A JLU 3pack That May Have Almost Killed the Line.
December 20, 2008

To recap, I think there are some very key issues to a successful JLU 3pack.



There is one 3 pack that was too good, and too bad.

Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.


These days, DC refers to them as their "Trinity" (and the comic of that name is a good old school read, but I digress).

To JLU toy fans, this packout was a waste. A 3 pack with nothing new in it. No reason for them to buy it. With no demand from collectors, it seemed to clog the pegs. We could see no good from this, only wasted space that could have been filled with characters that we did want.

For parents, it was too good. Both Superman and Batman in the same package. The rumor is that Walmart requested this packout. Yes it makes sense, from one point of view. But from another point of view, it makes no sense. This pack reduces the amount of purchases mom or grandpa has to make. Instead of buying 2 packages to get Superman and Batman, now they only needed to buy one. This would cut overall sales in half.

These days this 3 pack is a thing of the past. But its still interesting to note how something so good for one group of customers can be so bad for another.

Erik "Superfriend" Skov
"Gathered together from the four corners of the universe." Oh, wait, that's the show, not me. Erik "SuperFriend" Skov never actually got to appear on the show, although he did watch it every week. Erik spent 6 years working for Hasbro in Pawtucket, RI before leaving for a job that paid more (Why else would a collector leave the company that was making Star Wars, Transformers, and while I was there Batman). I used to post all over the net. These days I tend to hang my hat at AFI.
Read other articles by Erik "Superfriend" Skov.





  • MisterPL says:

    I’m not sure these were a complete waste to all collectors. Those who jumped on the line early on didn’t have figures with the additional articulation Superman and Batman sport, nor did Wonder Woman have her cape. While plenty of collectors might have already bought the upgrades by the time this set was offered, it was still a good opportunity for those who didn’t to catch up.

    When you’ve got assortments that only feature weird variants of the Big Three, a set like this is necessary for newbies just jumping on the bandwagon. A set like this might have helped sales of DC Minimates when collectors who weren’t into block figures finally caved after DC Direct released figures like Ambush Bug and Ma Hunkel.

    What’s interesting to me is that WB Consumer Products said from the beginning that they would not allow Superman and Batman product to be sold together under the JL umbrella. They didn’t want this property to turn into a Batman- or Superman-centric license, but based on the case packs I saw and this 3-pack in particular, Mattel obviously found a way around that mandate.

    But if you want to talk about ways Mattel killed this line (or at the very least diminished interest in it), you’d be better off mentioning the lack of sculpted detail, scale issues, unavailability of high-demand characters, and the fact that most of the figures simply couldn’t stand on their own two feet.

    I’d sooner praise Mattel for keeping DC’s most popular characters available at any time than damn them. Too many companies retire figures, leaving folks to the secondary market to find key characters. Collecting should be fun, not frustrating, and consumers should be able to pick up these heroes in their most iconic costumes any day of the week.

  • Jonathan says:

    To take a note, I see alot of JLU Capt ATOM 3 packs and the Question 3 packs warming pegs for just as long. Is it killing the line…no, but its not helping when you hear a mom say ” I dont even know who these guys are?”. There is barely anything on the back of the packaging other than a small quip and a oddly framed pic of the charater the quip is talking about. What happened to the check list on the back with the other 3 packs being sold so you could see what characters you want to look for next? This line is suppose to be the next version of the SP line yet it seems DCUH is taking that spot over. Odd case packouts and exclusives are making this once collector-friendly line seem more like a war of the titans of who can find what and then re-sell it on ebay. I see alot of KILOWOGS at Target, guess thats one character I will never understand why they made so many, why not more SINESTRO CORPs, you know folks are looking for them to make customs. Im glad Target is supporting the line, now all that seems to be missing is just a better case packouts and better distribution. This line should be collector based because that is what is driving it. People love to collect things in general, this line is standing proof-pun intende, and just like the out of scale figures and the lack of the ability to stand on thier own, this figure line needs to be led as it was intended. To not only explore the DCAU of JLU/BTAS/BB/STAS but other characters of the DCU as well, perhaps even Vertigo… something to think about to be sure.

  • OddJob says:

    NO more regular Superman or Batman in ANY JLU packouts. If they have to include Superman and Batman in anything, they HAVE to be repaints.

    Everyone, every kid, every kid that will ever collect this line has or has had plenty of opportunity to get these two characters. They need to stick to redecoing them. Bottom line.

  • lobsterfish says:

    I disagree. The trinity packs were pure magic. The Target Exclusive line that will kill it at retail. There is an army of Question and Captain Atom 3pks that aren’t going anywhere this season. Parents who would normally pick up a trinity pack as a holiday gift will look at these guys and say who the f*ck are these clowns? Then, they’d possibly spend $16.99 on a 3pk b/c they recognize Superman but then debate whether or not their kid would like it b/c he comes with two random chicks. Then who wins? You can’t buy anything from the Marvel pegs b/c there’s just 75 Hulk variants that are mostly retarded absorbing man or son of hulk’s cousin. As a parent, I’m glad I have an extra 13 Superman and Batman figures in case my kid ever wants to crack open my Bertby’s and handle ’em. Tsk tsk, the trinity pack was pure gold!!! Happy holidays.

  • jzachery says:

    I also think the trinity pack was a bad idea.
    I don’t see Capt. Atom 3 packs clogging the pegs, I see them selling, then restocking. The trinity set was difficult because they were released at the same time as other 3 packs that had the trinity in them as well, that’s what made it really difficult.
    I do think that the line would sell even better if they did do repaints and redecos of the big 3… Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, kids, they don’t really care which version of the big 3 they get, but they will always recognize Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman… So I say, to bring in the dollars, if you are going to re-release the big 3 over and over, have ones like, Earth 2 Superman, Kingdom Come Superman, Golden Age Wonder Woman, Artemis Wonder Woman, Batman in Black, Batman as Azrael, etc…
    But I was collecting when the big 3 trinity pack was released, and it was AWEFUL. They were everywhere and made Kilowog seem like he flies off the shelf. They sat FOREVER. It was the biggest mistake ever.

  • MegaGearX says:

    This line is for the collectors now, not Joe Average. That’s why we have alot more new characters coming, even villains.

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