Up to this point, the action figure lines I’ve been looking at have mostly been from the ’90s, with a little bit of 1980s thrown in for good measure. Today, let’s jump forward a few decades to the 2010s and take a look at the toy line for the highly acclaimed animated series Young Justice.
Now, this might be a bit of cruel irony, as the show was supposedly originally canceled due to poor toy sales. That’s a shame, too, not just because it was a good show, but because these toys are all pretty awesome. Join me as we take a look at some figures that are so crash, or… whatever.
34. Hall of Justice: This can be assembled by buying a bunch of figures, and getting individual pieces. It’s definitely a Hall of Justice.
33. Amazo: Can also be assembled by buying a bunch of figures. When you think of build-a-figures, you’d think it would be someone huge, like Bane or the Supercycle or something. Instead, we have Amazo, who is maybe slightly larger than other normal figures? His design is kind of bland, and he doesn’t even have cool accessories either, so this is just boring.
32. Ra’s al Ghul and Cheshire: Neither one of these figures are bad, really. In fact, individually they look great. Ra’s looks suave with his cape, and I love the details on Cheshire’s mask. These aren’t exactly big name characters, though, so I can just imagine they’d be relegated to pegwarmer status.
31. Superboy: As a representation of the Superboy from the series, this is great. The look is on model, and the bent muffler is a fun accessory. As an eye-catching toy, though, this is lacking, since he’s pretty much “dude in a Superman shirt.”
30. Aqualad Walmart exclusive: This Aqualad has such a cool design and costume, and I do get why there’s a shirtless variant. It shows even more of those cool water markings that light up as he channels his powers, so it makes a certain amount of sense. His red tunic kind of ties together the overall look, though, so this wouldn’t garner nearly as much attention with less color.
29. Kid Flash Stealth Outfit: These stealth suits are fine on the show, in the context that they’re used. Like Superboy and shirtless Aqualad, they aren’t exactly interesting to look at, though, and Kid Flash’s is the most boring of the lot.
28. Green Lantern: It’s a fine Green Lantern figure. Nothing more, nothing less.
You I come to a Young Justice toy line, though, you I want to see more members of Young Justice and less Hal Jordan. I will never drop this bit.
27. Sportsmaster (6-inch): One of the surprise breakout villains of the show, Sportsmaster looks pretty cool. Based on this photo, it looks like he only comes with a mace, so I’m docking some points for not having like exploding baseballs and rocket-powered lacrosse sticks.
26. Sportsmaster: One slot higher because he’s the same size as most of the rest of the line, and I could at least imagine that accessory being a javelin or something.
25. Aquaman and Aqualad: Good designs for both, and the height discrepancy is a nice detail too. It would make sense for adult Aquaman to tower over teenage Aqualad, after all. Nothing more to say than that, really.
24. Robin Stealth Suit: His normal color scheme at least lends itself a little better to this variation, with the black and gray working well with the pops of yellow. It’s a fine Robin, just one that screams “variant” and not a standard figure.
23. Aqualad: His great, basic look and a cool water sword accessory. Can’t go wrong with that.
22. Black Canary: She at least had more of a presence on the show than Green Lantern, so I appreciate her inclusion for that alone. That her design would make her fit in with other DC toy lines makes this an extremely versatile action figure, since nothing about her look screams “Young Justice Black Canary”, just Black Canary.
21. Kid Flash (translucent): I love the different colors used, with the yellow translucent plastic and the painted solid red blending wonderfully. The little bag of takeout is an incredible touch, too. Fun figure.
20. Vandal Savage: Now this would have made sense as a build-a-figure. Big and bulky, Vandal looks absolutely intimidating. I just don’t know if the fact that his accessory looks like a big chocolate chip cookie helps or hurts him.
19. Aqualad Stealth Suit: Kind of an arbitrary ranking, likely due to a bookkeeping error.
18. The Flash and Kid Flash: Both figures are solid, and like Black Canary Flash especially could fit in with other toy lines. They’re both just simple, basic takes on these simple, classic designs, which is perfectly fine. I do find it hilarious that the Amazo build-a-figure looks nothing like the one advertised here.
