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Dark Knight Rises Movie Masters
Ra’s Al Ghul Review

Sometimes movie toy lines have to hold back the announcement & release of a certain figures to avoid spoilers. Sometimes it’s annoying: I’m still mad about not getting a Dick Tracy Blank figure. Sometimes it’s funny: Hulk’s Dad being the Absorbing Man. Sometimes it’s kinda weird like Ra’s Al Ghul here.

If you haven’t watched Dark Knight, then you might think that knowing about this figure has somehow spoiled the movie for you. This figure that went unrevealed in the lead up to the movie’s release after all, but it really isn’t a spoiler. I mean, if you’ve seen the movie you could maybe construe some weird reason for it being one, but look at the figure – this is a Batman Begins figure. And frankly, that’s cool with me. This was fan demanded character and I’m glad Mattel went back to the first movie to get it done.

Even though I’ve bought a lot of them, I’m not the biggest fan of Mattel’s Dark Knight toy line. The truth is that Nolan’s films, while I love them, aren’t really toy-friendly. Well, I shouldn’t say that. I’m sure Mattel is happy to have a line where the vast majority of characters can be done by adding a new head to an existing body, but it hasn’t made for the most exciting toy line. Looking at the group, I’m not sure why I really needed to buy these sometimes. It’s Batman, Catwoman, Bane, and a bunch of guys in suits. It’s the toy line that every company would insist would fail if they saw it on paper.

And yet I find that their is an appeal for some strange reason. Since Nolan removed most of the fanciful colors and outfits that a toy company would eat up, they made the guys in suits. We got Alfred. We got Gordon. We got Ra’s in a suit instead of silly armor. That’s awesome. And even though I just pointed out the lackluster feeling a bunch of guys in suits gives you on a toy shelf, I want Mattel to make two more: a proper Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox. Seriously, Mattel, how can we not have a Morgan Freeman figure? It’s been too many years since Prince of Thieves. And hey, that was a Morgan Freeman head (sorta) on a generic DC body too! Nostalgia!

So, as I said, this figure is taken from the end of the first film. Y’know, that seminal moment where the new Batman learns the delicate parsing between killing someone and leaving them to die? Now, I’ve never been sure on that one. Do we give Gordon the kill on this one? Was it just an “accident”? What’s the definition of negligent homicide again? It’s not really clear, but trust me, I made the “I don’t have to buy you!” joke at the store much to my own amusement and I can now happily recreate that morally ambiguous scene in my own home. That’s win-win.Continue to Page 2…

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31 comments to Dark Knight Rises Movie Masters
Ra’s Al Ghul Review

  • Megaduce Flare

    Pic 2 & 4: Taken
    Pic 3: Batman Begins, maybe? It’s been a while since I’ve seen it.
    Pic 5: Clash of the Titans (2010)
    Pic 6: A-Team

    What, no Phantom Menace quotes? 😛

  • That is one ugly head sculpt.

  • Bigbot

    Great review. I could hear Liam Neeson and Michael Caine talking in that 4th pic.

    Also, I’m guessing that 3rd pic is from Darkman.

  • 3B

    He’s the only one I need and nowhere to be found! ARGH!!! However, I’m glad that his piece goes on the back, because I’m already displaying the bat signal on my shelf and it looks “good enough” right now.

    Great pics!

  • TC

    Nice review, as usual, Noisy. Your pictures are always entertaining.
    That said, reviewing these “civilian” figures kind of seems like a waste of everyone’s time to me. Mainly YOUR time, since it’s just another repaint of Mattel’s “suit” buck (which you’ve already reviewed on previous figures) with a new head popped on. How many times is Matty gonna trot this out? It’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s just a toy of a guy in a suit. It’s looks fine, but who cares, really? All we keep hearing out of Night Lick is how the focus is on “moms and kids.” So, forgetting for a second that these aren’t “kids movies” does he really believe that Sally Homemaker and Little Jimmy are going to walk out of the store with one of these things? Do kids dream of making their Batman figure fight a dude that bought his super-villain costume at the Men’s Warehouse? I already know I’ll be seeing 6 of these guys warming pegs at my local TRU for the next 8 months. Meanwhile, I have yet to come across one of those Sinestro corps Hal/Blue Lantern Kyle 2-Paks. It’s really frustrating being a Mattel guy sometimes. They won’t make the Huntress, but hey, they did make us an Aaron Eckhart action figure. Awesome.
    I know it’s too early to be this grumpy, but this is just a waste of plastic. If you want to sell me a Ras, then make him in the comic book style, and put him in the DCUC or whatever they’re calling it now. Alright, done bitching. Going to get some coffee.

