DC Classics.Com Young Justice
Sportsmaster Review (19 Pics)

I’ve gotta be careful what I say about Young Justice. I sometimes get in the mindset that I want to stop collecting the 6” line, but I hesitate to say it aloud because, seemingly inevitably, a new Young Justice Review keeps popping up here at IAT. This time, it’s Sportsmaster’s turn.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the Young Justice line when I think about dropping it from my collection. The line has its warts, but I enjoy buying DC figures and this particular brand is relatively compatible with the Classics line. There is the price, $20, which deters me in theory, but not in practice. There’s the worry that Mattel will pull up their stakes before they finish the main roster, robbing me of a much coveted DCUC-Compatible Miss Martian. That one bothers me the most and I’d like to think it will deter me from buying the upcoming Batman, but he might just end up being cool like Sportsmaster here.

I had every intention of not buying this figure. My DCUC collection is so full of holes (and in some cases that will forever be the case) that I’m well over feeling like I need to keep buying to keep the line going. So figures like Sportsmaster aren’t really on my “must have” list. Granted, Mattel has failed to get to Sportsmaster in the DC Superheroes/Classics/All-Star line proper, but the show design is a pretty radical departure from his traditional look.

Anyway, my half-thought out premise as to why’d I skip him went out the window when I saw him at Target. The irony is what motivated me to buy him. It was something that I’ve maligned in almost every other Young Justice review: the base.

It’s modular. I couldn’t resist that. Unlock the other one-piece bases, Sportsmaster’s consists of four individual plates that snap together. More importantly, they can snap together in various configurations. Each plate has three open slots and one connector which allow various setups: a large square, a long strip, an L-shape, T-shape, or an S-shape (think Tetris).

Each plate is also unique, one has a foot peg, one holds the weapons rack, and the other two have a spot to plug in the target or the wooden dummy, both of which also pop on and off easily on mine so they can be swapped into different positions.

I feel like I’m magnifying a minor selling point here (after all the packaging could only be bother to point out “extremely posable” the figure is), but I loved this aspect. I would’ve liked to see the connectors as separate pieces to allow for even more customization, but I don’t really want to nitpick what is a massive improvement Mattel has made here. Imagine if Artemis has an open slot to connect Sportsmaster’s base? Thankfully, they’re like Robin & Red Arrow’s and can sit next to one another, but we still need more connectors on upcoming figures. And for the first time, I’m hopeful we may get it. This is one of those times I want to send a bright signal to Mattel, “more like this, please”. Heck, if nothing else Mattel should at least put the notches for Sportsmaster’s connectors onto new bases. It will save the money. They love that.

Anyway, after all that I’m happy to report that I ended up liking the figure too. While my first reaction was the standard “this isn’t the classic design”, it has since occurred to me that I don’t really care. If I recall correctly, his classic attire was green pants, a quilted purple jacket and a loose cloth mask. While there are assuredly hardcore Sportsmaster fans that want him in his classic look, I’ve discovered that I’m not really one of them.

If you’re not familiar with the classic comic character, it’s pretty simple. He’s a former athlete turned villain with a sport-themed gimmick. He hails from the late 40s and primarily fought Green Lantern Alan Scott, Wildcat, and the JSA as part of the Injustice Society. The version represented in Young Justice differs more than just looks though. The YJ version is more of a mercenary, his sport gimmick downplayed with body armor and more of a focus on martial arts rather than creative uses of soccer balls and bowling pins.

My primary interest in Sportsmaster comes from a classic Strange Sports Stories where the DC Heroes and Villains played against one another in a baseball game to determine if his wife, the Huntress (no, not that one) would turn over a new leaf and become a hero. It was a great read when I was a wee tot and it’s one that I like to revisit when I think about it (I’m still waiting on that Uncle Sam figure to Ump). Anyway, Sportsmaster wore a baseball outfit for that entire story. He’s also been seen in a variety of costumes for different sports too, so I think I’m good with this as my 6” Sportsmaster. And, should by some miracle, Mattel make the Classic version, then I’m going to keep this one out anyway. Maybe it’ll be the original’s grandson, a Legacy villain of some sort. I like the figure that much. Continue to Page 2…

48 thoughts on “DC Classics.Com Young Justice
Sportsmaster Review (19 Pics)

  1. Fantastic pictures! You’re making me want to pick this one up just for the base…but then I’d have to get Artemis and Aqualad…this is too expensive for 7 in the morning

    1. Nope, you’re not the only one. The first thing I thought when I saw the figure was how similar the design is to TMNT’s resident sports-themed ally.

