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What's Favorite Animated Superhero Toy Line?


Dragon66
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With the current release of the Batman:Brave & Bold figures as well as the new line of Wolverine & the X-Men, I got to wondering which line of animated superhero toys is everyones favorite. Every line has it's perks, but which is the best?

These are some high points to some of the individual lines that come to mind right off the bat:

 

Best selection of characters- JLU-

By far the most diverse of all animated superhero toy lines, it features obscure characters that just appeared in the back ground of group shots. The sculpts are very show accurate to the Bruce Timm style. Lack of accessories and Playsets can be a detrement to this line, Only the Watchtower and Javelin 7 were released when this linefirst started.

 

Coolest individual figure accessories- X-Men:Evolution-

This line featured 6" scale figures with very cartoon accurate sculpts. Each figure came with an action feature and accessory that worked with that feature. Catapulting picnic tables, lightning bolt firing storm clouds, Practice dummies that exploded when hit, all unique but fun accessories. The line was short lived (3 waves) but gave a nice variety of core characters from the show.

 

Best selection of playsets and vehicles-Batman:The Animated Series-

This line featured wonderful cartoon accurate scuplts, a great variety of characters, and cool individual accessories. Where this line stands above the rest are the Playsets and Vehicles that were offered. Multiple Wayne Manor/ Batcave playsets, Batmobiles, Batwings, Batboats, Smaller Playsets such as Arkham Asylum that came with 4- and 2-packs. This was the first line to feature more obscure characters that are vital to the show, but not big on action,(i.e. Alfred). This line evolved as the show evolved over the years and work well displayed with JLU because of the Bruce Timm style.

 

Best Selection of Playsets and Vehicles(Honorable Mention)-The Batman-

While not everyone liked the redesign of many of the characters (Joker, Bane) or the 5" scale, this line offered a decent assortment of villians that were show accurate (Killer Moth, Firefly) and cool renditons of old favorites (Hal Jordan Green Lantern, Flash, and Hawkman). The Batcave playset is one of the best playsets offered through any line, standing over 3 feet tall with cool action features such as a Bruce to Bats Elevator, adjustable accessories and swing line. The two Batmobile featured lights and sounds, and the Batjet-to-bike was a cool 2 for 1 vehicle.

 

Other lines for consideration:

 

-Spectacular Spider-Man-

Fun cartoon accurate sculpts in a 5" scale with a variety of villians offered so far. Waiting to see where this line goes.

 

-Batman:Brave & Bold-

Nice character selection so far, variety of vehicles, but odd hexagon shaped holes in their arms and legs.

 

-Wolverine & the X-Men_

The first wave of figures look great for a 3 3/4" set. Accessories make sense, this line has potential for playsets and vehicles.

 

-Toybiz's Spider-Man, X-Men, and Marvel Universe (90's)-

While not completely tied to the individual cartoons, a lot of the lines seemed timed to the release of the cartoon series.

 

-Superman:the Animated Series-

Some cool takes on Superman and his rogues gallery.

 

-Batman Beyond-

Cartoon accurate sculpts in the tradition of BTAS.

 

-Teen Titans-

A nice character selection with many assorted vehicles.

 

-The Avengers-

These were based on the character designs in the cartoon and gave us some cool renditions of Ultron, Loki, and others.

 

-Superpowers-

The old school predecessor of all the above offered obscure characters, action features, and a few vehicles.

 

Any I forgot, forgive me. I personally feel the best animated superhero line of all time is Batman:the Animated Series because of character variety, cool playsets and vehicles, and without this line many of those others do not exist (JLU, Batman Beyond, Superman:TAS). I would like to hear your take on this subject.

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It's really hard to beat Super Powers...that was the granddaddy of them all, with the action features and the sheer number and variety of characters (which set a standard back then!)

 

But, I LOVE my JLU. Part of what I love about that line is that the BTAS and STAS figures fit in so nicely. Hands down, JLU has the widest variety of characters, both heroes and villains. There are several characters that have been made as JLU figures that have NEVER been made in any other line (Nemesis, Ray, Forager, Lashina, Ulta-Humanite, Silver Banshee, Vibe, Crimson Fox, B'Wana Beast, Blue Devil, Atomic Skull, Shadow Thief, KGBeast, Waverider, Hawk & Dove, Shining Knight, Vigilante, Copperhead, Katma Tui, etc. etc. etc.). For me, the sheer number and consistency of style of these characters makes JLU the line to beat.

 

PS I know that some of the characters I mentioned will soon be made by other lines (i.e. Blue Devil will soon be made by DC Direct), but as I type this, they are only available as JLU figures.

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It's really hard to beat Super Powers...that was the granddaddy of them all, with the action features and the sheer number and variety of characters (which set a standard back then!)

