Young Justice 2.0 – Character Packout
June 16, 2012

In my previous article, I discussed my feelings on the biggest issue with Mattel’s Young Justice line, the price.  You can read about it here.  Today, I want to talk about character packout.

1. One of the things I noticed while collecting the Batman Brave and Bold line was what was left on the shelves.  As the line progressed, I saw that what hung on the shelves were the single packed villains.  While these tended to be characters with multiple appearances on the show, the demand for them as toys seemed to be over estimated.

The other thing was that many of these villains were also available in two packs with the main heroes of the show.  Batman.  Aquaman.  Blue Beetle.  I believe the hero helps sell the villain.  There really is no need to offer the villains as single pack figures.

2. There were no female figures offered in the Batman Brave and Bold line.  To be honest, female heroes and villains were not featured very much on the show.  Catwoman, Black Canary and Huntress were barely a blip on the show compared to the  male heroes and villains which were on the show much more frequently.  Despite requests from collectors to make them, I cannot imagine the demand from kids for figures of these female characters would have been very high.

When I was at Hasbro in the mid 1990’s, I was let in on generic sales figure about the GIJoe line.  It was this.  Heroes outsold villains at a rate of 5 to 1 and the worst selling male villain outsold the best selling female figure ever made.

3. There were a ton of variations of the main hero of the line.  Batman was clearly the star of the show.  The toy line reflected this by including multiple versions of Batman in every wave of single figures, deluxe figures, and multipacks.

4. Straight re-releases of other heroes just sat on the shelves.  One of the later waves of Batman Brave and Bold singles included exact repacks of Red Tornado and Plastic Man with the same paint and the same accessories.  These too hung on the pegs and should be avoided.

My conclusion is this.  If Mattel makes a second stab at making Young Justice figures, maybe they should follow a slightly modified packout from what Batman Brave and Bold used:

1. Variants of the main characters in every wave.  That means Robin and Superboy.  Seriously, they are the stars of the show.  Robin and Stealth Robin should have both been in the first wave.  The other main male heroes should be rotated throughout the waves.  This gives moms always a chance to pick up the main characters while collectors the opportunity to build the team.

2. Villains and female characters should restricted to multipacks only, with a major hero as the base figure to generate sales.  Yes we need villains and the whole team, but putting Superman in the package with Miss Martian and Batman with Artemis would help Mattel sell a lot more units.


Yes, I would like to see a revised Young Justice line with the original 6 members of the team, the entire Justice League, and the additions to both teams made since the beginning of the series.  It is an ambitious goal, but it needs to be built on the basics of the show and what we have observed from the varying degrees of success on other lines.

The following images are from Worlds Finest On Line:


That would be an awesome set of figures.

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.





  • demoncat says:

    have to agree with those being the perfect young justice line other then lagoon boy . plus it would be cool to have the dr. fate of the show. but mattel and other toy makers have always felt the formula of main hero to sell the rest of the line and female and bad guys do not sell as good as heros do not see them changing even if they attempt another go at young justice.

  • Batman says:

    I know it’s a bit of “the chicken or the egg”, but isn’t one of the reasons that heroes sell that much more than villains and females because they make more of the male heroes than the others? If you have a case with 4 Batman, 1 Black Canary, and Brainiac, you’re going to sell 4 times as many male heroes than the others automatically. From the manufacturer’s point of view, the figures are sold when they sell a case to a store. They wouldn’t necessarily know which figures actually sell first to customers.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      Not sell first, but sell at all. That is why I was basing my case on observation of what was left behind. If you put out 4 cases like you describe and at the end of 4 weeks you have 1 Batman, 2 Brainiacs and 3 Black Canarys on the shelf, I’d say there is a lack of demand for the other characters.

      • TRDouble says:

        Even with later waves of JLU, the three packs of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman eventually sold in these parts, with the other sets still hanging around. It wasn’t instantaneous, but they sold through. And as a collector, I like the female characters, but I admit to not always buying the villains. They just don’t always appeal to me like the heroes do. I feel like Mattel always messed up with the first wave of DC Infinite Heroes.

  • Erik superfriend says:

    The Justice League toy line did not start with – or include – many villains or females. Just the main 4 human looking heroes. Just Superman, Batman, Flash and Green Lantern in the first wave. Personally, I feel the first wave of Young Justice singles should be Batman, Robin, Robin Stealth, Superboy, Aqualad and Kid Flash.