      1. What do you mean, “fodder?” Recolor the hair and he pretty much is Casey. Maybe find him a hockey stick and a golf bag to throw over his shoulder, but that’s about all the work you’d have to do.

          1. A few years back, McDonald’s had mini goalie sticks… Might have been only here in the Great White North, however. They were ok, but the best thing to come out of it was this commercial:

    2. LOL Nope. I actually wished I had time to pick up a 1/12th golf bag and clubs. I tore up my cellar looking for the bowling pins and soccer ball…

  2. Now, see… I’ve been looking at that same bowling set talking myself out of getting it each time. Now I have a reason… Thanks, Noisy… oy…

  3. I must admit, I’ve been enjoying this line. The bases sure add a bit of fun play, and make for nice mini-dioramas as well. I was wondering if you’d be picking up and reviewing Sportsmaster, after I saw how much newly-sculpted pieces he uses. I think, small head aside, he turned out rather nice. Mabye not the perfect display piece, but a very fun toy.

    Now, if they’ll just give us word that Ms. Martian is coming, I’ll be a very happy collector. Would also have been sweet if they’d have packed in alternate heads in a more comic-accurate style. If they can do it for motuc and the occasional dcuc fig (hawkman, glc army-builders), they certainly could do it here as well.

    1. He definitely turned out to be a nice figure. If his head had just been bigger, he’d be that much better.

      And, yeah, if they’d just greenlight Miss Martian. I know that completing a team is such a horror to Mattel, but look at Sportsmaster here – he was compelling enough to buy on his own. They keep that up and they’ll be fine. I’m even looking forward to Guardian now.

    2. And yes! Alternate heads to make the figures completely DCUC-compatible? That makes too much sense for Mattel, it’d be a “branding issue” instead of a “maximize your sales” issue…

  4. I lost out on a loose figure on ebay and wasn’t that upset. Now that I see his base/accessories, I’m GLAD I lost that because the base really is a great selling point, isn’t it? I don’t think I bothered really looking at the other bases in this line, yet.

    Too bad I’ll probably never see it here, being stuck with four Artemis’ at the local Tqarget. Time to scour the net for a somewhat retail price…. :/

    The only complaint about this review is you mention his previous looks, including how this figure differs from his “classic” look (a “Grifter” style, mask, right?), but there are no pictures included to reference. You might want to think about that the next time we get a “new version” of a classic figure, like Boomerbutt, there, so we can see where the style has changed over the years. Just a thought.

    Also: totally jealous you have a Perez “nekkid” Cheetah! 😉

    1. just catching up on the Matty Q&A and someone brought up the Challengers of the Unknown. Sportsmaster is wearing basically the same pants as the Challs. Could this possibly lead to the suggested one figure + four heads CotU set as suggested? I’m sure someone else has the proper arms to pull this off, so only thing we need is four new heads.

    2. I can’t say for sure they’ll get it, but shop.mattel.com, a website run by Mattel that somehow actually works, does have Red Arrow when he’s super-scarce at retail. So, here’s hoping they also get Sportsmaster at some point (and nay subsequent figures, since I don’t see the backlog of Robins and Artemis’ vacating retail shelves any time soon. It doesn’t help that some Target stores and many Walmarts don’t carry these figures at all).

      1. I’ve only got one out-of-town, but nearby Walmart and then our Target that carries these. The Target has been pretty good, but the WM is sitting on the original case. I got Red Arrow off of the Matty Shop. I ordered it the same day as a Matty order and it got here a week faster.

    3. Once Artemis clears out, these sets seem to sell much better. I kept wanting to make a comment about their track record, but Aqaulad, Red Arrow, and even these sets are moving pretty well (Superboy’s sold through twice at my Target…).

      Good call on the classic look, he was the kinda guy that would change his costumes, but he did generally go back to the Grifter mask and quilted jacket.

      And, yes, nekkid Cheetah… I got lucky on that one!

  5. Great review with even greater captions! Why do these toys have to have CHINA written on then so huge? I really hope we get Superboy(jean and t-shirt) and Miss Martian soon. I think they could easily make them as 2 pack if they thing MM will not sell well on her own. I have this one sitting in by pile of loot at BBTS. I hope Toy Fair gives us some very good reveals for YJ…

    1. I know! I forgot to make a joke about the China stamp, a caption I had planned for the throwing stars pic. Not sure what regulation Mattel is insistent on following there. My favorite is when it’s printed on the front of the Lantern accessories.

