Young Justice 4-inch Series: Stealth Kid Flash by Mattel… aka. “Holy shit, I finally finished my HoJ”

I thought this day would never come, but here it is. I finally picked up the Stealth Kid Flash figure from Mattel’s 4-inch Young Justice line. Generally speaking, I don’t go through a lot of trouble hunting down specific figures. Either I’m lucky enough to not collect lines that are difficult to get, I’m patient enough to play the long waiting game, or there’s just nothing out there that I’m going to lose sleep over not having in my collection. (Except for you, 2011 SDCC Starscream Skystriker… I haven’t forgotten about you yet!) That having been said, not having this release has been sticking in my craw for a long time now. It has nothing to do with the figure, I honestly couldn’t give two shits about this figure, but it happens to be packed with the last piece I needed to complete my C&C Hall of Justice.

It’s hard for me to recall the last time something has made me this outraged toward a particular toy company. (It’s like… let’s say Hasbro decided to do figures based off the Combaticons from the new Fall of Cyberton game, but then saved the game accurate colors for an expensive Con Exclusive and then released the figures at retail in hideous day-glo colors. Colors so bad, that even the G2 versions points and laughs at them!) But, yeah, Mattel really pissed me off with this whole scenario. It was bad enough when they made the final wave of figures nearly all repaints and rehashes. I was still willing to bite the bullet and pick them up just to finish my Hall of Justice. But no, they made one figure out of the entire lot next to impossible to find. Stealth Kid Flash became my White Whale. And yet against all reason, while I was browsing Ebay’s newly listed “Buy It Now” auctions, he turned up for the unthinkable price of just $13.98. Never did the ability to buy a figure I didn’t really want ever make me so happy.

There’s the packaging. I still like it a lot, even though this line ended up leaving a sour taste in my mouth. It’s colorful, it’s pleasing, and the way the C&C piece is hidden behind a false back in the bubble is very clever. Honestly, they could have just packed the C&C parts under the bubble and hidden the figure and I would have been just as happy. Honestly, they could have just left the figure out entirely and… oh, you get the point.


There’s the figure. It’s a repaint. You can see a look at the original one HERE, because I’m not going to waste a lot of time on him again. This release has got some extra bits to attach to his wrists. I have no idea what they’re supposed to be. The figure has five points of articulation: Swivels in the head, shoulders and hips. I’ve got nothing more to say other than, “Goodbye, Stealth Kid Flash. I consign you to the bottomless tote where you will drown in a sea of shitty oversized missile launchers, spare Collect & Connect parts, and where you will forever smell like Moss Man’s spare head. May God have mercy on your little plastic soul.”

And there they are… the last two pieces of the Hall of Justice. I had to think hard to remember where I put the rest of it. Turns out it was disassembled and at the bottom of a box of baggied Infinite Heroes and JLU figures. I buried it there because just looking at it made me sick. Let’s cobble this baby together and see if it was worth all the bother.

Yes, yes it was. It’s beautiful! This thing was a really great idea on Mattel’s part, especially if the goal was to get people like me to buy a whole lot of figures they wouldn’t have otherwise bothered with. It’s big, it looks great and the best thing is that it’s really versatile and can be used as a backdrop to display everything from Young Justice figures to DCUC and DC Direct. Hell, put your DC Lego minifigs in front of it and it’s almost to scale! It’s fairly sturdy for what it is, and with a little care, you can easily break it down again for storage if you need to.

And so endeth an epic struggle in which a middle aged man overcame great strife to get a couple pieces of plastic to complete a larger piece of plastic. It doesn’t sound so epic in the retelling, but I can tell you this: I finally have satisfaction and can rest easy knowing that my Hall of Justice is finally complete. This may or may not be the last time the 4-inch Young Justice line appears here on FigureFan. If the 4-inch Artemis ever turns up at a decent price, I’d buy her. I may eventually pick up that last Amazo 2-pack. Honestly, it’s a cool little line of figures and they sure do look great lined up in front of that Hall of Justice.

Young Justice: 4-inch Series: “Stealth Tech” Aqualad by Mattel

ARGHH!!! I’ve already ranted plenty about this shitty last wave of repaints (and one awesome figure) that Mattel is stuffing down our throats in order to finish building the Collect & Connect Hall of Justice set. But back when I looked at Stealth Robin I warned you that I would likely get more and more pissed off with each successive repaint in this wave that I bought. Well, here’s the second to the last. And yes I’m pissed. So, let’s do this.

