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DC Classics.Com Batman
Legacy Wave One Review

This particular version of Batman (grey/black, no oval, big pouches) was even already released in the tail end of the DC Superheroes line (and is, unfortunately for this review, the only Mattel DCSH/DCUC Batman that I don’t own). The only difference being that Mattel has swapped the grim head of the first release (originally reused from the blue Batman above) with that aforementioned Sinestro Bats head.

The paint work on this figure is pretty solid and there’s a lot to like about this figure’s buck, like the extra detail on the costume, boots, gloves, etc.. The bright side for Mattel here is that the vast consumer base for Batman figures completely disagrees on one iconic look and this version will no doubt hit just the right spot for some collectors and kids alike.

Out of the three figures in the set, Mr. Freeze was probably the one I was most interested at the outset, but not for the reasons you might think. This Mr. Freeze sculpt has seen plenty of use over the years (not counting that he contributed parts to the various Armored Lex Luthors). Freeze was originally in the pre-DC license Batman line, retooled a bit for the DCSH line, and then given a NYCC exclusive repaint in the interim between DCSH & DCUC. While those early figures are certainly compatible, Mr. Freeze has yet to make an appearance in the main DCUC line.

So why did we want this repaint? Well, yeah, I do love Super Powers. But the real reasin is that, almost two years ago now, we found out that Mattel was using an image of our Custom Super Powers Freeze (along with customs from other sites) to shop the Legacy sub-line around to retailers. I have no idea if that’s standard practice (how would we even know?), but what really got our attention is how closely the final Mattel version still resembled the IAT custom. Sure, both figures are about the Super Powers deco being applied to a figure that wasn’t designed for it, but that’s a lot of similar deisgn choices.

There are some key changes though. The custom uses the original unarticulated Freeze body while Mattel’s uses the new body and its more Luthor-esque elements (like reversing the boots and eliminating some of the icy features). Props to Mattel on the purple dome, but I like the boots on our custom better. And it’s really a shame that Mattel opted to not use the goggle-less head.

The Batman Legacy line has no C&C component, so Mattel opted to replace that lost value with mini-posters and stands. Unfortunately, those mini-posters long ago ended up in the trash here. If any of our readers know who came with what – please chime in and I’ll add that information. I don’t have anything personal against mini-posters, but they don’t replace value to me. I kinda wish Mattel could’ve figured out something else to make that $15 price point worthwhile.

There is the Batman logo stand. Stands are better than mini-posters, but there were some problems on this front too. I love that the Golden Age figures had gold stands, but Mattel should’ve given the modern figures a third color and left silver to Silver Age versions. And, on that note, Freeze would’ve been better served with a Super Powers stand. And, worse still, the stands aren’t even compatible with all the figures…

Okay, so I tried to not make this a big two page spread on why I have purchase guilt for picking these up, but that’s exactly what it is because I do. I don’t mind having the Mr. Freeze as a curiosity, but I would’ve been better served to leave Angry Batman and GA Joker on the pegs. Now, for Joker, that’s partially just me. There seems to be plenty of fans enjoying the GA versions of Batman, Joker, & Robin, but I’d rather see more characters than decade-specific versions (though I am strangely happy about that SA Catwoman coming in Wave Three and I do expect to get a kick out of GA Bats more than I did Joker or Robin).

I think a Batman sub-line is a great idea. And I’m still looking forward to Superman receiving one even if it means were due for some lame Superman repaints in the hopes of getting one or two cool figures. I just think that the sub-line could’ve been better. Joker’s got some obvious QC issues and Batman’s got other costumes I’d like to see him in before “angry”. Maybe if these figures had been just a little more impressive, this wave would’ve gotten reviewed a long time ago.

For more DC reviews, check out our
DC Universe Classics Collector’s Guide.

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16 comments to DC Classics.Com Batman
Legacy Wave One Review

  • Braystreet

    You know what they say about Keyser Soze? “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist” well, it’s become quite apparent to me that the greatest trick that Heath Ledger’s Joker ever pulled was systematically removing large portions of Jim Gordon’s skeletal system while he slept so he was left with the height of the average 5′ inch Danny DeVito figure.

    Great review, though, thanks!

  • Yeah, I’ve got to say I agree with you on all counts. To me, the line wasn’t very exciting, but I guess it gave fans a chance to pick up characters they may have missed upon initial release. In my area, Walmart had marked Wave 1 down to $5 each. The Batman sold well, despite the awful head, but I never thought I’d see Joker as a pegwarmer, which is exactly what he has become.

    In other news, if you’re still looking for a Batmite Batman, I’ve got one up on my e-store. It’s practically retail, so check it out: http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/p/12834974/batman-legacy-edition-golden-age-w

  • Nicholai

    I’d love to see a Superman series too. Of course the problem with my wants for Superman characters is that I want too many civilians that action figure lines have always shied away from doing. I’d like a Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen to go along with Superman, but they just don’t seem to be in the cards.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    I still like your custom deco Freeze a lot better, even the dome.
    The purple obscures the head details far too much.

    And yeah, the grimace Bats head was sadly a miss on the 4H’s part.
    Better to have just straight reissued the DCSH version, or with the DCUC head.

  • Brainlock

    I agree this first wave was lackluster and the discolored Joker legs is laughable inexcusable. No pun intended.

    Freeze I only considered as fodder to beef up my custom Rocket Red Brigade. Don’t tell me Matty hasn’t already planned for that, especially since there are some more recent designs (JLI:GenLost) of the RRB VERY similar to Freeze’s armor.