      They invested in Artemis right off the bat, but then she’s been the worst seller comparatively, so I hope that doesn’t bode poorly for Miss Martian. I hear the 4″ figure of her turned out really nicely. Hopefully the 6″ will be in the white/blue outfit though and not black.

  6. I’d love to know where the bowling pins, bowling ball and wooden baseball bat came from! Could you tell me where you go them?

    1. The baseball bat is a McFarlane Sportspick bat, I forgot which figure it came from. If you pick the figures right, that line is really great for sports themed accessories.

      The bowling set is at Walmart, sold as “finger bowling”. I found it in the toy aisles, in a sort of “dollar store” toys 4ft section.

  7. I believe the proper response to the ‘Boomerang’ pic is “Oh SNAP!”, yes? 🙂

    I feel sorry for the YJ collectors, I do. Miss Martian in the 6″ size ain’t a’ginna happen, and you all know it. It would be nice if she was made, she’s fun in the couple of episodes I’ve watched, but it’s just not going to happen. Why? IT’S MATTEL. She’s a KEY CHARACTER in the show, highlighted in a number of episodes, the writers seem to like her but she’s a GIRL, and ‘everybody’ knows that boys ‘never ever’ want to play with a girl action figure.

    Bull f’in crap. We all know better. Kids want to re-enact what they see in the cartoons as well as create new adventures. THIS IS NORMAL COMMON PLAY PATTERNS, so if the cartoon uses Miss Martian in a significant number of adventures, kids, boys would do the same.

    And note I’m not even touching the truth that the 6″ line is most likely not even touched by kids to play with, I mean, $20? for ONE figure? Not many parents going along with that I wager.

    rargh. *ahem*

    anyway, sounds like Mattel did everything just about right with this. Bravo. And the pics are as usual wonderful, Noisy! Now, about that LSH review… *HINT HINT* 🙂

    1. Yes.

      The fact that they jumped in with Artemis is actually the biggest hope for getting Miss Martian. The flipside is that Artemis hasn’t sold well (she really didn’t need to be packed in equal quantities with Robin, duh).

      And, yes, the Legion… soon. Promise.

  8. Base looks GREAT but the figure looks like CRAP! Bought two of the Robin figures recently for the bases and sold the figures off on E-Bay. It’s a sad day when the bases are cooler than the actual figures they come with.

    1. Other than the head, what else do you not like about the fig?

      The Robin base was okay. I would be much happier with the bases if someone came with a long roof top with no sides that could sit between Red Arrow & Robin’s. Batman’s coming with a roof, but it’s gonna be a fourth corner.

  9. This guy looks great! I’d really love to see a comparison shot next to NECA’s TMNT… I kind of doubt they’d blend well, but just to quell my curiosity.

    I too would love to know where the bowling set came from!

    1. Check your local dollar stores for the bowling set. I’ve seen them at some Handy Marts as well.

  10. That’s something I’ve often wondered–who REALLY buys the female figures?

    Let’s use ThunderCats as an example. In the new 6″ wave, we have Lion-O, Mumm-Ra, and Cheetara. Everywhere I go, I only see the guys; Cheetara is always the first to go. So I wonder, who was the most likely type of person who bought her? I have a few suspects:

    A. A young boy or girl who likes the show, likes Cheetara, and wants a cool toy.

    B. An older fan who likes the show, likes Cheetara, and wants a cool toy.

    C. A scalper who knows female characters in a male-dominated toyline are produced in lower numbers and resell for more, so they buy up all the stock, go home, and put them on eBay.

    I remember reading ToyFare magazine and they would always hype up on new female Marvel Legends or Star Wars. And like clockwork, those girls would occupy the top spots in their “hottest toys of the month” and be listed for big money in their price guides. But was it kids buying those Slave Leias, or was it collectors?

    It’s a different collecting environment now. Back when I was a kid and Power Rangers were new, you’d go to the store and the only ones on the pegs were Pink and Yellow; nowadays those two are the first to go.

    So maybe there is some validity in the “girls don’t sell” mindset. You can say “kids want all the characters,” but maybe the companies know a vast majority of the Cheetaras, Scarletts, Black Widows, Arcees, Wonder Women aren’t being bought by kids, but adult male collectors.

    1. well, call me cynical, I’m going with ‘C’ on your multi-choice. I have seen old knowledge (or call it ‘action line’ if you will) stick and stick in various hobbies and fandoms.

      At a recent toy show, more a flea market kind of thing, there was one sad person with a bunch of ‘ape face Leia’ figures from that bizarro ’95 Star Wars relaunch, with $50 tags on them. Because, you know, RARE COLLECTIBLE, right?