I still love the packaging Mattel adopted for this line. Its colorful, its exciting and the way they hide the C&C piece with the false back of the bubble is very clever. That’s about all the positivity you’re going to read here today, so make the best of it.
And here’s Aqualad. The same fucking figure as last time only repainted with a black and grey outfit. I’ve got nothing else to say that wasn’t already said in my feature on the original figure. He does come with a new accessory, its an aqua mace instead of a sword. Whoopty-fucking-shit.
Articulation? Yep, you get the same shitty five points. Rotating shoulders and hips and a ball jointed head. If we add a half point for the ball pointed head, that’s a whole half a point more than you’d get if this were 1977 and you were buying a Kenner Star Wars figure. Hey, Mattel, I can go out and buy a super-articulated GI JOE figure with a shit-ton of accessories for a couple bucks less than this guy.
Ok, so here’s what I bought the figure for. The last of two pieces to go for the C&C Hall of Justice. I know I said I wasn’t going to be photographing it again until it was done, but seeing as how it was hardly worth the battery life in my camera to take a lot of shots of Aqualad, let’s look at the HoJ with my new piece added in…
Wait… what? There are still TWO fucking pieces left??? Yeah, if you look back at my feature on the first Kid Flash, you’ll see that he came with two pieces, the floor and wall. Well, “Stealth Tech” Kid Flash comes with the same two pieces for the other side. Is it a coincidence that the last figure of the assortment, the one only one that isn’t readily available to purchase comes with two pieces? This is Mattel, so I’m not taking anything for granted. Anyway, all kidding aside, this thing is huge and its looking really cool.

Stealth Aqualad was $9.99. That was way too much for this figure the first time I bought it in normal colors. And if you wanted Aquaman and bought the 2-pack than this is the third time you had to buy this figure. He’s going right into my giant tote of left over accessories from my DCUC and MOTUC figures, where he can drown in a sea of swappable hands, heads and extra weapons and soak up the noxious vapors of Moss Man’s extra head. Quite frankly death is too good for him. The sad part is who knows when I’ll be able to have the privelage of paying ten bucks for the Kid Flash repaint so I can complete my Hall of Justice and be done with this wretched nightmare.

Young Justice: 4-inch Series, Wave 3: Sportsmaster by Mattel

I think I’ve got all the frothing bile and anger toward Mattel out of my system, so let’s see if we can give the next figure in the 4-inch Young Justice line a fair shake. He is, afterall, the last only truly new figure in this wave, and the only one that I was excited about picking up.

We just saw the packaging for the 4-inch line a couple of days ago and I don’t have a lot more to add to that. I’m still really digging on it as it feels like the spiritual successor of the JLU line and something about those figures and packaging really scratch my nostalgic itch. Once again, I’ll also point out how much I love the way Mattel uses the printed card behind the figure to hide the C&C piece so that it looks like part of the cardback. It’s just neat.
Out of the package and in hand, Sportsmaster is instantly my favorite figure of all the 4-inch single carded figures in this wave and possibly the whole line. He’s a great recreation of his animated counterpart with what seems to be all new tooling. He’s really well proportioned, the plastic feels a lot more solid and less bendy in the limbs, and there’s a ton of little details on the sculpt and paintwork for this animated-style line. He’s still got that annoying upturned wrist on his left hand, but the fact that it shows off the nice detail of the straps on his armor, it doesn’t look so bad on him.
Sportsmaster came with the rightmost wall of the Hall of Justice C&C set. That means that I can finally connect that rightmost floor piece to something, but I still can’t connect that piece to the rest of it until I buy the two remaining repaints. Truth is, I would have had them already if it weren’t for the fact that noone online seems to have them instock yet.

Of course, you still only get the basic five points of articulation, so there isn’t a lot you can do with him in terms of posing or even play. The lack of articulation is a little more annoying here because there’s not much you can do with his staff.  Plus, this is such a great looking figure, I really want to put him in some cool action poses, and that’s just not going to happen.
So, in a wave of repaints Sportsmaster didn’t have to be anything special to stand out, and yet he turned out to be among the best executed figures in this line. Mattel went above and beyond with his detail and paintwork to the point where he almost looks out of place among some of the others. Its possible they saved so much money on the rest of the figures being repaints that they were able to cost out more attention to him, but whatever the reason, I’m glad to have him in my collection.

