FigureFan’s Disappointments of 2012, Part 2

Thought yesterday was depressing? Oh no. Don’t pass out on me. Not yet… Here’s the last five.

Thundercats: 6-inch Classic Lion-O by Ban Dai… Make no mistake, I don’t think this is a bad figure. It certainly has issues, like unpainted joints and an unfortunate head sculpt, but it’s still a solid figure. So why does it appear here? Because it was completely unnecessary. The 8-inch Lion-O was probably my favorite figure of 2011, and there was no reason for Ban Dai to backpedal on it. Nonetheless, Ban Dai got hammered by fans for making the figure in the oddball 8-inch scale and then when they relented and re-released the figure in a more standard 6-inch scale, collectors railed against them for starting over. I’m not saying Ban Dai didn’t mishandle a few things with the Thundercats license (that Tower of Omens was a piece of shit!) but overall I like what they delivered and I was sorry to see the line not work out. This Lion-O figure represented the beginning of the end for the revival of Classic Thundercats and while I still bought it to support the line, just looking at it makes me sad.

Transformers Generations: Fall of Cybertron Jazz by Hasbro… Poor Jazz represents everything that is wrong with Transformers these days. He’s too small, too simple, has too few paint apps, and he’s too expensive. Compare him with the Deluxe toys from War for Cybertron and he just comes up wanting in every possible way. While some figures in the line have escaped these cutbacks, Jazz personifies the struggle that Hasbro and other toy companies are having producing quality product against the rising costs of plastic and production.

Mass Effect 3: Miranda by Big Fish… I know what you’re thinking… Thane was way worse than Miranda. True, but I wasn’t looking forward to Thane, hence he wasn’t really a disappointment. Miranda, on the other hand was a major disappointment. Plus, her left arm fell off. As shitty a figure as Thane was, at least he didn’t break while being removed from the package. This line certainly had its ups and downs, and it’s a shame that Miranda had to be one of the downs.

Young Justice 4-inch Series, Wave 3… Ok, let me clarify. Sportsmaster was in Wave 3 and he was a solid figure, so what I’m really talking about here are those three shitty stealth repaints that I had to buy to finish my Hall of Justice. I’ve honestly bitched about this sorry situation enough in the individual features, culminating in my need to go onto Ebay to get Stealth Kid Flash. Because it wasn’t bad enough Mattel made us buy these, they also made it impossible to find the last figure in the wave. This situation, my friends, is customer appreciation at its finest.

DC Universe Classics: Orange Lantern Lex Luthor… What is it with Mattel making me buy shitty figures to complete Collect & Connect constructs? They’re evil marketing geniuses that’s what. I hated this figure so much that I actually considered paying more to get just the C&C part off of Ebay so I wouldn’t have to admit to having purchased the figure. He’s pure garbage, and while he might appeal to collectors with a translucent plastic fetish, all he does for me is make me mad when I see him peeking out from the back of my Lantern shelf.

And there’s the light at the end of the tunnel and we have emerged into 2013. We’re done with canned recycled retrospective feature week and tomorrow I’ll be back with the first new feature of the year.

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: Ra’s Al Ghul & Cheshire by Mattel

[Hope y’all are in the mood for more comic related figures, because it looks like it’s going to be Marvel and DC for the rest of the week. I’m all for more variety, but this place reflects what I’m getting in and this is what I’ve been getting in! Today’s is going to be a bit of a quickie, because it’s a holiday and I’ve got grilling to do! – FF]

Not too long ago, I took a look at the Martian Manhunter and Miss Martian two-pack. Today’s feature is the second of the three sets that, when completed, allow you to build the Amazo figure. I don’t know that I’ll be picking up the Flash & Kid Flash set to build the figure, but I was sure as hell buying a two-pack with Ra’s Al Ghul and Cheshire in it! Let’s see what we got here…

This one is called “Master Assassins” but the packaging is the same as what we saw in the “Alien Mindreaders” set. You get a window box that shows off the figures very nicely and there’s a colorful animated deco around the box itself. About the only thing that I don’t like is the Amazo advert between the two figures. It just looks obnoxious and ugly. The back of the box has animated portraits of the two characters and a little bio blurb on the pair of them. It also shows the other sets needed to complete the Amazo figure. As with the last set, this one is completely collector friendly, allowing you to play around with the figures and still display them back in the package if you so desire.

