Remember Young Justice? That cartoon on Cartoon Network some months ago that showed nine of its ten episodes and then abruptly disappeared in a typical CN vanishing act? Robin? Superboy? Kid Flash? Ringing a bell? Maybe? Well, that cartoon’s tie-in merchandise has finally reached store shelves and that means review time…
I’ve been wracking my brain over whether or not to pick up the Young Justice figures. I really enjoyed the first nine episodes (despite the show’s lack of true Young Justy-ness) and, as you might imagine, that greatly increases my proclivity towards buying the toys. I was initially interested in the 4″ line solely for the HoJ concept, but the reality of packaging caused unfortunate cut lines in the finished piece and it just wasn’t going to be big enough for my mainly 6″ collection (for some 4″ reviews, hit up the always reliable Michael Crawford). Maybe some completed pics will make me regret that decision, but for now I’m looking to only focus on the 6″ line.
The six-inch line just sounds more promising – DCUC bucks for compatibility with the Four Horsemen finishing out the necessary new pieces to get the looks just right. Still, when I saw preview pictures, some doubt started to form. The teenage figures have been some of the more problematic in the DCU comic line and it looked like some of those problems translated over to this line as well. When I saw them at Target a couple weeks back, I decided to grab the Artemis because she looked like she would fit in with my figures, but I left Robin. This weekend, Robin was still sitting there and for various reasons, I decided to give him a shot too, so you guys get a double review today.
I bought Artemis first, so I’ll start with her. She’s an interesting character on the show because she appears to be representative of a lot of different characters, but really isn’t. Her name evokes a Wonder Woman heritage while her introduction to the show definitely had many of us thinking about GA’s modern sidekick, Mia Dearden. But the funny thing is that she’s really just Artemis, an 80s villain from Infinity, Inc. (better known later as Tigress) repurposed for the show. I could kick myself for not figuring that one out ahead of time.
I’m not sure how much of Artemis’ sculpt is reused. Unlike the men, the DCU comic line doesn’t have a regular teenage girl buck. That may change with the upcoming Saturn Girl or Stargirl, but from the pictures I don’t believe any of those parts are being used on this figure. A trained eye might better catch some details I’m missing, but the figure appears to be the standard female body for the most part with a few new pieces thrown in where needed like the head, the belt/lower torso, below the knees, and possibly the hands.
I was happy with Artemis’ sculpt for the most part. I wish the budget would’ve allowed for a few more sculpted pieces so we could get the arm details more right (and a little bulkier wouldn’t hurt – I feel like I have to turn them in a bit to get a better aesthetic). We do get the add-on pieces like the quiver (it’s removable), the belt, and the leg pouch which all combine with the new lower leg pieces to give Artemis some good show-accurate details. Atop all that sits a great head sculpt. I feel it does what the line producers promised – and can look good with the YJ figures, but also not be out of place chilling with Green Arrow or Red Arrow from DCUC.
The nice thing about the figure though is the construction. There’s no gumminess in the hip joints or warped limbs. She actually makes me jealous that we didn’t get as nice a Donna Troy or Starfire figures. I almost wonder if we might get better figures in the cartoon/line if it lives long enough for those characters to appear (and if the designs aren’t too crazy).
The paint work was really solid on Artemis too. I had one blemish on her mask line, but the lips and eyes were painted well and the painted edges of the costume were clean even though the sculpt wasn’t there to act as a guide line. The main issue I had with the paint was that I think the skin tone is a little too light/pale for the character and that the hair could’ve used a slight wash to bring out the details or give it some depth.
The only other quibble I had, and it’s partially sculpt & paint, was the figure did end up slightly inaccurate. I think that’s more about a late change to the show than the figure being wrong though. Early pics of Artemis showed the single strap quiver like the figure has, but if you watch the show, she finally appeared with the quiver simply being on her back with black outlines around her shoulders. It’s a minor quibble, but it is a shame they couldn’t get the changes fixed in time.
If you’ve been buying DC Classics, then you’re familiar with the articulation here right down to the lack of rocker ankles – ball-joints at the head (limited) & shoulders, swivels at the biceps, wrists, and thighs, single hinges at the elbows, knees, and ankles, an ab crunch, and the ‘4H’ hips. All of the joints work great except the ball-joint on the head which has very limited up-and-down movement. The ponytail does have a swivel cut in it though to help out. The hair on mine pops on and off easily, it’s actually handy if you want to remove the quiver without popping its clasp.
One of the big selling points for these figures is the accessories. The packaging gets a special starburst that says “Includes Diorama and 7 Weapons”. For Artemis, her accessories are her bow, quiver (kinda cheating), and five trick arrows. I’m not well versed enough in the show to know which arrows are which, but they are five unique designs which is cool. The arrows are a little thin, so be careful while handling them. I tried to be delicate, but I did end up with some white stress lines nonetheless.
The bow is her primary weapon and I’m glad to see that it’s show accurate. The early promo shots of Artemis featured a different bow much like the quiver, but the figure has the final, accurate version of the bow. It’s a cool accessory and has a spot for the arrows to clip-on, but there is one huge drawback. As you’ve surely noticed in the pictures, the figure can’t hold it right! She has hands designed to hold the arrows and can’t aim her bow straight. That was a major disappointment on an otherwise enjoyable figure.
Finally, there’s the base. It’s got some cool features: a bin to hold the extra arrows, cracks/holes in the target for the arrows to plug into, and there’s also two little holders coming up that I guess are to hold extra arrows, but they just seem odd sitting there. This base doesn’t have the same appeal as Robin’s rooftop or the upcoming Kid Flash’s torn-up street, but it works for Artemis just fine. Continue to Page 2…