In the 75 years since Wonder Woman started bringing truth and love to the world in All-Star Comics #8 the Amazon Princess has been immortalized in many different forms. In this series, we’ll lasso examples of Wonder Woman collectibles through the decades, which will help you appreciate the first great comic book superheroine’s history and influence – and that might even inspire a collecting quest or two!
Today, let’s take a look back to the 1960s.
Wonder Woman Hand Puppet
Although she’d been in action on the four-color pages since December 1941, the earliest Wonder Woman “figure” I’ve been able to track down is this vinyl hand puppet from Ideal in 1966.
If you know about an earlier Wonder Woman toy, please let me know! I hate to think this somewhat underwhelming, glorified glove really marked her toy store debut.
On the other hand (no pun intended), it probably made a lot of her young fans happy as they dreamed up and acted out all-new adventures for the Amazing Amazon. And since other, male DC characters were also getting hand puppets – Superman, Batman and Robin, even the Joker – it’s nice to know Wonder Woman was a part of impromptu puppet theater behind strung-up bed sheets and overturned tables across the land!
Justice League of America Display Figures
Ideal also included Wonder Woman in a set of 3 1/2-inch, “superbly detailed” (so boasted the boxes), plastic JLA figurines. She got top billing on the package, too!
Whether her “ring of fire” accessory was part of a plan she, The Flash, and Thunderbolt hatched to take down Mouse Man (he telepathically controlled rodents to fight Wonder Woman in the comics at the time) or part of a circus-like entertainment act DC’s Silver Age superheroes enjoyed performing for orphans remains unclear. What is clear is it’s eminently losable, and therefore fetches a premium when found today.
Wonder Woman Rubb’r-Nik
From Canada’s Multiple Toymakers (also known as Multiple Products) came the Rubb’r-Niks, 2 1/4-inch bendable, twistable figures. None of our heroes look quite like themselves, but at least Wonder Woman’s costume is, like Aquaman’s, more or less the right color scheme. (Superman and Batman needed to demand better fashion consultants!)
Considering the amount of abuse this Wonder Woman was destined to endure in little tykes’ hands, it’s amazing she even has the hint of a smile on her face!
Poseable Wonder Woman Doll (Ideal’s “Comic Heroines”)
In 1967, Ideal brought out its “Comic Heroines” (or “Super Queens”) line of 11 1/2-inch poseable dolls, giving the world – according to Wonder Woman collectible expert Kyall Coulton – its first Wonder Woman doll.
As were the Supergirl, Batgirl, and Mera dolls, the Wonder Woman doll was based on Ideal’s “Misty” doll. And, in an early albeit completely unofficial comic book universe crossover, the Amazon is borrowing the shield from Ideal’s Captain America doll.
All the same, this doll is a major step up from the hand puppet of the year before! Because she was poseable, she possessed infinitely more play value. Plus, she came with not only her iconic costume (including the magic lasso of truth) but also the nurse’s uniform she wore in her original secret identity as Army nurse Diana Prince.
With Ideal’s doll, Wonder Woman managed to finish the 60s strong. And the 70s would prove even better! But that’s a story for a future installment.
In the meantime, let us know if we forgot any Wonder Woman collectibles from the 60s and what’s your favorite Wonder Woman toy, from any decade? We’ll try to cover it here in the series!