I’ll start off with Ra’s, because I don’t have quite a lot to say about him. He’s definitely a cool looking figure, but apart from the excellent head sculpt, there’s not a whole lot to him. His body relies mostly on paint apps, and what’s here isn’t all that well applied. There’s slop around the belt and the black plastic has a weird swirly look to it in some places. Still, the use of matte black for the body and glossy black for the boots and arm bracers is pretty cool, and the cape is nicely sculpted and looks great on the figure. Ra’s falls prey to my usual gripe with this line, in the way the hands are always sculpted exactly the same on most of the adult figures, with one made to hold something and the other in a bizarrely positioned fist. It may sound like I’m really picking this figure apart, but truth be told he’s actually pretty good. He just should have been a little more polished.

Cheshire, on the other hand, may very well be the best figure this 4-inch line has produced. She definitely has the most unique sculpt and the most complex paint apps. The head sculpt is a total homerun, as it captures the creepy look of the animated character’s mask and wild hair perfectly. The extra little details like the single sculpted sleeve, tassels on her belt, or the sai that hang from her belt are so good it feels like it doesn’t belong in this otherwise oversimplified line of figures. The paint shows a bit of slop around the edges, but nowhere near as bad as some of the other figures. In fact, the only really downside to this figure is the way Mattel decided to stamp all the copyright information right across the back of her tushy. Otherwise, this is one great looking figure.

Articulation is identical to all the figures in this line. You get the basic antiquated five points. The head turns, the arms rotate at the shoulders and the legs rotate at the hips.

The set includes no accessories, unless you want to count the two arms to build Amazo. Oh, and the ONE figure stand. I pissed and moaned enough about that last time, so I won’t go into it again this time, except to say, “Really, Mattel? One figure stand in a two-pack? Thanks a fucking lot!”

“Targets” is probably my favorite episode of Young Justice, so it should come as no surprise that I love this set so much. But a lot of that love comes from the fact that Mattel put so much great work into the Cheshire figure that it really almost transcends the context of this line. Sure, she still suffers from the same limited articulation and somewhat bendy limbs, but she is still an amazing looking figure based on a very cool character design. As usual, this set goes for around $20 at retail. It often feels a bit high for these two-packs, but in this case I was happy to cough up the Andy Jackson for such a solid pair of figures.

Young Justice: Martian Manhunter & Miss Martian by Mattel

[And it’s a bonus Tuesday update, because I’ve got crap action figures piling up everywhere… there will likely be another on Thursday too! –FF]

After collecting almost every last one of Mattel’s 4-inch Young Justice figures in order to build the Hall of Justice, I got thwarted by the inability to find Stealth Kid Flash and the last piece I needed. At that point, I swore off these goddamn figures. And that should just go to show you what a weak, weak person I am, because now I’m back like a kicked puppy, picking up a couple more 2-packs, so I can at least complete the team in this scale. Today’s feature takes a look at the “Alien Mindreaders.” It’s been a while since I’ve looked at any of the Young Justice 4-inch line, so I’ll toss out the usual disclaimer with these figures and point out that they are done in the most retro of manner. If you were on board with Mattel’s JLU figures, you can probably find a lot to love with these, everyone else may want to proceed with caution.


The package is a nice window box that shows off the figures pretty well. I like the fact that Mattel retained the DC Universe logo. The giant Amazo cut-out in the center of the window is kind of an eyesore, but that’s probably because I really don’t care about building that figure. Either way, the C&C pieces are concealed beneath the cardboard. The back panel has portraits of the animated characters as well as a little bio for them. The panel below that shows you what you need to build Amazo. Everything is pretty collector friendly, so you can return the figures to the package and store them that way if you so choose, although this is a lot of box for just two little 4-inch figures and no accessories.