[And that’s going to wrap up all I have of the Young Justice line right now. I’m still trying to hunt down those last two pieces of the Hall of Justice, I mean, last two figures from Wave 3, but no such luck yet. I’m going to take a couple of days to dig into some other stuff and then we’ll get back to the world of Mattel and DC by finishing up revisiting the remaining figures from Green Lantern Classics Wave 2. -FF] 

Young Justice: 4-inch Series, Wave 3: Robin (Stealth Tech) by Mattel

[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.

Young Justice: 4-inch Series, Wave 2: Superboy and Captain Atom by Mattel

Mattel seems to be rushing out the 4-inch Young Justice figure with great haste. I just recently found all of Wave 1 at TRU, when Wave 2 started popping up all over online. I was able to pick up the first three figures of Wave 2, and I’m still hunting for the third. Today we’re going to take a look at Superboy and the first adult superhero in the line, Captain Atom.

Yep, there’s the same packaging we saw for Wave 1. I still like it a lot. The deco is very colorful and comic book inspired and the big bubbles display the figures very nicely. If anything maybe the bubble is too roomy. I still think it’s really clever the way the package uses an illustrated false back under the bubble to conceal the Collect & Connect pieces for the Hall of Justice. If you want to display these guys carded, the presentation won’t be marred by chunks of a building. The back panel of the cards have the character profiles and portraits and an illustration of what C&C piece you’re getting with the figures.
Let’s look at Superboy first. He’s a really solid likeness that once again relies more heavily on paintwork than sculpting. The head sculpt, however, is extremely well done and fits the animated character perfectly. The rest of the body also falls in line with the overall likeness, with his simple S-shielded black T-shirt, blue jeans and black boots. Astute collectors will note that Superboy uses the same torso and arms as Aqualad. The figure still looks fine, even with the reuse of parts, but considering the price point here, it does bug me a bit. It’s most noticeable in the arms when the two figures are standing next to each other. Superboy comes with an odd accessory, which looks like he ripped the exhaust system out of somebody’s car. In reality, it’s probably just supposed to be a piece of metal he’s bending with his super strength.
Next up is Captain Atom. I was pretty happy to pick him up since I don’t have either the JLU or the DC Universe Classics versions, and so this is my first figure of this character in my collection. Although, in fairness, I would have rather had Mattel do Red Tornado in this wave instead, since he’s more prominent in the cartoon. Captain Atom is a completely new sculpt, making him bigger and a little bulkier than the kids. His paintwork is as simple as it gets. He’s all silver with red boots and gloves and his red emblem tampo’ed on his chest. Nonetheless, the paintwork is all pretty sharp. Despite being a new sculpt, Atom’s hands are in almost an identical position to all the kids, which is just sort of weird. Atom comes with a piece of energy that clips onto his hand. The effect on this isn’t so great, but Atom is still a sharp looking figure.

Yes, I’ve now got two more pieces of the Hall of Justice, but I’m not going to show the progress until I get to the next figures in Wave 3: Vandal Savage and Black Canary.
These figures continue to be a guilty pleasure for me. I still think they’re over-priced and under-articulated and now the reuse of parts isn’t making me much happier. And yet I still dig them on some level and will be continuing to buy the line. I wouldn’t go recommending them to anyone who isn’t already in love with Mattel’s Infinite Heroes or JLU lines, because I think they’re likely to disappoint everyone else. I was able to get this pair plus Vandal Savage off of Amazon at regular retail price and even netted some free shipping. The fourth figure in the Wave, Black Canary, is going to be a little bit more difficult to score at the retail price. Looks like she’s going ot be Cheetara all over again. [I was actually able to score her off of TRU’s website a few days ago, so I’ll have a look at Vandal and Black Canary in a few days! -FF]

Young Justice: 4-inch Series, Wave 1: Speedy and Kid Flash by Mattel

Last time we checked out Aqualad and Icicle Jr and now it’s time to take a look at the ketchup and mustard twins. In retrospect, I probably should have split these guys up since they feature the same red and yellow coloring on their uniforms, but then they’re also both dicks toward Artemis when she first joins the group, so I guess they have a lot in common.

