How do you get a toy collector to buy a second version of a toy he didn’t particularly like? A new, improved deco? That certainly helps. A fun new accessory? Doesn’t hurt. An alternate build a Batsignal piece? Well… damn it. Luckily, the changes to this version make him more palatable.
Months ago, Mattel released a pair of Dark Knight Movie Masters two-packs as part of their Batman Legacy line. Now, while I love the films, I haven’t been that keen on the Movie Masters line. Prior to Dark Knight Rises, I did buy the villains and the supporting cast (not a big investment at six figures), but I think that was largely out of growing up on Batman movie toys more than really loving the figures themselves. That’s pretty much exactly why I picked up the Gordon / pre-Batman 2pk when it came out. I waffled a bit on the $28 – I had little use for the Bruce Wayne (though I did end up popping his head on my unused Batman), but I wanted the Gordon. Enough so that I’ve now bought him twice, the original 2pk and now this Walmart Exclusive version.
The sculpt on that original, the same one used for this repaint, is okay. The body itself is the suited body that virtually every Movie Master uses. Gordon did get to spice things up with a trench coat, but, let’s face it, the Movie Masters get by on their head sculpts. The fantastic Christian Bale likeness (that has yet to get the suited body, ironically), the great Aaron Eckhart likeness, the fun Scarecrow sculpt, the good (but overpainted) Michael Caine, and then you get to Gordon. I think it looks enough like Oldman to get the point across, but when you place him the collection alongside those other sculpts… he ends up looking a little more like a cartoon version of Oldman than a realistic sculpt. I took some shots from multiple angles to try and find one that might capture more Oldman than the straight-on view further down. The results were mixed.
The head sculpt does have one thing that puts it light years ahead of the original figure though – the glasses are clear. The frosted lenses on the original were a real annoyance for me, so I was happy that Mattel had at least corrected that mistake with this reissue. Sadly though, they opted to still paint the brown line in for his mouth. I still can’t figure why they thought that was a good idea for either release of this figure.
The colors are what really set this figure apart and, like the clear glasses it’s another feature that makes me really regret buying the original. At the time, I didn’t mind Gordon in the lighter colors. I love the movies, but I don’t pay enough attention to know when, if, or where Gordon wore a grey suit and trenchcoat. I was cool with that choice for the figure because there was already a lot of navy blue in the display. That said, I love these colors. It may or may not be, but these colors feel more accurate to the film.
Like the sculpt, the paint on the figure is largely about what happens above the neck. The body is almost entirely molded in the appropriate colors and the sparse decos (the tie, the belt, etc.) are all sharply done. The head almost comes out clean. The hairline and eyes are working for me, but the mustache is too sloppy and helps contribute to that cartoony appearance I mentioned earlier. And a second shout out to get rid of that awful definition line in the mouth. Bad, Mattel, bad! Continue to Page 2…