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Batman Unlimited Dark
Knight Returns Batman Review

I’m still waiting on Wally West to arrive (I’ll explain later), but I still felt like reviewing a DCUC figure to kick off the week. Since the retail line has pretty much abandoned my interests, I only have a couple of recent, non-sub DC figures to choose from. I wanted something fun, so DKR Batman got the nod.

This Batman figure set off a bit of controversy when he debuted. He’s intended to be a Dark Knight Rises Batman, of course, based on the story by Frank Miller. The figure does a damn good job of it too. He looks great. But, that’s not what I see when I look at him. What I see is a Masters of the Universe Batman.

The reason for that is pretty clear: shared tooling. When this figure debuted though, the shared tooling was immediately discounted by some at Mattel. I think part of the reason was simply because some collectors had asked for figures like this, certain DC Characters with MOTU proportions. I admit that I never thought to inquire about a DKR Bats, but I did want Superman and I’d still be pretty thrilled if Mattel got their Remco on and offered DC’s Warlord in both their standard buck and on the MOTU buck. That would be wild, but I digress.

I’m not sure how much shared tooling exists between the MOTU line and this Batman. Toy Guru said early on that he only shared shoulders and, well, it looks like he shares quite a bit more of the more common pieces than that. You can tell what’s new for sure – the entire upper torso, the cape, the head, the boots, the forearms, and the classic undies. And, yeah, when you list it like that – it is the majority of the figure, but you can’t deny this guy looks like a MOTU Batman and I guess I’m still at a loss as to why some at Mattel ran with that denial.

All the new pieces are fantastic. The important costume details are all sculpted in. I love the chunky torso – I kinda wanna see it on He-Man. And I also love the head sculpt. Maybe I’ve missed a parallel in the original art, but it rings true for the Frank Miller DKR look, but I also get a Kirby vibe from it as well. Speaking of that head and the shared tooling – Batman’s head is as easily removable & swappable as any MOTU figure. This has lead to plenty of fun around my toy shelves, let me tell ya. Grizzlor in a Batman suit? Awesome. Or you could pull out Flipshot/Icarius, plop that Val Kilmer head on Batman… and then burn it with fire. Continue to Page 2…

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52 comments to Batman Unlimited Dark
Knight Returns Batman Review

  • Excellent review, great pics, and hilarious comics. Love the Batman face photoshopped onto Hordak’s armour!

    Apart from the warped batarang that keeps falling out of his grip, I really like this figure. Someday, I’ll eventually get around to seeing if I can remove that plastic cape of his and replace it with a fabric one . . . .

    • loolar

      That’s not photo-shopped. As stated in the review, his head is compatible for MOTUC head swaps.

      • j1h15233

        The Batman head is photoshopped. He’s talking about the one on the armor.

        • dayraven

          no, the batman head is NOT photoshopped… the batman head is swappable w/ any motuc fig save the giants. seriously. look around the web. it certainly fits on hordak’s body, but it works on jitsu, he-man, faker, everyone.

          • Zach S.

            He’s talking about the tiny Batman head photoshopped onto the breastplate, as part of the Horde symbol (replacing Hordak’s face there)…

            • loolar

              YIKES! I did NOT even see that… thank you Zach for pointing it out more specifically – and well done, Noisy! So well done I completely missed it, it looked so much a part of the figure!

            • well just spell it out for me know, won’t you? 😉

        • loolar

          Thanks j1h15233 (that’s a mouthful!) – I fail reading comprehension. Beedo clearly said “onto Hordak’s armor” (as did you) and I missed it both times. Duh!

          • dayraven

            oops… that’d be my bad too. i thought they were referring to the armor collar that hordak wears, i didn’t even look at the chest emblem. sorry ’bout that y’all, you are indeed wiser men than we

  • […] now there’s a review of the toy at It’s All True. Click through for Noisy’s thoughts on this toy — and for some very silly photos! […]

  • J. Lee

    Saw him last week, held in hand but, put back cause gonna see what figuarts are offered this month and order somebody. Kiba ranger maybe?
    One time I wish I fought with myself and went ahead and bought him. DKR looked great in person. Guess will check the toy show. Planet X still hanging around.

  • He-Mullet

    To be fair, Batman had to outsource the Batarang making…

  • Polo23

    I finally found this figure at Target.

  • great review! I see some Hoard World influence in there 😉

  • Paul

    Really nice review, and the pics were hilarious! I think I’m missing something, though. I totally don’t get eh Battlecat joke.

