is also a vital member of the Justice League of America. The character was first introduced to the DC Comics universe in 1941, and she was an instant hit with comic book fans. Since then, she has appeared in dozens of issues and has become one of the most popular superheroes of all time.
This Wonder Woman figure was an excellent representation of the character by DC Direct. She stood at 7 inches tall, with her red and gold costume, blue star-spangled shorts, silver wrist bands, gold and red & white stripped shoes.
DC Direct kept the figure simple with minimal sculpt details, but the figure's colors seem to pop. Her face and hair were the most detailed parts of the figure. She had articulation on her shoulders, knees, elbows and wrists will a ball-jointed head but strangely no articulation on her hips. Her accessories included an eagle designed ax, and her iconic blue, red, and white shield. to protect her.
The variation of Wonder Woman had complete gold armor, a gold helmet with a red fly, different boots, and only a spear.
MOC (Regular): $15-43
Loose (Regular): $10-27
MOC (Variant): $17-35
Loose (Variant): $10-23
Alec Holland was working on a bio-restorative formula when a bomb was placed in his lab by criminals. With his body on fire, he ran into the swamp, but he was already dead as he plunged into the muck.
Several days passed before he reemerged as the Swamp Thing, seeking revenge on those who had attacked and killed him in his lab.
The Swamp Thing was thought to be a monster, but it later became evident that the strange fusion of scientist Alec Holland and the swamp itself had created the Swamp Thing who became the guardian of all plant life set above and apart from humans.
The Swamp Thing was to be one of the most outstanding figures in the DC Direct series. Crawling from the depths of the swamp, Swamp Thing was 6-inches tall based on the sculpting of William Paquet. It was also inspired by an original Swampy design by Michael Zulli. The figure was styled after a similar build released in 1996.
The level of detailing on this figure is well above average as the artists did their best to capture all of the character's personality in the sculpt and painting. The green swamp plants that snake across the figure's body were very well sculpted and look almost real and the paint job brings it to life. The figure also came with two extra plant hands.
The variation of this character was a glow in the dark version. Rather than the green marshy body, this figure had a brighter shade of green with red eyes.
The body and accessories of this figure were made from a reflective material, that made it light up the dark swamp and take on whoever threatens it.
MOC (Regular): $17-54
Loose (Regular): $15-33
MOC (Variant): $15-41
Loose (Variant): $11-26