Truetorial: DCUC Legion –
The Buck Stops Here

Upfront, I should say this is an article about scale more than it is about wanting the Legion. I want the Legion, but I also think they’re already somewhere in Mattel’s game plan. So this article is going to jump ahead to how to do the Legion. Specifically, how tall to make them. My concern is born out of figures like Beast Boy, OYL Robin, and the Wonder Twins. Mattel’s few forays into teenaged characters has been troubled at best.

Now, I know that scale can be a sensitive subject among toy collectors. Some of us don’t seem to mind at all while others can be downright unwilling to buy a figure that is out-of-scale with the others. For the most part, I don’t mind DC Classics handful of scale issues so far.

I don’t mind that most of the figures are the same height. I don’t mind the figures that are near misses. I even don’t mind that some of the C&Cs are severely under-scaled (though a 2ft tall Chemo would have been sweet). Basically, I can live with a scale issue here and there, but with the teenage figures, it’s starting to become a problem. And if the Legion is on the way? Then a whole subset of DC Classics could end up woefully undersized. But there’s hope for a slightly bigger Legion of Super-Heroes and the solution comes from one of the line’s scale mistakes…

First, the small buck is not without merit. It’s more that it hasn’t been used in the best instances. It works great for Kid Flash as he appeared in the original Teen Titans, but most fans would probably prefer him at the NTT height. The small buck would work great for a young Dick Grayson or Damian Wayne, but not for the OYL Tim Drake where we first saw it used. It would have worked for a first appearance Beast Boy, but he came in his adult costume instead. It would even be great for the early days of Young Justice (except Superboy). So far, the body seems to have been misused and I think it the same could happen to the Legion of Super-Heroes figures.

I’ve thought a lot about which Legion Mattel should produce. I imagine it’s not easy for them to decide. Even I have different wants from different eras. I’ve always liked Phantom Girl’s original costume. Starman looked best in his 80s adult costume. Saturn Girl’s best one was from the late seventies. Wildfire’s armor got cooler over time. Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy looked sharpest Post Zero-Hour. Even the three-boot Legion had some nice redesigns. I don’t know which one they’ll pick, but I imagine the original version of the team is the most likely. That means Mattel needs to use a buck that will match the height of those original teenagers.

It’s difficult to find a canonical height for the original Legion though. By the time that Who’s Who comics were in vogue, they’d grown up. Since the Post-Zero Hour secret files list most of the Legion members in the 5’ 5” to 5’ 11” range, it’s a safe bet the classic Legion characters were also in the the mid-to-upper five foot range. How tall should the figures be then? Well, some simple math can tell us.

In DC Classics terms, let’s take Batman as the standard bearer. He is 6.25” tall and usually listed as being 6’ 2” in the comics. This establishes a rough DCUC scale of where one foot in the comics is equivalent to one inch in the toy line. So Legion figures should be between 5.5″-5.75″ tall. The buck Mattel has been using for teens is 5.25″. Now, with the small buck only being a quarter inch off, I start to feel like maybe I’m being too picky. But that’s because scale isn’t just about exact measurements, it’s also about how it looks on the shelf.

That buck, when placed next to an adult figure, looks equivalent to a 12yr old boy to me. Look at the picture above and imagine the Legion of Super-Heroes standing there with Batman. Would they look like mid-teens or pre-teens? You might disagree, but I say pre-teens. And I say that’s not good enough.

The good news is that Mattel doesn’t need to make a new male buck for the Legion. They’ve already got one in the form of Sinestro. His buck clocks in at 5.75″ – and that’s with his taller head sculpt. With shortened heads, the male Legion members should be perfect. Mattel will still have to design a complimentary female body in the 5.5″ range, but they would have had to make one for the smaller size anyway. Here’s Sinestro with Batman:

The only drawback to Sinestro is that we haven’t seen that buck used again and I have to wonder why. If it’s still available, I say that’s the one we should try and convince Mattel to use. If it’s not, then Mattel should duplicate it for the teenaged figures going forward. The Legion will be better for it. The New Teen Titans will be better for it. Blue Beetle III and the modern Superboy need it too. More bucks can only make the line better.

How do you feel about it? Do you want to see the Legion in DC Classics and if so, how big do you want them? The size of Sinestro? The size of Robin? Or a new size altogether? Let us know what you think in the comments section below. If the support is there, we’ll press this issue into one of our upcoming Q&A’s.

59 thoughts on “Truetorial: DCUC Legion –
The Buck Stops Here

  1. I don’t care which body really, I just want the Legion.

    Maybe a combination of both would be good?

    1. If they want to use the smaller body for a handful of younger Legionnaires… Maybe.

      The only use for that buck to me is Damian and Impulse. Maybe the other 60s Titans if it means I get a FA Wonder Girl.

  2. It has to be the classic costumes though I wouldn’t mind the older fare.

    I’ve already resigned myself to getting the Legion of Elementary Schoolers.

  3. I’d love, love, love some Legion. The DCDs already covered classic though. I’m for Great Darkness Saga era.

  4. If they have to do the Legion (Mind you, I literally could not care less about the Legion) I think the Sinestro buck size is the way to go. The other buck is just too small. A figure that small with muscles that defined looks ridiculous. It’s like a 12 year old power lifter.

