BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (DC COLLECTIBLES)
DC Collectibles (formerly DC Direct) has made quite a splash in the collecting world with their new line of figures based on the much-loved Batman: The Animated Series. Toylines were something of a different beast at the time of the cartoon’s release. BTAS actually had one of the better lines of the time, but the figures were severely lacking in articulation and were often off model in order to facilitate action features and a smaller-scale toy budget. DC Collectibles’ line looks to be giving the characters the proper high quality treatment they deserve.
When it came to BTAS, there were few characters who benefited from the show’s new takes on the Bat-Rogues Gallery more than Mr. Freeze (formerly Mr. Zero). The show took the character from one-note villain to compelling and tragic anti-villain in the course of 22 minutes. So, it’s only fitting that Freeze would be one of the first four figures in DCC’s line.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Mr. Freeze is part of DC Collectibles’ first series of Batman: The Animate Series line. The series ended up not really being a strict “series” as it were, as the four figures ended up being released separately. Freeze here was released along with Two-Face. He’s figure 03 in the line, following Batman’s 01 and Catwoman’s 02. The figure is just a hair over 6 inches tall (making him just a little taller than Batman, which is accurate) and he has 26 points of articulation. Freeze is based on his re-design from the New Adventures era of the show, which was actually one of the more radical re-designs. It’s a pretty sharp design, though it’s a little marred by the fact that it’s only cartoon appearance is the mediocre “Cold Comfort.” Still, the design is sharp, and starting with this one means they can hook people for the inevitable “Heart of Ice” version. Like Batman, Freeze sports an all-new sculpt. It’s a near perfect rendition of the design from the show. All of the details are smooth and symmetrical, and he really looks like the character would in three dimensions. They’ve done a great job working the articulation into the sculpt pretty seamlessly, allowing for a fair bit of movement without marring the design itself. The head dome is perfectly symmetrical and, it should be noted, removable. This allows this version of Freeze to be the first animated Mr. Freeze to sport neck articulation. How cool is that? For Batman, paint was the area where the figure really took a hit. While the paint on Freeze isn’t quite as good as it could be, it’s definitely an improvement. He still has a few spots of bleed over, and the flat black leads to some issues with scuffing. The blue used seems a bit off; I think there’s too much yellow in it. Of course it may just be that I’m used to the metallic blue from the Kenner figure. It’s hard to tell comparing this figure to the show. Freeze includes 6 hands (the pair of fists he comes wearing, a pair of relaxed hands, a gripping right hand, and a semi-gripping left hand), his trusty freeze gun, and a display stand with his character design sheet. They’ve already changed the nature of the clasp that holds the figure in place since the Batman figure, and I can’t say I’m a fan of the new design. It sticks out too far in the back. In addition to all that, Freeze also includes four mechanical spider-legs, which can be plugged into the bottom of his head, allowing for his…umm…head on spider-legs look. The legs are kind of a pain to get in, and the plastic is sort of soft, leading to some stress-marks (which you can see on mine). It’s a nice touch, and kind of essential to this version of the character (even if I don’t particularly care for the whole “he’s just a head now” thing).
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Mr. Freeze was another purchase from Cosmic Comix. Unlike Batman, I never needed any convincing on this guy. I’ve been on board for him since the day he was announced. Freeze was always my favorite of the animated rogues gallery, mostly due to “Heart of Ice” easily being my favorite episode of the show (getting to meet Michael Ansara when I was a kid may have contributed to that just a bit too). While I still want a BTAS Freeze, this one’s a really strong figure of a pretty great design. He looks fantastic next to Batman, and I can’t wait to get the rest of this series. It’s really fun!