  • TC

    Good stuff, Noisy! Been looking forward to your review of this figure (and maybe more importantly, the accompanying pictures) and it was well worth the wait.
    I personally am loving the retail lines. Oh, not because the figures are any good, but because I find the need NOT to buy all the figures very…freeing. New 52 Darkseid and all the Injustice figures can sit on those pegs from now til kingdom come, and I don’t have to give a flying fig. Which made finding DKR Bats, a figure I actually wanted, all the sweeter. This figure is awesome!
    When the pics were first released, I must admit, I just kinda gave it a “meh, they just slapped a Batman head on a MOTU body.” Then I began to realize that this was pretty f’n genius. Matty gets to save on new tooling and sculpts, and we get a bat-toy from a kick-ass comic book. Sounds good to me. And yes, they HAVE to do DKR Supes. It only makes sense.
    The figure itself is just so cool. When you pick it up, the sheer weight of the figure makes you feel like you’ve got something special (I don’t collect MOTU, so I didn’t expect the extra heft of this Bats). The articulation is really nice, too, especially that neck movement you mentioned.
    One minor gripe though (hey, it’s Matty, we have to complain about something) is the choice of accessory. Here you have this really dense, chunky figure, and they give him this flimsy little batarang. Now I know they can’t give him an entire suit of snap-on armor, but howabout the gun or sword from the cover of issue 4 of the comic series? Or even some big-ass electrified brass-knucks or something? Something that this guy can do some real bone-crunching damage with. Oh well, maybe in a DC weapons pack?
    That said, arguably the best new retail figure so far.
    All in

    • TC

      *That “All in” at the end there was from something I had written and deleted in the post that hung around somehow. That’s not, like, my WWE-style signature tag-line or something. Didn’t want my IAT compadres thinkin’ I walk around punctuating everything I say with “All in”.
      Actually, that’s not half bad. Nevermind.
      All in, baby. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    • I share the sentiment that it’s nice not to feel compelled to want the newest DC figures, but at the same time, it’s a bit sad that there’s all this DC product coming out and I don’t really want much of it. Of course, I feel the same way about their comics at this point. I’ve read DC for as long as I can remember (seriously, one of the books I learned to read on was a book/record combo of Superman), and have been buying DC figures habitually for years now, and it feels strange to see new product on the shelf and not even want to pick one up and give it a look.

      The only DC figures I’ve bought this year were the Batman Unlimited Batgirl (I love the book, and the costume’s nice looking, even if it makes no sense. Why is Batgirl’s suit made out of the Witchblade?) and some of the Man of Steel Movie Masters.

      • TC

        Please tell me it was the record/book that ends with Supes throwing an 18-wheeler into the sun, ’cause that thing was fantastic!
        It is sad, but my wallet is pretty happy about it, and the Club Infinite Earths gives me a monthly fix anyway. I mean, if Matty wants to put out a quality product, I’m happy to give him my money. But those Injustice figures are god-awful, and I don’t really care for figures with looks based off of movies or cartoon appearances, either. Gonna make an exception for armored Zod and Faora, however. If for no other reason than if matty isn’t making an “evil Kryptonian 3-pack” based on the comics this year, then it ain’t ever gonna happen.

        • I don’t remember Superman throwing a truck into the sun. I think there were two stories, one about some sort of alien threat (I just remember a paragraph describing what seemed to be silver bullets raining from the sky) and one where Superman fought Mr. Mxyzptlk. Mxyzptlk had cast a spell on the world where no one could use vowels, and to trick him, Superman kept constantly writing words with vowels in them, and to show him up, Mxy read one of the sentences Superman had written aloud, but without vowels, and it turned out the consonants spelled out “Kltpzyxm,” thereby sending him back to the 5th Dimension.

  • elvis8batman

    I also wasn’t too fussed when this figure was announced, but like most people, I really loved it when I got one.

    Same sentiments as you guys, they need to make an accompanying Superman, But I’d also like them to consider using this and other MOTU bucks for other beefed up human characters in the DCU. Whiplash body parts for a new Killer Croc (Classic version, not the Jim Lee Lizard… basically a better articulated version of the DCSH tail-less sculpt), this Batman buck for an in-scale Bane or Blockbuster (the first version, obviously not his smarter suited brother from the Nightwing comics). Or possibly for KGBeast.

    Mattel have set a precedent using these parts, they need to consider using MOTU female bucks for Big Barda and other bigger female DC characters.

    But this is a great figure that should open up the options for future parts sharing.

  • Phil

    Man, fat Batman is a dick.

  • dean

    I’m not joking…this may be my favorite MOTUC/DCUC figure. So awesome. I love everything about it and the head swap ability is aces. Plus, he is reasonably priced. Matty, more like this, please. Warlord anyone? And I totally agree about Barda and the other suggestions. Now I need to find a spare of this guy. One is not enough.

  • Bator

    Seriously, this is the greatest action figure ever! A MOTUC Warlord would be awesome too.

  • cdh

    BATMAN RULES!!! HE EASILY DESTROYED HE-MAN´S ENEMIES!!!!!!!!!

