[I started writing this piece and it quickly degenerated into a drunken emotional rant against Mattel and then it kind of got away from me. If you’re only interested in hearing about the figure then go ahead and skip down a couple of paragraphs. If you’re interested in hearing me vent, then by all means read on. -FF]
Mattel hates us. Sure, if you’ve experienced the Matty-Digital River partnership first hand over the years, you’ve already suspected this to be true, but now we have definitive proof that Mattel does indeed hate us. You see, Mattel came up with this great idea to make a Collect & Connect Hall of Justice set and spread the pieces out over three waves of 4-inch Young Justice figures. Sure, at ten bucks a pop the figures were on the pricey side for what they were, but it was easy to swallow that pill knowing that with each one you buy, you were closer to a pretty cool Hall of Justice backdrop. The first two waves gave us a mix of the kids and adults, including Speedy, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Superboy, Captain Atom, and Black Canary as well as some baddies like Icicle Jr and Vandal Savage. All good so far?
So, it seemed only natural that the last wave would finish the team with Robin and Miss Martian, maybe some more adults like Red Tornado and Green Arrow, and some extra baddies like Sportsmaster, Cheshire, and Black Manta, right? Well, we got Sportsmaster… and THREE FUCKING REPAINTS. Yes, the last three figures you need to finish the Hall of Justice set consists of “Stealth” versions of Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash. Thanks for fucking us over, Mattel! If you want regular Robin or Miss Martian, you can go buy the two-packs, because Mattel would rather saddle you with $30 worth of repaints than give us single carded versions with C&C pieces. What pisses me off even more is that they don’t even bother to call Robin, “Stealth Tech” Robin like they did with Aqualad and Kid Flash, so if you’re ordering this figure online without scrutinizing the picture, you might be fooled into thinking he’s the regular red tunic version.
If this is your first experience with these 4-inch Young Justice figures, by all means go back and read my various looks at the last eight figures. They’re basically like a hybrid of the JLU and Infinite Heroes lines. They have the antiquated basic five points of articulation like the JLU line, but they’re more realistically proportioned like the Infinite Heroes, although make no mistake these figures are still highly stylized to match the animated counterparts. If you’re nostalgic for either of those two lines, these will probably give you a warm fuzzy feeling. Otherwise, you may want to stay away.
[Ok, enough with the long-winded preamble. Let’s get to the figure… -FF]
Its been a little bit since we looked at the second wave, but the packaging for these figures hasn’t changed. I still really love the presentation here. It’s a nice big bubble and a colorful card, not entirely unlike the DC Universe Classics packaging. There’s a printed card insert behind the bubble that matches up with the cardback to conceal the Hall of Justice C&C piece that’s tucked behind the figure. Mattel has always done a wonderful job packaging their DC figures and these guys are no different.
Out of the package, Robin is the same figure you may already own if you bought the Batman and Robin two pack. The only difference? His tunic is painted grey instead of red. It’s a nice enough sculpt and captures the look of the show’s animated Robin pretty well in the 4-inch scale. Unfortunately his arms and legs are really rubbery and soft and as already mentioned, the articulation is pretty much crap. Is there nothing new here? Well, Robin does come with his hologram wrist computer that’s cast in translucent blue plastic and clips on to his arm. This idea worked great for the 6-inch figure, but not so well here. It’s way too big and since Robin’s arm can only rotate at the shoulder, he can’t really hold it in any convincing manner. Blah!
And then there’s the real reason I bought this figure: The C&C piece for the Hall of Justice. I’ve got only three pieces left. This set comes with the middle part of the arch and finally allows me to connect one of the loose pieces I had from Wave 2. It’s looking sharp and really, really big. I’ve opted not to bother posting a picture of the Hall of Justice again until I finally have it complete. Its partly because I’m really bitter right now, and partly because I have it in a tote at the bottom of my closet and I don’t feel like digging it out again.
And there you have it. In case you haven’t picked up on my subtlety, I really resent having to buy this repaint solely for the C&C part, and I’ll likely get more angry with each successive repaint in this Wave that I need to buy. I was also none to pleased yesterday when I went out to buy the Batman and Robin 2-pack so that I could have the regular Robin in my Young Justice 4-inch display. I was going to look at Sportsmaster next, but instead I might as well knock out the Batman and Robin set tomorrow so that I can get the rest of this rage out of my system before taking a look at the only fresh figure in Wave 3: The Sportsmaster.