    Also, you guys are just obsessed with J. Todd now, aren’t you?

      1. If they ever did a J Todd (I like the hip-hop spelling of his name better) then everyone would just think it’s Dick like in the comics.

        In fact, the entire figure would be the same as a Dick figure, with just a different name.

        No new sculpt, no new paint. It’s a GOLDMINE! DO IT MATTEL!

        1. You can’t change his name! You’ll just further lose him to 1983. I wonder if there are any red hair appearances…

          We need some backissues.

          1. How about a red hair variant?

            I don’t think anyone else has any idea what we’re talking about, by the way.

              1. I don’t think anyone else would have spent the time you guys did researching off hand comments in a Grant Morrison book. The rest of us just wrote it off as another example of his insanity.

                  1. I don’t know if Mr. Rant would approve of you reading Paul Levitz written books…

                    Speaking of things you’re compelled to do, I’m starting to wonder how thin we can get these text boxes if we just keep replying to each other.

  5. I want them all. The original adventure in the small bucks. The Darkness Saga in regular bucks. And the reboot and 3boot in the middle buck!

  6. The Sinestro buck would be the way to go and Grell & Giffen designs of the 80s (Yes, The Great Darkness) would the costumes of choice. That said PGs buck for Dream Girl and Hawkgirls wings for Dawnstar would be solid re-uses and a valid point for using the standard bucks. Bouncing Boy could be a standard buck with a fat suit made of Clayface arm rubber, he might even bounce.

    Realy it comes down to who gets made. Do you grab BB, Lite Lass, T-Wolf and Dream girl before getting to subs like Polar Boy and Night Girl? Do the Heros of Lalor rate figures? C&C = Colossal Boy, Valdius, Computo, Mordru.

    Of course I will be buying two of every LSH figure and would pay up front, sight unseen for them so I might be a bit biased.

    1. I would love to get all those C&Cs.

      A DC Classics Fatal Five. That’s a team I want complete.

        1. Cool. They’ve always been a little daunting to me. I love that they have so much backstory pre- crisis, but I’ve never tried to conquer it.

          I really enjoyed the Abnett / Lanning Legion Lost stuff, but was disappointed to see it get the 3-boot.

  7. Another question Which do you make first Invisible Kid Lyle Norg or Invisible KidII Jacques Foccart? Do you make Triplicate Girl or Duo Damsel? (I can already see the return of the Palisades Three-paint)

    1. Good point. Personally, I’d like to see all of those. I really think the Legion figures being the 50/50 variants is the way to go.

  8. I’m obviously on board with this idea. The Legion and other DC teenagers need to be somewhere in the middle of the size scale. Sinestro’s body makes the most sense for the majority of the males. There does need to be a matching female body, which could be Raven? We’ll have to wait and see.

    I’m a big fan of the 90’s Legion, whichever incarnation that is considered. I don’t want my Legion to have bellbottoms and Cosmic Boy needs to have a full shirt on. I don’t want Brainiac 5 to have a ponytail. I do want Lightning Lad to have a variant with a mechanical arm.

    There’s really so many versions, it makes me wonder if each Legion figure will be the 50/50 variant in the wave. Here’s a crazy thought. They could even do an entire Legion wave where every figure has a variant and the C&C’s would build you Giant Lad and Colossal Boy. Wouldn’t that drive collectors crazy.

    1. I do love those Davis covers but the reboot Legion seems like a blip anymore.

      The Cockrum era stuff is starting to sway me. It’s 1983, Vault, a hidden treasure trove of comics…

  9. I think I might have done a disservice by putting Zan in there with PE Bats. I’ve seen some folks want the Zan body used for the teens, but Zan is a normal buck. He’s too big for a teen.

  10. I still don’t understand what the hate is about with the Wave 3 Robin…he looks like the shrimpy kid from the Batman cartoons, he’s the right size, what’s the problem?

    1. He’s not the right size with that costume though. That’s the One Year Later Tim Drake when he’s 18 or 19. They may have toonspiration, but it’s a comic line and in the comics he didn’t wear it until he was taller.

      1. Oh, fair enough. I just looked at it as an updated/modernized toon character, I have a hard time believing Mattel/4H decided to make OYL Robin and then shrink him down to piss everyone off, lol. I think it was their intent to make the cartoon character, but I haven’t read any confirmation anywhere, for or against.


        1. It’s weird because I never thought about it from your perspective. In terms of BTAS, he’s almost spot on. You might be right.

          I still hate it though! 😀

      1. Exactly’D 8)

        I think the cheapest way to make the body look better is the shave down the biceps. Better if the muscle all over wasn’t so defined.

  11. Scale is vitally important. Good reasoning on your part in the article above. I’m with you. The Sinestro buck could be good for many of the Legion figures.
    I hope DCUC decision makers read and consider your suggestions.

    I like the Robin buck… especially because I’d like to see a Dick Grayson Robin with it… and first appearance Teen Titans….and, a Sandy, The Golden Boy figure that buck-size. (To go with a Purple and Yellow SANDMAN.)… But certainly, it’s too small for the Legion figures.

    [I wonder what the “theme” next year will be. The Legion?? Seems like it.
    I hope it’s the All-Star Golden Age Justice Society of America… but it will probably be the Legion.!!]

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