DC Direct (now DC Collectibles) and Mattel had the best out of the Blue and Gold action figures. So I thought it might be fun to go over them to see which is the best of the best. I don't have the first DCD Blue Beetle but I do have the rest.
DC Direct Justice League International
I can tell you that a Maguire JLI line was one of the most requested lines DCD had. When it was released there were some problems. The figures were too tall to fit in other lines. The character selection opted for Batman and other well known figures instead of more desired characters like Maxwell Lord. The figures were stuck with certain odd poses like thumbs up. There wasn't any accessories/pack ins. But most annoying was the fact neither Fire or Ice had their most requested costumes on.
I still have my figures in the packaging so I can't remark about the movement. I think in most respects Ted's captured pretty well without getting too cartoony. He has a slight half smile and appears to have a little tummy. Although I'm not certain if that was the intent since I don't recall the turnabout art work having that detail. As I said above there wasn't any accessories (well maybe Batman had one, I'm not sure there) which means no BB gun. Since the company has only began adding articulation in recent years he couldn't be posed much even if I didn't have him in the box.
I hate this figure. First of all this is the only Booster Gold figure I have that doesn't have a Skeets. That as you know is a horrendous crime in it's self. Okay, I know Skeets didn't appear in JLI. Fine. But he's stuck in this thumbs up pose meaning you can't move him too many ways since he looks more like he's posing for a trading card. While I'm glad he has a different body type from Ted this is far too cartoony. It just reminds me of the JLI mini series that I loath. I have to say that these two are at the bottom of my list.
Back before DC put 52 on everything this was based on a series about lesser known superheroes getting to shine without the big names. I recall these selling out fairly well and many wondering why there was only one series of figures. I only got two, my Carter boys. Like the JLI series I never opened these up. Not because I couldn't stand them but I just wanted to keep them in to display. In Boosters' case I think I was waiting for a better figure to come along.
I love this figure, the costume and the fact it could be three different characters. Personally I like to think it's Daniel just because we'll never get a figure based on him. Plus it means we'd just need a Rip Hunter and Michelle to complete the Carter clan. The only real complaint I have (for someone that hasn't opened the package) is that like Booster, Supernova has closed fists meaning you can't have him playing X-Box live. Otherwise I'm glad we got this one.
Here's a little bit of trivia for Booster fans, this was the first comic accurate Booster Gold figure. According to the rumors DCD hadn't previously wanted to make a figure because they weren't fond of the collared costume. Originally this figure had the costume from 52 but after fans demanded the classic look (likely fearing one wouldn't be made) they decided to go for the collar design. A shame because the first one was said to have come with logo stickers to attach over his uniform to mimic his sponsorship deals in 52. Likewise Skeets doesn't look like he did in the actual series. He's a okay looking figure but the face doesn't scream Booster. Plus the first figure sounded far more interesting.
Blackest Night Black Lantern Blue Beetle
I managed to get just this figure without buying the rest of the pack. The body is slightly tall and thinner than I'd expect from a Ted figure. There's no accessories despite the comic version having a BB gun. The belt is just painted on. The legs can't be posed too much although the arms have better movement thanks to the ball joint shoulders. The head sculpt is the best part but this isn't much more than a variant figure. Nice to have in the background but not a great Ted figure.
Minimates Booster Gold and Blue Beetle (Diamond Select/Art Asylum)
If you know the product Minimates have been very popular for Marvel Comic characters. DC never went into double digits with their waves. It's still a highly demanded product but apparently DC has no desire to make more. Even if people are still requesting it pretty regularly. Blue and Gold were lucky enough to make the cut for the minimate character selection. They came in a two pack (although you may notice that companies try to sell the two close together whenever they can.) Their about as perfect as you could get for early minimates even having some nice details like the yellow dot that's Boosters' flight ring. Ted comes with his BB gun and Booster has Skeets! Neither have extra hair for when they unmask but their still fun to have sitting on your desk or shelf. As for the rest of JLI? Batman has a few figures, J'onn has a near impossible to get one from a Toy R Us line, Guy has one and that's pretty much it unless you consider Power Girl a member.
Blue Beetle 3 (Jaime)
This is one of the best figures that's come out of the company. There's nothing I can complain about. It looks like the comic character, has great movement and attachments like the wings and a weapon. I have seen other Jaime figures but none of them are as great as this one.
Blue Beetle 2 (Ted)
Likewise I think this is the perfect Ted Kord figure. The Blue Beetles make out the best from Mattel. Good movement and looks. And yes he comes with a BB gun.
I'm not as fond of this Booster that comes in a modern version and has a classic collared variant. The head looks too small and the face just doesn't say Booster although that might have to do with the paint job. The promo pictures look FAR better than the released figure. Not that there's aren't nice touches like the modern Boosters' Skeets opening to reveal Mr. Mind.
Overall: The Mattel versions of Ted and Jaime are, in my opinion, perfect. I really don't think there's a definitive Booster Gold figure. The closest is the Mattel one but the head and paint job kind of ruined it for me. Other than that the minimates are great especially because the pieces can be switched out. So if you want to give Booster long hair (mullet) or give Ted some extra weight you can as long as you have the pieces.