It’s the same packaging we saw last time and I still like it a lot. It’s colorful and the huge bubble really shows off the figure well, while hiding the unsightly Hall of Justice piece behind a cleverly concealed card made to blend in with the cardback. the back panel of the card has an illustration of the character, a little blurb about him, and reveals what the other figures in the line will be. The overall deco of the package really draws me in and makes me want to spend ten dollars on an under sculpted and under articulated figure. Damn, you, Mattel!!!
Let’s kick it off with Kid Flash. The head sculpt is great! From the goggles and lightning bolts coming off his hood right down to his little douchebag smirk, Mattel has certainly captured the likeness. From the neck down, though, there’s precious little in the way of sculpted detail, apart from his gauntlets. I was, however, pleasantly surprised to see that it is a new body and is notably and correctly shorter than the other members of the gang. His costume is characterized by a nice bright coat of red and yellow paint and a red lighting bolt tampo’ed on his chest. As much as I hate pre-posed figures, I’m almost tempted to say Kid Flash might have benefited from some, since you can’t really get him into a good running pose. Kid Flash comes with one accessory: A bag of fast food. It’s pretty useless since he can barely even hold it, but then I think it’s kind of awesome to own a figure that comes with a bag of takeout.
Moving on to Speedy. He enjoys the most unique sculpting of any figure we’ve looked at so far. The head is pretty solid, with the hat sculpted onto the head , complete with feather, and the mask painted on his face. While his torso appears to be the same as Aqualad’s, there’s a sculpted belt and “skirt” added over the hips that makes the shirt look more like a tunic. The high collar and strap across his chest are added with paint apps. His arms also benefit from uniquely sculpted sleeves and gauntlets, and his legs have sculpted heavy boots. Naturally, Speedy also has his quiver full of arrows. It’s permanently plugged right into his back. Speedy comes with his trusty bow. Mattel could have probably gotten away with just using paint apps for some of Speedy’s sculpted bits, so it’s nice to see they went a little extra on making this guy unique.

The articulation on Kid Flash and Speedy is the same as Aqualad and Icicle Jr. You get the basic four points of rotation: Shoulders and hips, and you get ball jointed necks. Again, this is really unacceptable in this day and age, not to mention at this price point, but I guess Mattel got away with it throughout the JLU line, so and decided not to mess with success.

Ok, so having looked at the entire first wave, what can we make with the Hall of Justice C&C pieces so far?
There it is. Not too much to look at yet, but you can definitely get an idea of just how big this thing is going to be and what it’s going to look like. I’m extremely impressed. Early reports suggested that the pieces don’t lock together all that well, but I’m finding the opposite. This is a pretty sturdy construct that holds together extremely well and looks great as a backdrop for the Young Justice figures or even the JLU or Infinite Heroes lines. Hell, even though it’s  out of scale with the DCUC figures, they still look great posing in front of it.
And that’s Wave 1. I know I should be coming down on these figures like a ton of bricks, but I’m still digging on them. Sure, I wish they were better articulated. Sure, I wish they had a bit more detailed sculpts. And most of all, yes, I wish they cost less. But I just think the simple execution works well for an animated series like Young Justice. But most of all, the main reason I’m pursuing this line like I am is to get the Hall of Justice completed. It’s really is going to be cool and offer up a whole bunch of great display options for my various lines of DC Universe figures.

Young Justice: 4-inch Series, Wave 1: Aqualad and Icicle Jr. by Mattel

I humbly beg your collective pardons if you’re getting overloaded with my features on DC figures. It wasn’t my intention, but as always FigureFan is about what I’m buying and Mattel’s DC License has been getting a lot of my dollars lately. I begrudginly started watching Young Justice back when it first aired and much to my surprise, I quickly fell in love with it. The animation is amazing, and the rest is a charming mix of great action and really cheesy fun. I’m also pretty happy that the elder Superheroes play a fairly big role in the show. Still, I was really on the fence over whether to collect the 4-inch line. As we’ll soon find out, they aren’t exactly amazing examples of action figure craftsmanship, nor are they anything even close to resembling a good value, but in the end two things won me over. 1) My enduring affection for the Infinite Heroes/JLU line and 2) The Collect & Connect Hall of Justice. Ok, enough rationalizing, let’s look at the first two figures.

