Anyone miss the days of “free” figure offers? Getting toys by mail is common enough now, but remember being able to get toys free with a tank of gas, flag points, or proof of purchases? I loved that. And whenever there’s a free figure offer these days, I find myself tempted…
The subject of my review today is a Toys R Us Exclusive, available free with purchase of Batman: Arkham City. The game debuted yesterday, and the first thing you might be asking is, “Noisy, if you just bought Arkham City, then why the hell are you writing this review instead of playing it?!?” Well, friends, I didn’t buy the game because I just don’t have time for it right now.
I love a good video game (my first job was working the electronics section at Toys R Us), but I rarely find time to get in front of my TV, controller in hand, these days unless its my wife insisting we play through the latest Lego Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc., game. I still haven’t even finished Ghostbusters for cryin’ out loud…
So, no I didn’t buy the game, but luckily I have friends that did; video game friends that don’t care about toys (that’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?). I’d known about this particular Arkham freebie and thought that Arkham Batman in classic colors was a cool idea, but I really hadn’t given owning one much thought. I knew I wouldn’t be rushing out to buy the game (prolly oughta at least play the first one first, no?) But today, I got no less than three text messages about this figure being at TRU. Two were just showing me that it existed, but the third came with the offer. “If I buy the game at TRU, you want this?”
I evened up that deal a bit by offering to buy dinner. So that was my free figure offer: buy a friend dinner, get a “free” figure. Well, who in their right mind would say no to that? (If you don’t have a cool video game, non-toy-collector friend, the figure is free with purchase of the game at Toys R Us, but I’ve heard you can also snag this guy at $14.99 if you’re so inclined.)
I included a package shot up above since this Batman is unique in the Batman Legacy line. His packaging dimensions match that of the DCUC-Compatible, single-carded figures, but the graphics have been changed to reflect the new game. It’s a nice piece in package, but, here at IAT, packaging goes in the recycle bin.
Real quick, I did have to laugh at the copy on the back of the package. It really talks up the figure and its “meticulous design”, “deluxe articulation”, and “supreme quality sculpts” all made by possible because each figure is “expertly crafted by industry masters”. To sum up, I wish the folks involved in making the figure were as good as the guy who wrote the ad copy for the packaging…. geez.
Let’s start with “supreme quality sculpts”. Whether you bought this guy in black/grey in the 2pk or this blue version, you might feel like this isn’t the best Batman that Mattel has produced. But let’s examine that for a second; nearly all of the other Batman were contracted out to the Four Horsemen. This figure was done by the in-house Mattel team, and thinking about some of the other in-house sculpts I’ve bought over this year… well, this might be the best Batman that Mattel has internally produced.
There’s good detailing covering the entire figure. The texturing, the paneling, the ribbing, quite a few of the other costume details from the game have been translated to this figure, right down to some awesome treaded boots! And even the head sculpt is a good 3D rendition of the game. And yes, most of the figure is just reused from the Two-Face 2pk, but the chest piece used here doesn’t have the raised bat symbol on it, so some tooling was done to get this figure out (and possibly make it available to be used for the other skins featured in the game – Sinestro Corps Arkham City Batman, anyone?). I’m kidding, Mattel.
While we’re talking about the sculpt, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the size. I still really don’t know why Mattel went big on this line. Toy companies just seem to feel the need to cover the spread and make figures all different sizes. There’s some thought that Mattel went a little bigger on AA toys to make them more compatible with DC Direct, but compatibility never seems to be on the mind of a toy executive. I’m imagining something more along the lines of “We’re already selling 4″, 5″, and 6″ Batmen – let’s shoot for 7”!
Anyway, the size isn’t a dealbreaker for me. I didn’t
buy receive this figure to put it with my existing DCUC collection. I wanted it for the novelty and being bigger than everything else doesn’t really affect that. So if the scale bothers you, remember to knock a few extra points off my summary because I probably won’t mention it again. Continue to Page 2…