17. Kid Flash: See 18 and add more takeout.
16. Batman and Robin: A great Batman in general, and a great Young Justice Robin specifically. I actually dig the Robin suit on the show, even if it specifies it to this particular interpretation. Those red leg panels are really sharp, and it’s a cool variation on the suit from The New Batman Adventures.
15. Martian Manhunter and Miss Martian: Again, great takes on these particular characters. I love that bright blue on Miss Martian. It contrasts wonderfully with the darker colors of her uncle.
14. Superboy Solar Suit: This at least looks like a costume, and he comes with a fun little playset too. That reddish-pink goop is really gross and cool, and why does he have a hammer? I don’t remember if that was in the show, and I’m too lazy to look it up. No matter. Hammers are fun.
13. Artemis (6-inch): The larger figures is where this line really shines, as they come with more accessories, more posability, and cool bases and play features. Artemis looks really good with that bow, which is a super tricky weapon to make for an action figure. The various trick arrows are really fun too, I just wish the base she has was a little more interesting.
12. Icicle Jr.: Will I abstain from making ice puns? Absolutely not, because Icicle Jr. looks positively cool. The great sculpt of his jagged left arm and the ice dagger accessory makes this one of the absolute best smaller figures in the entire line.
11. Red Arrow (6 inch): Like Artemis, Roy has some great accessories, and the red and black of his suit look fantastic. The rooftop base he comes with has some nicer detail to it than the plain metal or whatever Artemis is packaged with, so he gets the edge because of that.
10. Artemis: The 6-inch is the cooler figure, with the great accessories, but I don’t know. There’s something about the smaller figures and their compactness that’s appealing. After all, if you’re a kid, these are the toys you’re going to be seeing out and most likely getting when you go to the store. That’s just nice and pure.
9. Superman: You can do a lot worse than a nice, simple Superman figure, and that’s just what this is. Points off because the Superman in the show was kind of a jerk, but then, everyone was kind of a jerk, so it tracks.
8. Speedy: Nice and simple, like a lot of the best of this line. I’m ranking him high because the colors look great, I love this specific hat on Roy, and he goes through some stuff and needs the encouragement.
7. Superboy Cloning Chamber: I believe this was an SDCC exclusive, and it definitely fits the bill if so. After all, toy manufacturers love to go above and beyond with their convention pieces, and plopping Superboy inside a big cloning chamber is certainly both above and beyond. While it looks like it’s made of cardboard and plastic, it doesn’t look at all cheap, thanks to the different pieces used and that neat text on the front window.
6. Robin: This is just a great Robin, full stop. Tim Drake-esque colors and design, a nice bo staff accessory, and whatever that red decoder thing is supposed to be. If I were a kid, this would be the first one I grabbed off the shelf. I am an adult, though, and… yeah, the same.
5. Kid Flash (6-inch): With all the Flash figures that have come out in the past few years, I’ve grown tired of super-speed being simulated by little lightning bolt attachments. The world needs more swirly ribbons!
4. Batman (6-inch): At the risk of sounding repetitive, Batman here is an example of pretty much everything that’s good in this line. the figure itself could stand alongside other action figures from other toy lines, the accessories fit extremely well, and his base both looks cool and makes sense for Batman. All around an awesome Batman toy.
3. Captain Atom: Of course I’m going to throw in something weird like this as we head into the top three. I love Captain Atom’s design and powers, and this figure looks fantastic. His energy blast accessory is super cool, and yes, once again, he’s a figure that would fit in well with other DC lines.
2. Robin (6-inch): And here I am again, repeating myself. Awesome costume design, a great sculpt, tons of cool accessories, and a sweet base to boot. Frankly, it was a toss-up between the top two, and Robin could have easily taken the top spot.
1. Aqualad (6-inch): …if he had a giant sword made out of water. Aqualad here has the best kind of accessory, in that it perfectly translates his power into hard plastic. You can practically see the water breaking and flowing from the hilt in his hand, and he also comes with a bunch of other water construct weapons. That’s fantastic, and what helps him nab the number one slot.
All images were obtained from Figure-Archive.net, unless otherwise noted.