    • Ironically, these Dark Knight Rises reviews have been huge for the site. Some of the most viewed all year – moreso then some of the comicfare, if you can believe it.

      As for as Movie Masters, it is one of those rare “collector-targeted” line (and under the purview of “Matty Justice League”, not “Toy Guru”) so the mix works in this instance. The only real problem I have is that the significantly narrower audience makes Mattel at least think they should plan for slow sell-throughs and give us the suit figures repeatedly.

      And I share the frustration on those last TRU 2pks. I’m still not sure on their fate, at one point “Matty Justice League” did say they were delivered to TRU, but that doesn’t mean much. The last wave of MOTU 2pks was damn near non-existent.

  • Brainlock

    Where did you find these? I’ve only got a good dozen+ Batmen scattered across three local stores. None of which are on clearance (yet?) but I did grab Bats and Bane for $11 each in Louisville last month. (Friends I was with just gave a puzzled shrug. oh well.)

    I have yet to see the secondary waves of Selina (either), Blake, or Ra’s at retail and what are online are going fast and price is increasing. I feel lucky to have snagged Caine’s Alfred and the WM Gordon with exclusive “smashed signal”, as well. The “regular” Gordon is another one I don’t expect to see, either, due to “exclusive mixes”.

    I worry less about it being “a bunch of suits” with a few extra figures “in costume”, as Doctor Who has been the same model and sells pretty well. Look at last year’s Big Bad the Silence: aliens in wrinkled suits! Most “monsters” sell comparably well with the various Doctors (new shoes! they’re RED!), with the exception of one-off characters that peg warm. And they even did a Grandma Connelly with the alternate “faceless” head! LOL

    Neeson’s head sculpt looks decent, or at least, better than the painted Caine and the re-used passable Oldman we got for Alfred and Gordon. but hey, at least they offered a *girl* in this series after denying us Katie and Maggie as Rachel.

    Hindsight being 20/20, I do wish I had grabbed some of those BB/TDK MM figures for fodder, if anything else. I’ve seen some decent customs using them in the years since, but they were some of the first “expensive” figures at like $11+, which was basically unheard of outside of DC Direct at the time. Little did we know…. :/

    • They’ve just been hitting at the WMs here on and off. I’ve seen everybody multiple times with the exception of Ra’s here. If I hadn’t bought any before Ra’s, I could’ve meandered around to the area WMs and assembled the bat-signal in one day (Alfred might’ve been a problem come to think of it, but the rest have all been sighted recently). All the non-Batman & non-Banes are selling through here too, so it’s a bit odd.

      It shouldn’t be too expensive to pick up most of the the TKDMMs loose. Prior to picking up Alfred and starting the DKRMMs, I only had the Gordon 2pk, a Batman, & Harvey Dent. The rest I got pretty easily.

      • Brainlock

        The only time we got a refresher case up here was with the Gordon cases at WAMO WM. NOTHING else has been refreshed anywhere else. :/

  • ero

    I’m normally not an accessory hound, but these are figures that, as has been widely noted, are sorely lacking them. I could live with all of the suits if they’d just bothered to give them one or two appropriate accessories. Alfred, as Noisy and I have bantered about, would have been sweet if he came with a golf club. (Actually, Alfred should have come in a droopy blue cardigan and a tissue in his hand, the tearful mope, but I digress …). Bank Robber Joker should have had that hand gun with lengthy clip and a duffle bag, Two-Face a snub-nose pistol, etc., etc.

