The JLU Line – Finishing the Show
June 19, 2008

As most board members know from reading my posts, I’m not only a big fan of the JLU action figure line…I’m also a vocal proponent of the line being "complete."  By "complete" I mean all of the important characters being immortalized in plastic.  Now, I realize that some characters like Captain Cold are important to some folks (as to why, I have no idea…heh), but I’m defining "importance" here as to the show itself.  Significant amount of airtime, speaking roles (not just lines), being focal to the plot and story arcs, history in the DCAU, defining moments, etc.  I factor in all of these when deciding which characters NEED to be made before the line rides off into the sunset.  Seeing as how I’ve used up my quota of quotation marks, I’ll begin.  Yes, these are ranked for a reason.  :D 

 #1 – Amanda Waller

 

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 – Batman Beyond

 

Simply put, the JLU would not exist without Batman Beyond.  However, an even greater reason is that he’s Batman.  He’s the carrier of Batman’s legacy in the DCAU, and he’s the reason the JLU exists far into the future, even after the team is supposedly destroyed.  This doesn’t even factor in that he had his own show and an on-scale, on-model figure of him has never been produced.  He was in episodes with the future JLU, some of the current JL members, and fought villains that the current JL eventually fought.  There’s also the big connection with Amanda Waller and project Cadmus as well as the culmination of that story line being once considered the final episode of the JLU and the DCAU as a whole. 

 #3 – Mr. Terrific

 

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.

 #4 – Toyman

 

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.

 #5 – Tala

 

As a conduit of not only Luthor’s third-season-long plot to rid the world of the Justice League, she also provided an interesting centerpiece of two character triangles…Luthor/Grodd/Tala and Grodd/Tala/Giganta.  Throw in the great comedy of "The Great Brain Robbery" with the Flash and that removes all doubt that she should be one of the few produced as a figure before the line ends.

 #6 – S.T.R.I.P.E.

 

One of the very few characters on the show 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. 

 #7 – Kalibak

 

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.  :) 

 #8 – Cheetah

 

Perhaps most audible of all the cries for an unmade character, Cheetah’s absence from the store pegs is glaring.  A visually striking character, it also works against her as needing a unique sculpt in a vast line of buck reuses.  However, given multiple large parts of plots spanning many shows, she is a must-have in the villain pantheon.  Hell, Batman would probably be dead if it weren’t for her!   

 #9 – Vandal Savage

 

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… 

#10 – Supergirl (new sculpt/new costume) 

 

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. 

 So, there ya have it.  Agree?  Disagree?  Apathetic?  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, 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.  If the above characters were produced by Mattel in the near future I could actually say, after all is said and
purchased at Target, that the JLU action figure line is tru
ly complete.

Peace,

Chip

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21 Comments »

  • elvis8batman says:

    I’d agree with that whole list, Chip. Except I think you could have made it a top 20 and still not be reaching as far as importance goes.

  • Jason ToyOtter says:

    Great blog!

    Kudos! I hope Mattel is reading…

    J.

  • jzachery says:

    Chip and I are usually on opposite sides of the debate when it comes to this, but specifically to these characters we are in almost 100% agreement.

    Aside from the characters he has listed, I think alot of people see characters like Capt. Marvel and Capt. Cold as important due to the duality of DC Universe prominence and having just been on the show. There are alot of characters that are important to BOTH that are still left to be made, the one that stands out the most here is probably Cheetah, it’s just insane that she hasn’t been made yet.

    What boggles my mind, is the crazy amount of show important characters and DCU in general important characters that can be made that appeared on the show, but we still get some odd balls tossed at us (Lashina! Forager! KG Beast!) all cool, but in the back of my mind I’m thinking (Shazam, Dr Mid-nite, Hourman, grrrrrrrr)

    Moving on to the individual characters that Chip listed, as for the most part I agree, but here is my take….

    Amanda Waller (aka The Walrus!) – Not only is she important to the show, but I think if Mattel actually made her, they’d see that the risk was worth it! In the past toy companies have been wary of making figures in business suits or female figures in general… BUT none of those have ever had the vast amount of character and sass as Amanda Waller. Heck, no matter what scale or line she is in… If she comes out, I’m BUYING IT!

    Batman Beyond – While I agree he needs to be made in the JLU scale, I think he’s more deserving of his own spin off line in this scale. He has his own universe and being Batman would probably sell great! So I disagree it needs to be under the JLU banner, but agree he should be made (along with his cast) in the Timm animated style and scale .

    Mr. Terrific – While I’m indifferent to the character for the most part, I think he should be made almost before anyone else.

    Toyman – I want him, but he’s creepy. But I agree he should be made. I want the Superfriends version too.

    Tala – This is a character that’s only in the cartoon (to the best of my knowledge) and being a strong supporter of wanting alot of comic based characters, I STILL want her. Volcana, who also is not in comics, is one of my favorite, if not my #1 figure! I’m hoping to see them both in comics someday.