    I found w2 when I was in Louisville at the end of August and snatched up BatGirl and CatMan right away. She’s just another repaint, but he’s tweaked enough from the basic Bat-body that it works. I’ve only seen them ONCE in the StL area, but Wash Target has plenty of Freeze, yet.

    If you really need a Bat-Mite, try and track down a Brave & Bold Happy Meal version. My aunt/cousin work at one store and I had to kick myself for not asking them to grab me one. Then again, my previous requests were laughable, as well. (recent YJ figures sucked, and I missed out on another line when they picked me up a set of the Marvel figures about a year+ ago. Neither were working much at the time for various reasons. oh well.)

    Were you going to do a review of the Young Justice 6″ figures? the online Mattel Store has them on sale right now for $40 for all four 6″ sets.
    http://shop.mattel.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12067409
    Just got mine and the boys are ok, but I’m going to have to swap Artemis out at retail, since her arm is nearly twisted off IN package. sigh….

  • I have never seen such terrible leg issues on any of the Jokers around here thats wacked……Thanks Mattel

  • Shadowlogic

    My Joker does not have that leg problem thank goodness!

  • Tom McCraw

    The color of Joker’s legs is ridiculous. The mold injection process should all be of the same platic color batch. Whoever is in charge of quality control (IF Mattel even has someone working in that position) should be either fired or taken behind the shed and whipped severely.

    • dayraven

      the thing i find so incredible is that the numerous other industries that make heavy use of plastics don’t seem to have the price instability nor the QC problems that the action figure industry does. walk into your local big box retailer or better yet, go to the container store. walk over to aisle after aisle of variously sized plastic bins, jars, vases, etc… now try to find a manufacturer where 20 to 25% of the lids don’t fit the bins. find a manufacturer whose blue bins and lids are different shades of blue (unintentionally). go look at tooth brushes are see if you can find ones that appear to be different sizes in the same style (i.e. the martian manhunter bicep debacle).

      these defects just aren’t there. it i go buy a bottle of formula 409, every bottle is the same size, they are all the same color, the sprayers screw on and off easily, and can be swapped across from bottle to bottle w/ zero deviance in functionality. i understand that a pump isn’t a new technology, but it’s infinitely more complex than say, matching up two legs or biceps. a pump has actual moving parts, and must endure internal stress… a joker must balance and pose menacingly. for fudge’s sake, i can go buy a 5 dollar time piece that will keep excellent time for a year or more, but a 20 dollar joker can’t have matching legs?

      • Lee in MI

        Dayum!!!! You need to repost this on every friggin toy site from here to Calcutta!!! Truer words have not been spoken. Sure the price of everything is going up due to the cost of petroleum rising, but not at the astounding percentages (50% in 4 years!) we’ve seen in the toy industry. There has got to be another factor driving the price increase…GREED! Occupy the toy industry!!!!

        Can you imagine going into your local Target or Wal-Mart on a given Tuesday and buying a newly released CD for $24 bucks or a DVD for $40?!?!?! They are essentially all plastic from case to the disk and they are massed produced with increasingly more complex technology and the price has stayed fairly constant (give or take a dollar or 2) for the last 5+ years. Sure there’s no tooling cost involved but I venture to guess their royalties and licensure cost would dwarf whats shelled out by the toy companies…particularly when there are no likeness rights being purchased.

        And still with all this staring folks right in the face everytime they go to the store, there are still major defenders and apologist out there for these companies and their questionable price structuring. O_o

        Rant over…

      • Well said, DR. The problem, and the solution is shockingly obvious. 🙂

        I worked for a very short time in a plastic injection molding place and let me tell you, checking, inspecting, checking again and documenting it was a constant job. Nobody was left alone at their machines for long, spot checks were constant. Plastic quality was checked and double-checked both at the feeder bin and at the injection head.

        Seems to me the problem is simply that Mattel doesn’t appear to have any QC people INDEPENDENT of the factory on the job. It APPEARS that someone calls up and says “So, how’s the QC on the current run?” “Oh, everything is perfect! Best job yet!” and we get reversed parts and mis-colored plastic and so on.

        Mind, it may be difficult to impossible to get an independent checker into the factory. People forget that it’s still COMMUNIST China, and if something may show the nation in a bad light, well, that’s just not allowed. One doesn’t go ANYWHERE over there without permission. Even in the isolated areas where outsiders are allowed to stay and work, you don’t leave the reservation. The Chinese are much better on keeping these things hidden from the West than the Soviet Union ever was able to do.

        There are constant comments about “they just can’t make these figures here, the costs would be too high!” and yeah, if you use a factory in California this would be true. So build a new factory in a more business-friendly state such as Texas. Re-think the entire process. Maybe focus on slowing the production line somewhat and instill the message that Quality is best over Quantity.

        Heck, building and opening a new factory to make ’boutique’ toys could create a huge positive publicity buzz. There may even be State tax credit incentives available.

        Oh, wait, sorry, that makes WAY too much sense. It also won’t throw off huge ROI within 2 months of starting up. It might actually take several years for the investment to really pay off. Can’t have that, the Board of Directors need that extra penny NOW or Mattel may well vanish off the face of the Earth! *ranty rant*

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  • Kidsidekick

    If your still looking for a GA Batman w/ Bat-mite, I just came from my local K-mart and they still had one. It would be my pleasure to go back and pick it up for you. Let me know.

  • TSR

    They’re half off at Target right now. Might pick up the Freeze – not sure though.

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