    I’m glad Ra’s comes with the mask, but it just makes me want a ninja Ra’s even more so now, because I find it a near crime to finally get a Liam Neeson Ra’s head only to have to cover it up with the mask. I wish they’d done a variant that’s faithful to his appearance in the mansion, perhaps with that cane. I think I would have gone for both in that case.

    As for the suits, I think there is a way to keep these figures in a somewhat toyetic display, but it means not being a completist or accuracy hound. I skipped the suit version of the Scarecrow for the straightjacket version that’s barely seen in the movie (and really doesn’t make sense anyway — a straightjacket the length of a lab coat?). Either Joker looks different enough from the suits, both Bane’s are different, too, and Catwoman of course has the unique body. Coupled with both Batmen, there’s enough there to minimize the must-display suit-y-ness of Alfred, Gordon, Two-Face and Ra’s.

    • The ninja body could’ve gotten some use in an expanded line – “Ducard”, Bruce, and and as an armybuilder at least.

      I could’ve gotten the straightjacket Scarecrow, that’s true. I don’t really mind the suits at all from a visual/accuracy standpoint. It’s only annoying from a cheapness aspect, though I do marvel at the notion that this line shouldn’t exist by basic Mattel standards.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    I’m past my MM collecting days, and good thing too because I’ve only seen Bats and Bane, and especially trying to complete what sounds like a great Batsignal piece would be very frustrating and expensive.

    Glad you’ve been able to track ’em all down, Noisy! Looking forward to the Batsignal review.

    • Thanks!

      Just a matter of what to do about Batman & Bane. I can see getting Bane on a week where I have money to burn and the paint is flawless, but that Batman’s going to be clearance…

      … but I want to finish the signal!! 😛

  • Rodimus

    Great Review, but I will say I have a certain amount of Jealousy about you actually finding the “second” wave figures. The only time I saw any of them were at a convention where they wanted a minimum of 45 bucks for the figures.

    • It may just be that I have a *LOT* of WMs nearby, but it hasn’t been too difficult. It is annoying that Mattel appears to have distributed them all in cases with more Batman & Bane though.

      I’ve seen Catwoman, Gordon, & Blake all appeart to show up independently, but Catwoman & Blake were there fresh when I found Ra’s. It might end up that Alfred or Gordon is the rare one, but we won’t know for awhile.

  • dayraven

    you know, it’s a strange thing on these movie figs, both the MM and the hasbro movie stuff… at some angles, the head sculpts look very good, as likeness similarity goes, and then at others, it seems so off that you doubt yourself on the similarity from other angles. like, i just recently got the movie hulk thanks to a kindhearted friend, and he’s mega-awesome… and from some angles, i was actually surprised how ruffaloed he’s really is… but at other angles, other lighting, he looks about as ruffaloed as my nutsack (which is to say, not at all)

    and like w/ ras here, the front on shot, first photo, it’s far from perfect but i can see a little neeson in there… the second shot, partial profile chatting w/ annewoman, looks not at all neesonian. weird. i will say this, the mold seem running right down the side of his face doesn’t help.

    • I’m as blind to flash lines as I am to articulation for the most part. I don’t even see it until you point it out.

      I’m usually not that hard on head sculpts at 6″ & smaller. It’s not easy for smaller boutique operations and that means it’s nigh impossible for big companies (strange how that works). I always look back to Stargate (sculpted by the masterful Jean St. Jean) and it’s exactly what you describe: some angles are dead on the SG-1 crew and then others are almost generic. If it’s close enough for me to recognize, I’m usually happy. If it’s amazing though, I’ll make it a point to shout it out.

  • Black Arbor

    Boy I hope the second wave is easily available ( he says after looking at about a billion Batmen and Banes on the pegs.) I wish they could have put them all into one wave, considering that Neeson had already spilled the beans that he’d be in the movie, so it wasn’t really a secret. I foresee a lot of incomplete Bat-signals on Ebay…

    • Yeah, breaking it up is causing difficulty. I think most of the figures come in the Ra’s case, so it may just be a matter of getting lucky enough to find that one.

  • Andy

    Where did the axe come from?