All of the 4-inch figures in this line have been pretty good representations of their animated counterparts, but I dare say Miss Martian is one of the better ones. The sculpt is excellent, particularly the head, which really captures her on screen appearance perfectly. The hair looks good and the paintwork on the eyes, lips and even the tiny freckles is all applied with precision. Her outfit consists of a blue cape, blue skirt, blue gloves, and blue heels, and she has a white t-shirt with an “X” deco. The paintwork on the rest of the figure is executed perfectly. It’s worth pointing out that the combination of her tiny legs and bulky cape make for a rather back-heavy figure, but it’s still possible to get her to stand on her own with a little patience.

Martian Manhunter is solid enough, but he isn’t the slam dunk of a figure that his niece is. For one thing, I think his head is a tad too small. Mattel may have been going for a stylized look here, but I don’t think his head was that small in the cartoon. There isn’t a lot of original sculpting on Jon either. He’s a standard painted buck with a cape and a new head. Can I also take this time to point out how much I hate that almost all the adult figures have the same exact hands?

Both figures have the same five points of articulation. The heads turn, the arms rotate at the shoulders, and the legs rotate at the hips. It ain’t much to work with, but I suppose it gives the figures something of a retro charm.
As already pointed out, Jon and his niece come with two limbs for the Collect & Connect Amazo figure. You  also get a figure stand. Wait… what? One figure stand? ONE FUCKING FIGURE STAND??? Are you serious Mattel? $20 for a pair of 4-inch figures with just five points of articulation each and you can’t pony up for two figure stands? It’s not like it’s a particularly elaborate stand. It’s just a clear piece of sculpted plastic. I’m sorry, but throwing just one stand into this set is worse than none at all. It’s Matty saying, “Hey remember how we made sure you had no chance of finishing the Hall of Justice? Well here, take one figure stand in your two-pack!” At that point they throw sand in my eyes and run out of the room laughing. I seriously turned this package inside and out because I simply couldn’t believe that the world’s largest toy company on the planet could be that fucking cheap. Looks like I was wrong.

All rage aside, this is a pretty good set. Sure, I still don’t have a 4-inch Artemis, but Miss Martian finishes off my collection fairly well and she is a very solid figure. And considering that Batman, Aquaman, and Flash were all bundled with repacks of the single carded figures, I also appreciate the fact that I didn’t have to buy a figure I already have in order to get Martian Manhunter. I picked up the set for about $20, which is about right considering the single carded figures were all $9.99 each. It’s not exactly a great deal for such simple figures, but I guess there’s just something about them that made me want to complete my collection. Stay tuned for a look at the other 2-packs in the weeks ahead.

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: Batman and Robin 2-pack by Mattel

Ok, I’ve had some time to drink calm down since yesterday’s post about Mattel’s scheme to get an extra thirty bucks out of me in order to finish my C&C Hall of Justice. The single nugget of consolation I gleaned from the couple of emails I got asked why I expected any different from Mattel. Fair enough. Anyway, for the uninitiated, Mattel decided to stagger their 4-inch Young Justice releases between single carded versions and 2-packs. The 2-packs come with exclusive versions of the adult superheroes in the show, but they also include some repacks of the single-carded kids. On the other hand some of the adult superheroes came in the single carded series, but have not been in the 2-packs. The only rhyme or reason to any of this is that to own everything, you’re going to have to get doubles of some figuers and boring repaints of others.