    Kalibak – While I’m happy to be getting Mantis and Lashina, mostly because Darkseid just isn’t himself without all of his minions, I think Kalibak should have also been made ages ago.

    Cheetah – Ok, this character has been around across the board, JLU, Superfriends, Comics, etc. How is it possible she’s not a figure yet??? IN any incarnation?

    STRIPE – Well, we have Star Girl (who actually isn’t bad done all polly pocket) but it’s like having Hawk without Dove!

    Vandal Savage – He seems easy enough to make, I agree I’d like him made, but I do think it’s personal opinion on this guy, he’s not needed IMO, but he’d be great!

    Supergirl – Last but not least. The one figure that should have been the crown gem of the entire line! One of the characters I’ve been waiting for since BIRTH to get a cool 4″ figure of… And we got a McDonalds happy meal toy>:( Mattel, if this is TRULY a collector series at this point. This figure has to be made correctly. I would take a remake of this figure before almost anyone on this entire list brand new! My greatest fear is that they finally make a Mary Marvel and release her in Polly Pocket too. I’d get arrested for flipping out in Target. I know I would.

    Thanks for putting this list together Chip.

  • jzachery says:

    PS in the pic of Cheetah posted, I see the Wonder Twins in the back:) Add them to my list;)

  • texgnome1 says:

    Chip, I tried and tried to argue that list in my head. I just can’t do it. The ONLY objection I have is that you didn’t list 11, because I think Mongul needs to be made as well. And it would be such an easy conversion fro the Darkseid figure. But I can’t say that a single figure you listed doesn’t deserve to be there.

    Here’s hoping Mattel is listening. Guess we’ll see at SDCC.

  • Veil1 says:

    I agree with your list Chip, but one bad girl that has to be on there, I’d even go even so far as to say before Toyman, is Killer Frost. She had a lot of screen time, some really cool key moments (killing a bunch of LOD’ers in ‘cold’ blood). And she is a dang cool design to boot. Although I want the little creep just as much as her:)

  • Erik superfriend says:

    Great blog, Chip!
    Thanks for doing this topic. It is a great compliment to the Most Wanted JLU poll we just ran. I’m always amazed at the results of our polls, how the voters seem to use criteria other than the show to vote which pushes characters with virtually no screen time (Hourman, Dr.MidNite) to the top. A few random comments if I may.

    Overall – a great list. No arguement as to their importance on the show.

    Captain Cold. Earned his place in the line AFTER his season 5 major role in the Flash Museum episode, along with Capt Boomerang and Trickster. Maybe not top 10, but they did have a speaking role and character development. Mirror Master’s being made before that episode still boggles my mind.

    Batman Beyond. Not sure how clear this came across, but without Batman Beyond, the whole JL/JLU show might not have existed. JLU actually appeared for the first time in a two part Batman Beyond episode. When I first saw those episodes, I cried for joy at seeing an animated Justice League on TV. Older Superman inviting Terry Batman to join the League consisting of Supes, Barda, Warhawk, Aquagirl, Micron, and a young Green Lantern. I’d take them all in a heartbeat. The story I heard was that the next season of Batman Beyond was going to be mostly JLU and that that idea was a stepping stone toward the JL series we got.

    As some other have said, there are some who come close. I’m looking across BatmanTAS, SupermanTAS, BatmanBeyond, Static Shock, etc.
    A) Killer Frost. – Grodd’s Secret Society, To Another Shore (Viking Prince).
    B) Warhawk. – BB The Call 1+2, Twisted Time.
    C) Live Wire. – STAS multiple episodes, episode where Supes is blasted to the future.
    D) Static – his own series Static Shock, where he met Batman, Robin, Superman, Green Lantern, the JL, Batman Beyond, and JLU Twisted Time. I’d take his current self, his adult version, and his future version.
    E) Devil Ray (Black Manta) – To Another Shore, Deadman episode.

    But not the background only characters.

    Again, great blog, Chip!

  • KSwolf says:

    Tala is actually an old Phantom Stranger foe, jzachery. She appeared pretty frequently in his ’70s series, and has also made a handfull of appearances in several of Tim Hunter’s books.

    The only other character I’d add to the list would be Harley Quinn. The old BTAS version from Hasbro is just too big for the JLU figures.

  • John Cage says:

    I like all the selections listed and some of the follow-ups from the comments (particularly Killer Frost — isn’t she a given since all they’d need to tool would be a new head), but I wouldn’t mind seeing Weather Wizard or Livewire show up at some point, or a new Metallo figure (especially since it’s hard to find the original from the Superman line — the fact he’s already been produced didn’t stop them from a new Bizarro figure, so that should be an issue).

    My long-shot choice is seeing the Justice League as kids, either in a gift-set or multi-figure pack. Wouldn’t be that hard since they’d be able to use the Supergirl body for Wonder Woman and re-use the same body for young Superman, Batman and Green Lantern. Maybe throw in baby Etrigan as an accessory.

