JLU Frequenty Equals MIA
March 11, 2010

I recently found and bought a new JLU figure at Target (Firestorm).  I was thrilled.  But at the same time, it was obvious I had missed the other new figure that was released with it (Deadshot).  Over the past few days, its been nagging at me.  All the other JLU I’ve barely – or never – seen and not had the opportunity to buy.
It started with the pieces shown at SDCC n 2006.  Yes, that long ago.  Many of the 3 packs shown there only appeared at my local Target (Warwick, RI) once.  Some not at all.  If you follow the line, you know their names by heart. 

Barda.  Deadshot.
and for me,
Parasite. Stargirl.

Then came round 2. 

Two six-packs that never hit the northeast.  I know from the message board discussions we’ve had that other parts of the country did get these, but apparently anywhere north and east of Pennsylvania was out of luck.  10 more I would never see. 

Vibe.  Steel.  Deadman.  Bwana Beast.  Crimson Fox.
Atomic Skull. the Key.  Shadow Thief.  Silver Banshee.  KGBeast.

 Round 3.  I have seen almost none of the 3 packs of the past year. 

Batman Beyond.  Old Bruce Wayne.  Warhawk. 
Cheetah.  Jailhouse Lex. 
Cyborg.  Plastic Man. 
Captain Cold.  Captain Boomerang.
The Thanagarian 6 pack.


So I am thrilled to finally find a new JLU figure, but I am sad at the same time for the number of them which have never appeared in my area.  (I have picked up Parasite, Stargirl, and Obsidian as they have been re-released, and have hopes for Deadshot and Barda.) 

If I have one request for Mattel and Target for 2010 it is this:

That they get their product onto my local store shelves so I can buy it.


(Note: The lack of pictures of actual figures in this article is due to the problem of not finding them.)

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.





  • Great White Customs says:

    Amen brother…I have been very fortunate to lie close to several Targets so I am caught up….But I do have an extra Barda if you want her

  • Michael says:

    Amen i live in st louis and my son collects the jlu from the begining and we hit the target around st louis and have not found ant of the Batman Beyond. Old Bruce Wayne. Warhawk.
    Cheetah. Jailhouse Lex.
    Cyborg. Plastic Man.
    Captain Cold. Captain Boomerang.
    The Thanagarian 6 pack.
    even at the local toyshow here

  • chad says:

    do not collect the line at all . but when i have seen some of the stuff on the shelves its the old packs. or if new stuff does come it goes flying fast. otherwise seems Mattel has amother motu head ache growing with the jl line .for if customers can not find who they are after they will soon drop the line and the line will not sell so it will get dropped by target. if Mattel does not change jl days may be numbered soon.

  • therealist says:

    You think you guys got it bad, I live in Hawaii.

    Forget about it.

    Finding any (3) or (6) pack at retail is virtually impossible.

    Single carded figures maybe a Superman or John Stewart if you are lucky.

    If it wasn’t for Ebay I would be lost.

  • Sidewinder says:

    A littler over a year ago I decide that I wanted to get into collecting all of the members of the Secret Society from this line.

    I ultimately give up. I knew I would have to go back and purchase on the secondary market all of the figures I had missed (apparently re-releases of older figures that people missed out on isn’t in Mattle’s business model).

    What finally made me throw my hands up in the air was that I could find any of the new stuff coming to stores. My closest Target is 45 minutes from my house. Even with frequent trips, I still couldn’t find this stuff. Was there two days ago and they had 6 JLU Batmans and that was it.

    Obviously, Mattle is making a little money on this line, still, otherwise it would have died by now. I just can’t help but imagine what this line could be like if Mattle gave it some serious and realistic thought and attention.

  • Masked Man says:

    It’s hard for me to feel bad at all for you when I know for a fact that you refuse to pay cost + shipping when other people try to help you out with these. We should be able to find these at Target but it doesn’t always work that way.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      Once in a while, that would be OK. In fact that is exactly how I got Parasite. But what I am pointing out is an epidemic. You should not have to do it this often. I’m not asking for people to feel “bad” for me. I’m asking for Mattel and Target to fix an ongoing situation. If you paid cost + shipping for every figure, it doubles the cost of your collection. I can’t do that, so I don’t.

  • Sector1014 says:

    The flip side is that I’ve seen everything you listed multiple times (except for the Cheetah 3-pack). I know some JLU items are hard to find, and some end up being hard to find in certain areas, but it seems like this point gets exaggerated over and over again. And being active on AFI provides lots of opportunities to get help from other members.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      The fact that all of these made it to your “sector” and none of them made it to mine screams that this is a regional or distribution issue just asking to be fixed.

      • preeths says:

        Or that product just doesn’t sell as well in some places as it does in others. We cannot blame “distribution issues” when old figures are sitting on the pegs. I’m sure Mattel and Target have made some errors, but I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people blame them, then admit there are older figures on the pegs in the stores they visit. Between a friend and I, we’ve found every JLU figure produced except for Volcana and the new Aquaman, the latter of which I picked up for cost plus shipping from a board member. In the grand scheme of things, this stuff just isn’t that hard to find.