There’s the packaging. The figures come in a window box with the standard “DC Universe” logo on the top and the “Young Justice” logo on the bottom. The angled sides feature character art of the kids. There’s a fair amount of room in that package, which is filled up by the two translucent blue stands in the middle. What you see is what you get here, so at least there are no surprises. Overall, it looks nice, but I can’t help but think Mattel should have just released these on a big card like Hasbro does with their comic packs.
Let’s get Robin out of the way first, since we looked at the “stealth” version of this figure yesterday. Yep, it’s the exact same figure with the only difference being the color of his tunic, which is the proper red here. Once again, he’s a good sculpt that really matches his animated counterpart rather nicely, but the limbs are still rather rubbery and he still just has the same crappy nostalgic 5-points of articulation. I’m still counting myself in with the nostalgic grouping, but I’ll admit my appreciation of the charm of this line is gradually being eroded away.
Batman is a very cool figure. When I first started collecting this line, I was hoping that the kids would be in scale with the Inifinte Heroes figures so I would already have compatible adult heroes, but Mattel was smarter than that, and made sure it was necessary to buy the new figures to go with the kids. That having been said, this figure is a damn fine 3 3/4″ Batman. There isn’t a whole lot of unique sculpting at work here. You get the head and cape, some fringe on his gauntlets, and his utility belt, and that’s pretty much it. But Batman gets by fine with paint apps to distinguish his costume. My only real complaint here is that he has that same awkward upturned fist on his left hand that a lot of the other figures have. I’m not sure what they were going for when they sculpted it, but its an unusual enough positioning of the arm that it really stands out on all the figures.
You also get the two figure stands in the pack. They’re molded in translucent blue plastic and designed to look like some kind of holograms from Robin’s computer. They’re a nice bonus, but since they don’t come with all the Young Justice 4-inch figures, I doubt I’ll ever use them, opting for my generic clear disc stands instead.
Right now, this Batman and Robin 2-pack is the only way to get a regular 4-inch version of Robin, although rumor has it there may be a regular version of Robin in a single-carded Walmart Exclusive release (minus any C&C pieces). This makes me extra happy since all the Walmarts here stopped carrying Mattel’s DC figures a long time ago. Awesome. All anger aside, though, this is a fairly decent set. The figures are fine, albeit pretty retro in their articulation. The price is also a sticking point. I could stomach the other figures at $9.99 each because the C&C Hall of Justice pieces were pretty big, but here you’re paying $9.99 for each figure and all you get are a couple of little stands. What’s worse, this set is inexplicably starting to go for a bit of a premium online, so if you want one, you better head to your local toy aisle and get it while the getting is good. On the upside, now I’m only one figure away (Miss Martian) from completing my 4-inch Young Justice team.

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: 6-inch Series: Artemis by Mattel

I’m back with the second figure of the first wave of Mattel’s 6-inch Young Justice series, and it’s Artemis. Yep, kind of an odd choice for a slot in the first wave, since she didn’t come into the series at the beginning, but that doesn’t make her any less welcome. I’ve already went through a lot of the concepts behind this line, so today’s feature should go a lot quicker than yesterday’s.

The packaging. It’s identical to the window box that Robin came in, aside from the back panel that features the character art of Artemis and her bio. Once again, the packaging here really shows off the goods nicely. As big as the box is, though, Artemis’ base is actually bigger, so it comes separated into two halves.
As with Robin, Artemis is essentially a smaller and slighter build version of the DCUC figures, but being kids these are completely in scale with the DCUC collection. The only thing frustraing here is that as good as Artemis’ articulation is, it’s still tough to get her to look really good shooting her bow. She’s a pretty awesome mix of paintwork for her costume and just enough sculpting here and there for her kneepads, gloves, and boots to keep her unique. Her belt and thigh strapped pouch are separate pieces, as is her removable shoulder-slung quiver. I’m particularly happy with the way Artemis’ head sculpt came out and the hinged ponytail is a nice touch and is completely removable if it gets in your way.
Artemis’ articulation is the same as we saw with Robin. You get a ball jointed neck; Arms with ball joints in the shoulders, hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists; Her legs feature universal movment in the hips, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the knees and ankles; Her torso includes an ab crunch hinge and a swivel in the waist. Not bad at all.
Accessories! Artemis comes loaded for bear with her compound bow and arrows. The bow is nicely sculpted with the plastic strings, a sculpted grip for her to hold it and it’s got a groove so you can actually notch one of the arrows into it. She also comes with four various gizmo arrows.
Robin’s base was big, but Artemis’ is huge. It’s two pieces that snap together to make up a cool little archery range. There’s a clear bucket to hold her extra arrows and a stand to cradle her bow when she’s not shooting. The other half of the stand has a target that you can actually plug some of the arrows into to make it look like they were fired into it. The little cracks and damage to the target are a cool little extra. Granted, when assembled, the target isn’t terribly far from her shooting position, but you can separate them to give them a little distance. Personally, I’m happy just displaying her on the half that holds her bow and arrows, although an extra peg on the target base would have been nice.
Artemis falls right in line with Robin as being an excellent all around package. While I think I like the display possibilities of Robin’s base better, Artemis’ is a bit more like a mini playset and that’s a really cool thing. She’s definitely worth the average $20 going price, and possibly even the extra five bucks that TRU will rape out of you if you have no other options without having to pay for shipping. Either way, I’m really pleased with my first foray into this 6-inch line and I’ll definitely be pushing forward and picking up Aqualad, Superboy, and Speedy.