      I don’t think you can GIVE that figure away. Heck, even I have a couple of them boxed up in storage as I made a rough pass at picking up the whole line (for no sane reason! they were HORRID figures!!) back when it was new. Ah, having money was fun. 🙂

      Point I’m trying to make is, this wasn’t a jaded neckbeard like most of us, this was a guy in his late 20s who likely was reading Wizard and Toyfare (remember magazines?) and thought he had a gold mine in his closet. Or he grabbed them from his dad.

      So I expect there are still scalpers out there grabbing up every female figure that they see, just because.

      1. No kidding. At damn near every comic shop I go to they have dozens of female figures from 90’s toylines that never sell even at $10 (and to think people once thought they could pay for their kids’ college on these things). They aren’t any good–only five points of articulation and poor sculpts–but people horded them back then because “OMG PLASTIC BOOBS.”

        Man, the 90’s sucked.

        1. you shut your mouth… the 90’s gave us the first TB line, the most in depth marvel line we’ve yet received.. it also gave us mcf toys, that officially flipped the script on the industry. how do you beat that?

          1. Well, how about that MFC Toys made ‘inaction figures’ acceptable, and the ‘leave it in the package’ mentality, the concept that deco is all and don’t worry if it falls apart and above all, high price, have their echos and reverberations unto this day?

            1. mcf was not without their faults too, but recall, while they pioneered the staction, they pioneered super articulated too… some of those figs were friggin insane, better even than their contemporary import lines that were 4 or 5 times the cost. so yeah, you take the good, you take the bad… you take them all, and there you have… the facts of life. the facts of life… 🙂

            2. I wasn’t implying that NOTHING good came out of the 90’s, dayraven, I was talking about that crazy-ass collector mentality–similar to what happened to comic books in the 90’s–that birthed useless variants, exclusives, and hoarding.

              Remember when Toy Biz released a Laura Croft figure? People were tripping over themselves trying to find it and when they did, they turned around and tried to sell it for $100.

              But the actual figure itself? It was utter crap. Seriously, go look it up. But NO ONE CARED. All they preoccupied themselves with was “rare”, “female”, “resell value.”

              1. i know, just saying… while there was stupidity, there was some genius too, that’s all.

                the variant thing was insane in the 90s, that’s very true. it was really out of hand, both in toys and in comics.

        2. It doesn’t help to think that some of the prices you’re seeing now are, in fact, inflated over what toys cost in the nineties. I mean, ten bucks for some figures is triple their original retail price.

          How times have changed…

      2. I buy plenty of female figures, and I’m pretty much the anti-scalper (I have quite a few things sitting around that I don’t want anymore that I’m too lazy to throw on eBay). I noted this back in Decemeber when one entire TRU purchase consisted of a MU Spider-Woman, a TF Prime Arcee, and a Gears of War Anya Stroud. And Cheetara’s the only Thundercats figure I have in two scales.

  11. This is the first YJ figure I’ve wanted for the figure (I bought the Robin for the base) if only because the hockey mask should hide his animated nature and fit in better with standard DCUC.

  12. What’s bugging me a little about this line is how it seems that more tooling dollars are being given to the wrong figures. We’re being given a smooth Kid Flash rather than an awesome body-armed version, and a containment suit Superboy rather than his standard look, because or cost issues, but they can come up with an almost entirely new body for friggin’ Sportsmaster? The figure does look pretty sweet, but at the end of the day, it’s still a figure of Sportsmaster. If that Guardian figure gets made, he’ll also have more new tooling than any of the YJ team members, and Batman gets a noticeable number of new parts. Red Arrow even looks better than most of the other figures, and he’s not officially part of the team, either.

    It just seems weird that the figures getting the most love from Mattel in a Young Justice toyline are pretty much everybody who’s not a member of the team (and still no word on Miss Martian).

    1. OTOH, the justification, such as it is, would likely be “but it’s a currently running show on TV! And it’s going to get even MORE exposure when that DC cartoon block starts running! So that’s IMPORTANT! CARTOON! EYEBALLS! TV!!”

      So, they’ll throw a few more scraps into Development for the line.

      But they won’t use anything they generate for any OTHER line because, well, I guess each toy line is its own little fiefdom and NO NO NO you CAN NOT use a He-Man buck (or parts of) for DC Heroes that’s INSANE and don’t even THINK of using DC bucks with MOTUC MADNESS!

      Just look how much development got spent on that not-very-good Green Lantern movie. LOTS of new tooling with no reuse potential. I bet that’s money out of the pockets of all the other lines.

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