The Other Side of the JLU 3pack Controversy
December 27, 2008

Every JLU 3 pack seems to have a character in it you already have.  I know, its been that way since the beginning.  Mattel felt that the main characters for the show were needed to keep the line selling to Moms and Grandpas.  Then one day they decided to throw us collectors a bone.  A ‘collector oriented’ 3 pack they called it.  Do you remember which one it was?

That glorious 3 pack.  Did it have 3 new characters in it?  Sadly, no.  Did it have 2 new characters in it?  Even more sadly, no.  It contained 1.  That’s it, 1 new character.  The ‘collectro’ angle was that it did not include another Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, or Martian Manhunter to clog up our collections.  Mattel had heard all of our complaining, and in a way that boggled our minds actually gave us a product they thought we would like better.

Doctor Fate, Hawkgirl, Vixen 3pack.

We, the collectors. were thrilled to get Vixen.  But we were equally non thrilled to get our 3rd or 4th Hawkgirl and Dr. Fate.  Mattel had managed to give us what we didn’t want while giving us what we had requested.  The real crisis here, is that this ‘collector’ pack had no appeal to the masses.  No draw of a major character to sell to Dad or Grandma.  And for us collectors, we were caught.  Mattel had told us that this pack was a ‘test’, of how viable the collector community was as a buying force.  If we bought it, it was a sign that Mattel could pack in whatever they wanted and we would buy a 3 pack for one new character.  If we did not buy it, the experiment would be branded a failure, and the voices of collectors would be ignored as being insignificant.

Doctor Fate, Hawkgirl, Vixen loose.

And that bring us full circle on my comments about the make up of JLU 3packs.  I think some of what we get is our fault (above).  Some is the fault of retailers (see my prior blog).  Now the line is clearly aimed more at collectors, but once again, we are falling for the one new figure in a 3 pack.  We need balance.  Kids and collectors.  I do not think it is too much to ask for 2 new characters with minimal tooling in each 3 pack.

I’ll conclude with my "formula" from my 1st article in this series:

There IS a forumla for this.  A combination that hits a 3 pack out of the ballpark compared to its neighbors.  Its really not a mystery.

1. One Major Player to pull in the moms and grandpas.
2. Two new characters.
3. One of these new characters had multiple appearances.
4. One of them is a surprise but has a cool costume.
5. At least 2 are male.  It is a line for boys.
6. One female is better than a 3rd male.
7. At least 2 are heroes.  It is a line based upon a hero oriented show.
8.  One villain is better than a 3rd hero.

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.





  • ZAXILLA2 says:

    it seemed like this pack was on the shelf forever.
    btw, I love that the Batman Beyond 3pk has three new figures! and the Crime Syndicate is 2 new figures and a much needed repaint.

  • grouch says:

    This is why I did not buy the Captain Atom or the Question 3 pks. If they would have included a second “new” figure I’d have gotten both sets.

  • Darren says:

    Interesting, I would have thought that a true collector test would have been the villains six pack – 5 obscure figures and 1 batman… which as of now, there aren’t any on ebay…

  • douglashawk says:

    The Vixen 3 pack did not stay on the shelves in my area for long. I had to order a loose Vixen on E-bay.

  • Jason says:

    The Vixen/Fate/Hawkgirl three-pack was not in my area long at all. But the local Target is still stacked with Question and Capt. Atom three packs. I guess without a big name the packs aren’t moving as well, even though I picked them up as soon as I saw them.

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