JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTION (MATTEL)
As toys have become more of a collectors game, and toy companies have begun to cater to said collectors, there’s been one major issue plaguing our favorite brands: how do you keep mainstay characters affordable and easily available to younger audiences who haven’t quite latched onto that collector’s game? The answer? Evergreen lines. These are lines with figures that don’t follow the same sort of assortment break-down of collector lines, and aim to keep the big names on the shelves, while also producing a cost effective line. There are a handful of different levels to these sorts of lines, and furthest down the list are the very basic figures that serve as fodder for the shelves at drugstores and places like Dollar General or Family Dollar. Figures that are cheap, plentiful, and can stand up to some play. I’m looking at one such figure today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Batman is part of Mattel’s budget Justice League line, which features all of the iconagraphy of Justice League Action, but sports figures that are otherwise unrelated. This specific Batman variant was also offered a few years ago under a purely Batman branding, but saw release, as is the intended purpose of the line. The figure is about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has four points of articulation. He moves at the neck, shoulders, and waist; no hip movement for him, although some of the line’s more recent offerings have added that. Structurally, this figure feels quite similar to the Ultra Hero Series and offerings like it, which I can certainly dig. His sculpt is a fairly clean, rather basic affair. All of the important details are there, but it doesn’t really move beyond them. His cape is a cloth piece, slotted into his back a little clumsily, but it’s sturdy and won’t be going anywhere. As far as paint, he’s pretty basic. The color scheme is slightly non-standard, being mostly black with a yellow emblem and belt. It’s not a bad look, though, and the paint for the logo and face is pretty decent. He’s got no accessories, which isn’t much of a surprise given the usual price point on these things.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got this guy in a big box of presents from my in-laws. He clearly wasn’t meant to be the star attraction or anything, just something small that they presumably picked up for me while somewhere else. I can’t say he’s the sort of figure I’d buy for myself, but as a gift, he’s kind of nifty in his own way. And, of course, now I’m looking at what else has been done in this style, because I have a serious problem.