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’.
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