  • 969 says:

    Brave and the Bold stalled out because of all the multi-colored,show inaccurate Batman figures.The villains that where released sold better around here than most of the heroes.I know several children,boys and girls,that would have liked a female BATB figure or two(adults also).
    Young Justice failed because of price and the crappy sculpting,not because of character selection.
    Oh well,to each there own.I hardly ever read an article or comment this guy writes,don’t know why I read and commented on this one.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      If the villains from BB&B sold better in your area, that is a different picture from what I saw. Kanjar Ro and Black Manta singles were everywhere. I do not see a reason to offer the same villains in both single and multipacks, especially at the same time. I am suggesting that if they try YJ again, they do not do that.

      While as collectors we despise color inaccurate variants, and did our best to request accurate variants like Batman of Zen Ur Ah, we know that they sell to kids, moms and grandparents. Hasbro/Kenner’s Batman the Animated Series line lived for 2 years on just repaints of Batman, Nightwing, Robin and the Joker.

  • bcrduke says:

    The only Young Justice figures I ever see in any stores (and I travel a lot for work) are Kid Flash, Aqualad, Captain Atom, and the Batman/Robin & Aquaman/Aqualad 2-packs. For the 6″ line all I ever see are Robin, Aqualad, and occasionally Artemis.

    The rest of the figures sold… likely to adult collectors.

    Prices for Mattel’s lines are ridiculous. That is a big factor… but with most of their lines, they make WAY too many variants of the main characters, and over-pack each wave with those.. then when a new wave is released, they FOOLISHLY pack it with less of the new items and more of the SAME main character(s) and/or variants that are sitting on the shelves.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      I think the 2 packs were a disaster. Putting Batman and Robin in the same pack allowed someone to buy the two biggest names in one purchase and never come back. Repeat sales are key. Batman and Robin should have been in separate packages to encourage multiple sales.

  • kareem says:

    somebody please tell mattel to make some better articulation and detail 4 inch figures please they toys suck

  • George says:

    In regards to Young Justice, I think price was the overriding factor when it came to poor sales. The second was that for collectors, the style didn’t match up with DCUC. I saw this time and time again when people commented about the line. Lastly, having two different sizes, 4 inches & 6 inches, was overkill for a show you didn’t know would even last a year. Put your resources in a one-sized line and go from there.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      I covered price in the previous article, linked in the first paragraph at the top of the blog. In short, I agree. As for 2 scales, most lines have basic and Cadillac parts to them. Standard and deluxe. Its to hit different groups of buyers.

  • RJ says:

    When they cancelled the JLU figure line, the MAIN reason I heard over and over again was because Mattel wanted to focus on Young Justice, since it was “the future” for them and DC. Being that I have collected JLU since the beginning and have aquired almost EVERY single figure made for the line (save for a few repaints and variants, since I mainly just wanted to actually own a version of most of the characters), needless to say I was disappointed. But after seeing how awesome the show was, I looked forward to starting over with collecting YJ figures. Then I saw the designs, selection, and worst of all, the price, and my heart sank. I am also pretty good at predicting how these things will sell and how long they would be around (though in my wildest dreams I couldn’t imagine that JLU would go on for as long as it has, not that I’m complaing) and correctly sumised that given the reason I stated, the line was not long for this world. Sadly, I was proven correct. I just PRAY that this won’t affect the INCREDIBLE tv show, as it is HANDS DOWN the most beautiful cartoon on tv right now next to Legend of Korra. It’s bad enough that Marvel never made any figures for their best show EVER, Avengers:EMH, and now that show has been canceled because no one knows what they’re doing over there.

  • Haldore says:

    Retailers usually order very heavy on the first wave of toylines. Character selection for that wave is very important for a lines success. They failed completely. It made me think of the start to infinite heroes. Both lines were basically dead in the water with wave 1! Meijer was done with Young Justice the day after Christmas 2011.Don’t even get me started on the insane pricing!!!

  • born2bHokage says:

    Part of the problem is CN’s (Cartoon Network)scheduling, and they have done this with other shows too, they jump the show to different times around and days and it’s hard to follow, I did not see the YJI was out until I did a search for the YJ because it was not recording and had missed the 1st episode of YJI. Other than some of the kid shows they have, The Clone Wars, and Ben 10 they really have done a bad job with most show…We need another channel…Disney does a nice job with Spiderman, and The Avengers…

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