Pros: All-new sculpt, good accessories, nice paint job, one of the best JLU figures out there...
Cons: Missing a key accessory, obscurity of the character might chase people off...
One of the cool things about Cartoon Networks series "Justice League Unlimited" is that it plucked a few comic book characters out of obscurity and put them up there on a level with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. And some of them, like Vigilante, deserve to be there.
Vigilante (real name Greg Sanders/Saunders) has been in comic books since 1941, and was one of the Seven Soldiers of Victory--one of the first superhero teams around. He was headquartered in New York City, and had his own sidekick and nemesis...and was all but forgotten by most comic book readers until revived as a part of Cartoon Network's "Justice League Unlimited." I like him because he's visually distintive from all the other spandex-clad heroes, and because his character was voiced by "Firefly" star Nathan Fillion.
Vigilante is a cowboy--a motorcycle-riding, sharp-shooting, lariat-wielding cowboy. And although Mattel got most of the character right, there is a flaw that I'll tell you about later.
This is one of Mattel's few figures that's an all-new sculpt--it doesn't recycle pieces of other action figures, repaint them, and call it a new toy. And that gives him some fantastic details, like the boot-cut white pants, spurs, and side-buttoning 19th Century shirt. I'm impressed at the paint applications on him--white is notoriously difficult to work with, and Mattel has screwed it up on other figures in this same series. But Vigilante's paint is clean, and he's ready to take on the bad guys. The head sculpt is a good likeness--although since most of his face is permanently covered by a bandana, I'm not sure how difficult that was to get.
Vigilante has the same limited articulation as most of the action figures in this line--he's got jointed shoulders and hips, and although his neck is jointed, the bandana hanging down onto both his chest and back limits the movement there. He stands well--better than most of his Justice League comrades, and Mattel seems to have learned their lesson by using harder plastic than they've used on other figures in the line. No warped legs, no limping.
He comes with two accessories--a pistol and a coiled lariat. And this is really the only part of the figure that Mattel could have done better. On the television program, Vigilante always always uses a pair of guns, and they're mounted in a pair of holsters, one on each hip. On the action figure, he's just got one, and even though it's removable and fits nicely in his right hand, there really should have been a second one. It's his trademark--they should have kept it. His lariat is in a permanent coil which fits nicely over one shoulder, like he usually wears it--it also fits into his hand nicely, and doesn't look too Wonder Woman-ey.
This is a fantastic figure that you can find on sale for anywhere from $3.99 - 5.99. It's available at Target, Toys R Us and other retailers--I found mine at Target a few weeks ago. Vigilante is single-packed, unlike many of the Justice League Unlimited figures, which come in three-packs.
If you're looking for a new character to add to your kid's Justice League, and you're looking for someone a little bit different than the usual underwear-and-capes heroes, check out Vigilante. He's as much fun as a cowboy can be.
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