What a difference one day makes. One glorious day, July 25th…the whole JLU collecting world was turned upside-down. As I come down from my euphoria, I realize my previous "Finishing the Show" blog is now outdated. I thought about the few glaring holes in my list due to the wonderous unveilings from Mattel, and I decided to update. As of today, these are the must-makes to ‘finish’ the JLU line for us hardcore fanatics. Feel free to rip me a new one based on my choices, but also realize there’s no way I’m wrong.
#1 – Amanda Waller
Still tops on the list, with the announcement and implementation of MattyCollector.com there is a greater chance than ever before to see this large-and-in-charge woman come to plastic form. Previously stated reasoning : Central to nearly the entire run of the show as the head of Cadmus, Waller not only has more screen time than most of the heroes and villains, what she did in the show actually made a difference to the outcome of several plotlines and story arcs. While a figure of her may not seem exciting to most children, those collectors that must have every character would be hard-pressed to deny her place on the shelf with the other JLU plastic people.
#2 – Mr. Terrific
With seemingly every other hero immortalized in plastic at least once, this guy is a sure candidate for a future wave. This is nearly a sealed deal, especially when you take a look at all the additional tooling on figures from this past Friday. Not a problem to produce him, now. Previously stated reasoning : Once J’onn left the team, Terrific filled in as the Watchtower head honcho and team coordinator. As such, he had a number of speaking parts and expanded roles in numerous episodes, and is the most important JLU team member as-yet unproduced.
#3 – Toyman
As long as everything does well for Target and MC.com sale-wise, I see nothing in the way of a brand-new ground-up sculpt for this little creepy guy. Previously stated reasoning : 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 would 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.
#4 – S.T.R.I.P.E.
Stargirl makes her debut in a three-pack. Stargirl gets re-released as a single with her rod (snicker). Still no STRIPE to display alongside her. I believe that in Fall 2009 we’ll get our favorite tin man. Previously stated reasoning : 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 quite a bit of character development and interaction all make him a must to be included amongst the heroes already released.
#5 – Kalibak
Scott "ToyGuru" and his pals at Mattel have done Apokolips right…who’da thunk Mantis, Forager & Lashina would get produced AND be part of the same 6-pack? Not I, for sure. After the huge showing at SDCC, I can certainly see another pack with Kalibak included…thow in Destroyer Darkseid, Steppenwolf and whatever other New Gods goodies & baddies ya want. I’ll buy it! Previously stated reasoning : A big-time player on STAS before his involvement in JLU, Kalibak had many different roles spanning both shows. Fighting by himself, with Darkseid and his forces, and as a part of the Toyman crew that "killed" Superman…he’s done everything with plenty of speaking parts and lots of screen time. Plus, with Target’s new exclusivity and two six-packs per wave, there’s plenty of opportunity for him to be included even tho he’s an oversized character. Yes, you heard me right…the Etrigan body will NOT work for him.
#6 – Vandal Savage
Repeat after me : "Repaint with a new head." One message brought home from SDCC is that Mattel is willing to crank out whatever simple new character releases they can. The easiest of such characters is the aforementioned "Repaint with a new head." (Repeat it out loud 10 times…it’s fun!) Vandal Savage can be made very easily using this formula, and as long as the line does well I can see our favorite immortal being immortalized (ugh…sorry) in plastic by the end of next year or soon after. Previously stated reasoning : If a villain is of enough stature to warrant a multiple-episode arc, then he already qualifies in the speaking lines and screen time categories. Also, given the basic nature of his character design, he would also be a very easy figure to produce, with not much tooling needed. Hell, Superman would probably have stayed ‘dead’ if it wasn’t for him! Okay, since I’ve started ape-ing myself it’s a good thing I’m almost at the end…
#7 – Supergirl (new sculpt/new costume)
Yup, the sculpting & tooling budget for JLU has DEFINITELY gone up. The Question, Vibe, Deadman, Gentleman Ghost, Atomic Skull, Psycho Pirate, Warhawk, B’wana Beast, Cheetah, KGBeast, Bane, Scarecrow, Tala, Dr. Polaris, Devil Ray & Mantis ALL have new parts & pieces that go beyond a simple repaint. Yup, we’ll be seeing an all-new sculpt for Supergirl before the line is up. Maybe in an MC.com exclusive Legion-episode-themed 4-pack, perhaps? Previously stated reasoning : Need I say more? As Erik continuously reminds us, Polly Pocket is a grim reminder of just how bad the JLU line can sink if you look for weak spots. A major character over the entire DCAU from STAS to JLU, a new sculpt to go along with her ‘adult’ costume (yes, it just sounds indecent) is a must. While not at the top of any of our polls, when asked of all the JLU collectors on all the different forums there is 100% agreement that this figure NEEDS to be made before the line ends.
#8 – Clayface
Ahhh…a personal favorite of mine. 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. 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.
#9 – Granny Goodness
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?
#10 – Metallo
I went back and forth on this last position. I know, I know…actual THOUGHT put into a blog post? It’s a Christmas miracle! Whom is more deserving? Episode-themed character? Multiple episode appearance with speaking parts? Cool design, no lines, LOTS of split-second appearances? (As an aside, major thanks again to Scott & Mattel for bringing us to the point where this is difficult to pin down.) Is it Mongul? Crimson Avenger? Dr. Destiny? While I believe they ALL should be produced, one eventually jumped out at me as a need before the line is done. Metallo is that character. Hasbro’s STAS line brought us an off-model figure that just doesn’t hold up today when part of a large display. He has been a major villain & episode star, a supporting character with speaking parts, and part of the villain-group-shot-blink-and-you’ll-miss-him category. A new figure is definitely warranted, and I believe it’s not too far off. Now that MattyCollector.com is providing animated exclusive 4-packs, a Superman villain-themed one with Metallo and Toyman at the heart would be most welcome in everyone’s collection.
#11 – Parademons
Welp, I had to include just one more, simply because it dawned on me afterward how incomplete the line would be without being able to purchase a few hundred of these for a display. If you count "number of times on-screen" as a prerequisite, then 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. Are you reading this, Scott?
So, there ya have it (for the second time). Agree? Disagree? Apathetic? (I had comments of all types last time). I welcome your thoughts, but if you do decide to include your own list in rebuttal, think about the characters that are on it. How were they a major part of the show and the DCAU? The only other one that I could think of with major credentials would be Warhawk (and he’s coming! Woo-hoo!), since he not only appeared on a few JLU episodes and had quite a few lines, but he was also a major part of the original JLU as well as being the son of Green Lantern and Hawkgirl. (Apparently someone read my original blog and acted on it. I feel important.) 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…again.