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Young Justice Review:
6″ Artemis & Robin

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…

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17 comments to Young Justice Review:
6″ Artemis & Robin

  • Nicholai

    Good review. I saw these in stores for the first time and while the base is cool Robin just wouldn’t work with DCUC at all. I’m tempted to pick up Artemis though since she could slide into my DCUC collection without as much problem.

  • Soooo, Mattel is continuing waves for a show that’s no longer in production, yet DCU…

    *sigh*

    And I think that stand on Artemis’ diorama is meant for the bow.

    I saw these suddenly show up at Target during my last trip there and got very confused. HUGE packaging for what they are, and the contortions they store the figure inside…man, isn’t THAT a cost, having to pay someone to bend and cram each figure into that shell?

    Yeah, yeah, catering to the crowd that doesn’t open their toys so it’s a dynamic shelf image, blah blah.

    IT’S A KIDS SHOW. IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYED WITH.

    rargh.

    anyway, another great review. thanks. 🙂

    • JamesLynch

      The show is still in production. It’ll return to the airwaves in September, and has a second season scheduled to start next spring.

  • Heli

    I’m pretty sure the way you spell the word for that big stick that Robin uses to whack people is “bo,” not “bow.”

    If you’ve been collecting DCUC all this time, you should know how much Mattel hates to complete a team. Don’t expect YJ to get any better treatment.

  • Fletch3

    Great review! I was really undecided on this line, but your review and the great pics have made up my mind for me. I now cannot wait to find Artemis! Robin, not so much.

    Also, thanks for including some much-needed criticism of Cartoon Network. I once thought that their scheduling foolishness was because of the animation companies, but I’ve seen show after show kicked around and now know where the responsibility lies.

    • JamesLynch

      As much crap as CN deserves, the fault here lies partly with the animation company, as well. The producers released a statement a month or so ago that episode ten is completely done, and that 6 more episodes were “mostly done,” with other episodes in various states of completion (they have voice work recorded through another batch of episodes, scripts turned in through the start of season 2, etc.).

  • Zach S.

    Robin looks weird and creepy. Just bizarre…he looks like Alfred E. Neuman…

    I was never a fan of the Justice League line, but man…those were 1000x better than the Young Justice figures, which look like McDonald’s toys.

  • da man

    I like the head swap and may have to do the same when my Pile O loot ships for BBTS. I really hope we see Miss Martian soon and Superboy in his normal duds. CN need to get it together. Such a great series that vanished after 9 episodes with no update on when the new ones will air.

    Any chance the new DCU number Ones for September affected the show since the designs do not match what will be in comics soon?

    • JamesLynch

      There have been delays at the studio level. A couple months ago, it was announced that episode 10 is complete (and leaked online a while back, actually), 6 more episodes were “almost complete,” the rest of season one’s voice work was done, and that scripts were starting to come in for season 2. New episodes are scheduled to start airing in September.

      Of course, all this info came from one of the show’s producers. It would have been silly of CN to give the viewer’s any kind of updates.

      My guess is the downright gorgeous animation of the show makes the animation process a bit more labor intensive than other shows, and some people involved (at either the network or production levels) were unprepared for that and rushed the show to air before enough episodes had been completed to have an uninterrupted season.

  • dayraven

    dude… methinks you need to look at these pics again… you said there’s no limb warpage, but i can see pretty plainly that artemis’ right arm bows rather distinctly. was that a trick of camera angle, or do you need to fess up that her limbs do in fact have some warpage?

    i will say, the one your showcasing here looks MUCH better than the three at the local TRU sat… they were badly warped in the package from that bizarre pre-pose… i would not consider them buyable even if i wanted the character, as both looked so pulled at the bicep swivel that i have doubts as to the joints continued integrity. robin looked ok, but of course, his limbs are MUCH thicker… and he apparently lacks a neck that might get damaged in package. 🙂

  • JamesLynch

    I wish I had gotten your Artemis. Mine has really gummy hips, and the arms were freakishly warped right out of the box due to how she was posed. Basically, her shoulders were spread 90 degrees from her body (so her arms/torso should have made a perfect “T” shape), but her arms were still curled across her torso to simulate an archery pose. The pegs connecting the shoulders to the biceps were horribly warped, and the arms themselves were basically “C” shaped. Ten minutes of hot water/cold water at least got them into acceptable shape, but it was pretty disappointing.

    Also, I’m pretty sure Artemis reuses at least some parts from the Donna Troy/Mary Marvel body, but I’d have to go compare them to be 100% sure (the fact that my Artemis and Donna both have the same gummy hips further reinforces my belief, but it’s also possible that Mattel just hasn’t learned anything from their experiences with shoddy construction).

    Also also, those are exploding throwing discs that Robin’s packing. I recall them used most prominently during the confrontation with Mr. Twister in the third episode.

  • dayraven

    um… are we sure that’s a bat grapple robin comes with? it sure looks like an emersion blender to me… you’re sure robin’s not making gazpacho?

  • americanhyena

    Bought Robin purely for the base, and even then only because I had extra $5 off coupons from SDCC.

  • Battle Catman

    Man, I HATE the DCUC female hands.

    I may pick up Artemis. Her costume makes her look like an assassin, and I have a 6″ scale katana from an old Inu-Yasha figure/statue lying around, so I could make her a custom ninja girl or something; the angle of her wrists means she could point the sword semi-convincingly.

  • TwoFisted

    Pretty much did the same thing Noisy did. I just got back from my local Target and just picked up Artemis. I had both her and Robin in my hands and just couldnt pick up both….probably will eventually grab Robin too. Glad i passed on them altogether at TRU being that they were almost 6 bucks more than Target. My Artemis’s arm is warped pretty good…but some time in boiling water will teach her!

    Zach S described the 4 inch figures perfectly….they look just like Happy Meal toys! And $9.99 for a glorified Happy Meal toy is too much. Also, from peeking in the packaging on those 4 inch figures….that Hall of Justice looks like a complete ripoff. It looks like its just a thin false front. I wasnt expecting the entire building with interior rooms.,…but at least give us side walls.

    One more thing, looking at the 6″ figures, 4″ singles and 2 packs…anybody know why there is a complete lack of Superboy/Superman stuff? Maybe i just havent seen them

    • JamesLynch

      A 4″ Superboy was the SDCC exclusive for this line, in his white Cadmus outfit. A similarly clothed figure in the 6″ style was shown in prototype form. They’ve also showed off the prototype of the regular, jeans-and-shirt Superboy, as well as a Superman.

      What they haven’t shown is anything related to Ms. Martian. I realize there’s still a “girls don’t sell” mentality, but they how come Artemis was one of the first 6″ figures released, and Mattel has already shown off prototypes of Chesire and Black Canary? Is Ms. Martian herself too “girly” of a character? Is it because she wears a skirt and Artemis wears pants? If that’s the case, why not go with the stealth-suit design, the same way they’re putting Superboy in his white Cadmus suit instead of his standard outfit (which they’re probably doing to save on tooling costs, something a stealth-suit Ma. Martian would accomplish over a normal version, as her stealth suit is 100% skin tight, rather than having added bulk for the boots, gloves, and skirt).

  • Rob Myers

    i bought this about a month ago. i love it. Big Robin fan. My first one had a warped leg and a broken hip socked. I called Mattel anout the issue and they sent me a voucher to replece trhe figure so that was cool. now i have two bases! love the figure, the head could be better but still great. and the base is so cool. they need to make bases like this for all figures, and even have some thet you could but seperatly, and be able to put them all together.