Young Justice: 6-inch Series: Robin by Mattel

I did my best to resist Mattel’s 6-inch line of figures based on the excellent Young Justice cartoon, and opted to collect the smaller 4-inch figures and build the C&C Hall of Justice. But the harsh mistress of clearance overcame me when I was able to scoop up the first two figures in the series for just under fifteen bucks a piece. It seemed like a good opportunity to see what they’re all about. The first two figures consist of Robin and Artemis, so let’s start out by checking out the Boy Wonder himself and see if I turn out being overwhelmed, underwhelmed, or just merely whelmed.

The figure comes in a window box that does an amazing job of showing you exactly what you’re getting in terms of the figure and the base. Robin is in an action pose, the base is on the bottom of the package and his weapons are spread out off to the side. It’s possibly a little too roomy in there, but the base really is big, and unlike Artemis’ it doesn’t come apart. The packaging deco is pretty close to what we’ve been seeing on other DC Universe figures, but with the addition of the Young Justice logo and the character illustrations on the side panels of the box. The layout of the back panel should be instantly familiar to any collectors of DCUC, JLU or Infinite Heroes. It has a little bio of Robin and shows some of the other figures in the line. It’s pretty easy to get everything out and the packaging is certainly collector friendly enough to return it all to the box for display if you should desire. I was a little worried about the action pose wrecking my figure’s joints, but everything seemed ok when I got him out.
So what we have here is basically a somewhat stylized DC Universe Classics figure, and that is definitely not a bad thing. Mattel took the basics of the DCUC body and made it conform to the more animated stylings, while keeping it more or less in line with other figures in the DCUC lineup. More importantly, these figures are slightly smaller and thus actually properly in scale with DCUC. For example, does your DCUC Kid Flash figure piss you off because he’s too tall? Well then, these should make you happy. On the downside, Robin’s limbs feel very soft and rubbery. I’m not sure if its just a different plastic or if its because he’s slighter of build. Surprisingly, it doesn’t seem to effect the joints all that much.
Every bit of Robin’s sculpt is wonderfully executed. The body is a nice mix of paintwork detail and some sculpting, and he sports a short rubbery plastic cape. His head sculpt is complete with his dorky ears and his conceited little smirk and really captures all the personality of his animated counterpart. Articulation consists of standard DCUC poseability. The head is ball jointed; The arms feature ball jointed shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinged elbows; The legs have universal movement at the hips, swivel cuts in the thighs, and hinges in the knees and ankles; And the torso has the DCUC ab crunch hinge and swivels at the waist. I do think this new line would have been a good opportunity to standardize the double-hinged knees that we saw in some of the more recent DCUC figures, but sadly it wasn’t the case.
In addition to a great figure, you get a pretty amazing and impressively large base. Robin’s is the corner section of a rooftop with a gargoyle statue. There are three pegs on it, so you can securely pose Robin in a few different areas or pose more than one figure on it. It’s a really nice piece and versatile enough that you could probably use it for a number of DCUC figures too.
Acessories include Robin’s battle staff, a couple of batarangs, a very cool translucent blue hologram wrist computer, um, a gun of some sort… and two um… hmmm. Maybe explosives or mines or something. I’ve seen almost all the episodes of teh cartoon, but I can’t seem to remember what the hell these things are, and I’m a little iffy on the gun too. Either way, it’s a nice assortment of stuff.
In the end, I’m really thrilled with this figure. If you’re a fan of the series, and don’t give a crap about building the Hall of Justice from the 4-inch figures, these 6-inchers are definitely the way to go. They look great, feature nice poseability, and they make great display pieces with their bases. The only sticking point can be the price, which is admittedly all over the place. $20 seems to be the average, and I guess that’s fair enough. I usually spend between $15-17 on my DCUC figures, and here you’re getting a huge base and a fair amount of accessories. Toys R Us seems to be the odd man out, charging $25 a pop, which really seems excessive, so shopping around is a good idea. I should be back tomorrow to check out Artemis.