Red Arrow’s primary accessory would have to be his base. I have a love/hate relationship with the Young Justice bases. I really don’t need them and I don’t think Mattel is really designing them effectively. There are cool little features I appreciate. Red Arrow’s base features a wanted poster for Sportsmaster that his arrows can be plugged into (similar to Artemis’ base). It also features a loose compatibility with Robin’s base in that the dimensions are the same and they kinda look alright sitting next to one another – but they don’t connect.
Coincidentally, I think that’s the biggest flaw with these bases. Imagine if each figure featured a piece of a giant training room playset or if an upcoming third figure featured a third (cornerless) section of rooftop that could be placed between these two? How cool would that be? There’d still be issues – the bases aren’t designed to snap together and the colors on Red Arrow’s and Robin’s are somewhat compatible, but don’t exactly match. I guess I don’t mind the bases, but I wish the folks at Mattel would be more effective in how they used them. Until then, these bases end up in a box while the figures are on display.
Red Arrow also included his bow and four unique arrows. There are some cool features here as well – the bow could be strung with some fishing line if you’re so inclined and the bow features two clip-on spots for the arrows. That last part is pretty cool, I thought. How many times do we see these guys loading up two or three arrows on their bow? Sure, it’s ridiculous, but it looks damn cool and this figure can pull it off.
Alas, not all is well in accessory land. Remember how I mentioned Red Arrow’s arrows could be plugged into his base just like Artemis’ could be plugged into hers? Here’s the dumb part – they didn’t make the pegs for the different sets of arrows the same size. That’s just stupid. Whether you’re a toy collector or a wee tot, you’re going to want those arrows to be cross-compatible and the Mattel designers not realizing that or not making it happen just blows my mind. Shouldn’t Mattel have the best of the best designing these figures. Shouldn’t they catch obvious little things like that?
Overall, despite a few warts, I actually enjoy having Red Arrow here. Would I have picked it up at Target for $20? Well, I can’t say that I would have. He’s definitely one of the better figures in the line so far. And I appreciate the sculpt and accessories even though the arrows and the base have obvious, overlooked issues.
But the biggest thing for me is that Red Arrow isn’t part of the team. He’s a cool anicillary figure and I’d feel a lot better about picking up figures like Red Arrow and Guardian, or villains like Sportsmaster, if I knew we were going to get a regular Superboy & Miss Martian for sure. Mattel (& DC Comics) have taken a lot of enjoyment out of collecting DC figures of late. And not getting a complete Young Justice team out in the first five waves? That just seems to continue the trend. I’ll never say never when it comes to the prospect of Sportsmaster or Guardian reviews here at IAT, but Mattel’s conventional wisdom (dinosaur business practices?) towards team completion is making this a hard line for me to stay excited about.
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