Doll Review: Queen Hippolyta
Today I thought I’d share something a little different, a doll review. Brace yourselves, I’ve got over twenty pictures (!) in this post - and no, I didn’t go overboard. I wanted to make sure everything was covered and I think I just about managed. Anyway, on with the review.
Inspired by the live-action origin story of “Wonder Woman”, Mattel released three Black Label commemorative Barbie Dolls. Or, should I call them action figures? Hmmm. The line-up: Diana, Princess of the Amazons—aka Wonder Woman— General Antiope, and Queen Hippolyta, mother of Diana and head honcho of the Amazons.
Now, I know that Wonder Woman will, most likely, be the most sought-after doll of this particular trio, but I fell for the Queen of the Amazons. Her outfit is fairly screen accurate with quite a few beautiful details, and I couldn’t wait for her to arrive. The seller I ordered from on E-Bay is from Germany, so it only took about a week to reach me (which was in mid – May, and I’ve been aching to share).
The single photo above is promotional and not my own, but from this point on, all photos are my own for the purposes of accuracy.
The plastic armor featured in the promotional photo above is decently close to what you actually get, color-wise, but it’s sadly more matte and less metallic-looking. They’ve either altered their image in photoshop, or she’s had some additional brushwork done. This is the actual doll:
One of the biggest differences is the “metal” of her crown/face frame. The version I got lacks luster and shine, which was a bit disappointing. It has quite a bit of “give”, which allows it to be molded to different head shapes easily without fear of damaging it.
Straight out of the box, it was held to the scalp of the doll with thread in strategic positions. After removing the thread, I placed the crown back in the original position. Out of curiosity, I then gave the doll a good shake: the head piece held fast and remained where it was supposed to be. For people who intend to play with their dolls, this is good news.
The breastplate and pauldrons—shoulder guards—are made out of very stiff, light plastic. The chest piece has some beautiful detailing, including a faux corset closure in the back. Both pieces have a nice, layered armor look.
Unfortunately, for those wishing to pose the doll, the stiffness of the armor prevents any movement at the waist. Also, due to the armor that drapes down the front of her body, her thighs are quite limited in their movement forward; back, however, is not an issue.
I would have liked to have the armor in pieces, attached by fabric beneath, to allow for additional posing possibilities and potential removal of the armor.
Unfortunately, the bodice is one solid piece, which means she’ll be in her costume unless you take an X-ACTO knife to the seams, which will pose additional challenges if you’d like to put it back on her at some point. Still, it looks nice, and for those that intend to leave her in costume, or even in the box, this won’t be an issue.
The faux snake skin skirt is quite thin and doesn’t limit posing at all. It would have been nice to have the pattern on both sides—the inside is just black, as can be seen below—but I think the effect is quite nice all the same.
Apparently, Mattel was concerned that she might accidentally show more of her nether regions than she’d like to, so they fashioned her with some very uncomfortable-looking underwear to match. Cotton, my dear queen, is your best friend.
I’m not going to get into what a terrible idea leather underwear on a tropical island would be but instead get back to her armor.
Despite the stiffness of the shoulder pieces, held fast with small plastic ties, they’re easy enough to remove. Like the crown, however, once removed and replaced, they’ll stay in place. In order to avoid breaking the small plastic pieces on the inner arm, I suggest you slide the pauldrons over the hands, up the arm, and into position—you’ll hear a satisfying “click” when they pop into place securely.
The vambraces—wrist/forearm armor—and boots, like the crown, are made of softer plastic, able to be bent and molded somewhat.
In order to remove the boots, simply slide them off and on—there’s nothing to it at all; it’s like sliding any other boot on or off a Barbie doll—though these have a significantly higher “cool” factor to them.
I continue to be impressed by the ability of all these female super heroes to manage to kick so much butt while wearing sky high heels—and yes, she’s actually wearing wedges built into her armor in the film; that’s not just something that was put in because of the Barbie factor.
And they do look really cool, don’'t they? I think so.
The bracers are a little trickier to remove, as you need to take the hands off the doll off. If you’ve ever removed a made-to-move Barbie hand (I have, it’s scary and they break often!), you’ll be relieved to hear these are so much easier: Simply grab the hand and gently tug while turning. Mine popped right out; it was so easy that, at first, I thought I’d broken her hand and had a moment of panic before realizing all was well.
No muss or fuss, I hope this is a new trend with future Barbies; it would make things so much easier. Once on again, by the by, these vambraces will stay in place.
Yes, her hands have painted-on leather-looking wraps; I’m not a fan, but I can always replace her hands if I decide to use her in a story line.
One of the finishing touches that sold me on this doll was her cloak. Of all the pieces this doll is wearing, I’d say this one is the closest to the actual stock photos. It’s just as lovely in person. It’s nice and long; the fabric and the faux fur trim are both quite soft—not cashmere-soft, but soft all the same.
There have been some people wondering if this is a hooded cloak; the answer is “no”, but it’s still a very nice piece.
The shield is spot on to that of the stock photos, but the sword I got is slightly different in coloration. Even so, I love the drybrush effect on the weaponry; it’s one of my favorite touches to the doll.
The doll is right-handed. Her blade settles in without the need of plastic bands to hold it in position. The shield has two straps on the underside that attach it tightly to her arm.
Please note that, while these are made of stiff plastic, rough play may cause damage, including the paint chipping or the plastic cracking. This hasn’t happened with this particular doll, but it happened a few times when I was little with other superhero toys created in similar fashion (back when slamming them into a wall seemed like a good idea…because, you know, a superhero could do it…my poor toys!)
And lastly, to the doll herself. In my opinion, she doesn’t look particularly like Connie Nielsen; she’s closer to Robin Wright, whose character has a doll all her own as well. Still, for those that keep factory paint on their dolls, she offers a new and interesting face.
I could be wrong, but I think this is a new sculpt - if you read this and know otherwise, do please let me know.
It’s difficult to capture in pictures, but her bone structure—if I can call it that—is unique; high cheekbones and a chin that juts slightly outward. You can feel the edgy features of her face easily if you run your hand down it. This creates shadows and depth in natural light, which gives her a very statuesque look.
Not only is her hair a dirty-blonde, which is fairly standard for Vikings—I see this hair color on a daily basis; my husband sports it—her factory paint is also tasteful and natural looking. Unlike some of her counterparts, she’s not overly painted and wearing gobs of makeup. This is one doll that doesn’t need a make-under (though she could do with a repaint).
Her body is quite articulated. I can’t say if she bends at the waist or not; I haven’t removed her armor. Her shoulders and wrists have full range of motion and her elbows and knees are double-jointed—the same as her Made-to-Move cousins—giving her great flexibility in both. Her ankles, much like Fashionista dolls, lack a joint—flats are not an option for her (poor thing).
You might have noticed that her body isn’t quite the same, proportionally speaking, to either a Made-to-Move or Fashionista Barbie.
You’d be right.
Much like the Superman doll, this doll has a more muscular physique, the “heroic build”. She isn’t as muscular as the She-Ra doll that was released a few years ago, but the difference is obvious when compared side by side.
Overall, I think Mattel did an amazing job and I hope to see more dolls like this in the future. I’m very pleased and impressed with this doll, so much so that I’m seriously considering whether or not to order the other two.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this review. If you’ve got additional questions about the doll, or there’s something I’ve missed, leave a comment below.