The figures come on a simple bubble and cardback. I like the deco used here, which is obviously heavily influenced by the Infinte Heroes line. You can see all the main characters illustrated on the cardback, and yes that includes the two chicks (Artemis and Miss Martian) who apparently won’t be included in the initial planned run of 12 figures. Huh? Anyway, the packaging is deceptively simple as it features a concealed compartment behind the figure that holds the included piece to the Hall of Justice. The back of the card shows off an illustration of the character, a short blurb about the character, illustrations of the 12 figures planned out over three waves. You also get a printed card that shows you all the pieces for the HoJ and how to snap the whole thing together.
Aqualad looks pretty good. He’s well proportioned and the head sculpt is quite faithful to his animated counterpart. There isn’t a whole lot of sculpted detail on the body, apart from his hands and bare feet. He is wearing his backpack, with the hilt to one of his aqua swords in place, the other one is missing as the other sword comes as an actual accessory. Like all the Young Justice 4-inch figures, Aqualad feels like a mix of Infinite Heroes and JLU. You get the slightly more detailed sculpts of IH and the bare minimum 5-points of articulation that was standard for JLU. Unfortunately, these guys are two big to be in scale with the Inifinte Heroes figures, and designed too differently to be at home with the JLU figures.

With little in the way of sculpted detail on his body, Aqualad uses paintwork to make up his costume, which includes the blue water/energy tendrils that wrap around his arms. Overall the paint is pretty good, particularly on the face. There isn’t the usual slop and bleeding here that I found on a number of my JLU and IH figures.

As mentioned, Aqualad comes with one unsheathed aqua sword. It’s a decent enough accessory complete with a translucent blade, but Aqualad can’t really hold it very well, and when he does it’s just off to the side and not in a good action stance. He looks great standing there, but don’t expect to get any great action poses out of him, as he does just have the five points of articulation. At least his head is ball jointed.
Next up is the only villain of this initial wave: Icicle Jr. I can’t for the life of me remember seeing the episode he appeared in, so I can’t really compare him to his animated counterpart. He is, however, a pretty cool looking figure. His arms gradually turn into semi-translucent ice claws toward the ends, which makes for a really nice effect. The head sculpt is excellent as is the paintwork on the head. From the neck down, there isn’t a lot of coloring on the figure and apart from his arms and bare feet, there isn’t a lot of detail in the sculpt. Icicle Jr. doesn’t come with any accessories.

One major annoyance is that neither of these figures want to stand up on their own and they don’t come with figure stands. Luckily they work pretty well with the huge sack of generic action figure stands I keep on hand.

The pair of Hall of Justice pieces aren’t worth much at this point, so I’m going to hold off until tomorrow’s look at Speedy and Kid Flash to show what you get when you’ve completed the first wave of four figures.
Wait… How much do they cost??? Yeah. The good news is that if you’re used to hunting JLU figures, then you’re probably used to paying $10 for very simple and poorly articulated figures. And that’s exactly what you pay for these guys if you can find them on the pegs. If you’re forced to go online, some of them are going to cost a lot more, and that’s a tough sell since $10 a pop is a pretty hard pill to swallow for this line as it is. I was able to find all of the first wave at TRU, and I ordered three out of the four figures in wave two for the same price. But right now the only way for me to get Black Canary is to pay double for her. Now, I’ll concede that some of the price of admission is going toward the HoJ piece, but unless you’re buying every single figure in the line (all 12 of them, including two repaints) that’s going to be small consolation.

I like these figures, I really do. They really capture the spirit of the cartoon very nicely and there’s something oddly satisfying about their simplicity. But when it comes to complexity of sculpt and accessories and articulation, these guys fall so far behind other figures lines in this scale it makes the price tag seem like a real rip-off. Think about it. Ban Dai sells their new 4-inch Thundercats for $7.99 and Hasbro retails their current at or below that same price. Bottom line, you need to be a certain kind of dedicated collector and/or unabashed DC whore to collect this line. But then the unbelievably awesome C&C Hall of Justice backdrop doesn’t hurt either.