Like we always say, Mattel never met an idea they couldn't do wrong. A situation perhaps perfectly summed up by Justice Lords Hawkgirl.
By now, you are likely familiar with the story of the Justice Lords: when Flash was killed by the government, Superman
executed President Lex Luthor. The team got angrier and more violent, and began imposing their will on the world. But here's something to ponder: in the real universe, Shayera was sent to Earth as a spy; if the same is true on Earth-50, did she choose to betray Thanagar in favor of humanity, or was she planning to screw over her fellow Lords when the time came?
There were seven members of the Justice League, and Mattel sold figures in three-packs; somebody failed to do some basic math before kicking things off. The logical choice would be to sell the most popular/best looking character (Superman) alone, and sell the others in two three-packs, right? Guess what Mattel didn't do! We already reviewed six of the Justice Lords, but rather than being sold by herself, Hawkgirl is only available in another three-pack. There were no other characters left, who could she come with?
Mattel's brilliant idea was to package her with Justice Lords Superman and Batman. Yes, Superman and Batman were in the first
three-pack. Yes, that means the only way to complete the entire team is to double-dip on two characters. WT-ever-living-F, Mattel? They tried to make them different enough to be worthwhile by painting on some circuitry lines, making them the android versions Luthor and Brainiac created. But honestly, the idea was garbage - if anybody wanted the Justice Lords, they already had those two (because it was the only way to get Wonder Woman), and if anybody wanted a full team of androids, well, eff them, because those are the only two Mattel ever made. They were so pointless, I ended up giving them away for Halloween.
Lord (Lady?) Hawkgirl uses the same body as the regular release,
which you may recall was not an easy figure to get, either. What was it with Mattel and constantly shorting Shayera? They needed to use the same torso, because it was the only one with a hole in the back where her wings could be plugged in, and she's got molded boots, because Mattel wouldn't mold non-boot legs that fit this body until 2007 (the Justice Lords all came out in 2006). The Justice Lords' costume style translates pretty well to this mold: there are no extraneous details to get in the way of the golden bands painted on her wrists and shins, and her round belt buckle suits the belt perfectly. She does have a bird head painted on her chest, rather than sculpted, but that's a minor issue at best.
She does get a new head, one wearing a sleek, rounded battle helmet instead of her Wolverine-style bird mask. It's a nice design, but it wouldn't be until the three-part episode "Starcrossed" (liminal point between Justice League and Justice League Unlimited) that we would learn this was just a standard Thanagarian warrior helmet.
Mattel's pathological fear of articulation plagued
Hawkgirl throughout the life of the line - there was never a version of her that had anything other than the Big Five, and on this one, the head doesn't even want to turn. Naturally, none of the figures in this set feature any accessories (unless you count the display stand they gave Hawkgirl, since their female figures can't stand up). She doesn't even have her mace? Come the frick on, Mattel!
The way the Justice Lords were sold was asinine. Remember, Flash was never a member, so they could have been sold in just two three-packs - then, if they really wanted to, Android Duplicate Flash could have been sold with the android duplicates of Superman and Batman. Honestly, even a minor amount of thought would have solved this problem.