  • I’ve seen this guy a couple of times at Target, and they have him at the LCS, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to pull the trigger. The concept of a MOTUC Batman tickles my fancy, but I already have tons of Batmen, and DKR Batman is far from my favorite interpretation of the character. Add to that that my entire MOTUC and most of my DC collection are boxed up in storage right now, and I’m not feeling super compelled to pick this guy up.

  • Brainlock

    I saw both DKR and Planet-X/Bat-Mite on my way up to my dealer’s going away party the other weekend. I was tempted to buy both, but…just couldn’t pull the trigger. I may rethink DKR if I see another one out here (not holding breath), now that I know he’s head-swappable with MOTU…which sounds *really* dirrty out of context.
    P-X had the Bat-Mite selling point, but $20 for a mini-fig? nope. Maybe if we had a Superman with Mxyzptlk or a 2pk with both figures, I would buy it, but not with dayglo eyesore Bats.

    but yeah, maybe if Mattel announced they were doing DKR Supes with the same styled body, DKR Bats would be mine already, but or now? no.
    and altho I never saw the MOTU-styled Warlord line, I’d also want a Hercules to go with that Warlord! Which means a WW and Jennifer from Teela, and then…. 😉

    Which also begs the question: Villains? Who did that Joker with the explodey suit top, pre-DCSH? Mattel? Kenner? Hasbro? that mold would work great for the DKR Joker, just give it a white deco.

    NICE subtle job on the Bat-Horde symbol! I wonder how many caught that before reading the discussion above? LOL
    and BAT-tleCat. heh. Almost tempted to say he would probably prefer the darker colored Panthor, but it still works.

    so what are the four Batmen in the line-up?
    far left almost looks like an animated head (BTAS/NBA?), then angry/constipated Batman head (re-used for SinCorps Bats?), Hasbro-esque BTAS head, then DKR Bats.
    and they’re all DIFFERENT HEIGHTS?!?!?

    • Far left is, I believe, a figure from a two-pack with Robin. Batman mostly used a standard DCUC body, with the “Public Enemies” belt. The Robin in that pack was the DCUC “too damn small” Robin repainted with Tim Drake’s original costume colors.

      Second is mostly a DCSH Batman v2 body with a Sinestro Corps Batman head. It was released as part of the Batman Legacy series, in the first wave.

      The third one is from the “Public Enemies” line, based on the Superman/Batman DTV animated film, itself based on the comic by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness.

      Strangely, since the second figure’s body originated in DCSH, the second steroid progression actually predates the first. Also, Mattel continues to deny that there’s any difference between the first figure and the third. Seriously.

  • kantboy2

    DCUC body, DCSH body w/SC Bats head, Public Enemies Bats and DKR Bats.

    Hope Mattel considers doing a Super Powers belt/deco with a new head for Bats and new head for Supes (you all know he’s coming) and release new DC vs MOTU 2-packs:

    Superman vs Alcala Skeletor, Batman vs Red Beastman, Bizarro vs Fisto, etc..

    • kantboy2

      I meant Bizarro vs He-Man…

    • Brainlock

      thanks. not a Bat-fan, so wasn’t sure. I only get him when it’s a necessity.
      I was thinking: Silver Age/Luthor 5pk; those are same fists as Shadow Batman (?-name, all black outfit, no skin); no clue; DKR
      I think I only picked up the blue PE Bats, and then tucked him in with my Titans to represent Dick’s time in cowl.

  • Love the pics. This is how the DC figures in the MOTUC 2-packs should have been made in the first place. This figure is 100% win.

  • I like it. I like it lots. I think I’m going to have to swallow my pride and just buy the damn thing.

    He DOES need a matching Superman. I’ll bet it will never ever happen. That’s too darn logical and sensible.

    Wish he had extra, swappable hands.

  • north-exit

    I’m glad somebody other than me, can see that there’s been very little newly sculpted parts here. Many reviewers seem to think that there’s little parts re-use… obviously not the case.

    Either way, I love the look and completed mine with a custom Bruce Wayne head sculpt.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/49660795@N05/8950157932/

  • Finally broke down and picked this guy up. He’s pretty sweet. I have only two nits to pick:

    1) I don’t love the head. That’s the fault of the source material more than anything else. The shape of the mouth area looks weird, and the teeth are the same color as the suit. It just looks a little weird. I’ve also always been more a fan of long-ear Batman than stubby-ear Batman.

    2) I wish the hips were a little more mobile. I can’t quite get him into the iconic DKR leaping pose.

  • Dave

    Now someone has to paint the Classics Windraider as a Batwing. 😀

  • Ian

    You should get a commission for selling me on this Batman.
    I love the MOTUC crossover appeal and that’s where it will be displayed, as opposed to with my DC shelf.

    Great review, and I love the ‘comics.’

  • Zach

    So are you are not gonna do a new52 Darkseid review?