JLI Podcast – Meanwhile… JLI Action Figures from DC Direct

Derek Crabbe joins The Irredeemable Shag to discuss the JLI-branded action figures based upon Kevin Maguire’s designs released in 2009 by DC Direct! We cover the figure sculpts, paint jobs and articulation, plus the packaging, the figure stand, Kevin Maguire's model sheets, which figures were not produced, and more. Finally, we wrap up with YOUR listener feedback!

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13 responses to “JLI Podcast – Meanwhile… JLI Action Figures from DC Direct

  1. I got a J’onn figure at a sale in 2012, completely random since I’m not really a toys person and it sits in my shelf ever since. More than once someone actually notices his raised eyebrow and comments or recoils. Money well spent.

  2. The bit about Fire having the longest tenure sounds believable, if you mean specifically the Justice League (International/America, delete as appropriate) title – she stayed with the JLA until the bitter end, when her old teammates had left for spin-offs, solo titles, or the next world (sorry, Ice).

    There was another Barda from DC Direct that was Kirby-styled, but she and her helmet were more appropriately sized. There’ve been a couple of Metamorpho figures for the JLE, too, a Mattel one with enormous ears and a DC Direct one that was based on Ramona Fradon’s work. I don’t collect action figures anymore, but I’m tempted every time I see one of the various Animal Mans they’ve done. The McFarlane one has a beautifully Bolland-y headsculpt, a claw hand from one of his covers (where Buddy was wearing his jacket…), and a wolverine sidekick, but also really ugly painted-over boot lines and of course, no jacket.

    That JLU line had a pretty impressive variety of JLI-related characters, I think the only toys of Dmitri, Crimson Fox, and Elongated Man in his purple costume, as well as characters who were never on the show like Buddy, Beetle, and Guy. No Power Girl, though. That line also had some great Suicide Squad picks without many action figures, like Amanda Waller, classic Captain Boomerang, and Nemesis of all characters.

    1. That’s a good point about Fire, I hadn’t thought about the fact that, other than a brief period where she lost her powers fighting Doomsday, I think she was on the team all the way to the transition to the Morrison JLA era.

      It’s a question of the post Giffen and DeMatteis era is considered part of JLI or not. If it is then a bunch of additional characters get added to the list of action figures.

  3. I don’t have a lot of modern action figures, but sometimes I find a DC Direct figure for, like, 5 bucks and I’ll get it. Coincidentally, I have an Alan Scott GL. I have a John Constantine. But certainly none of the JLI figures, but it’s always fun to hear Derek on this subject.

  4. Best Justice League International Action Figures

    Animal Man: 2009 Mattel 6” DC Universe Classics Justice in the Jungle
    Big Barda: 2009 DC Direct New Gods Series 2 7″
    Black Canary: 2005 DC Direct Justice 6″
    Blue Beetle: 2002 DC Direct Classic Heroes Ted Kord
    Booster Gold: DC Direct 52 Series 1
    Captain Atom: 2023 McFarlane DC Multiverse GOLD LABEL New 52
    Captain Marvel: 2000 DC Direct Shazam! Deluxe Action Figures with Thunder Sound
    Crimson Fox: 2008 Mattel Justice League Unlimited 4″
    Dr. Fate: 2000 DC Direct 6″ Justice Society Of America
    Dr. Light: 2007 Mattel Justice League Unlimited 4″
    Elongated Man: 2004 Mattel Justice League Unlimited 4″
    Fire: 2007 Mattel Justice League Unlimited 4″
    G’Nort: 2008 DC Direct Justice League International Series 1
    Guy Gardner: 2003 DC Direct Green Lantern 6″
    Hawkman & Hawkwoman: 2000 DC Direct Silver Age Hawkman And Hawkgirl Set 6″
    The Huntress: 1997 Kenner Total Justice 4″
    Ice: 2007 Mattel Justice League Unlimited 4″
    Kilowog: 2018 DC Universe Classics Wave 11 Build a Figure
    Lightray: 2008 DC Direct New Gods Series 1 7″
    Martian Manhunter: 1999 Hasbro JLA 9″
    Maxwell Lord: Mattel DC Universe Infinite Heroes Crisis 3.75″
    Metamorpho: 2003 DC Direct The Element Man Deluxe Action Figure 6″
    Mr. Miracle: 2008 Mattel DC Universe Classics 6″ Wave 6
    Oberon: 2000 DC Direct Mr Miracle & Big Barda Set
    Orion: 2008 DC Direct New Gods Series 1 7″
    Power Girl: 2001 DC Direct 6″ Justice Society Of America
    Rocket Red: 2006 Mattel Justice League Unlimited 4″

  5. This was a surprising long episode for a subject that I expected to be quickly covered. However little did I know about these figures and now I have learned much! I’m fairly sure I have Black Canary from this line but she’s never been unboxed and based on the tales of woe from Derek and Shag maybe she should stay boxed.

