Well, I really hope this is the last time I’ll have to revisit this blog. SDCC 2009 has come and gone, and while some solid figures were revealed to be coming from Justice League Unlimited…I’m left wanting. I actually had a different opening statement here, but I read a quote from someone over at Fwoosh (talking about Marvel Legends) that pretty much sums up what’s happening here with JLU : "So many times that’s been done with lines, they say because there is ‘time’ to get the more wanted characters out….then the line gets canceled." JLU is on the other side of the hill, sloping downward. If they want the line to continue to a point where they can make lesser-demanded characters, then include things that will sell a LOT instead of a little. In a way, JLU is the Marvel Legends equivalent. If they want the line to be collector-driven, then why not make the figures the collectors want? I thought it was starting with Amanda Waller, General Eiling, and such…but with the Eclipso 6-pack as an example it seems like the same old thing. I’m really not sure where I stand with the whole showing. Yes, the Thanagarian Invasion pack is an inspired choice and the figures look awesome. But…but…well, let’s just say that the following 15 figures should have been made FIRST. Do the Thanagarian episode pack when it’s the last year of the license. Oh, wait, that might be true! Anyway, on to the list of "coulda-shouldas" for JLU…
#1 – Toyman
Now at the top of the list, my prior reasoning for this character still holds up strong. From his roots in STAS to the final episodes of JLU, Toyman has had the most DCAU screen time of any villain except for the Joker and Lex Luthor. That alone should justify this spot in my top ten, but the fact that a major arc of shows centered around the act of him supposedly killing Superman should cement his production as a most-wanted figure. Don’t spend new tooling on Robotman, as cool as he is. Spend it where it’s *most* wanted.
#2 – Vandal Savage
This is someone I expected to see at SDCC, and was disappointed when I didn’t. Again, prior reasoning wins the argument : if a villain is of enough stature to warrant not one, but TWO multiple-episode arcs, then he should be made over someone like OMAC. Also, given the basic nature of his character design, he would also be a very easy figure to produce, with not much new tooling needed. A no-brainer that seemingly has not entered the Mattel JLU team’s brain yet. Why? Who knows?
#3 – Kalibak
Another instance where new tooling for someone like the Shazam Wizard should have been placed somewhere else. A big-time player on STAS before his involvement in JLU, Kalibak had many different speaking roles spanning both shows. Fighting by himself, with Darkseid and his forces, and as a part of the Superman Revenge Squad that "killed" Superman…he’s done everything with plenty of screen time. I really thought that with the Forager/Mantis/Lashina 6-pack we’d have seen Kalibak by now. Why wait when the line could be canceled?
#4 – S.T.R.I.P.E.
One of the very few characters on the program to sport entirely different looks as the show went on, his unexplained downsizing of armor shouldn’t have to hurt his chances of being an important character that needs to be made as a figure. Multiple speaking parts, highlighted action in more than a handful of episodes, and yet still not made. Again, Robotman is cool…but should not have been made before THIS "robot man."
#5 – Parademons
Old text : If you count "number of times on-screen" as a prerequisite, they may have even more appearances than Superman or Batman. With the "Fan Collection" re-branding of the line, and precedent already set by Infinite Heroes with their upcoming "army builder" sets, you would assume Mattel is seriously thinking about this. A 6-pack with Superman, Destroyer Darkseid, Toyman and three Parademons would be just amazing. I originally wrote : "Are you reading this, Scott?
New text : Apparently he didn’t read it. Still no Parademons. If the JLU line wants to save tooling costs, then why not army-builders that make sense? People would, will, and would have purchased multiples of this figure. Put him 3-to-a-6-pack or as a single that’s 3-to-a-case instead of Kilowog.
#6 – Clayface
Old text : With ties all the way back to the original Batman : The Animated Series and only one large pile of plastic dung to show for it as far as action figures are concerned, Clayface is overdue. Not only a major part of the Batman Animated mythos, Clayface was the key ingredient in Grodd’s JL-second-season attack on the Justice League. Redesigned three times, the latest JLU incarnation just screams for an updated figure…and I don’t are what you say about either color of the Hasbro one. It’s a turd. Previous quote : "Couple this with the total surprise of a TNBA-themed 4-pack unveiled at SDCC this past week, and I’d say it’s nearly a lock we’ll see a new Clayface before the line’s time is up."
New text : I could probably be wrong on that, eh? Too much new tooling wasted on non-show characters.
#7 – Granny Goodness
Old text : Multiple appearances. Major parts of episodes. Speaking parts galore. Importance to plot lines over three different shows. Ed Asner. Need I say any more to you? Need I?
New text : Apparently I need to.
#8 – Mongul
New tooling should be put to better use…blah blah blah… Tired of that argument yet? LOL. He’s been the feature of several episodes, and wouldn’t have to be bigger than Darkseid, who already has come in a three-pack.
#9 – Killer Frost
Repaint with a head. Instead of an Eclipso 6-pack, how about a Grodd re-release 6-pack with 5 more of his villain horde? Grodd and 5 repaints-with-new-heads. If you can’t think of five, Scott…just post on AFI. We’ll help you. For free. Seriously.
#10 – Live Wire
Repaint with a head. Instead of an Eclipso 6-pack, how about a Grodd re-release 6-pack with 5 more of his villain horde? What’s that? I already used this reasoning? In the previous entry? For Killer Frost? Really? Hey, if the shoe fits…kick ass with it.
A cool design, and an important character from a GREAT episode. Yes, the Flash has stones and can stand toe-to-toe with the mega-powerful heroes in the League.
#12 -Static (Adult version ONLY, Erik!)
Long overdue, and now it’s clear you can make him. Use the Question body and tweak it along with adding a new head.
#13 – Manhunter Robots
Army builder. Three-to-a-six-pack. You already have John Stewart & Kyle Raynor. Do another GL (Hey…not EVEN a repaint! Just a new head!) and call it a day. Hell, call it a $20 sale! Lots of ‘em!
#14 – Crimson Avenger
Now that you have The Question, not much new tooling is needed. I really thought we’d see him at SDCC.
#15 -Weather Wizard
STAS roots. Superman Revenge Squad. Multiple speaking parts in multiple episodes. Easy repaint-with-a-head. I’m even boring myself with the repetition.
So, there ya have it (for the THIRD time). Agree? Disagree? Apathetic? I’m starting to become the last, sadly, as you could tell with my dwindling paragraph size toward the end.
My closing statement remains the same : If the above characters were produced by Mattel in the near future I could actually say, after all is said & done and purchased at Target, that the JLU action figure line is truly complete.