 

But, I LOVE my JLU. Part of what I love about that line is that the BTAS and STAS figures fit in so nicely. Hands down, JLU has the widest variety of characters, both heroes and villains. There are several characters that have been made as JLU figures that have NEVER been made in any other line (Nemesis, Ray, Forager, Lashina, Ulta-Humanite, Silver Banshee, Vibe, Crimson Fox, B'Wana Beast, Blue Devil, Atomic Skull, Shadow Thief, KGBeast, Waverider, Hawk & Dove, Shining Knight, Vigilante, Copperhead, Katma Tui, etc. etc. etc.). For me, the sheer number and consistency of style of these characters makes JLU the line to beat.

 

PS I know that some of the characters I mentioned will soon be made by other lines (i.e. Blue Devil will soon be made by DC Direct), but as I type this, they are only available as JLU figures.

 

 

While I appreciate your opinion, and will not argue it, I feel it should be mentioned that really Megos are the granddaddys of all superhero lines. (or does anyone here remember those?)

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It's really hard to beat Super Powers...that was the granddaddy of them all, with the action features and the sheer number and variety of characters (which set a standard back then!)

 

But, I LOVE my JLU. Part of what I love about that line is that the BTAS and STAS figures fit in so nicely. Hands down, JLU has the widest variety of characters, both heroes and villains. There are several characters that have been made as JLU figures that have NEVER been made in any other line (Nemesis, Ray, Forager, Lashina, Ulta-Humanite, Silver Banshee, Vibe, Crimson Fox, B'Wana Beast, Blue Devil, Atomic Skull, Shadow Thief, KGBeast, Waverider, Hawk & Dove, Shining Knight, Vigilante, Copperhead, Katma Tui, etc. etc. etc.). For me, the sheer number and consistency of style of these characters makes JLU the line to beat.

 

PS I know that some of the characters I mentioned will soon be made by other lines (i.e. Blue Devil will soon be made by DC Direct), but as I type this, they are only available as JLU figures.

 

 

While I appreciate your opinion, and will not argue it, I feel it should be mentioned that really Megos are the granddaddys of all superhero lines. (or does anyone here remember those?)

Megos are the great granddaddy of Superhero toylines, but were they tied into an animated series at the time? I did not metion Marvel Secret Wars line for this reason, although it holds a special place in my heart.

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I dont think the MASK team would calify as superheroes per se......but who am I to judgethat anyway? I would also go with BATS. It started a trend that we enjoyed for the last 18 years or so. Maybe we should also praise the Superpowers line, since there is some influence frokm it in the BTAS Line.

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JLU wins for me. Despite being a horribly frustrating line to collect at times, it's character diversity is an enormous asset.

 

Super Powers will always have a place in my heart, but it can't match JLU in terms of character numbers and in spite of some pretty nice sculpts for the time, I'll always resent that stupid power action feature.

 

Mego, being the only line ever to combine both Marvel and DC characters (Yeah. I know...Captain Action...but Mego combined the actual characters and not just their clothes!), could've won this but first they weren't really tied into any cartoon and secondly, while many of them such as Green Arrow, Thor and the Green Goblin are great figures, you do have a lot of duds like the Torch and Tarzan.

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Well, DC Universe-wise! I always love the Batman: TAS line. Then the Superman: TAS, JL/JLU and Batman Beyond.

 

If I have to go with my Top 10 Best Animated Style Action Figure Line, as 1 being my most fave to 10 being my least fave , the list will go as follows:

 

 

1) Batman: TAS

2) Superman: TAS

3) Justice League/ JL: Unlimited

4) W.I.L.D. Cats

5) Batman Beyond

6) The Batman

7) Batman: The Brave and The Bold

8) X-Men: Evolution

9) The Spectacular Spider-man ( I never even started on this one. )

10) Spawn: Animated ( So did this one, but it just looks cool!)

 

:D

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Although I'm more of a Marvel guy, for animated superhero toys, I would have to go with JL/JLU(Prays that this line will see a return to Canadian releases in 2009 as Mattel has stated for International customers since they are Target Exclusive in U.S.), with Batman: The Animated Series(I'm also counting The New Batman Adventures based sculpts with this) as 2nd. JLU for it's character selection, plus just how cool that cartoon series was. Could use more playsets and vehicles, but nothing you can do about that. Besides, there are some playsets and vehicles from other lines that may work fine.

 

B: TAS lasted a really long time, made some vary cool figures, playsets, and vehicles. Heck, many of the various verisons of Batman looked cool, even some with some funky colour. In many cases, I was okay if the Batman figure was in some funky colour so long as his cape, cowl, boots, gloves, and under-wear were still black or blue. As for the logo, if it was the Oval one, then I could be forgiving if it wasn't colour properly(yellow oval with black bat in centre) so long as it look good on the figure. But if it was only the bat(AKA: Year One logo), then it had to be either black, maybe blue(Depending on the shade of blue used, and the colour of the suit) or some sort of metallic colour, otherwise it just didn't look good(Can't tell you how many times I freaked out or thought it was wrong for the Year One Bat symbols on his chest bring yellow).