    I had for many years a plan to collect the figures for the cover of JL #1 And then to move to the plan to have the figures for the cover of JLI #25 and JLE #1 – But I’m fairly sure I never managed to the right scale version for Captain Marvel and the version of Mr Miracle I ended up with wasn’t right either, I don’t recall every owning a Guy Gardiner – I could be wrong they could all be still in the attic and I need to go into the boxes to check but I suspect my plan has been foiled. But that’s okay because I’m on course to manage this with LEGO Minifigures and Knock Off versions. When DC Dave arrives here he will know what I mean.

    Anyway this episode was a delight to listen to. It also reminded me I still have to find a UK seller for the Super Powers Beetle and Bug set coming out – it seems either sold out pre sales only so far in the US so I can’t even order them from there for silly money! Hopefully I’ll get to see that soon.

    4 episodes to go is it not? I’m glad Shag isn’t planning on padding this out to non JLI work that the big three creators for JLI worked on – I don’t think defenders etc belong on this pod. I know previously I didn’t want the show to end but I realise all good things have to finish off some how and at least these last few episodes will be better than Breakdowns 🙂

  6. Fun show fellas! Always a pleasure to hear Derek on the network. That guy has the coolest jacket in the known universe, and he’s a great person to have as a line-buddy when waiting on an autograph!

    I don’t have any of these figures, mostly because at this point I was largely bypassing DC Direct’s output for the more durable Mattel DC Universe Classics. I love the artist-inspired figures DCD did, but the lack of a consistent scale and breakage issues started to turn me away. I have a DCD Batgirl figure who’s arm literally just fell off while she was standing on a shelf!

    Having said that, I do like these, even though some are more based on Maguire’s evolving style than the way he actually drew them in JLI (like the overly buff J’onn). Despite his shiny cape, aI like the sculpt on that Batman, and may have to pick him up at some point.

    I have no idea who you’re next guests are, but I hear one of them is hot! The other one…meh.

  7. Impressive podcast most impressive. I have a lot of different DC action figures. Mostly McFarlane. And I have bought a few JLI ones. I got Dr. Fate in the video game line. He comes with Super Girl and Bat Man of course. I still haven’t bought the booster and B. B. 2 for one. I got a Hawk Girl that was part of the DC high school line.

    Her and Harlequin. Because of course I have a Harlequin action figure. As well as a Mego J’ohn and GL. Though it’s Kyle as GL. And the McFarlane BTAS figure. You think DC direct figures are hard to stand? Try the McFarlane ones for the cartoon.

    I missed these toys, but they look pretty cool. Glad
    The see The show got its action figures.

    Well the comic. I have an iconic SuperMan around here somewhere. As well as the Henry Cavil one. From McFarlane. And a Mego Wonder Woman. Hmm I have like 4 Harlequin action figures. And a bust. A lot if my super hero’s end up in the GI Joe kit bashing. Though not my Super Powers Robin or Dark Side. Dark Side being from the McFarlane verse.

    So sadly no Mega Khan or Knort. Or Red Rocket. Can’t wait for the next episode.

  8. Concur with Siskoid and Chris that it’s great to hear Derek AND hang out with him at a convention. I also appreciated his defending the satellite JLA against that overreaching ad copy.

    And I enjoyed hearing about this line that covered, really, the essential JLI characte–wait, what? [Voice rises like Manga Khan’s] Are you saying they NEVER did a General Glory figure in this line?!? That is a slap in the face of the entire greatest generation, sir! AND NO WONDER WOMAN??? How then are we to honor her [flips pages, counts quickly] approximately eleven panels of service?

    This DC Direct line is a travesty, gentlemen. They should consider you lucky you covered them at all!

  9. Shag, you noted that these figures have on the packaging at the top the little “character head” boxes and they appear to be the same ones from the cover of first edition of the Justice League: A New Beginning trade. I have a copy of that trade and can confirm they are the same pictures. On the pod you noted that Ice and G’nort look different, as if they’re drawn by a different artist. I noted that too but I think they’re not drawn by a different artist, I think they’re drawn by Kevin Maguire, but LATER Kevin Maguire. Ice and G’nort weren’t in the stories collected in that trade and therefore aren’t on the cover of that trade. So when it came time for these action figures to be released, Maguire was asked to draw Ice and G’nort so they wouldn’t get left out. Naturally, Maguire’s art style has evolved since the late 1980s so the characters look a little different but he’s still the artist. That’s my explanation anyway!

  10. I don’t collect action figures as a practice, but if I did, I’d want that jazzercise Black Canary. Just awesome!

  11. This was a lot of fun to listen to, especially since I was never a toy collector or figure collector even though I have a strong resemblance to that guy from Toy Story 2. Litigation still pending.

    Anyway, I’ve always admired people who collect and devoted time to displaying what they have and getting to hear you and Derek speak enthusiastically about the subject was a joy.

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