I love this. I love that Mattel made these characters. Why? Because that title up there is exactly how these toys would have been advertised back in the late 70′s. I am a child of the SuperFriends era. That is why these characters resonate with me.
These characters were added to the SuperFriends show to give the team a diversity. But as a young boy and then a young teenager, that escaped me. They were simply more cool characters to see using fantastic powers to save people in trouble and stop the villains.
I am very glad that Mattel made these. Time and time again, Mattel has surprised us (or at least me) by giving us characters that DC Direct has not made in the 15 years they have been making toys. I love DC Direct. I have more DC Direct figures in this scale than figures from Mattel. But in terms of diversity of characters across the DC Universe, Mattel has done a fantastic job. Mattel has hit most of the JLA, a lot of JSA, the Titans, and the Legion of Super Heroes is coming. Toyman above completes the TV Legion of Doom.
It is unfortunate that some people put these characters down because they only appeared on TV. (They do sneak into the comics every once in a while – Samauri was in the Justice League comic for a few panels last year.) To me, that is the same as saying I don’t want the Crime Syndikate because they are from Earth 3.
The one thing I wish Mattel had spent more time on is the Biographies for these characters. I almost wrote up my own and posted them for April Fool’s day this year. Samurai got tied to the New Gods. El Dorado got tied to the Azteks. Black Vulcan’s is especially painful. Sure, they could not add anything too detailed, but, “He is trusted implicitly by his teammates.” Every hero is. “He might be a scientist.” Why not just make him one? What about an Electrical Engineer? “Not even Batman feels the need to investigate him.” Batman has been shown to have contingency plans for every hero going bad. The combination of these is just horrible.
The other unfortunate issue with these is that after 18 waves we still have bent legs like Black Vulcan. This should have been fixed by wave 2. I can report that my wave 15 J’emm, that previously was so warped in the knee it could not stand, somehow after months amazingly stands. But this issue is long overdue to be fixed.
(For those of you wondering where Apache Chief is in all this, I have come to a point where I feel the figures cost too much at retail. Instead, I purchased these via eBay and got them for 49$ shipped. By taking them without the parts for Apache Chief, I was able to get the cost of an individual figure down to a level I felt was reasonable. Your mileage may vary.)