A knock-knocking on my door the day after Christmas led me to discover an unexpected package, containing a complete set of the new JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED SERIES action figures from DC Collectibles. For those of you not in the know, this set, in scale with the previously released and much lauded BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES action figures, were only available to subscribers to the new DC UNIVERSE streaming service. And I’ll confess: I only subscribed to DC UNIVERSE to get my hands on these figures. It certainly wasn’t for the bizarrely uneven and weirdly violent and mean-spirited TITANS series – but that’s a column for another day.
So what’s the verdict?
Well… they’re okay.
I mean, I’m glad I bought them, because the sculpts are great and I loved the series. They’ll look awesome alongside my BTAS collection, and I want to encourage DC Collectibles to keep making more. But I can’t help feeling a little taken advantage of. Let me explain.
The BTAS line of the last few years has been a collector’s delight, with each figure coming with a whole passel of accessories, not just multiple hands and heads, but also episode-specific weaponry and items taken right from the classic ’90s series. So naturally I figured these, which were actually more expensive than the BTAS line, would follow that tradition. Instead… not so much.
I can live without Batarangs for Batman, and characters like Flash or Superman don’t really need extra gear (though it’s always welcome). But giving us John Stewart without his power battery feels really cheap, especially when they no doubt had a mold they could have re-used from one of the umpteen other Green Lantern figures they’ve made in the last few years. And there’s absolutely no excuse for giving us Wonder Woman without her Lasso of Truth or Hawkgirl without her mace, when those characters are never seen without them in dozens of episodes. When we’re paying more per figure, it kinda rankles to be getting less.
There are a few other nits I admittedly have to pick. Some of the sculpts are a little off; John Stewart in particular has a barrel chest that looks positively inhuman. Wonder Woman’s face doesn’t quite look like the animation models, and Hawkgirl’s wings are very cheaply designed, making them difficult to attach and impeding the figure’s ability to stand.
Qualms aside, these figures do look really great at this scale so I can’t say I’m sorry I took the plunge. And while I was a little disappointed, I hope enough people bought them that they’ll do a second set of JUSTICE LEAGUE for next year. And what figures am I hoping for? Funny you should ask…
- Green Arrow – when the series shifted to JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, Green Arrow had the biggest impact, acting as the League’s conscience throughout the entire series.
- Black Canary – Because you can’t have Green Arrow without Black Canary. Plus, the more female Leaguers the better.
- The Question – A huge part of the JLU’s first season.
- The Huntress – Because you can’t have The Question without the Huntress, at least where JLU is concerned.
- Atom – Ray Palmer had a bunch of strong appearances in the series, plus he was played by Dr. Cox from SCRUBS, so bonus.
- Supergirl – Kara also played a big part in the CADMUS story arc, plus women Leaguers rock.
- Vigilante – One of my favorite obscure DC heroes needs to make a DC Collectibles appearance. The fact that he’s played by Nathan Fillion has nothing to do with it.
- Shining Knight – I would insist that we make Sir Justin a deluxe figure with his winged horse. And with Vigilante and Green Arrow, we’re almost half way to a full set of the Seven Soldiers of Victory.
So to sum up: are DC Collectibles’ JUSTICE LEAGUE action figures perfect? No. But they’re good enough. And on this New Year’s Day, after the year we’ve had, that’s good enough for me.