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Young Justice Review:
6″ Artemis & Robin

In the Young Justice cartoon, Robin is disappointingly Dick Grayson (as Flash is disappointingly not Bart). I was just talking to another fan the other day about how the concept of a legacy character is about dead in the comics when I realized it was already dead in a lot of the other media. Being the third Robin is apparently too much baggage for a cartoon, so they went with Dick. The sad larger truth might be that if legacy characters are too complicated for television and film then what purpose might they serve in a comic world that’s been relegated to spring board status? (Exhibit A: Wally West). Anyway, I’m digressing. In the YJ universe, the first round of sidekicks is now and the sidekicks of the 60s are in their youth alongside newer characters.

Unlike Artemis, Robin’s new pieces are easier for me to spot. He features a lot of new show accurate pieces including a new belt, new lower legs and arms, a new (but very similar) torso, a new cape, and that giant noggin’ on top of his neck. The sad reuse award goes to the figure’s arms though. This poor “young teen” buck has been sporting serious guns since day one, but somehow they look even bigger on this figure – it’s freaky! The upside of this buck is that while the scale didn’t work for the original late teens Drake featured in the pics, it does a much better job getting the scale for YJ Robin right as he’s the runt of the group.

Where Artemis’ head helped bridge the gap between YJ & DCUC, Robin’s head only pulls the figure farther away from the group. It just doesn’t blend with the body the same and thus can’t blend in with the mother line the same either. I don’t know if it’s too big in general or just too wide, but it just doesn’t work well for me. I like the figure overall and I can overlook the gun arms the same as I did for Kid Flash & Beast Boy (I’m trained…), but I just don’t like the head sculpt much at all.

Robin was painted well with all the little details being covered top notch from head to toe. The only thing unfortunate about the paint is that head is done in a very glossy paint (it’s molded black underneath) and Robin always looks like he’s sweating. I had a heck of a time limiting the glare from even basic light getting the pics for this review.

Articulation is the same as Artemis: ball-joints at the head & shoulders, swivels at the biceps, wrists, & thighs, single hinges at the elbows, knees, & ankles, an ab crunch, and the ’4H’ hips. All the joints have good range, even the neck despite the cape bunching up in that general area. He’s a fun figure to play with, especially if you get bored and try a head swap.

Robin had much cooler accessories than Artemis. He comes with a bow, a bat-grapple, two batarangs, two flash grenades (concussion grenades? my show memory is fuzzy), and his 3D wrist computer. The 3D computer was a favorite of mine and it came out cool despite the big clip for his arm. Of the other accessories, I enjoyed the bow and the batgrapple most. The two yellow discs (which I’m calling flash grenades until a sharp reader corrects me) and the batarangs aren’t as hand friendly, but he can hold them in various poses.

While Artemis’ base was okay, I really liked Robin’s. It’s not that it’s anything super amazing, but let’s face it – rooftop bases are just cool. They’re a big hangout for the bat-family and everything always looks cool with a gargoyle in the picture. I posed Robin in the corner of the base so you could see the size, but there are three specific peg holes so you can get some cool, deeper poses with Robin on the edge of the building too. They’ll work a little better with your DCUC Robins because they have better ankle range, but YJ Robin does okay with them.

One other thing, unless I’m remembering it wrong – I thought the line managers said the bases could connect at one point, but there are no connectors on these bases. Red Arrow featured a roof top base as well, so you might be able to place that one side by side with this one for display, but it doesn’t appear that they’ll connect outright. I might have just made the idea up outright though. I’ll have to poke around once I’m done writing.

Overall, even though I liked most of what I got, I just find myself not as satisfied with these figures as I usually am with DCUCs. I like the Artemis figure quite a bit, and it was really Robin that tempered some of my enthusiasm. I probably should’ve known to keep passing on him after not picking him up initially, but I thought that the first reluctance was because of the price point. These figures, with their accessories and base are $20 apiece. They’re “deluxe” in that sense, but I think I’d be happier if the line had some other price-points/pack-outs planned besides my just having to pay $20 per “deluxe” figure. I’ve seen collectors come down on both sides of the value of the base in relation to the $20 and DCUCs being $15, so that’s up to each of you – but I do think that I’d be a lot more apt to buy more of the figures single-carded at a lower price point or with different value feature, rather than this just being a “$20 a pop” line to collect.

Looking ahead, I can’t say I foresee being a completist. I have to have Aqualad, but am unsure on Red Arrow (depends on the version, they’ve shown two). I want Kid Flash and I’m tempted by the white jumpsuit Superboy for some reason and may not resist running across him. I’m mildly interested in Guardian & Sportsmaster, but it’s a challenge to be excited with no Miss Martian on the horizon. I know we’ve only seen eight figures in the 6″ line so far, so I can’t complain too much about not seeing all of a six-person team just yet, but a quick scan of the 4″ line also reveals… no Miss Martian. Mattel already made DCUC Collectors wait 15 waves and three years for Martian Manhunter, so maybe Miss Martian isn’t the right character to skip out on in the first year of product? Just sayin’.

For more DC reviews, check out our
DC Universe Classics Collector’s Guide.

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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.