 

The 3rd place would have to go to the various Marvel 1990's toys(Spider-man, X-men, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Marvel Univerise which was re-release toys, Silver Surfer, The Incredible Hulk, and Avengers: United They Stand), since many of them were tied to some sort of cartoon series at the time they came out(Or at least when 1st released). Should be noted that if this was the 1990's, the Marvel line in general would of been my #1 Superhero Animated line.

 

Many of the Marvel toys were also offered in other scales as well and features as well(Besides the regular 5" line, we had those large 10" figures, the die-cast 2" or 3" line, the 7" Projectors line, their Transforming figures that were around 6"-7" tall, and both X-men and Spider-man figures in the late 1990's would later start to go to a scale that was at or close to 6", along with Avengers when that came out), and also featured various vehicles and playsets. Although for the Marvel toys from a cartoon series, except for Avengers: United They Stand, it should be noted that many of them could still pass off as their comic book counterparts, since those cartoon series didn't do any major artistic/astetic/cartoony designs on them(Example: They didn't do Spider-man in the style of Batman:TAS). Not to mention, other Marvel toys that weren't tied to a cartoon(Such as the the 1990's Ghost Rider, X-Force, and Generation X) could still be used with those figures from the cartoon line, since some of them did make appearences(Mostly Special Guests) in the various Marvel 1990's cartoon series, which was great if you worry about style/artistic look, and what not.

 

That said, it looks like the Wolverine And The X-men toys look cool and fun, and they also look like they will fit nicely with the JLU figures. Will consider getting a few of those when they come to Canada(But I think I'll hold off on any Logan/Wolverine figures at this time, mainly because I'm hoping they later do some of those figures with interchanagable hands/claws), and it could become a very good line depending on how long the line lasts, and if they can get a good selection of characters out(So far, they are off to a good start from what I can tell for the 1st 2 waves).

 

Batman: The Brave And The Bold toys look interesting, and I may get a few from that line. The Batman was pretty neat. Some of the variant verisons of Batman were actually kind of cool, but the problem for some of them was their colours. The villians looked really neat. Really liked pretty much all the vehicles and playsets from the EXP subline, especially the EXP Batmobile(Which for me is a good subsitute as The New Batman Adventures/JLU verison of the Batmobile).

 

Batman Beyond was pretty good too, though I do kind of wish they weren't a little taller than the B:TAS figures, but a bit more at the same size. I'm not a scale nut and I usually don't let it bother me. Heck, my Marvel collection is everywhere in term's of scale figures and I mix them all together. It's fun seeing my 3" Die-cast Cyclops leading a team of a few other 3" Die-cast X-men along with 6" X-men, my Avengers team consist of 5" and 6" figures, and a 6" Spider-man go up against a bunch of villians at once that includes 3" Die-casts, 4", 5", 6", and one 7" Projectors figures. But for Batman Beyond for some strange reason, it does bother me from time to time(Though, the JLU Batman Beyond 3 pack will help fix that a bit, provided it ever comes to Canada).

 

I don't have any figures from Spectacular Spider-Man, X-men Evolution, Superman: TAS, and Super Powers. That said, Super Powers is cool, just for the history that line is in terms of toys, and I do understand it's importance in Superhero toys. And alot of those toys still look cool, though I'm going to have to say that JLU has more figures than Super Powers does now, but Super Powers still wins in the vehicles and playsets. Superman: TAS was pretty good/alright, though I do wish many of the figures with Supes' head were more accurate to his look in the cartoon series(To me, they never really caught the look right). As well as maybe a few more villians as well. Was going to get a few X-men Evolution at 1 time or another, but it wasn't released too well in Canada.

 

For Spectacular Spider-Man, they look alright, but to me, nothing too speical(At least not yet). To be fair though, I haven't seen the show yet due to me not having Teletoon(Channel that shows this series in Canada), so I'm only really judging from what I see. That said, it looks like many of the more recent releases of Spidey himself are more accurate to the style/how he appears in the show than the 1st wave releases, and I'm glad about that. If or when Hasbro releases Vulture and Mystero, I defently would like to get those 2 due to their designs. Maybe Kraven as well, and MAYBE the Lizard. The Ooze playsets which comes with two 3" figures aren't too bad as well in looks, even if those figures aren't really that artcularted, and I would of perfered the figures with those playsets to be more in the 4" scale.

 

Speaking of Spectacular Spider-Man line, aren't the main line figures really 6" in scale, not 5"? As well, I do find it interesting that when the Spectacular Spider-Man line came out, I recall many saying that they wished it was 4" scale so that they could be in scale with JLU. But when Wolverine And The X-men was revieled to be in 4" scale, many said that they wish those were in 6" scale. Just find it interesting.

 

I do wish the 6" Fantastic Four: Worlds Greatest Superheroes(Figures based on the Cartoon Network Fantastic Four cartoon series) were released either by ToyBiz before they lose the lincense or when Hasbro just got the lincense. Many of them looked very good, and that Build A Creature just looked awesome. Defently would of gotten Sue, Dr. Doom, Mole Man, and Doombot.

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