    Have a good day.
    John Cage

  • Joe Beck says:

    I agree with you on every point except Amanda
    Waller Like previous civilian figures they go unnoticed except by die hard fans of the show that know who she is. I am a huge fan of the
    JLU line but I would have no intrest in buying an Amanda Waller figure. A Cheetah on the other hand is an absolute must have must be made figure. I can not believe she has not been made yet.

  • Chris Hall says:

    I have to agree that’s a great list with great villains. I’d make all of the Rogues Gallery for the Flash, since Heat Wave was also present in some of the Legion of Doom Eps. Make the Trickster too! Give James Jesse a better send off than he received! I’d also like to see Captain (Digger) Boomerang.

    As far as that’s concerned, make three packs of good guys and their enemies. For example: Superman with Brainiac and Luthor, Batman with Joker and Copperhead/Deadshot (from the existing JLU roster), Aquaman with Devil Ray, Flash with Captain Cold and Captain Boomerang, GL with Sinestro and Star Sapphire.

    I’m really afraid that the Infinite Heroes line will eclipse the JLU line because they have had the fans more in mind than the JLU team has. Thoughts?

  • jamesjesse says:

    With Captains Marvel and Atom, as well as The Question and Atomic Skull on the way, here’s my take on a top 10 must-haves.

    Amanda Waller -I think enough has been said about her

    Vandal Savage- Same as Waller

    Mr. Terrific- The last Leaguer with a major speaking role that hasn’t been made next to…

    STRIPE- Who even had action roles in more than ONE episode.

    Tala- Played huge roles in both JLU seasons.

    Cheetah- Prominent in Secret Society, and was active in the last episodes of JLU, but not as much as…

    Killer Frost- Also prominent in Secret Society, and several episodes of the last series.

    Devil Ray- Black Manta with a different name played a huge role in the last series.

    Captain Boomerang- Of all the Flash Rogues, he’s the only one
    to have a major role in two episodes.

    Shadow Thief- Was a key villain in two episodes.

    I would personally love to see Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, and Trickster made. But bias aside, I’d put them in the top 20, with the likes of Toyman, Clayface, Felix Faust, Dr. Polaris, Batman Beyond, Kalibak and the impossible to make Lobo.

    Static, Warhawk, Chronos, Dr. Destiny and Manhunter Androids belong up there too. Along with the Ultimen.

    Gentleman Ghost, Firefly, The Key, Heatwave, Goldface, Plastique, Rampage, Silver Banshee, Clock King and Metallo all made key appearances.

    Grown up Supergirl would be cool.

    Then Gypsy, Dr. Midnite, Hourman, Creeper and Commander Steel, Bwana Beast, Creeper, Crimson Avenger and Crimson Fox would be the final appearing members right? They had as much screen time as already-made Obsidian, Nemesis, Sand, Starman, Waverider, Blue Devil and Aztek. Some even more so.

    At some point, Rho Talok and Luthoriac have to be in there somehow.

    The Royal Flush gang might be too much to ask for. Even the Extremists. Jonah Hex, Warlord, Deadman, Blackhawk and Warhawk make up guest appearance characters who might merit figures. Legion of Super heroes and Fatal Five would be going way beyond the JLU at this point but I wouldn’t complain.

  • Dr. Fate says:

    I will vote for a Lobo & Blue Beetle

  • Toylad says:

    This is the perfect JLU wishlist. They have to make these.

    Most of these characters showed up on mnay epsisodes and our collection would be incomplete. To this i would add the ultimen, Tsokori, live wire, other future characters from that episode set in the future, the rest of the injustice gang.

  • TimW says:

    Although this is a good list, it’s not very realistic. There’s no way Mattel is going to create an entire new mold for Amanda Waller, Toyman or Stripe.

    Even though Kalibak would require a new mold, for some reason he seems like he would fit in with the 6-packs they’ve been coming out lately.

    Tala and Cheetah would only be made if they could retool an existing female mold. (Justice Lord WW?)

    It’s a good list though.

    If you’re going to do Vandal Savage, you have to do Future Superman :) (it’s such an easy repaint too!)

  • toyboy says:

    i agree with you on stipe supergirl and cheetah i hope that mate makes them.

  • toyboy says:

    i mean i hope mattel makes them

  • tottel says:

    i agree with your list except for amanda waller, batman byond, kalibak, and vandal savage instead it should be gypsie, crimsonfox, killerfrost, and livewire

  • tottel says:

    PS me tottel again i hope mattel makes my 4 pics and the 6 i like of yours or all 10 of yours and the 4 i want

  • toyboy says:

    me toyboy again i want to add the justice guild of america to my list dont you chip there awsome

  • ZAXILLA2 says:

    We’ve now got the Wall, Batman Beyond, Tala, and Cheetah (hopefully) coming our way in 2009! With the eventual addition of Amanda Waller to our shelves, I don’t think there is any reason to doubt that we will see all of these figures coming our way.

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