Its about time that a figure from the line that drew me to the Action Figure Insider forums makes my "Best Figure of the Month" list. That’s not to say there hasn’t been some sweet JLU figures the last few months. There has. I still look at figures like Atomic Skull, Deadman, Vibe, Captain Atom and Wonder Pig and grin. But this month not only is the figure cool but so is the way we got it. In my humble opinion, this figure represents a milestone for the adult collector community.
WHAT: Justice League Unlimited – Gotham City Criminals 4 pack | Fan Collection | Mattel
HOW: $9.63 ($30 for 4 pack + $8.55 for shipping = $38.55 total ÷ 4.)
WHY: Any time a Justice League Unlimited figure gets new tooling beyond a new head its a big deal. Here we have a figure with new arms, a new trench coat, a walking stick, and a noose tie! Despite the newly sculpted additions this figure fits in perfectly with our ever growing JLU collection. The figure is definitely on model. But like many of the figures in this line its the subtle details that elevate this guy: the spots on the hands, the ragged ends and little holes in the coat, the posture, the way the hand is sculpted to hold the stick.
The JLU Scarecrow wins "favorite figure of the month" also for the way in which it is procured. I attended the Mattel panel at last summer’s San Diego Comic Con when Matty.com was announced. I had been starting to feel like the action figure winds were finally blowing in the adult collector’s direction. Sure, we were acknowledged by much of the industry but the big guys, especially Mattel, were kinda slow to catch on. I remember thinking as I sat in that panel: "We’ve arrived. Its the year of the collector."
Randy Falk had made a comment at one of the other panes that Toys R Us was turning more collector friendly with their half isle of Mezco, NECA, and McFarlane product. Hasbro seemed to have quietly recognized the adult collectors with things like their 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe line. And here was Mattel announcing an online store where product created especially for the collector community would be available.
This Gotham’s Criminals JLU 4 pack is the first Justice League offering from Matty.com besides the SDCC Giganta exclusive and the figure stands. When you factor in shipping the cost of the figures is relatively high but there’s just something to be said about not having to worry about whether or not you’ll find these on the pegs. And who doesn’t like getting a box of figures in the mail?
Although Scarecrow didn’t actually show up in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon the design for this character wasn’t pulled out of thin air. Scarecrow’s design comes straight from his portrayal in Batman: The Animated Series. The character started out looking like a more traditional scarecrow but the consensus was that he wasn’t really too scary. So Bruce Timm evolved his look. He describes it as "Texas Chainsaw Massacre Leather Face in Western preacher clothes." He adds: "It had nothing to do with being a scarecrow, per se, but it was definitely scary." Jeffrey Combs nailed the character with his voice acting and later went on to assume the mantle of The Question in Justice League Unlimited.
Well, if nothing more, I love adding new characters to my Justice League Unlimited case. That suckers getting pretty full! I’m amazed that its 6 years ago that I bought my first Justice League figure. Who could have predicted the collection that exists today?