“I’m tired, Alfred. A weary body can be dealt with, but a weary spirit, that’s something else. Sometimes, old friend, I wonder if I’m really doing any good out there. I’ve put out a few fires yes, won a few battles, but the war goes on Alfred, on and on… “– Batman, Batman: The Animated Series “I Am The Night” (1992)
If you review toys for a living… well, not really for living, more like a hobby in your spare time that pays virtually nothing, but when you do that you have to expect to review a lot Batman figures. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sworn off Batman figures… and yet there’s always another cool one. It’s a disease.
DC Collectibles, with their genius idea of revisiting The Animated Series figures twenty-three years later, is not only tapping deep into collector nostalgia, but has also gotten me to buy two* more Batmen thanks to the BTAS/TNBA switch that was made halfway through the 90s cartoons. Both versions of the show are amazing, sometimes in different ways, so try as I might to choose, I simply can’t. Even now, nearly a quarter of century later, I’m trying to save my wallet from this line and I can’t even just pick one style of figure to pick up. It’s killer.
* – Soon to be three Batmen early next year. Thank you, Phantasm 2pk!
When it comes to specific designs, it’s not always as hard a choice. Some, like Mr. Freeze are two home runs. Others, like Two-Face, barely register. And in-between… well, we can cover them when they get there. For Batman, I like the TNBA look just fine. He looks great with Superman (I am chomping at the bit for DCC to announce a Superman wave…) & it’s a strong, simple design. But I’m an oval man (both in shape & in Batman symbol preference), so TBAS speaks to me in a way that TNBA does not.
And this figure? This figure nearly nails it. The basic visual is fantastic. The shapes are great, the articulation doesn’t distract, and that sculpted, raised, oval looks magnificent. If I were to gush, I’d use the word stunning. It’s probably my favorite figure so far, but to be fair I’ve only opened six of the thirteen figures released. Hopefully, I’ll catch up soon.
While it’s my “new favorite thing” this week, there is one visual I’m not entirely sold on. And, no, it’s not that the utility belt doesn’t have panels all the way around, it’s the head sculpt. I think I might be being unfair to DCC because I’m a toy fan first. I love the old toys as much as I love the old cartoon. I love the old toys so much that, here’s my Bat-figuritis flaring up, I’d be hard-pressed to pass on repaints of this figure – I could see loving Sky Dive Orange, Infrared Red, Anti-Freeze White, Knight Star Gold, and even Lightning Strike Camo if I were just to throw out some colors there. Anyway, this head is not like that head and I think it’s tripping me up. I might say they were trying to look more like the cartoon, but I don’t think the head succeeds entirely there either the chin is just a little too round and the cowl lines too steep. It’s not bad by any means, but it just doesn’t quite scream BTAS like the rest of the body.
The articulation is alright. I don’t need hyper-articulation out of these guys because so much relies on the visual and, hey, we’re just trying to one up the five-pointers here. We’ve got limited ball-joints at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, & inverted ankles. Those ball-joints are topped off with a waist swivel, single-hinge knees, and the h-style hips. All the joints work great, and the figure feels like I don’t have to be as careful with him as the first wave, but I still am moving him around gently. I wish the chest allowed more movement for the upper arms, or we had a true bicep swivel over the ball-elbows, but there’s plenty of range to get the figure into some fun poses. Continue to Page 2…