        • therealist says:

          No offense preeths but come to Hawaii if you get a chance and I’ll
          take you to every Target, Walmart, K-Mart, Toys R Us, ect.., on the
          the island of Oahu and you might change your line of thought.

          • preeths says:

            For heaven’s sake, YOU’RE IN HAWAII! First, how much sympathy do you think you’re going to get? 🙂 Second, I was in Honolulu in late November into early December, and they had 3-packs.

        • therealist says:

          please tell me where preeths because you must have some kind of connection.

          are you a buyer for Target?

          just kidding my friend, hey buy a Batman Beyond three pack for me!

  • Neil says:

    i can totally relate.
    My local target still has huntrss/powergirl/superman and ww/flash/question from 2 years ago up. i’ve never seen anything new there
    But the target the next town over always seems to get the new ones. i too got a firestorm just hanging on the shelf. they had deadshot, bats and arrow too. back at x-mas time they have the new eclipsed and thangarian attacks 6 pack marked at clearance (i got the for 20 each).
    i have 1 of every figure (and dups of some) but better than half of my JLU collection was from amazon or ebay.

  • Lightso says:

    Matty: “It’s up to our retail partners to decide when and where to put product on the shelves”
    …True enough, but it’s also up to the product coordinator and marketing team to make sure they negotiate a good exclusive. It’s almost as if JLU is made purely for Nietlich’s personal shelf.
    Of all the many, many lines I’ve collected over nearly thirty years, JLU has been the absolute most frustrating line to collect….ever.

  • John Cage says:

    I’m kind of relieved that I’m not the only one to have some major holes in my JLU collection. Of the figures mentioned I only have Stargirl, Parasite and Volcana (and I have that one because I stumbled on it during a trip to Acapulco). The six-figure packs really sting though — I can handle paying a little more on ebay for some of the single figures, but the prices for the six packs are just… frustrating.

    Have a good day.
    John Cage

  • jamiwa3 says:

    I just can’t understand how this has been an ongoing issue since the purple-and-black waves. How can’t they get product into stores? These aren’t fly-by-night companies, it’s Mattel and Target! Three years later and we are still having the same distribution issues?

    There are ten Targets in my area, and a few more if I want to travel a bit. I check two stores a week at a minimum, usually four or five, and I’ve never seen the Flash Rogues, Metallo, Super Powers, Batman Beyond, Cheetah or Volcana packs in a store. Once I got EXTREMELY lucky and found the Obsidian and Barda/Deadshot in a Toys R Us, once. It’s a shame that in this economy, they can screw up this bad and still have jobs with all the competent people at home collecting unemployment. Sorry, but I had to let off some steam.

    “(Note: The lack of pictures of actual figures in this article is due to the problem of not finding them.)”


  • H-Balm says:

    Dear Target/Mattel,

    I have money to spend… if you put the product in my store.

    Otherwise, I keep the money.


  • Veil1 says:

    I have pretty much given up on JLU. I will pick up something if I happen to find it.. but I’m in the same boat with the newer sets of figures. My targets have nothing but the Waller/Eiling figures so I won’t be getting any of the new ones. But between the price hikes and the shoddy distribution I find myself not even caring. I don’t even care to go to Target or any other toy store for that matter. Mattel has basically crushed the collector out of me. I’ve recently turned my attentions to high end Hot toys figures. And what do you know… I can actually buy these with little trouble.

    • wesley says:

      I was blown away yesterday, I went to Target, and they had all the new single carded figures, much to my wifes dismay. But due to the jacked up price of nearly 9 dollars a piece, I had to leave Star Saphire, and Deadshot behind.

  • Psistorm4472 says:

    Yes, JLU is frustrating to collect. I don’t even really try anymore – although I did happen to find a Vibe/Steel/Etc. six pack a year after they were released, which was an awesome find so I did pick that one up.
    My frustrations is with the DCUC line. I have given up hope of ever finding Hawkgirl – My poor Hawkman is going to be a lonely guy until I can afford scalper prices on EBay – Gentleman Ghost (EBay prices on THIS figure are truly frightening), Green Arrow (although I did find Black Canary by some miracle), and Black Adam, to name a few that I really, really wanted.
    You can say Mattel is not at fault, but they are the ones who pack the boxes. Why is it that they short pack the most popular hero figures, but yet I can find five Captain Colds hanging from a peg at the local store?
    The stores are also at fault for not ordering more of figures that obviously sell. I can find sections four pegs wide of things like Secret Saturdays and Ben Ten in the local Wal-Mart, but DCUC only has a section one peg wide and it’s always mostly empty.
    Sometimes there’s the thrill of the hunt with these figures, but most of the time there’s just disappointment.

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